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{TOP 8} Best Prism Scopes Review And Guides 2020

best prism scope

If you do not have time for the details, here are our top picks for Prism scopes:

  1. Burris AR-536 Prism Sight with Red Dot 
  2. Monstrum S330P 3X Prism Scope 
  3. UTG Compact Prismatic 4×32 T4x Glass T-Dot Scope 
  4. Vortex Optics Spitfire 3x Prism Scope 
  5. Sig Sauer BRAVO3 Battle Sight 
  6. Trijicon ACOG 3.5×35 Riflescope 
  7. UUQ Prismatic 4X32 Rifle Scope 
  8. Athlon Optics Prism Scope 

If you don’t want your rifle weighed down by a traditional heavy riflescope but don’t want the limitations of a red dot sight, a prism scope may be the perfect solution. If you aren’t sure what a prism scope is or why you should use one, we’re here to help. We’re here to answer your questions and help you decide if a prism optic is right for you. We also have reviews of what we consider the best prism scopes on the market today.  

If you don’t want your rifle weighed down by a traditional heavy riflescope but don’t want the limitations of a red dot sight, a prism scope may be the perfect solution. If you aren’t sure what a prism scope is or why you should use one, we’re here to help. We’re here to answer your questions and help you decide if a prism optic is right for you. We also have reviews of what we consider the best prism scopes on the market today.  

What is a Prism Scope? 

Unlike traditional riflescopes that use lenses to focus and magnify an image, prism scopes (also known as prismatic scopes) use a special glass prism. The design allows them to magnify images with a shorter, more compact design. The prism design also limits them to fixed magnification, usually somewhere between 1x and 5x. 

Why Use a Prism Scope? 

These relative newcomers to the optics scene are lighter and more compact than the traditional riflescope. They also offer a wide field of view (FOV). However, unlike the standard red dot, most models offer at least some modest magnification.  

The small size and lower magnification of prism scopes make them particularly well-suited for AR-15s and other tactical carbines. 

The main advantages of using a prism scope are: 

  • The lightweight, compact design. 
  • Large FOV. 
  • Illuminated reticles for better visibility in all light conditions. 
  • The reticle is usually etched in glass so you can see it even when your batteries fail.  
  • Offers more sophisticated reticle designs than the standard red dot sight. 
  • Prism sights work best for astigmatism. 
  • A nice balance between rapid shooting for close-range targets and precision accuracy on targets at range.  

What to Consider When Buying a Prism Scope 

Prism scopes are great tools for hunting, three gun competition, and tactical applications. With a wide range of uses, it is impossible to list one perfect prism scope.  

Because not everyone needs the same performance from their rifle optic, the best option is the one that best fits your needs. That optic will look different for different shooters. 

Here are a few key features to consider when shopping for your own prism scope. 

Magnification  

Some prism scopes do not magnify the image at all. These 1x optics still provide all the aiming advantages associated with an illuminated reticle. They are useful for competitions that restrict magnification but still require rapid target acquisition for quick shooting.  

1x magnification is also useful for shotguns intended for home defense, especially since home invasions most commonly occur after dark.  

The illuminated reticle and superb light transmission typically associated with a quality prism scope will help you see both the reticle and the target clearly, even in low light. 

Other prism scopes offer image magnification between 1.5x and 5x. Although this level is lower than a standard rifle scope, it is still useful for accurate shooting at medium distances (usually out to 600 yards depending on the caliber you’re using).  

Reticle Design 

One advantage of using a prism scope over a red dot optic is that they offer a variety of reticle designs. Rather than a simple red dot, you can choose from horseshoe and circle dot reticles, simple crosshairs, and BDC (bullet drop compensator) reticles that are calibrated for specific cartridges. Some reticles can even help you estimate the distance to your target.  

For rapid, close range shooting, choose a reticle with a simple design. If you need to shoot unknown distances, a rapid ranging reticle could become your new best friend. If you expect to engage targets at distances beyond 100 yards, a BDC reticle (choose one designed for your specific load) can be particularly useful. 

Construction 

Most prism scopes are built to be extra durable. Because they are often used for hunting or tactical shooting, manufacturers know their products need to be tough.  

Look for a prism scope made from high-quality materials like 6061-T6 or aircraft quality aluminum. Also, look for optics that are o-ring sealed and purged with nitrogen or argon. This not only helps make the image clearer, it also prevents internal fogging due to humidity or rapid changes in temperature. 

You should also look at the coatings used on the prism and scope glass. Most contain layers of special coatings to help reduce glare, maximize light transmission, and produce crisp clear images with true-to-life colors. For the best image quality, look for a scope that features fully multi-coated optics. 

Battery Life 

Many prism scopes rely on batteries to power the optic’s illumination. Battery life varies by model. Those with higher brightness settings typically burn through batteries more quickly.  

Prism scopes with fiber optics don’t rely on battery power, so you never have to worry about changing batteries. 

Cost 

We’ve tried to include optics on our list to fit every price range. If you want the highest quality prism scope, be prepared to pay for it. Quality and performance don’t come cheap.  

However, if you don’t have a ton of money to drop on an optic, some of the more affordable scopes on our list are surprisingly capable. Just don’t expect them to have the features or clarity of a more expensive optic. 

Comparison Table 

Image Product Features
scmtbl-table__image Burris AR-536 Prism Sight
  • Magnification: 5x
  • Illuminated Reticle: 5 Brightness Settings
  • Objective Lens: 36mm
VIEW ON AMAZON →
scmtbl-table__image Monstrum S330P Prism Scope
  • Magnification: 3x
  • Illuminated Reticle: Multiple Brightness Settings
  • Objective Lens: 30mm
VIEW ON AMAZON →
scmtbl-table__image UTG Compact Prismatic Scope
  • Magnification: 4x
  • Illuminated Reticle: Dual-color and multi-color modes
  • Objective Lens: 32mm
VIEW ON AMAZON →
scmtbl-table__image Vortex Optics Spitfire Prism Scope
  • Magnification: 3x
  • Illuminated Reticle: 5 Brightness Levels
  • Objective Lens: 25mm
VIEW ON AMAZON →
scmtbl-table__image Sig Sauer BRAVO3 Battle Sight
  • Magnification: 3x
  • Illuminated Reticle: 8 Daytime Settings and 3 Night Vision Settings
  • Objective Lens: 30mm
VIEW ON AMAZON →
scmtbl-table__image Trijicon ACOG Riflescope
  • Magnification: 3.5 x
  • Illuminated Reticle: Battery-free Tritium/Fiber Optic Illumination
  • Objective Lens: 35mm
VIEW ON AMAZON →
scmtbl-table__image UUQ Prismatic Riflescope
  • Magnification: 4x
  • Illuminated Reticle: 5 Brightness Settings
  • Objective Lens: 32mm
VIEW ON AMAZON →
scmtbl-table__image Athlon Optics Prism Scope
  • Magnification: 3x
  • Illuminated Reticle: Adjustable Brightness Settings
  • Objective Lens: 32mm
VIEW ON AMAZON →

Top 8 Prism Scopes with Detailed Reviews 

1. Burris AR-536 Prism Sight with Red Dot 

The Burris AR-536 Prism Sight features 5x magnification, making it perfect for engaging targets within 600 yards.  

With a highly versatile illuminated CQ reticle, you can use this sight for CQB engagements, extended range targets, and everything in between. You can also choose red, green, or black reticle colors and select from 5 different brightness settings, making this sight well-suited for a variety of shooting situations and lighting conditions. 

The AR-536 also comes with the Burris FastFire III Reflex Red Dot Sight. Designed for lightening fast target acquisition, this device helps increase your shooting speed and accuracy, especially on moving targets. 

2. Monstrum S330P 3X Prism Scope 

The Monstrum S330P is a great entry level prism scope with a price tag perfect for shooters on a tight budget.  

This scope works well for rapid, close to mid-range target acquisition. It features an etched, black, circle dot reticle that is always visible with or without illumination. However, the scope also provides reticle illumination in red or green, It also has multiple brightness levels to help you achieve optimal reticle visibility in nearly any lighting environment.  

At only 5 inches long, this prism scope is incredibly compact. However, you shouldn’t let its slight size fool you. This is a heavy-duty optic that is fully shockproof, waterproof, and fogproof.  

3. UTG Compact Prismatic 4×32 T4x Glass T-Dot Scope 

This high-quality compact prism scope from UTG is perfect for AR-15, AR-10, and other modern sporting rifles. It offers 4x magnification and has a pre-set 100-yard parallax. 

The UTG compact prism won’t take up a ton of rail space on your rifle, yet it offers tons of performance. It even features high-end emerald coated lenses for maximum light transmission and crisp edge-to-edge image clarity.  

This scope features an etched glass reticle, plus illumination options that include a red/green dual-color mode and a 36 color multi-color mode. The versatility of this design allows you to clearly see the T-shaped reticle against any backdrop and in almost any lighting condition.  

4. Vortex Optics Spitfire 3x Prism Scope 

This awesome optic from industry leader, Vortex Optics, sports an illuminated reticle with BDC marks to 500 yards. It also has five brightness settings. 

The Vortex Spitfire easily has some of the best glass quality of any of the optics on our list. It features fully multi-coated lenses with anti-reflective coatings that offer bright, clear images even in low light, making this prism scope perfect for hunting.  

Built for tough outdoor use, this rugged prism scope is o-ring sealed and nitrogen purged for true fogproof and waterproof performance, even in the wettest conditions.  

5. Sig Sauer BRAVO3 Battle Sight 

Featuring 3x magnification, a generous FOV (roughly 40 percent wider than the competition), and stunning image clarity, the Sig Sauer BRAVO3 is a hot optic for hunting, competition shooting, and tactical applications. 

Made with low dispersion glass and a spherical lens design, the BRAVO3 delivers a flat, distortion-free image with razor-sharp edge-to-edge clarity.  

The reticle is a horseshoe dot design with bullet drop markings. Shooters will really appreciate the 8 daytime brightness settings (the highest setting is one of the brightest we’ve seen) and 3 settings specifically for use with night vision devices. 

6. Trijicon ACOG 3.5×35 Riflescope 

Literally bomb-proof, the legendary Trijicon ACOG (Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight) is the only battle-proven optic on our list. These rugged, high-performance rifle scopes have charged into battle with the United States Army, Marine Corps, and Air Force. 

Built for superb optical clarity in any light, the Trijicon ACOG features a dual illuminated battery-free reticle. The reticle is powered by fiber optic technology during daylight hours and tritium by night.  

Perfect for CQB, the ACOG has a “Both Eyes Open” design that utilizes the Binden Aiming Concept. Because the shooter can acquire targets and aim without closing one eye, the optic helps preserve peripheral vision and situational awareness, both valuable assets on the battlefield.  

This optic is a true performer. However, it comes with a hefty price tag that could be well outside the budget of the average shooter. 

7. UUQ Prismatic 4X32 Rifle Scope 

Featuring a fully coated prism lens and multi-coated glass, this affordable riflescope delivers excellent transmission and surprising image clarity for an optic in this price range.  

Perfect for close to mid-range target shooting, this optic features a BDC reticle designed for rapid ranging of targets at unknown distances. It ranges out to 600 yards, and with 4x magnification, this optic is highly effective at a variety of distances. 

The reticle is glass etched and illuminated with fiber optic technology. You can also choose from red, green, or blue illumination, so you can optimize reticle visibility for any backdrop. 

This robust optic is made with a durable all-metal housing. It is also o-ring sealed and nitrogen purged, for waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof performance. 

8. Athlon Optics Prism Scope 

This prism scope from Athlon Optics offers a ton of versatility. It features an etched glass, BDC reticle and adjustable illumination settings for the highest visibility in virtually any ambient light environment.  

With fully multi-coated optics, the Athlon Prism Scope is designed to reduce glare, increase light transmission, and produce bright, crystal clear images.  

Built for rugged conditions and hard use, the Athlon Prism Scope has a one-piece heat-treated chassis made from tough aircraft grade aluminum. Nitrogen purged to dramatically reduce internal moisture, this scope is completely fogproof and waterproof. Not only can this scope withstand harsh weather conditions, it also can survive being completely submerged under water.  

Summing It Up 

A quality prism scope has a lot to offer. Their lightweight, compact construction, wide FOV, and mild magnification make them perfect for a wide range of shooting applications. They work well on rifles and shotguns, and a popular choice for topping tactical carbines like the AR-15. 

All the optics on our list are high-quality scopes that will help improve your accuracy on targets from close range out to several hundred yards. Hopefully this article has provided enough information to help you find the best prism scopes to meet your individual needs. 

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