Best Prism Scope: Top Red Dot Optics for AR15 & More (2023)

When the subject becomes the purchase of a prism style scope the shooter has options that just won’t end any time soon. These glass sights use the basic or advanced red dot systems versus the normal basic line crosshair reticle. When this system is used it is lighted in most cases and that makes the prism scope ideal for low, or no light shooting situations. 

Many years ago the US Army figured out that the scope of this type (ACOG) greatly increased the ability of soldiers to make first-round hits even at some major distances. This was because when viewing through a prism style scope what you see is what you get, and just put the little red bouncing ball on the target and send a round downrange. 

Battle sights in many brands have been built around this sighting concept, and as such the use of basic open sights has just about gone the way of the buffalo. 

The following review will take a look at up to 15 different variations in prism sight designed and product development. Some are simple and others are more complicated. Buyers’ choice as always when getting down to spending your hard earned money on one of these sighting systems. 

Best Prism Scopes

1. Swampfox Blade Prism Scope 

This red dot scope carries the 1X25 for speed and accuracy. The sight makes use of the BDC reticle, and the bullet rise compensating optic sighting system. 

The scope will light up with a shaking motion and turn off regarding the function of a timer.

The reticle system on this scope offers dead hold for ranges of 5,10, and 15 yards. This is close range shooting but common in a combat situation.

The other element associated with the reticle is the BDC sighting sub tensions that allows ranging from 50 through 200 yards by simple selecting the hold over mark required as observed through the red dot scope reticle.

This combat ranging system is applied only to the use of the 7.62 NATO, but shooters can DOPE out the exact impact points on a range offering some extension and multiple targets, and then use them accordingly. 

This sight is excellent in the event the shooter has an astigmatism and has an issue with some red dot sights.

2. Monstrum 3x Prism Scope V2

In this red dot sight, we have an all aluminum based product that uses an etched glass reticle, is illuminated both red and green color, and is visible with or without battery power. 

The sight has few parts to break down in the field, meaning the sight will hold zero under some difficult conditions if required.

At a weight of 15 ounces, this scope is an easy carry on a light or heavy rifle and designated as the P332 Raven is a good choice among shooters overall. This sight makes use of its own integral mounting system.

With a price point that is very reasonable and a full one year warranty included in the glass sight package, there is little to lose when giving the product a try.

3. Burris 300218 Armalite rifle Sight

This prism sight is built around the AR-15 / M-16 .556 NATO cartridge. 

The sight carries a red dot ballistic reticle and LED illumination with five different brightness levels.

The scope is parallax free to 100 yards and is designed as a close range combat type sight.

I shoot these types of sights on crossbow deer hunts because they fit the close range needs of the bowhunter that wants to one-shot clean kill event to take place. This standard can apply to rifles as well in the close quarters combat event. 

The sight has a 5x zoom feature, is fully coated for weather fighting abilities. It has a multi sub tension system using dots, horseshoe, and the T crosshair. 

The unit carries a 70 MOA flexible adjustment for windage and elevation making it zero easy and very workable under field conditions. 

Mounting system is integral with the main tube of the sight and it is designed as a Weaver-style unit. Fast on and off the rifle using the Picatinny receiver rail. 

Power system on this unit is battery generated. ( CR-2 )

4. Athlon Optics Midas TSP4 Prism Scope

Here we have a combat grade sight built by Anthlon that makes use of the etched reticle that stays visible even with the power turned off. This reticle is tough as nails and developed for rough field conditions. 

The lens system in this sight is fully multi-coated for weather resistance, uses a special six hour timer system that brings the sight back to the original power setting with an on-off change, and will offer the shooter lighting adjustments depending on exterior light conditions.

Designed for fast target acquisition, the sight is a solid choice for closer range shooter in heavy cover, or when applied to the military police settings. 

5. Monstrum S330P 3X Prism Scope

This is a compact heavy duet sight with 3X magnification and a 40 mm tube objective housing.

This sight is designed for rapid target adjustments as in close quarter shooting and is built like the military style ACOG. The sight uses a system that will not require power to observe the reticle in normal lighting conditions. 

At a weight of 15 ounces and five inches in length, it is ideal for light rifles with short receiver. ( AR-15.)

The unit is well made and the company backs the system for one full year regarding a written warranty service. Mounts are built into the sight and are quick detach as in Weaver-style rails. 

6. Vortex Optics Spitfire 1X Prism Scope DRT reticle MOA

This Vortex scope is built for speed and ultra fast target selection and application. This sight is built for close to medium range applications and I tend to believe the close range assignment fits the bill much better in this case. 

The ring style tactical reticle makes bringing the target into the kill box a quick choice and the scope is fully protected against weather and rough handling field applications.

The unit is well designed and would make for a good defensive sight regarding close quarter fighting, or hunting as in hogs in heavy cover.

The sight makes use of 10 different intensity levels so the system is workable in any lighting situation the shooter may encounter.

The power source on this sight is a common AAA battery. Again like many others in the industry Vortex has taken to mounting this sight using the Weaver-style rail and integral sight base system. 

7. AT3 Tacticle 3XP Prism Scope

This tactical sight carries the BDC reticle system, which will allow holdover accuracy to 600 yards if required. Somewhat like the ACOG in a battle sight the unit makes use of sub tension printed ballistics as applied to the .223 Rem / /556 NATO round. 

The sight is also designed for combat style weapons and that includes the many variants of the AR-15 / M-16 battle rifle. 

Using the Weaver rails the scope is fast to attach to any rail system, this sight is built field military tough and makes use of an aluminum housing that is one piece construction for weather fighting abilities.

The sight uses the single point red dot for speed and is powered by a CR2032 battery.

The reticle system is pre-set ( BDC ) for shooting at impact ranges from100 through 500 yards. This makes this sighting a better choice for long range situations, or general combat style shooting as well as being involved in hunting or target shooting events.

8. Monstrum P330-B Marksman 3X Prism scope

Here is again a variant on the Monstrum sight in that this sight uses the 3X magnification on the large 30mm objective bell that allows wide viewing angles and is set up for basic target work versus hunting or military police operations.

The reticle on this scope is visible with or without the use of the power settings, and the whole housing is set into a brand new design in the one piece main unit that carries the core of the sights internals. Weather can be a deciding factor as to the performance level of any sight, and this unit is built to take on all conditions. 

Built to take recoil and carries a guarantee against failure the sight offering is a unique development as applied to the manufactures offerings. 

Mounting system is integral with the unit and is of the Weaver-style.

9. Bushnell Trophy Red Dot Reticle

This sight is the jack of all trades in sighting systems and has been around for almost ever. Why do I know this? Because the sight is in-house here at Ballistics Research & Development and has been used on shotguns, crossbows, handguns, and short receiver rifles for years. ( about 30 )

The sight is simple to work with, offers good light transmission, and has a selection of up to 11 brightness settings.

The units are Weaver-style and they are fast on and off. Zeroing is a snap with easy to work with elevation and windage knobs.

The reticle is a simple red dot and what you see is what you get. I have shot deer, coyote, badger, turkeys, and hogs with the sight and I have found it to be just about all I really need in the field. 

Waterproof sealed, and weather tight I have never had an issue with the sight.

The overall size of the unit is 5.4 X ¾ X 2.2 inches and the reticle retains a 3 MOA dot and also retains more than enough windage and elevation adjustment for short range shooting

Priced for the average working guy or gal, this is a very solid performing sight system. 

10. Bushnell TRS-25

Here we have a newer Bushnell sight that is a high rise system that makes use of a unit designed riser block.

This sight is self regulating in terms of lighting conditions, and as such conserves battery life to a large degree. When the protective storage hood is installed the power system turns itself off. 

The reticle retains a 3 MOA red dot that is simple to use and very effective on buns, bows, or muzzleloaders by example.

The riser allows for a better heads up cheek weld against the comb of the stock, or when shooting a handgun and wanting to stay level with the receiver of the wheel gun by example.

I have shot a scope much like this on my Ruger 44 Magnum Super Blackhawk Hunter, and also a 454 Cass when running both of these calibers on the handgun performance testing and big game ammunition. The scopes take a licking and keep on ticking. 

11. Trijicon ACOG 3.5X35

Without question the king of the battlefield in terms of general use sights among troops.

In terms of research, I need not look at a thing in terms of understanding this outstanding glass sight and exactly what it can do in the field.

I have used the sight as applied to my AR-15 S&W M&P-T, Savage Prairie Hunter bolt action chambered in 224 Valkyrie, and also a custom-built Satterlee Mauser during some closer range coyote calling events.

The sight has been with me for 20 years and with its self generated power source that never requires a battery, the ACOG military sub tensions that develop accurate range extension by a simple look see at the numbers on the hash marks in yards, the sight has taken about everything less than elk here in western South Dakota. I mean everything that walks or crawls.

The unit is designed battery free and works of sunlight that is stored for night use as well. No turn-on or off is involved here as the chevron reticle is always lighted and illustrates exact range as applied to the AR-15 / M-16 rifle. 

Built of aircraft grade aluminum and a one piece construction design, this is the most used ACOG in the US Army’s inventory. Bullet drop recording for the shooter to 1000 meters.

12. Trijicon TA02 ACOG Battery illuminated LED 

This is still another Trijicon glass sight but in this case the function is battery powered.

The LED illuminated reticle uses a single Double-A battery and the system can run for up to 12000 hours without a change out in power source.

The unit retains six brightness settings and an on/off feature between each setting. This on and off itself is a battery save of the first order. 

The sight like other ACOG and related sights is designed to be used with both eyes open if trained to that system. The bullet drop crosshairs are set for the .223 Remington round and will extend the correct bullet drop and hold over to 600 meters. 

13. Sig Sauer Bravo 3 Battle Sight 3X24mm 

Sig is military grade today and getting into everything from sights to ammo and weapons systems. This sight is their introduction into the battle sight world and it retains a number of features as applied to its basic design makeup. 

This sight is a red dot holographic, carries a weight of 2 pounds mounted, and is made in China. 

The sight is a 3 power unit and is using a reticle system that is set up for the .223 Remington cartridge. The center of the reticle makes use of the horseshoe dot system and 0.5 MOA.

Power source on this sight is by battery and that is a single hunt of the lithium based type.

Base rails and rai on unit Weaver-style for a fast install or removal. 

14. Ronin P-12 Red Dot 1X20mm 2 MOA 

The Ronin P-12 is a battle sight design for the AR-15 and other short receiver design rifles.

This sight uses the basic red dot and will activate when the sight is moved. Auto shut off makes for a long battery life of about 50.000 hours at the low light position. The battery system is basic, and the very simple CR2032 is available anyplace batteries are sold nowadays.

Target dot size is 2 MOA in coverage. Adjustments for windage and elevation are in ½ MOA clicks. The unit is built as a one piece aircraft grade aluminum body. The system is simple, water tight, and effective in harsh environments. 

Mount type is a Weaver/ Picatinny 1913 design. 


Be advised that there are wide variety of battle or red dot style sights in this category.

Price will dictate to some level what you’re getting for your money. Actual combat related sights are going to set you back a bit but these sights are designed as field applied to save an infantrymen life. In the case of the average shooter or hunter much less can do the deal, but it is always nice to have a better grade product if one can afford the same. (1

Small but effective prism sights can do the deed in a subcompact package
Prism sight on a military style  shotgun during clays event SHOT SHOW 2019


  1. Sig Sauer, Red Dot Sight or Scope: What is the Best Optic for Your Rifle?. Retrieved from

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