Some shooters don’t consider about the difference between first focal plane (FFP) and second focal plane (SFP), however, many shooters must choose between SFP and FFP.
This is a technical question, and as experienced shooter should answer it right.
General approach to FFP and SFP
Every rifle scope has two focal planes: the first focal plane or FFP at the front and the second focal plane SFP.
The difference between the first focal plane and the second focal plane is how the users see their targets in their hunting for other long range shooting. The placement of the scope’s reticle will give us the most correct answer to this.
Every scope has a reticle, it is in the first focal plane or the second focal plane.
The difference is that:
When your reticle is in the SFP, it remains the same size no matter the magnification of the scope is low or high. While in the FFP, it becomes smaller when the magnification is low and larger when the magnification is high.
Pros and cons
The FFP scope’s reticle changes when its size when the magnification changes, which leads to the changing of the increments’ spacing. This is the reason why the FFP is preferred in hunting, or for any other long-range shooting.
In other cases when you need your reticle to remain its size at every magnification, you must choose SFP. In those cases, the FFP’s reticles may make targets harder to hit.
Why a shooter should add a scope to his rifle?
One important thing to note is that you can apply FFP or SFP to what hunting or application you are shooting.
So why should you add a scope, FFP or SFP?
Choosing a scope to add is mostly about the ability to measure, range, reach out, or touch your targets from a far distance. A suitable scope will help you link the ability to see the targets, especially targets from far away, and the ability to hit them exactly.
What to consider before choosing any scope
Making the right decision between FFP and SFP is not easy. Besides your rifle’s performance when working with FFP and SFP, you also have to consider your personal desire.
There are two basic questions you need to answer before deciding to shop one of these two scopes:
- What type of shooting do you most?
- Under what type of conditions does that shooting take place? Maybe you’re out in the field. Perhaps you’re on a nice, tidy shooting range. Possibly you’re relying on your scope to hit a target that might actually represent a threat.
The most important function of a scope
What is the most important function of a scope?
There are 3 important functions of a scope:
- Help your rifle to hit a target at long range
- Help to range your targets
- Measure targets, an object or a landmark
So we can tell that if you’re not getting the hits you want at the speed you want, you choice of scope may not right.
Ranging and measuring functions of a scope
Some shooters choose SFP over FFP because of its good function at average target distance. Others choose FFP over SFP because they need to range and measure their targets in hunting, target shooting, and some other tactical operations.
The scope can be a visual aid helping you see your targets much better. That’s why after choosing the type of reticle and the type of turrets, you have choose one suitable scope, FFP or SFP.
Which one for hunting?
No matter how much you like one scope and type of reticle, you have to consider its ability to match with your skills and the game. Therefore, you have to think carefully before making the decision to use which scope.
Generally, shooters will choose SFP for average range hunting, and FFP for longer ranges. This preference is true in most of the cases, but not all.
Which one for tactical applications?
Civilians choose FFP over SFP. Meanwhile, SFP is chosen over FFP in military or law enforcement.
The choice between FFP and SFP impacts several areas of the shooting world.
The soldiers choosing FFP over SFP will look these scopes at their critical targets on the battlefield. The law enforcement shooters choose SFP over FFP to protect innocent residents from rooftops.
Why choosing between FFP and SFP really matters
Are you wondering that why choosing between FFP and SFP becomes a real matter? Let’s look at the reason list below to understand more about the importance as well as the basic difference between the two scopes:
- If you find how your target looks behind the reticle really important, SPF must be your choice.
- If you want your rifle match to your teammates’, you should choose FFP for your tactical rifle.
- In hunting, you may need a FFP more than a SPF.
- If you want to change after being trained in a special way, you may choose SFP over FFP.
Besides, the availability is also a very important factor in the decision to use any of them. You may find it very hard to buy a scope if it is not popular in the market in your place.
This article aims to help you review your purchasing when choosing to buy a FFP or a SFP.
Before making your decision, consider about the purpose of using the scope, your experience, your bias in using the scope, the availability in your area, and also your teammates’ equipment. The same scope can be a good assistant to one shooter and a trouble-maker to another shooter. That’s why your choice is important.