Nikon Releases their BDC Reticle in First Focal Plane

Nikon has announced the release of their BDC reticle in the First Focal Plane. Touted as the “Distance Lock” function, the FFP scopes are now available across a variety of scopes with different capabilities.

Specifically, the FFP version of the Nikon BDC is available in the following optics:

  • MONARCH 3 3-12x42SF Matte BDC FFP
  • MONARCH 3 4-16x42SF Matte BDC FFP
  • MONARCH 3 4-16x50SF Matte BDC FFP
  • PROSTAFF 5 3.5-14x40SF  Matte BDC FFP
  • PROSTAFF 5 3.5-14x50SF Matte BDC FFP
  • PROSTAFF 5 4.5-18x40SF Matte BDC FFP

All the scopes feature Nikon’s fully multi-coated optics, 1/4 MOA adjustment (a nice touch), and a quick-focus eyepiece. All optics take full advantage of Nikon’s Spot-On ballistic application which at First Focal Plane means one does not have to be at maximum magnification to get the the benefits of the calculator.


My take? Its a nice addition to Nikon’s scope line (which I do own a privately purchased 3-9x with the reticle, but this is a classic example of when Marketing people get a little aggressive on branding. Having to call something as simple as First Focal Plane as a new branded function is going a bit over the top.

My interest in the marketing label aside, FFP is a great touch, especially at this price point. The basic ProStaff 3-12x optic is expected to retail for $359.95 with the top-end Monarch 4-16×50 looking for only $659.95


Nathan S

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


  • Nice!

  • Wayne or Garth


  • JumpIf NotZero

    BDC and a FFP that costs $360 retail… Getting what you pay for comes to mind.

    • MarkVShaney

      “Getting what you pay for comes to mind.” Yeah- a whole lot of marketing and overhead for what is essentially a $5 piece of glass.

  • Tom Currie

    If they were going to fake the photos supposedly showing the reticle at different magnifications, they should have either hired a graphics artist who understood what they wanted to show (so he could fake the pictures correctly) or at least had someone who understood the technology check the pictures before approving them for use. From the pictures that Nikon has used (as shown here) they have magically invented a scope with the reticle at neither first nor second focal plane but somehow about the 1.3 focal plane.

  • Bill

    I own multiple Nikon DSLRs and lenses. Why are their rifle scopes so cheap in comparison?

  • Eric B.

    BDC reticles LIE! They are set at a certain altitude, temperature and humidity level (collectively known as “Altitude Density”. Get far enough outside those parameters and the BDC reticles are useless.

    My Bushnell ERS G59 “Christmas tree” reticle is far better, albeit more costly – just about the same price as the entire Nikon scope.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      Anyone with a hour’s worth of precision rifle education can see why BDC is garbage. What’s more conceding is that Nikon’s entire line is BDC and people keep buying them!

      • Jwedel1231

        You know what they say about a fool and his money…

    • kcshooter

      A proper understanding of BDC reticles would help here, and especially would help you understand why they would be beneficial on a FFP reticle.
      Think of them as MOA markers rather than specific yardage markers.
      I do question the quality expected in a $360 MSRP FFP scope.

  • themonkey69

    I have three different Nikon BDC scopes. I have never had a problem with any of them. That being said There is no way in hell I would spend 3 or 4 thousand dollars on a scope like some of you clowns. Talk about a fool and his money.