Skip to main content

SHOT SHOW 2016: Nikon Focal Plane Reticles

Nikon is bringing the versatile second-focal plane reticle placement to several new models of riflescopes.

SHOT SHOW 2016: Nikon Focal Plane Reticles

To date, you won't find a Nikon riflescope with its reticle on the first-focal plane. But, with a new announcement by Nikon at SHOT Show 2016, they're bringing the versatile second-focal plane reticle placement to several new models of riflescope. This year, Monarch 3 scopes in 3-12x42, 4-6x42 and 4-16x50 will have a first-focal plane option. ProStaff 5 scopes in 3.5-14x40, 3.5-14x50 and 4.5-18x40 will have first-focal plane reticles.

BDC reticle fans saw first hand at SHOT SHOW 2016 that you can now get the full function of drop-compensation in the Nikon Monarch 3 and ProStaff 5 lines.

Maybe that's not earth-shattering news to some, but to those who know and love Nikon's Ballistic Drop Compensation, or BDC, reticle system, it's huge. Now you can use the reticle at any magnification and the reticle will tell you how much the bullet will drop at any distance on any magnification.

In the past, when you set up your variable-magnification scope using BDC reticles for drop-compensation, you had to keep it at one magnification level for the reticle to be accurate at varying distances; the old second-focal plane designs limited the usefulness of the reticle.

Imagine long-range hunting for whitetails, and you see a Boone & Crockett buck at 225 yards. With your old Pro Staff 5 2.5-10x40, you'd know that you'd have to put the magnification to, say, 7.5X in order to have the drop-compensating reticle be accurate. But what if you wanted the extra power of the 10X magnification? You'd be on your own.

The reticle would not indicate where the bullet would drop. You would need to keep it at 7.5X for the system to work. That's the way it is with all second-focal plane, also called rear-focal plane, scopes.

Thankfully, Nikon is upping their game in this area. It only makes sense, too. The company has been at the vanguard of drop-compensating reticle designs, as well as online ballistic calculators with their Spot On site ( and affordable Spot On wind meters.

Nikon Focal Plane Reticle at SHOT Show 2016

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

Recommended Articles

Recent Videos

Sometimes you have to fish a bait that allows you to cover a lot of water efficiently. When you're on the search for bass that have moved into deeper water off the bank and away from obvious holding spots, a swimbait can locate them.

On the Search with Swimbaits

One of the best imitations of a wounded baitfish is the soft-plastic jerkbait, or fluke. A fluke darting just beneath the surface can be too much for a bass to resist. Rig it and fish it according to water conditions and cover to make this great bait even more effective.

Fun with Flukes

There are three models in SPRO's Outsider crankbait series: 55 (runs 3-4 feet), 60 (7-9) and 80 (19-21). Professional bass angler Jonathan Kelley goes over the specifics at ICAST 2022 in Orlando.

SPRO's New Outsider Crankbait Series: First Look

Professional bass angler Jonathan Kelley highlights the features of SPRO's new lures at ICAST 2022 in Orlando.

New Essential Series Spinnerbaits and Buzzbaits from SPRO

Syd Ribes with Sea Falcon highlights four new lures for saltwater fishing. At ICAST 2022 in Orlando.

New Lineup of Lures from Sea Falcon

Syd Ribes highlights two new saltwater lures from SPRO: Flutter Tail Shrimp and Cannon Ball Jig. At ICAST 2022 in Orlando.

New Saltwater Lures from SPRO

AFTCO's Matt Florentino highlights the features of the new Barricade cold-weather suit, a Best of Category winner at ICAST 2022 in Orlando. With Game & Fish's Adam Heggenstaller.

New from AFTCO: Barricade Cold Weather Tactical Gear

Three-time ICAST Best of Category winner Bubba covers it all with new knives set. With Bubba's Matt Kinamore and Game & Fish's  Adam Heggenstaller at ICAST 2022 in Orlando.

4-in-1 Bubba Multi Flex Cutlery Kit

The innovative landing net will weigh and measure your catch while it's still in the net. Best of Category winner at ICAST 2022. With Game & Fish's Adam Heggenstaller.

Award-Winning Frabill Witness Net 'Keeps You Honest'

Game & Fish Magazine Covers Print and Tablet Versions

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


Buy Digital Single Issues

Magazine App Logo

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

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Game & Fish App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

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

Get the top Game & Fish stories delivered right to your inbox every week.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Game & Fish 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 and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Enjoying What You're Reading?

Get a Full Year
of Guns & Ammo
& Digital Access.

Offer only for new subscribers.

Subscribe Now