When it comes to selecting the right gear for your hunting or shooting adventure, there is so much to put into consideration. In general, hunters and tactical shooters concentrate on looking at objective lens and tube size, magnification range, turrets, and reticles, among other features. Therefore a thorough research will help understand the FFP Scope Vs SFP Scope.
With numerous brands on the market, checking on the above features is quite basic, and you may not get the best pick for your adventure. Most of these features are simple, and making the right decision based on them might not be a hustle.
However, when choosing between the first and second focal planes (FFP &SFP), the process is quite daunting. Therefore, if you are considering getting a new riflescope, this is an extra feature that you should put into consideration in your selection.
Both FFP and SFP help in ensuring you get an equal opportunity of hitting your target and make an accurate shot. However, there is a slight difference between the two focal planes, and you will require to b extra keen while choosing. In this article, we’ll discuss the strengths and shortcomings of each plane to make it easy for you to choose.
Differences in FFP Scope Vs SFP Scope
What’s The Main Difference Between The FFP Scope Vs SFP Scope.
Looking at a glance, the main difference between FFP & SFP is that in FFP, the reticle size appears to change when the magnification of the scope changes while in SFP, the reticle size remains the same even as magnification changes. The SFP style is the most common, and most hunters are used to this type of focal plane.
However, as the market keeps improving, the FFP scopes are also getting popular, especially for long-range hunters. More hunters are now opting for this reticle style as it gives them accuracy in long-range hence making it convenient over SFP reticles.
Therefore, if you often shot using only one magnification setting for a long range, then the SFP will work for you. However, if you keep adjusting your magnification to different ranges, all you need is a scope that will allow you flexibility, and the FFP will perform the magic.
What is SFP?
A scope with SFP reticle covers over 95% of hunting situations and is what most hunters prefer. Therefore, it is convenient for hunters, especially those who shot at a short-range. However, when it comes to using bullet drop compensation (BDC) reticle on an extended range of 500 yards and more, this model is not accurate.
For instance, if you are shooting on a target placed at about 200 yards using a scope with a magnification range of 4.5-14x and uses the generic BDC reticle style. Assuming that at 4.5x, each hash mark dot represents a 100-yard drop approximation. When you adjust the magnification, the distance between hash marks will significantly change in relation to the respective bullet landing point on the animal’s body.
Therefore, the calculated bullet drop distance will not be the same as 100 yards when the magnification shifts to accommodate more distance. Therefore, with such significant changes, the SFP scope using BDC reticle is only accurate bullet drop compensation in specific magnification levels. This is to say; whenever you adjust your magnification, you will require to sight the scope fresh for you to get accurate results.
What is FFP?
On the other hand, the FFP scopes are quite convenient for long-range shooting and are now gaining more popularity. Unlike the SFP, FFP zooms in on the target simultaneously with the magnification. Therefore, it maintains the same measurements at given distances and between hash marks.
The simultaneous size increase and decrease allow the shooter to view the target more clearly. Therefore, when it comes to releasing the trigger, the shooter can be curtained that the bullet will land on the right spot. This is to say; it gives the hunter more reasons to celebrate their achievements long before hitting the target, unlike the SFP scope, where one-second guesses about their accuracy chances.
This is to say, if you are aiming at a target placed at 100 yards, you are guaranteed of shooting at the same spot even when the target moves to 500 yards and you maintain the same shooting position. Therefore, with this type of scope, the hunter has higher chances of making precise and accurate shots in a long range regardless of the conditions.
Additionally, FFP scopes that use the BDC reticle style can maximize the MOA adjustments by joining with the elevation turrets. This, therefore, indicates that the user gets more chances of getting accurate shots with the scope compared to when using the SFP scopes.
However, when you hunt at low lighting conditions, the scope is a little difficult to use. Also, when you are hunting small game or when using it at low magnification, the accuracy ratio drops significantly as its quite difficult to read or use the reticle. At small magnification, the crosshair is also reduced hence making it tough for you to aim accurately on your target.
Another drawback of the FFP scopes is that they are often highly-priced as they are branded as high-end scopes. Therefore, you could end up spending just as much and still not experience value for the money due to a simple shift in light conditions. To get the best FFP for the money one can look at the one with the best features for the budget.
Which Is Best For You
Of course, the answer to this question solidly depends on your expectations and the need for a scope. Both FFP and SFP have their unique strengths and downsides, making it difficult for users to decide for you. However, if you put your preferences in order, then selecting the best for yourself will not be an issue.
As stated before, the FFP scope makes long-range shooting flexible and convenient for the hunter regardless of the reticle types. On the other hand, the SFP scope is ideal for nearly any application and will guarantee average performance.
Therefore, if you are a seasonal long-range shooter, going for an SFP scope would be better. But, if you are an all-time long-range hunter, then the FFP scope should be your priority in scope selections.
However, numerous brands today are working on breaking the ice by developing scopes that utilize both first and second focal planes to give all shooters satisfaction. With this type of scopes on the market, you can use one scope to achieve your desired results at any shooting range.
Therefore, instead of putting all your hopes in a particular scope and limit your options when shooting at a different range, the scope will allow you to experience greatness in all specifications. This also enhances your confidence in both short and long-range hunting, and the accuracy levels remain constant.
Remember, when deciding which focal plane to choose between FFP and SFP, the first and most critical thing to consider is your shooting range. For instance, if you intend to shoot in open country where you expect to make accurate long-range shots, the FFP will come in handy. However, this scope is not great in timber hunting and will not meet the challenge.
On the other hand, the SFVP will function just right in timber and close ranges, making it ideal for such applications. If put into consideration and you get more time to concentrate on sighting, there are better chances of making accurate shots at a long-range with the SFP scope. The main objective is to ensure that you optimize your reticle measurements with the magnification level at the moment.
With the SFP scopes, you can also get a compromise by getting one with windage turrets and adjustable elevation. This will allow you to get a dead hold at any distance where you are comfortable with minimal focus on the reticle measurements but rather the trajectory of the rifle.
Another factor to consider when choosing between the two is your budget comfortability. When investing, ensuring that you don’t break your bank is the most critical part of decision-making. Therefore, apart from looking at what you can do with a particular scope, it is always essential to ask yourself the challenging question, is that worth the price? If you can honestly answer the question to yourself, then you are free to get the scope you need for the tasks at hand.
With the above information, it is clear that you now have a better understanding of FFP Scope Vs SFP Scope. Therefore, it will not take you long before you make up your mind and decide on the right scope based on your needs and experiences.
However, if you are new to the hunting or shooting arena, it’s possible that you still have a few daunt that may complicate the process for you. You don’t have to worry; if this blog has not yet answered the right questions that you have in mind, then feel free to approach an expert in the firearm market. Getting a personalized opinion for someone you can trust may help break the ice and allow you to make a wise decision. Additionally, if there are other details that you feel we’ve left out and would have been helpful in decision making, feel free to let us know, and we’ll feature them in our next comparison blog.