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FFP = "The Reticle Lines are too THICK at max magnification." –– Plz, explain.

Forums Optics, Scopes, Rings, & Mounts FFP = "The Reticle Lines are too THICK at max magnification." –– Plz, explain.

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    JungleShooter
    Participant
    Member
    Peru
    Accuracy: +61

    OK, I'm just learning of the importance of the thickness of the main reticle lines in a first focal plane (FFP) scope.

    And I read comments like this:

    "One reason I don't use an FFP scope is because the reticle line become too thick at max. magnification."

     

    ● Would you agree with that?  🤔

    ● Or disagree with that? 🤔

     

    If you'd say that the reticle lines DO get too thick  – 

    could you explain in what shooting situations you feel that way?  It would go a long way helping me to understand this FFP phenomenon.

     

    Thanks a lot!  😊

    Matthias

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    wyshadow
    Participant
    Member
    United States
    Accuracy: +35

    I think the FFP would first depend on what the maximum magnification is and what target you are looking. IMO, FFP works great for hunting but not so great for target shooting. If you are trying to print little tiny groups at 50 or 100 yards with high magnification,  FFP would be very difficult because as you zoom in on your target, you are also zooming in on the reticle. 

    • This reply was modified 1 year ago by wyshadow.
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    Macros
    Participant
    Member
    South Africa
    Accuracy: +28

    It's not that they get too thick as such, considering they're technically the same thickness relative to everything else at all magnifications.

    It's just that unlike SFP, you are not really gaining aiming precision by increasing mag and having the number of MOA/MIL covered by the reticle decrease. The amount this matters will vary between people and will also depend on the design philosophy of the scope company.

    Some people want visible, usable aim points at all mags, including the lowest setting. The general design idea used here with FFP is that the ret essentially becomes a duplex and you can hold over roughly in cm/inches if needed. Remember your holdover can never be more than your scope height at close range, so it's really not much, and quite easy compared with '3mil at 6m and 2.2mil at 7m'. You'll find many FFP have illumination to help with the thin duplex like ret getting lost on dark backgrounds.

    Once you get to higher mags it falls on the designer to get the thickness of the ret to be in the goldilocks zone for precision and usability across the range of mag. This gets harder the wider that range/zoom ratio is – so this would all be less of a discussion in an Athlon 6-24 than, say, a March 8-80. Some, in particular those that try to make the mils usable that minimum mag fail miserably here and the ret really does look like a tree trunk. The better designs err on thinner overall and work great in my experience with no measurable loss of precision due to a target bullseye etc getting lost under the ret.

    Some target shooters in particular will never enjoy FFP as the reticle will never be as fine as a high mag SFP. Hunters may well prefer FFP for the simplicity of constant holdovers in particular. However if you exclusively adjust for range by clicks and don't ever range with the reticle, this whole discussion is pretty much moot. 

    I really like ffp. I've chosen scopes with very fine reticles with very small center dots and they work brilliantly for me in all applications. I've noticed no difference in target shooting performance at all. But as you know there will be differing, no less valid opinions and personal preferences all round 😄

    • This reply was modified 1 year ago by Macros.
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    Haganaga
    Participant
    Member
    United States
    Accuracy: +3

    Yup what he said. I’m new to FFP but the March FX actually has the lines get thicker towards the outside. That way when your mag is way down you have an awesome looking duplex, and with the mag all the way up, you don’t have a thick reticle. I was worried about that till I looked up their reticle. 

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    jwrabbit123
    Participant
    Member
    United States
    Accuracy: +35

    I will only use a FFP scope , it is always same points to hold and making it better , I do understand some retilces can be designed poorly where they are too hard to see at low power or think at high power , I own 5 different types of FFP reticles and I have no difficulty with any of them , and My scopes are at low $550 up to $5k for a high price point , I would never own a sfp again ,

    I grew up with SFP scopes so I have used both with and with MIL and MOA ,

    I do know some bench rest shooters perfer the SFP for them high mag like 36x or even 40x ,they are looking at tiny targets and 1/64 of an inch matters for the poi , me I am a hunter so I dont know if the SFP may be better for this type of shooting . I own 1 scope a SCHMIDT BENDER 5X45 PM2  but seriously I have no use to shoot with it at 45x , however it can be useful a hi power scope for spotting vapor trails or mirage reading or even used for spotting , But the majority of shooting I use is 8x to 25x  and I found little scopes useful at high mags so I would say it would be more the quality of the glass at hi power not the thickness of the reticle which matters most .

    I wonder when someone has a sf and is hunting say you are sighted in at 50 yds and using a pellet so you know a 100 yd shot is 4,2 mils with your ffp scope , now if you had a SFP and true magnification is at 10 x say and it is a 5×25 ,and say you are on 20x or 25x , you hold point for 10x is now 50% different calculation , so holding or even figuring out your hold would be hard and require math , I never have time to do calculations and look at my mag setting and have to figure out a firing solution , if I was shooting at say a squirrel he would be long gone , So I guess this is my senaro of why I cant use one as a hunter also If you ever Milled a targets distance , you need a Accurate Reticle meaning to mil a target successfully you need to be dead on or it would be a miss , In the long range world If I had to use a sfp , I would have to calibrate reticle to be spot on 1 mil is actually 1 mil then like superglue the turret there , as if it was say 10x but exact at 9.92x or 10.68x , so Id say ith a SFP unless it is a teir 1 optic I doubt you can ever get reticle constant with the true calibrating you may be close but not exact , when you shoot Long Range weather center fire or air gun at extreme ranges your kill point or poi becomes very small sometimes only 1 to 3 yards , so sfp cant be used , if you play with knobs after calibrating , even the slightest adjustment to the say the Diopter  will cause your True magnification on a SFP Scope  for close range it again is not as important ,

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    L.Leon
    Participant
    Member
    United States
    Accuracy: +41

    The “too thick” comment is one i heeded when first shopping for an FFP. I was really picky about my reticle choice. I ended up with an Aztec Emerald FFP and an Athlon Helos BTR. Both have been great throughout their magnification range. 
     

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    biohazardman
    Participant
    Member
    United States
    Accuracy: +64

    My guess is that it would depend largely on the manufacturer how thick the lines were at full magnification.  I have not had that problem with my SWFA or Falcon ffp scopes and I can see above that the Aztec and Athlon scopes don't have that problem either.  But I have seen some pretty thick lines on some scopes like the Bugbuster and others that are less expensive .

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    bdzjlz
    Participant
    Member
    United States
    Accuracy: +25

    My collection of nearly a dozen Airguns is now split about 50/50 FFP/SFP.  My FFP scopes are primarily split between Hawke Sidewinder  6-24×56 IR and Vortex 6-24×50 scopes.  
     

    While I use both very successfully, because of the significant trajectory curve found in Airgun shooting, I find the FFP scopes to be so much more effective and quick to use when shooting a wide variety of targets/game over different distances.  
     

    Unless I spot a really terrific deal on a high quality used SFP, I will never buy anything but FFP again.  

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    ImpactX
    Participant
    Member
    United States
    Accuracy: +5

    Will why did you buy a ffp scope then if you don't like the thickness. You get very fine crosshair at min magnify and when you zoom in it gets thicker. That is because you are zooming in on the crosshair too. That's what a ffp scope does. It keeps the mil dots the same distance no matter what magnification. Vs a sfp which keeps the crosshair the same and you are only zoom in on the target.i usually go with sfp scope and keep my zoom at about 10x. 

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    tsmith
    Participant
    Member
    United States
    Accuracy: +8

    i bought the ffp vortex 6.5-24×50. LOVE IT! 

    here are some concerns and facts about what i have learned.

    1). the MOA markings on the reticle are to small to read at minimum magnification

    answer to that is FOR ME, if im gonna turn it to min mag. it will be for close range and i have no use for holdovers and will be dead on hold so reading the reticle is insignificant.

    2).  you cannot see the full reticle when turned to max magnification.

    again, FOR ME, I PERSONALLY do not shoot past 120 yards or so.  and i have dont turned my magnification higher than 12x anyway.

    just my two cents.

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    Doug-T
    Participant
    Member
    United States
    Accuracy: +9

    I haven't seen this mentioned yet but the zoom ratio has a major effect on how thick a reticle appears on high power vs. low power.  For example a 3-9x FFP scope has a 3:1 zoom ratio so the reticle will appear 3x as thick on 9x as it will on 3x.  A 3-15x has a 5:1 zoom ratio so the reticle will appear 5x as thick on 15x as it will on 3x.  If you don't want the thickness to change too much go for a smaller zoom ratio.

    My 3-15x SWFA is great from about 6x or 7x all the way up to 15x, but at 3x the reticle almost disappears.  My 4-16x Athlon is better on 4x than the SWFA on 3x because of the lower zoom ratio.  Like everything there's a trade off, high zoom ratios make FFP reticles more difficult to see at low power.

    • This reply was modified 1 year ago by Doug-T.
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    Revoman
    Participant
    Member
    United States
    Accuracy: +18

    Hello Matthias   —=—

    I like the FFP's.  I also use Vortex and have two of them, on a .22 and on a .25 Crown.  The Vortex Diamondback has a crosshair that doesn't actually cross, they stop just shy; leaving a smidge of a 'hole' between.  Crosshair doesn't block much that way.  At least for me.

    mike

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    steve123
    Participant
    Member
    United States
    Accuracy: +20

    What some fail to realise with a reticle in a FFP scope, is that however thin, just right, or thick, the "whichever"  – hashes, dots, etc, that are part of the reticle seem, they are always the same size on any magnification. They may """appear""" thin, just right, or thick depending on magnification but they always subtend the same exact amount. So when you say a FFP reticle is too thick on high magnification keep in mind that, for example, a 1/8"/100Y reticle may appear thick, but I bet you can't shoot sub 1/8 moa groups consistently with any rifle you own??!! But that so called thick reticle sure is easier to see isn't it! But I know how you feel anyhow, I'm just making a point. 

    In FFP a center dot that is .05 mil is always .05 mil on any magnification. This goes for line thickness, etc. BTW this is a good all around FFP reticle thickness, just sayin.

    Application for the scope is key! Would I use my Burris 1-8×24 FFP scope for benchrest, no I wouldn't. Would I use a SFP 50x benchrest scope for general hunting, or tactical oriented comps, no I wouldn't, this kind of scope would accel in F-class, BR, and such. Would I use, say a, FFP 5-25×56/H59 reticle for EBR or less accuracy oriented BR events, yes it will work fine, it will also work fine for tactical oriented comps, as well as for many types of hunting, and it's actually fantastic for colony varmints. Would I use it for close in hunting on 5x, no I'd pick a low powered variable preferably SFP but FFP with the appropriate reticle is fine, makes no difference.

    It's when we shoehorn a scope into a do all optic is when we start to run into problems. 

    You guys that are hunting tree squirrels, etc, on low to medium magnification, and don't expect more than 50-ish yard shots, don't really need a FFP scope. SFP suits this application better.

    For dynamic shooting, on medium to high mag a FFP scope, with the intent for using mostly holds, are dandy, this where they shine.

    Did you know that pellet guns are incredibly cheap to sight in – rhetorical 😁. Doesn't hurt much to switch scopes around if you have a "certain application" in mind, right??!! 

     

      

     

     

     

     

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    JungleShooter
    Participant
    Member
    Peru
    Accuracy: +61

    There is much wisdom in those answers here. THANKS for sharing!  😊

    So, from your helpful comments (on GTA and AGN), I come up with this summary on FFP's:

     

    🔶About the initial question in the OP: 
    The reticle lines in most FFP's are usually not "too thick" (a few black sheep are out there, yes).
    Rather, FFP reticle lines maintain the same thickness in relation to the objects we aim at, no matter the magni.

     

    🔶I DON'T NEED FFP — IF:
    🔸If I only(!) do target shooting at known distances.

    🔸If I never(!) shoot with holdoffs, instead I always dial my turrets.

    🔸If I never(!) change the magnification of my variable magnification scope.

    🔸If I shoot with holdoffs, but I holdoff not in moas or mils using the reticle, but I hold off in inches at the target. (E.g., I hold 1/2 an inch above the squirrel's head to correct for pellet drop, instead of 3/4moa on the reticle.)

    🔸If I just prefer SFP over FFP, and that's that, period.  

     

     

    🔶I LIKE FFP — IF:
    🔸If I'm hunting or shooting at changing ranges using holdoffs — because I only need ONE range card that applies to any magnification I happen to chose.
    And because I only need to memorize ONE set of holdoffs that applie to any magnification I use.
    These data (memorized, or on a range card) apply to BOTH shooting with holdoffs and shooting with turret dialing.
    ➔ SO SIMPLE!

    🔸If I want to use the reticle for range finding — because I can use the hash marks at any mangi., no math needed.

    🔸If I shoot….  and then see how far I'm off target….  and measure that with the reticle — I then can dial the moas/mils that I'm off target and dial that correction directly on my turrets, no math needed.

     

    🔶FFP Disadvantage:
    The size and distance between the hash marks becomes smaller when the scope is at a lower magnification — and can become so small as not to be usable for holdoffs.

    🔸➔ But this does not always apply:  This effect usually only applies for scopes with a large magni. ratio. 4x ratio seems to be fine, 6x ratio not so much. E.g.:
    •4x ratio as in 6-24x | 4-16x | 3-12x | 8-32x
    •5x ratio as in 4-20x | 3-15x | 5-25x
    •6x ratio as in 3-18x | 4-24x

    🔸➔ To offset this disadvantage:
    —Usually I use a low magni. for close range shots — when for many gun/pellet combinations the holdoffs are very small, I'm usually in my point blank range.  
    (Sure, really low powered guns, or very heavy projectiles, or very high scope heights still will require large holdoffs even at shorter ranges.)
    —I can use the reticle ilumination to make the reticle hash lines better visible; most scopes have IR, I might as well use it.

     

     

    THANKS A LOT! 👍🏼👍🏼

    Matthias 😊

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    Smok3y
    Participant
    Member
    United States
    Accuracy: +27

    I will chime in because I also use FFP and SFP. I do like the thicker reticles of FFP at the highest mag. I can see the reticle better it makes me more confident. 

    One example is the Athlon Cronus. I like the pre-BTR reticle better because it is thicker. I usually shoot more precision shooting (tiny targets) and don’t find any issues with the reticle being too large. I can only think of one target where I have an issue with it being an issue and that is because you are literally shooting at dots and they get very small!

    The last comment had a lot of the general ideas of why you could choose one over the other and they are good, but I would say that it is definitely ok to choose FFP even if you rarely change the mag and only shoot known distances. I do think choosing the reticle is one of the most important things you should do, especially including reticle design (looks). 

    Another thing to keep in mind is how high of a magnification you want and what you are willing to spend. I prefer FFP, but if I want a 50x scope, I am happy spending 20-25% of the price of an FFP on an SFP scope, versus paying what it would cost for the FFP model with that much mag. 

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    c_m_shooter
    Participant
    Member
    United States
    Accuracy: +12

    Just use a fixed power scope and don't worry about it.

     

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    L.Leon
    Participant
    Member
    United States
    Accuracy: +41

    c_m_shooter

    Just use a fixed power scope and don't worry about it.

     

    Fixed power is too limiting…  hence good variable power scopes… the versatility of a good variable power scope is indisputable. 

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    steve123
    Participant
    Member
    United States
    Accuracy: +20

    Smok3y

    I will chime in because I also use FFP and SFP. I do like the thicker reticles of FFP at the highest mag. I can see the reticle better it makes me more confident. 

    One example is the Athlon Cronus. I like the pre-BTR reticle better because it is thicker. I usually shoot more precision shooting (tiny targets) and don’t find any issues with the reticle being too large. I can only think of one target where I have an issue with it being an issue and that is because you are literally shooting at dots and they get very small!

    The last comment had a lot of the general ideas of why you could choose one over the other and they are good, but I would say that it is definitely ok to choose FFP even if you rarely change the mag and only shoot known distances. I do think choosing the reticle is one of the most important things you should do, especially including reticle design (looks). 

    Another thing to keep in mind is how high of a magnification you want and what you are willing to spend. I prefer FFP, but if I want a 50x scope, I am happy spending 20-25% of the price of an FFP on an SFP scope, versus paying what it would cost for the FFP model with that much mag. 

    I helped design that reticle on the Cronus – all .2's, I had one of the prototypes for about 4 months. Sure wish Athlon had not listened to the other guy concerning the reticle in the Cronus BTR, which I sold because I didn't prefer it. The thing I really liked about them was the true daylight bright illum which helped a lot on black painted steel. 

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