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Subject Topic: FFP vs. SFP, Magnification, Objective... Post ReplyPost New Topic
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Abram
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Posted: January 09 2019 at 10:42am | IP Logged Quote Abram

I know the difference between the First Focal Plane and Second Focal Plane scopes but I would like to hear what you prefer and why?

What magnification do you prefer? and why

What kind and size of objective do you prefer?
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M700
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Posted: January 09 2019 at 12:56pm | IP Logged Quote M700

Varies with the situation. What do I want to do with a particular rifle?

General purpose hunting, I vastly prefer a nice quality fixed 6x scope. I hunt mostly open country, but have made rather close shots with the 6x as well. It's been enough for 400+ yard shots on coyotes, and not too much for 40 yard shots on game.

I know the hunting world hugely prefers a variable, and I do have some variable scopes, but, I really like a good quality fixed scope.

For a general purpose hunting rifle, to be used at what I consider "normal" ranges, say to 300 - 400 yards, I've also been happy with some different 2-7x, 2.5-8x (a really NICE hunting scope!) and the 3.5-10x Leupold as well. All are fine. Most the 3-9x scopes on the market are also quite useful. Can cover an awful lot of bases with a variable in that general power range. All those scopes are second focal plane scopes, and they work very nicely for hunting purposes.

For my lever action rifles which I want to be light & handy and I'm not concerned with using at long range, I love the little 2.5x Leupold. It's only about 8 ounces, rugged as all get out and deadly on game. Ol' Phil Shoemaker has had one on his 458 Win mag for 20+ years without a problem, and he guides in sopping wet coastal Alaska, so that little scope has been subjected to lots of recoil and lots of really rotten weather.

For a dedicated varmint rifle, I had a 12x Leupold mounted. That was primarily for sniping very small "sage rats" across agricultural fields. Very fine crosshairs. Very nice crisp adjustments. Excellent glass quality. At one point that scope had served on a match rifle, which was used primarily in 600 yard prone events.

For a rifle that may be used either up very close, or out to 300 yards or so, like my 375 H&H, a low powered variable seemed to make sense. I have a 1.5-5x on one, and a fixed 3x on the other. There I go again with that fixed power scope thing of mine... Sigh. It's me.

A large objective CAN help in low-light situations, but so can quality glass in a smaller objective. I've got scopes with itty bitty objective lenses, and with great big objective lenses. Depends how important low-light performance is to me, and if I'm willing to put up with the additional bulk of such a scope.

Ya, I've likely got too many rifles & scopes. It sorta happened over the years.

I've cleared out the collection a couple of times, and it seems that a few years later, I have too many rifles again.

Guy
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KinleyWater
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Posted: January 09 2019 at 2:12pm | IP Logged Quote KinleyWater

Concur 100%.

I have 2 fixed scopes, both are 4x, with one on a 6.5 Swede and the other on a marlin 44 mag lever gun (that one may be a waste). They are great for the modest ranges that most of my shots would be taken at - most of the area where I live is thickly wooded with the occasional open field of a hundred or two yards.

For my AR platforms (rifle and pistol) I use reflex optics at 0x.

I have 2 variable scopes - well, technically 3, but 2 are mounted - one is a Nikon 4-12 on a glorious 700 classic in 35 Whelen. It's the sort of rifle you can only write about if you know your wife isn't going to read the post. Anyway... 12x is really not needed with the ballistics of this round, in my opinion. The BDC is second plane, as we discussed, so my vision of how to use it is based on MPBR for the load I'm using.

What I like to do is determine approximate MPBR, using -4 inches at the bottom, then set magnification so that the first ring on the BDC is about 8 inches below the MPBR range. In other words, if MPBR is 250 yards, and at 300 yards, the bullet drops an additional 8 inches, I set the magnification so that the first BDC circle represents 12 inches of drop (MPBR of -4 plus -8). That way, I know that I am point of aim to 250 (in this instance), then bump it up one for the next range. I find that this method with the Whelen tends to work out to any range I would shoot at. I also find that with almost every load, the magnification is 8,9, or 10x.

The other variable scope is a Vortex Strike Eagle. It's quite the scope, and it's currently mounted to my wife's Gunsite Scout - quite the rifle. The optic is a 1.5-6 with BDC and drift/ walking target hashes. Oh! It has illumination too!

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M700
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Posted: January 09 2019 at 2:34pm | IP Logged Quote M700

KW - I gotta say, I'm glad I tried Vortex.

The clarity of the optics is pretty amazing on mine.

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KinleyWater
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Posted: January 09 2019 at 4:32pm | IP Logged Quote KinleyWater

Yes, I think the quality to price ratio is very good. I am very satisfied.

** I misspoke above, it has range estimation based on the width of the drop stadia, not wind drift hashes.

Edited by KinleyWater on January 09 2019 at 4:43pm


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hoghunter
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Posted: January 09 2019 at 6:46pm | IP Logged Quote hoghunter

I prefer the SFP scopes mainly because that's what I shot for 50 years.

I don't much like the idea of the cross hairs enlarging as you increase power on FFP scopes especially for hunting small varmints which I do a lot of in sometime dim light.

I get dizzy when I look at a catalog for scopes - FFP vs. SFP, 30 mm vs 1 inch tube diameter, a myriad of confusing reticle options, and of course the monster prices!

Makes me wonder how I shot so many varmints, predators and deer with a simple cross hair reticle 3 x 9 Redfield scope in the old days.

Too bad Leupold discontinued their VX2 line of scopes. In the old days these were clear, reliable, simple, precise, and reasonably prices scopes.

I guess everyone is a 1,000 yards shooter these days hence the reason for the elaborate, costly, and complex scopes.
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Abram
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Posted: January 10 2019 at 6:23am | IP Logged Quote Abram

Perhaps I should have been more precise but I was thinking of trying to learn long range shooting, my longest being 600 yards, so I was curious as to what you would prefer for this type of shooting. Sorry I did not say this in the beginning. Right now I have a cheap Konus Pro 6x24 SFP Mil-Dot scope with adjustable objective sitting on a Ruger 308 VLE. To be such a inexpensive scope it is clear, well as clear as I can tell since I have never shot much with a scope. Everything that I have read thus far says that to use the Mil-dot for ranging and hold overs in a SFP scope then you need to be at max power so perhaps a SFP Mil-Dot or some other scope without as much magnification would e better. I really need to make a trip to the CMP range and see how well I can see out to 600 yards with the scope. Thanks for all of the replies

Edited by Abram on January 10 2019 at 6:24am
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M700
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Posted: January 10 2019 at 6:55am | IP Logged Quote M700

LOL - I was way off base! Thought you were mostly interested in it for hunting!

Ya, my Vortex is a SFP scope, so for ranging, and for the hash marks to be correct, I do have to turn it to full 24 power. I've also learned to "cheat" a little, by setting it at 12x and just doing one more itty-bitty math problem in my head.

If you're shooting known distances, it really doesn't matter all that much. Just dial the elevation and do your best with your shooting.

Thanks for the clarification. I feel pretty silly with all my blather about hunting scopes up above. Sigh...

Guy

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Abram
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Posted: January 10 2019 at 8:52am | IP Logged Quote Abram

Don't feel silly Guy it was great info that I can also use for my hunting rifle which has a Nikon 3-9X40 Prostaff BDC mounted on it. I am hoping to do some work with them this weekend. Now I have a Nikon P308 BDC that I need to do something with, wish now I had waited on buying the thing but the guy was only asking a 150.00 which I thought was a good deal. I may use it on the M1A for testing my handloads, still like to use iron sights on that rifle though.
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KinleyWater
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Posted: January 10 2019 at 12:02pm | IP Logged Quote KinleyWater

Oh...

Um, what Guy said.

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