First or Second focal plane Rifle scope

enfieldspares

Well-Known Member
I prefer for all uses the one where regardless of how much the magnification increases the reticule remains the same size. The ones where it increases in size are, apparently, useful to get a range to target indication to help with holdover. Or some such But I can't remember how it actually works. And in any case you can also use a fixed magnification 'scope and its reticule to estimate range just by remembering that at, say 4x, the gap between the two side reticules is so many inches wide at such and such a distance. So one man's (or deer's) width at xxx = yyy yards, two men's (or deer's) width at zzz = yyy yards.
 
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hendrix's rifle

Well-Known Member
First focal plane providing mil mil or moa moa ret and turrets for easy corrections and good glass. Don't get a cheap ffp though however I've heard the falcon range to be great. Depends on if all your doing is long range
 

hendrix's rifle

Well-Known Member
I prefer for all uses the one where regardless of how much the magnification increases the reticule remains the same size. The ones where it increases in size are, apparently, useful to get a range to target indication. But I can't remember how it actually works.
Ffp you zoom in with the crosshair getting bigger, sfp the ret stays the same. For a bit of everything I'd go sfp for long range only I'd go ffp
 

Rider

Well-Known Member
Long range --> FFP.
SFP has an inherent change in POI when operating the zoom which is not repeatable, i.e. it is totally at random. Returning to a given zoom factor will not necessarily reestablish the previous POI. Even Zeiss and Swarovski will tell you that they will only guarantee a shift of less than 1.5 cm@100m. They don't advertise it, you need to ask them specifically.
SFP is by technical design only suitable for max. mid-range applications, where above problem may not be crucial.
 
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Rory

Well-Known Member
100% first focal plane. All the hard work that goes into a ranging capable mil dot or moa graduated reticle is completely nullified as soon as you put that reticle in second focal plane scope. I was always told that if you can't afford a good quality FFP scope, spend the money you have on a top of the line fixed scope.
 

levigsp

Well-Known Member
Long range --> FFP.
SFP has an inherent change in POI when operating the zoom which is not repeatable, i.e. it is totally at random. Returning to a given zoom factor will not necessarily reestablish the previous POI. Even Zeiss and Swarovski will tell you that they will only guarantee a shift of less than 1.5 cm@100m. They don't advertise it, you need to ask them specifically.
SFP is by technical design only suitable for max. mid-range applications, where above problem may not be crucial.
So could you please explain something to me. Why is it that there are lots of people-me included that have used second focal plane scopes for years, zoomed in and out and point of aim has never moved one jot? I even have an old Jap made tasco 6x24x40 that has been used on vertualy every mag and it point ofd aim remains the same and in 30 years has never been altered.
 

Rory

Well-Known Member
So could you please explain something to me. Why is it that there are lots of people-me included that have used second focal plane scopes for years, zoomed in and out and point of aim has never moved one jot? I even have an old Jap made tasco 6x24x40 that has been used on vertualy every mag and it point ofd aim remains the same and in 30 years has never been altered.
I doubt whether POI will be affected, but would avoid SFP if you useany sort of mil/moa/bdc reticle with a variable scope.
 

levigsp

Well-Known Member
I doubt whether POI will be affected, but would avoid SFP if you useany sort of mil/moa/bdc reticle with a variable scope.
I use both first and second and will keep doing so as and when needed. There is no problem using mill dot etc in second so long as you know what mag to have it on and dispite what some say, its not always the highest mag.
Finally I will say that Ive seen more poor ffp scopes for the money than sfp.
 

Laurie

Well-Known Member
Another question for the FFP enthusiasts here. If that's the type to use in long-range target shooting, how come nobody in serious L-R F-Class uses one? ......... and I mean NOBODY and that includes those in the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. For known distance precision shooting which the OP is asking about, SFP is far superior. Views on reticle form vary for individuals, but simple uncluttered versions such as a fine crosshair with a very small central dot or NIghtforce's CTR rets and the old NP2-DD are very popular. A very few people use reticle marks to aim off, but the norm in this discipline is to use a high mag setting and aim off in the target itself as the ring sizes are all fixed in half-MOA radius steps.

Tactical and Service Rifle disciplines are very different because of the need for target ranging, variations in target forms and sizes, lack of time to fiddle around with turret settings and a need for accurate but clear hash-marks with known distances in mils or MOA fractions to aim off for wind effects and over/under for different distances. FFP and multiple hash reticles are commonly used here.

The Nightforce SFP 15-55X52 'Competition' is probably the most widely used F-Class scope across top level international F-Class alongside the high magnification March models and with the recently introduced Vortex Golden Eagle now making inroads. For those counting the cents or pennies, The Series III Sightron zoom models of 8-32 and higher magnification are good value, excellent performers and very popular.
 

Everlong

Well-Known Member
I prefer second focal plane - where the ret remains constant - as the target shooting I do is at known ranges. If you need to use the ret to estimate range then first focal plane is probably the way to go. I have a Delta Stryker 5-50x56 on my 6.5CR Tikka T3X TAC A1 - 100 MOA elevation adjustment = easy dialling out beyond the 1200 yards I can shoot to..subtensions are accurate on the ret at 40x mag - should I want to hold over rather than dial, I just need to ensure I’m at 40x and use the MOA holds on the nice clean, simple uncluttered ret..
 

jb1

Well-Known Member
I dont do much long range stuff,but what I do either paper or gongs it's 2nd FP.
Its all dialling in so no real need to judge distance via substensions, if I need to measure misses I use the x point mag set up on the scope.
Laurie has hit the nail on the head, (and not surprising as he's the guru) as for Sightron scopes on long range shoots, I've seen more on range days than any other.
 

.243Hunter

Well-Known Member
Prefer SFP as you can tweak magnification to suit for correct drop on the reticule. Also if using rear night vision add ons, the reticule once focused stays focused, with FFP you need to tweak the reticule focus throughout when changing magnification .
 

dodgyknees

Well-Known Member
Both, depends on application.

SFP with BDC reticles for regular hunting. The vast majority of scope manufacturers calibrate their SFP reticles to the maximum magnification. But the history of this is interesting because I understand from an NZDF friend of mine that the mill spec is 10x magnification but I have never seen this written down. As such I have two second focal plane scopes that do indeed use 10x mag for reticle calibration, not the maximum mag, as @levigsp pointed out above. The theory being that ranging calculations with SFP reticles calibrated at 10x mag are a lot easier to learn than random values based on which scope you're using.

Many high magnification SFP scopes often have calibration set at a lower magnification than the maximum. E.g. The Vortex 6-24x50 SFP scopes use 18x, which is marked on the magnification ring by the red line. I have hunted with a number of people who did not know what magnification their SFP scope was calibrated to...

I have two FFP scopes with fine detailed milhash reticles for longer range hunting purposes. I really hate not having a close-up view of my reticle when the magnification is dialled right up for a long shot on an animal. I dial for elevation and hold for wind so I want to be able to see the detail. In variable mixed country where the animals are at varying ranges, like a mob of goats, once you get the hang of the ranging capability of these reticles it makes for considerably easier target acquisition. With a table of dial-up values on the ground next to you, it means you don't have to break your position to get the rangefinder out again.
 

Rider

Well-Known Member
So could you please explain something to me. Why is it that there are lots of people-me included that have used second focal plane scopes for years, zoomed in and out and point of aim has never moved one jot? I even have an old Jap made tasco 6x24x40 that has been used on vertualy every mag and it point ofd aim remains the same and in 30 years has never been altered.
Good for you. You are a happy man then.
I've had at least two Leupolds (1 VX-III and 1 VX-6) that featured this POI shift.
There are also tests of scopes which pick up this issue. About ten years ago the results were ranging from 'negligable' to 'horrifying' (9cm@100m). Today things have become better, but the effect is still there.
Regardless how big the effect is, I am simply put off by the technical possibility of this happening. To me it somehow thwarts the purpose of a scope - especially when the focus is on ranges beyond 200m.
 

levigsp

Well-Known Member
Good for you. You are a happy man then.
I've had at least two Leupolds (1 VX-III and 1 VX-6) that featured this POI shift.
There are also tests of scopes which pick up this issue. About ten years ago the results were ranging from 'negligable' to 'horrifying' (9cm@100m). Today things have become better, but the effect is still there.
Regardless how big the effect is, I am simply put off by the technical possibility of this happening. To me it somehow thwarts the purpose of a scope - especially when the focus is on ranges beyond 200m.
If they are so bad, why do so many hunters and target bashers and snipers use them? and pray tell me what people were using before the recent fad for ffp? just interested in your views. I know people here and all over the world who have no problems, yes an odd scope might not work as it should, but 99% do. First focal I have sent two scopes back with faults in two years, do I consider all ffp scopes bad not at all. I can say with hand on heart that I own and use a tasco, Hawk, Niko, 2 Meoptas, Ziess, Schmitt and they all holt their point of aim exact regardless of how many times I alter the mag. Sorry but practical experience in the field over many years tells me what is and is not and you wont convince me.
 

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