Switching from SFP to FFP. Considering the Leupold VX5 3-15X44.

FlatCat

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I'm planning on getting a new scope for backcountry hunting, as I'm going on my first Elk hunt this October. Currently I use a 2.5X10 scope with a BDC reticle and I am looking for something with a little more magnification and would like to try a first focal plane scope for more precise shots. I've done a fair amount of research and it seems that a lot of people like the Leupold VX5 3-15X44 as it is great glass, has ample amount of magnification, and isn't super heavy. The illuminated firedot reticle sounds like a great feature too.

My only concern is going from a second focal plane scope to a first focal plane. I don't have any experience with dialing for elevation or windage and am slightly concerned that it would be much to fool around with in the field or take too long to get on target. However, plenty of hunters use and prefer FFP scopes so it likely isn't that big of deal. Has anyone moved to a FFP scope and wish they hadn't?

Any other considerations about FFP vs SFP I should think about. Any other FFP scopes I should check out before making a decision?
 

dok7mm

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I really prefer FFP for hunting. I have 2 March's, 2 Mark 5's, 1 NX8, and 1 Sightron SIII mounted on my favorite rifles. All MOA and all FFP, could never go back to 2nd focal. Of course, lots go for 2nd FP,
so it's personal choice.
 

TC338

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I’m not 100% sure but I think the vx-5 is only available in SFP. I hunt with a FFP scope and really like the fact that I never have to worry about what power I am on. My scope has very bright illumination so I just light it up on lowest power settings and it looks just like a duplex reticule. As long as you have daylight bright illumination I don’t see a drawback to going FFP.
 

lancetkenyon

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VX5 is SFP
Mark 5 is FFP

All I shoot are FFP scopes. All my rifles are hunting rifles. I switched years ago, and cannot see myself ever going back to SFP.
 

brcfo_outdoors

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I don't know what reticles Leupold offers, but just because you get a FFP does not mean that you HAVE to dial. Plenty of "hold over" aka "Christmas Tree" style reticles let you do exactly that, you just need to know the dope for your particular load. They also make it very easy to correct a miss, while still holding, because you can readily measure where the hit was due to the subtensions and wind holds on the reticle itself. The only drawback I would be able to comment on with FFP is that you are going to have a finer reticle/aiming point on lower magnification than you would with SFP.

As far as alternatives, the most popular options in that same-ish price range would probably be Nightforce or Vortex.
 

kynjm82

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Check out nightforce SHV 4x14x50 FFP, I have one on my 300WSM and love it. I would recommend illuminating dot for dawn / dusk.
 

nksmfamjp

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If you are purely going to dial, SFP is much better. If you are going to hold, FFP is better.

SFP’s main advantage is the reticle has same visibility from low power through high. If dialing, the reticle is not being used to measure, so good.

FFP’s main advantage is the ability to hold, wind, elevation or both. It’s main disadvantage is the reticle is very hard to see at low power. So much so, that most ffp reticles as now have a donut or other fat aim point built in.

All that said, I find when the pressure is on me to shoot, I want to hold wind for sure and maybe elevation. I hold wind because if I measure a max crosswind of 5 mph, I can feel that wind rise and fall by the second on my face. What is 5 mph might be 3 mph when I pull the trigger. I just slide the reticle over and shoot.

For elevation, generally your target doesn’t move enough to change a hold, so dialing or holding work well. Holding can be faster, but more error prone for me. So, if possible, I would dial elevation.

just food for thought
 

willfrye027

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Why do you think you will need more power? Elk are a large target. I doubt you will be wanting to take extra long shots at an elk on your first elk hunt.

Stick with what you have and trust. I bet you end up killing one with a quick shot on 3x anyways. BDC is totally adequate for a 300 maybe 400 yard shot on an elk. Unless you really expect to shoot farther I’d put the money elsewhere.
 

willfrye027

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Also you may want the thicker reticle shooting at elk close range in dark timber. Can be hard to see a FFP reticle at low power. It may do more harm than good in the end.
 

sixfivefanboy

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Nov 4, 2019
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I'm planning on getting a new scope for backcountry hunting, as I'm going on my first Elk hunt this October. Currently I use a 2.5X10 scope with a BDC reticle and I am looking for something with a little more magnification and would like to try a first focal plane scope for more precise shots. I've done a fair amount of research and it seems that a lot of people like the Leupold VX5 3-15X44 as it is great glass, has ample amount of magnification, and isn't super heavy. The illuminated firedot reticle sounds like a great feature too.

My only concern is going from a second focal plane scope to a first focal plane. I don't have any experience with dialing for elevation or windage and am slightly concerned that it would be much to fool around with in the field or take too long to get on target. However, plenty of hunters use and prefer FFP scopes so it likely isn't that big of deal. Has anyone moved to a FFP scope and wish they hadn't?

Any other considerations about FFP vs SFP I should think about. Any other FFP scopes I should check out before making a decision?
I have both - I hate FFP scopes for hunting. On lower power they are useless against a dark background or in low light. Illumination helps and essentially at low power it turns it into an illuminated duplex reticle. I only own 1 FFP scope right now and it sits on a varmint gun. I have owned several that I have put on big game rifles and always end up going back to second focal plane scopes. Like others have said you have just as good or maybe a better chance of killing an elk at close range as you do long range. The VX5HD is an awesome scope and I love the firedot duplex reticle.
 

Ronald W Schaefer

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Mar 1, 2019
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Get a scope you can drop custom turrets in. Figure your velocity and note the BC of your bullet--send to Kenton Industries and they will send you custom turrets. No math in the field. I have 4 Viper Vortex 4-16X44 HS-T with custom turrets, BDC reticle and two Leo VX6 HD 3-18X44 with the fire dot. All very good scopes, all SFP, all "no math" turrets. Last Mule Deer in CO, lased it--475yds, set it 4.75 on the turret, set up on the sticks and cracked one off. DRT...from ranging to shot about 30 seconds.
 

hzy1369

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Jan 31, 2019
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Mt Joy Pa
I'll second the NF SHV 4x14x50 FFP entry level by NF standards but it replaced a Nikon on a 300WM and really love it plus illuminated really easy to see. I have the MOA (easier for me) so once you know your drop out to a given yardage you can either use hold over or dial
 

FlatCat

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Jul 1, 2020
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FL
Thanks for all the feedback! I guess I didn't do as much research as I thought. After looking into it the VX5 is in fact a SFP scope, which may be a good thing given all the comments about shooting elk at shorter distances on a lower magnification.

Maybe I'll stick with what I have for now and buy a FFP scope for a different rifle and see how I like it.
 
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