In this buyer's guide, we'll explore some of best first focal plane scopes with holdover and ranging features for mid to long-range shooting.

We've tried various scopes in the past—some performed well, some were too expensive for their capabilities, and some were simply outstanding for their value.

Best First Focal Plane Scopes

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Vortex razor hd 1-10x at show show
  • Magnification: 1-10X
  • Objective Lens: 24mm
  • Focal Plane: First Focal
  • Tube Size: 34mm
  • Reticle Type: EBR 9
  • Turret Type: Capped
  • Length: 10.1 inches
  • Weight: 21.5 oz
  • Low capped Turrets
  • Max Elevation: 120 MOA
  • Max Windage: 120 MOA
  • Fixed Parallax to 150 yards

The RAZOR HD Gen 3 1-10X stands out in the low power variable optics class because it's the first to successfully offer a first focal plane 1-10X scope that's similar in size and weight to a GEN 2 1-6X. If you're into CQB shooting but also want to reach distances beyond 400-500 yards, the Razor 1-10X FFP is the ideal choice.

Vortex razor 1-10x24 EBR 9 bdc reticle

New EBR 9 C reticles - The new EBR 9C reticle in the first focal plane provides shooters with a quick CQB red dot-like capability. It uses arrow hashmarks that guide the shooter's eye to the center and is complemented by 0.5 mil ranging hashmarks for long-range engagements.

34mm tube - The Gen 3 RAZOR 1-10X retains the same dimensions as the 1-6X model without adding any extra weight. Additionally, the 34mm size provides the scope with more click adjustments, enhancing its long-range capabilities.

Upgraded from RAZOR 1-6X - The Vortex GEN III is not just another version of the Vortex Razor. It represents several years of design work, with significant redesigns to both the optical and mechanical systems. The 10X power fills the space between a mid-range LPVO and a long-range precision scope, all without sacrificing size, clarity, or field of view.

The RAZOR 1-10X is now the best on the market next to the NightForce ATACR 1-8X, please be sure to learn more and get a good deal on OpticsPlanet by clicking on our link below:

vortex viper pst gen II 3-15x44 FFP scope on bergara HMR rifle

Vortex premium scopes are among the best in the industry. The Viper 3-15X44 offers shooters an affordable option with exceptional performance for mid-range shooting, boasting all the features found in elite and top-tier tactical optics.


Center Dot EBR 7C reticle - The EBR 7C reticle includes a clear 0.14" center dot for precise aiming and achieving a perfect zero. The horizontal reticle line has 0.5 Mil hashmarks for engaging moving targets at lower magnifications and 0.2 Mil hashmarks for precise wind adjustments.

Precision wind & elevation hold - The EBR 7C vertical axis lines showcase a Christmas Tree-style reticle with 0.2 mil hashmarks, each marked with reference numbers on the outside. This setup allows for precise wind and elevation hold, as well as quick shot corrections.

Quickly Return To Zero - The inclusion of the RZR Zero Stop on the turret assists the shooter in consistently returning to the exact zero index point, ensuring a positive engagement and preventing any confusion during turret adjustments.

Glass Etched Reticle - Allows for intricate reticle design. Protected between two layers of glass for optimum durability and reliability.

Precision-Glide Erector System - This system ensures the components in the zoom lens mechanism glide smoothly and cleanly through all magnification ranges.

vortex viper pst gen II 3-15x44 FFP scope
nightforce atacr 4-16x42 f1 on ar15

Why we trust NightForce so much – The NightForce ATACR line of scope produces “bright, virtually perfect image…immune from recoil and just about anything else” according to skilled shooters and our own experiences.

It's an incredibly capable mid-power optic well suited for a precision bolt gun, premium hunting rifle, or a tack-driver gas gun.


3 F1 reticles to choose from - First focal plane MOA or MIL-C reticles are suitable for precision shooting enthusiasts. Additionally, you can also find MOAR and Mil XT reticles as available options.

The 7075 T6 hard-anodized scope body and its ED glass make the ATACR stand out as the ultimate precision tool for long-range shooting. This distinction appeals to military, tactical professionals, and outdoor enthusiasts, including rangers.

Ready for Mid & Long Range - A 16X magnification is ideal for mid and long-distance shooting, striking a balance that doesn't overly zoom in on the image, making it easier to track targets.

Furthermore, the combination of a 50mm objective lens on a 34mm tube body provides exceptional low-light performance. With 110 MOA/30 Mils of total elevation adjustment, this scope offers ample capability for most long-range distances, extending up to 500 or 800 yards when paired with the SCAR 20S, featuring a free-float cold-forged hammer 20" barrel with a 1:12 twist.

Nightforce 4-16X ATACR
Burris XTR II 5-25X50 on bolt action rifle
  • Magnification - 5-25x
  • Objective Lens Diameter - 50 mm
  • Adjustment Graduation - 1/4 MOA
  • Eye Relief - 3.5-4.25 inches
  • Tube Size -  34 mm
  • Focal Plane - First
  • Length - 16.31 inches
  • Weight - 32.1 oz

The Burris XTR 2 stands out as the top budget-friendly tactical scope in this guide. Its standout feature is the SCR MOA/MIL reticle, designed especially for competitive shooting.

This particular reticle is also offered for scopes with magnifications of 2-10X, 3-15X, 4-20X, and 5-25X.

The XTR II represents Burris' premium tactical scope, engineered for precise accuracy over long distances.

Enlarged Field of View - The 5X magnification offers the shooter a broad field of view at the lowest power setting, enhancing situational awareness.

Added Zero Stop Adjustment Knob - The tactical turret enables the shooter to effortlessly return to zero, a feature found in many high-quality scopes on the market. This eliminates the necessity of counting clicks to return to the original position and prevents confusion within the turret adjustments.

1000 Yard Shot Possible - The XTR 2 offers a maximum magnification of up to 25X, ensuring clear target visibility even at long distances. Its turrets feature a 100-click rotation (25 MOA in one rotation), providing ample adjustment capability for shots extending beyond 1000 yards in competition.

Lifetime warranty - Safeguard your investment with Burris' Forever Warranty, which requires no paperwork, even if you acquired the scope from a previous owner.

Burris XTR II 5-25x50 rifle scope
Primary Arms 3-18x50 ACSS apollo reticle scope on 6.5 rifle

Why choose Primary Arms? Because it offers a 30mm first focal plane scope with a 6.5 Creedmoor BDC reticle tailored for 6.5 ballistics. This reticle enables the shooter to easily estimate range and deliver precise shots downrange, making it feel like using a cheat code for accuracy.

A greatly diminished learning curve - Once you grasp it, the reticle simplifies traditional long-range shooting principles. Simply range, align with the appropriate subtension, and fire.

Eliminates Wind Dot Guess Work - The wind dot comes pre-calibrated, eliminating the need for stressful guesswork. It provides effective wind holds for distances up to 1,000 yards, even in crosswinds of up to 20mph.

ACSS apollo reticle auto ranging
ACss apollo reticle center

Fast Aim & Fast Shoot - Utilizing a swift stadiametric auto-ranging scale to estimate the distance to a human-sized target within the range of 400 to 1000 yards, all without the need for a laser rangefinder or diverting your gaze from the target. This allows for near-instantaneous shooting, typically within about half a second of ranging.

Unclutter Reticle Center - Precisely estimate the distance to the target, adjust the turret accordingly, and monitor the last bullet's impact through the scope. This is accomplished using an uncluttered reticle center with the Chevron aiming tip.

extreme long range mil ranging scale

1/10 Mil ranging scale for targets at extreme distances - No target is too small to estimate the distance when using the fine 1/10 mil ranging scale, providing highly precise Mil distance readings.

(Target height [Inches] X 27.77) / # Mils measured = Distance (Yard)  

Very Affordable - You don't need to spend a fortune; just a couple of hundred dollars can get you this incredible scope. It enables accurate shooting with your 6.5 CM rifle at distances of 1000 yards and beyond, as long as everything else is properly set up.

Click on our link below to get the best deal

primary arms 3-18x50 ffp ACSS
DD5 with Leupold Mark 5 scope
  • Magnification: 7-35X
  • Objective Lens: 56mm
  • Focal Plane: 1st Focal Point
  • Exit Pupil: 1.9 - 8mm
  • Eye Relief: 3.6 - 3.8 in
  • Overall Length; 15.7 inches
  • Weight: 33 ounces
  • Tube Size: 35mm main tube
  • Material: 6061 T6 Aerospace Aluminum
  • MOA Elevation Adjustment Range: 100
  • MOA Windage Adjustment Range: 50

The Leupold Mark 5 HD first focal plane scope is ideal for the hunters, and tactical long range shooters who want:

  • Shoot past 1000 yards with bolt guns and gas guns
  • Hunting
  • Competition
  • Intuitive / user friendly scope features

The Leupold Mark 5 HD represents the next-generation upgrade for precision rifle scopes, building upon the successes of previous models while enhancing aspects that needed improvement.

Twilight technology - The Twilight technology enhances color and contrast consistency in low-light conditions. It extends illumination by up to 30 minutes and reduces glare-producing light by 90% more than its competitors.

35mm tube for more click adjustments - With its 35mm tube, this first focal plane scope offers ample click adjustments for long-range shooting. It provides up to 100 MOA clicks for elevation adjustments and 50 MOA clicks for windage adjustments.

Non-bolt interfering magnification throw lever - The inclusion of a magnification dial throw lever, which doesn't interfere with the bolt's action, is a valuable addition. This lever allows for swift adjustments, stopping conveniently at the 1 o'clock position, even if the bolt is oversized on a bolt-action rifle.

Improved turret rotation identification - Enhanced rotation identification is crucial for avoiding confusion in the turret. The new turret numbering clearly indicates the first, second, and third rotations, with a protruding button on the last rotation to ensure that the shooter doesn't become disoriented within the turret rotations.

Intuitive windage indexing line - The addition of an intuitive windage indexing line is designed to allow the shooter to remain behind the Delta 5 bolt action rifle while making windage adjustments, eliminating the need to get over the top of the scope. This indexing line enables the shooter to work on windage adjustment while maintaining their shooting position.

Leupold FFP mark 5 HD 5-25X56 scope
eotech vudu 5-25x50

Referenced Ballistic Magazine

  • Magnification: 5-25X
  • Objective Lens: 50mm
  • Focal Plane: First
  • Length: 11.2"
  • Tube Size: 34mm
  • Weight: 29.5 oz
  • Exit Pupil: 5.5mm (5X) - 2.1mm(25X)
  • Eye Relief: 2.96 - 3.63 in
  • Field of view: 4.7 - 23.3 ft at 100 yds
  • Battery: CR2032
  • Click Adjustment: 0.25 MOA/Click,
  • Turret Style: Tactical

The EOTech VUDU 5-25X50 is a compact magnified rifle scope, boasting the shortest overall length available in today's market. It's an ideal choice for accommodating additional optics while also saving on weight.

One benefit of a short length scope saves space and allows for additional accessories to be mounted in front of the scope.

VUDU 5-25x50 has an overall length of 11.2 inches, which has its advantages and disadvantages. The VUDU is one of the shortest first focal plane scopes on the market.

eotech 5-25x50 f1 mil has reticle 5X vs 25X

MD3 Reticle, Left - 5X, Right - 25X

h59 reticle holdover

H59 Reticle

2 FFP Reticles - Shooters have the option to choose between two different reticles: MD3 or Horus H59. The H59 offers more holdover reference points for both elevation and wind holds, whereas the MD3 presents a cleaner reticle design without the Christmas Tree-like vertical lines or dots.

Learn how H59 reticle works here

On the downside, shorter optics makes finding the right eye-relief difficult. It can slide extended optics further back or forward.

Owing to the VUDU short platform, eye relief is what a competitive shooter would require. At VUDUs lowest magnification setting, eye-relief is a generous 3.71 inches; the highest magnification setting is almost identical at 3.63 inches.

  • 5X magnification; eye relief between 75 to 94 mm or 2.96 to 3.71 inches
  • 25X magnification; eye relief is between 83 to 92 mm 3.27 to 3.63 inches

More head movement - A larger exit pupil allows for greater head movement, making the shooter's head position less critical. When choosing the right scope, consider that standard eye relief is typically around four inches. Opting for greater eye relief provides more space to accommodate recoil.

For the best deal on EOTech VUDU 5-25X50 please check on OpticsPlanet or click on the button below:

Eotech vudu 5-25x50 34mm scope side view
leupold mark5 hd 7-35x56 scope on bolt action rifle
  • Magnification: 7-35X
  • Objective Lens: 56mm
  • Focal Plane: 1st Focal Point
  • Exit Pupil: 1.9 - 8mm
  • Eye Relief: 3.6 - 3.8 in
  • Overall Length; 15.7 inches
  • Weight: 33 ounces
  • Tube Size: 35mm main tube
  • Material: 6061 T6 Aerospace Aluminum
  • MOA Adjustment: 0.25 MOA or 0.1 Mil / Click

Leupold's Mark 5HD is a versatile, high-precision FFP scope that performs exceptionally well in various conditions. While it may not excel in a single specific feature, the Leupold Mark 5HD competes strongly with the best scopes in its category.

With a 56mm objective lens and a 35mm main body, the Mark 5 boasts exceptional light-gathering capabilities and offers extensive turret adjustments, making it suitable for shooting at distances ranging from 1000 to 2000 yards.

Lighter than other 7-35X scope - Despite its numerous outstanding features, this scope weighs less than the majority of scopes in its category.

Added non-bolt interfering magnification throw lever - The scope is equipped with an integrated throw lever on the magnification dial, ensuring quick adjustments without interfering with the bolt's action, even if the bolt is oversized. The lever stops conveniently at the 1 o'clock position.

Included fast eyepiece adjustment - The scope comes with a rapid eyepiece adjustment feature, allowing any shooter to easily tailor the eyepiece to their specific vision requirements.

leupold mark 5 HD turret system

Never get lost in the turret rotation - You'll never find yourself disoriented in the turret rotation. While some scopes have 4-5 turret rotations, leading to confusion and missed shots, the Mark 5 HD simplifies matters with only 3 rotations, making it easier to keep track and avoid frustration.

Prevents inadvertent adjustment - The M5C3 ZeroLock Adjustment Dial System necessitates the shooter to press a button to make adjustments.

Improved rotation identification - Enhanced rotation identification is achieved through a simple mechanism: during the first rotation, the lock button remains protruded, while in the second and third rotations, the button recedes into the housing. This design eliminates any guesswork about the turret's current rotation.

This scope is ideal for

  • Long-range shooters past 1000 yards with bolt guns and gas guns
  • Hunting
  • Military
  • Competition
  • Shooters who want intuitive features
Leupold mark 5 hd 7-35x56mm

Common FAQ

What's The Difference Between Second Focal and First Focal?

Focal Plane Low Power Variable Scopes Difference

A First Focal Plane (also known as FFP or F1) is highly sought-after for long-range shooting, representing the ultimate choice. However, it may come at a slightly higher cost.

In an FFP scope, the reticle is positioned in front of the magnification, causing it to scale in size with the target's distance. This unique feature ensures that the reticle remains accurate at any magnification setting.

The advantage the FFP reticle – The key advantage of the FFP reticle is that the reticle subtensions remain consistent regardless of the scope's magnification setting. In other words, a 1-mil dot retains its 1-mil measurement, scaling proportionally as you adjust the magnification.

If you’re shooting under 6X magnification, the SFP scope will be just fine. Shooting anything further away, a first focal plane scope is always the preferred option.

Most shooters are familiar with SFP scopes, as that style has been the most common product for many years, and they’re much cheaper than first focal plane scopes.

To learn more about first focal vs second focal, please read here