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Forum Index > Optics > Sightron SIII 6-24x50 LRMD or LRMOA and with IR or not and FFP or SFP?

Sightron SIII 6-24x50 LRMD or LRMOA and with IR or not and FFP or SFP?

20 May 2018
@ 05:47 pm (GMT)

Rainer Keller

Hi All,
I am looking for two scopes for my 300 Win Mag and a 6.5 PRC, both rather light with plastic stocks (soon to be bedded).
Nathan's Sightron/Nightforce bug bit me and now I am considering selling my Burris Veracity 4-20 to get better tracking.
My understanding from the Long Range Rifles book was that MOA is preferred, and from some comments here that FFP is not high on Nathan's list (bit I don't know why) and IR is neither (because it's just fancy but mostly useless?).
But now I saw in the pictures thread that Nathan himself uses a LRMD! That is mil-dot instead of MOA reticle, isn't it?
I am confused, please help me and once and for all (or at least up-to-date with latest findings included) what is preferred?
- Rainer
P.S. I have not yet read all the books or just started readsing/searching forum posts - if I am missing something, please tell book/chapter/page/forum thread.
P.P.S. I am german, so millimeter is friendly to me, but I live in the US, so everyone around me talks MOA, inches and yards (but says "real pros use mil").


20 May 2018
@ 07:36 pm (GMT)

Rainer Keller

Re: Sightron SIII 6-24x50 LRMD or LRMOA and with IR or not and FFP or SFP?
Corrections of typos (I wish I could figure out how to edit a post):
bit I don't know why -> but I don't know why
what is preferred -> explain what is preferred
or just started readsing -> and just started reading
millimeter -> milliradians
20 May 2018
@ 08:09 pm (GMT)

Bob Mavin

Re: Sightron SIII 6-24x50 LRMD or LRMOA and with IR or not and FFP or SFP?
Hi Rainer.

I've used both, MOA & Mil ... One is in inches one is in mils, your choice, one's as good as the other. As long as your range finder reads out both yards or meters it's your choice.

Most mil turrets have 1 cm clicks, MOA turrets have 1/4" or 1/8" clicks, MOA is a bit finer adjustment when you get out long.
20 May 2018
@ 09:21 pm (GMT)

Andrew Murray

Re: Sightron SIII 6-24x50 LRMD or LRMOA and with IR or not and FFP or SFP?
Hi Rainer,

Your English is great!

I am Australian, I have grown up using metric. I have a Sightron SIII 6-24x50 LRMD/CM which their Mil dot sight with Mil clicks. I also own a scope that has MOA clicks on a Mil dot sights. Both are easy enough to use but the Mil system is much less work in my head.

Both Mil (short for milliradian )and MOA (short for Minute of Angle) are measurements of angle. They are not linear measurements like centimetres or inches.

I prefer this as it is easy for me to make calculations. I found it to be very accurate up until recently, I have returned it under the lifetime warranty guarantee sightron offer.

If you understand metric measurements then Mil dot or Mil hash with Mil clicks may be way for you. Essentially 1 Mil is equivalent to 10cm at 100m. 1 MOA is 1.047 inches at 100 yards.

Much of this is covered in Nathan's books in greater detail.

Bob has said that MOA turrets will give you finer movements. Second or first focal plane is a preference too. Second focal plane has a large cross hair at all magnifications but the measure marks on the cross hair will only be true at full magnification. First focal plane means the measurements are always true but the cross hair shrinks as magnification decreases.

See if you can look through a few before you decide if that helps and don't forget to get a long eye relief!
20 May 2018
@ 09:25 pm (GMT)

Rainer Keller

Re: Sightron SIII 6-24x50 LRMD or LRMOA and with IR or not and FFP or SFP?
Thanks Bob!
I think I understand the numbers:
- 1 click with 1/4 MOA turret is 1.047/4 - 0.262 inches at 100 yards.
- 1 click with 1 mil-rad turret is typical 1/10 mrad is 0.36 inches at 100 yd
which is still just .91 cm (vs ~.665 cm per click with 1/4 MOA).

What I am a bit unclear about is the indirect recommendation in the
long range rifle book to use MOA vs Nathan choosing MR for his scope.
- and his thinking about IR and FFP as well of course.

Hoping for an answer from Nathan too (darn I am demanding) ;)
Regards and highest compliments to Nathan for the books and especially the writing style, which I love!
- Rainer
20 May 2018
@ 09:27 pm (GMT)

Andrew Murray

Re: Sightron SIII 6-24x50 LRMD or LRMOA and with IR or not and FFP or SFP?
Sorry not sure what happened there... 3rd paragraph is supposed to be in with the first... working on my phone I can only imagine I touched the screen in the wrong place.
20 May 2018
@ 09:36 pm (GMT)

Rainer Keller

Re: Sightron SIII 6-24x50 LRMD or LRMOA and with IR or not and FFP or SFP?
Thank you, Andrew!
You posted while I was composing my reply to Bob!
My Burris Veracity is FFP and I looked through a Nightforce SFP 5.5-22x50 last week, so I know the "functionality" of FFP vs SFP.
But I just got my hunting license a few weeks ago, haven't gone hunting yet and the practical effects of the FFP/SFP or yes/no Illumated Reticle decision are not clear to me.
- Rainer
21 May 2018
@ 01:54 am (GMT)

Paul Leverman

Re: Sightron SIII 6-24x50 LRMD or LRMOA and with IR or not and FFP or SFP?
Welcome, Rainer.

First, you can't edit posts. Once you post, it's final. You can correct, as you have, in a subsequent post. Don't be too fussy about spelling or grammar. Most of us here speak four different kinds of English, plus all the Europeans and Africans. Nobody counts mistakes, and we can usually figure out what is being said.

As to the IR in scopes, if I remember correctly, the observation was that it was just one more potential problem area, ie, if your battery goes dead just when you need it. I belileve it was in the same discourse about binos with built in range finders.

I will be waiting for the replies explaining the FFP and SFP as well. The fellows here have explained it numerous times to me, and I still don't get it. Sooner or later it will sink in, I hope.
21 May 2018
@ 03:36 am (GMT)

Bryan Webster

Re: Sightron SIII 6-24x50 LRMD or LRMOA and with IR or not and FFP or SFP?
First focal plaine scopes will always give you the correct distanced from hash marks no matter what power they are on. You can therefor range or holdovers from any power if that is how you choose to estimate range. One issue is that especially at lower magnifications and poor light, the crosshair can be REALLY hard to see unless it is illuminated.

Second focal plane scopes require the use of one particular power setting in which to estimate ranges and hole-over shots. One can always see the crosshairs at low power as well as during periods of lower light (up to a point of course).

For my hunting scopes I di not use First Focal Plan scopes but for targets at varied ranges in competitions they would be better than second focal plane scopes for the reasons in the above thoughts.
21 May 2018
@ 04:31 am (GMT)

Rainer Keller

Re: Sightron SIII 6-24x50 LRMD or LRMOA and with IR or not and FFP or SFP?
My apologies. I had only looked in the Long Range Hunting Rifles book so far. The much more detailed optics section is in Long Range Shooting: that one answers my questions.
21 May 2018
@ 07:53 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Sightron SIII 6-24x50 LRMD or LRMOA and with IR or not and FFP or SFP?
Hi Rainer, prior to writing the rifles book, the tech was still developing to some extent. Sightron were at that time producing a very reliable scope which had an MOA turret but with a mil dot reticle (siiiss624x50lrmd).

A mil dot reticle has never been accurate for ranging game, it simply is not ethical if we are to ensure a fast clean kill on varying game species under varying conditions. The tactical crowd love this stuff, hence why we have this reticle. But for hunting, it has its limitations. In any case, the original reticle was heavy and being that my clients and readers span a wide age group, the heavy reticle had proven effective in low light. The dots could simply be used for wind holds. I still recommend this base model if clients have ongoing eyesight issues. The reticle is heavy enough for bush work but fine enough for true LR shooting. The turrets also come with caps on this model, very useful for those not used to having to check turrets (bumps) and especially as we get older and are trying to learn an entirely new subject. It is easy to forget to check the turrets periodically.

This scope then became available with an exposed CM turret (Andrews scope), making it a true mil mil system.

Nowadays we have the MOA reticles from Sightron. The SIII 6-24x50 LRMOA-2 is quite effective.

Bryan covered the issues of first versus second plane quite well. Its a catch 22 really, the less we practice (whether soldier of civilian), the more we may need FFP to prevent annoying field mistakes- but the trade off is the major possibility of losing the reticle in poor light. Thats a big trade off and time lost switching on illumination may not save the day.

SFP stays course as Bryan said. And here is the kicker, lets say that it is just on dusk, sun is over the ridge and setting but 5 minutes light remaining. The scope can no longer operate at 24 power at the ridge we were hoping to encounter game on (regardless of brand). So we are forced to dial back and work the closer ground. In the space of a few minutes, we are down to 600 yards, then down to 300 yards and so forth. Now at 600 yards, if we cannot visualize the wind in feet, then we simply don't know our subject well enough. Without this understanding, any opportunity will soon be missed. You should have manual drop charts because if you switch to your stupid phone on now, the light will screw up your eyesight. Your chart should have wind shown in feet, not just Mils or MOA (see shooting book). There is also not much point trying to hold over, you should be using the dials then thinking of the wind in inches or feet (or metres if thats your thing). In other words, either you know how to make a shot or you don't. No FFP reticle is going to save you if you do not have fast field solutions or the basic math in hand. At 300 yards, there should be no need to use anything because the trajectory should be well and truly memorized and the rifle should have been set 3" high at 100 yards (7.5cm at 100m), not zeroed at 100.

This thing about 'real pros use Mils'- whatever. Mils are simply what boys get trained with. Now that we have good MOA turrets with MOA reticles and good milrad turrets with milrad reticles, it is simply a matter of what you get used to. If anything, MOA is slightly finer in click graduation. Just remember, most of these 'pros' are still in their mid 20's. Wait another 20 years and they will be full circle like me, back to being a beginner again wondering how I missed XYZ factors after all these years.

There is a big difference between making a 1600 yard gong shot during the day and actually making a successful 500 to 700 yard kill shot at dusk. Most of these guys don't realize that the best place to mount their phone for tactical use is fair up their butts and that FFP is about as useful under these conditions as their lava lamp bubble levels.

Out of interest, Sightron are about to release a new SV mil mil scope. The reticle should be quite visible at low power even though it is FFP, but it will also have illumination for back up. I will test one in due course on my .300 Win Mag (will most likely stay on this rifle long term). I am hoping it will overcome the common issues of FFP. My personal preference is MOA MOA but I need to remain practiced with the mil mil scopes and normally do this via the Win Mag.

FFP can be useful, a very good idea, but not at the expense of other factors. Illumination is also useful but not as a first line strategy.

Beyond reticle considerations in low light / low zoom, choose the system that suits you.

The shooting book goes into much more detail. Just take it slowly as I think it is nearly three times larger than the book you now have.

Above all, understand that there is a big difference between hitting and killing. I teach killing, the two require vastly diffferent mindsets and this may conflict with other information you might read elsewhere and also the kit you choose.

Examples of optics discussed:

The first gen SIII scope, MOA turrets but with mil dot reticle as shown in the rifles book. Extremely reliable unit:

The simple SIII mil mil scope (Andrew's scope):

Simple and robust MOA MOA scope:

The new SV which is in the final stages of first batch production. This scope will be heavier than the SIII series:

21 May 2018
@ 09:25 am (GMT)

Rainer Keller

Re: Sightron SIII 6-24x50 LRMD or LRMOA and with IR or not and FFP or SFP?
Thanks a lot, Nathan!

I had seen the new SV already, street price is $2420 when I google:

But now that you made me feel good about MOA again I'll go for the siiiss624x50lrmoa or perhaps the NightForce I looked at (which is cheap compared to the new SV and 10% lighter). It is a NXS 5.5-22x50 and available nearby at Cabela's, but it has a MOAR reticle, no other reticle is available there. That reticle has a few more hash lines than the original NP-R1:

It also has Illumination and ZeroStop but I don't have to use those. The price is excellent: I can get the NXS for around US $1250 plus 8.25% tax.

Is that reticle still good or too busy?
21 May 2018
@ 09:35 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Sightron SIII 6-24x50 LRMD or LRMOA and with IR or not and FFP or SFP?
That is a nice reticle to use (MOAR). Nice scope in general.

Circles within circles. I now have good friends at Sightron. But I also have a reader who's wife is the machine shop foreman at NF and is dead proud of producing high quality optics. It is good to meet these people, to hear their stories as opposed to some pimped out version of the journey produced for shareholders and glossy mags.
21 May 2018
@ 09:59 am (GMT)

Rainer Keller

Re: Sightron SIII 6-24x50 LRMD or LRMOA and with IR or not and FFP or SFP?
Thanks again and Yep, friends and family is what ultimately makes life worth living.


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