Prism scopes, also known as prismatic scopes, utilize a prism in place of the series of lenses used in traditional riflescopes. These lightweight compact optics make them great options for hunting, home defense, and 3 Gun applications, where maneuverability and fast-target acquisition are a must.
Read on to learn more about what prism scopes are and what the best prism scope is for you.
If you don’t have time for the details, check out the list below for the best rated prism scopes:
- Trijicon ACOG 3.5×35
- Vortex Optics Spitfire 1x Prism Scope
- Sig Sauer Bravo3 Battle Sight 3×24
- Burris Tactical Prism Sight
- Athlon Optics Midas TSP4 Prism Scope
- Monstrum P332 Raven 3X Prism Scope
- Sightmark Wolfhound 3×24 HS-300 Prismatic Weapon Sight
- Sightmark Wolfhound 6×44 HS-223 Prismatic Weapon Sight
- UUQ Prism 4×32 Rifle Scope
- CCOP Outdoor Products Tactical Prism Scope
Table of Contents
- What is a Prism Scope?
- Prism Scope Benefits
- Disadvantages of Prism Scopes
- Best Prism Scope on the Market Reviews
- 1 Trijicon ACOG 3.5×35
- 2 Vortex Optics Spitfire 1x Prism Scope
- 3 Sig Sauer Bravo3 Battle Sight 3×24
- 4 Burris Tactical Prism Sight
- 5 Athlon Optics Midas TSP4 Prism Scope
- 6 Monstrum P332 Raven 3X Prism Scope
- 7 Sightmark Wolfhound 3×24 HS-300 Prismatic Weapon Sight
- 8 Sightmark Wolfhound 6×44 HS-223 Prismatic Weapon Sight
- 9 UUQ Prism 4×32 Rifle Scope
- 10 CCOP Outdoor Products Tactical Prism Scope
- Final Thoughts
What is a Prism Scope?
A traditional scope utilizes a series of lenses to focus and magnify distant targets. Because the heavy lenses must be positioned in a line, regular scopes, especially models with powerful magnification, can be bulky and heavy. The design detracts from your weapon’s maneuverability.
Prism scopes swap out that long line of lenses and use a prism to magnify the target. This design results in a shorter, lighter, more compact optic.
The design has one drawback: limited magnification power. Prism scopes only offer fixed magnification, usually under 6x.
Thanks to their compact size, etched reticle, and magnification, prism scopes are an excellent option for the AR-15 platform and other modern sporting rifles. They also work well on carbines and shotguns.
Prism Scope Benefits
Prism scopes offer an array of benefits. Here are just a few perks to using one of these fixed power optics.
Unlike red dot sights, prism scopes offer low level magnification. The magnification of a prism scope is usually ranges between 1x and 6x. Although prism scopes are not suitable for long-range shooting, they will help shooters gain a better sight picture and increase precision on mid-range targets.
Prism scopes have the reticle etched right into the glass. This is an important feature for shooters who don’t want to depend on battery-powered illumination. The design guarantees your reticle is always visible, even when the batteries lose power. If the battery fails on illuminated prism scopes, you will always have the etched reticle to fall back on.
Compared to red dot optics, prism scopes provide a brighter, sharper sight picture. A brighter image makes target identification a more straightforward process and target acquisition much faster.
The prism design takes less space to achieve magnification. This makes prism scopes lighter and more compact than traditional optics. If you’re running an AR-15 or AR-10, a prism scope can save you tons of rail space. Extra rail space means you can easily mount other accessories.
Good for Astigmatism
Shooters with astigmatism usually have a difficult time running a red dot. This common vision deficiency can cause red dot reticles to be blurry and unfocused, creating serious issues with shooting speed and accuracy.
The illuminated, etched glass reticle of a prism scope can usually be adjusted to suit your individual vision, providing a crisp, clear sight picture and aiming point.
Disadvantages of Prism Scopes
Unfortunately, there are no perfect optics in the shooting world. Every type of optic has some drawbacks, and prism scopes are no different. Let’s take a look at the main drawbacks.
Prism scopes, unlike red dots, do not allow for co-witnessing, co-witnessing, or aligning iron sights.
Short Eye Relief
Prism scopes have shorter eye relief than red dot sights. This can pose a problem for shooters using a heavy-recoiling firearm that requires long eye relief.
A prism scope has the same issues with parallax that a normal riflescope has. Most prism scopes are set to be parallax free at a fixed distance. This means a prism scope isn’t as forgiving as a red dot in regard to head and eye position.
Best Prism Scope on the Market Reviews
Here are just a few of our favorite prism scopes. We’ve tried to include something for every budget and shooting application.
1 Trijicon ACOG 3.5×35
When it comes to prism scopes, Trijicon sets the gold standard with the Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight, more commonly known as the ACOG. These indestructible prism scopes have charged onto battlefields around the globe. Literally bombproof, the ACOG features a tough-as-nails housing forged from 7075-T6 aircraft-aluminum-alloy.
The Trijicon ACOG is designed for “both eyes open shooting”. Also called the Bindon Aiming Concept, this method of shooting preserves peripheral vision and maximizes situational awareness, both of which are major assets in combat applications.
Designed with superb, crystal clear optics, the ACOG also features Trijicon’s unique, battery-free illumination. The reticle glows during the day using fiber optic technology to enhance visibility in bright lighting conditions. In low light environments, the ACOG switches tritium phosphor radiance. Because the optic doesn’t use batteries, you never need to worry about losing power in the field.
The only major drawback to the Trijicon ACOG is its price. This is by far the most expensive optic on our list. However, if you want the best of the best and have some cash to spare, this is the prism scope you’ll want mounted on your firearm.
2 Vortex Optics Spitfire 1x Prism Scope
The Spitfire 1x from Vortex Optics was built for fast-action, close- to medium-range shooting. Lightweight and insanely durable, the Spitfire is also crammed with tons of cool, high-tech features.
The Spitfire is made with a unique DRT reticle, which works to draw the eye into instant alignment with your target. The reticle is etched directly on the prism. This design ensures a consistent point of aim, even without illumination. The optic also has ten brightness intensity levels to optimize reticle visibility in any lighting condition.
The Spitfire also features a fast focus eyepiece and fully multi-coated lenses.
3 Sig Sauer Bravo3 Battle Sight 3×24
Designed specifically for AR platform rifles, the Sig Sauer Bravo3 is compact, ultra lightweight, and offers a massive field of view (FOV). Nearly 42 percent wider than the competition, the Bravo3’s FOV provides a distortion-free sight picture with astonishing edge-to-edge clarity. Sig accomplishes this by using premium low dispersion (LD) glass and a unique aspherical lens design.
The optic weighs less than 22 ounces and measures just 9 inches long. However, you shouldn’t let its miniature size fool you. This optic is built like a tank. It features a tough magnesium housing and is o-ring sealed to prevent internal fogging and offer reliable waterproof performance.
Sig offers the Bravo3 with a 5.56/7.62 horseshoe dot reticle or a reticle calibrated for .300 Blackout.
4 Burris Tactical Prism Sight
If your main firearm is an AR-15 chambered in 5.56, then the Burris Tactical Prism Sight is perfect for you. The compact size and premium clarity make this an ideal accessory for any modern sporting rifle. With lightning fast target acquisition, this optic performs well for competition, hunting, law enforcement and military applications.
When powered on, the Ballistic CQ reticle can be illuminated in either red or green at 10 different brightness settings. When powered off, the glass-etched reticle is a sharp, contrasting black.
5 Athlon Optics Midas TSP4 Prism Scope
If you need or want even less magnification, look no further than the Midas TSP4 from Athlon Optics. This prism scope features 1x magnification. That true 1x helps keep the Midas extremely compact and lightweight. Measuring only 5.7 inches long and 2.5 inches tall, this scope weighs only 16 ounces, making it one of the smallest optics on our list.
Fogproof, shockproof, and waterproof, the Midas TSP4 can stand up to even the roughest recoil and toughest conditions.
6 Monstrum P332 Raven 3X Prism Scope
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better prism scope for the money than the P332 Raven from Monstrum. This sleekly designed and extremely durable prism scope features 3x magnification, a lightweight 6061 aluminum body, and a glass-etched illuminated reticle. The body is machined from a single piece of aluminum. That means it can stand up to even the toughest recoil making it ideal for the AK-47 or an AR-15 chambered in 300 Blackout.
The multi-coated quartz lenses reduce glare and enhance light transmission. An anodized outer coating makes the P332 Raven one of the most durable and affordable prism scopes on the market today.
7 Sightmark Wolfhound 3×24 HS-300 Prismatic Weapon Sight
Specifically calibrated for both subsonic and supersonic 300 Blackout loads, the Wolfhound HS-300 from Sightmark is ideal for hunting, 3-gun competitions, and general target shooting purposes.
Constructed from a single piece of 6061-T6 aluminum, the scope is coated in impact-resistant rubber armor, making this optic extremely durable. The Wolfhound HS-300 has an IP68 waterproof rating, making it fully submersible. It is also fogproof, shockproof, and dustproof.
The Wolfhound HS-300 features fully multi-coated, scratch-resistant optics that provide excellent light transmission. The reticle can be illuminated in either red or green for maximum visibility. The optic also has a built-in aluminum Picatinny rail for quick and easy mounting. Coming in at under $200, the Wolfhound HS-300 offers great value for the money.
8 Sightmark Wolfhound 6×44 HS-223 Prismatic Weapon Sight
Another prism scope offering from Sightmark, the Wolfhound 6×44 HS-223 is similar to the other Wolfhound on this list. However, this one offers twice the magnification. It also has a larger objective for better light transmission, especially in low light conditions.
This version of the Wolfhound is also ballistically calibrated to 55 and 62 grain .223 Remington loads.
With the same outstanding features of the Wolfhound HS-300, this prism scope is a great option for shooters who prefer the .223 but need a little extra magnification.
The Wolfhound HS-223 features a top rail for easy attachment of lights, lasers, and other accessories. This optic has 2.83 inches of eye relief, which provides a comfortable shooting position.
9 UUQ Prism 4×32 Rifle Scope
The UUQ Prism 4×32 rifle scope features both prism style optic with a glass-etched reticle and a fiber optic top sight. Shooters have the option of using the three color illuminated reticle when the situation calls for it, or they can switch to the top sight for faster shooting situations or when 4x magnification is overkill.
This prism scope has 4x fixed magnification and a 32mm objective diameter. The UUQ prism scope features fully multi-coated optics for crisp image clarity.
This one also excels when it comes to durability and reliability. The main housing is nitrogen filled, making it completely fogproof and rainproof.
The optic easily mounts on any 20mm Weaver or ⅜” dovetail rail.
10 CCOP Outdoor Products Tactical Prism Scope
The Tactical Prism Scope from C&C Outdoor Products is a handy option for budget-conscious shooters. With a price tag under $200, this quality optic is a solid option that won’t hurt your wallet.
C&C’s Tactical Prism Scope measures only 4.68 inches in length, so it won’t take up a lot of rail real estate. The 2.5x magnification level makes this model an excellent option for mounting on a hunting or home defense shotgun.
The optic also comes with a pair of removable Picatinny rails mounted at a 45 degree angle on both sides of the scope. These rails are perfect for mounting a flashlight or laser sight.
The glass etched reticle on this scope features red or green illumination. The scope also offers a wide FOV, and excellent low light performance.
This sturdy optic features a single piece construction from aircraft-grade aluminum, making it 100 percent waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof.
Prism scopes are a great option for shooters who need a compact, lightweight optic with low magnification. These handy optics are perfect for hunting, competition, home defense, and tactical applications that require shooters to get on target quickly. They also allow shooters to transition from close-range, fast-moving targets to more precise shooting at longer distances.
No matter which prism scope you choose, be sure to spend some time at the range practicing with your new firearm/scope combo. Even the best prism scope Proficiency with your set-up is ultimately your best weapon, even when you have the best prism scope sitting on top of your firearm.