FFP vs SFP Difference-Which is Better for Long-Range Hunting?

Last updated on January 28th, 2023 at 11:38 am

Whether you need focal plane configuration for hunting or shooting, you need to know the application of both FFP vs SFP. The FFP always gets you a variable reticle with the change in zoom settings. On the other hand, the SFP gets you the same outcomes and doesn’t change the reticle size with the change in zoom settings. FFP represents the first focal plane, and the SFP tells you the second focal plane.

If you look at the exterior of these two, you won’t find anything unmatched. However, there is a huge difference in application. By giving a rundown in this article, you will be able to learn the actual difference between FFP vs SFP. We’ll also be covering the usage, working style, advantages, disadvantages, and more about these two. Let’s jump into the details right away.

What is FFP?

What is FFP

FFP stands for first focal plane, and some say Front Focal Plane. You can take it as a position of a reticle. There is an erect or time inside your scope; you can find it in front of the magnifying lens. So, the reticle increases itself when you try to increase the magnification.

On the other hand, if you get the magnification down, the retailer goes down simultaneously. Now we’ll detail the First Focal Plane by knowing its advantages and disadvantages one after the other.

Advantages of FFP

You get two main advantages along with various other minor ones. First, you get stable suspension with FFP, which helps you get accurate ballistic handover at any zoom setting. Secondly, it gets you more visibility with an enhanced vision on a higher magnification.

Usually, users prefer to have FFP for shooting and tactical usages. However, some get it to use in hunting. Now, if we look at the minor advantages, you will find potential in improving visibility accuracy. It is the best for long-range usage. It can hold over at any magnification power with no risks. These are some perks that you can enjoy using FFP with your scope for long ranges.

Disadvantages of FFP

Where there is an excellent side to the picture, there must also be an ugly one. In the FFP case, it is not ugly but somehow worrying about some particular things. It can trouble your vision at low power. Moreover, if you’re using it at low power with low light, you must not be comfortable getting a clear vision. 

When it comes to compensation, it usually has an expensive tag than SFP. So, whenever you consider FFP over SFP for your scope, you must recall the advantages and disadvantages to make a relational decision.

What is SFP?

What is SFP

You may call it Second Focal Plane or Real Focal Plane. It is also a position of the reticle, and it does not change the reticle with the change in magnification. Whatever magnification range you use, the reticle size will remain the same and static. If we look at the general stats, we find that SFP is more popular than FFP. It is more powerful, result oriented, easy to afford, and so many other reasons.

Advantages of SFP

There are multiple advantages you get with the Second Focal Plane. Giving a guessing shot is not good; learning each spec in detail can help you gauge the actuality. You can easily see the reticle at all powers.

There is no issue with crosshair visibility at low power as well. You also get better crosshair visibility in low lights. Moreover, if we look at the price, it is far lower than FFP. Overall, users prefer SFP over FFP. 

Disadvantages of SFP

There are some cons you will get with Second Focal Plane. However, the advantages are more significant, and you get much more when using SFP. However, disadvantages are also part of it. You will change the suspension throughout the power ranges you change. When it comes to long-range covering, FFP is similar to SFP. These are a couple of issues with the SFP. 

FFP Vs SFP: How to Choose the Best One?

While choosing one out of these two, you can keep some crucial points in mind to get to a good decision. After investing years in hunting, scopes, and other configurations, I can tell you better than many experts. The following facts are essential when you start looking for a Focal Plane. Do I want the first or second focal plane? I hope you know the answer now. Moreover, you can read the points below for a better understanding.

FFP Vs SFP How to Choose the Best One

Hunting and Long Range

If we look at the deep detailing of FFP, it is suitable for long-range and high magnification. On the other hand, SFP is the best to perform with low magnification. SFP doesn’t change the reticle with the magnification, and it is a clear edge over FFP. So, when it comes to hunting, playing with SFP is a good move.

On the other hand, when it comes to long-range covering, the FFP is a better option. I hope this point will go a long way ahead to clear your thoughts about FFP vs SFP hunting and long-range shooting 

Combat and AR 15

Most hunters and shooters prefer an AR-15, the most used and most popular rifle with some extraordinary features on the field. When we look for a good partner for AR 15, no one has a precise winning strike but a tie. And when it comes to FFP vs SFP for combat, you will also find them performing alike.

Shooting Competition

When it comes to shooting long-range, the FFP has the best solutions to provide you with significant fixes. If the range is within 100 yards, you can rely on the SFP. Whether it is for aging eyes or long ranges, most users prefer FFP over SFP. It is also great for practicing shooting for PRS matches and field long-range shootings beyond 100 yards. Before we wrap up, you can learn about the best compact binoculars

Wrap Up

FFP vs SFP: both have unique requirements and performance delivery methods. When it comes to long shooting, and you are ok with the change of reticle pushed by the increase in magnification, the FFP can go a long way. On the other hand, SFP shows the static reticle size every time you use it, and it doesn’t take influence from the zoom option. So, most users prefer using SFP over FFP. It helps you in more diverse manners than FFP. You can also have it on a smaller budget.

Is FFP better than SFP?

Both have unique solutions with varying patterns of performance delivery. However, FFP is better for long-range shooting and hunting. On the other hand, SFP also delivers much better outcomes with low magnification power. SFP is also a lower-budget option than FFP. Overall, SFP is a better option in most cases.

Do snipers use first or second focal plane?

Yes, they do. However, in most cases, snipers prefer to use FFP. It helps them get the outcomes with high-power magnification quickly. On the other hand, if you need a good hunting or combat partner within 100 yards, you can use SFP. So, snipers use both Focal Planes, but the selection of one depends on the distance mainly.

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