11 Best First Focal Plane Scopes [Tactical & Precise]

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First Focal Plane scopes are amazingly awesome optics. They have begun slowly taking over the variable scope industry. FFP rifle scopes are now being widely made at every price point.

If you want to learn how to shoot at beyond normal ranges, then an FFP scope is a must-have. You can accurately learn how to compensate for bullet drop and make windage adjustments through FFP scopes equipped with the proper focal plane reticle.

Firearm scopes are fantastic pieces of gear; however, they vary greatly. Even scopes in the exact same line can be different. One of the biggest differences may be noted between second focal plane ( SFP scope ) and FFP scopes. First Focal Plane FFP scopes are the latest hotness in tactical and precision shooting.

The purpose of a first focal plane scope is simple. It allows your reticle to be accurate regardless of the magnification level. The reticle grows and shrinks as the magnification is changed. This keeps all holdover accurate and reliable through every magnification level.

This makes FFP scopes invaluable for long-range shooters, especially those in competition shooting. FFP scopes are awesome for long-range shooting or even moderately precise range shooting. They've grown massively in popularity and are now widely available.

We've tracked down our favorites and some of the best scopes. Let us help you decide which of these would be your best first focal plane scope.




Vortex Optics Viper PST


Vortex Optics Viper PST

  • Magnification: 6-24
  • Diameter: 30mm
  • Weight:22.7 oz

Nikon ProStaff 5


Nikon ProStaff 5

  • Magnification: 3.5-14
  • Diameter: 50mm
  • Weight:15.5 oz

Athlon Optics Argos


Athlon Optics Argos

  • Magnification: 6-24
  • Diameter: 30mm
  • Material:6061T6 aircraft grade aluminum

The Nikon Monarch 3


Nikon Monarch 3

  • Magnification: 3 – 12
  • Diameter: 42mm
  • Material:Plastic

The Bushnell Elite SMRS


Bushnell Elite SMRS

  • Magnification: 1-8.5
  • Diameter: 24mm
  • Reticle: BTR-2

Primary Arms


Primary Arms SLx FFP Rifle Scope

  • Magnification: 4-14
  • Diameter: 44mm
  • Weight:23.9 Oz

Vortex Diamondback


Vortex Diamondback

  • Magnification: 4-16
  • Diameter: 30mm
  • Weight:23.1 oz

Nightforce SHV


Nightforce SHV

  • Magnification: 4-14
  • Diameter: 50mm
  • Weight:30 oz

Leupold VX-3i LRP


Leupold VX-3i LRP

  • Magnification: 6.5-20
  • Diameter: 50mm
  • Weight:21.7 oz

Trijicon AccuPower

Trijicon AccuPower

Trijicon AccuPower

  • Magnification: 1-8
  • Diameter: 34mm
  • Weight:25 oz, 708 g

Monstrum G2


Monstrum G2

  • Magnification: 1-4
  • Diameter: 30mm
  • Weight:1 lb

Best First Focal Plane Scopes [Top Rated List]

1. Vortex Optics Viper PST- Best First Focal Plane Scope

first focal plane scopes

Vortex loves to name their optic lines after famous, mostly venomous snakes. This makes it a lot easier than just using number designators. The Viper series is one of their more affordable premium grade optics.

The Vortex Viper PST is a first focal plane scope designed for precise shooting in both tactical and competition circuits. The PST is a 6-24 power scope that gives you the ability to see way out there and gives you the ability to hit your target. The combination of high magnification and a wide 50mm objective lens gives you a brilliant, clear picture in nearly any weather condition.

ffp rifle scopes

The key behind the optic's clarity is the high-grade glass etched reticle with high resolution, brilliant color fidelity, and excellent low light performance. The multicoated lenses increase light transmission with anti-reflective coatings.

The Vortex Viper PST comes in numerous reticle configurations, but since the FFP configuration is best used for tactical shooting, I'd go with the EBR-2C. This Enhanced Battle Reticle is perfect for long-range tactical shooting. This reticle gives you numerous holdovers. This includes subtensions for both wind and drop.

This reticle makes quick work of moving targets and makes it easy to compensate for wind and drop. The Viper PST is an awesome optic for precision rifles and long-distance hunting and tactical shooting.

vortex first focal plane scopes

Vortex Optics Viper PST

The price of Vortex Optics Viper PST varies, so check the latest price at

Want to know more about vortex viper PST? Check out our complete Vortex Viper PST review

2. Nikon ProStaff 5

front focal plane scopes

The ProStaff 5 is one of my personal favorite optics. It comes in numerous configurations, so make sure you follow our link for the first focal plane version. The ProStaff 5 is easily one of the most affordable First Focal Plane scopes on the market.

The ProStaff 5 in its 3.5-14x configuration is nice and lightweight; however, it's not quite a compact scope. The ProStaff 5 in the FFP Configuration comes with Nikon's sweet BDC reticle system. The ProStaff 5's BDC reticle has see-through ballistic circles that are excellent for long range targets shooting.

first focal plane scope

The circles allow you to adjust for bullet drop easily. The see-through design ensures you can see your target through the reticle. The FFP design ensures those BDC points are always accurate. Nikon's BDC design corresponds with Nikon's Spot On Ballistic Match technology.

This allows you to use an online application so you can line up your caliber, your projectile weight, bullet type, and barrel length with your BDC to get perfect aiming points. The ProStaff 5 is a very clear optic and is clearly designed with hunters in mind.

The optic is optimized for low light shooting and is perfect for the time when most animals are moving. The ProStaff 5 is an awesome optic at an excellent price.

ffp scopes

Nikon ProStaff 5

The price of Nikon ProStaff 5 varies, so check the latest price at

3. Athlon Optics Argos

first focal plane

PRS or Precision Rifle Series competitions are becoming extremely popular. They mix precision rifle shooting with more tactical elements that require a versatile shooter, rifle, and of course, a versatile optic. The Athlon Optics Argos scope is an excellent scope for PRS shooting.

It's versatile, well made, and won't break the bank. If you are serious about PRS shooting, you need an FFP optic. The Argos from Athlon offers shooters fully multicoated lenses that give you excellent light transmission as well as awesome, vibrant colors.

The optic is made from 6061T6 aluminum. It's a single piece, extremely durable tube.

ffp rifle scope

The Argos is built to last and to withstand massive amounts of recoil and force. The optic is waterproof and fog proof. The superbly strong optic is well suited for the run and gun nature of PRS matches.

The Athlon Optics Argon uses a highly efficient reticle that allows for the quick and necessary adjusts you have to make to win a PRS match. On top of that, you can't waste time making adjustments. The pyramid style reticle makes it quick and simple to compensate for both bullet drop and windage.

The Argos has an etched glass reticle that makes it sharper. This is critical for such a complex reticle system. On top of that, it's more durable and can withstand much higher levels of recoil. The Argos provides a crisp, clear picture, an awesome reticle, and a power magnification range.

best scope for the money

Athlon Optics Argos

The price of Athlon Optics Argos varies, so check the latest price at

What is the best thing in this scope? To Find that, Check our complete review of Athlon Midas TAC.

4. The Nikon Monarch 3

front focal plane

Sleek, slim, and lightweight are excellent ways to describe the Monarch 3 from Nikon. The Monarch 3 is an optic designed for a lot of different tasks, but for me, it's an awesome hunting optic.

One of the main reasons I prefer this 4-16 x 50 scope is that this bad boy sure is lightweight. It weighs only 19 ounces. I like lightweight when it comes to hunting scopes. It makes it easier to get on target, helps reduce your overall load weight, and ensures your rifle is nicely balanced.

The Monarch 3 also has a ton of features I prefer for hunting. This includes the spring-loaded zero-reset turrets that make it easy to make field adjustments. After making the adjustments, you can always cycle right back to your original zero stop without any stress.

first focal plane mil dot scope

The Monarch 3 also has an awesome glass with multiple layers of anti-reflective compounds on every surface. This is what gives you outstanding light transmission and bright, clear pictures. It gives awesome light transmission and is perfect for the low light shooting most hunters are forced to use.

The Monarch 3 uses Nikon's always awesome BDC system that's compatible with the Nikon Spot On application. It can be used with any caliber, bullet weight, and rifle. The Monarch is also an affordable option that's remarkably easy to use.

ffp scope

Nikon Monarch 3

The price of Nikon Monarch 3 varies, so check the latest price at

5. The Bushnell Elite SMRS

high power scope

Bushnell is typically known for very affordable optics, so much so I think a lot of people forget about their higher-end premium-grade scopes. The Elite SMRS scope, for example, is far from cheap, but it's worth every penny.

The Elite SMRS is a small, short-range scope that's a little different than most of the optics on this list. 

SMRS stands for Short Midrange Rifle Scope. This scope has an awesome level of magnification for its size. It goes from 1X all the way up to 8.5X and is hardly bigger than most fixed four power scopes. It offers a near true 1X magnification and a bright, clear 8.5 power.

first focal plane scopes for sale

The SMRS has a BTR-2 reticle to take advantage of the FFP system. The SMRS reticle is designed for both short-range engagements and extended range shooting. The scope has a three quarter-circle that's illuminated for use in close quarters.

In the center is an illuminated red dot with a series of subtensions that allow for range compensation for longer range shooting. The combination makes this an awesomely versatile optic for semi-auto tactical rifles. The SMRS is a rock-solid optic designed to be bomb proof.

target scopes

The SMRS is completely waterproof and can be submerged underwater. The Argon filled scope is fog proof and features EXO Barrier Protection for the lenses. This coating helps with light transmission. This coating also repels water and oil and resists dust and debris in order to prevent scratches.

The SMRS is a high-end FFP optic perfect for tactical use. It's an awesome optic and perfect for AR 15s, AR 10s, and similar rifles.

Bushnell Elite

Bushnell Elite SMRS

The price of Bushnell Elite SMRS varies, so check the latest price at

6. Primary Arms SLx FFP Rifle Scope

first focal plane rifle scopes

This is the most affordable first focal plane optic on the market. It's incredibly well made and has become a bit of a legend in the optic community. For the longest time, we were told FFP rifle scopes couldn't be budget-priced.

Primary Arms turned that on its head with this optic. It's well made, offers a multitude of different reticle styles, and gives you FFP precision for a budget price. The 4-14 magnification power settings make good use of the FFP nature of the optic as do many of the reticles.

best ffp scope for the money

The ACSS Orion reticle is one of my favorite reticles. It's easy to use over a multitude of ranges. This includes close quarters use with a Doughnut style reticle as well as a center chevron. The ACSS Orion reticle also has a pyramid style drop system for both wind and range compensation.

The ACSS Orion reticle isn't the only option. You can go with a dot reticle, an Apollo reticle, or the ultra-fancy R-Grid 2B. This is an awesome FFP optic for budget use and is well suited for a variety of tasks.

vortex ffp scopes

Primary Arms

The price of Primary Arms varies, so check the latest price at

If you want to know more about Primary Arms 4-14x44mm scope, Check out our detailed review.

7. Vortex Diamondback

vortex first focal plane

Another in Vortex's snake line of optics is the Diamondback. The Diamondback is a slightly more affordable option from Vortex for precision rifle shooting. The Diamondback FFP optic comes in both 4-16 and 6-24 power settings, as well as various reticle options.

The reticles are all complicated and designed to be used with the FFP style scope. These reticles allow you to make on the fly wind and distance calls easily. The pyramid style designs even allow you to blend wind and elevation into a single call for quick, precise shots on both moving and still targets.

best ffp scope for the money

The Diamondback uses extra-low dispersion glass that provides a multicoated optic to give an excellent performance in low light conditions, as well as a bright and colorful sight picture. You'll be able to distinguish targets at long ranges from your environment easily.

The turrets are exposed, tactical turrets that are designed for fingertip adjustments. The erector system uses a precision-glide design that allows you to zoom in smoothly and carefully. The Diamondback also has a fast-focus eyepiece that allows you to get behind the optic and on target in mere moments.

The Diamondback is a simple optic that combines a value-minded price with premium-grade components.

highest magnification scope

Vortex Diamondback

The price of Vortex Diamondback varies, so check the latest price at

8. Nightforce SHV

most powerful scope

Nightforce isn't known for anything related to budget optics. They make the scopes our elite forces use around the world to kill bad guys. That often leads to quite high prices.

However, prices are relative when it comes to optics. The SHV line is relatively affordable compared to the three and four thousand dollar rifle scopes that Nightforce puts out. The SHV 4-14X50 F1 series is the only FFP optic in the SHV lineup, and to me, it deserves to be on this list.

 Nightforce ffp scope

The SHV 4-14X50 comes with NF's famed MOA reticle, which are their two most popular designs. These reticles are quite complicated and can be difficult to utilize for new shooters. However, experienced shooters will find them absolutely brilliant.

The Nightforce SHV 4-14X50 is a powerful optic that can be used for tasks as simple as hunting and even has a place in precision rifle series. The SHV 4-14x50 is an excellent all-around optic and could fit on everything from precision AR15s to classic bolt action rifles.

high end front focal plane scope

Nightforce SHV

The price of Nightforce SHV varies, so check the latest price at

9. Leupold VX-3i LRP

leupold first focal plane scopes

The Leupold VX-3i LRP is one of Leupold's premium scope options. Leupold is quite legendary in its scope design. They provided scopes for the USMC for years and have a long history of success. The VX-3i is an awesome optic if you are looking for something to use for dynamic long-range shooting.

The further you go, the better the optic you'll need. The VX-3i is built for long-range precision and utilizes premium grade glass to give you excellent clarity and long-range performance. An optic can have all the magnification you want, but if the glass isn't high quality, it won't matter.

top ffp scopes

The VX-3i reeks of high quality. The scope is full of features. Each one is designed to give you a better optic. This includes high sitting turrets for quick adjustments and fingertip turrets that click along to give you audible and tactile feedback.

Near the rear, you have a magnification ring that glides through the various different settings. This allows for quick, smooth transitions. The magnification ring features an integrated throw lever to give you quick and easy adjustments.

The Leupold VX-3i has half a dozen or so reticle options. These are divided into different reticles for different uses. This includes reticles for hunting, tactical use, and PRS competition. The VX-3i is an awesome optic in the FFP realm.

Leupold LRP scope

Leupold VX-3i LRP

The price of Leupold VX-3i LRP varies, so check the latest price at

10. Trijicon AccuPower

Trijicon best ffp scope

Trijicon is a massive force in the professional shooting industry. From Marines to cops to 3 Gunners, Trijicon is well represented in the market. They make bombproof optics that range from powerful long-range scopes to the best red dot money can buy.

The AccuPower is one of their most popular lines. They are an excellent LVPO. The Accupower 1-8x28 is a first focal plane option that's well suited for shooting at range from anywhere from 10 feet to 500 yards. The Accupower 1-8x24 is a very versatile scope.

best first focal plane scopes

The reticle includes a massive illuminated circle that makes it easy to take close-range snapshots with full confidence in where you'll hit. The reticle is then complemented by various subtensions for both windage and elevation.

The Accupower by Trijicon is an awesome optic and is perfect for brush hunting, competition shooting, and even tactical use. Versatility is its superpower. The AccuPower can be used for almost any situation on almost any rifle.

ffp rifle scope

Trijicon AccuPower

The price of Trijicon AccuPower varies, so check the latest price at

11. Monstrum G2 - Best FFP Scope For the Money

first focal plane scopes

Let's say you want to equip a rifle with an FFP scope, but your budget is low. Or maybe the rifle is a low budget gun like a 22 LR. You still want the benefits of an FFP rifle scope but don't want to spend much money. Monstrum tactical has your back.

The G2 is a super cheap, low powered variable optic designed for hobby shooters. It's a great option for a budget rifle that might be used for some light hunting or just for target shooting. It allows you to experiment with FFP scopes without breaking the bank.

top ffp scopes

The optic offers low power with only 1 to 4 power magnification, but it's enough for most budget-based shooters. The Monstrum G2 is well-made and is constructed from aircraft-grade aluminum. This package includes lens covers and scope rings.

It has an illuminated reticle that can be used for both close-quarter shooting and engagements out to 300 yards or so. The G2 is outfitted with adjustable fingertip turrets and a rangefinding ffp reticles. For the price, it's a cool scope that is ready out of the box.

best front focal plane gun scopes

Monstrum G2

The price of Monstrum G2 varies, so check the latest price at

Looking for some other options with same reticle, then must check out our guide on best illuminated reticle scopes.

Which is better, FFP or SPF Scopes?

In the area of focal plane riflescopes, the scope using a first focal plane turret design will allow the shooter to bring up the crosshair size right along with the 8-power setting. For the most part, this is not necessary, and is often applied to ultra long-range work in the field.

Either setting will get the job done to most normal ranges a rifle can be used within.

Coming in First

First Focal Plane scopes are amazingly awesome optics. They have begun slowly taking over the variable scope industry. FFP rifle scopes are now being widely made at every price point.

If you want to learn how to shoot at beyond normal ranges, then an FFP scope is a must-have. You can accurately learn how to compensate for bullet drop and make windage adjustments through FFP scopes equipped with the proper reticle.

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