Reply To: First focal plane vs “traditional “ reticle

Forums Optics, Scopes, Rings, & Mounts First focal plane vs “traditional “ reticle Reply To: First focal plane vs “traditional “ reticle



The key advantage to first focal plane FFP scopes over classical second focal plane SFP scopes is in the fact the hold over on the reticle remains the same at any scope zoom/magnification.  i.e. One mill dot, or one MOA remains accurate at all magnifications.  With a less expensive SFP scope, your mil dots or MOA is only accurate at ONE magnification, typically 10X magnification.  This means that at other magnification, your mil dots or MOA will be wrong (and you must do math to allow for the  difference).

With a FFP scope, as you zoom in your target gets larger, your reticle gets larger too, and stays in scale with the size of the target.  Or to put it another way, if you zoom in so that the target looks twice as big, your reticle will get twice as big as well.  Some people feel this make the reticle too thick under high magnifications, and too spidery thin at low magnifications with a FFP scope.  

But with all things, application matters.  At 10 to 30 yards of distance, you should have almost NO holdover with most airguns.  This means it will be unlikely you will be doing any holdover adjustments at that distance.  You may have to do some hold-UNDER adjustments at 10 yards, depending upon the distance you zeroed your scope, and the height of your rings.  I shoot a lot of 50 and 100 meters.  My scopes are zeroed at 50 meters, and my holdover at 100 meters is a bit over 3 mildots.  In that application, having mildots which are accurate at all magnifications is important to me.  

Lastly, most (but not all) First Focal Plane scopes are built to a higher quality, than the run of the mill second focal plane scopes.  Yes, you can find cheaply made FFP scopes, and you can find truly superlative Second Focal Plane scopes, so I speak in generalities here.  

Other features for you to explore: Etched reticle and Side Focus.