Jump to content
Brian Enos's Forums... Maku mozo!

First focal plane scopes


Recommended Posts

I have a S&B Shortdot 1.1-4 CQB on my rifle and when people have a look at it they typically go: Good scope, but it is not for me. In general they don’t like the first focal plane reticle, and this is what I don’t get.

How can you not like a reticle that gets out of the way on low power and comes to you when you need it for long ranges? Since the reticle magnifies according to the target the mil-marks is always correct. Not that this is very important on a 1.1-4 scope, but it certainly doesn’t hurt.

On the ShortDot the reticle is not illuminated, instead the red dot is projected on to the glass and completely disappears when turned off, this leafs you with a super fine reticle for precision shots. For some stupid reason they put the red dot in the first focal plane too.

But back to my question. Why do so few of you use first focal plane scopes?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, on a low power scope the "ranging" feature of mils, hash marks, are absolutely useless until you get to around 3-3.5X. Matter of fact until you get to at least 3X the retical, for all practical purposes is invisible, especially in changing light. Very few targets in the U.S. Are presented like you are used to "over there". Here it is usually in your face OR way out yonder, there are virtually no intermediate targets. Also we don't do paper targets much beyond 30 yards here, so the scopes are almost always used on 1X or full up, and when they are used at full magnification the B.D.C. feature in the scope works just fine! Remember the center cross hair or dot or whatever is still one at what ever power you decide to use, it is only the B.D.C. that changes with second focal plane scopes, so my 200 yard zero is ALWAYS a 200 yard zero no matter what power.

Now to the glowing red dot, if we remember to turn it on its great, if not there is no aim point, if the battery fails and there are no replacements the scope is now a fixed what ever power for all intents and purposes, because at lower powers you don't have a useful retical. Also with the dot turned WAY UP for a bunch of close targets, at around 200 yards the bloom will almost cover a 10" flash target making long range harder than being helpful at lower power. There is many a stage that I will shot on 1X WITHOUT the dot on, because I know the next shots will be on a 300 yrd+ target array that will require precision shooting. The reason I can do that is because at 1X I have a full sized useful retical due to the second focal plane.

Now with all that said, my favorite 3-gun scope ever is the Trijicon TA-11 which is a fixed 3.5X with the best B.D.C. design ever....in my opinion.....which is just like the rest of this post. What works for me may not work for you or anyone else.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I use a 1-5 with an illuminated horseshoe dot reticle. The biggest advantage for me is knowing if my battery dies, I still have large enough reticle at 1x. The reticle staying the same size is a bonus to me that keeps my simple brain happy. I don't like really complicated thoughts when I'm shooting. At 1x keeping the illuminated large outer circle is great for very close targets. Sometimes if the stage design allows I can set an intermediate power (~1.5-3ish) to outline small circle plates so my eye can line up the concentric circles but that's a small chance occurrence.

Most of the matches around me are bay style hose fest rifle stages and my optic works well enough for that. We do have one good match that will put small to medium sized steel rifle targets anywhere from 75 to 500 yards which is where there's less of a difference between first and second focals at max power anyways. Scores on those stages seem to determine match finish more than the bay stages with 10 rifle paper targets at 20 yards (or feet :roflol: ).

At a certain quality of glass and durability, optic choice is personal preference and local match design.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Most who talk bad about the S&B Shortdot 1.1-4 CQB have never actually used it due to the cost factor. I have used:

Leopold MK6 1-6 (1st FP)

Leopold MK4 MR 1.5-5 (2nd FP)

Trijicon VCOG 1-6 (1st FP)

Trijicon ACOG TAO1 NSN

Trijicon ACOG TA11 F

Trijicon TR24 1-4 (2nd FP)

Trijicon TR21 1.25-4(2nd FP)

EOTEC with 3X magnifier

Comp M4 with 3X magnifier

I still prefer the S&B Shortdot over everything else, I prefer the gen 1 non locking turrets as it is easier to move the illumination switch the half position that shuts the dot off when going from 1-4 as part of that transition. There is a lot of flexibility in a Shortdot if you know how to use the BDC dials and not just the Mils in the reticle. Examples:

· Dialing up to 650 M on your BDC puts you POA, POI on in your face CQB distances

· Dialing up to 400 M on your BDC for a 400M long shot in the end of a stage reduces your POA, POI offset by 75% on in your face CQB distances

Edited by 2011BLDR
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Did I miss someone talking bad about the S&B short dot??? I don't think that ever came up in this thread.

I for one don't trust ANY optic, that is why I have stayed with REAL iron sights all these years.....and this is for Craig Outzen!!!

There is magic in scopes, which I do not understand, so there fore they are evil!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • advertisement_alt
  • advertisement_alt
  • advertisement_alt

  • Create New...