Prism scopes are a great option for some shooters when choosing from the large variety of scopes and enhanced sights that are currently on the market. Think of them as the more compact and advanced cousin of the red dot sight. Prism scopes, also known as prismatic scopes, utilize a prism in place of the traditional series of lenses used in other types of scopes. 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:
- 1UUQ Prism 4x32 Rifle Scope
- 2Monstrum P332 Raven 3X Prism Scope
- 3Lucid 4x Prismatic Weapons Optic
- 4Sightmark Wolfhound 3x24 HS-300 Prismatic Weapon Sight
- 5Accu-Shot UTG Compact Prismatic 4x32mm
- 6Burris AR-332 Prism Sight
- 7Sightmark Wolfhound 6x44 HS-223 Prismatic Weapon Sight
- 8Sniper PM5x50CB Compact Prism Scope
- 9CCOP Outdoor Products Tactical Prism Scope
- 10Athlon Optics Midas BTR PR11 Prism Scope
Table of Contents
- What is a Prism Scope?
- Prism Scope Benefits
- Prism Scope Drawbacks
- Best Prism Scope on the Market Reviews
- 1 UUQ Prism 4x32 Rifle Scope
- 2 Monstrum P332 Raven 3X Prism Scope
- 3 Lucid 4x Prismatic Weapons Optic
- 4 Sightmark Wolfhound 3x24 HS-300 Prismatic Weapon Sight
- 5 Accu-Shot UTG Compact Prismatic 4x32mm
- 6 Burris AR-332 Prism Sight
- 7 Sightmark Wolfhound 6x44 HS-223 Prismatic Weapon Sight
- 8 Sniper PM5x50CB Compact Prism Scope
- 9 CCOP Outdoor Products Tactical Prism Scope
- 10 Athlon Optics Midas BTR PR11 Prism Scope
- Putting it All Together
What is a Prism Scope?
A prism scope, as the name indicates, uses a pair of glass prisms to reflect and orient through multiple faces. The light is passed through a reticle etched onto one of the prisms. This presents the shooter with a magnified and properly oriented image of the target with a reticle over it. Prism scopes are an excellent option for the AR-15 platform thanks to their compact size, etched reticle, and magnification power.
Prism Scope Benefits
Prism scopes offer an array of benefits to the shooter who uses them.
Unlike red dot scopes and sights, prism scopes offer magnification. The magnification of a prism scope is usually between 1x to 5x. While you may not be shooting long range by using a prism scope, you will be able to gain a better sight picture of mid range targets for increased precision with your shots.
Prism scopes feature an etched reticle. This is an important feature for shooters who do not like the idea of depending on an illuminated reticle and battery such as those found in red dot scopes. You will never be without a reticle when using a prism scope. That includes prism scopes that also feature illumination capability. If the battery fails on illuminated prism scopes, you will always have the etched reticle to fall back on.
When compared to sights that utilize traditional lenses, prism scopes offer shooters a much brighter image. A brighter image makes target identification a more straightforward process and target acquisition much faster.
The technology used in prism scopes does not require as much space as traditional lenses. This allows manufacturers to make smaller scopes without sacrificing any power or utility. If you like to have more than one accessory on your AR-15, compact size is an excellent feature.
Good for Astigmatism
Prism scopes are typically equipped with an adjustable diopter that allows people with astigmatism to fine tune the optics to suit their vision.
Prism Scope Drawbacks
Just about every piece of shooting gear out there will have some drawbacks. Prism scopes are no different. Let’s take a look at the main drawbacks.
Co-witnessing, or aligning iron sights with a red dot sight, is not possible with a prism scope. You would have to remove the prism scope from your weapon if you wanted to utilize any iron sights you have equipped.
Short Eye Relief
Prism scopes have a shorter eye relief than red dot sights. If you require a longer eye relief for any reason, a prism scope is not going to be the best choice.
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 certain distance. Shooting at distances longer than that can cause parallax issues. However, the good news is that issues with parallax in a prism scope are usually not extreme.
Now that you are more familiar with the pros and cons of this style of scope, read through the list below to find the best rated prism scopes for your needs.
Best Prism Scope on the Market Reviews
1 UUQ Prism 4x32 Rifle Scope
The UUQ Prism 4x32 rifle scope features both prism style optics and a fiber optic top sight. The prism optics provide an extremely bright image against the glass etched reticle. Shooters also have the option of using the three color illuminated reticle when the situation calls for it. This prism scope has 4x fixed magnification and a 32mm objective diameter.
This scope features fully multi-coated optics and is nitrogen filled making it completely fog proof and rain proof. It easily mounts on any 20 mm Weaver or ⅜” dovetail rails. The innovative top mounted fiber optic sight allows for close range shooting when 4x magnification is too strong.
Illuminated - Range Finding
20 mm Weaver or ⅜” Dovetail Rails
2 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 that 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 provide a high level of light transmission for the circle dot reticle. An anodized outer coating on the scope body makes this prism scope one of the best on the market today.
Illuminated - Circle Dot
3 Lucid 4x Prismatic Weapons Optic
The Prismatic Weapons Optic from Lucid Optics offers shooters excellent visual clarity as well as 4x magnification to present excellent sight picture quality. Operating on a single AA battery instead of hard to find watch style batteries, this prism scope is equipped with an auto brightness sensor. The sensor will detect light levels and adjust the reticle intensity accordingly with no need to take a hand off the weapon.
With a single piece aircraft grade cast aluminum housing and a durable chemical rubber coating, the Lucid Optics 4x Prismatic Weapons Optic is a great alternative to an ACOG scope.
Illuminated - Ballistic MOA P7 Reticle
4 Sightmark Wolfhound 3x24 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 and coated in impact-resistant rubber armor, the Wolfhound HS-300 is extremely durable. It is fully submersible thanks to an IP68 waterproof rating and is completely waterproof, shockproof, and dustproof.
This prism scope also features fully multi-coated scratch-resistant optics that provide excellent light transmission. The reticle can be illuminated in either red or green and the built-in aluminum Picatinny rail allows for quick and easy mounting. Coming in at under $200, the Wolfhound HS-300 is a great value.
Illuminated - 300 Blackout Horseshoe Style Reticle
5 Accu-Shot UTG Compact Prismatic 4x32mm
The Accu-Shot UTG Compact Prismatic 4x32mm scope utilizes prism refraction technology to provide shooters with an extremely clear and bright sight picture. The coated optics increase light transmission and prevent glare which give this scope clarity from edge to edge with no warping or blurring.
The etched circle dot reticle can be illuminated in up to 36 different colors and the one-click memory settings allows you to return to your previous brightness and color setting in between shooting sessions. This prism scope also comes with a Picatinny-compatible mount that can be reversed for two different mounting positions depending on your preferences.
Illuminated - Circle Dot Reticle
Picatinny Rails - Includes Bidirectional Mount
6 Burris AR-332 Prism Sight
If your main firearm is an AR-15 chambered in 5.56, then the Burris AR-332 is perfect for you. The compact size and high degree of sight picture clarity make this an ideal accessory for any AR-15. With lightning fast target acquisition, the AR-332 will perform well in competitions, while hunting, and for 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 and contrasting black. The AR-332 is equipped with Picatinny rails on the side and top which allows for the addition of secondary optics, lights, or lasers. This prism scope also comes with a Burris Fastfire 3 red dot sight to mount on top for increased sighting versatility.
Illuminated - Ballistic CQ Reticle
7 Sightmark Wolfhound 6x44 HS-223 Prismatic Weapon Sight
Another prism scope offering from Sightmark, the Wolfhound 6x44 HS-223 is very similar to the other Wolfhound on this list. The three main differences are that the 6x44 HS-223 has a fixed 6x magnification, is ballistically calibrated to 55 and 62 grain .223 cartridges, and has a 44mm objective lens diameter compared to the 24mm diameter of the HS-300.
With the same outstanding features of the Wolfhound HS-300, this prism scope is a great option for shooters who prefer the .223 and who need a little extra magnification. The top mounted rail allows for other accessories, such as lights or lasers, to be attached quickly and easily. The Wolfhound HS-223 has 2.83 inches of eye relief for a comfortable and accessible shooting position.
Illuminated - Ballistic CQ Reticle
8 Sniper PM5x50CB Compact Prism Scope
The Sniper PM5x50CB Compact Prism Scope is an excellent introduction to prism scopes. It features a fixed 5x magnification level and is equipped with backup iron sights on top. There is also a Picatinny rail on top for mounting additional accessories.
The PM5x50CB features fully multi-coated optics and is completely sealed and nitrogen filled making it waterproof, shockproof, and dustproof. This prism scope ships with lens covers, a sun shade, a flash killer, and mounting wrenches. The integrated Picatinny rail mounting system allows you to easily install this versatile scope.
Illuminated - CQB Range Finding Reticle
9 CCOP Outdoor Products Tactical Prism Scope
The Tactical Prism Scope from C & C Outdoor Products is an outstanding option for under $200. This prism scope brings all the benefits of prism optic technology to the table in an extremely compact package. Measuring only 4.68 inches in length, the Tactical Prism Scope will provide top end performance without taking up too much room on your firearm. The 2.5x magnification level makes this an excellent option for mounting on a shotgun or for home defense purposes.
Further increasing this prism scope’s versatility are a pair of removable Picatinny rails that are mounted at a 45 degree angle on both sides of the scope. These are the perfect place to mount flashlights or laser sights and help to cement this scope as the best home defense option on this list. The glass etched reticle on this scope can be illuminated in red or green. The body features single piece construction from aircraft grade aluminum and the scope is 100% waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof.
Illuminated - CQB Reticle
10 Athlon Optics Midas BTR PR11 Prism Scope
If you need or want even less magnification than the last scope on this list, look no further than the Midas BTR PR11 from Athlon Optics. This prism scope features 1x magnification. That low level of magnification helps to keep the Midas BTR extremely compact and lightweight. Measuring only 4.7 inches long and 2.7 inches tall, this scope weighs only 13.4 ounces which is on the lower end of the prism scopes on this list.
Fog proof, shockproof, and waterproof, the Midas BTR can stand up to even the roughest recoil and toughest conditions.
Illuminated - APSR 11 Reticle
Putting it All Together
Prism scopes are a great option for shooters who need a compact and effective sight for their firearms and who don’t want to rarely entirely on a battery as required in a red dot sight. By utilizing prism refraction technology, prism scopes offer improved light transmission and clarity along with glass etched reticles that don’t need battery power to see. Use this list to find the best prism scope for your firearm of choice.