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FFP power range?

Discussion in 'Long Gun Accessories and Optics' started by LoonWulf, Aug 23, 2021.

  1. LoonWulf
    • Contributing Member

    LoonWulf Contributing Member

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    So my experience with FFP scopes is pretty limited, I've used more than a few at the range, but only owned 2.

    In both cases, I can't really use the lower end of the power spectrum because the reticles about vanish. With my Ares turning on the illumination was helpful as it basically turned it into an illuminated crosshair. Unfortunately, my new X5 Conquer has a Christmas tree that lights up, and the blur caused by my astigmatism (and or whatever other correction issues I seem to have) causes the illumination to basically obscure the entire center of the reticle.

    What power ranges do you guys use your FFPs at? Is there something im missing, or are the issues I'm experiencing simply the price we pay to get the consistent hash marks?

    Im about to swear off of them for anything besides dedicated target guns where I'm only going to be reducing the power by maybe a third. The X5s fine on my 28 since I doubt ill ever turn the power much below about 15, and at that power, I can still see the reticle just fine.
     
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  2. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    Reticle visibility in low magnification really depends on glass contrast and resolution, and subtension. If your FFP’s are too fine for their magnification in the lighting conditions you’re shooting, then it’s not the right FFP optic for you (might not be right for anyone, ever).

    FFP’s are field scopes, meant for engaging targets at varying and irregular distances.

    In general, I find myself shooting most often between 12-18x, out of familiarity more than anything. I shoot with both eyes open, so even shooting up close, under 30yards even, I’m comfortable shooting at midrange magnification. But I CAN shoot most of my FFP scopes at low magnification.

    I don’t tend to keep an FFP scope if I can’t see it, even at the base magnification.

    Two scopes I have owned come to mind which had reticles too small, too fine, for their base magnification, the Vortex Viper HSLR 6-24x and the Burris XTR II 5-25x. I need the Burris up around 8x before it “feels right” such I can see it against darkened backgrounds. Turn on the illumination and the base 5x becomes useful again. For the Vortex Viper HSLR, also somewhere around 9-10x was the minimum visible “feel” against dark targets. The HSLR isn’t illuminated, and the glass contrast and resolution weren’t great, so I struggled at 6x on dark targets in deep shadows... so I added a red dot beside the scope for short range, low light shooting.

    But the rest of my FFP’s, I have no trouble seeing at their base . Bushnell DMR II’s, XRS II’s, and LRHS’s, Vortex Razor Gen I’s and II’s, Kahles K525i, NF ATACR, and my go-to hunting scope, Sig Tango4’s all offer visible crosshairs at base magnification, without illumination.

    With my astigmatism, the lowest or near lowest illumination is the only way I can “color” the reticle without blowing it out - which in general, is fine. Other than shooting night matches at illuminated targets, I typically just need the reticle to be “colored” by the illumination, not really “illuminated.” It’s not a porch light. I just need my reticle to contrast against my background, so when my background is a darkly shadowed deer or coyote, I just need a little bit of red to help it stand out.

    No, nobody is really able to use the graduations at low magnification. But at the short range which would typically coincide with low magnification, we’re not usually holding a ton of wind or a lot of drop - the resulting duplex-ish reticle picture we end up with is suitable for the task.

    There are a few intelligently designed reticles out there which do some cool stuff as they zoom. The Bushnell G2H, as an example, has a “Vital Ring” - a circle around the center intersection, something around 1mil in radius. At low magnification, putting a coyote’s chest inside the circle, roughly aimed, is a dead coyote. Then zooming in, the smaller crosshair and hashes become more apparent, so more refined aim is possible at longer range and higher magnification. The new-ish Vortex Razor Gen III 1-10x appears to have an illuminated dot at its center at 1x, but zooming into 10x, we see it is really a circle, which allows fast acquisition and sighting on forgivingly large targets at range. Super cool ideas.

    That’s been a lot of rambling to effectively reiterate - if your FFP is too fine to be usable in the lower half of its magnification, or really, to be useable clear at its base, then it’s poorly designed and ill-suited for your application, or maybe poorly designed and ill-suited for any application.
     
  3. greyling22

    greyling22 Member

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    I'm out on ffp scopes for that very reason. I cannot see them unless they are cranked way up. And I'm not hunting ground hogs anyway. I either need a reticle I can see for a quick shot when hunting, and I don't have time to fool with Christmas trees, or I'm at a range where I can just adjust the turrets.

    But I find I'm more of a kentucky windage guy anyway.
     
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  4. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    FFP’s really aren’t designed for shooting the smallest possible of targets, so the quarry scantly matters, whether groundhogs or elk. FFP reticles are useful for shooting beyond the maximum point blank range of your cartridge. Most folks don’t hunt past 100 yards, let alone beyond 200, so most folks can’t realize the advantage. But if you’re reaching past 300 yards, graduated FFP reticles are priceless.

    Speed’s a cop out. If I can swing magnification and dial for 10 rounds on 10 targets moving 5 positions in 90 seconds, there can’t be viable complaints about what goes on in the hunting fields. It takes me a hell of a lot longer to think through, “ok, so there’s a coyote at 327 yards across this bean patch, in a 16mph wind, so that’s about 2 1/2moa wind over a 3 moa hold, but my scope’s calibrated for 12x and I’m only at 10x, so I have to hold 17% less wind and elevation... oh wait, now he trotted back to 380 yards, what was my hold again...?” Instead of just grabbing 2 1/2 wind and 3 up and sending it.
     
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  5. Txhillbilly

    Txhillbilly Member

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    A lot depends on the reticle style in the scope, but most aren't really usable (being able to see the hash marks) until you turn them up to 8-10x magnification. As far as seeing as Crosshair, I can / do still use all of my FFP scopes for hunting at lower powers, but when it comes to actually using the reticle for hold offs and ranging I have to turn the power up.
    I prefer to use scopes that only illuminate the center of the reticle on a scope that I use for hunting, especially if it has a tree style reticle. If it's dark enough that I have to illuminate the reticle, I'm not going to be shooting long distances in the first place.
     
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  6. tbs

    tbs Member

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    I run a 4-20 Weaver Super Slam Tactical FFP and has a regular mildot reticle. This reticle is bolder than most of the newer styles and is totally usable at all power ranges. I should note that i have had cataract surgery and have 20/16 vision now with my astigmatism corrected.
     
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  7. LoonWulf
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    LoonWulf Contributing Member

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    I think that the reticle simply being too fine, and too complicated (intended to be used at or near max power) is probably the root cause of the issues im having with the X5....Im sorta wondering if 1moa graduations are just too small in general. The Ares was 2 Moa and while i didnt LIKE that the reticle got really small it still worked as a basic fine crosshair at all but the lowest power, and even then it worked when illuminated.

    If it illuminated just the center dot, or lines instead of the whole Christmas tree that would solve my issue well enough.
     
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  8. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    The reticle makes a huge difference on ffp scopes, they really need to be paired well with the magnification to work at all powers
     
  9. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Probably 10X to 20X for me, live at 12 a lot.
     
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  10. kmw1954

    kmw1954 Member

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    Getting ready to start shooting a small local league at our range. Here they are shooting 1" targets at 100yds, 200yds and 300yds. With the Burris Full Field II 4.5-14X44 SFP at 300yds I could not see the 1" target as it was covered by the reticle. Now with the Athlon 8-34X56 FFP I can set it at 20 and see just perfectly at 200yds. At 300yds I still need much practice.
     
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  11. horsey300

    horsey300 Member

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    With the blackhound genesis reticles, I've found zero issues down on 1-3 for seeing the main point of aim, once we get to 3-8 (haven't tried the big one yet) the holdover points are easily used as well. My Bushnell's do well enough in the lower mid ranges (6ish) that I don't have any complaints, it's been a while since I shot my buddy's hawke, but iirc, it definitely did much better on 10+...... I agree with @Varminterror that perhaps you've just had bad luck with the scope selection thus far.....
     
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  12. LoonWulf
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    LoonWulf Contributing Member

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    Ill have to try a few more i guess, still haven't found one ive really liked yet.
     
  13. mcb

    mcb Member

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    Random data point of one. I have two FFP scopes. An Althlon Talos 4-141x44 on my 10/22 and a Leupold VX-3I LRP 6.5-20X50 on my 6mm CM. I find for my uses I rarely come off max magnification.

    Now I have shot the Athlon scope a lot more than the Leupold as NRL22 matches are much more accessible right now than PRS matches (both due to ammo and match availability). So with the Talos from 25 yards to 200 yards I am doing everything pretty much at 14x and so far it seems to work. I have only had one or two times where I had to back off magnification to find a target but often I zoomed back to max once found.

    I really like the "Christmas tree" reticule in both. I am a fan of and really enjoy shooting using the grid to hold for range, movement, and wind (still not good at the wind thing yet). Love the stages where there are 3-4 different range targets on the stage and you are not allowed to touch the dials. Even when I can adjust elevation I often don't and just hold for effect based on range. Lots of fun and satisfaction.

    Not sure that rambling help much.
     
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  14. horsey300

    horsey300 Member

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    I have a nitro and forge ffp, when I get a chance I'll do my best to get some pix at multiple settings. The genesis I have is 1-4, my buddy has the 1-8, the halo/2 makes for quick aiming regardless of power and if I really have to focus on holdover, I'm zooming some anyway, the illumination is ONLY good for dimlight though, so high noon in a dogtown= don't bother, if the genesis 6-24 compares to the hawke sidewinder, then I'd say at 6-8x it'll be useable to say 250 yards (with a mpbr... Reticle is visible but not miniscule think center of 30/30 reticle) at 10-12 major drop holdovers easily useable (5 moa iirc) then 14+ gets down to the nitty gritty, with my bushies, they are big marks at 2moa iirc, haveta double check.
     
  15. LoonWulf
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    LoonWulf Contributing Member

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    I've been meaning to try a black hound, I got stopped by the ffp, but might just grab one.
     
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  16. horsey300

    horsey300 Member

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    Depending on what you're trying to do with them, that 1-8 has really wowed me. The 1-4 is definitely good for what I put it on, but I feel the need to acquire something to utilize as a home for the 1-8, it'd be plenty for game animals around here, and if I can talk myself into it I'll be testing the big one sometime this winter, it'll either replace my forge on the stw or give me an excuse for a 6.5 magnumish build.
     
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  17. LoonWulf
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    LoonWulf Contributing Member

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    Ill probably try a larger one. The lowest i set my scopes is usually 6......if i get a 350 or 450 bolt gun....OH! I could put it on the 458, i keep forgetting i have that.....
     
  18. horsey300

    horsey300 Member

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    The 1-8 on the .458 would be a pretty decent combo!!!! The 1-4 would be too....but I really like the reticle on the 1-8 better.....
     
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