New CenterPoint Spectrum 4-12 x 44 First Focal Plane Riflescope.
Recently, HAM reviewed the new Crosman Custom Shop Regulated Marauder. We liked it! That air rifle was fitted with Crosman’s new CenterPoint Spectrum 4-12 x 44 first focal plane scope Let’s take a more detailed look at this here…
The CenterPoint Spectrum 4-12 x 44 first focal plane scope is one of the first of a new range being introduced by Crosman. There’s also 3-9 x 40 and 1-4 x 24 first focal plane models.
The vast majority of riflescopes currently used on airguns are so-called second focal plane models. This makes first focal plane scopes unusual to most of us – including members of the HAM Team.
From the outside, the CenterPoint Spectrum 4-12 x 44 first focal plane scope looks pretty much like any other mid-priced airgun scope. There’s low profile turrets for elevation and windage. These have 1/4 MOA (Minute of Angle) clicks and screw covers to prevent involuntary changes in the field.
There’s also a side parallax adjustment turret that’s graduated down to 15 yards.
The eyepiece is adjustable, of course, to match the shooter’s individual eyesight. And the zoom ring is in the regular place just in front of it. Naturally, it’s waterproof, fog proof and shockproof, as you would expect.
It mounts to the gun in the regular way, too.
Really, all the news is in the reticle… It’s an etched glass reticle for durability with “mil dot” hash lines. When you first look through it at low magnification, it looks pretty normal too.
But when you turn that zoom ring on the CenterPoint Spectrum 4-12 x 44 first focal plane scope, everything rapidly looks very different! Because, as you look through the eyepiece and zoom in, the reticle grows larger and larger as you increase the magnification. That’s a big change, because most “normal” – second focal plane – scopes zoom the subject but the reticle remains the same size.
The illustration below – courtesy of Crosman – shows the effect.
What this means is that the reticle is growing larger in the same proportion as the image as you zoom-in the scope. As airgunners make considerable use of mil dots to compensate for changing range and crosswind, this is important.
Most of us know how many mil dots to hold over – or under – to achieve a hit at a specific range when sighting through a scope. But not so many of us have really thought seriously about how the value of those mil dots can change when the scope is zoomed…
With a conventional second focal plane scope, this means that a mil dot graduation at 4 x, for example, will have a much different value from that same mil dot in the same scope when at 16 x. zoom. That difference likely will cause a miss unless you are aware of that change.
In a first focal plane scope, the effect of a mil dot holdover is the same, whatever magnification is chosen in the zoom range. In other words, it makes the probability of a hit much higher if you use variable magnifications on your zoom scope.
The main benefit of the CenterPoint Spectrum 4-12 x 44 first focal plane scope will clearly be found by hunters. In hunting, it’s often valuable to glass the area at low magnification and then zoom-in for the shot.
Now there’s no need for thinking time to work out exactly how much holdover is represented by a mil dot at whatever range and zoom combination you have just set. The effect of a mil dot on holdover is always the same. The time from spotting the target to taking an accurate shot just became a lot shorter!
So, the main value in a first focal plane scope – including the CenterPoint Spectrum 4-12 x 44 – will be found by airgun hunters. That’s a large number of us!
Let’s be clear. That advantage is a huge one where you use varying magnifications in your zoom scope and need to take quick shots.
If you always use use your scope at a fixed magnification, there’s no benefit however. That’s why first focal plane scopes are of little value to Field Target shooters, for example, who always use the same magnification, even though the distance to their target is unknown.
And, if you’re used to second focal plane scopes – as most of us are – it’s a little disconcerting to see how large – and thick – the reticle grows on a first focal plane scope when it’s zoomed-in. There’s a concern that the thicker apparent reticle till obscure the target or somehow “hide” it.
But these concerns are likely to fade with time and when they’re considered alongside the massive benefit of consistent effective mil dot holdover at any point in the zoom range.
It’s likely that the CenterPoint Spectrum 4-12 x 44 first focal plane scope is the the start of a trend in scopes as airgun hunters understand and appreciate the benefits it brings.