12 Best Prism Scopes Worth the Money (2021)

Whether you have astigmatism or just need a compact optic, a prism scope is a great option. The best prism scope has rugged built, comes with a nice reticle, and is decently priced. Here are our top three options.

Top options

Best price/value ratio

Vortex Spitfire SPR 200

Best for the money

Primary Arms 5x

Best red dot

Sig Sauer Bravo 5

Best prism scope

1. Athlon Optics Midas TSP4 3.9x30mm Prismatic Red Dot Sight

The TSP4 Athlon Optics features a 30mm objective lens with 3.9x magnification and a prism red dot. If you are looking for fast target acquisition at mid to short ranges, it will serve you well with these features. 

With the latest prism technology, the prismatic red dot can provide you with crisper images with excellent light transmission. It has a compact design due to its prism construction. You don’t have to compromise on your optics quality. It is the best budget prism scope you can find on the market in terms of value. 

Athlon has nitrogen purged this 4x prism scope to make it shock, fog, and moisture-proof. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about the conditions in which you are operating. The budget prism scope features red or green reticles that illuminate and with multiple intensity levels. It is etched directly on the glass to ensure consistency. 

Whether you turn the illumination on or off, you will see the reticle conveniently. It is the best prism scope for the money and it works better than a 2x prism scope because it doesn’t feature a cheap prism.

What we liked

  • 6061-T6 aluminum alloy construction
  • Illuminated reticle for better aiming in low light conditions
  • 2 different illumination colors (red and green)
  • 10 different brightness settings
  • ½ MOA adjustment click
  • Decent FoV of 24.9 feet at 100 yards
  • This prism sight works well in various weather conditions

What we didn’t like

  • Short eye relief of 3.1 inches
  • The battery doesn’t last for long

Magnification: 3.9x
Lens diameter: 30mm
Field of view: 24.9 feet at 100 yards
Eye relief: 3.1-inch
Reticle: TSP4 (illuminated)
Length: 5.7-inch
Weight: 16.8 oz
Features: Shockproof, fully multi-coated, illuminated reticle, nitrogen-purged

2. Vector Optics Calypos 1-30x30mm Prism Scope

The Calypos Vector Optics features a 30mm objective lens and comes equipped with a fixed magnification of 1x. Hence, this prism scope allows you to zoom in on your target at mid to short shooting ranges.

The FMC prism of this scope ensures you don’t have to deal with any distortion while viewing. Edge-to-edge viewing is clear and visible too. Another excellent feature of this scope is, it comes with 11 different brightness settings for the reticle illumination with ½ MOA adjustment clicks. It is the best 1x prism scope in terms of price and performance. 

It comes with 3 MOA center dots to quickly acquire your target. The scope is rated IPX6 for waterproofing and comes with a high-quality aluminum casing to ensure ruggedness. It is the Best prism rifle scope in terms of performance. It also features Picatinny and Weaver mounts to work with a range of different weapons. 

What we liked

  • Features second focal plane for better mid-range shooting
  • 14mm to 16mm exit pupil for better viewing
  • IPX6 rated for moisture proofing
  • The prismatic scope comes with Picatinny and Weaver mounts
  • Aluminum alloy 6061-T6 construction 
  • 11 different illumination brightness settings
  • Wider FoV for better intel on the target

What we didn’t like

  • Short eye relief
  • Battery life is not that great 

Magnification: 1x
Lens diameter: 30mm
Field of view: 24.9 feet at 100 yards
Eye relief: 3.7-inch to 3.9-inch
Reticle: VEP ROD
Length: 4.1-inch
Weight: 11.8 oz
Features: 2nd focal plane, fully multi-coated, IPX6-rated

3. Vortex Spitfire 1x-AR SPR-200 Prism Scope

The Spitfire Vortex prism scope comes with a 25mm objective lens and offers 1x magnification. It is the best prismatic scope for an AR rifle because it ensures quick target acquisition and presents you with sharper images. 

The best part about this AR prism scope is, it features intuitive controls that are rear-facing and easy to access. You can conveniently control the brightness and illuminations of the images. You can either choose a red or green reticle and use the five different illumination intensities according to your requirements. 

Vortex has made it shock, fog, and moisture-proof, so you can use it in different conditions. With its aluminum alloy chassis and hard anodized finish, the 1x prism sight will hold up pretty well for a long time to come. The best part is you can use its wide FoV of 79 feet at 100 yards.

What we liked

  • All-glass prismatic optic features for better imaging quality
  • AAA battery ensures up to 30,000 hours of operation
  • The best prism sight with a wide operable temperature range of -22F to 122F
  • Vortex prism scopes come with multiple accessories
  • Red and green illumination available 
  • Aluminum alloy chassis for all-weather protection
  • Quick target acquisition

What we didn’t like

  • No etched reticle
  • The illumination brightness switch gets stuck at times

Magnification: 1x
Lens diameter: 25mm
Field of view: 79 feet at 100 yards
Eye relief: 3.8-inch
Reticle: DRT MOA
Length: 4.3-inch
Weight: 11.2 oz
Features: Long battery life, parallax-free, illuminated reticle

4. Barska 3x30mm ARX-Pro Prism Riflescope

The ARX-Pro Barska features a 30mm objective lens and comes with 3x magnification. It’s an innovative prism scope that is specifically designed for military and law enforcement applications. The compact prism scope comes with a tough armor made of rubber. So your scope is safe from any external damage or shock. 

It is the best 3x prism scope that boasts an illuminated dot reticle for quick aiming. You can adjust the brightness level of this scope with a push-button and easily adapt to the current light conditions. You can make ¼ click MOA adjustment for elevation and windage. It performs on par with Monstrum prism scope, which is the benchmark in this category. The Monstrum compact prism scope 2×32 is a versatile and quality product. 

Its eye relief could have been longer, but it does come with a wider FoV of 36.75 at 100 yards. Glass lenses ensure clear images and they also are multi-coated for even better performance. The prismatic riflescope runs on AAA batteries, so you will get a good battery life out of it. This scope also features a 2nd focal plane for better mid-range performance and water resistivity ensures great performance in any condition.

What we liked

  • 9mm exit pupil for better viewing in low light 
  • Water resistivity to keep fog and moisture away
  • A top choice for law enforcement and military applications
  • Excellent battery life
  • Wide field of view
  • ¼ MOA adjustment for elevation and windage
  • Red and green reticle illumination

What we didn’t like

  • Reticle crosshairs are not perpendicular
  • Reticle dots are small

Magnification: 3x
Lens diameter: 30mm
Field of view: 36.75 feet at 100 yards
Eye relief: 2.8-inch
Reticle: Cross Dot (illuminated)
Length: 4.75-inch
Weight: 16 oz
Features: Shock, fog, and moisture-proof, 2nd focal plane, rubber armor

5. Vortex Spitfire 3x Prism Scope w/ EBR-556B MOA Reticle

The Spitfire EBR-556B is a quality piece of equipment for quick target acquisition. And works pretty well in the mid to short range. It has a compact and durable package. The 32mm objective lens does a fine job in providing you with clear pictures, while its 3x magnification works well with the DRT reticle. 

This reticle is etched into the glass so you can consistently point and aim quickly. You have the option of either choosing red or green illumination and there are five different intensity levels to choose from. The prismatic rifle scope has a prism-based design that is fog proof and keeps the overall construction of the scope in a low-profile without compromising the optical quality. 

It has long battery life and provides you with a wide FoV of 31.5 feet at 100 yards. This Vortex prism has a wide operable temperature range. It comes with multiple accessories to make your life easier.

What we liked

  • The hard anodized finish on aluminum alloy chassis
  • 32mm powerful objective lens
  • ½ MOA adjustment for elevation and windage
  • This Vortex prism sight comes with a long battery life 
  • Wide operable temperature range 
  • Bigger objective lens for better viewing 
  • Multiple accessories included

What we didn’t like

  • Green/red color dot distorts prism
  • Doesn’t come with any auto shut-off features

Magnification: 3x
Lens diameter: 32mm
Field of view: 31.5 feet at 100 yards
Eye relief: 2.8-inch
Reticle: EBR-556B MOA
Length: 5.5-inch
Weight: 15.4 oz
Features: Long battery life, aluminum alloy chassis, water and shockproof

6. Sig Sauer Bravo5 5x30mm Prismatic Battle Red Dot Sight

The Bravo5 Sig Sauer is the first of its kind, being a wide field battle sight. It is the best scope to use if you have an AR or MSR platform. The MegaView system of this 5x prism scope joins quality prism with ocular construction for wider FoV. 

The AR prism sight also features LD glass. This red dot scope manages vivid views and you won’t have to deal with any distortions. The scope has a tough but lightweight construction featuring magnesium and it is fully moisture and fog proof. 

It features a 30mm objective lens and 5x magnification and with a red illuminated reticle, you can take your aims quickly and in various conditions. The scope comes with Picatinny mounting, so the scope works well with a wide range of guns. It also has a long battery life of up to 40,000 hours and comes with an IPX8 water resistivity rating. 

What we liked

  • Aluminum and magnesium casing for robust performance
  • MOA reticle with red illumination
  • Wider FOV for better situational awareness
  • The long battery life of up to 40,000 hours
  • IPX8 waterproof and is submersible up to 13 feet
  • Comes with multiple accessories
  • A top voice for AR and MSR weapons

What we didn’t like

  • Pretty heavy 
  • You have to re-zero the unit after 200 rounds

Magnification: 5x
Lens diameter: 30mm
Field of view: 39 feet at 100 yards
Eye relief: 2.37-inch
Reticle: Horseshoe Dot
Length: 6.46-inch
Weight: 23 oz
Features: MegaView system, LD glass, IPX8 water, and fog proofing

7. Burris AR-332 3x32mm Prism Red Dot Sight

The AR332 Burris scope has an objective lens of 32mm and magnification of 3x. It features a Ballistic CQ reticle that ensures fast target acquisition at mid-to-short ranges. But it also does a fine job at longer ranges. With this scope, you can correctly measure bullet drop compensation for up to 500 yards. 

The scope also comes with an integrated lens cover to keep the optics safe from external elements. The lens of this scope comes with Hi-Lume multi-coating to provide you with clearer and sharper images at different ranges. 

If you are looking for brighter contrasts and fast target acquisition, then choose the AR332. It comes with decent battery life and a wide FoV of 32 feet at 100 yards. You can make MOA adjustments for elevation and windage using ½ clicks as well. It works well with multiple weapons as it features a Picatinny mount. 

What we liked

  • Hi-Lume multi-coating for a sharper contrast
  • Mounting is pretty simple
  • Wide FoV of 32 feet at 100 yards 
  • 10 different brightness settings
  • Red and green reticle illumination available 
  • Ballistic CQ reticle works fine at different ranges
  • Shock and moisture-proof performance

What we didn’t like

  • The reticle is slightly slanted 
  • Not suitable to hit a bullseye over a 100yards target
  • A very short eye relief

Magnification: 3x
Lens diameter: 32mm
Field of view: 32 feet at 100 yards
Eye relief: 2.5-inch
Reticle: Ballistic CQ
Length: 5.29-inch
Weight: 14.2 oz
Features: Hi-Lume coating, inbuilt lens over, shock and moisture-proof

8. Burris AR-536 Prism 5x 36mm Tactical Red Dot Sight

The AR536 Burris features a 5x zoom and 36mm objective lens. This scope is equipped with enough power to get you through your tactical operations. It also comes with Burris’ Ballistic CQ reticle that works well to acquire targets fast. 

The scope comes with a larger objective lens to provide you with sharper images in different light conditions. The scope is well built to withstand abuse and recoil. It comes with multi-coated lenses and an adjustable diopter along with an integrated lens cover. 

It also features MOA adjustment for elevation and windage for up to 0.33 clicks. But with higher magnification, of course, you will have to compromise on wide FoV. As a result, this scope only comes with an FoV of 20 feet at 100 yards. It is also slightly heavy, but with Picatinny rail mounts and robust construction, it will handle any recoils pretty well.

What we liked

  • Best suited for tactical operations 
  • Handles recoil pretty well
  • 5 different illumination adjustment settings
  • 3 different Picatinny mounting brackets
  • Vivid images with less noise and distortion
  • Fully waterproof construction
  • A large objective lens gathers more light from the surroundings

What we didn’t like

  • Narrow field of view
  • Not suitable to use with AR536 on a FAL rifle 

Magnification: 5x
Lens diameter: 36mm
Field of view: 20 feet at 100 yards
Eye relief: 2.5-inch to 3.5-inch
Reticle: Ballistic CQ
Length: 5.75-inch
Weight: 18.75 oz
Features: Inbuilt lens cover, 3 Picatinny brackets, all-weather performance

9. Primary Arms 1x Compact Prism Scope w/ACSS Cyclops Reticle

The Primary Arms compact scope comes with an ACSS Cyclops reticle that is perfect for quickly and intuitively ranging your target. The Primary Arms 1x prism scope also comes with a 20mm objective lens and 1x zoom and a wide field of view of 76.3 feet at 100 yards. 

This prism scope provides you with a generous eye relief of up to 3.7 inches. These prism rifle scopes are best suited for mid to short-range shooting. And you can conveniently mount them on your gun with the help of Picatinny mount. It can produce on par image quality with Primary Arms 2.5 prism scope.

The prism rifle scope is made of 6061-T6 aluminum alloy and comes with a hard coat anodized finish. It also has a pretty decent battery life of up to 3000 hours and you won’t have to deal with any recharges during your operation. The scope is completely a shock, moisture, and fog proof, and you can conveniently use it in different weather conditions. 

What we liked

  • Long battery life
  • Fully fog, shock, and moisture-proof construction
  • Picatinny rail mounts are easy to handle 
  • Illuminated reticle in red
  • Hard Coat anodized finish
  • ACSS Cyclops reticle acquires target quickly 
  • Extremely lightweight and compact design 

What we didn’t like

  • Daytime brightness is not that great
  • Not usable as a chevron tip point of aim
  • ACSS reticle is not for everyone especially if you use eyeglasses

Magnification: 1x
Lens diameter: 20mm
Field of view: 76.3 feet at 100 yards
Eye relief: 3.7-inch
Reticle: ACSS Cyclops
Length: 4-inch
Weight: 9.7 oz
Features: Fog and moisture-proof, 6061 aluminum chassis, hard-coat anodized

10. Primary Arms 3x32 Gen III Compact Prism Scope

This Gen III Primary Arms prism scope features a 32mm objective lens with 3x magnification. This scope comes with an ACSS reticle and you can zero in on your target quite fast. The bright illuminated reticle of this scope allows you to take your ai in low light conditions as well.

As the scope doesn’t come with parallax, you can use both your eyes to shoot at shorter ranges. Though it is a prism scope that is traditionally known for its short-range operations, this scope allows you to work with your targets at up to 600 yards if you use supersonic ammo and up to 225 yards with subsonic ammo. 

The rugged mounts this Primary Arms 3x prism scope features come with good clamping power and they are flexible to use as well. The adjustable click value for elevations and windage adjustments is 0.25 MOA and the Primary Arms 3x prism scope also comes with a decent FoV of 31.5 feet at 100 yards.

What we liked

  • Ruggedized mount
  • Inbuilt Height riser for AR gun
  • Can range out to 600 yards with supersonic ammo
  • Illuminated reticle for day time use
  • Wide field of view
  • Hardcoat anodized finish 
  • Shock, moisture, and fog proof 

What we didn’t like

  • Slightly expensive
  • The battery doesn’t last very long

Magnification: 3x
Lens diameter: 32mm
Field of view: 31.5 feet at 100 yards
Eye relief: 2.72-inch to 2.92-inch
Reticle: ACSS CQB
Length: 5.6-inch
Weight: 18.4 oz
Features: Shockproof, increased range with supersonic ammo

11. Primary Arms 5X 5.45x39 Prism Scope

This Primary Arms scope is the best prism scope for AR because it has a 39mm objective lens and 5.45x zoom. It also comes with an ACSS reticle that is etched into the glass. You can also use red or green illumination for better aiming in low light conditions. 

This scope is designed to take on extreme conditions and heavy recoils. As it comes with a Picatinny mount, mounting it on your gun will become very simple. You can also use it with ACOG as well as standard mounts present on AK and AR platforms. The Primary Arms 4x prism scope is only better than the Primary Arms 5x prism scope because it is lighter. 

This almost 6x prism scope is very versatile and you can use it for a range of different activities, including sports, tactical, and hunting. The scope has a shock and moisture-proof housing. There are five different brightness settings that you can use. Plus, you also get to use the 2nd focal plane for better aiming at longer ranges.

What we liked

  • Windage and elevation are tool-adjustable
  • 2nd focal plane allows you to aim at farther targets quickly
  • The scope comes with bullet drop compensation
  • Fully fog and moisture resistant
  • ACSS reticle illumination is available in 2 colors
  • Five different brightness levels for illumination
  • Easy to mount and unmount

What we didn’t like

  • Distance numbers are a bit hard to read

Magnification: 5.45x
Lens diameter: 39mm
Field of view: 18.8 feet at 100 yards
Eye relief: 2.5-inch to 3-inch
Reticle: ACSS
Length: 6-inch
Weight: 17.6 oz
Features: Fog and moisture-proof, 2nd focal plane, bullet drop compensation

12. Burris T.M.P.R. 5 Prism Sight 5x32 w/Fire M3 & Laser

The M3 Burris comes with a 32mm objective lens and 5x zoom. The device comes with a red dot reticle and there are seven different illuminations settings that you can use based on the situation. 

The prismatic red dot sight also comes with a quick to detach mount that makes installing and uninstalling it with ease. Its battery life can last more than 1000 hours, which might be a bot on the lower side if you compare it with other prism sights on this list. 

The scope is best suited for quick engagements at short distances and you can use its trajectory compensation for up to 600 yards. Your purchase also includes a QD mount, a red laser, and a FastFire M3. it is one of the best prism red dot sights on the market because of the value it provides. 

What we liked

  • High zoom with a good quality objective lens 
  • Reticle available in three colors including red, blue, and green
  • Robust construction
  • Very versatile in use
  • Comes with multiple accessories 
  • Easy to install and dismount
  • 7 different illumination settings 

What we didn’t like

  • Narrow field of view
  • Can mix up the laser and red dot when both are on

Magnification: 5x
Lens diameter: 32mm
Field of view: 24 feet at 100 yards
Eye relief: 2.2-inch
Reticle: Ballistic AR
Length: 6-inch
Weight: 19.1 oz
Features: QD mount, Ballistic AR, 3 colored illuminated reticle

How to choose a prism scope?

Magnification

Most of the prism scopes don’t come with heavier optics, so you are not going to get much zoom with these devices. In most cases, you will find devices range from 1x to 5x. For better zooming, a 5x device will be suitable but if you want wider FoV, then choose lower magnification. 

Eye relief

As these prisms scope is designed with compactness and lightweight features, you won’t find a device with long eye relief. In most cases, you will find eye relief on these scopes ranging between 2-inch to 3-inch; if you wear eyeglasses, you can go for an eye-relief of 4-inch or even beyond according to your requirements.

Reticle

Different manufacturers use different reticles on their prismatic sights. As you will be working with closer targets at shorter ranges, you should go for red dot reticles and need to come with illumination. If you use your scope in low light conditions, go for a red dot; otherwise, green and blue can work as well.  

Lens coating

Again, manufacturers use different types of lens coating to ensure the best performance of the optics used in their scope. Make sure you go for fully multi-coated lenses. They are better in terms of producing sharper, more vivid images. And if you use your scope during broad daylight, then look for anti-reflective and anti-glare coatings as well.

Battery life

Of course, you are going to be on the field where you might not have a battery backup. Therefore, you need to have a prismatic sight that comes with long battery life. 

Anything over 3000 hours would be great, but if you don’t like battery replacement frequently, then you can go for prism scopes that come with 30,000 hours plus battery life as well. Consider the battery type and its easy availability as well. 

Weight

Most of the prism scopes are designed to be lightweight, so you are not going to find any of such scopes that are excessively heavy. But still, some scopes are heavier than others due to better optics. You need to balance it out between these 2 elements and make your choice. 

Usually, a 30mm objective lens works pretty fine in terms of performance and doesn’t weigh down your weapons either. It will weigh around 10 to 12 ounces.

Mount

These prisms scopes more frequently come with Picatinny mounts. And this mount is compatible with most weapons on the market. You will also find weaver mounts, which are also good. Make sure that these 2 mounting options are there because you will find a host of other mounts as well. 

Waterproofing

If you use your prism scope in different weather conditions, make sure it comes with weatherproofing. And the best thing is, most of the prism scopes come with shock, moisture, and fog proof features. You can go for some gas (argon or nitrogen) purged devices that will keep your device safe no matter what the conditions are. 

Frequently asked questions

What is a prism scope?

For those of you who don’t know what is a prism scope, these sights use prisms for focussing the light they gather. Consequently, you have a compact designed scope. Traditional scopes focus light somewhere inside the tube of the scope which is not the case with prism scopes.

Is ACOG a prism scope?

Yes, it is the most iconic one of them all and it is well known for its combat ability and effectiveness in various military applications. You can be lethal accurate with it at 600 yards.

Should I get a red dot or prism scope?

Red dots are better suited for longer ranges due to its high magnification power. On the other hand, prism scopes are effective for short to mid-range shooting as it comes with smaller magnification power.

Can you use a magnifier with a prism scope?

You can use a magnifier with your prism scope but you will have to take some time to focus your magnifier on the reticle for a crisper image. 

What is the difference between the prism scope and red dot?

When comparing prismatic scope vs red dot, they both serve the same purpose but they are different from each other. The most significant difference between prism scope vs red dot is magnification. 

Red dots come with 1x magnification only but prism scopes come with zoom ranging between 1x to 5x or even 6x. Another difference between prism vs red dot is that you can use a red dot for longer ranges but prism scopes are suitable for mid to short ranges. 

How does a prism sight work?

Prism scope uses a prism to focus light instead of any objective lens. Therefore, you have a more compact device in your hand. These scopes come with etched or illuminated reticles.

Do prism scopes have parallax?

Yes, they do come with parallax but it only comes into effect when you are using your prism scope beyond 100 yards which is the normal working range of a prism scope.

Can you co-witness a prism scope?

You cannot co-witness iron sight using your prism scope because they tend to be in the way and blurry. 

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