4 Best Prism Scopes [Updated 2021]

In this buyer's guide, let's check out a few of these best prim sights at 1X and higher magnifications.

More and more people are finding value in using them for different applications. Especially for shooters with bad astigmatism, prism sights work very well.

They're like red dot sights with etched reticles!

Let's check them out

1X Prism Sights

Vortex Spitfire AR - Best Overall 1X

Why Use A Prism Scope? This is by far the best for shooters with astigmatism, open division shooting competition, and use as a truck rifle setup without worry about the battery life or the reticle disappearing. 

Works For Astigmatism - See reticle clearly even if you have astigmatism using the diopter adjustment. No blurry reticle for precise aiming

vortex spitfire ar indoor eyebox range

Better Reticle Centering -  Eye box constraint forces the shooter to have consistent cheek position for precise long-distance shots up to 700 yards on 1X by reducing parallax offset

Works Without Battery  - The laser glass etched reticle is always there without battery power during daylight use. 

Illuminated DRT Reticle - See reticle in low light conditions and acquires the DRT circular reticle like a red dot fast

  • Magnification: 1X
  • Objective Lens: 25mm
  • Eye Relief: 3.8"
  • Reticle Type: DRT MOA
  • Battery: AAA
  • Turret : 0.5 MOA / Click
  • Length: 4.3 inches
  • Weight: 11.2 oz

Read Detailed Review Here

Primary Arms SLx 1x20 [ACSS Cyclops] - Best Reticle

Primary Arms SLx Compact 1x20mm Prism Scope, Green Illuminated ACSS-Cyclops Reticle, Black, 710049

Why Pick This One? - The PA 1X prism sight with ACSS Cyclops is by far the best prism sight with a super intuitive glass etched Chevron tip reticle for quick ranging capability and moving target

Shoot Past 100+ Yards - Aim with the sharp Chevron tip as fine as needed for precision shots on big & small targets without blocking it with a dot typically associated with red dot sights

Works For Various Ammo Type - Use the ACSS reticle as a universal caliber BDC aiming point for 5.56, 308, 5.45, 300AAC and 7.62X39

Ranging Scale - Place a known center mass size target on the ACSS Cyclops ranging scale to estimate the distance that a 1X red dot can't do. Stupid simple to use!

Moving Target Hold - Get lead on moving target using the edge of the open donut CQB 8.6 mph lead reticle for precise hit

Great For Open Division Competition -  Just like the Vortex Spitfire AR, the forgiving eye box constraint forces the shooter to have consistent cheek position for precise long-range accuracy on 1X by reducing parallax offset during a competition match

Illuminated Reticle - See reticle in low light conditions or turn it off as you wish

Uses Aimpoint Micro Footprint - Uses any aftermarket Aimpoint Micro mounts you like with various height options

  • Magnification: 1X
  • Eye Relief: 3.7"
  • Reticle Type: ACSS Cyclops
  • Battery: CR2032 3V
  • Turret : 0.5 MOA / Click
  • Length: 4.3 inches
  • Weight: 9.7 oz

Magnified Prism Sights

Vortex Gen 2 Spitfire 5X - Best Hybrid

New! Vortex Spitfire HD Gen II 5x Prism Scope SPR-500 Color: Black, Finish: Low-Glare Matte, 31% Off  w/ Free Shipping

Why Buy the New Spitfire Gen 2? - The Spitfire Gen 2 5X is a much lighter and ~30% more compact 3X prism scope than others on the market with a similar body profile to something like the Trijicon MRO.

650 Yards Enabled - Shoot up to 650 yards with holdover points at 5X magnification using illuminated AR-BDC4 reticle with 5.56 calibrated wind dot.

Bigger Eye Box - Get behind the sight fast with a lot of room to shift the eye inside the eye box without seeing tight scope shadow

Piggyback Red Dot - Add a 1X red dot on top of the scope to transition from magnified view to 1X. Only available for the 5X model.

Uses Aimpoint Micro Footprint - Just like the Primary Arms Slx 1X

Features:

  • Magnification: 5X
  • Objective Lens: 25mm
  • Eye Relief: 2.7"
  • Reticle Type: AR BDC 4
  • Turret : 1 MOA / Click
  • Length: 3.6 inches
  • Weight: 10.3 oz

Trijicon ACOG 3.5X - Best Durability

Trijicon ACOG 3.5x35 Dual Ill Riflescope w/Mount, Green Crosshair .308 Reticle

Why Use Trijicon ACOG - The Trijicon ACOG scope is the standard-issue fixed magnification optic for the US military. It's built like a tank to survive any damages that a new 18 yr old military recruit could possibly do, knowing that they don't usually take care of their issued gears. So it's bombproof.

Improved Eye Relief - Unlike the ACOG 4X where the shooter has to get very close to the ocular lens. The 3.5X model gives more eye relief distance for better cheek position.

Tighter Shot Groups - Aim with the Chevron tip as fine as your eyesight allows is as fine as you can zero the sight without a minute of angle

Various Reticle Options - Tons of fast aiming reticles to pick from. We recommend the ACSS reticle for fast ranging and target acquisition.

Daylight Reticle Illumination - Fiber optics illuminates the reticle even in low light conditions as long as it's not completely dark.

Aim Both Eyes Open - Trijicon's Bindon Aiming Concept allows shooters to aim with both eyes open for improved situational awareness.

  • Magnification: 3.5X
  • Objective Lens: 35mm
  • Eye Relief: 2.39"
  • Reticle Type: TA11 BDC
  • Turret : 0.33 MOA / Click
  • Length: 8 inches
  • Weight: 14 oz
ELCAN SPECTERDR
Why Try This One - If you want what the U.S. special forces use in real world applications, the dual role (1-4X) ELCAN prism sight must be on the list for CQB and mid range applications.


Built Like A Tank - Raytheon Technology built the ELCAN for the warfighters in the field as tough as their aerospace defense weapon systems to win fights. It survives drop, kick, bump, shear and other physical abuses to retain zero.

Dual Role Missions - Shoot like a red dot on 1X with generous eye box and 4X for Target ID, all in one package

elcan specterdr on mk18 sbr

1-4X Instantly -  Skip 2X and 3X that shooters don't need anyway. Just flip the magnification between 1X and 4X prism scopes like a switch.

BDC Reticle - Calibrated for the NATO 5.56 up to effective 1000 yards (100 yd zero) with fast ranging scale to estimate target distance without a rangefinder

Clear Glass & Large FOV - On 4X feels like looking at the target on a 50" TV through the scope right in front of the eye.

Features:

  • Magnification: 1-4X
  • Objective Lens: 32mm
  • Eye Relief: 2.75"
  • Reticle Type: 5.56 BDC
  • Turret : 0.5/ Click
  • Length: 6.02 inches
  • Weight: 23.2 oz

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