The Ultimate Guide: Prism Scope Pros and Cons



Did you know that in 2019, over 15 million people paid for a hunting license? If you love being in the great outdoors and enjoy hunting as well but are considering making the switch to a prism scope, we are here to help. We have put together the pros and cons to help you make a decision.

Keep reading to learn the ins and outs of opting for the best prism scope for your next hunting adventure.

Pro: Compact

One of the pros is that the prism in the prism scope allows for the optic to be more lightweight and more compact than a traditional hunting scope. With a traditional scope, there are multiple lenses making it less compact.

One con is that since it is more like a scope it is not as compact as a reflex red dot sight. If you are looking for a more compact and low-profile accessory then the prism scope is not the one.

Pro: Magnification

Another pro is that the prism scope offers a fixed power magnification between 1x and 5x power. This is a lot more than a reflex sight even though it is not much if you compare it to a traditional scope.

One of the cons of this is that you can’t co-witness the prism scope with the irons, for this you would have to use a reflex scope. The other con is that it tops out at around 5x, so if you need more magnification than this, you will need a different scope.

Pro: Durable


Another pro is that a prism rifle scope is a lot more durable than other scopes because there are no moving optical parts. These scopes are a lot more simple when it comes to their mechanical design.

You can learn more info. about equipment that is well fabricated and reliable.

Pro: No Batteries Needed

Another pro is that unlike a red dot you do not need batteries. The reason you do not need batteries is that the reticle is etched into the glass. If you do not want to worry about running out of batteries while you are out hunting or do not want to carry around extra batteries then a prism scope might be a good choice.

Pro: Better for Astigmatism

If you suffer from astigmatism then you might have experienced things like bursts of stars or halos when looking through reflex red dots. With a prism scope, you will more than likely not have to deal with most problems that are associated with people that suffer from astigmatism.

Con: Heavy

If you prefer something lighter then a red dot might be best. A prism scope is heavy when you compare it to red dots. For hunters that prefer to have as little weight as possible then do not opt for a prism scope.

Con: Eye Relief

A prism is set up like a scope, therefore it is not a simple point and shoot. You have to line it up with your eye and set it a certain distance away in order to get a clear image of your target.

For those that want to point and shoot then you might want to look into a reflex sight instead because it does not have an eye relief.

Prism Scope Basics


This is considered a newer type of scope technology. Prisms are used in various types of applications but their main function is to redirect a beam of light in some type of way.

The best way to explain how a prism scope works is by explaining how a traditional rifle scope works. A traditional scope uses a series of lenses in order to focus light in a specific place.

The lens that is closer to the barrel is called the objective lens and it is larger therefore it allows for more light transmission. The lens that is closer to your eye is the ocular lens. The light passes through the objective lens and focuses on a point inside of the scope and when you look through the ocular lens the focus point is magnified.

A prism scope is similar to what we described above except that it uses a prism in order to focus the light instead of using a lens. This means that you end up with a more compact optic than a traditional scope.

When Are Prism Scopes Useful?

Prisms scopes are pretty versatile. You can choose these scopes if you are doing tactical shooting because they acquire targets pretty fast since they are pretty compact in size.

They are also good if you are doing casual range shooting. If you have a survival rifle then a prism scope would work because the etched reticle will help make the scope useful even if you do not have batteries.

If you want to shoot from long distances then a traditional lens scope would be better because you can find these with a much larger range of magnification. For our faster-paced shooters then a reflex scope is a better option because you can shoot with both eyes open.

Feeling Like a Prism Scope Pro?

We hope that with all of our information above about a prism scope, you can make an informed decision on whether or not to make the investment. One thing is for sure, a prism scope can be very useful.

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