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#3302037 - 08/06/22 06:26 PM SFP vs FFP
pyscodog Online
PM Junkie

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 16010
Loc: okla
After reading the post on the Arken scopes it has my interest up. Reviews are really good for a modestly priced scope. Its just the FFP part I'm not sure about. What are your thoughts? I had a scope that was FFP years ago and it messed with me but I guess I could get used to it.

I also read where a guy was calling it Front focal and rear focal. I thought is was first focal and second focal. Which is correct?
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#3302041 - 08/06/22 08:06 PM Re: SFP vs FFP [Re: pyscodog]
crapshoot Offline
Retired PM Staff

Registered: 03/22/02
Posts: 23359
Loc: Henderson,Nevada,USA
The biggest drawback i see to an sfp scope is that the accuracy of the graduations in the retical are only accurate at a set magnification. Usually the highest for that scope..or at least that's my understanding of it.

And I believe it is first focal plane and second focal plane.
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Average response time for a 911 call is 10 min.
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#3302043 - 08/06/22 08:53 PM Re: SFP vs FFP [Re: pyscodog]
Kino M Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/16/04
Posts: 1609
Loc: USA
So there are two types of scopes, front focal plane (FFP) and second focal plane (SFP). SFP is the same thing as a rear focal plane.

Both have some advantages and disadvantages.

FFP advantages and disadvantages are:
Values between the marks on your reticle are correct and the same at ALL power settings. As you zoom the reticle grows bigger. Typically most FFP reticles are EXTREMELY small on the lowest power setting making it very hard to see with low light or old eyes. Its VERY wise to have an Illuminated reticle if your intent is hunting, low light and using the scope at the lowest power setting.

SFP scopes reticle stays "big" and the same size at all power settings and the reticle values are only correct at the highest magnification.

IMO SFP scopes are better suited for hunting and FFP scopes are better suited for tactical and various ranges where using holdover and correct values are needed.
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#3302048 - 08/06/22 09:59 PM Re: SFP vs FFP [Re: pyscodog]
pyscodog Online
PM Junkie

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 16010
Loc: okla
I like the features of the first focal plane scope but not the part of the reticle getting larger and smaller. That's the part that has always bothered me. But seems you can't have one without the other.
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#3302104 - 08/08/22 09:23 AM Re: SFP vs FFP [Re: pyscodog]
AWS Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/01/03
Posts: 6584
Loc: NM
For an under 300 yard hunting scope, I don't see any advantage to the FFP scope as I can hold on fur to that range with most of my rifles and I have far more shots under 100 yards and really like the boldness of a SFP reticle when on the bottom powers. For my hunting FOV is more important than "X's".

For distances past 300 yards my scope would be at the highest power anyway so "same values at all powers" isn't a big deal.

I have one FFP scope while not what most think of as a FFP it is one anyway with just tapered crosshairs. I have killed coyotes in close and have made it to the third round of an Egg Shoot. It wouldn't be my first choice for a hunting scope.

Balvar 8 FFP on a Sav/Stevens actioned 22-250 killed this one on the way back from the Egg Shoot as we wanted to shoot a coyote with our competition guns.


Edited by AWS (08/08/22 09:29 AM)
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#3302426 - 08/14/22 07:13 PM Re: SFP vs FFP [Re: pyscodog]
Kpuck08 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/20/20
Posts: 41
Loc: Nevada
It all depends on what you want to do with your gun. As said above, any coyote sized target that you will need to hold higher than "fur" then you'll probably be at max mag anyways. With a 200yd zero and a fast coyote cartridge you should be able to hold fur to almost 350.

FFP comes in most handy when shooting with a spotter... that way when you are talking about corrections, you are speaking on the same scale, but if you miss on a dog at 400+ your aren't having a conversation about how many moa/mil you were off as it runs full speed away, thinking you'll get a second shot...

Any 6x or 8x ffp scope will be completely useless at low power. If you do want to do some long range target shooting with this rifle also and want a FFP... think about adding an offset 45degree mount with a red dot. Keep the scope set on 6ish power. Red dot for up close and by 6 power you can start to pick up the reticle and use it from there.

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#3302444 - 08/15/22 01:20 AM Re: SFP vs FFP [Re: pyscodog]
crapshoot Offline
Retired PM Staff

Registered: 03/22/02
Posts: 23359
Loc: Henderson,Nevada,USA
Primary arms is coming out with a 1-10 power sfp that should be the bees knees for a calling scope.
_________________________
I carry a gun because a cop is to heavy.

Average response time for a 911 call is 10 min.
Average response time for a .45acp is 900FPS.

Remember, if you're not pissing off a liberal......You are one!
Ted Nugent

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#3302808 - 08/25/22 01:54 AM Re: SFP vs FFP [Re: pyscodog]
J Galt Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/18/22
Posts: 41
Loc: MT
This thread is super valuable to people trying to figure out how to spend their money. In summary:

1. FFP people will call first focal plane or front focal plane. Second or rear focal plane is the other option (they are the same thing).

2. The reticle will change size on a FFP scope when you zoom in or out. It stays the same size with SFP regardless of magnification.

3. The reticle size changing means something if you are either recording the data in a book or a spotter is correcting based on his spotting scope reticle. A first focal plane correction can be recorded so you understand more about wind or other variables affecting your shot. A second focal plane correction measured in the reticle will work just fine (it is still a proportional measurement), you may not know how many MOA or MILS it was if you are not on the known magnification where the reticle was calibrated but will still hit your target if you measured correctly.

If it were me, I would buy the scope that had the field of view I liked and the reticle I loved. If there was a choice with the reticle I loved, I would buy a FFP.

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#3302876 - 08/27/22 05:44 AM Re: SFP vs FFP [Re: J Galt]
Bowhntr6pt Offline
Die Hard Member II

Registered: 04/09/13
Posts: 1105
Loc: Central Florida
As already mentioned, FFP scopes have the reticle cell placed in the front of the erector assembly (where the first focal occurs) whereas the SFP has the reticle cell in the rear of the erector assembly where the second focal occurs.

I've never warmed up the the FFP. The championed advantage of manually ranging targets with the reticle while at any power setting, or applying corrective holds at any power setting, is something 95% of shooters will never actually do.

Like pointed out above, within 300 yards, I just using holds for shots or on the fly corrections.

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#3304461 - 10/04/22 12:40 PM Re: SFP vs FFP [Re: pyscodog]
BWB Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 03/12/06
Posts: 686
Loc: South Dakota, USA
FFP Optics have come a LONG WAY in the last 5 years. There are lots of options where the reticle is still fairly thin at top end power and still usable at the low end.

There is a time and place for both choices IMO. That said, I've moved nearly everything over to FFP but I am also dialing or holding elevation, which the FFP is hands down better for...

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#3304658 - 10/09/22 01:40 PM Re: SFP vs FFP [Re: pyscodog]
skinney Offline
Director

Registered: 12/21/09
Posts: 4058
Loc: South Dakota
Originally Posted By: pyscodog
After reading the post on the Arken scopes it has my interest up. Reviews are really good for a modestly priced scope. Its just the FFP part I'm not sure about. What are your thoughts? I had a scope that was FFP years ago and it messed with me but I guess I could get used to it.

I also read where a guy was calling it Front focal and rear focal. I thought is was first focal and second focal. Which is correct?


Every bolt rifle I currently own has a FFP optic on it, "except my night rigs". I agree with a lot above, if you're only shooting a few hundred yards it's not going to matter much. However if you go beyond that mark, even 400, or 500, it has its benefits.

Primarily for us, we can call our shots, OR utilize a more precise hold at any magnification without having to calculate or have the optic on a specified power.
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#3304703 - 10/10/22 05:10 PM Re: SFP vs FFP [Re: pyscodog]
Varminterror Offline
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 03/23/12
Posts: 2901
Loc: Kansas
I started switching to FFP about 7 years ago, and for any field scope, I will never buy another SFP.

Iíve been using graduated reticles for over 30 years, and futzed with variable subtension for far too long - especially futzing with mil based reticles on MOA based scopes. Today, the market is far better than it used to be, so I donít bother with anything but mil/mil FFPís. The only exception would be if I got back into benchrest games, where Iíd go back to a simple reticle with 1/8 MOA turrets in an SFP to retain the fine aiming point. For everything else, FFP mil/mil.
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#3307362 - 11/28/22 08:58 AM Re: SFP vs FFP [Re: Varminterror]
docjon2013 Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 08/19/13
Posts: 391
Loc: OK
Originally Posted By: Varminterror
I started switching to FFP about 7 years ago, and for any field scope, I will never buy another SFP.

Iíve been using graduated reticles for over 30 years, and futzed with variable subtension for far too long - especially futzing with mil based reticles on MOA based scopes. Today, the market is far better than it used to be, so I donít bother with anything but mil/mil FFPís. The only exception would be if I got back into benchrest games, where Iíd go back to a simple reticle with 1/8 MOA turrets in an SFP to retain the fine aiming point. For everything else, FFP mil/mil.


I am like this. I used to be only SFP but after shooting PRS centerfire and rimfire FFP is all I will use on all my scopes I get now. My scope is never below 8 or 10power when I call anyway.

Thanks
Jon
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#3309886 - 01/01/23 11:43 PM Re: SFP vs FFP [Re: pyscodog]
TripleDeuce660 Offline
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 11/10/08
Posts: 2918
Loc: Las Vegas Nevada
I like ffp for targets and prairie dogs. I still prefer simple duplex for calling or walking around hunting jacks. FFP scopes are about useless on the low powers. I use the low power to scan and thats it.

I had an Arken. All that crap on youtube is sponsored hype. It may be good at 400 bucks but overall it is pretty lousy. Turrets track fine but they are HUGE. Reticle design was ok (moa). I don't like the zero stop design. Very picky eye relief. Image is unpleasant to look at all day. Heavy. I sold it for a small loss. On a budget I strongly suggest you spend a little more and get an athlon midas tac 6-24 instead. The 5-25 or areas btr gen II if you can afford it.
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