First Focal Plane. Is it worth the cost? Pics and questions about just that…

Forums PCP Airguns First Focal Plane. Is it worth the cost? Pics and questions about just that…

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    20caljunky
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    Had to do some HVAC work at the ole’ casa this past weekend. By the time I was finished I had about 2 ½ hours to get out and shoot something. I set up the shooting bench and went down range and stapled up a target. The wind was blowing and the rain was coming in. Made for an orange glow to the afternoon daylight. I set up anyway! Sure enough I was fortunate to make it 2 hours without it raining.

    Today I want to speak as an uneducated person about First Focal Plane Scopes. I say it that was as I am not technically knowledgeable to speak to the virtues of a first focal plane over a second focal plane etc.  I do understand that the first focal plane scopes reticle size changes with the magnification – as I understand it to give you the same aim point at different magnifications at the same distance. Whereas a second focal plane scope the reticle does not change size and you must make adjustments accordingly at different magnifications.

    So let’s talk equipment. The rifle is a handsome walnut stocked Air Arms S410-SL in .22 that I shoot with a DONNY from FL ad on. For easy single shot action I use a machined single shot tray. Pellet of choice is the H&N Baracuda Match, .22 Cal (5.52mm), 21.14 Grains, Round Nose. They just roll down that single shot tray and push right into the chamber.

    The glass is from TAC Vector. I am not sponsored by them or paid in any way. They just had a well-priced first focal plane scope that I bought back in December of 2017. The model is the TAC Vector Optics Counterpunch 6-25×56 First Focal Plane Rifle Scope Low Profile MP Reticle 30mm.

    In the two hours of shooting time I mowed down everything from the punching of paper at the backboard (just shy of 30 yards) to paintballs off of golf tees at 12 and 18 yards and had some fun with spray paint cans and some snap bang/Torpedo. DANGER do at OWN RISK. Shot at bells in trees as well.

    I really like the scope. It has held its zero from day one back in December of 2017. This despite the fact it does not have locking turrets. A feature that I believe you get with the long turrets versus the low profile ones I have. This being said they have not moved on me yet so that is good.

     

    The scope is clear at all magnifications. I find it ranges well for me and my use. I do not use the illuminated feature for the reticle – suppose it is good it is there. Here is my question. I shoot primarily at full power. Which for this scope is 24X. If I am not shooting at lower power do I benefit from a first focal plane scope?
    I would appreciate knowing more about what I am shooting with.

    If anyone would care to contribute their thoughts on first focal plane if you shoot it at high power a majority if the time versus a second focal plane scope shooting it at the same power level most of the time also. Is it worth the extra bucks to get a first focal plane scope??

    I appreciate the feedback, comments and thoughts.
     
    ~GOD BLESS~
     
    john
     

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    NoLandBeyond
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    I guess it all depends on how you use your scope/gun. 
    For example, all of my scopes are SFP and reason is that I like to keep my zoom at 10x. Most scopes are calibrated to 10x for true mil dot calculations. So I shoot at either 10x or 5x depending on distance and calculations are easy. 
    I would consider a FFP scope if I was constantly zooming in/out or was shooting at higher magnification and longer distances. My longest distance is usually 75 yards and at 10x I can still easily see my target. 

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    20caljunky
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    As for as how I use my scope and guns. When I am backyard shooting I do like to shoot off the bench. I do some seated on the ground with sticks and try the occasional offhand shot just to stay in practice. The scopes are typically maxed out on power and I shoot from as close as ten yards to usually 50. I am hoping to stretch out the lane thathas the 50 yard target to get to 75 later this summer. 

    My eyes are not what they used to be and I will admit I am spoiled by full power. The exception to the above would be the rifles I huint with. For those I will practice at both full power and as well as half power. Makes it easier to find those tree rats that way. 

    I remember trying a fixed power, I believe it was 10X, on my Mac1 LD some time back. I liked it, and it did a good job. I did miss the higher magnification so I ended up either trading it or selling it for another SFP high power scope. 

    I have yet to get into the math of calculating hold over and windage etc. Even when I shoot the occasional nowadays FT match. I just wing it and adjust using my sight picture and what I know to be the correct amount of holdover from practice at home. This is by no means the best as it costs me a bunch of hits at a  match. But for me it is just fun to be out shooting with fellow air gunners. 

    Thank you for your reply. Best of success and happy shooting to you. 

    ~GOD BLESS~

    john

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    JoeWayneRhea
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    For me personally if I am going to have the scope mag turned all the way up Most of the time then FFP isn’t as good ….But that’s just Me , I mainly plink and try to shoot lil bitty stuff at long ranges . And I dial , I don’t use holdover . So a FFP scope just covers more square footage on the target compared to a SFP or fixed model scope. 
    That being said ….I’ve never testd a FFP that changed POI when magnification was changed …There are still a few SFP scopes that do

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    davidsng
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    I only buy ffp scopes now.  I have a 3-15x swfa.  I have one gun and when I use it for pigeon (longer range) it is in mosly on 15x.  When go into forest for squirrel, 15 is too high, so I use between 6-9.  When I go into a barn to is between 3-7 to gather more light.  In evening, as the sun getting low, I start to dial down in power to use every shread of sun light.
      If I had to use a sfp, I would not be able to use all these magnifications without doing confusing math or turret dialing all the time. Often i would do the math wrong or forget what zero my turrets are dialed at, therefore miss more shots.

    So…yes, ffp is absolutely worth the money for me.  

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    20caljunky
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    Great points on light gathering and what the intended use of the scope is.

     bought this one to try out a FFP. I do like the scope and for my first one it was easy to set up and get dialed/sighted in. As for brightness, I have not had a barn low light situation, however, I have shot into dusk and it was not as bright as some of my nicer scopes – but it held its own even at 24X. 

    I am usually given the “advice” that I really need to learn the “click” method when I shoot at a FT match.  I do understand that it will make me a better shooter, but I find it too much to keep up with. Sounds a bit like a cop out or like I am being too lazy huh? I have chronic migraines so just getting out to shoot – even if I come in dead last – makes me think about something other than my head. 

    I do like finding out more about the equipment that I have. Thanks for the input and that some of you are only FFP users. I found some pics from the install back in December 2017. 

    ~GOD BLESS~

    john

     

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    Quoddy
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    FFP seemed RIGHT from the first time I used it. Now, I can’t imagine a situation where I’d want SFP again on an air gun. Maybe if I go back to a powder burner again one day I might want SFP for long range with an uncluttered optic view. In the meantime, I’ll set my Vortex where my hold is steady at 12X, and fire away. 

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    20caljunky
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    Good deal. It is always a pleasure (in my thinking) when you find what works for you and you can get that equipment onto your guns. I don’t  mean to come across as ignorant, I just haven’t set two rifles side by side and compared enough to see what the real difference is other than the reticle size changing etc.

    Sounds like I have some work to do over this coming weekend!

    Thanks for the feedback.

    ~GOD BLESS~

    john

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    Cranky1
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    Your holdover points(mils) change with different magnification on a sfp. You can use the same holdover, say 3 mils for 100yrds at any mag on a ffp scope. Where your sfp scope is only accurate at 10x unless you do the math. As a hunter that doesn’t have time to dial I prefer ffp. 

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    wyshadow
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    I recently acquired a BSA FF and I found it really nice not having to remember different holdover values when you changed magnifications. I only draw back I found with FF is at lower magnifications the reticle becomes really small.

    There are both good and bad to SF scopes and one that comes to mind is going to 10x to 5x or 20x to 10x. Yes your hold over values change and you have to remember what those changes are but this could be a good thing because now you have holdover values with twice the distance to shoot. If you consistently change from a magnification you always shoot to half the magnification, all you have to remember is your mildot holdover distance changes to 1/2 mildot. I hope I’m making sense

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    Stefanjan
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    With chronic migraines you are lucky to even be able to use a scope.  When i have one (thankfully i only get the bad ones 3 or 4 times a year now but when i was younger it was 12 to 18 times a year) i have trouble focusing in a one eye closed scenario.  2 to 3 days after the headache has finally gone (mine last 24to 48 hours of intense pain than 3 to 4 days of that dull reminderer pain) i still can cause a flair up justby squinting.  I never even considered what a scope (any scope)would or could do to help or hurt durning a headache.  Of course my usual course of action is to give up on the day, put an ice pack on my neck and lay in a quite dark room.  So I would think the ffp scope might be a lot easier on eye strain thereby making it more comfortable to shoot.  Just my 2 cents

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    20caljunky
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    Thank you all for your feedback. I have found a few articles as well that speak to when and what benefit and airgunner might see from a FFP versus a SFP scope. I was also asking because while I like the current set up on the AAS410 with the FFP – I have a project in the works and will need a new scope for that. Basedon the feedback that is coming in I think I am best served for bench style target shooting with a high magnification SFP. But I am open to trying another FFP…. still deciding.

    As for the migraines I have been diagnosed with  (get ready because it is a long title) “New Persistent Daily Headaches With Migranous Features” Basically a 24 hour migraine that spikes in intensity as it chooses. I try to find solice in simple things and projects that do not require a lot of thought etc. I do have really bad days tha are in dark room with [email protected] and ice packs.

    I am trully Blessed to be able to be up and moving around. We are in year nine of the headaches. I have been told that they may stop at some point. Until them I will still be found shooting. Just perhaps without a card that requires I do math before taking a shot ;)

    ~GOD BLESS~

    john

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    Stefanjan
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    Wow what a diagnosis!  Mine were originally diagnosed as acute chronic cluster headaches.  Then they changed that to some kind of cyclical migraine lie blahblah something.  Then I had a PA tell me you cant get migraines because they are  related to a woman menstrual cycle so only women can get them.  I finally found a doctor that recognized the triggers and help me overcome most of them.  Nutri sweet (aspertame) and saccharine are major triggers.  Certian esters and hydro carbons (fumes) also trigger.  Cheese that has been allowed to go mushy (like cheese left on a salad overnight) and some leafy greens.  Also the obvious and unavoidable stress.  Excedrine will help but that opens up severe stomch issues.  The doctor told me to avoid the triggers and that I would eventually out grow the frequency but not the intensity.  He was correct.  Hopefully you can grow out of them also.  I cant even imagine a daily routine of headaches.  

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    Cranky1
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    You guys should look into Botox for migraines, it works wonders for some people.  

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    20caljunky
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    Yep. I was in the first “experimental” group on Botox about 7 years ago. My forehead looked great, however, no effect on the head aches.

    I shoot to enjoy the sport of trying to best myself on a group or on the four lanes I have carved into the woods in my backyard at FT critters. It helps to take the mind off the throbbing etc.

    I never shoot if I am not in control. That would be unsafe.

    I’ll keep the first focal plane scope on the AAS410 for now. I do like it.

    ~GOD BLESS~

    john

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    20caljunky
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    “Stefanjan”Wow what a diagnosis!  Mine were originally diagnosed as acute chronic cluster headaches.  Then they changed that to some kind of cyclical migraine lie blahblah something.  Then I had a PA tell me you cant get migraines because they are  related to a woman menstrual cycle so only women can get them.  I finally found a doctor that recognized the triggers and help me overcome most of them.  Nutri sweet (aspertame) and saccharine are major triggers.  Certian esters and hydro carbons (fumes) also trigger.  Cheese that has been allowed to go mushy (like cheese left on a salad overnight) and some leafy greens.  Also the obvious and unavoidable stress.  Excedrine will help but that opens up severe stomch issues.  The doctor told me to avoid the triggers and that I would eventually out grow the frequency but not the intensity.  He was correct.  Hopefully you can grow out of them also.  I cant even imagine a daily routine of headaches.  

    
Sounds as though we have been down the same road. I have been to three “clinics”. We have tried the elimination diet, the rice diet, the broth diet. I do know my triggers that equal instant escalation. Those I avoid like the plague. I tried acupuncture. I have tried about everything I can think of. Stress is a contributor for certain. We live on a small lake and swimming in cold lake water really helps. Seriously!  Once they “diagnosed” me they shipped me off to pain management. Funny thing is , while I do not like taking medicines, the strongest of RX will do nothing to my headaches….. So it is up to me to manage and be careful in my daily choices etc. I know for certain one day they will go away!

    ~GOD BLESS~

    john

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    Stefanjan
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    Lol My clinic called.it ice bath emersion.  Yes it did help but kinda hard to jump in an ice bath when your an hour from home stuck in bumper to bumper traffic.  I found it would only help if I could do it within the first 45 mins.  The ice pack on the back of the neck is something I stubbled upon a few years back.  I also use those fever patches they make for children.  I look silly walking around with a mickymouse patch glued.to my temple but you do what works.  Oh and I was signed up for the botox trials but I did not make the cut.  Something to do with possible allegeric reactions.  just as well as that stuff kinda scared me

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    Arzrover
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    One benefit I did not see discussed for FFP is the ability to give yourself more holdover.  We shoot sometimes to over 200 and there is not enough holdover + adjustment  on a couple of my rifle setups at 24x.  By dialing back magnification,  we still have markings and precise holdover but MUCH greater FOV. Scopes we use are Athlon Argos 24x FFP mil-mil.
    Been using SFP since I started shooting with a scope but really love the FFP for varying distance plinking with Chairgun or Shooter apps.
    Bob 

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