is reader-supported. When you buy through links on my site, I may earn an affiliate commission. For more details Click Here.

Best First Focal Plane Scope Under $500

Best first focal plane scope under $500

Are you an experienced shooter who wants to practice your aiming skills or a new shooter looking for the perfect scope to hit the bull’s-eye? Well, the below-mentioned scopes are just meant for your rifle.

Top 6 Best First Focal Plane Scope Under $500

NameSepcsToday's Price
Vortex Optics Diamondback Tactical6-24x50Click Here
Athlon Optics, Argos BTR6–24×50Click Here
Primary Arms SLX4-14x44Click Here
Nikon Monarch 34-16×50Click Here
Nikon Prostaff4.5-18X40Click Here
Athlon Optics Talos4-14x44Click Here

Moreover, when you are on a tight budget and desire a quality product here are the best first focal plane scope that you can choose from, under $500.

1. Vortex Optics Diamondback Tactical First Focal Plane Riflescopes

Vortex Optics Diamondback Tactical First Focal Plane Riflescopes

This diamondback Tactical is a hidden gem among the scopes. The features and performance of this scope are phenomenal. The image can be seen with crystal clear visibility and brightness. Not only does the precision-glide erector system guarantees smooth magnification variations under extreme environment, but the first focal plane, glass-etched reticle keeps suspensions precise.

This also warrants the MOA (1-minute adjustment) specifications are kept to the tightest tolerances possible. In addition, it allows windage correction at any magnification power within the zoom range. Furthermore, the tactical turrets that are exposed with parallax knob on the side help shooters with the perfect equipment for long distance shooting.

The main feature is that the eyepiece helps to focus the reticle swiftly and easily. The best ffp scope, which has strong o-ring seals and nitrogen purging, allows it to be fog-proof and waterproof. Last but not the least, this first focal plane is a single 30mm tube which is not only shockproof but also rugged to withstand any impacts and recoils. This rifle scope is flawlessly applicable for 1000 yard shots, and the side parallax focus adjusts from 20 yards to infinity.

Is it suitable for you?-

Yes! Get ready to shoot! Vortex Optics Diamondback Tactical FFP Riflescope is easy on the budget but has high-end features and is easy to install and use. Also, it has easy adjustments and is versatile and precise with high resolution and durability. Therefore, it feels safe nice about using a scope that is ready to use for rough and tough purposes. This scope is a good buy for beginners as well as experienced shooters in terms of the best 1000 yard rifle scope.


  • Long-range
  • Hard anodized finish
  • XD Lens elements present
  • Precision-Force Spring system
  • Precision-Glide Erector System
  • Pocket friendly
  • Shockproof
  • Fogproof
  • Has an extra-long fine center hair that does not allow obstruction of targets
  • Long 3.9” eye relief help in viewing through for a long duration
  • Using magnification is very easy 
  • Maintains clarity through 6-23X magnification.


  • Line 4There is a slight decrease in clarity at 24X but it is expected with any scope when maxed out.
  • Slight difficulty while shooting in low light.

2. Athlon Optics, Argos BTR, Riflescope

Athlon Optics, Argos BTR, Riflescope

Well, are you looking for more precision scopes? Here is a riflescope from Athlon Optics that has a first focal plane reticle that stays effective at all power settings. Hence, this FFP helps the shooter to use the reticle which is particularly designed such that it shrinks and grows simultaneously with the target as the shooter zooms in or out.

Furthermore, another positive feature is that the advanced fully multi-coated lenses aid the shooter to get better transmission of light and therefore allow optimum brightness and true color across the whole spectrum of light.

Similar to any other riflescope, the reticle etched on the glass provides great durability. Not only does this reticle offers excellent backing support for complex reticle design but also much higher shock resistance to recoil.

Unlike nitrogen purging in Diamondback tactical FFP riflescope, in this Argon purging is present which makes the stability better in terms of waterproofing and thermally. Athlon first focal plane scopes are a force to reckon with as it is made of an aircraft-grade aluminum tube that has strength and integrity of exceptional quality. This is the best FFP scope in terms of quality, durability, reliability, and function at a cost that most people can manage.

Is it suitable for you?-

Let’s find out! For people who desire to own one of the scopes from the Precision Rifle Series (PRS), well check out this Argos BTR riflescope. This FFP scope is the perfect first focal plane scope for a trainee to familiarise himself with long range and tactical shooting. The shooter is able to assess the distance with the reticle to target splendidly.


  • Reticles shrink and grow with zooming of the target
  • Quick target engagement
  • Has illuminated reticle which provides greater visibility during low visibility
  • Shock resistant
  • Fog-proof and waterproof
  • Has fully multicoated optics providing a brighter image
  • This riflescope has a heat-treated one-piece tube which provides extra strength over multi-piece tubes.
  • Argon purged
  • Long-range riflescope


  • The clicks are barely audible.
  • The scope is slightly heavy at 0.45 Kg

3. Primary Arms SLX 4-14x44mm FFP Rifle Scope

Primary Arms SLX 4-14x44mm FFP Rifle Scope

Next comes FFP scope from Primary Arms, under the range of $500. This riflescope makes use of SLx optics to its core and it is the most cost-effective option. Like Athlon Optics, Argos BTR, Riflescope, this FFP riflescope has a reticle that is functional through the entire magnification range. This is advantageous for all types of consumers like hunters, marksman, and competitors everywhere.

Not only this, the construction itself for this FFP scope is quite rugged. It’s as strong as a “tank” which contributes to its popularity. In addition, this rough, tough, and advanced first focal plane scope incorporates ACSS HUD DMR .308 reticle which offers advanced features like targeting moving objects at 600 yards and bullet drop out to 1000 yards. It helps to engage close-in targets quickly due to an illuminated horseshoe and center chevron present.

What more, you ask? Well no need to do the math, you just need to range, hold and take that perfect shot. The FFP scope the best option because it is waterproof, shockproof, and fog proof, but the shooter is also able to hear and count the clicks for precision shooting. 

Is it suitable for you?-

If you have a moving target to aim at, then this is the perfect ffp scope without any hassle. Best used for tactical shooting and AR platform.


  • Cost effective
  • Effective zoom
  • Field of view is good
  • Illuminated horseshoe reticle
  • Shock resistant, waterproof and fog proof
  • 6-illumination settings powered by a common CR2032 battery
  • Exposed tactical-style turrets with Zero-Reset is present
  • Presence of 30mm tube that is compatible with different types of rings and mounts
  • Nitrogen purged


  • Sometimes clarity is not good for shooting beyond 800 yards
  • Limitations if different types of bullets of varying weights or different velocities are used

4. Nikon Monarch 3 SF FFP M BDC Rifle Scopes

Nikon Monarch 3 SF FFP M BDC Rifle Scopes

Another best first focal plane scope is the Nikon’s Monarch 3 riflescope with the BDC distance lock function. The optical system located in ffp scope allows viewing throughout the zoom range and helps to maintain the scale and distance proportion on a target.

Moreover, the BDC reticles help to compensate for bullet drop at long ranges. The hand-turn reticle adjustments and zero-reset turrets with loaded springs make this scope easy to use.

It has a fully multicoated optical system that allows superior viewing of pictures in low light. This rifle scope has a comfortable eye relief of 4-3.7 in. Not only it has a smooth zoom, but it is also nitrogen purged.

The O-ring seal first focal plane ffp is for efficient waterproofing, fog proofing, and shockproof performance. Similar to all Nikon’s riflescopes, this ffp scope is optimized for use with Nikon Spot On Ballistic Match Technology which allows the shooters with precise aiming points on the BDC reticle for any ammunition at a specified range.

Is it suitable for you?-

It is a useful option if want fast acquisition and precise target hold. It is a great long range scope as well!


  • Spot On technology used in this ffp scope is free online and is free for devices like mobile, iphone, ipad and other android devices.
  • Crystal clear optics
  • Long range rifle scope
  • FFP reticle is clear at all magnifications
  • Well built
  • Scope for the money


  • BDC reticle is too fine for hunting purposes
  • Difficult to see the crosshairs at low light

5. Nikon Prostaff 5 4.5-18X40SF FFP M BDC

Nikon Prostaff 5 4.5-18X40SF FFP M BDC

Here’s a hunting scope for all shooters! Nikon Prostaff 5 series has an ffp scope for any type of hunting application. This advantage can be attributed to its wide variety of magnification ranges, reticles, and scope finishes.

The optical system for this first focal plane ffp helps up to 95% light transmission due to multicoated optical glass. Moreover, as this is a long range FFP scope, hence it has side parallax adjustment that helps shooters to make adjustments without changing the shooting position.

To add to the advantages, this rifle scope is compatible with Nikon’s SpotOn custom turrets and therefore giving an advantage in the field.

Is it suitable for you?-

It is a must-buy for hunters!


  • Cost effectiveA fully multicoated optical system
  • It has 4 in constant eye relief
  • 4X zoom technology included at an affordable cost
  • Spring-loaded instant zero-reset turrets
  • Waterproof, fog proof, shockproof
  • It has quick focus eyepiece
  • Made from Aircraft-grade Aluminum alloyCost effective


  • BDCAt 18X crosshairs might take time for precision shooting.
  • 1/8 in per click at 100 yards is not practical

6. Athlon Optics Talos BTR 4-14×44 First Focal Plane Riflescope

Athlon Optics Talos BTR 4-14x44 First Focal Plane Riflescope

This Talos BTR riflescope is a good option for beginners for competitive and tactical shooting purposes. This FFP scope is best for low light shooting with a multi-coated lenses for clarity and brightness.

Additionally, this scope has heat-treated one-piece tube construction which helps to keep the riflescope fog proof. It also has FFP etched glass reticle that scales as the shooter zooms in and out. Not only does this first focal plane scope has 10 yards to infinity side focus parallax adjustment, it also has 27.2-7.9 feet field of view at 100 yards with 3.23-3.15 in eye relief.

Is it suitable for you?-

This riflescope is a good option for use in tough terrain and low light ambient environment.


  • Hunters using in the low light environment due to the illuminated reticle
  • A good option for everyday hunting
  • 4X magnification range
  • Waterproof, shockproof, fog proof
  • Nitrogen purged
  • Quick target engagement


  • It has a stiff illumination knob


How to choose the best Riflescope?

  • Interest: There is a number of scopes available to choose from, and uses can vary based on your interests. For example, for hitting targets, hunting, or self-defense.
  • Target distance: Another thing to consider is the distance of the target. Moreover, the magnification of the scope has to be considered too. For instance, targets below 10X are good for off-hand shooting. The shooter could choose a fixed scope for cost-effectiveness and variability could be chosen for greater range.
  • Shooting environment: Another point to consider is the environment where the riflescope will be used; like in extreme heat, moisture, humidity etc.
  • Amount of Light: Consider the amount of light that the lens lets in. For example, larger objective zoom diameters allow more light into the scope.
  • Eye relief: You should also look for better eye- relief in higher quality scopes.
  • Parallax corrections: This is a must feature to add consistency and precision of shots.
  • Other features to consider are- lens coatings, scope reticles, windage and elevation turrets, and eye relief.


An FFP is where the reticle’s size adjustsas the shooter change magnifications. On the other hand, a second focal plane (SFP) reticle’s size remains the samedespite what magnification the shooter uses. Therefore, the shooter should opt for FFP scope for long-range purposes, else SFP.

What are the advantages/benefits of riflescope?

A riflescope helps to improve accuracy, increases rifle range, and improves scores for longer shots. The important advantage is that it boosts self-confidence by helping the owner become good and sharpshooter.

Things to look for/attributes that differentiate these products

Riflescopes are used for hunting, tactical and target purposes. Hunting scopes for instance have lower magnification generally and have SFP.

Tactical scopes have uncapped turrets and have FFP. Target scopes are generally meant for precision shooting. In addition, if you have a hunting scope with a really high magnification you could still use it for target shooting but it is not advisable. In contrast, tactical scopes are restricted only to tactical shooting because of the high magnification and the thin reticle.

Prerequisites/precautions for using a riflescope

  • The equipment used for mounting scopes needs to be of good quality for precise accuracy
  • The reticle and eye relief needs to be adjusted and aligned
  • It is necessary that the shooter forms a good sight picture
  • Using the right scope for the right rifle is important


In conclusion, all the above mentioned FFP Riflescopes are easy on the budget but has high-end features and is easy to install and use. Also, they are versatile and precise with high resolution and durability. Therefore, it feels safe and nice about using a scope that is ready to use for rough and tough purposes.

Athlon Optics Talos BTR 4-14×44 First Focal Plane Riflescope makes an awesome buy for beginners as well for shooters with experience. This FFP is a good option as it is suitable for hunting as well as tactical shooting in comparison to other riflescopes in this range of under $500. The scope even functions in low visibility environment with a variable zoom range. The durability of this First focal plane scope is of the highest order. 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.