SFP - how much magnification is too much?

lancetkenyon

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2013
Messages
3,397
Location
Arizona
I am probably an extremist when it comes to hunting glass. My motto is buy the best glass you can afford, but try really hard to afford the best.
Honestly, $200 glass is never going to perform like $1200 glass, and $1200 glass is never going to perform like $3200 glass....and so it goes.
Clarity, light transmission, edge to edge focus and distortion from alpha glass will reduce the need for more magnification.
I dial my yardages, and every one of my hunting scopes has the same illuminated 4A reticle. I use the illum center dot all the time, not just at first and last light.
I’m running 2 S&B’s (an Exos and a Polar), a Leica Magnus, and a Swaro Z8i.....and I worked hard to find each one at a significant discount over msrp......either a showroom or shot show demo or a very rare yr end markdown.
I think most guys that think it’s wasteful and useless to buy those scopes have not actually spent a week or so hunting trip behind one. Just grabbing a scope in a store and giving it a quick look through is not going to show someone the true picture of much better life can be behind a top shelf scope. I’ve preached enough, but I said upfront I was kinda extreme.
I am with you. Only alpha glass for me too, but all mine are FFP.
I spend about 4-6 hours a week behind rifle glass. Another 100-200+ behind optics scouting/hunting. Good glass is not expensive, it is priceless.
 

Bullmark

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2020
Messages
322
Location
Roanoke Va
I am with you. Only alpha glass for me too, but all mine are FFP.
I spend about 4-6 hours a week behind rifle glass. Another 100-200+ behind optics scouting/hunting. Good glass is not expensive, it is priceless.
I’m the easy guy to spot at the range....shooting a rig w/ a S&B, and arriving in a 20 yr old Land Cruiser w/ 325k miles. I don’t have an unlimited budget, so I have to make up for it somewhere. Fine optics def hold their value better than cars anyway. And yes, all the time I spend looking through my binocs and then trusting the whole enchilada on your scope....so I can’t have that scope fail. It can’t fog up, fail to track properly, get knocked off zero, etc.
In my view, I hope I can hunt another 25-30 yrs....I’m 51. So divide the cost of a fine European scope ($3000) by each year and it comes to $100...which is a drop in the bucket for the average Hunter. That’s the way I justify the expenditure, and I’m sticking with it.
 

spin-one

Active Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2020
Messages
37
Location
spring valley WI
My three go to hunting rifles have two VX5 3X15 and one VX6 3X18. For me I find this is plenty of magnification. I have shot game from 4 power to 18 power
 

Pro2A

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 23, 2009
Messages
355
I have a couple Leupold VX6’s in 3-18. The SFP scopes generally seemed fine to me as I didn’t figure I would need to hold over or dial on an animal unless it was far enough away to warrant the higher magnification anyway. I always figured that 18 power was about as high as I would want to go with the second focal plane reticle, as there are just some days that heat waves get overwhelming - particularly in the summer at the range. Of course, higher magnification also reduces light through the scope and eye relief. I worry that a low light shot at high magnification may unnecessarily limit me.

I admit that a little more magnification would be nice when looking at a deer cross-canyon. I have been eyeing a new Zeiss in 6-24 Or 5-30 to go with my 28 nosler. I like their reticles and quality, but they are both still SFP models. With that magnification range will I be wishing that I sprung for a FFP scope? Am I over thinking this? I would be interested in others’ perspectives on this.
thanks
Neal
You have heard the rumor that one can dial down the magnification for mirage, twirl that dial thingy on top for firing solution???? You might get a Sig Sierra6 5-30x56 BDX (SFP) with rangefinder in a kit. Just ordered the scope to try with the Sig 3000BDX binos with AB ballistics.
 

southern

Member
Joined
Mar 8, 2020
Messages
21
Location
New Zealand
I think 5-30 covers all bases nicely, I have been using Swarovski Z5 scopes in 3.5-18 and 5-25 range for hunting and both are excellent but have just purchased a Sig 5-30 tango 6 and its brilliant way better glass and am finding i am sing 30 power a lot more than i thought i would, the electronic level plex system is brilliant for keeping the rifle level for long shots on small targets, my next scope will definitely be another Sig
 

haftime

Active Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2018
Messages
32
Location
Mansfield,PA
I don't have the top shelf scopes but just put a Vortex 5-25x50 FFP on a CA 300 RUM and I love the extra magnification for sighting in and the FFP ease of holdover is there if I want it/need it. Thinking hard on replacing my 4-16 x42 SFP Nikons.
 

264MHC

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2019
Messages
197
Location
Eastern NC
I still use SFP and MOA scopes even though I recently upgraded several scopes and had a chance to switch. It just seems difficult to find an FFP that has high enough quality glass and low enough weight in my price range. I feel like you get better glass in an SFP for the same money. I’m not at a Point where I can afford Alpha glass for all my rifles and have been very happy with my $800-$1200 scopes, although I can’t make myself go back to anything lower quality, so I definitely understand not wanting lesser quality once you’ve experienced the Alpha glass. My highest power scope is a 4-24 Trijicon and if I need more brightness at last light I just dial down to 12 knowing my 1 MOA hash marks are now 2 MOA. Definitely easier to do with an even number high power scope. I have verified that where it says 12 power is in fact 12 and the sub tensions are what they should be.
 

skipglo

Well-Known Member
LRH Team Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2015
Messages
1,821
Location
Alberta
I have a couple Leupold VX6’s in 3-18. The SFP scopes generally seemed fine to me as I didn’t figure I would need to hold over or dial on an animal unless it was far enough away to warrant the higher magnification anyway. I always figured that 18 power was about as high as I would want to go with the second focal plane reticle, as there are just some days that heat waves get overwhelming - particularly in the summer at the range. Of course, higher magnification also reduces light through the scope and eye relief. I worry that a low light shot at high magnification may unnecessarily limit me.

I admit that a little more magnification would be nice when looking at a deer cross-canyon. I have been eyeing a new Zeiss in 6-24 Or 5-30 to go with my 28 nosler. I like their reticles and quality, but they are both still SFP models. With that magnification range will I be wishing that I sprung for a FFP scope? Am I over thinking this? I would be interested in others’ perspectives on this.
thanks
Neal
I only buy FFP NOW.I have replaced 11 scopes in past three years. Biggest advantage is scope works at all magnification and reticle grows with the target....as far as I'm concerned the more available power...the better...just like the Big Bad Wolf replied when little red riding hood said.."Oh what big eyes you have" and he replied...THE BETTER TO SEE YOU WITH
 

Mikecr

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2003
Messages
5,549
Location
NC, oceanfront
I couldn't stand 'reticle growth' and prefer the 'aim small miss small' precision of SFP.
Most of my guns have been final fitted with 8.5x25 Mk4s.
With this, I dial (in true moa) elevation, and hold into wind in inches.

At 500yds a groundhog looks like a brown bear at 25x. Very easy to gage needed hold off.
A Mk4s magnification is as accurate as it's dialing. I found with NXS scopes the moa dialing was consistent but not accurate, and by the time the eyepiece is adjusted right, it took 32x to exactly match Mk4 25x.
That, with excess weight.
Leupold won there, but they don't offer the same scopes or reticles anymore..

I would go March SFP now, and either 60x or 80x variables.
 

Alex Wheeler

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2017
Messages
1,248
Location
Montana
The most I have used is 15x for a whitetail at 750yds. Elk at that range, even less. I like field of view when hunting. More is nice at the range but not needed or even desirable in the field.
 

Peddler 76

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2018
Messages
335
Location
Oswego,NY
I probably shouldn’t comment but I’m an old guy who loves to read about you long range shooters. All I hunt now is the St. Lawrence River Plain after lots of years in the Adirondacks. My go to is my Leica 2.5-10x42 ERi #4. My longest shot on our lease is about 300yards with most a lot closer. Thanks for letting me be a part of your forum.
 

Hard rock

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2020
Messages
196
Location
Tomball Texas 77377
I probably shouldn’t comment but I’m an old guy who loves to read about you long range shooters. All I hunt now is the St. Lawrence River Plain after lots of years in the Adirondacks. My go to is my Leica 2.5-10x42 ERi #4. My longest shot on our lease is about 300yards with most a lot closer. Thanks for letting me be a part of your forum.
Yesterday evening at my ranch in West Texas l was looking through my 3x18 Meopta Optica 6 and focusing in on a solar charger 10 in by 10 in that keeps a battery charged for a game cam and it was as clear as day at 500 yds at dusk 91percent light transmission through 71 yr old eyes no glasses for $ 800.00 dollars european glass you would be hard pressed to beat it with a $2.500.00 dollar NF these Meopta scopes are a lot of value for the money I'm sure they will get more expensive as time goes by
 

HuntnPack

Well-Known Member
LRH Team Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2012
Messages
663
Location
The Wilderness
For me in a SFP, anything over 20x doesn’t get used. I prefer something in 2.5-20,
or 3-18 range. This covers all my shooting
Requirements.
 

Primary

LRH Assistant
Here are some related products that LRH members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to LRH’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to LRH discussions about these products.

 
 

Recent Posts

Top