Video: Primer on First and Second Focal Plane Scopes

Video: Primer on First and Second Focal Plane Scopes

Really, there is no shooting accessory that swims in more intricacies than scopes. Even the simplest examples of indispensible devices have a number of concepts that must be grasped to get the most out of them. More and more, a facet that has confronted shooters is choosing between a first and second focal plane scope. Mechanically speaking, the difference is purely where the reticle is located in the erector lens assembly. If it’s in front of the assembly, toward the objective lens, then the reticle is on the first focal plane; if it’s at the rear, toward the eyepiece then it’s on second focal plane. It’s a pretty simple concept, but as the above video from Vortex Optics shows it has a huge impact on how variable-power scopes operate. And if you are in the market for an optic, it is most definitely an aspect of which you’ll want a firm grasp. Each has its pros and cons, of which shooters should carefully weigh before dropping hard-earned cash on an accessory that can cost a small fortune.


Next Step: Get your FREE Printable Target Pack

Enhance your shooting precision with our 62 MOA Targets, perfect for rifles and handguns. Crafted in collaboration with Storm Tactical for accuracy and versatility.

Subscribe to the Gun Digest email newsletter and get your downloadable target pack sent straight to your inbox. Stay updated with the latest firearms info in the industry.

Previous article Colt Brings Back Limited Run of Model 1903 Hammerless
Next article Hardware Issues and Concealed Carry – Part II
Elwood Shelton is the Digital Editor for Gun Digest. He lives in Colorado and has provided coverage on a vast spectrum of topics for GD for more than a decade. Before that, he was an award-winning sports and outdoors reporter for a number of newspapers across the Rocky Mountains. His experience has consisted of covering the spread of chronic wasting disease into the Western Slope of Colorado to the state’s ranching for wildlife programs. His passion for shooting began at a young age, fostered on pheasant hunts with his father. Since then, he has become an accomplished handloader, long-range shooter and avid hunter—particularly mule deer and any low-down, dirty varmint that comes into his crosshairs. He is a regular contributor to Gun Digest Magazine and has contributed to various books on guns and shooting, most recently Lever-Actions: A Tribute to the All-American Rifle.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.