Rafle Scope

When it comes to increasing your accuracy, whether on the range or out in the woods hunti​​ng. You need to invest in a good riflescope. And when it comes to getting the right riflescope. You will need to know and understand. The differences between first focal plane scopes and second focal plane scopes.

Without becoming too technical. The main difference between the 2 is where the reticle is positioned within the scope. And that will, in turn, affect the image you see at differing magnifications. In first focal plane scopes. The reticule is situated in the middle of the scope tube. Immediately below the elevation turrets.

In second focal plane scopes, the reticle is situated on the eyepiece end of the scope. These positions make a world of difference. When it comes to sighting in your target over variable distances. Let’s look at the differences in behavior between these two types of riflescopes.

Comparison Table of the First Focal Plane Scopes

First Focal Plane Scopes – The Clear Picture

If you shoot at varying ranges. As is the case when you are out hunt​​ing, the first focal plane scopes are definitely the scopes for you. 

This is because, on first focal plane scopes, the stadia remain in the same place on the target. Despite you changing the magnification. 

This is not the case with second focal plane scopes. However, with second focal plane scopes. Only the cross-hairs remain in the same position when you change the magnification.

Another difference between the two is that as you increase magnification. The reticule also grows, meaning it will cover your target more and more. 

If you shoot at consistent and moderate ranges, this is not really a big issue, and any kind of scope can suffice. But as you start shooting targets at longer ranges and using extra aim points on the reticule. You will need to do this to compensate for trajectory drop over long ranges.

You will definitely need to use a first focal plane scope. because first focal plane scopes always keep the same relationship. Between the reticle position and the target position.

This reduces the need for calculations as is the case with second focal plane scopes. The advantage is that it is easier to adjust for trajectory over longer ranges.

Brilliant as first focal plane scopes (and the images they give you) are. They do have their downside you’re your target is small prey (like a rabbit or a duck). The reticule could become so thick. As to partially or completely cover your target, compromising your shot.

Because first focal plane scopes are newer than second focal plane scopes. It is widely and wildly rumored that they are weaker than their predecessors, but that just isn’t true.

At least nowadays it isn’t. Despite second focal plane scopes still being popular and the choice of many. First focal plane scopes are fast becoming the new standard. Especially for a beginner. This is because they are way easier to use due to being less complicated than their counterparts.

So why choose first focal plane scopes over second focal scopes? Let’s zoom in on second focal plane scopes so that you can have a clearer picture.

Second Focal Plane Scopes – When It Doesn’t Add Up

With second focal plane scopes, the reticle is situated on the eyepiece end of the scope. Remains the same no matter the magnification. This means only the central cross-hairs remain in the same position. In relation to the target as the magnification changes.

It may look like an advantage since the target won’t get covered up. By the reticle as you increase magnification, but ultimately, it isn’t.

This is because you will have to memorize or jot down the compensation. For a bullet’s trajectory for each magnification setting. Also, do a little math. Obviously, this is a lot of work, and the system is prone to mistakes.

And when it doesn’t add up, you will definitely miss your target.Besides, one of the reasons many people enjoy hunting is to get away from too much thinking. So why bring your thinking scope on a hunting trip? Just my thoughts, don’t hunt me down to give me your opinion.

3 of the Best First Focal Plane Scopes You Should Definitely Check Out

Now that you have seen (and hopefully understood). The differences between first focal plane scopes second focal plane scopes. Also, the advantages of each. Let’s take a look at some of the best first focal plane scopes currently trending on the market and in the woods.

Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II 2-10x32 FFP Riflescope EBR-4 MOA
  • The Viper PST Gen II takes incredible performance and rock solid tactical features to new heights....
  • Shooters who dial their turrets for bullet drop and wind compensation will appreciate the laser...
  • The reticle offers shooters highly functional, intuitive, and detailed hold points, yet remains...

The Vortex Viper PST Gen II, 2-10x32 EBR4 MRAD Rifle Scope, is one of the best first focal plane scopes out there. With amazing features such as the XD Lens Elements and XR Fully Multicoated lenses. This first focal plane scope sports excellent optical quality. That will afford you bright, crystal clear images, making it easy for you to place precise shots.

One of the highlights of the mechanics that run this riflescope is the Precision-Glide Erector System. That was designed to ensure that zooming action remains smooth. Even under the most challenging conditions.

For consistency, repeatability, and ease of adjustment. Vortex outfitted this optic with a Vortex’s Precision-Force Spring System. Gives you the consistency and ease of use. That you will appreciate in a riflescope. Especially when adjusting your settings will be a regular occurrence.

As for build quality, the Vortex Viper PST can withstand most of the rigorous conditions. You will encounter on the hunt. As it features an argon-filled (fog-proof) and O-ring sealed (to make it waterproof) robust design. To ensure reliable performance for years of use.

This first focal plane scope will blow a $1100.00 hole in your pocket. But boy is it worth it.




Leupold VX-3i LRP 8.5-25x50mm Side Focus Riflescope
  • Model #172346 - VX-3i LRP 8.5-25x50mm Side Focus with TMR reticle and Matte finish
  • 100% Waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof.
  • Long Range Precision (LRP) Target Adjustments - An easy-to-grab dial with three revolutions of...

If it’s precision, you are looking for in a riflescope that is exactly what the Leupold VX-3i LRP 8.5-25x50 promises. After all, Long Range Precision is its middle name. As one of the top ranking first focal plane scopes on the market.

This scope not only offers you accuracy but versatility. As well as it affords you the ability to hunt in dim light and pick out targets hiding in the shadows. This versatility is all thanks to Leupold’s Twilight Max Light Management System. That gives you superb clarity and amazing resolution despite poor light.

Leupold also redesigned their elevation adjustments. To feature a unique travel indicator marked in 5 mil increments. Making it efficient in matching reticle increments and easy to read, even in difficult shooting positions. Another handy feature is the adjustable zero stop which helps prevent over-rotation.

For precision, reliability, and ease of use, first, focal plane scopes are the way to go, and to be more precise, the Leupold VX-3i LRP 8.5-25x50 riflescopeAnd just hovering around the $1000.00 mark, this is one of the most affordable first focal plane scopes on the market.




Leupold VX-3i LRP 8.5-25x50mm Side Focus Riflescope
  • Model #172346 - VX-3i LRP 8.5-25x50mm Side Focus with TMR reticle and Matte finish
  • 100% Waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof.
  • Long Range Precision (LRP) Target Adjustments - An easy-to-grab dial with three revolutions of...

The first thing you will notice about the Burris XTRII 5-25x50 First Focal Plane Riflescope is its looks. Deviating from the design norms of most scopes, the Burris XTRII looks as menacing as it is lethal. Featuring high-performance and “Hi-Lume” multi-coated lenses.

This monster of a riflescope was designed to optimize target resolution. As well as contrast, and low-light performance. Giving you the best chances of bagging your prey – even at long distances. To add to its special features. It sports some hand-fitted internal assemblies. That are triple spring-tensioned for the purpose of shock proofing it. Even under severe recoil.

Apart from Vortex, the Burris XTRII 5-25x50 is probably one of the best engineered first focal plane scopes you can find. Using only the best lenses and construction material. Everything on this riflescope looks and feels like superior to other ​riflescopes​. The price tag will vouch for that superior engineering by requiring between $1400.00 - $1500.00 from you.

One of the features that sets the Burris XTRII apart from other riflescopes is the way the illumination actually works well in the dark. Because most scopes are mainly made for daytime use.

Their illumination becomes too dark at night, making them difficult to use. Not so with the Burris XTRII, the illumination settings work surprisingly well despite the amount of light or lack of it thereof.




First Focal Plane Scopes –First in Precision, Long in Reach

As scope technology continues to advance and improve the accuracy of the shooter. One thing is becoming more and more certain – first focal plane scopes are fast taking over. And the reasons are simple, they afford you long-range precision, ease of use, and quite thankfully, their prices are dropping.

If you are looking for a scope to enhance your rifles already superior (hopefully) abilities. Then a first focal plane scope should be your next item on the shopping list. Despite being more expensive than their second focal plane scope counterparts. First focal plane scopes are truly worth the investment.

And if you are looking for a good reason to switch from second focal plane scopes to a first focal plane scope, I’ve just given you three – and you have to pick one.

Last update on 2021-08-30 at 01:42 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


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