Skip to main content

Scope Reticles and Focal Planes Explained

The first question any of us must answer when choosing a reticle is which end of the scope's magnification range we expect to use the most.

Scope Reticles and Focal Planes Explained
Where the shooter lives on the magnification ring determines which focal plane will be most useful. The rest of the reticle selection process relies on the shooter’s preference.

There are so many reticle choices these days that it can be difficult navigating through all the options. Not only must a shooter contend with choosing between first-focal-plane (FFP) reticles and second-focal-plane (SFP) reticles, they also have to choose between traditional crosshair and so-called “Christmas tree” or “holdover” models.

The first question any of us must ask ourselves when choosing a reticle is which end of the scope’s magnification range we expect to use the most. This is by far the most overlooked aspect of reticle selection, yet it drives the choice between FFP­ or SFP reticles.

The best guidelines when selecting a...

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

All About .300 Blackout

All About .300 Blackout

The .300 Blackout is here to stay, and we take some time to look at new technology surrounding this cartridge. Next, we pit subsonic rivals against each other before stretching the legs of this CQB round out to 600 yards from a short 9-inch barrel.

Tactical Solutions Introduces New X-Ring Takedown SBR Rifle

Tactical Solutions Introduces New X-Ring Takedown SBR Rifle

Keith Feeley of Tactical Solutions sat down with Michael Bane at SHOT Show 2018 to talk about the new X-Ring Takedown SBR .22LR rifle.

Delta 5 - Daniel Defense

Delta 5 - Daniel Defense's New Precision Bolt Action Rifle

Those looking to explore precision rifle shooting without going broke will be well served by Daniel Defense's new Delta 5.

Mossberg Patriot Predator 6.5 PRC Rifle Review

Mossberg Patriot Predator 6.5 PRC Rifle Review

RifleShooter Magazine editor Scott Rupp breaks down all the features of the Mossberg Patriot Predator rifle chambered in 6.5 PRC.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Some history and reloading recipes on five popular .17-caliber cartridges, including the .17 Ackley Hornet, .17 Hornady Hornet, .17 Mach IV, .17 Remington Fireball and .17 Remington..17-Caliber Reloading Data and History for 5 Cartridges Reloading

.17-Caliber Reloading Data and History for 5 Cartridges

Layne Simpson - June 05, 2019

Some history and reloading recipes on five popular .17-caliber cartridges, including the .17...

With the new Hunter rifle, Ruger takes its popular Ruger American rifle line to the next level.Ruger American Rifle Hunter Review Reviews

Ruger American Rifle Hunter Review

David M. Fortier - July 28, 2020

With the new Hunter rifle, Ruger takes its popular Ruger American rifle line to the next level.

Thompson/Center and S&W's Performance Center team up to build an entry-level long-range chassis rifle.Performance Center-Thompson/Center LRR Review Reviews

Performance Center-Thompson/Center LRR Review

Alfredo Rico - April 09, 2019

Thompson/Center and S&W's Performance Center team up to build an entry-level long-range...

SIG SAUER adds to its Elite Match ammo line with the 30-06 Springfield.New 30-06 Springfield Elite Match Ammo from SIG SAUER Ammo

New 30-06 Springfield Elite Match Ammo from SIG SAUER

Rifleshooter Online Editors - April 03, 2019

SIG SAUER adds to its Elite Match ammo line with the 30-06 Springfield.

See More Trending Articles

More Shooting Tips

 The ability to shoot running game is certainly a valuable skill for a hunter; here are some tips to take that toughest of all shotsRunning Shots: 5 Things to Consider Shooting Tips

Running Shots: 5 Things to Consider

Brad Fitzpatrick - June 12, 2012

The ability to shoot running game is certainly a valuable skill for a hunter; here are some...

Exploring areas of concern that are vital for anyone who wants to increase a rifle's accuracy.8 Proven Ways to Increase Rifle Accuracy Shooting Tips

8 Proven Ways to Increase Rifle Accuracy

Joseph von Benedikt - August 05, 2020

Exploring areas of concern that are vital for anyone who wants to increase a rifle's accuracy.

Extreme conditions will effect on your rifle and ammunition; while you can't always do anything about it, it's important to know what's happening.How Hunting Conditions and Weather Affect Rifle Performance Shooting Tips

How Hunting Conditions and Weather Affect Rifle Performance

Craig Boddington - September 27, 2013

Extreme conditions will effect on your rifle and ammunition; while you can't always do...

Making precise hits when shooting downhill and uphill has morphed from dark wizardry to science over the past several decades.Bullet Trajectory: Shooting Downhill and Uphill Shooting Tips

Bullet Trajectory: Shooting Downhill and Uphill

Joseph von Benedikt - November 14, 2015

Making precise hits when shooting downhill and uphill has morphed from dark wizardry to...

See More Shooting Tips

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the RifleShooter App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All RifleShooter subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now