First focal plane scopes are the go to for long range shooting.

In this buyer's guide, let's check out the best first focal plane scopes that has holdover and ranging capabilities for mid to long range targets.

We have used many scopes in the past, some are good, some are too overpriced for what it does, and some are just awesome to make your money worth.

Let's check out what we have below:

Low Power Variable Optics

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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

Why pick this low power variable optic - The RAZOR HD Gen 3 1-10X is special in the low power variable optics category for being the first successful first focal plane 1-10X scope similar size & weight to a GEN 2 1-6X. For anyone shooting CQB and also want to extend the range past 400 - 500 yards, the Razor 1-10X FFP is the way to go.

Vortex razor 1-10x24 EBR 9 bdc reticle

New EBR 9 C reticles - The new first focal plane EBR 9C reticle gives the shooter fast CQB red dot alike capability using arrow harshmarks that draws the shooter's eye towards the center, and combined with 0.5 mil ranging hashmarks for long range engagement

34mm tube - The Gen 3 RAZOR 1-10X remain overall the same dimension as the 1-6X without adding weight. The 34mm also gives the scope more click adjustments for long range capability

Upgraded from RAZOR 1-6X - The Vortex GEN III is more than just another version number for the Vortex Razor. With several years of design work, the optical and mechanical systems have been redesigned. 10X power bridges the gap between a mid-range LPVO with a long range precision scope without compromising size, clarity or any field of view.

Best Warranty Policy - Vortex stands behind its products with a lifetime, unconditional warranty.

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

Why Vortex Viper PST = The Vortex premium scopes are one of the best in the industry. The Viper 3-15X44 provides the shooter an affordable and exceptional performance for mid range shooting with all the features of elite and top-tier tactical optics


Center Dot EBR 7C reticle - The EBR 7C reticle features an crisp 0.14" center dot aiming point for allowing precise aim for a perfect zero. The horizontal reticle line features 0.5 Mil hashmarks for engaging moving targets at lower magnifcation and 0.2 Mil hashmarks for refined wind holds

Precision wind & elevation hold - The EBR 7C vertical axis lines feature the Christmas Tree style reticle with 0.2 mil hasmarks with referenced number on the outside for precise wind & elevation hold, and quick shot correction

Quickly Return To Zero - The added RZR Zero Stop on the turret helps the shooter bring back to exact zero index point every time with positive engagement to avoid getting lost in the turret adjustment.

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.

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 just right for anyone doing any precision shooting. In addition, MOAR and Mil XT reticles are also available

7075 T6 hard anodized scope body and its ED glass have distinguished the ATACR as the ultimate precision instrument for long range shooting among military, tactical professional and ranger goers.

Ready for Mid & Long Range - 16X magnification is a perfect for mid & long-distance shooting without the image being zoomed in too much for easier target tracking.

On top of that this 50mm objective lens on a 34mm tube body gives the shooter outstanding low light performance & 110 MOA/30Mils of total elevation adjustment, which is plenty for most long range distances up to 500 or 800 yards when using the SCAR 20S’ free float cold forged hammer 20″ 1:12 twist barrel.

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 is the best budget tactical scope out of this guide. The main feature this scope has the SCR MOA / MIL reticle made for special competition.

This reticle is also available for 2-10X, 3-15X, 4-20X and 5-25X.

The XTR II is Burris top of the line tactical scope designed for pinpoint accuracy at long distances.

Enlarged Field of View - The 5X zoom system provides the shooter wide field of view at the lowest power setting for better situational awareness.

Added Zero Stop Adjustment Knob - Tactical turret allows the shooter to return to zero easily as most high quality scopes on the market have. Eliminated the need to count clicks to get back home or get lost in the turret.

1000 Yard Shot Possible - The XTR 2 has up to 25X magnification to see targets clearly far away, and the turrets use a 100 click rotation (25 MOA in one rotation), enough to shots out past 1000 yards in competition

Lifetime warranty - Protect your investment with Burris' Forever Warranty, no paperwork needed even if you got the scope from a previous owner.

Primary Arms 3-18x50 ACSS apollo reticle scope on 6.5 rifle

Why buy Primary Arms - This 30mm size first focal plane 6.5 creedmoor bdc reticle specifically made for 6.5 ballistics that lets the shooter estimate range and send accurate rounds down range effortlessly like using a cheat code.

Significantly Reduced Learning Curve - Once understood, the reticle is like a cheat code to skip traditional long range fundamentals. Just range, aim with the right subtension and shoot. 

Eliminates Wind Dot Guess Work - Wind dot is calibrated right out of the box to eliminate stressful guess work. It's effective wind holds out to 1,000 yards in up to 20mph cross winds.

ACSS apollo reticle auto ranging
ACss apollo reticle center

Fast Aim & Fast Shoot - Using fast stadiametric auto ranging scale to range human size target from 400 - 1000 yrds without a laser range finder, or taking your eye off the target so you can immediately shoot within about half second of ranging.

Unclutter Reticle Center - Accurately range target, index the turret and observe the last bullet impact through the scope with an unclutter reticle center using 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 range when using the fine 1/10 mil ranging scale for very precise Mil distance reading.

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

Super Affordable - You don't have to spend a million dollars, just a couple hundred dollars you can get this Amazing scope to hit accurately with your 6.5 CM rifle out to 1000 yards & beyond with no problem, assuming everything else is setup correctly. 

Click on our link below to get the best deal

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 Mark 5 HD 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 is the next generation precision rifle scope upgrade from the previous models by bringing in what has worked in the past and improved what they didn't do so well.

Twilight technology - It allows better color and contrast consistency in low-light environments. It adds up to 30 minutes of illumination while eliminating 90% more glare-producing light than its competitors.

35mm tube for more click adjustments - This first focal plane scope is built for long-range shooting for more turret adjustments up to 100 MOA clicks for elevation and 50 MOA clicks for windage.

Leupold mark 5 hd 7-35x56 throw lever on bolt action precision rifle

Referenced Recoil, No interference between bolt and mag switch lever

Added non-bolt interfering magnification throw lever - The integrated magnification dial throw lever allows for fast dialing, and it stops at the 1 o clock, which doesn't interfere with the action of the bolt on a bolt gun even if the bolt is oversized

Improved rotation identification - Getting lost in the turret is no fun and it causes confusion. The new turret numbering designates the first rotation second & third rotations, the button extrudes on the last rotation so the shooter doesn't get lost in the turret rotations.

Intuitive windage indexing line - Stay behind Delta 5 bolt action rifle while adjusting windage without getting over the top of the scope. The new indexing line allows the shooter to work the windage adjustment and stay behind the scope without changing the shooting position

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

Why pick the Vudu 5-25X50 scope - The VUDU 5-25X50 is a compact magnified rifle scope with the shortest overall length on the market today, and it's perfect for allowing additional optics to be mounted and save 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

Pick From 2 FFP Reticles - The shooter can pick 2 different reticles, MD3 or Horus H59. H59 provides more holdover reference points for elevation and wind hold, while the MD3 is a much cleaner reticle without the Christmas Tree verticle 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 means the position of the shooter’s head is less critical. Consider this when selecting the right scope; eye relief on a standard scope is about four inches. Greater eye relief offers more room for recoil.

VUDU’s shorter size does not translate to shorter eye relief. In fact, EOTech’s newest scope is perfectly suited for heavier magnum loads

Alternative - A similar short scope to the VUDU 5-25X50 will be the Leupold Mark 5HD 3-18X44 (12.06 in), but it costs about the same and just a little more, and it's a 35mm tube with more click adjustments than a 34mm tube.

If you're interested in the Leupold Mark 5HD 3-18X44, please learn more here. For more in-depth review of EOTech Vudu 5-25X50 please click here.

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

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 middle-ground, high-precision FFP scope that excels in a variety of environments. The Mark 5 will not win the best at any single feature. However, the Leupold Mark 5HD holds its ground against the best scopes in its class.

A 56mm objective lens and 35mm main body give the Mark 5 excellent light-gathering abilities and wide turret adjustments for shooting past 1000 - 2000 yards.

Lighter than other 7-35X scope - With all the great features on this scope, the scope weighs less than most scopes in its class

Added non-bolt interfering magnification throw lever - The scope has an integrated throw level built in the riflescope magnification dial for fast adjustment, and the throw lever stops at the 1 o clock, which doesn't interfere with the action of the bolt on a bolt gun even if the bolt is oversized

Included fast eyepiece adjustment - Any shooter can get behind the scope and adjust the eyepiece to fit their vision need

leupold mark 5 HD turret system

Never get lost in the turret rotation - Unlike scopes with 4-5 turret rotations, getting confused on which rotation the turret is in results in frustration and missed shots, the Mark 5 HD only has 3 rotations to make things easier to remember and navigate

Prevents inadvertent adjustment - M5C3 ZeroLock Adjustment Dial System requires the shooter to press on the button to turn

Improved rotation identification - First rotation and the lock button stays protruded, second & third rotations, the button recedes back into the housing, so the shooter doesn't have to guess which rotation the turret is on

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

Common FAQ

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

Focal Plane Low Power Variable Scopes Difference

First Focal Plane (Also labeled as FFP or F1) is desirable for long range shooting, and it’s the ultimate choice, but it will cost a little more.

The reticle inside the scope is in front of the magnification, which means the reticle increases in size to match the distance, and the reticle holds true on any magnification setting.

The advantage the FFP reticle – The reticle subtensions remain the same regardless of magnification; a 1-mil dot is a 1-mil dot no matter what magnification the scope is at, basically proportionally scaled as you adjust the magnication.

Second Focal Plane (Also labeled as SFP) has the magnification lens in front of the reticle, which means the reticle with range estimator is only true at the highest magnification setting.

If you’re shooting under 6X magnification, the SFP scope will be just fine. Anything over 6X goes with an FFP scope.

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