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FFP - Mil/Mil -MOA/MRAD

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/05/2011 at 23:08
Flanny View Drop Down
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So I am out to show my Grasshopper status.

After reading hours of reviews on scopes I am still lost. I learned FFP means First Focal Plane. However I don't know what that means or why it is important.

I have read about Mil/Mil but don't fully understand that either. My best guess is that it has to do with being able to use the reticle at different magnifications as opposed to needing to be at full power.

I was told to look at the Vortex Viper PST so I did that and the two reticles available are in MOA or MRAD. Again tried to read up on that and Whacko. I feel like my brain is going to explode.

I was also advised to look into the Nikon 223 series and I like what I saw there. They have BDC reticle that seems to make sense as well as a program to help with the reticle at different magnifications.

From my other post...
I just purchased a Rock River .223 ATH Hunter with the 18" heavy barrel. I want as much of an all purpose scope as possible. I would like to do mostly target shooting anywhere from 50-500 yards. I have buddies that shoot long distances which I enjoyed doing using their weapons.

I can't believe how much knowledge is floating around on this forum. Please keep the information and suggestions coming. My employer doesn't appreciate it, but I sure do.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/05/2011 at 23:43
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  1. An FFP scope has a reticle that changes size with magnification. The advantage of this is that with a reticle with subtensions, such as a mil-dot reticle, the subtensions (distance between markings) are always relative to the target size. In other words, if 2 mils covers the target @ 10X, 2 mils cover the target @ 5X. With an SFP scope, the reticle never changes size so zooming out to 5X would mean 2 mils would only cover half the target. The disadvantage of a reticle that changes size is that the hash marks (and sometimes the reticle lines) get hard to see at low magnification. However, most manufacturers allow for this by including thicker outer bars so that at low mag the scope functions like a typical duplex reticle.

    Another advantage because of the subtensions always remaining relative to the target size is that no matter what the magnification is you can adjust the scope or the turrets based on what you see through the reticle. If you see that your shot was 2 mils to the left you can either move the scope over 2 mils to the right or dial in 2 mils of correction. This can be done on an SFP scope, but only on its ranging power.

  2. Mil/mil just means that the turrets match the reticle. It could just as well be MOA/MOA or something else. The advantage here is that you have fewer calculations to do because there is no need to convert from one system to another.

  3. The Vortex PSTs are good scopes backed by a reputable company with a great customer service reputation. You could go either way with the reticles and most buyers probably choose one over the other based on what they're used to. Personally, I prefer mils because I think the calculations are a little easier since mils are a decimally-based system. Mils are, however, somewhat coarser than 1/4 MOA clicks (1/10 mil = .36" @ 100 yards vs .26" for 1/4 MOA). In my experience, that hardly matters for most shooting applications.

  4. Finally, knowledge is not the only thing you'll find floating around here!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/06/2011 at 00:02
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Ok, a First Focal Plane scope means the reticle(cross hairs) seem to grow as the magnification is increased. This basically an optical illusion. What is going on is the reticle(say a mil-dot) is staying the same as the magnification. I.E. if your target measures 2.5 mils@4x, it will still measure 2.5mils @16x.
  The different reticles mentioned on the PST are just what  sub-tensions the reticle is broke down in. M.O.A. stands for minute of angle, most shooters are fairly versed in this as most scopes adjustments are marked as"1 click=1/4m.o.a.". The MRAd scope is a mil based reticle, similar to the mil-dot. Some of the PST's are FFP, some are not.
  Now the nikon M223. This scope is a second focal plane BDC type reticle. This means the reticle is only "correct" at one magnification level(usually the highest, but I am not sure on these), which usually get you pretty close to on target, if your rifle and load are similar to what they used in setting up the reticle.
  Mil-mil is just referring to a scope that has a mil based reticle and mil based adjustments. You can also get an M.O.A-M.O.A. scope, meaning the reticle is based on minute of angle and so are the adjustments.
   Hope this helps relive the head ache!Bucky
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/06/2011 at 00:05
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As usual jono did a much better job explaining than I did.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/06/2011 at 08:49
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Actually Billy, you explained some of it more clearly than I did. Reading both will probably give somebody a better handle on the subject.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/06/2011 at 10:43
Flanny View Drop Down
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Yes, reading both did explain what I was needing. So thanks to both of you.

In talking with others I checked out the Nikon M-223 2-8x32 and the 3-12x42. Is there a noticeable difference in the close range of the 2-8x32 and the 3-12x42? Is the difference in x32 and x42 worth giving up a little in the short range target acquisition?

If I did need to use the rifle in a close up situation would I be in bad shape because I need to be at a magnification of 12 for the reticle to work?

How difficult is it to track a target at magnification of 8 or 12 at shorter ranges?

Has anyone used the Nikon Shot On software? What did you think?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/06/2011 at 10:53
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There will be a noticable difference in 2x and 3x for close up stuff.  But if you are just shooting targets it is not going to matter.  If you were hunting in heavy timber then the 2x would be a nice thing.  2x will have a much larger FOV in most cases, but again for target shooting who cares.  The FOV of the 2x is 46 feet at 100 yards.  The 3x is 33 feet at 100 yards.  So that is a pretty significant difference. 

Don't worry about the 32mm vs 42mm, the 3-12 has a larger objective so if can pull in more light at the higher mags, which it needs.  The 2-8x has the 32mm because that is as big as it needs to be to pull in the right amount of light to be used on 8x.

At short ranges meaning under 100 yards, 8-12x is to much IMO.  2-4x would be more ideal, so either scope will work well that way.

They are both good mag ranges.  If most of your shooting is going to be targets, I would get the 3-12x.  If you are thinking a lot of close range shooting on moving targets then the 2x might be beneficial to you. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/06/2011 at 11:00
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In my humble opinion, the 2-8 is a better match for an AR type weapon. Actually, if I had one, the new S.S. 1-4x24 would be the optic I would chose to adorn it. The way I figure it, 300yd is about all I am going to ask of an AR, with a 4x optic that is the same as a 75yd shot with open sights. I am pretty comfortable at that range. Plus the reticle illumination and design of this scope is super fast, and accurate when needed!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/06/2011 at 11:19
Flanny View Drop Down
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This is great information, I really appreciate the help.

This may be taboo to ask this question in the forum so I apologize in advance if it is. The two Nikon scopes that I am interested in are available on SWFA. Does anyone know if they ever do a no tax or free shipping promo? Not sure if there is a code to put in the box that will do that.

With all the great info that is available here I would like to buy from them. I most likely will either way, but any chance I can to save some money I will.

That  S.S. 1-4x24 looks nice but a bit out of my price range for a first scope.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/06/2011 at 11:48
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Just a thought.  But the SS 3-9x is $600.  You could save just a bit more and get a scope that will be much better than either of those.  Or there is one on the Sample List for $500.  http://www.samplelist.com/SWFA-3-9x42-SS-Rifle-Scope-DEMO-B-P143.aspx 

For the money you cannot beat the SS line.  You would have to spend twice as much to get a scope as good as. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/06/2011 at 23:32
Flanny View Drop Down
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SS 3-9x42 which is an FFP and looks like it is not set up as MOA but rather mils. Mil-dot reticle non-illuminated for $600.00

Vortex Viper 2.5-10x44 not sure if this is FFP or not. Can be purchased as mil or MOA adjustable with an illuminated reticle for $600.00

These both seem to be talked up quite a bit so what makes one better than the other?

If I go for either one of these how much extra am I looking at to buy either rings or a mount? Which is a better choice (rings or mount)?

Are these better than the Leupold VX.R 3-9x40 choice of three reticles. Once again not sure if it is FFP but range anywhere from $425.00 - $450.00

This same Leupold that has the CDS system can be purchased for $450.00


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/07/2011 at 15:31
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The Viper 2.5-10 is not FFP. The Vortex PST 4-16, PST 6-24 and Razor 5-20 are, I believe, the only scopes they make with that as an option. Illumination is not a big deal so I wouldn't give it much weight in your decision. The most important things are great tracking, decent glass, magnification range and ease-of-use. The SS 3-9X40 has all those, although it is a little low on the high end for shots out past 500 yards.

I haven't used the Vortex, but have a NF 2.5-10X32, which is SFP. So what I have to say next is that on a low-mag scope it doesn't much matter if it's SFP or FFP, as long as the turrets match the reticle. At any range where you'd need to use the reticle to range or correct shots you'll likely have the magnification cranked up all the way. However, if you think you'll invest in an FFP scope later on that has a wider magnification range, the SS 3-9 will be a better scope to learn on.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/07/2011 at 15:37
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Well, let's see:
1) This is your first scope
2) You are planning to reach out to the useful limits of 223Rem (i.e. 500yards or thereabouts)
3) You clearly have some interest in doing this the right way since you are here asking questions

I suggest you get a scope that tops out somewhere around 9x or 10x, and that has good repeatable knobs along with some sort of a ranging reticle that works for holdover as well.

I suggest you get one with FFP reticle in order to be able to use ranging and holdover without worrying about magnification.

Variable SS 3-9x42 is the best choice for you, I think.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/07/2011 at 19:49
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Originally posted by koshkin koshkin wrote:

2) You are planning to reach out to the useful limits of 223Rem (i.e. 500yards or thereabouts)
...
ILya

That's a really good point. I have scopes on two .308s that can dial 25.2 and 19.2 mils respectively (up from their zero-stops set to 100 yards). At 6000' on a warm day I could shoot out to 1350 yards before going trans-sonic. That's with a very high BC bullet and the come up would be 11.1 mils. So I have a lot more elevation than I need to go an already insane distance. A .223 can get by with a comparatively modest scope.

On a side note, I was initially bothered by the limited elevation the new Premier Hunter and Light Tacticals have (11.6 mils up from the zero-stop). But that was before really thinking about the limitations of the rifle and round. Given the 12-14 oz. less weight vs. the Premier Heritage, that's a no-loss tradeoff for those of us who aren't shooting .338s or .50s
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/07/2011 at 20:30
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Well it seems as if the SS 3-9($600.00) is the what the majority of people are suggesting. That is really stretching what I was looking to spend. If I go with that scope what else am I looking at spending? I would either need a mount or rings? Which is a better option?

Can I get you opinion on the Nikon 223 series? It comes with a free mount this month. I know it is not FFP and it has the drop reticle. Is that just a gimmick? What are the pros and cons of a scope like that?

I guess the PST is not a good choice because it is not a FFP. It is about the same price as the SS. I don't really care about the illuminated reticle after talking to the folks on here. It doesn't exactly have the mil-dot but a bunch of hashes and things I have no idea how to use as of yet?

I really am trying to do this the right way but have a budget that I am trying not to kill.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/09/2011 at 16:35
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My advice to you is first decide on a decent mount. It will be what you build upon for your optics. Next Look for a scope that fits your needs and budget. Look for things that are durable and functional. Do not worry too much about the glass quality at first.

Ok Now to your questions.A bdc ret can be a good thing for quick shots. Holdovers are the best way to do a quick shot. All they are is factory set markings at different intervals for holdovers. Just because they are set for a 223 with x bullet at y velocity does not mean you can set the 300 yard mark on a target at 300 yds and hit the bullseye. They should be close but should be verified by actual shooting. They are no different that a ballistics program in my opinion. They have to be shot and verified. The 200 yard mark in the bdc ret might actually be 190 yds on your rifle where you shoot at. Fairly close and might do what you need it to. The 400 yd mark might however be off by a bit because the bullet is dropping faster the further out you go. It may actually be set at 370 yds for your rifle and ammo. So it might actually miss the target entirely. but once verified you now have a 370 point of reference. 

My preference would be a mil ret of some sort or an moa retical. This is because I could range with it and there are a lot more holdover reference marks available. I personally feel the Votex Viper pst ret is superior to a standard mil dot. I think it would be more precise. 

All in all reticals are a personal choice. Some like different rets. That is why there are so many to choose from. The main thing will be getting to know your firearm and ammo. Knowing where it will hit at differing ranges and then using what ever scope you choose make you able to hit those targets. Get you a scope and start shooting and have fun.  
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