First Focal Plane (or FFP) scopes have been slowly gaining popularity in the shooting world. Once relegated only to high-end optics, FFP riflescopes are now available in almost every price range.
With so many options flooding the market, finding the best first focal plane scopes should be easy. However, navigating the flood waters can be tricky. With so many different brands and models to choose from, it can be hard to know where to start. Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered. We’ve done the hard work for you and compiled this list of what we consider some of the finest FFP scopes on the market today.
If you don’t have time for the details, check out the list below for the best rated first focal plane scopes:
- Leupold Mark 5HD 5-25x56mm – Best Long Range FFP Scope
- EOTech Vudu 1-6x24mm Riflescope – Best FFP Scope for AR-15
- Monstrum 1-4x24mm Alpha Series – Best Budget FFP Scope
- Primary Arms SLX 3-18x50mm – Best FFP Scope for DMR
- NightForce SHV 4-14x50mm F1 – Best for Under $1500
- Burris Optics Veracity 5-25x50mm – Best for Under $1000
- Vortex Optics Diamondback Tactical FFP 4-16x44mm – Best for Under $500
- Trijicon 1-8x24mm VCOG Riflescope – Best Tactical FFP Scope
- Steiner 5221 P4Xi 4-16x56mm – Best for Competition Shooting
- Schmidt & Bender PM II 5-25x56mm
Table of Contents
- What is an FFP Scope?
- Best First Focal Plane Scopes on the Market Reviews
- 1 Leupold Mark 5HD 5-25x56mm – Best Long Range FFP Scope
- 2 EOTech Vudu 1-6x24mm Riflescope – Best FFP Scope for AR-15
- 3 Monstrum 1-4x24mm Alpha Series – Best Budget FFP Scope
- 4 Primary Arms SLX 3-18x50mm – Best FFP Scope for DMR
- 5 NightForce SHV 4-14x50mm F1 – Best for Under $1500
- 6 Burris Optics Veracity 5-25x50mm – Best for Under $1000
- 7 Vortex Optics Diamondback Tactical FFP 4-16x44mm – Best for Under $500
- 8 Trijicon 1-8x24mm VCOG Riflescope – Best Tactical FFP Scope
- 9 Steiner 5221 P4Xi 4-16x56mm – Best for Competition Shooting
- 10 Schmidt & Bender PM II 5-25x56mm
- Final Thoughts
What is an FFP Scope?
An FFP scope has the reticle positioned on the first focal plane. This means the reticle is located in front of the magnification lenses. In this position, the reticle will grow and shrink as you zoom the optic in or out. The reticle actually changes size in proportion to the target, so the subtension remains constant across the scope’s entire magnification range.
In contrast, an SFP (second focal plane) scope has the reticle positioned behind the magnification lens. In this position, the reticle remains the same size no matter which magnification you have dialed in. This means the subtension is only valid at one magnification level.
FFP scopes are usually more expensive than their SFP counterparts. However, if you need to shoot accurately at a variety of ranges, they are well worth the investment.
Best First Focal Plane Scopes on the Market Reviews
Not sure which FFP scope is right for you? Here are a few of our top picks to help get you started.
1 Leupold Mark 5HD 5-25x56mm – Best Long Range FFP Scope
If you’re looking for a scope for extreme range shooting, the Mark 5HD from industry leader Leupold should probably be at the top of your list. Designed to maximize the performance of long range cartridges like 6.5 Creedmoor and .338 Lapua, the Mark 5HD lets you lob lead at extreme distance targets with impressive speed and accuracy.
The Mark 5HD has some of the best quality glass on the market. The scope’s main housing is filled with a proprietary blend of inert gases for true fogproof performance and crisp, high-contrast images. Add in the generous 56mm objective lens, and these qualities combine to deliver some of the brightest, razor-sharp images you’ll ever view through an optic.
Another awesome feature of the Mark 5HD is the Twilight Max HD Light Management System. This system is exclusive to Leupold optics. Designed to reduce glare by 90 percent, this system of lens coatings and glass quality delivers such stunning low light clarity that it adds up to 20 minutes of extra shooting time at dawn and dusk.
The scope’s illuminated FFP reticle is glass-etched for high visibility in any lighting condition. You can choose from a variety of styles, including highly intricate MOA and Mil-Dot designs suitable for everything from hunting to tactical shooting.
2 EOTech Vudu 1-6x24mm Riflescope – Best FFP Scope for AR-15
EOTech is best known for its state-of-the-art holographic sights. However, this compact FFP riflescope is just as easy to love. The EOTech Vudu was engineered for 3-Gun competition. However, its design works just as well for tactical CQB applications or hunting fast-moving game. This thing feels right at home on an AR-15, and it looks really cool there, too.
The Vudu features a unique illuminated FFP reticle. You’ll only find this design on EOtech riflescopes, and it works perfectly with the optic’s 1-6x magnification range. Dubbed the “Speed Ring,” this reticle is incredibly versatile. When used at the scope’s 1x magnification, the reticle is perfect for fast target acquisition and up-close engagement. At the highest magnification level, the Speed Ring provides dependable precision accuracy for mid range targets.
The housing is constructed from a single piece of aircraft-grade aluminum and covered in a hard anodized finish for extra protection from the elements. This is one tough optic, and it’s built to handle the rough demands of tactical shooting.
3 Monstrum 1-4x24mm Alpha Series – Best Budget FFP Scope
We are always wowed by Monstrum’s ability to produce top quality scopes with budget price tags. The company has done it again with this Alpha Series 1-4x scope.
A great entry level optic, this Alpha Series is priced well under $200, although it performs like a much more expensive scope. For shooters on a shoestring budget, Monstrum’s Alpha Series is a great buy for the money, and it performs so well, you won’t even feel like you’re pinching pennies.
This scope features high-quality glass and fully multi-coated lenses designed to reduce glare and provide a crystal clear image. Shooters will also appreciate the silky, smooth turrets for precision holdover and windage adjustments.
Surprisingly durable, the Alpha Series is constructed of sturdy 6061 grade aluminum. It also features a military-standard, hard anodized outer finish for extra toughness.
4 Primary Arms SLX 3-18x50mm – Best FFP Scope for DMR
This scope from Primary Arms is perfect for your DMR (Designated Marksman Rifle). A DMR is designed to fill the gap between a long-range sniper rifle and a CQB carbine, and this optic is perfect for the job. The 3-18x magnification range sits right in the sweet spot for a DMR. You can shoot fast and intuitively at the low end of the range, while the 18x magnification lets you make accurate shots at longer distances.
Built like an absolute tank, the SLX is designed to handle rough battlefield conditions. Its lightweight, nearly indestructible design also makes it a great option for hunters.
Although the SLX is available in several reticle styles, we are particularly fond of the ACSS Orion. This patented reticle design allows you to quickly range targets without the need for an expensive rangefinder.
The Orion reticle also features BDC and holdover marks calibrated for .308, .223, and .30-06 cartridges. This eliminates the need to fumble through your DOPE before making a shot. All the info you need is right there in the reticle.
5 NightForce SHV 4-14x50mm F1 – Best for Under $1500
NightForce is known for their precision long range riflescopes. The SHV is one of their top models, and it’s well-suited for hunting varmints and big game at extended ranges. It also does quite well on paper targets, so if you’re looking for a hunting scope that can pull double duty on the competition field, this is the perfect option.
The NightForce SHV has a massive 50mm objective lens and premium fully multi-coated lenses. Together, these features provide images so bright and clear you won’t believe your eyes.
The SHV also provides a generous range for elevation adjustments and a convenient ZeroSet feature. These features allow you to make quick and easy windage and holdover adjustments and then return to your initial zero with a simple flip of a switch. It really doesn’t get much easier than this.
This scope also comes with a simple-to-use 25-yard parallax adjustment, so you know you’re spot on no matter what range of magnification you need.
6 Burris Optics Veracity 5-25x50mm – Best for Under $1000
Although the Burris Veracity Riflescope was designed specifically for varmint hunters, it also works incredibly well as a precision long-range target optic.
Tipping the scales at only 12 ounces, this lightweight riflescope certainly won’t weigh you down in the field. But don’t be fooled by its lightweight construction. Built to handle rough conditions, the Burris Veracity is completely waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof. The housing tube is milled from a single piece of aircraft grade aluminum, and it is o-ring sealed and nitrogen filled.
The Burris Veracity features top-notch glass and fully multi-coated lenses. Together with the ample 50mm objective, this scope delivers impressively bright images with razor sharp clarity and true-to-life colors.
Designed to push the boundaries of your effective hunting range, the Veracity comes with multi-turn target turrets, a trajectory compensating reticle, and a generous field of view.
7 Vortex Optics Diamondback Tactical FFP 4-16x44mm – Best for Under $500
We almost spit out our coffee when we saw the price tag on this one. Vortex designed this FFP scope by stripping down the “extra” features and focusing on the necessities. The result is the reasonably priced Diamondback Tactical FFP. In fact, the price is so reasonable, that it comes at a lower price point than some of Vortex’s SFP options.
Vortex didn’t cut corners on optical quality, however. The Diamondback Tactical FFP features extra-low dispersion (ED) glass and fully multi-coated lenses. The result is maximized light transmission, impressive color fidelity, and super crip, razor-sharp images.
Long range shooters will love the EBR-2C (MOA). This glass-etched reticle is highly detailed, so you can make accurate range estimations, effective windage and holdover corrections, and easily lead moving targets. The reticle is also sandwiched between two layers of glass for extra protection and reliability.
8 Trijicon 1-8x24mm VCOG Riflescope – Best Tactical FFP Scope
Trijicon is best known for its battle-proven, battery-free ACOG (Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight). If you love the combat-ready performance of the ACOG, but want an optic with variable power, the VCOG is the answer to your prayers. The design was inspired by requests from the United States military, and the result is a tough-as-nails, 1-8x scope perfect for a variety of tactical applications.
Although the VCOG definitely isn’t a sniper scope, it does a fine job for CQB to long range shooting. It has impeccable glass quality, which provides exceptional clarity and zero color distortion.
The LED reticle is robust and highly visible. Powered by a simple AA battery, the VCOG has eleven brightness settings, 8 for daytime use, one super bright setting for the brightest conditions, and two settings for night vision.
9 Steiner 5221 P4Xi 4-16x56mm – Best for Competition Shooting
There’s plenty to love about the Steiner P4Xi riflescope. It has crystal clear optics, high-quality target turrets, and a convenient side knob for easy parallax adjustment.
All of these features are impressive, but what really makes this Steiner scope stand out from the crowd is the unique Special Competition Reticle (SCR). This illuminated, glass-etched FFP reticle provides 2/10-mil windage, 1/2-mil holdover lines, and 1/10-mil ranging brackets. The reticle’s highly detailed design helps you make precision adjustments for dependable pinpoint accuracy. In situations where a fraction of an inch can mean the difference between victory and defeat, this is the reticle you want on your side.
Although the Steiner P4Xi shines on the competition field, it is built to handle extreme conditions and rough handling. Milled from a single piece of solid, aircraft grade aluminum, this is one of the most durable optics on our list. Completely fogproof, and waterproof, the P4Xi can even survive a deep dive to 33 feet.
10 Schmidt & Bender PM II 5-25x56mm
Schmidt & Bender produces some of the finest riflescopes in the world. The company’s PM II was designed with police and military needs in mind. However, you don’t need to be a sniper to take advantage of everything this scope has to offer. It is a magnificent choice for long-range hunters and target shooters.
The PM II features generous 5-25x variable magnification. Although this is definitely a long-range precision optic, it manages to reach out and touch targets at extreme ranges without sacrificing medium range performance.
The scope features a detailed, illuminated FFP reticle that works well for making on-the-fly holdover adjustments. The scope also has premium, MTC (More Tactile Clicks) turrets for dialing in windage and holdover at extreme ranges.
Built for rugged outdoor use, the PM II is o-ring sealed and filled with nitrogen gas for reliable fogproof performance in every weather condition.
The best first focal plane scopes will help maximize the accuracy of your rifle at virtually any range. While they tend to be pricier than their SFP cousins, there’s no doubt an FFP scope will allow you to make precision shots at a variety of ranges. However, not even a quality FFP riflescope is a substitute for good old-fashioned practice. No matter which scope you choose to top your rifle, be sure to spend some time sending lead down range.