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Top 5 Best Prism Scopes & Sights In 2021 Reviews

Maybe you’ve heard of Prism scopes; maybe you haven’t. But they are slowly but surely taking the place of the trusty old red dot sight, so it’s high time you clued yourself in on this great new piece of scope tech!

But how does a prism scope differ from a traditional red dot sight?

A traditional scope works on the same principle as a telescope, in that they are a group of specific glass lenses to focus, and sometimes magnify, light to a focal point. A “red dot” scope or sight is a broad term used to describe any type of sight that illuminates a red dot at the aiming point – most commonly a reflex sight. These are battery-operated and usually do not offer any magnification.

Prism scopes use a single glass prism (in place of the group of lenses in traditional scope) to focus and sometimes magnify the sight image. They can be operated without batteries, offer a brighter and sharper image, and are more versatile for people with astigmatisms or other eyesight conditions.

So, let’s take a look at the best prism scopes & sights available right now, starting with the…

best prism scopes sights

Top 5 Best Prism Scopes & Sights On The Market In 2021 Reviews

  1. Primary Arms 3×32 Gen III Compact Prism Scope – Best Compact Prism Scope & Sight
  2. UUQ Prism 4×32 Red/Green/Blue Triple Illuminated Rapid Range Reticle Rifle Scope – Best Premium Prism Scope & Sight
  3. MONSTRUM TACTICAL S330P 3X Prism Scope – Best Value for Money Prism Scope & Sight
  4. Sniper 4X32 CB Compact Prism Scope – Best Budget Prism Scope & Sight
  5. Burris AR-332 3x32mm Prism Scope with Red Dot Sight – Best Red Dot Reticle Prism Scope & Sight

1 Primary Arms 3×32 Gen III Compact Prism Scope – Best Compact Prism Scope & Sight

The Primary Arms 3×32 Gen III compact prism scope is a great place to start. There are a few features that set this scope apart from other 3x prism scopes, but first, let’s take a quick look at the specs:

  • Objective Lens: 32 mm
  • Magnification: 3x
  • Field of View: 31.5 ft at 100 ft
  • Eye Relief: 2.7 – 2.9 in
  • Attachment/Mount Type: Picatinny
  • Battery: CR2032
  • Brightness Settings: 11
  • Weight: 18.4 oz (521 grams)
  • Length: 2.95 in (7.4 cms)

The Primary Arms 3×32 Gen III features a fully illuminated BDC reticle that is powered by one of the most common scope batteries, the almost ever-lasting CR2032. There are a total of 11 brightness settings which are controlled by an easy-to-access dial situated on top of the scope tube. When the battery does finally run out of juice, there is no worries as the reticle is fully etched onto the glass.

The reticle is one of the best I have ever tested…

For this reticle, the guys over at Primary Arms have taken some of my favorite features from different reticles and joined them all into one. The hash markings help with compensation out to 600 yards (although the scope is more suited to the 100 – 300 yard range), and there is a ¾ center circle to help with close quarter engagements. I found target acquisition to be extremely fast with this scope.

Build quality is great, with the whole setup being IP67-rated, giving it full protection against dust and grime, and allowing it to be submerged for up to 15 minutes in three feet of water. The tube is milled from a single piece of aircraft-grade aluminum and has a hard-anodized, matte black finish.

The mount has been fully redesigned for this third-gen model, and it comes with a convenient AR-15 height riser. All in all, a fantastic prism scope to start my review.



Pros

  • New ruggedized mount.
  • AR-height riser.
  • IP67-rated.
  • Illuminated combo BDC reticle.
  • Reticle is fully etched.
  • Eleven different illumination settings.
  • 3x power with 32 mm objective lens.

Cons

  • Eye relief could be longer.

2 UUQ Prism 4×32 Red/Green/Blue Triple Illuminated Rapid Range Reticle Rifle Scope – Best Premium Prism Scope & Sight

Next in line is the UUQ Prism 4×32 scope, and what a beauty she is! This high performance comes with a long list of features and top of the line build quality and includes a generous amount of eye relief.

Specs:

  • Objective Lens: 32 mm
  • Magnification: 4x
  • Field of View: 36.6 ft at 100 ft
  • Eye Relief: 3.1 – 4.1 in
  • Attachment/Mount Type: Weaver
  • Battery: CR2032
  • Brightness Settings: 3 for each color
  • Weight:10.8 oz (308 g)
  • Length: 7.75 in (19.7 cm)

This is a great all-around prism scope. The magnification is set at 4x and combined with iron sights giving an effective range of anywhere between 25 to 600 yards. The illuminated reticle allows for three color options – this feature helps greatly in target acquisition in a large range of environmental situations.

Speaking of the reticle…

Just like the previous unit, I really love what UUQ has done with the reticle here. Fully etched onto the glass for use even when the battery dies, the BDC rapid-ranging reticle allows for lightning-fast range estimation. The rear iron sights help gain a clear advantage in close-quarter engagements.

The full multi-coating on all the glass and the fiber optic system gives a super precise and aberration-free sight vision, with zero edge distortion to report. The eye relief is another big plus for the UUQ Prism 4×32. A generous four inches is more than enough, even when shooting high-caliber ammunition.

Impressive build quality…

Build quality is what we have come to expect from UUQ scopes – that is top class! Fully weather, water, fog, shock, and frost resistance. The scope is a little longer than I would usually choose, but I got used to that quickly. In terms of weight, this scope is quite light for its size and does not feel cumbersome whatsoever.

Installation and click adjustments can both be easily made without tools, although there is a handy Allen key in the box to help with this.

The UUQ Prism 4×32 is a great option for anyone looking to invest in a new prism scope!

UUQ Prism 4x32 Red/Green/Blue Triple Illuminated Rapid Range Reticle Rifle Scope
Our rating:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Pros

  • Excellent eye relief.
  • Sharp and accurate image.
  • Easy to adjust.
  • Fully weather and shockproof.
  • Great reticle.
  • Hold zero.
  • Quick range estimation.

Cons

  • No included lens caps.

3 MONSTRUM TACTICAL S330P 3X Prism Scope – Best Value for Money Prism Scope & Sight

next up in my Best Prism Scopes & Sights review, the Monstrum Tactical 330P is one of the most budget-friendly prism scope options on the market right now. Costing less than half of some of the more expensive options, but still holding its own in terms of most features we look for – the Monstrum Tactical 330P is a great option for anyone, but especially the budget conscious among us!

Specs:

  • Objective Lens: 30 mm
  • Magnification: 3x
  • Field of View: 39.3 ft at 100 ft
  • Eye Relief: 3.0 – 3.5 in
  • Attachment/Mount Type: Picatinny
  • Battery: CR2032
  • Brightness Settings: 5 for each color
  • Weight: 15 oz (425 g)
  • Length: 5 in (12.7 cm)

As you can see from the specs, this is the most compact scope so far on this list which is a big tick in my books. It also weighs very little.

With a fixed magnification of 3x, this is perfect for close to medium range targeting. I found it accurate to about 300 yards, but anything over this and it became a little hard to hit the target.

Why is this?

Well, the reticle is not very good for anything over mid-range. There is no BDC or Mil-Dot arrangement here, with Monstrum choosing a circle dot reticle instead. Although this is not my personal favorite, it does have some inherent advantages, especially at closer ranges.

For a small, budget scope, my expectations were well and truly blown out of the water. Value for money gets top marks, as does build quality. Fully water and fog proof and built from 6061 aircraft-grade aluminum. Not much more you could really ask for from such a well-priced unit!

MONSTRUM TACTICAL S330P 3X Prism Scope
Our rating:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)


Pros

  • Value for money.
  • Compact and lightweight.
  • 3.5 inches of eye relief.
  • Red or green illuminated reticle.
  • Perfect for close to mid-range engagements.
  • 1-year warranty.

Cons

  • Not suitable for over targeting past 300 yards

4 Sniper 4X32 CB Compact Prism Scope – Best Budget Prism Scope & Sight

Looking for a best prism sight that is even more wallet-friendly than the MONSTRUM TACTICAL S330P 3X?

Well then, say hello to the Sniper 4X32 CB Compact Prism Scope, by far the cheapest option on this list. To be totally honest, I was not expecting very much at all from this scope. But to say my expectations were blown out of the water would be an extreme understatement!

Specs:

  • Objective Lens: 32 mm
  • Magnification: 4x
  • Field of View: 36.8 ft at 100 ft
  • Eye Relief: 3.0 in
  • Attachment/Mount Type: Picatinny or Weaver
  • Battery: CR2032
  • Brightness Settings: 5 for each color
  • Weight: 15 oz (425 g)
  • Length: 5.9 in (14.9 cm)

Not suitable for everyone or every situation…

With the eye relief maxing out at three inches, this scope will not be perfect for every shooter. But, if you are using low-power ammo and eye relief is not the biggest issue for you, then you simply cannot find a better deal on the market right now!

The full-size MIL-DOT reticle is combined with fixed 4x magnification which allows for easy target acquisition all the way out to 500 to 600 yards. And thanks to the rear iron sights, close-quarters combat is also covered.

Does this scope look a little familiar?

That’s probably because Sniper has pretty much copied the UUQ design. I mean, they have even got the knobs to look identical. Not super uncommon in this day and age, and the price difference between the two scopes is nothing to sneeze at.

Is this as good as the UUQ, then?

To be 100% honest, this is a good scope, but does it hold up to the scope it has copied? Well, no. The glass is a little lower quality, the build is not the same standard, and the whole scope sits a little lower.

But the Sniper 4X32 CB Compact Prism Scope is still the best budget prism scope available right now, in my opinion!

Sniper 4X32 CB Compact Prism Scope
Our rating:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Pros

  • Super affordable.
  • Hold zero.
  • Great reticle.
  • Accurate to 600 yards.
  • Compact and light.
  • Fully weather and fog proof.

Cons

  • Sits low on the mounting rail.

5 Burris AR-332 3x32mm Prism Scope with Red Dot Sight – Best Red Dot Reticle Prism Scope & Sight

Ok, so I know that I have gone on and on about the advantages of having a MIL-DOT or BDC reticle.

But this is 100% personal preference…

So who am I to say what is the best setup for you? Maybe you prefer a red dot reticle? If this is the case, then you can’t go past the Burris AR-332 3x32mm Prism Scope with Red Dot Sight!

Specs

  • Objective Lens: 32 mm
  • Magnification: 3x
  • Field of View: 32 ft at 100 ft
  • Eye Relief: 2.5 in
  • Attachment/Mount Type: Picatinny
  • Battery: CR2032
  • Brightness Settings: 10 for each color (red or green)
  • Weight: 14.2 oz (402 g)
  • Length: 5.29 in (13.4 cm)

Been a while…

This was my first time using a red-dot reticle in a while, and let me say I was not disappointed. Maybe that’s because it’s not a true red dot. The Ballistic CQ reticle actually borrows some of the characteristics from a BDC while keeping it all super simple.

There’s your main dot at the center point, which is zeroed for 100 yards, then a series of smaller dots underneath to estimate ranges out to 600 yards. There’s also a crosshair and target circle for quick close-range targeting. It all works super well together and has me reconsidering my preference for BDC reticles.

Quality build…

Zeroing is a breeze, and the sight stayed zeroed for the whole week of testing. Build quality is up there with the best in the field. Fully sealed and nitrogen purged for fogless use every time, and it’s constructed from only the highest quality components for full weather and shockproofing.

The glass components have all been finished with Hi Lume multi-coating for maximum light transmission and produce no obvious glare issues at all. The sight vision is definitely the clearest of all the scopes tested.

It’s not the cheapest on the list, but if you have the money, then it’s a hard one to pass by!



Pros

  • Fast-Action Ballistic Cq Reticle.
  • Three Reticle Color Settings (illuminated red or green, or black non-illuminated).
  • Super clear and crisp sight image.
  • Rugged and durable construction.
  • Three Picatinny rail mounting points.
  • Nitrogen purged for fogless operation.
  • Hi-Lume multi coating.

Cons

  • Eye relief could be more generous.

Best Prism Scopes & Sights Buyers Guide

Usage and Magnification

If you are looking for a long-range scope, then you’re barking up the wrong tree. Prism scopes are inherently restricted to lower magnification levels, and 2x to 5x is common.

These scopes are not suitable for sniper rifles, but they are the perfect scopes for AR-15 or other assault rifles. Think quick target acquisition with a good peripheral view.

If you want a scope for close-range or tac shooting, then look for a sight with a minimum magnification of 1 to 2 x. If hunting or target shooting is more up your alley, then look for a scope with a 5x magnification option.

Reticle

This is one of the huge advantages of using a prism scope over a traditional red dot or reflex scope.

Prism scopes not only offer a vastly larger range of reticle options, but they also do not need batteries to work. Sure, they won’t illuminate the reticle when the batteries die, but the reticle itself can be etched directly onto the glass, meaning that there’s always an aiming point.

My personal preference is an etched BDC (bullet drop compensator) reticle.

prism scopes sights

Eye Relief

Eye relief is the distance needed between your eye and the back end of the scope to effectively view the sighted image. The larger the eye relief, the further back you can rest your head.

This is where prism scopes are at a disadvantage over traditional scopes. They offer less eye relief, meaning your eye needs to sit closer to the scope. Any rifle that needs more than about 5 inches will be unsuitable for prism scopes.

Prism scopes are most suited to semi-auto rifles with low-powered ammo.

Weather and Environmental Proofing

This is pretty much a given, but always make sure that any prism scope you are thinking of purchasing features full weather and environmental proofing. Most will come with sufficient water, fog, and shockproofing these days. There is nothing worse than being out on an early morning hunt and having your sight fogged up, trust me.

Mounting Options

The best option is to choose a scope with universal mounting options. Check first which rail your rifle uses and match it up with the scope. The most common mounting rails are Picatinny, Weaver, and Dovetail, although some manufacturers are annoyingly going down the ‘Apple’ route and installing proprietary rails.

Lens

This is the feature that has the biggest effect on the overall cost of the best prism scopes and sights and is also the feature that will affect how much you enjoy using the scope. Almost every prism scope comes with at least some sort of lens coating, but I always recommend choosing one which is fully multi-coated.

Also, be sure to choose a scope with a large objective lens (the lens that is closest to the target). For 1 to 2x magnification scopes, look for 30mm or above. If you are using a 5x scope, then I would suggest something a little bigger.

Looking for More Fantastic Scope Options?

Then check out our reviews of the Best Vortex Scope, the Best Air Rifle Scopes, the Best Varmint Scope, the Best Scout Scopes, the Best Leupold Scopes, the Best 308 Rifles Scopes, or the Best 3 Gun Scope and Optic you can buy in 2021.

You might also enjoy our reviews of the Best M4 Scopes and Optics, the Best 300 Win Mag Scopes, the Best Scope for AK-47, the Best Deer Hunting Scopes the Best Scopes for AR15 under 100 Dollars, as well as the Best Scope for Hog Hunting currently on the market.

So, What is The Very Best of The Best Prism Scopes & Sights?

Without a doubt, my favorite scope on today’s list would have to be the fantastic…

Burris AR-332 3x32mm Prism Scope with Red Dot Sight

That’s not to say that the other scopes should be dismissed, though. Everyone has earned their place in this best prism scopes review and provides advantages, whether that be affordability, eye relief, or any number of other pros.

Happy and safe shooting!

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