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High End Scopes Rule of Thumb

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/19/2010 at 20:16
ptrumble1 View Drop Down
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Are there any assumptions that can be made concerning 1st and 2nd reticle optic focal plains amongst various brands ? Thanx
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/19/2010 at 20:21
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yeah i assume that the reticle responds in different ways between the 1st and 2nd focal plane scopes when you turn the power up.Bucky
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/19/2010 at 20:23
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/19/2010 at 20:54
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Welcome to OT, ptrumble1!

Please elaborate a little more on your question; I'm not certain where you're going with it.  Are you asking more about pros and cons of the reticles themselves, or some aspect of the reticles as they pertain to high end scopes? 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/19/2010 at 21:26
ptrumble1 View Drop Down
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Where am I going is the ?.  Pros of the 1st focal arrangement would be sizing down of the crosshair at higher power settings.  The question now is which European manufactures use the 1st focal plain--American Leupold appears to use the 2nd? Thanx for the welcome aboard OT--
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/19/2010 at 21:54
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Actually, 1st focal reticles go up in size at higher power settings, though always at the same rate as the target is magnified. 

All the Euro manufacturers offer first focal plane reticles in some models, but pretty much all of them now offer second focal reticles as well.  All 1" tube scopes I can think of from all manufacturers use second focal plane reticles.  30mm and larger tube scopes can have either.

First focal plane is better for ranging reticles, where you can range distant targets on any power setting, since the reticle always subtends the same amount on the target due to the fact the target and reticle are both on the same focal plane (both are magnified at the same time and by the same amount as magnification is changed).  The reticle appears to get larger as magnification is increased, but it always changes size in direct proportion to the target image.  Theoretically, the point of impact cannot shift with a first focal plane reticle, which can occur with some second focal plane scopes.  FFP reticles can be more visible in low light as power is dialed up.  The opposite is true at low power, however.

Second focal plane reticles are better for long range precision shooting of small targets since the crosshairs actually subtend progressively less of the target as magnification is increased (the target is magnified but the reticle isn't).  SFP reticles are usually more visible in low light at low magnification settings.  SFP ranging type reticles (mil- or MOA-based) are calibrated for only one magnification setting (usually the highest) math-free, since the reticle doesn't remain proportionally the same size as the target image as the power setting changes.

This topic has been discussed at length here.  If you do a search, you will find plenty of discussion on the merits of both reticle locations.  Both have advantages and disadvantages.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/19/2010 at 22:09
ptrumble1 View Drop Down
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Thank you, that was wonderful----Tom in Fla.
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