Charles holds a Master’s degree in Physics Engineering (optics and photonics specialization), has been teaching physics at school for almost 15 years and recently has star read more
Last updated: November 19, 2022
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Do you want to find the best FFP scope for your rifle? They differ from scopes with the reticle in the second focal plane (SFP) in that the size of the reticle of an FFP scope increases as the magnification increases, making them practical for various situations. Many shooters highly appreciate these close-up reticle scopes because they will grant you exceptional accuracy.
With so many options on the market, it can be time-consuming trying to compare them all. Having done our research, we’re glad to present to you a list of high-quality FFP scopes today. We have selected the best premium and budget FFP scopes for you, taking into consideration features such as the objective lens diameter, magnification, field of view, eye relief, length, and weight. Each of these parameters can affect your experience, so you must know which of those are important to you. Are you ready to learn more? Let’s go!
"You’ll love the fully multi-coated XD lenses of this Vortex FFP scope. It has an aircraft-grade aluminum construction and is waterproof.6.7 – 26.9 ft. at 100 yds. (FoV).3.8 in. eye relief.Fast-focus eyepiece."
"Robust, reliable, resistant, and inexpensive, the G2 offers the same premium performance and quality that you would expect from any other riflescope from the bigger brands.4 – 4.5 in. eye relief.Water and fog-resistant.Multi-coated lenses."
"Thanks to the high-quality XD lens elements, the Vortex Viper PST delivers a clean, sharp, and undistorted image even at dusk. The unique coating of the lenses ensures first-class light transmission.4.8 – 24.1 ft. at 100 yds. (FoV).3.4 in. eye relief.Waterproof, fog-proof, and shockproof."
"The XTR II 4-20×50 mm riflescope is equipped with a five-fold zoom. The barrel body is 25% thicker than the original XTR rifle scope.5.4 – 25.8 ft. at 100 yds. (FoV).3.5 – 4.25 in. eye relief.Zero Click Stop adjustment knobs."
"This scope has 6x magnification, which makes it versatile in many shooting disciplines. Also, the tool features multi-coated optics.16.7 – 4.5 ft. at 100 yds. (FoV).3.3 in. eye relief.Super-fine illuminated reticle."
"The capped turrets of this product have a low profile and are finger adjustable. Combined with the aircraft-grade aluminum, the three-year warranty offers peace of mind.7.85 – 27.2 ft. at 100 yds. (FoV).3.14 – 3.22 in. eye relief.Fast-focus eyepiece."
"The rifle scope provides great clarity thanks to the XC HD glass, while the illuminated reticle offers some help in low light conditions.105.8 ft. at 100 yds. (FoV).80 – 100 mm eye relief.Waterproof construction."
"This new scope is the perfect all-rounder for competition or tactical use. It can be used both for short-distance and long-distance shooting.109.2 – 13.1 ft. at 100 yds. (FoV).3.9 – 4 in. eye relief.Comes with lens cloth, caps, sticker."
"This reticle has been designed with markers to assess distances and make proper adjustments. Also, it is protected with a lifetime warranty.7 – 41.7 ft. at 100 yds. (FoV).86 – 100mm eye relief.Smooth zoom adjustments."
More features: fully multi-coated XD lenses, aircraft-grade aluminum construction, a waterproof, fog-proof, shockproof, fast-focus eyepiece, lifetime warranty
VORTEX’s continuous research in the optical sector, supported by the expert advice of police and military, has resulted in a range of tactical scopes of exceptional precision and reliability.
These DiamondBack Tactical riflescopes have the characteristics of tactical sights, thanks to the addition of oversized tactical turrets, finishes in matte colors, and the choice of ballistic reticles suitable for each scenario. They also have a very powerful range of magnifications and a new treatment in their optics. Thus, it guarantees optimal performance in any situation.
Why is it special? We like the fully multi-coated XD lenses of these Vortex FFP scopes. It has an aircraft-grade aluminum construction and is waterproof.
What are the flaws? The eyepiece can be a bit too big.
More features: water and fog-resistant, multi-coated lenses, illuminated reticle, 1-year warranty
The G2 offers the same premium performance and quality that you would expect from any other riflescope from the bigger brands. This model is available here at a particularly affordable price.
This was made possible by eliminating some components that normal hunters and sport shooters do not need. So these riflescopes go through a less complex manufacturing process while maintaining the same quality of components. The G2 series riflescopes are the perfect choice for a wide range of applications, from precision long-range target shooting to big game and predator hunting!
The quality of the materials, the weather resistance, and the craftsmanship are reflected in every single Monstrum rifle scope.
Why did it make our list? The FFP riflescopes offer the best value out of the lot. It impresses us with its water and fog resistance, multi-coated lenses, illuminated reticle, and 1-year warranty. Thus, it is without a doubt one of the best FFP scopes under 500.
What is not ideal about it? The quality of the mounts provided is not good enough. On top of that, the zoom ring is quite tight.
More features: Zero Set Elevation, parallax adjustable from 25 yards to infinity, power zoom ring, a fast-focus eyepiece, illuminated reticle with 12 settings, lifetime limited warranty
The new SHV 4-14×50 first focal plane riflescope has a compact size and is suitable for a particularly wide range of applications for hunters and shooters. With the reticle in the first image plane, it enlarges with the magnification adjustment.
Since these appear very large, especially at high magnification, they can still be seen well even in low light. The 4-14x magnification range enables an excellent combination of a large field of view and good resolution, even at large magnifications. The 50mm lens diameter ensures excellent light transmission at any time of the day. The weight of the riflescope is around 850g with a total length of approximately 38cm. The 30mm center tube diameter allows the use of all common rifle scope mounts.
Why did it make our list? The NightForce FFP scopes have an optimized lens for high resolution and the best contrasts even in poor lighting conditions.
What is not ideal about it? It could be equipped with better eye relief.
More features: illuminated reticle, aircraft-grade aluminum housing, waterproof, fog-proof, shockproof, tactical-style turrets, a fast-focus eyepiece, lifetime warranty
What do you do with the best-selling range of riflescopes on the market? You make it even better! The extremely robust housing of the Viper PST, with a central tube diameter of 30 mm, is made from one piece of aluminum. Next, the Vortex ArmorTek coating protects the outer lenses from dirt, grease, and scratches. O-ring seals make the PST waterproof and prevent dust and dirt from entering.
Thanks to the high-quality XD lens elements, the Vortex Viper PST delivers a clean, sharp, and undistorted image even at dusk. The unique coating of the lenses ensures first-class light transmission and an excellent anti-reflective effect on all glass surfaces. Argon gas filling prevents fogging from inside.
The rotary knob of the illuminated reticle is placed on the side of the PST Gen 2 at the height of the turret and is, therefore, always easy to operate in a wide variety of shooting positions.
What are our favorite features? The adjustment diopters are easy to operate without tools and are neatly placed and divided.
What could be better? The illumination knob is challenging to twist.
More features: fog-proof and shockproof, side focus and parallax adjustment, Zero Click Stop adjustment knobs, forever warranty
The XTR II 4-20×50 mm riflescope is equipped with a five-fold zoom. The barrel body is 25% thicker than the original XTR rifle scope.
All XTR II riflescopes feature high magnification, which enables the reticle to be enlarged or reduced accordingly to your needs. The Burris FFP scopes offer the proportionate correction with the trajectory compensation according to the power setting.
It features size-matched precision adjustment buttons as well as Zero Click Stop technology. The multi-coated Hi-Lume lenses provide optimal target resolution, contrast, and high performance in poor light conditions.
All manually adjusted inner parts are triple spring-tensioned, and thus, they offer absolute shock resistance, even with severe recoil.
What we liked: We like how vibration-proof it is, even with the most powerful rifles. With this riflescope, you get a lot for little money.
What were we disappointed with? The knobs are tight and can be a bit loosened.
More features: fully multi-coated optics, super-fine illuminated reticle, precision Zero Stop system, aircraft-grade aluminum construction, waterproof, fog-proof, shockproof, lifetime warranty
Fans and beginners in the PRS scene (Precision Rifle Shooting) or people who have always wondered whether this sport also works with an affordable tool should take a close look at the Argos BTR family!
It has a 6x magnification, which makes the rifle scope versatile in many shooting disciplines. The tool features multi-coated optics to deliver crystal clear and bright images, even in dark surroundings. Also, the lenses have the brand’s exclusive XPL coating. This helps protect the lenses from harsh weather, dirt, and grease. The 6061T6 high-strength aluminum tube (aircraft quality) protects this world-class look, no matter how rough everyday life gets.
What are our favorite features? The construction of the Argos BTR’s first focal plane scope is solid. It also offers optical functions to bring every shot precisely to the target.
What could be better? The product lacks Zero Stop functionality, and the illuminated reticles are not great during daylight.
More features: Mil-Dot reticle, aircraft-grade aluminum body, side-adjustable parallax, and fast-focus eyepiece, Shockproof, waterproof, and fog-resistant, 3-year warranty
If you are looking to purchase a high-quality rifle scope without breaking the bank, the Primary Arms range of riflescopes are ideal models for you. They are suitable for those who want to get into marksmanship or other long-range shooting disciplines.
This family of riflescopes features First Focal Plane Reticle models, Mil-Dot reticles, parallax adjustment knob that is side-mounted. The Primary Arms FFP scopes have aircraft-grade aluminum for good recoil resistance and durability.
Why are we impressed? The capped turrets have a low profile and are finger adjustable. Combined with the aircraft-grade aluminum, the three-year warranty offers peace of mind.
What negatives must you be aware of? The rifle scope lacks an illuminated reticle, which could be helpful.
More features: waterproof, anti-reflective coating, XC High-Density glass, Zero Stop feature, lifetime warranty on optic, 2 years on electronic components
The EOTech branded Vudu scope exceeds the expectations of the marksman because it is built with durability, precision, and versatility in mind. The design of the first focal plane optic achieves a target in a fraction of a second at all magnification levels.
The anti-reflective coating creates exceptional illumination of the image, especially in low light conditions of dawn and dusk.
To preserve the life of the battery, an automatic function will turn off the glasses after 2 hours of inactivity.
The product is made from a solid piece of aircraft-grade aluminum and coated with an anodized finish.
Why is it special? The rifle scope provides great clarity thanks to the XC HD Glass, while the illuminated reticle offers some help in low light conditions.
What are the flaws? The nightview ability could be improved. After the sunset, it’s not the most convenient option.
More features: BaK7 Schott glass, fully multi-coated optics, up to 96% greater light transmission, full saddle construction, 30mm aircraft aluminum tube, self-centering reticle, lifetime warranty
The Swift Premier 2.5-10x50mm Rifle Scope has been designed to meet the high performance needs of any discerning hunter. It offers superior capabilities and optics while retaining a competitive price tag. It features special coatings on the lenses to ensure brighter, crisper images and offer improved eye relief. The fully multi coated optics BaK7 Schott glass offers as much as 96% greater light transmission. The scope has a quick focus eyepiece and is made with 30mm aircraft grade aluminum with R-6 process and full saddle construction to ensure durability. The scope also has a fogproof, shockproof and waterproof design with low profile target turret windage to make it easier and quicker to acquire your target.
Why are we impressed?
What makes the Swift Premier 2.5-10x50mm Rifle Scope a great choice is the superb value for money. Despite the competitive price point, this scope has some really nice features including self centering reticle, quick focus eyepiece, BaK7 Schott Glass and fully multi coated optics. All supported with the Swift lifetime warranty.
What negatives must you be aware of?
The only area where there could be improvement is that the scope is not illuminated. This is a must for very serious hunters.
More features: clear optics, smooth zoom adjustments, waterproof and fog proof, lifetime warranty
This is an uncompromising choice for compact weapons. Thanks to the 15x magnification, the parallax correction, as well as the HD optics, this rifle scope offers hunters the safety essential for long-range shooting. It is particularly suited to steep terrain, where weight and distance are often critical factors.
Combining an ultralight design and high magnification factor with a reduced objective lens diameter, the Illuminated Riflescope is the perfect companion for hunting on steep terrain. The HD optics, as well as the lateral parallax correction, ensure image quality that is flawless.
What makes it special? The reticle has been designed with markers to assess distances and make adjustments simpler.
What cons did we find? The reticle needs some illumination.
Things to Consider
When choosing the best FFP scope for your rifle, keep in mind that for precision purposes, focus is mainly on the reticle features. In this section, we are going to discuss the subject of FFP rifle scopes, how they differentiate from the SFP, and how you should go about selecting and purchasing an FFP rifle scope for your rifle. After reading this part, don’t forget to check our verdict where we present to you our top picks.
Advantages of first focal plane scopes
The FFP design benefits from reticle calibrations that are true at all magnifications. Distance is always true, and a 400-yard shot with the 400-yard BDC mark will hit your target regardless of the magnification setting.
If the reticle is poorly designed and its functions are not visible enough, you will not be able to see them unless at full power. If they are too prominent at low power, they will be incredibly intrusive at higher magnification ranges. Fortunately, since many shooters don’t take a shot from a distance using a magnification below full power, this should not be a problem.
The first focal plane is best suited for shooters:
who want to rough estimate and/or use holdbacks extensively rather than counting clicks;
who wish to use reticle functions such as bullet drop compensation and wind lead at any magnification without doing any math;
with a budget that allows slightly more expensive optics;
who want to maximize flexibility in various shooting situations;
who want to shoot accurately at long and medium-range using multiple magnifications.
Things to consider before buying an FFP scope
If you feel that you could use extra help while picking the right product, this part will be useful for you. Below are some features to consider before choosing your FFP rifle scope. These include objective lens diameter, magnification, FoV, eye relief, exit pupil, coatings, illumination, weather resistance, physical characteristics, and warranty.
Objective lens diameter
Generally, the bigger the objective lens is, the more expensive the product will be. The size of the lens allows more or less light to enter the scope.
While this is a physical feature, chemistry comes into play in our glasses, too. The lenses receive treatments (often several) to increase the brightness and the quality of details. The loss of details is what we call chromatic aberration. There are quality standards for glasses, classics, HD, and ED for the top of the pyramid.
The most common hunting scopes include an average of eight lenses. The type of glass, the level of technology used for the coatings, and the treatments applied to shape it will determine the quality of the scope itself. The difference between a scope of $500 and $100 is precisely the clarity with which the image is seen. It doesn’t take an expert to notice the difference.
In this review, the scope with the smallest objective lens is the EOTECH Vudu (24mm). Meanwhile, the Vortex Optics Viper PST and a few others feature 50mm objectives, and they are the most recommended picks.
The shooter has to feel comfortable with the hunting scope. For this, you must think about your shooting habits.
If you have not yet familiarised yourself with information such as “12 × 56”, here is an explanation. The example given offers you a 12x magnification. An object at 1,200 yards appears to you as if you are only looking at it from 100 yards.
Whereas 56 (mm) show the diameter of the lens. The bigger it is, the more light can enter. This is especially important in difficult conditions (twilight, night). You will notice the difference whether a rifle scope is only 40, 50, or more millimeters.
Field of view
This is an especially important measure for marksmen. It is defined as the feet of terrain that are observed with a certain scope at 100 yards. With higher magnification, FoV decreases, and at 1x, it is the widest.
When hunting, the field should be as wide as possible. Otherwise, the target easily leaves the field of vision, and you will not be able to locate it quickly.
The eye relief is the calculation of the distance from the exit pupil to the eyepiece. It is the distance behind the eyepiece protector at which the complete image can be seen. Many high powered weapons have a much greater eye distance to protect the eyes from blows caused by the recoil of the weapon. Examples of these are those that are mounted on pistols. In these, with the arm extended, you can see an entirely clear image perfectly in the eyepiece. With up to 4.25 inches of eye relief, the Burris Xtreme Tactical 4-20x50mm is the best model in this aspect.
The exit pupil is expressed in millimeters with the mathematical formula: Objective diameter/Number of magnifications.
Theoretically, it determines the brightness or quality of the image that we perceive with the human eye, especially when it gets dark. However, in practice, with two optical products with the same exit pupil size, you can notice different images, especially if one has very high-quality lenses and the other does not. So, it’s always better to compare products of the same quality, such as the same brand, range, or objective lens, etc.
Fully coated optics
Good brands of scopes usually have models with treatments to repel water so that the drops do not affect visibility. This allows you to use the product without problems even when it is raining.
These are known as multilayer treatments. They can be termed as fully coated optics, multiple coated optics, etc.
In addition to helping to avoid reflection, these treatments reduce glare and ensure sufficient light reaches the eyepiece. It ensures the light is adequate to the sensitivity of the human eye both during the day and during twilight.
Multilayer treatments, particularly in the case of scopes, play a decisive role with twilight light. If the transmitted light is not adequate to the sensitivity of the eye, the contrast that is achieved in bad light conditions is very poor, and the reticle may not function well.
This is a subject that hunters and shooters are often divided on. Some like it when they see an illuminated point at night. Others like to do without it. Ideally, the lighting can be switched on as required. In some models, you can find that the illumination is adjustable, so you’ll have somewhere around 12 brightness settings to choose from.
In any case, the rifle scope should be able to work properly, even in bad weather conditions. The manufacturer should be able to guarantee waterproof processing.
The optical tools used in the outdoors must be fog proof, dust-tight, and waterproof. This ensures they can be used when it is raining or snowing or in other unfavorable weather conditions.
Length and weight
When the scope sits on the rifle, weight plays a crucial role. The heavier the weapon is, the harder it is to aim. The weight depends on the dimensions and materials used. You can find light and small models like the Monstrum G2 1-4x24mm Riflescope with a weight between 15 to 20 oz. and a length of 9.6 inches. If you want more heavy-duty and resistant models, you can find scopes like the Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II. This one has a length of 16 inches and a weight of 31.2 oz.
The warranty offered by the manufacturer is important as these types of products are meant for long term use, if not lifetime. In any case, a warranty coverage range from one year to five years. Also, there are brands that offer a limited lifetime warranty, such as you can find in the Trijicon AccuPower and the Maven RS.1.
Night vision: There are also models with night vision, which are specially designed for hunting in complete darkness. Riflescopes with rangefinders and night vision are also available for professional use. This works with infrared rays and allows observation and shooting even in very dark.
Diopter adjustment: Since not everyone has the same eyesight, the visor should be adjustable. A value in the range of +/- 2.5 diopters or better is the best.
Batteries: Laser distance measurement, lighting, and night vision all require an energy source. It should be clear here which type of batteries is required, including their estimated lifespan in hours.
What reticle is better for long-range shooting? Mil-Dot, MRAD, or MOA?
Reticles have come a long way in recent decades. Long before now, a simple MIL dot reticle was the best one could hope for. Today’s market is now flooded with very complex and simplified types of reticles. The purpose of a “milling” type reticle is to give the shooter multiple marks when looking through the scope.
More and more shooters are using the MRAD. The MOA also has its interest functionalities. The MRAD (milliradian) is a metric system; the MOA (minute of angle) is in the imperial system. With the reticle settings, the turrets will either be in MRAD (1 click = 1cm at 100m) or in MOA (1 click = it depends!).
With MRAD, when adjusting the scope, you know exactly how far your reticle travels. If, during the initial adjustment, the point of impact is offset by 5cm at the target point (on a target at 100m), you know that 5 clicks must be done – nothing could be simpler. The reticle in MRAD is generally more precise than a reticle in MOA. For example, the reticle of the Vortex Diamondback Tactical 6-24×50 is in MRAD, the distance (at 100m) between the lines of the cross is 0.5mrad, so 5mm. Meanwhile, on the same model in the MOA version, the distance between the lines of the cross is 2moa or 5.8cm. The difference is obvious. It is for this reason that more and more American shooters use the MRAD, whereas the metric is against nature for them.
The easiest way to differentiate between a first focal plane or a second focal plane scope is to simply look through it while rotating the magnifying ring to change the power setting of the scope. If the reticle seems to get bigger as you change the magnification settings, this is the first focal plane scope. If the reticle looks the same regardless of the magnification, it is a second focal plane scope.
Your budget determines what you can get, as there are different price ranges. To stay within your budget, you may need to forgo one or more of the features you desire. If you want impressive optical quality, you’re going to have to pay more than $1,000 for premium models such as the NightForce SHV 4-14x50mm F1 Riflescope. For those who have a really tight budget, the Monstrum G2 1-6x24mm can do the job. It costs only about $200 with no astronomical difference in value. This is still a decent option for the marksman who knows their onions and may forego the bells and whistles offered in more high-end devices.
SPF scopes seem to be widely used today, but a marksman who is worth his salt knows why FFP scopes are still regarded as valuable. In any way, there are always three outstanding models in our final verdict.
The Editor’s Choice is the Vortex 4-16×44 Diamondback Riflescope. We love the fully multi-coated XD lenses, an aircraft-grade, lightweight, aluminum construction and its waterproof design. Overall, we think it is the best FFP scope featured on this list.
The Monstrum G2 1-6x24mm Riflescope provides the best value for money. While being reliable and inexpensive, it shows the same performance you can expect from pricier brands.
If you’re searching for high-end models, check our premium Pick, the NightForce SHV 4-14x50mm F1 Riflescope. The scope has a compact size, and it is suitable for a particularly wide range of applications for hunters and shooters.
The Shooter’s Guide to First-Focal-Plane Scopes
Here's what you need to know to pick the right first-focal-plane scope for your rifle.