SFP vs FFP for hunting

Rich Coyle

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There is no need to argue about which is best since it all comes down to personal preference...and we all have one. The difference between first and second focal planes can be seen in the photo below (Thank you American Rifleman) The only difference is what the size of the reticle does when changing magnification. Personally I much prefer first focal plane because the reticle does not change size other than become more pronounced as you increase magnification. To each their own on this one. View attachment 304598
Your photo is not consistent with the FFP's I tried. The reticle was INVISABLE on the low power and covered too much of the target on higher magnification.
 

PNWdude67

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Has the argument changed about SFP or FFP over time?? LINK

I found the linked thread with an interesting flare to it. People down on ffp scopes.

So, I ask myself why could SFP be better?

Are SFP users needing a precise aimpoint on like 3-5x? Perhaps shooting at a 600yd animal on 4.5x with a 4.5-30x scope?

If the issue is low power at 0-150 yd shots, doesn’t the ffp reticle on 3-5x have a nice fat appearance, especially with illumination?
The FFP reticle is just as useful at lowest power as a classic SSP duplex reticle if it’s designed with that in mind. You do not need to see the .2 hash marks at low power for a center hold shot out to even 300 yards. They appear, as you stated to be a thick line which has a nice center space of .5 mil which is about 1.75 inches at 100 yards, meaning your hold area is .75 MOA radius. So, yeah who cares if the has marks aren’t useful at low power? They are not intended to be. The benefit of the FFP is having a consistent hold over and wind hold from about 8~ the highest power setting …. When using reticle marks on the SSP you must know their value for the power your shooting at. The SSP user then says, “I just leave it on the highest power” 😂😂🤷🏻‍♂️. Ok so,first, why are you concerned with using an FFP on low power and second you are negating there advantage of having a variable power scope to allow you to quickly acquire a target sight picture and zoom in as you settle in to engage. Reticles have advanced tremendously as well.
 

FEENIX

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I like SFP for hunting because my scope lives on 4.5-5 on the norm. My FFP scopes start there and the reticle isnt really visible. At about 8x I can see it well but that's not great in timber and brush. I think if all I hunted was open prairies and sage I'd just use my FFP scopes but I'm always in mixed terrain and vegetation. SFP for me.
Not all scopes are created equal (SFP or FFP). My FFP scopes start at 2.5, 3.5, 4, 5, and 6.5.
 

Holycity73

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I'm guessing the .070 group in your avatar was shot while aiming at the small point of the diamond. SFP or FFP? :)
That was 1.5 high @ 100yards during load development. Turned out that factory Accubonds were perfect. It was done with a SFP SHV 4.5-14 set at 12 power. Rifle was built by Robert Gradous. So yeah… I also own several FFP for match AND hunting. 😂
 

blvette75

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Has the argument changed about SFP or FFP over time?? LINK

I found the linked thread with an interesting flare to it. People down on ffp scopes.

So, I ask myself why could SFP be better?

Are SFP users needing a precise aimpoint on like 3-5x? Perhaps shooting at a 600yd animal on 4.5x with a 4.5-30x scope?

If the issue is low power at 0-150 yd shots, doesn’t the ffp reticle on 3-5x have a nice fat appearance, especially with illumination?
I was primarily using SFP for many years, once I started using FFP scopes, really liked it better for long range shooting. It is just my preference as regardless of the magnification you are using. My biggest thing is the reticle on a FFP scope has the same holdover points regardless of magnification for example 1 mil is still 1 mil Which has helped my shooting precision. I have both Mil and MOA scopes the math I do is just adjusting per reticle type I am using. The minus of the FFP scopes are cost of FFP scopes is higher, and with illumination you are correct the appearance is wider in the reticle. But most of my FFP scopes I only typically use them, non-illuminated but have used with illumination successfully. My opinion is it really depends what works the best for you as a hunter. For My daughter who is learning to shoot a rifles I am training her with a SFP scope, so she shoots just with the highest magnification so it does not matter for her.
 

D$tring

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I have a good mix of SFP and FFP scopes. My last 5 scope purchases are all FFPs and did not have any problem in my transition. I now prefer the FFPs.
Amen. This is exactly what I have done. Still use both. And still use several brands. I have preferences of SFP and FFP that vary by brand. I tend to favor FFP lately. I wanted to switch to all same brand and same focal plane but it wasn’t practical because each rifle has different purposes and one size scope doesn’t fit all.
 

D$tring

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Shot them both in target and in hunting situations. I think there is a weighted argument for FFP preference with precision shooters due to the need to using the subtentions to aid in timed comps - especially with Mils.

Now that everyone is spinning turrets and using shooting apps with Kestrels, in hunting I think SFP scopes are just fine. Bottom line, pick a style you love and shoot it. Then if you have more rifles and more scopes, stay with it

To me this is a similar argument to whether you wanna shoot minutes or mils. Up to you
Great point!
 

skipdavidson

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Last three scopes I’ve purchased have been FFP, but they are not ideal in size and weight or for hunting in my area. Still waiting on a company to make a lightweight, correctly sized reticle for a FFP hunting scope, optimized for low end use for woods hunting.
Leupold mark V 3.6-18 with the revic rh1 reticle has to be close.
 

Hard rock

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Great point!
When your choosing first focal plane for a hunting scope it comes down too the reticle you choose for that application more so than 2nd or 1st focal plane they both will do the job for example I have a 1st focal plane Meopta optics 6 3x18 with the 4 d Diachro reticle it gives you a fast target accusation but would not be good for long range target shooting it definitely boils down too preference that being said most 1st focal plane users are more versed in 1st and 2nd focal plane scopes than the other way around if that matters maybe maybe not
 

Cbass1019

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Louisiana
After passing on several moose that might have been legal width, I switched to ffp on all my hunting rifles. I can hit them with the range finder and then do the math backward to get the minimum mils/moa for a legal width and then see if they make it.

Reticles are small on low power, but if it's illuminated that doesn't matter
ALL of this!!
 

baggy270

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There is no need to argue about which is best since it all comes down to personal preference...and we all have one. The difference between first and second focal planes can be seen in the photo below (Thank you American Rifleman) The only difference is what the size of the reticle does when changing magnification. Personally I much prefer first focal plane because the reticle does not change size other than become more pronounced as you increase magnification. To each their own on this one. View attachment 304598
The reticle does change size in FFP
 
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