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Thread: SFP vs FFP for hunting

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    SFP vs FFP for hunting

    I decided a while back that i will be purchasing the Vortex Viper PST 4-16x50mm for my main hunting/target rifle. I wanted to get into some serious long range target shooting and be more prepared for hunting.

    This rifle will be used for stuff like moose, elk, bear, caribou and deer at ranges out too 600 yards and targets between 100-1000 for now . But i dont know if the FFP or the SFP would suit me better. For hunting the FFP seems like the smartest option due to the fact that i can use the reticle on every power, but the SFP is cheaper. i have also read the FFP isn't the best for targets at extended ranges.

    I know Joesph enjoys his and doesn't mind his FFP but i would like to hear what others have to say about there experiences with SFP vs FFP for hunting mainly then for target shooting.

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    Re: SFP vs FFP for hunting

    There is no down side with FFP for hunting with a holdover/off reticle on big game.
    For paper targets at extended ranges, I can see the benefit of a thin sfp reticle.
    There are fine ffp reticles that can be used for both applications.

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    Re: SFP vs FFP for hunting

    For hunting I like sfp. Rarely am I making shots on game at distance where there is not time to dial up the magnification and accurately range the target. I like having the finer cross hair when it comes time to make the shot. If you are going to make faster shots on moving game and such, then definitely go ffp, but for me that is starting to border on unethical hunting if you are shooting past 400 yds, but that's just me. Stationary or walking game make for a much cleaner kill.
    And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Matthew 10:28

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    Re: SFP vs FFP for hunting

    There is a downside to ffp for hunting. It is when you need low power.ie Stalking...
    For hunting the SFP is the way to go.

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    Re: SFP vs FFP for hunting

    Originally Posted By: matt_3479
    This rifle will be used for stuff like moose, elk, bear, caribou and deer at ranges out too 600 yards and targets between 100-1000 for now .


    FFP for that purpose, especially if you hunt during low light.

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    Re: SFP vs FFP for hunting

    Originally Posted By: THUNDERBOLT68
    There is a downside to ffp for hunting. It is when you need low power.ie Stalking...
    For hunting the SFP is the way to go.


    I disagree with this. Never had issue with a FFP reticle on low power when stalking.
    A FFP ranging ret turns into a duplex on low power for all intents and purposes.
    Alot depends on how you hunt , terrain, distance of zero and personal preference.

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    Re: SFP vs FFP for hunting

    Hunting usually involves low-light shooting. Thus, high magnification scopes are often dialed down at dawn and dusk to allow more perceivable light transmission. With SFP, this pretty much renders the aiming points on the reticle useless for long range shots. Thus, I suggest FFP so that it doesn't matter what power the scope is set on.
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    Re: SFP vs FFP for hunting

    FFP hands down. When you zoom in on a FFP scope your target plus the xhairs grow together, then you can calculate distance, drop, etc.

    Like others have said, no down side to having a FFP. All +'s.
    ...Send it...

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    Re: SFP vs FFP for hunting

    i went hunting with an FFP and had no problem. took a 200 yd shot.

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    Re: SFP vs FFP for hunting

    Some FFPs have a poor reticle design. Some don't work well with high erector ratios. Both can lead to the reticle being to small at the low mag to see very well, especially in low light.

    FFP alone does not mean it will be a great hunting reticle IMO. It is something you will want to look at first hand and make sure it is workable for your personal needs.

    I bet 90% of my hunting (at least big game hunting) is done on the lowest mag of the scope I am using. So that reticle would have to still be bold enough for me to use it in low light.

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    Re: SFP vs FFP for hunting

    Originally Posted By: TheOneTwo
    Some FFPs have a poor reticle design. Some don't work well with high erector ratios. Both can lead to the reticle being to small at the low mag to see very well, especially in low light.


    That would be a problem. For big game I do prefer FFP but if I am shooting at smaller game at long distance, SFP is what I would want. Try shooting a geese at 300 meters with a heavy duplex FFP reticle and you'll see what I mean...oh better not, that's not legal in the US. [img]<>/smile.gif[/img]

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    Re: SFP vs FFP for hunting

    Rather than add my .02 here , I am going to recommend you try to find out what the pros use . Look at some guides rifles and scopes. Maybe ask them what they recommend for hunting. look at what 1000yd target shooters use [ real ones who actually go out and win matches ].
    I will be surprised if you find many using ffp.

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    Re: SFP vs FFP for hunting

    Originally Posted By: 264win
    Rather than add my .02 here , I am going to recommend you try to find out what the pros use . Look at some guides rifles and scopes. Maybe ask them what they recommend for hunting. look at what 1000yd target shooters use [ real ones who actually go out and win matches ].
    I will be surprised if you find many using ffp.


    Pretty sure the NF Optics the guys on "Long Range Pursuit" use are FFP. Ive seen them drop mules and elk from over 1000 easily, even 1250 ranges.
    ...Send it...

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    Re: SFP vs FFP for hunting

    Originally Posted By: 264win
    Rather than add my .02 here , I am going to recommend you try to find out what the pros use . Look at some guides rifles and scopes. Maybe ask them what they recommend for hunting. look at what 1000yd target shooters use [ real ones who actually go out and win matches ].
    I will be surprised if you find many using ffp.


    I don't feel that's a very accurate way to gauge what is best for him. First, a lot of guides have never even heard of NF, USO, PR and the likes. Many would never think of using euro optics, so where would they be exposed to the benefits of FFP? I've heard so many idiots say "If you're not running a leupold, I won't guide" as if Luppy is the best it gets.

    Also, where would there be a need for FFP scopes on 1000yrd rigs? If we're talking the guy's that are win big match titles, those guns are set-up for 1000yrd shooting, not UKD shooting.

    I'd go FFP. Find a reticle that you like. It can be tricky to get one that works equally well on low power as high power. Also consider time of day you'll hunt and conditions, as well as size of game. That will help you decide how thick or thin at both ends of the spectrum you need to be.

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    Re: SFP vs FFP for hunting

    First, sorry for not following the thread closer.
    First, when shooting animals at long distance you are not going to try to range an animal with the reticle........... you are going to use a range finder......
    Second in low light conditions you are going to use scope on lower power Hence the very small cross hairs and hard to see.....

    If you want a scope for hunting no question SFP.......

    If you want a scope for tactical comps were you are required to range with reticle then FFP.

    If you are going to Shoot at distance and use your scope on the highest power.....Then it does not matter FFP or SFP cause the Reticle is pretty much the same size.....

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    Re: SFP vs FFP for hunting

    My true hunting rifle is a 300WSM with a Swarovski 5 x 30 Z6i in SFP..

    If I know I am going to shoot animal at long range i use my 338 Lapua with 5x25 S&B PMII with FFP.

    I would never take My FFP on a hunt were I will need low power to shoot an animal quickly... or in low light conditions.

    I also would only shoot at long distance an animal I lazer and knew exact distance.

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    Re: SFP vs FFP for hunting

    Originally Posted By: THUNDERBOLT68
    First, when shooting animals at long distance you are should not going to try to range an animal with the reticle........... you are going to should use a range finder......

    +1
    The problem with ranging animals with reticles is their size can vary significantly. If the estimation of the size is wrong, the ranging estimation will be wrong. Here's an illustration of the problem. The deer on the left was 238#, the deer on the right would be about 180+/-; that is a 25% difference in body size.

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    Re: SFP vs FFP for hunting

    Originally Posted By: 264win
    Rather than add my .02 here , I am going to recommend you try to find out what the pros use . Look at some guides rifles and scopes. Maybe ask them what they recommend for hunting.


    Just make sure said pros are not advertising for a particular scope company. A couple years ago Larry Weisun was advertising Simmons scopes. Nuff said.
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    Re: SFP vs FFP for hunting

    Ask yourself what you're the most comfortable with, or what you've had the most experience or training with. However (I'm going to contradict myself), if you're accustomed to a SFP or a FFP, but really would like to use the opposite, I'm sure some dedicated practice would make you skillful in your setup.

    On a personal note, I'm used to a FFP and spent all my time practicing with such, but put a SFP on my hunting setup. It only took me one time to forget that I was at lower power and *try* to use a hold off which resulted in a miss. Not only did I not get the deer, but I looked like a fool in front of my friends and sold my SFP.
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    Re: SFP vs FFP for hunting

    j.buam, interested in how you could miss by using a SFP scope, Could you give us more of the situation that you missed. Like distance, wind, size of animals, scope you used in FFP as well as the SFP one etc....

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    Re: SFP vs FFP for hunting

    Looks to me like knowing your distance is the key. I have never dialed a long distance big game shot. But that was only 350 with a duplex on a muley, hadn't gotten into mil dots yet. But I have shot p dogs both ways and for a super precise shot I would dial and use a laser range finder! So either scope would work.
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    Re: SFP vs FFP for hunting

    Originally Posted By: THUNDERBOLT68
    There is a downside to ffp for hunting. It is when you need low power.ie Stalking...
    For hunting the SFP is the way to go.


    Not only do I agree, but its coming from a guy who knows.

    Not that FFP won't work, but a pure hunting setup would benefit more from a SFP scope.

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    Re: SFP vs FFP for hunting

    The money between ffp and sfp is negligible here, you are talking about thousands of dollars in hunts, will it really hurt you to put an additional $100-$200 into a scope now, it could be the difference between a several thousand dollar trophy and an expensive hike.

    This choice is personal and subjective to your style of hunting/shooting.

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    Re: SFP vs FFP for hunting

    Originally Posted By: THUNDERBOLT68
    j.buam, interested in how you could miss by using a SFP scope, Could you give us more of the situation that you missed. Like distance, wind, size of animals, scope you used in FFP as well as the SFP one etc....


    It was probably two or three seasons ago so forgive me if I'm a little vague. We were hunting deer in montana, mule and whitetail. I had got a good deal on a mark 4 3.5-10 tmr, (Leupold's mil discount is ridiculously amazing). My magnification was backed all the way out to 3.5, and I tried to hold off for I think 300-350m which we had rangefinders. A friend I was hunting with said I was way over the deer's back.

    Now I didn't miss because of a SFP, but because I lacked the discipline to adjust to 10x where hold-offs would be accurate.
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    Re: SFP vs FFP for hunting

    Originally Posted By: THUNDERBOLT68
    I would never take My FFP on a hunt were I will need low power to shoot an animal quickly... or in low light conditions.

    You can't accurately apply that as a generalization to all FFP scopes. Some FFP reticles are easier to see on low power than some SFP reticles. Each particular reticle must be judged on its own merits.

    Luckily there are plenty of choices these days. People can pick what they want--FFP or SFP--and generally find a reticle in whichever flavor that will get the job done they need to do.

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    Re: SFP vs FFP for hunting

    Jon A,
    Give me an example of a brand, and reticle you think that Will not fall under my statement.....

    J.bruam,
    Depending on your caliber. ( I use 300WSM ) as well as ( because you live and hunt in the great state of Colorado) If I live there I would use my 300 WSM sight it in for 300 yards. Which means it is 2.7 inches high at 100 and 2.2 high at 300. then you do not need to worry about hold over until you get to 400+ yards. And at that point you will be taking more time to Range an animal as well as Dialing the scope..... If you come up on an animal that is 1-350 yards just put the gun on the animal an shoot.

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    Re: SFP vs FFP for hunting

    Originally Posted By: THUNDERBOLT68
    Jon A,
    Give me an example of a brand, and reticle you think that Will not fall under my statement.....

    Too many to list. Off the top of my head, even limiting it to the same brand and type, the IOR 3-18 FFP MP-8 reticle is much faster in such conditions than the SFP reticle. As is the March 3-24 FFP reticle vs. the 2-25 reticles. I haven't seen them in person yet but it looks to me like the new NF F1 reticles--MLR2, NP-RF1, etc would be much better to jump something in the woods with than the standard SFP NP-R1/R2, etc.

    The thing about tactical reticles in the SFP on high power scopes is you are always zoomed in on the center so all you have to aim with are the thin center lines--which are often very thin and hard to see in low light. With many FFP reticles you have thick posts that zoom in toward the center of the FOV which are easy to see and can bracket a vital zone very quickly.

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    Re: SFP vs FFP for hunting

    I really like a #4 in a FFP hunting. Never had a problem with close range shots with the 2 3-12x56 meopta's I previously had.

    I wish my new nxs was FFP but I was not willing to pay for an F1.

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    Re: SFP vs FFP for hunting

    Originally Posted By: THUNDERBOLT68
    Jon A,
    Give me an example of a brand, and reticle you think that Will not fall under my statement.....


    Zeiss Diavari with FFP reticle 8 (duplex), not a problem to see in low light with 2.5x dialed in. Inside is fine hair but you're not going to shoot squirrels at night to 300 yards so all is good. You could always get a German #1 if you wanted a true low light reticle, or illuminated in duplex or #4.


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    Re: SFP vs FFP for hunting

    SAMI, Great example. Now just imagine jumping a deer at 50 yards running with brush all around and you will never see those cross hairs. then add low light with out illumination.

    Jon A. Not sure what you mean by fast. I just explained that you do not need any adjustments out to 400 yards with your scope. I can pull up on any Big Game animal and hit it, and kill it out to 400 yards with no adjustment. ( that is fast ).

    If you are going to shoot anything farther then you will be on High mag anyway. So FFP or SFP is mute point....

    I think you have the SFP and FFP backwards... The FFP on low power are very small. The SFP reticle on high power are the same as FFP.. ( basically I could put two scopes in front of you on high power one being FFP and the other being SFP and you could not tell me the difference.

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    Re: SFP vs FFP for hunting

    Originally Posted By: THUNDERBOLT68
    SAMI, Great example. Now just imagine jumping a deer at 50 yards running with brush all around and you will never see those cross hairs. then add low light with out illumination.

    If you don't see them on FFP, how are you going to see them on SFP? If that's your scenario, FFP German #1 is your reticle. If someone isn't able to shoot a deer with seeing just the heavy bars on duplex then I would assume they never learned to shoot with iron sights.

    First is a SFP Burris Euro Diamond with 3P#4 illuminated reticle turned off at 3x. Second is a FFP #8 Zeiss Diavari at 2.5x. Third is the Zeiss at 10x. Fourth is the Burris with illumination on. I apologize for the blurry pictures but you might still see what beer I was drinking tonight... [img]<>/smile.gif[/img]




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    Re: SFP vs FFP for hunting

    Originally Posted By: THUNDERBOLT68
    I think you have the SFP and FFP backwards... The FFP on low power are very small. The SFP reticle on high power are the same as FFP.. ( basically I could put two scopes in front of you on high power one being FFP and the other being SFP and you could not tell me the difference.


    That explains it why you think FFP in low power isn't good in low light. As my pictures clearly show, that's not the case. FFP and SFP reticles in low power are about the same size. FFP in high power gets much thicker while SFP stays the same. I guess it COULD be done the opposite way but unless it's for tactical purpose it wouldn't make sense.

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    Re: SFP vs FFP for hunting

    Originally Posted By: THUNDERBOLT68
    I think you have the SFP and FFP backwards...

    Uhm, no. Let me try a visual. Most common tactical reticles with a 10 Mil opening, such as a TMR:

    (borrowed from the through the scope pics thread)


    With a SFP the reticle remains like that on low power, so now the opening between the posts is ~30 mils. Much too large a space to aim with. You have to see the fine lines in the center in order to aim at anything, even at close range. Those fine lines can be hard to see or slow to pick up against a brushy background, in low light situations, etc.

    Now with a FFP reticle the opening remains 10 Mils, the heavy posts encroach into the center of the view:



    10 Mils is 18" at 50 yds. You don't need to see the fine lines in the middle at all, you just bracket the deer's chest with the easy to see solid posts and pull the trigger. Very fast.

    Another very popular SFP reticle:



    Compared to a regular ol' mildot FFP on 3X:



    There's no question which one I'd rather jump something in the woods with.

    One can find a thousand examples that go the opposite way as well. Like I said, you can't make a general statement as each individual reticle can be very different. One needs to look at each one and see if it will suit his liking for his purposes.

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    Re: SFP vs FFP for hunting

    Jon A,
    First you are comparing the reticle at different Magnification....
    I will get real world photos tomorrow. One with My S&B 5x25 and the other with My Swaro. 5x30 Z6i

    I am talking about when stalking an animal and the FFP is on 5 power Verses a SFP on 5 power.

    When you raise the power the reticles all fall in the same size..

    If I can not get the pictures on animals tomorrow I will get them this weekend at the ranch.

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    Re: SFP vs FFP for hunting

    Originally Posted By: THUNDERBOLT68

    I will get real world photos tomorrow. One with My S&B 5x25 and the other with My Swaro. 5x30 Z6i

    If those are 5-25x and 5-30x, then they really aren't short range hunting scopes. I would not hunt with either if you're concerned with this scenario:

    Originally Posted By: THUNDERBOLT68
    Now just imagine jumping a deer at 50 yards running with brush all around and you will never see those cross hairs. then add low light with out illumination.

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    Re: SFP vs FFP for hunting

    Originally Posted By: THUNDERBOLT68
    Jon A,
    First you are comparing the reticle at different Magnification....I am talking about when stalking an animal and the FFP is on 5 power Verses a SFP on 5 power.

    The FFP pics above are on only 3X. The SFP reticles look the same no matter the power.

    Your S&B may have a very fine reticle that is very difficult to see at 5X. That does not mean all FFP reticles in all FFP scopes are exactly like yours. Look at the above pics again--two FFP scopes on only 3X with reticles very easy to aim with quickly. You just need to understand, they are not all the same.

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    Re: SFP vs FFP for hunting

    The simple solution to fine FFP crosshairs at low magnification is to buy a scope that has an illuminated reticle... I've never had an issue hunting or long range shooting with either of my Premier Heritage scopes with their fine Gen2 XR reticles. Batteries are cheap and last for weeks even with the illumination turned on constantly.

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    Re: SFP vs FFP for hunting

    since this is a viper PST , why has no one brought up the illuminated reticule for use in low magnification? I mean wouldn't it be like a red dot or reflex sight? Can anyone show a picture of a viper pst 4-16 x 50 FFP on (worst case scenario) 4 magnification, 50 - 100 yard target, low light, with the illumination on?

    edit:
    Originally Posted By: kombayotch
    The simple solution to fine FFP crosshairs at low magnification is to buy a scope that has an illuminated reticle... I've never had an issue hunting or long range shooting with either of my Premier Heritage scopes with their fine Gen2 XR reticles. Batteries are cheap and last for weeks even with the illumination turned on constantly.


    didn't quite see that. but can someone deliver on the above reequested pic?

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    Re: SFP vs FFP for hunting

    Man I was sold on buying an FFP scope, but now I am starting to wonder if I shouldnt just train myself to run my scope properly and stay with a reticle that remains a consistent size at all magnifications?
    "In a battle of the equally talented; God will be with the righteous."

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    Re: SFP vs FFP for hunting

    Originally Posted By: Pointman308
    Man I was sold on buying an FFP scope, but now I am starting to wonder if I shouldnt just train myself to run my scope properly and stay with a reticle that remains a consistent size at all magnifications?


    I guess this is up to how one interprets things but to me FFP is consistent size at all magnifications while SFP is same size.

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    Re: SFP vs FFP for hunting

    Originally Posted By: MGD
    since this is a viper PST , why has no one brought up the illuminated reticule for use in low magnification? I mean wouldn't it be like a red dot or reflex sight? Can anyone show a picture of a viper pst 4-16 x 50 FFP on (worst case scenario) 4 magnification, 50 - 100 yard target, low light, with the illumination on?


    I'll give it a try but Viper PST isn't a very good low light scope.

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    Re: SFP vs FFP for hunting

    You don't need FFP unless you are shooting multiple targets at different distances under time contraints. SFP is fine for hunting purposes, when you are shooting one target at one known range... and when it's friends are not shooting back at you.

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    Re: SFP vs FFP for hunting

    Originally Posted By: Graham
    You don't need FFP unless you are shooting multiple targets at different distances under time contraints.

    ...or unless you are hunting in moonlight like Europeans do. [img]<>/smile.gif[/img]

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    Re: SFP vs FFP for hunting

    My kid uses a IOR 2.5-10 FFP scope for deer hunting, she likes it alot but she has really good eyes. I cant use that scope under 4 power for hunting I just lose the reticle in the background lower then that. The illum works great though at lowlight and the scope gathers light like crazy. Maybe the IOR gets smaller then normal at low power settings. She has been given the chance to change it out for hunting but has chosen to keep running it.

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    Re: SFP vs FFP for hunting

    Originally Posted By: pappy83
    Maybe the IOR gets smaller then normal at low power settings.

    Let me guess, that's a tactical scope? If so then it most likely gets much smaller than FFP hunting scopes. The purpose of a FFP is quite different for hunting than it is for tactical use.

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    Re: SFP vs FFP for hunting

    I prefer FFP for hunting / plinking / varmints.... This year I harvested my elk at 25 meters / under 30 yards. I had no problem with the reticle being too small or too big and I usually always leave it on 5x. I run a S&B 3-12X50 PMII P3

    The biggest reason I chose to go with a FFP reticle was I wanted the ability to range consistently at any magnification with the reticle. I know that one could sit there and figure out all the math for different magnifications using SFP, but that is not something that interests me. I only use a LRF as a backup. My reticle is my primary range finding device. I have never felt the need or desire to switch back to SFP

    With my scope at any magnification, I know a 36" target covering 2.5 mils will be about 365 meters every day of the week no matter what.
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    Re: SFP vs FFP for hunting

    FFP Viper PST at 16x and at 4x, distance is 374 meters. I will get illuminated pictures once it gets dark enough.




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    Re: SFP vs FFP for hunting

    The thing about using FFP in combat kind of puzzles me, because if you are engaging multiple targets your not milling them anyway are you?(Spotter has LRF) And in night operations it seems FFP would make things harder as well, but then again I have never looked at an FFP behind nightvision. Maybe this is why the Army uses 10x and the Marines use 12X? I dont know.
    "In a battle of the equally talented; God will be with the righteous."

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    Re: SFP vs FFP for hunting

    4x Viper PST FFP with light on. Followed by a very typical hunting scope, FFP Kahles Helia C 1.5-6x42 at 1.5x and at 6x. As you can see the reticle at 1.5x is still quite large (you only need to see the thick bars to shoot at your target).









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    Re: SFP vs FFP for hunting

    Illuminationed reticles make all the difference in the world when it comes to FFP scopes doesn't it.
    "In a battle of the equally talented; God will be with the righteous."

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