As technology advances, so does the way of people in all fields of life. When it comes to advancements, the most advanced industry on the planet is gun manufacturing. The firearm industry has made leaps and bounds in terms of advances due to science. These days you don’t need an enormous scope on your gun to be able to aim better.
But you can find low-profile scopes with high magnification power. These are prism scopes that use a prism mirror instead of lenses that are shorter, compact, and provide good magnification. We have compiled a list of the best prism scopes in 2024 for you to buy and use.
Since these scopes use a prism mirror instead of the standard lens, they are much smaller and low profile. But because of that, they are limited to a single magnification, usually between 1X to 5X zoom. Unlike lenses which can give you variable magnification adjustment. Aside from that, these are light in size and will help you carry your gun for longer. When used with a standard assault rifle, it is pretty fast to aim with.
Why Would You Use a Prism Scope Instead of Traditional Lens One?
We all agree that some amount of magnification is always a good thing with a gun scope. But for that, you usually compromise with the weight since lens scopes can be heavier. Not to mention they are pretty large as well. Red dot sights are much lighter to carry and give you an excellent aim point, but then again, there is no magnification in it whatsoever. A prism scope gives you the best of both worlds, magnification that you only get from lens scopes and low profile and weight, usually in red dot sights.
Other than that, you also get a wider field of vision on this scope than most others. You also have an illuminated reticle that is very handy when hunting or shooting in low-light settings. That is why these prism scopes are much more preferred by the military these days.
Reticles are etched on the glass, so even without illumination, you can see it. It comes with more complex reticle designs than the standard red dot sight. With the magnification, you can use it for far distances and use it in close combat.
The biggest problem with these prism scopes is that they are more expensive. Quality comes at a price, so if you want clarity and sharpness, you may have to spend extra money to get the best prism scopes. How to Choose The Best Prism Scope?
While most prism scopes are high quality, you might not find the features you need in one. Everyone will want something different from their scopes. Even though we have reviewed the best prism scopes in the market, you will still need to choose what suits you best. After all, you will want something that meets the requirements you have from it. So we have compiled a small buyer’s guide for you that can help you choose.
Now we have mentioned above that prism scopes can feature much more complex reticles on them. But it is not always necessary that you will need a complex reticle for your scope. You might be good with just a red dot sight. However, since you have various options to choose from, it is best to know what each reticle looks like.
A prism scope features BDC (bullet drop compensation) reticle, horseshoe and circle dot reticles, simple crosshairs, and much more. You should look at the application of your gun to choose the reticle. If you are looking for close combat, you might want to sport a simple reticle like a crosshair or a red dot. For shooting at a distance, you might want to see a BDC reticle instead. So choose your reticle according to the gun’s use and application.
The best part about a prism scope is its magnification despite being a small and compact scope. This was not possible earlier on, and lens scopes that provide magnification are immense and heavier. On the other hand, lens scopes do give you the option of variable magnification. Prism scopes mostly have fixed magnification, so you are stuck with it once you buy it.
If you are looking for a ranged hunting prism scope, something with a higher magnification will serve you well. Prism scopes are great for fast reflexes and close combat as well, regardless of the magnification. But a lower magnification range is preferred for close combat. So this is also something you need to consider when purchasing your prism scope.
3. Battery Life
Prism scopes feature an illuminated reticle. So it is a given that you will have to think about battery life. Because illuminated reticles require a battery, not only that, prism scopes have different levels of brightness on their illuminated scopes. So the higher the brightness, the more the strain on the battery. You can even see through the illuminated reticle during the daytime; that is how bright it can get on a prism scope.
However, if you are willing to pay more, you can always get one with optic fiber. This one gives you the option to use the illuminated reticle without worry about battery life whatsoever. So you get an illuminated reticle without having to depend on a battery that might run out.
Most prism scopes are meant to last for a lifetime. They are durable and designed for tactical combat and hunting. That is why manufacturers make them tough and robust regardless of how many features they sport. These prism scopes are made out of lightweight aircraft-grade aluminum that is light and durable.
Not only that but it is also filled with nitrogen gas or argon to avoid fogging up during humid conditions, making it the perfect accessory for your weapon all year round. Also, you want to check if the scope is waterproof or not if you’re going to use it in rainy conditions.
One more thing to look for in your prism scope is coated glass and lenses. Coatings usually make these lenses scratch-resistant and also maximize light transmission. So that you can receive as much lighting as you can even in low light conditions. The coatings also reduce glaring and improve the sharpness of your lens and prism glass.
Costs of such optics far exceed those of the traditional ones. But you have to pay for good quality. If you want exclusive features in your prism scope, you have to pay up for them. But if you are on a tight budget, you might even find prism scopes that are pocket-friendly. But even then, you might have to compromise on a few things like lack of features. Also, you may have to compromise on the clarity and sharpness of the scope as well. So you have to keep this in mind before purchasing a prism scope. Make it a one-time investment and buy a good one that will last you for life.
Best Prism Scopes Reviewed
Primary Arms SLX 2.5X 32 Compact Prism Scope is the top-of-the-line product that gives results. If you want close-range shooting, nothing beats this scope. You can aim fast and quickly and aim with precision, thanks to the reticle and target aim points. The advanced and complex reticle is a CQB with a bullet drop compensator for up to 600-yards of distance. The CQB makes it incredibly easy to aim at targets that are close and far away.
Once you make sure your target is centered on the reticle, you can’t miss it. This is how good this scope is, don’t listen to us; customer reviews speak for themselves. The reticle is also illuminated, and it comes with ten brightness levels. The highest level of brightness can even view the reticle during the plain day. And it is powered by a small and flat CR2032 battery. It comes with an included 1913 MIL-STD Picatinny mount that you can remove as you please.
The Primary Arms SLX 2.5X32 prism scope features a 2.5X magnification. The tube is made of aircraft-grade aluminum and is fog-resistant, shock-resistant, and water-proof. And because of the construction, it is super durable, giving you your money’s worth. Not to mention the accuracy of this scope is superb. It is straightforward to use and comes with a detailed guide on spotting your target on the scope.
- ACSS CQB-M Reticle Provides Highly Accurate Aim
- 2.5X Magnification Perfect for Close and Ranged Shooting
- Anodized Aluminium Construction
- 10 Brightness Levels on Illuminated Reticle
- Very Easy Installation and Easy to Use Guide Included
- Higher Magnification Variants Are Better
If you want something for close-range shooting, you may want to consider these optics from Athlon. If you don’t mind the high price tag, you should consider the Athlon Optics Midas BTR 1X19 Prism Scope. This 1X magnification scope is not for ranged targeting. If you plan on hunting with this, you will need to be close to your target.
It is constructed from aluminum and nitrogen purged to give it fog-resistant qualities. The aluminum construction proves its rigidity and durability. It is not only fog-resistant but also shock-resistant and gives the best aim for assault rifles. The reticle is an APSR 11 Prism Reticle that allows you to zero in on your targets without problems. The reticle is etched into the prism glass in case the illumination battery runs out.
Also, it has different brightness levels for illumination. Lastly, a Picatinny Rail Mount is included with the scope and allows you to use the Athlon Optics Midas BTR prism scope with most rifles and tactical weapons.
- Fog-Resistant and Shock- Resistant
- Made From a Single Piece of Aluminum
- Various Brightness levels
- Etched Reticle
- Very Expensive
- Only 1X Magnification
Vortex Optics Spitfire is one of the best prism scopes in the market with some decent magnification. Vortex is a known name amongst firearm enthusiasts because they have outstanding scopes in their catalog. We like the look and feel of their prism scope, and it has almost no margin for error if you zero out a target and aim at it. It is one of the most expensive optics in the market as well.
But the price tag is backed by a lifetime warranty by Vortex Optics. If anything were to happen to it or it is not feeling good out of the box, you get your money back. But so far, there have been zero complaints regarding this scope’s performance.
Made out of a single block of aircraft-grade aluminum, it is incredibly light. You can adjust the reticle color between red and green. Also, the reticle is a custom BDC. So shooting faraway targets can be easier for you using this scope. It already has a 3X scope which can quickly help you identify your target from a small range. The illuminated reticle makes it, so you don’t miss even in the darkest light settings. The reticle comes with five levels of brightness settings.
The lens comes coated for anti-reflective surfacing, and this helps prevent glaring. Also, the image is much more crisp and clear. Even under low lighting, thanks to the coating, you get excellent light transmission. The only thing that might put off someone from buying this scope would be its huge price tag. Otherwise, we think that this is one of the best prism scopes in the market.
- 5 Brightness Levels
- 3X Fixed Magnification
- Custom BDC Reticle
- Green or Red Adjustable Reticle Illumination
- Durable and Comes With Lifetime Warranty
- Extremely Expensive
The UUQ Prism 4X32 Illuminated Rapid Range Reticle scope has some of the best adjustability options in all the scopes we have reviewed so far. It has adjustable windage and elevation with a 1/4 MOA click value which gives this scope a great advantage. The reticle is etched into the glass and has three color options in the illumination, rather than the usual two red and green, and it also has blue in it. The lens comes multicoated, which gives it fantastic clarity and high-level light transmission for the best vision.
One impressive thing about this scope is the 4X magnification that you get with it. Distant targets feel close to this scope. The scope is sturdy but light, made primarily out of carbon fiber, and the inner housing is CNC aluminum for added durability. It is easy to install on your rifle and is nitrogen purged for fog-resistant properties. The scope is also rainproof due to its construction, making it ideal for all and any weather conditions.
It also has a fiber optic system in the green coating that gives you fantastic precision at close combat. Also, the reticle has five brightness settings, just like the Vortex prism scope. You can adjust this to get the reticle visible in ambient light settings.
Lastly, it is pretty affordable compared to other scopes even though it has so many features. So far, one of the best budget prism scopes on the market.
- Three Color Illuminated Glass Etched Reticle
- Fiber Optics System
- 5 Brightness Settings
- 4X Magnification
- Eye Box Is Not Perfect
So far, all the optics we have reviewed are excellent and regarded as the best in the market. But you can choose only one, or if you have enough money, you can buy them all. The best way to check out which prism scope is best for your rifle is to use it. If possible, try to take advantage of return policies. Be perfectly comfortable with fixed magnification in scopes if you want a prism scope in the first place. Some people end up complaining afterward and return it for that very reason.
Also, all of these great prism scopes are priced differently. There are high-end prism scopes in the list as well as cheap ones. The one with the features you want, though, might be either. Moreover, if you’re looking to up your prism scope game with some elite 1x prism scopes, we have a separate buying guide that you can view here.