SFP Windage Compensation and Second Shot Correction

HOT TUNA

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I have only used and owned FFP scopes. I have noticed a trend of long range hunters using second focal plane scopes and am interested in learning how there used in practical application for a long range hunting shot.

Through research I have not seen anyone explain how a second focal plane scope is used to adjust for windage when engaging a target. Are you guys indexing your windage solution on your turret then taking the shot or are you adjusting your scope magnification to where the reticle is calibrated and holding for wind? Maybe a mix of both? What about second shot corrections? Do you measure the correction then simply dial it or do you hold the correction?

I understand that either method won’t be an issue and is more shooter preference if you take the shot at the magnification the reticle is calibrated for. What if said magnification isn’t appropriate for the shot? Say you have a 5-25x SFP and the reticle is calibrated at 25x and the appropriate mag setting for the shot is odd, say 16-18x. How do you deal with that on the fly?
 

jpd676

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I can't spek for everyone, but I dial the wind with the turret if I feel like the wind is somewhat constant. If the wind is varying I will hold off by estimating, for example, 8" on my target. That may not win any 1000 yard records but I can stay within the vitals of an animal. If I see that my hold was off I readjust my wind hold. The key to whatevery methood you use is constant practice. I used to try and get set up by dawn so I could shoot in no wind but now I shoot whenever so I can get used to the wind.
 

Clickr

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+1 to what jpd676 said. The driver for me to use SFP in hunting situations is that the FFP scopes reticles are too fine at low mag (especially near sunrise/set). They are also thicker at high mag, but this is less of an issue. I don't mind dialing / holding for windage. Its SFP for all my optics.
 

HOT TUNA

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Thanks for the input. I guess what I’m driving at is are you guys usually taking your shots at the mag the reticle calibrated for making holding accurately a non issue? Is the only benefit a SFP scope has over a FFP scope for long range hunting the fact that that the reticle stays the same through it’s power range?
 

Clickr

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Thanks for the input. I guess what I’m driving at is are you guys usually taking your shots at the mag the reticle calibrated for making holding accurately a non issue? Is the only benefit a SFP scope has over a FFP scope for long range hunting the fact that that the reticle stays the same through it’s power range?
Let me be the first to say I am not the most experienced long range hunter. However, what I do is have my dope taped to my rifle. Elevation is in MOA and windage is in INCHES (10 mph full value). I dial elevation and hold windage. Depending on wind conditions (value, steadiness) I am comfortable out to 600 yds right now. Fairly easy to judge 10 inches or 25 inches if you know the dimensions of the game. This way you can adjust your windage hold on the fly if the conditions change while you are setup on the game. It does not matter what magnification is used.

The killer for me with FFP is the loss of the reticle at low magnification. Just a non-starter.
 

HOT TUNA

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Let
Let me be the first to say I am not the most experienced long range hunter. However, what I do is have my dope taped to my rifle. Elevation is in MOA and windage is in INCHES (10 mph full value). I dial elevation and hold windage. Depending on wind conditions (value, steadiness) I am comfortable out to 600 yds right now. Fairly easy to judge 10 inches or 25 inches if you know the dimensions of the game. This way you can adjust your windage hold on the fly if the conditions change while you are setup on the game. It does not matter what magnification is used.

The killer for me with FFP is the loss of the reticle at low magnification. Just a non-starter.

The killer for me with FFP is the loss of the reticle at low magnification. Just a non-starter.
Makes sense that’s an interesting way of approaching holding for wind. I’m going to try taking some shots next time I shoot using inches as a hold and see how it works out for me.

The trend with long range hunters especially professional ones selecting SFP is hard to ignore. These are guys that probably wouldn’t hesitate to spend the extra cash on a FFP if it provided them an advantage, but they aren’t and probably for good reason. Just want to fully wrap my head around the differences in their usage before I actually bought one. In most instances the money savings is pretty significant and that would be a win in my book.
 

Canhunter35

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I hold wind with my sfp scopes. I have max 20x scoped and if I’m dialing, I crank it to max when I’m looking at animal, hold my wind, take the shot. If I’m calling coyotes I’ll put it on 10x and doubling reticle spacing I can make a holdover or minor wind call. Honestly though, when I’m making a shot on a live animal, I’ve never found 20x too much for making precise shot. But if your ffp scopes have illumination for making shots in low light and you don’t mind the thick cross hairs at max power, not sure you’re gaining much by switching.
 

Greyfox

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While I use FFP/Mil scopes exclusively for competition, I very much prefer the SFP/MOA scopes for hunting. I use scopes in the 5x20 power range and an MOA reticle calibrated to 20X/highest power. Like others, I dial for elevation and use the reticle for windage holds. My scope is generally set at 10X(half power), at 2X the MOA value for windage holds. When higher power is required I use 20X and use the calibrated value for windage holds. Use of a power throw lever on the scope ring that is at the 12’oclick position at 10X simplifies and speeds up the power selection process. I personally find the FFP difficult to use at the lower power settings in low light situations......with or without a lighted reticle.
 

Oskurmyboy

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Trying not to hi jack this thread but its got me thinking......I have a 270 win with a Zeiss Conquest 3x9. Its my deer rifle and shoots 130 gr Core-lokt well inside of MOA at 100 yrds and I have it zero'd at 200. Where I hunt, 275 yards is my farthest possible shot. I figure its pretty much an aim and shoot situation. Here is what this thread has me questioning. I dont remember what mag I zero'd the gun at. Ive always thought that if I ever hunted where I may see a 300-to 400 yard shoot that Id just hold the crosshairs high (top of the back of the animal) for the bullet drop. Does the sfp and magnification I zero'd in at make a difference here or was my thinking correct and if I know my bullet drop than I can just hold for that, at any magnification?
 

HOT TUNA

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Trying not to hi jack this thread but its got me thinking......I have a 270 win with a Zeiss Conquest 3x9. Its my deer rifle and shoots 130 gr Core-lokt well inside of MOA at 100 yrds and I have it zero'd at 200. Where I hunt, 275 yards is my farthest possible shot. I figure its pretty much an aim and shoot situation. Here is what this thread has me questioning. I dont remember what mag I zero'd the gun at. Ive always thought that if I ever hunted where I may see a 300-to 400 yard shoot that Id just hold the crosshairs high (top of the back of the animal) for the bullet drop. Does the sfp and magnification I zero'd in at make a difference here or was my thinking correct and if I know my bullet drop than I can just hold for that, at any magnification?
The magnification you zeroed at will not effect your zero. The center point of aim remains constant and does not shift when adjusting magnification settings both in second focal plane and first focal plane. Holding over using the S.W.A.G. method is fine through the mag range of a SFP scope too. It becomes an issue with a subtended (reticle MIL/MOA based) because the substension values change when magnification settings are changed in a SFP scope.

If your optic isn’t designed for long range shooting I would recommend zeroing at 25 yards instead of 200. The advantage of zeroing at 25 yards is that it will extend your maximum point blank range (MPBR) out to 300-350 yards depending on your cartridge. Which is significantly farther than the point blank range a 200 yard zero will offer you. To define the point blank range of a weapon system: it is the range it can hit a target with out adjusting over or short of your aim point.

In the case of my .260 REM firing a 140 gr Berger VLD at 2649 FPS under common atmospherics that I shoot in. I get the following point blank ranges on a 12” Target: 100 yard zero - 219 yards, 200 yard zero - 271 yards , and a 25 yard zero - 327 yards. Another advantage with zeroing at 25 yards is it will allow you to zero precisely and accurately with out inadvertently compensating for atmospheric conditions (wind, temp, BP etc...) into your zero.

To sum it up for me. I zero at 100 yards for all of my long range rigs and all of my sporting rifles I zero at 25 yards in order to capitalize on achieve the farthest MPBR the weapon system can offer me.
 

HOT TUNA

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I hold wind with my sfp scopes. I have max 20x scoped and if I’m dialing, I crank it to max when I’m looking at animal, hold my wind, take the shot. If I’m calling coyotes I’ll put it on 10x and doubling reticle spacing I can make a holdover or minor wind call. Honestly though, when I’m making a shot on a live animal, I’ve never found 20x too much for making precise shot. But if your ffp scopes have illumination for making shots in low light and you don’t mind the thick cross hairs at max power, not sure you’re gaining much by switching.

Thanks for your response. I am very used to hunting and shooting with FFP scopes and haven’t personally found a scenario yet where I found them to hinder me in a hunting situation. For me the reason I would consider a SFP would be for some cost savings. I think you may be right in your closing statements that I may not have much to gain from switching from what I’m used to.
 

Crews

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Sep 9, 2014
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Houston
Wow, interesting to hear the different perspectives. I could never imagine an illuminated reticle on a FFP scope NOT being sufficient for a shot in low light conditions.
 

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