What’s The Difference – First Focal Plane Vs Second Focal Plane
What is the difference between First Focal Plane and Second Focal Plane? Learn about the differences between the two from our expert Jerimiah Alexander on this episode of Riton University.
Alright guys, welcome back to Riton University, we’re doing our 101 lesson on first focal plane and second focal plane, you guys are gonna hear these terms a lot when you’re picking a scope, it’s going to be nice to know what they mean. And so that you can pick the right scope for your application.
Let’s talk about first focal plane, this is a hot one right now that everybody’s using, and I’m going to tell you why it’s a hot one that everybody’s using.
First focal plane scope means that my reticle inside of my scope is going to get bigger and smaller with my magnification.
So what that means is, if my target is getting bigger, so is my reticle, if my target is getting smaller, as I decrease magnification, my reticle is getting smaller.
Well, what’s the point? Right? Why, why is that important?
That’s important, because all those little hash marks, tick marks, dots inside of my radical are important measuring devices. And since that reticle stays in relationship to the target, whatever those sub tensions are, they’re going to be the same at 4 power as they are at 20 power. So that’s a pretty nice thing to have.
Downsides, it does get big, if you’re shooting long distance, you know, your reticle’s getting bigger as your target gets bigger, there could be field of view issue could clog up your vision a little bit.
So second focal plane, let’s talk about that.
Second focal plane is the opposite.
So my reticle is not going to change in size or relationship to my target. upside to that as it stays nice and thin and crisp. Which I like for long range shooting, I love a nice, thin, crisp, reticle.
Potential downsides, in my opinion, mainly for hunters. I worry because here’s what happens with a second focal plane scope.
Let’s say that there’s two minute of angle hashmarks, inside of my 4-20 hunting scope. Well, whenever we list sub tensions, or anyone list sub tensions, it’s on highest power, so it’s on 20 power. So we’ve got two MOA sub tensions on 20 power. Well, what happens if I don’t need 20 power and I’m on 10 power, because I need to back down that magnification while I’m out hunting. Well, what is going to happen is, those 2 MOA hash marks are now 4 MOA hash marks, and it’s gonna work. As my magnification decreases, both sub tensions are going to get bigger and bigger in that fashion.
This is important to know because if you think you have a two minute of angle hashmark, but you’re on 10 power, and it’s a four you could potentially Miss.
So it is good to know what kind of focal plane scope that you’re picking and those are the reasons why.