Best 1X Prism Scopes

Whether you are using a rifle or a pistol, having a proper aim is vital. It could be all the difference between you taking a hunting trophy home or losing. That is why an accurate pistol shot can be much more deadly compared to a powerful caliber bullet.

What you need to get that accuracy is a scope. However, for close combat, we suggest something like a 1x prism scope. Here is our list of the best 1x prism scopes available in the market. 

The first question that comes to mind, what is a prism scope? And why would you buy it over a traditional lens scope or red dot sights? Well, the hint is in its name. But for a more precise answer, let us understand how these scopes work.

What Is a Prism Scope?

Now a lens scope, like its name suggests, uses lenses to give you an optimal image. The lenses focus light on a specific area that you are sighting in. It consists of two lenses, an objective lens and an ocular lens. An objective lens is bigger as it needs to transmit the maximum amount of light.

When you look through an ocular lens, your view is focused and magnified. Now, replace the lenses with prism mirrors instead. In return, you get compact designs, and if you have seen lens scopes, they are big.

There is a caveat, though, prism scopes have limited magnification power. And they are usually fixed magnified scopes. Lens scopes have variable magnification from 1-50x or 60x. A prism scope, on the other hand, at most has a 5x magnification range, and you cannot adjust it. It stays fixed at that zoom. If you’re looking for a standard prism scope, we have another guide on those that you can view here

Who Should You Buy a 1x Prism Scope?

A 1x prism scope means there is no magnification in it. But then what is the difference between this and a red dot scope? Well, for starters, the reticle is etched on the glass instead of being projected. That is how red dot sights work: they cast the red dot sight on a pane of glass. However, if you run out of battery or have a condition called astigmatism, red dots are useless for you.

Well, the battery part is quite obvious. After all, if there is no power to project the red dot sight, it is useless. Also, the most you can get from a red dot sight is a straightforward reticle design. A bullseye, a red circle, and a red dot are mostly what you will see on one. So the reticle choice is also pretty limited.

Now astigmatism is a more significant issue at hand. This is a refraction error a lot of people have in their eyes. What happens is that when you see the light, instead of being able to see it clearly, you see something like a star instead. This does not allow you to focus on the target accurately.

However, a prism scope has a diopter adjustment dial that allows people with astigmatism to see the reticle. The reticle is etched, so you can see it during the day, even if the battery dies. They also have illuminated reticles so that you can see them at night as well.

Things to Consider When Buying a Prism Scope – Buyers’ Guide

What are things you need to see when buying a prism scope? A few things are generally applied to all scopes, like durability and budget. But a few things specifically apply to prism scopes, like reticle design. Special features are also welcome, but then make sure you’re ready to pay for them. That is because the more features a scope has, the more expensive it gets.

Here are a few things to check out before buying a prism scope.

1. Durability

Durability is a general factor between all scopes. But along with that, you also need to look at portability. If something is constructed out of a dense metal, it will be stronger, but it will also be heavier. What you need is something that lasts long but is also light. That is why the industry standard when it comes to constructing scopes is using aircraft-grade aluminum.

2. Reticle Design

The most important benefit of having a prism scope is that it has an etched reticle that is visible even if your battery dies. Another benefit is the option to have complex reticles compared to red dot sights. You can have reticles with BDC or ACSS like the Primary Arms Cyclops. These reticle designs provide you with benefits when shooting targets at a distance. You can also find simpler ones if you do not like complex reticles that clutter the view.

3. Other Features

There are tons of other prism scopes these days, like illuminated reticle, different color illuminations, multi-coated lens, etc. The more features a scope has, the bigger is the price tag associated with it. Keep this in mind when purchasing your 1x prism scope.

4. Budget

This is purely an aspect that depends upon the user. Now, 1x prism scopes are not very expensive. They are a bit more costly than a typical red dot but cheaper than a lens scope. So, if you don’t have the money to buy the prism scope mentioned in the reviews, you can search the web and find a cheaper alternative. Of course, the features and quality might be different. However, we urge you to invest money in a reasonable scope. After all, it is a one-time investment in most cases.

Best 1X Prism Scopes Reviewed

1. Primary Arms ACSS Cyclops 1X Prism Scope

Primary Arms has some of the best gun optics in the market. When it comes to prism scopes, hardly any company has penetrated the market as well as them. The ACSS Cyclops 1x prism scope is a prime example of what we are talking about.

It features an ACSS Cyclops illuminated reticle, which is the best reticle system we have seen for such an application. It not only has a BDC or Bullet Drop Compensation but also a movement compensator of a type. So, you can shoot at moving targets and different distances without trouble. The chevron tip helps when you have to shoot accurately as it does not cover the target itself.

The windage and elevation are what you look at when you have to zero in the reticle to your gun. The Cyclops allows you to adjust these with crisp movements you can feel with each turn. This means no accidental turns or moves. The illumination has variable levels of brightness. You can change that by turning the more prominent knob on the side.

There is no parallax whatsoever on the scope, and the view is exceedingly clear. The multi-coated lens does its job perfectly. Also, this thing is built like a tank and is meant to last like one as well. The scope is made with 6603 aircraft-grade aluminum and is incredibly durable. The company backs it with a lifetime warranty.


  • Lets You Shoot at Moving and Faraway Targets
  • Strong and Durable
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Etched Illuminated Reticle With Multiple Brightness Level Settings
  • Clear View


  • Bulky Looking

Check Price on Amazon

2. Vortex Optics Spitfire 1X Prism Scope

Vortex Optics is one of the top brands in the scope market. The Spitfire 1x Prism Scope will tell you why. It features a very simple DRT or Dual Ring Tactical reticle that is great for CQB purposes.

It has an illuminated reticle, a forgiving eye box, capped windage and elevation turrets, a multi-coated lens, and that is just the surface of it. The illuminated reticle comes with five brightness settings, which in all honesty, is not as bright during the day, but at night it works flawlessly. The eye box is forgiving, and the relief is pretty decent.

The multi-coated lens gives a good light transmission, and the nitrogen-purged housing prevents fogging. The scope is waterproof, so you can dip it in a tub of water if you like, and it will still work when you take it out. It is constructed out of aircraft-grade aluminum, like all Vortex scopes.

The scope is said to be parallax-free, and it is for the most part. We found a bit of parallax error, which was odd since the company features it otherwise.


  • BRT Reticle Good for CQB
  • Forgiving Eyebox
  • Solid and Durable Construction
  • 5 Brightness Settings
  • Clear Image


  • Slight Parallax

Check Price on Amazon

3. Swampfox Blade 1x Prism Scope

The Swamp Fox Blade is an odd scope when it comes to reticle design. It features what it calls a BRC, a bullet-rise compensation reticle. So far, we have only seen bullet drop compensation reticles. So this was a bit odd for us, but according to the manufacturers, they designed this after input from various armed forces personnel’s suggestions.

What this reticle does is give you precise shooting points for up to 50 yards. So this reticle is made for CQB application instead of long-distance shooting. What’s more, is that you have the option of choosing between two colors of illumination and multiple brightness settings.

While the BDC requires you to zero in according to the caliber of the bullet and gun you are shooting, the BRC remains the same throughout. The Blade has a solid, durable construction, is waterproof, fog-proof, and shockproof.


  • BRC Reticle Perfect for CQB
  • Rugged and Strong Build
  • Waterproof and Fog-proof
  • Multiple Colored Reticle


  • BRC Reticle Might Confuse Beginners

Check Price on Amazon


These are the top-of-the-line 1x prism scopes in the market at the moment. If you want CQB or medium-range distance shooting, these scopes will do you well. In essence, though, prism scopes provide more features but are a bit more expensive than a red dot. So keep that in mind when purchasing one for your rifle.

Leave a Comment