Best FFP Scope Under $500 – Top 7 Rifle Reviewed


If you enjoy the sound of a ring of steel when hunting, or perhaps you have become interested in long-range shooting. Then an FFP reticle is just what you need. Many hunters are more interested in making use of holdovers during the whole magnification range, and this type of reticle is the most ideal choice.

Hey there! My name is Collins, I am a writer an editor and a big fan of hunting. I have been hunting since I was a teenager and I have spent some serious time switching between First Focal Planes (FFP Scopes) and Second Focal Planes (SFP Scopes). The FFP scopes are rapidly gaining favor amongst hunters who are interested in taking long-range shots during their hunting adventures.

Today’s market is saturated with a wide range of FFP scopes and selecting the best one at an affordable price could prove to be a hard task. That is why I have dedicated some time to list down the best FFP scopes in the industry that are worth your money. I have also highlighted their main features and advantages giving you the chance to select the best fit for you.

Best FFP Scope Under $500 – Comparison Table 

Objective Lens 
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The Counterpunch FFP Varmint Riflescope from TAC Vector Optics
6 – 25x
The Argos BTR GEN2 from Athlon Optics
6 – 24x
The SLX FFP Rifle Scope from Primary Arms
The Optics, Drop Zone BDC Reticle Riflescope from Bushnell
The Prostaff 5 from Nikon
The Monarch 3 BDC Riflescope from Nikon
The Optics Diamondback Tactical First Focal Plane from Vortex

Best FFP Scope Under $500 – Comparison Overview

The Counterpunch FFP Varmint Riflescope from TAC Vector Optics

Most of the scopes in the market are designed with the reticle placed in the double focal plane, which is near the eyepiece. The Counterpunch FFP Varmint model, however, has its reticle fitted in the first focal plane. The reticle functions perfectly increasing the length of the rifle. Users can easily modify the magnification from low to high levels.

A great feature when it comes to using the Mil-dot and the telemetric reticles range finder is that the distance between dots as well as the object image maintains its stability even when modifying the magnification. The dominant military suppliers now commonly use this structure.

This rifle is a great option for all kinds of shooters and hunters. The scope turrets are very appropriate and work well at trailing your target even when at a long distance. This riflescope is designed to maintain consistency even as the magnification is altered. The scope of this rifle ensures that the user is very satisfied while using it.


  • It is available at an affordable price
  • The rifle’s clarity is amazing
  • The rifle is light in weight and small
  • Great relief for your eyes
  • Functions with a very high power


  • A few hunters have complained about the reticle circles

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The Argos BTR GEN2 from Athlon Optics

The Argos BTR GEN2 scope is designed with a side parallax adjustment function that gives users the chance to easily modify any features by simply using your fingertips. The first focal plane works well in providing you with a simple elevation and windage adjustment system.

With this product users are guaranteed that there is no chance of dealing with any kind of faults. If your device is weakened through any kind of ordinary use, the Athlon industry can also replace or improve it without charging you.

This scope makes use of a glass etched reticle that is defined. This allows users to maintain focus on the target and precisely make a shot all the time. The scope works well, supporting you as you target your prey by focusing on or out. Other than that, there is a locking element. Another great feature is that it is waterproof, meaning that it is the best option even when hunting in wet weather conditions.


  • Available at under $500
  • Users are provided with a wide vision field
  • The adjustment limits are great
  • Makes use of Argon gas
  • Makes use of FFP reticle


  • There is no option of a zero stop
  • The customer service is not the best
Athlon Optics Argos BTR GEN2 6-24x50 Riflescope - APMR FFP IR MIL, Black
  • 0.1 MIL Click Value, 18 MIL Total Adjustment, 10 yards to infinity Parallax adjustment
  • First focal plane reticle stays valid at all power settings allowing you to fully utilize the specially...
  • Fully Multicoated optics effectively reduces reflected light and increases the transmission of light...
  • Precision Zero Stop system allows you to lock down your zero position and dial back to it with a sharp...

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The SLX FFP Rifle Scope from Primary Arms

This SLX FFP Scope model from Primary Arms has the parallax mounted to the side to modify the knob, ensuring that the reticle parallax is free. This ensures that the object image is sharp.

This reticle is specifically tuned for public use providing users with an extraordinary length of great features in a clean and simple model. To increase the brightness levels, this reticle is powered with a battery. The manufacturing industry designed a tactical rifle scope. The aircraft-grade has an aluminum frame and a main pipeline system of 30mm. These are compatible with the tactical rifle scope.

If you like to count your clicks then you will benefit from the MIL turrets that can correctly keep track by using the full 17.5 MIL adjustment line. Users can also make use of the hard duty system and the clear glass.


  • The eye box is ideal
  • The clear glasses are very clear
  • The customer service is great
  • Comes with a .308 reticle


  • It does not come with caps
  • In dark settings the reticle tins
Primary Arms SLX 4-14x44mm FFP Rifle Scope - Illuminated ACSS-HUD-DMR-308
  • Variable 4-14x magnification first focal plane scope features the ACSS HUD DMR reticle for .308/some .223...
  • ACSS HUD DMR combines wind leads, ranging, BDC and a MIL-ranging system into a clean, intuitive design
  • Partial red illumination with 5 brightness settings powered by a common CR2032 battery
  • Waterproof, fog resistant and shockproof with a 6063-aluminum scope body and matte black finish

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The Optics, Drop Zone BDC Reticle Riflescope from Bushnell

This model is designed with amazing scope for the AR carbine platform. The optics are very clear with an amazing field view even at a setting of 4x. The reticle is illuminated when the setting is shorter. The CQB sight is used like a red dot and it is excellent. The click adjustments have a little sport but this is nothing to worry about.

The optics of this riflescope provide you with a ballistic calibrated reticle that is illuminated. The BDC provides users with an adequate amount of spacing that can target up to 600 meters. The reticle is caliber specific ensuring that every bend is accurate. To ensure that you benefit from a maximum level of adaptability and accuracy, there is the fully multi-coated optics that increase the brilliance and tight focus. This rifle is nitrogen purged and sealed with an O-ring. This ensures that it remains resistant to wet weather conditions and foggy issues.


  • It is affordable
  • The lenses caps are very tough
  • The turrets are user-friendly


  • The reticle is a bit small
  • Not compatible with extra-low rings

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The Prostaff 5 from Nikon

The Prostaff 5 model is a helpful tool for hunters. It is one of the best scopes designed from the Nikon manufacturing industry. The scope is not meant for the limited targets but it is best for the big targets. The optical system is great with an amazing hand-turn adjustment. The turrets are reset to zero and are spring-loaded. The eye-piece can maintain a ready focus with a zoom ratio of 4x. These settings make the adjustment process easy.

To ensure that the light delivery is at a maximum level the riflescope comes with fully multi-coated optics that work well in low light conditions. With the Nikon Prostaff model, you are assured of efficiency, endurance, precision, and great capacity. Users are provided with a 3.5 – 14x magnification ensuring that you can benefit from a great sense of the expected size of the target. This is an ideal choice for serious hunters who comprehend the presentation and optical quality.


  • The dispersion glass light transmittance is quite low
  • The lenses are multi-coated
  • The magnification changes system is smooth
  • Comes with a parallax knob on the side.


  • No cons
Nikon Prostaff 5 4.5-18X40SF FFP M BDC
  • With the new BDC distance lock function that keeps everything in the first focal plane, the aiming points...
  • Hand-turn reticle adjustments with Spring-Loaded instant zero-reset turrets
  • Multiple layers of anti-reflective compounds on every Glass surface provide bright, vivid sight pictures...

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The Monarch 3 BDC Riflescope from Nikon

The Monarch 3 BDC model is designed with an optical system in the first focal plane. This ensures that the riflescope can maintain the distance scale and the mount on a target throughout the full zoom range. This riflescope has a BDC lock-feature that is great especially for those who are used to the Spot On Ballistic Program from Nikon.

Each of the glass surfaces of this rifle is designed with multiple layers of anti-reflective compounds. This ensures that the pictures seen are efficient and sharp. The light transmission should be quite low, from dawn to dusk. To reduce the number of modifications needed while on the field, the riflescope is manufactured with a Spring Loaded Instant Zero-Reset turrent. This is great as you are provided with a smooth zoom command, a great eye relief and the rifle is O-ring sealed meaning that it is resistant to water and other external factors such as fog and shock.


  • The Sight Picture is amazing
  • Durable and resistant to water
  • The turrets are user friendly
  • The BDC Reticle allows for an easy target following


  • The adjustment knobs are not as precise when compared to other rifles
Nikon Monarch 3 BDC Riflescope, Black, 1-4x20
  • Featuring MONARCH 3 Eye Box Technology with 4-time zoom range and up to four Inch of eye relief
  • Adjustments are made easy with Spring-Loaded Instant Zero-Reset Turrets
  • A quick focus eyepiece allows the shooter to instantly bring the reticle into focus
  • Ultra ClearCoat Optical System for up to 95% light transmission

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The Optics Diamondback Tactical First Focal Plane from Vortex

Diamondback products are known to be very affordable and of high quality. This Optics Tactical First Focal Plane model has a long-ranging scope. it is of high-power and designed with amazing features. It is a very valuable rifle.

This model comes with hash marks that are well organized right at the front section of the focal plane. It is also etched with glass material. This is a nice and tactical feature appreciated by hunters because it makes the rifle unbreakable.

The tube body is 30mm providing you with a 65 MOA adjustment travel feature that can push you past 1000 yards. It is easy to see with the FFP reticle. The XD elements as well as the HD glass are of very high quality.


  • It is available at a very affordable price
  • Designed with an FFP reticle
  • The reticle is etched with glass
  • Of great power
  • The tube measures 30mm


  • Does not come with a zero stop

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Factors to Consider When Purchasing the Best FFP Scope Under $500 

Your Budget  

The amount of money that you are willing to spend plays a major role when purchasing your FFP scope. It is important to purchase an excellent FFP scope that fits your price.

There are very many cheap products in the market that will not serve you well. They will not last for a very long time. There are also very many affordable FFP scopes in the market that are very valuable. Make sure that you can purchase a great scope with amazing features of very high quality that can support all the requirements that you need when shooting. Take some time to compare with different models and this will help you select the best option.

The Magnification  

The ideal magnification power when it comes to your FFP scope depends on what you will choose. If you will constantly be firing at a distance of fewer than 500 yards, the best option is to select a maximum magnification level of 12x.

If you often shoot at a distance that supersedes 500 yards, then the maximum magnification setting needs to be set at higher than 12x. When your scope is set at a very low power then it may get difficult to notice the crosshair. They may appear to be too thin and small. FFP scopes that are set at very high power are the most ideal for individuals firing at a long-range distance.

The Objective Lens  

A rifle scope that is designed with a large aim lens must be manufactured largely over the barrel and activity. There are some cases whereby such a system may compromise your ability to control a proper cheek weld. This decreases the thorough accuracy of your bullets. However, the weight and the size of the aim lenses usually affects the balance of the rifle.

The Minute of the Angle (MOA) vs the Milliradian (MRAD)

When positioned at 100 yards, 1 MOA corresponds to it; matching at around 1 inch. At 100 yards, however, 1 milliradian matches about 3.6 inches. A great advantage of the MOA system is that it is designed with adjustment increments that are very poor. This means that you can zero your scope. When compared, many shooters are attracted to the clarity that the MRAD system provides. It works just like a ruler.

The Resistance and Endurance of Your Scope. 

You do not have to be a skilled shooter to notice that you need to prioritize your scope. External factors such as the climatic conditions require that your rifle scopes be protected with O-rings as well as argon or nitrogen gasses in the cylinder.

These qualities ensure that your rifle scope is safeguarded from dealing with factors such as water and fog. Other than that, you should take a look at your tube’s external surfaces. Most of the rifle scopes in the market are designed with an anodized surface making them very stiff when compared to the more traditional rifle scopes

The Reticle Pattern of Your Rifle Scope.  

There are three major reticle patterns of your rifle scope.

The Duplex – The first is the Duplex. This is denoted by the very minute center crosshair that gets larger as the magnification turns up at the outer zone regions. Duplex is considered to be the most common reticle style. This is because of the evident pattern. The style of this reticle is a great fit for anyone shooting at a very large variation. It serves all your needs and specifications.

The Mildot – Mildot is closely related to the Duplex, however, there are two different variations. This reticle has crosshairs that come with a list of equally spaced dots. Shooters use these dots to evaluate the distance of your target. The dots work well in giving you the chance to make the required adjustments to the elevation settings and the windage.

The Bullet Drop Compensator (BDC) – Just as the name suggests, BDC allows shooters to fix for bullet drop without necessarily adapting to the scope elevation sites. When compared to the new types of reticle styles, the BDC provides you with some resilience and adaptability.


There are so many great FFP scopes in the market, however, when looking for the best choice worth your money, the options become limited. With this review, I hope that you have got a good understanding of the first focal scopes and you can select the best choice for your hunting adventures.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)  

  1. When it comes to long-range shooting, should I use FFP or SFP?  

If you are aggressive at firing further than 500 yards, then you will enjoy making use of a first focal plane scope. These types of scopes are designed with an MOA reticle or ideal mil-dot adjustments. The range of zoom levels is excellent and they help you make a precise shot ensuring that you are more comfortable and confident while shooting at a higher range distance.

  1. Why are FFP scopes more commonly designed with illuminated reticles? 

The major reason an FFP scope is fitted with an illuminated reticle is to ensure that you can view your target even when hunting in very low and less favorable lighting conditions. These reticles help the settings on an MOA reticle or a mil-dot stand out and appear clearly. There are a few individuals who prefer working with a non-illuminated reticle. It all depends on what you prefer.

  1. Are FFP reticles easy to run?  

FFP reticles are designed with a feature that makes it easy to adjust and to run. These types of scopes are very popular especially when it comes to long-range shooters. This is because of their techniques and the required features. Hunters who enjoy shooting at long range distances prefer these types of reticles because the power provided is ideal at all conditions.


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