Leupold VX 3i 8.5-25X50- 1st or 2nd focal plane.

Discussion in 'Extreme Long Range Hunting & Shooting (ELR)' started by NorsemanAlaska, Feb 15, 2018.

  1. NorsemanAlaska

    NorsemanAlaska Well-Known Member

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    Good day. So the wife and I have been plinking out to about 500 yards for years. We're now going to purchase 6.5 Creedmores to hopefully move out to 1,000 yards. We've been staunch Leupold supporters for over 40 years for many reasons. We are seriously looking at the Leupold VX 3i 8.5-25x50 LRP.
    I understand first focal plane and second focal plane. Although we're only used 2nd focal plane.
    I understand Mil and MOA.
    But both of us are used to MOA and want to continue.
    My question is: which is best with MOA, 1st or 2nd focal plane and why...?
    Thanks.
     
  2. Dan Carey

    Dan Carey Well-Known Member

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    Second FP makes the reticle bigger as you go up in power, covers more of the target. FPF reticle remains the same size thru the power settings. SFP allows you to use the reticle for range finding easier. There are thousands of Ffp scopes for every one second.
     
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  3. THEIS

    THEIS Well-Known Member

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    Hi,

    For me ranging is easier done with FFP since I do not have to worry about what magnification the reticle is calibrated at.

    Whether you get FFP or SFP...my suggestion would be if you get MOA reticle get MOA turrets, If you get Mil reticle get Mil turrets.

    Sincerely,
    THEIS
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2018
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  4. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Well-Known Member

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    If you are just plinking it does not much matter. What I have found is that having shot 2nd focal plane scopes for 50+ years, I do not need the extra memory problem of a single FFP scope. I try to have all of my scopes uniform so I don't to remember very many individual things about each scope.
     
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  5. Oskurmyboy

    Oskurmyboy Member

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    You have this completely backwards......FFP reticle changes size and you can range your target at any magnification. SFP the reticle ramains the same size and you range your target at a specific magnification setting.
     
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  6. 257Tony

    257Tony Well-Known Member

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    With that much magnification I would definitely go ffp. There will be times you'll need to hold wind, and may not need or want to use 25x at that distance.
     
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  7. SMK1000plus

    SMK1000plus Active Member

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    I have several Leupold VX-3 6.5-20x50mm LR SF M1 dials SFP scopes and one Leupold VX-3 8.5-25x50mm LR SF M1 dials SFP. At 1000 plus yards, mirage will eat your higher magnification up big time, if you're shooting over a relatively flat range like we have here in Florida. Terrible in summer but, usually pretty bad throughout the year. Even 20 power is too much magnification for the mirage most of the time. If you're shooting from an elevated firing position, well above ground level and your target is also significantly above the rest of the terrain; i.e. shooting from one mountain to another, across a valley, then mirage won't usually be too much of an issue.

    Personal, I'd go with something in 3-18x FFP, matching reticle and adjustments, for most uses under 1760 yards, at least here in FL.
     
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  8. NorsemanAlaska

    NorsemanAlaska Well-Known Member

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    SMK100plus: Interesting info and mirage hadn't even crossed my mind. My issue is vision. I have 2 of the 6.5-20x Leupolds on the rifles we shoot out to about 500 yards with. I guess my concern was being able to see a target at 1000 yards with just a 20 power scope being that I am near sighted. Is mirage created mostly by heat waves, etc...? It doesn't get up much past 70 degrees here in the summer...Thanks.
     
  9. SMK1000plus

    SMK1000plus Active Member

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    It isn't really temperature directly that causes mirage, it is the temperature difference between the ground and the air. I've had mirage issues with air temperatures in the 40°F range. The higher the ground temperature as opposed to the air temperature, the greater the mirage. The closer you are to the ground, the more you will be impacted by whatever mirage is present. The higher the magnification you use, of your optic, the more you will see the effects or the prevailing mirage.

    20 power is more than enough magnification for 1000 yards! I too am near sighted but, with my scope properly adjusted, I have shot 7" groups at 1200 yards. 9" to 12" groups at that range are relatively common, when I get the wind read correct. Not too bad for my rifle setup and budget.
     
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  10. NorsemanAlaska

    NorsemanAlaska Well-Known Member

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    Ok, thanks and makes sense. Since your my reply to you I went and checked and the 6.5-20's and the 8.5-25's are the same cost. So I'll probably just get the 25's and just dial the zoom down....Appreciate it...And good shooting too =-}
     
  11. joep17

    joep17 Well-Known Member

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    Greetings
    I have several dozen Leupolds and loved all of them except 1....the 8.5-25
    Have 4 of the 6.5-20's and love them.

    There was just a strange experience with the 8.5-20. It was extremely senisitive to eye relief. If I moved my head 1/2" either way. When I set it at 20x and compared side by side with the 6.5-20, the optics were not quite as crisp. The field of view seemed smaller to me with both at 20X. Sold it and bought a 5.5-22 NSX. It just did nt fit my shooting style. Another experienced shooter sold his too for similar reasons.

    I recommend you find someone with the 8.5-25 mounted and try it to see if it works for you. Again I have been extremely pleased with all my Leupolds except this model.
     
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  12. SMK1000plus

    SMK1000plus Active Member

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    Only issue with dialing down the 8.5-25 is lead on fast moving targets. Even an issue with 6.5 power at 600 plus yards on targets moving over 20 mph.

    Good shooting. :)
     
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  13. mwar77

    mwar77 Member

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    I have both ffp & sfp & both work fine
     
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  14. NorsemanAlaska

    NorsemanAlaska Well-Known Member

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    They you're a Leupold nut like we are =-} We stopped counting-LOL But we do like the 2- 6.5-20's that we already have and you've all have convinced us to stay there....Thanks so much for the insight.