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first plane reticle scopes

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/22/2009 at 10:40
old guy View Drop Down
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I am new to this board and have found a wealth of info here.  Thanks much.

I have started shooting again after a very  long break and am evaluating new scopes.  What are the better and best manufacturers and models with first plane reticles.

My only experience was using a Unertl during the service a very long time ago and then after that standard variable Swarovski's for hunting and recently an ACOG on a carbine which I feel is really over rated for long range accuracy (300 or more).

It appears that Nightforce are not all first plane except the new F1 model.  The 5.5x 22 I think is not.
The Schmidt & Bender 5x25 is.
What about the Zeiss mis range models?
How would the new Leupold compare to the Nightforce in quality?
I have never seen or heard of a SS (super sniper) scope until this board.  What are they comparable to?
Can someone explain the difference between a ballistic reticle and a ballistic turret to me?
Thanks much
Gary
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/22/2009 at 11:10
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I am also curious about the difference between a ballistic reticle and turret!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/22/2009 at 11:53
Rancid Coolaid View Drop Down
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Gary, were you a HOG?

I too used the old Unertls and loved them (at the time), they were all but bulletproof.

I really, really like Nightforce, and really, really don't like Leupold - that should help frame the comments below.

Nightforce F1 is FFP (first focal plane), all other NSX scopes are SFP (second focal plane.) 

Leupold, I am told, has great customer service and has many reticle options.  No one raves about their glass, and many say their adjustments are close to good or good.  Personally, I don't think they are great tactical scope (you need to clarify if you are looking at tactical or hunting scopes.  You mention Nightforce, then Swaro.  What do you need, and on what is it going?)

The commonly accepted "top tier" tactical scopes are Hensoldt(Zeiss), S&B, USO, and Premier (newer to the market, but proving themselves daily.)  After that you get to IOR, Nightforce - then down a few more tiers, Leupold Mk4.

I own several of the top-tier and a few mid-level scopes, and I do see a difference in optics from top-tier to mid-level, but little difference in tracking (in the top tier, it comes down mostly to preference: how easy is the scope to get behind, how do you like the turrets, how do you like the reticles, how do you like the illumination system, etc.)

The scopes you reference are 5-25X or in that ballpark, is that what you "need"?

S&B PM-series are FFP and are quite good - though, in my opinion not worth the $$.

Zeiss Conquest is SFP (or, all the ones I've seen are, to include the ranging reticles.)

The new Leupolds are not in the same league with Nightforce, and I think most would agree with that in all respects except maybe Customer Service.

The SuperSnipers are quite good, and definitely the best deal in the tactical scope market.  They are offered in 10X and 3-9x42FFP. 

A "ballistic reticle" is a reticle that allows you multiple aiming points without making a correction at the turret.  They are nice for hunting rifles with capped turrets or for tactical guns where multiple shots at different ranges must be made quickly.  They absolutely must be verified on your gun, with your ammo, and at the designated distances.  A reticle that gives a 400-yard point of aim for a .308 168-gr BTHT at 2650FPS might actually be a point of aim for that round at 450 yards, or at 380 yards; you gotta shoot it in the real world to know.

In contrast, a ballistic turret is a turret system that allows you to mark the actual dope change for a specific range.  Where ballistic reticles usually have an exact distance that may or may not coincide with the marked distance, most ballistic turrets allow you to mark the exact distance on the turret.

Both have uses, both work well, the reticle requires a little more thinking and practice; the turret requires more time on the range to be sure you have the right dope.  Neither should be used till you know how the weapon shoots and where the rounds fall at the needed (or designated) ranges.


Edited by Rancid Coolaid - August/22/2009 at 11:56
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/22/2009 at 12:10
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Balistic reticles on second focal plane scopes (which most of them are) only work at the highest power so a lower top power like 10x is a better choice for this system of know hold over marks than a high power like 20x because when the light gets low in the evening one needs to dial the scope power down to 6x or so to brighten it up.
 
Tactical / Target   knobs allow you the ability to dial in correction at  any power and is a better system if you can tollerate the added height of the knobs.  One low style of knobs is the Leupold VX3  "Custom Dial System"  which can also be engraved with info to match the balistics of your caliber and bullet selection so it makes the system rather idiot proof like kenton knobs. http://www.kentonindustries.com/.   I really like the Super Sniper and my budget allows me two Leupold Mark 4's and two Variable  3-9x42 Super Snipers which I like better mainly because of the 1/10 mil clicks as opposed to the 1/4moa clicks.  The glass on the Super Snipers is very good for the money.   As for the Heinsold, & U.S. Optics  I wish I could go there and the S&B and Premier dont really ring my bell but the Nightforce I like and almost could afford If I'd just stop eating for few months.  I'm pretty happy with the Super Sniper and now I'm off to lunch. Thunbs Up
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/22/2009 at 12:23
Rancid Coolaid View Drop Down
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Yea, forgot to mention that part.

Wes, eventually we have to get together for some recoil therapy, I'll bring "Big Richard" and you will then be a fan of Premier.  I too am no big fan of S&B, their scopes are great, but not worth the pricetag, especially since Premier got in the game.

And I'll throw another vote in for the 3-9SS, it is a fantastic scope, and unless you plan to shoot coke cans at 1,000 yards, it will serve you well as a beginner FFP scope with very good glass and very good adjustments.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/22/2009 at 14:39
Dale Clifford View Drop Down
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leupold now makes ffp but they like the rest are expensive. for the price of a top model ffp you can buy a laser range finder and a good sfp scope, is one set up better than the other? How many 600 yd shots are you going to make in the dark?? Are you wanting a long range scope? Is this for hunting, (carry alot shoot little) or plinking (shoot alot carry little).

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/22/2009 at 16:04
old guy View Drop Down
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Thanks for all the responses. I guess I need to clarify the useage.  Feel free to laugh and criticize as sometimes my friends tell me I am being unrealistic.

I used to hunt with a 7mm magnum with a Swarovski 3x9 which is the best glass I have owned which I set up in the 80's.  I  still have it shoot it once every few years as I don't hunt anymore.
I set up a Kimber 22 bull barrel in the early 2000 with a Leupold Vari III 6.5x20 efr with the parallax on the objective end.  It is a pain to adjust.  The turrets are covered and I use it to plink with and have the turrets marked and click in to the distance I am plinking at.  The optics are good.  I can't complain about it.  Maybe not quite as crisp as my Swarovski.

Lately I set up a rock river elite carbine 16" barrel with supressor with an acog 4x32 which I plink with out to 300 yds.  I find a can not get a grouping better than 5 inches as the illuminated chevron or post covers the head of the silhouette target or 6" bullseye down range.  When I take it over the 600 yd range I can only hope for body shots.
I also shoot a barrett 50 semi auto with a Leupold and the Bohrs siting system.  I use a range finder and then dial in the yardage to the bohrs and thats it.  I love that setup, takes all the computations out of it.

I am now setting up a rock river predator pursuit with a 20" national match barrel threaded that I will also  use a yankee hill suppressor on and would like to be able to shoot 2" groups at 300 yds and plink at the 600 yd range and limit my group to 5".  Is this unreasonable?  I will use it for a lot of plinking.
I like the reticles with the Nightforce scopes.  I am thinking 5x25 will give me the magnification to get the tight groups at 300 to 600 yds.  I am not sure if I can do that with the 4x16's. 
I plan to use a laser range finder for distance rather than a mil dot and am trying to decide if using a thin reticle such as a varmint type might be best.  I am trying to decide if dialing in the elevation after ranging and holding right on will be more accurate than holding over using the hash marks such as on a vamint type reticle or ballistic reticle.  Then if I decide to dial in on the turret do I develop a range card from my ballistic tables and compute them to the amount of clicks or get some kind of turret that is marked in yardage.  The bohrs I use on the 50 takes all the math out of it.
I don't want to have to do the math while I am shooting now that we have all this new technology that will make it much faster.
Will the first plane nightforce give me any advantage over the second plane nightforce? I do feel S& B is over priced also same as you guys.  I do like good optics though and like the extra magnification.
Now how about more thoughts.
Thanks for the input.
Gary
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/22/2009 at 19:11
Dale Clifford View Drop Down
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biggest problem you are going to have is wind drift on a 22. the only advantage to the ffp scope is windage holdoff  stays the same throughout the power range. If you know the amount of drop on the load your using, any hold over reticle can be used on one of the dots or hash marks, then refinement can be dialed in as needed. I use a br nightforce 8x32 with the np1-rr reticle for the situation you are describing for longer ranges or a plain ole mk4 with tmr works great.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/22/2009 at 19:39
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Dude, that is a VERY nice looking rig...
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/22/2009 at 20:11
old guy View Drop Down
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Nice pictures Dave.  Your lower picture of the Ar15 is the same setup it seems that I have ordered, free floating fore arm and rear stock being the same.  With my carbine I plink with 55 grain ammo but finally I have gotten some 75 grain match which I plan to use with the new predator barrel.

I plan to build a tactical .308 or 338  next year for 600 to 1000 yd ranges and may end up moving the scope I buy now to that rifle if I decide to make some changes.  That is why I am considering a 5x25x56.
I like the 8x32.  I almost build a 1000 yd bench rest gun in a wildcat caliber several years back and was considering putting the 8x32 on it.  I think that might be just too large for my AR though.  I am thinking that a 5x22 will give me the magnification I want with a fine reticle and not be too overwhelming in size for the gun.  That narrows it down to the nightforce 5.5x22x56 NXS which then gives me a second focal plane reticle.
gary

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/24/2009 at 07:30
Rancid Coolaid View Drop Down
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5" groups at 300 yards from a 16" RR running a 4X AGOC: not bad!

Is your Phantom QD or thread-on (knowing that their QD is kinda thread-on)?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/24/2009 at 10:33
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Rancid, good explanation on the BR/BTs

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