Choosing a prism scope

Discussion in 'Long Gun Accessories and Optics' started by DerMerchant, Oct 5, 2019.

  1. DerMerchant

    DerMerchant Member

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    I have an AR with a red dot on it, but want something more practical for SHTF. I've come to the conclusion that a prism scope would be a good option, due to the fact that batteries are not required for operation, they have minimal moving parts, and the low magnification makes target ID at longer ranges easier. I was thinking 3x would be a good choice, but I'm open to suggestions. I've narrowed it down to a few options an was wondering if anyone here has experience with any of these optics.
    • Sightmark Wolfhound 3x
    • Primary Arms SlxP3
    • SIG Bravo 3
    • Vortex Spitfire 3x
    • Burris AR-332
    • Crimson Trace 3.5x
    • Athlon PR31
    I'm skewed towards the vortex, primary arms, and sightmark options, the former two due to their popularity, and the latter due to my good experiences with other sightmark products. Of course there are other offerings from steiner and trijicon, but these are out of my price range.
     
  2. DerMerchant

    DerMerchant Member

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    Actually, now that I've looked at most of these scopes, half of them appear to be made in the same factory judging by their appearances. I think I'll just get the PA scope, as everyone seems to like it.
     
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  3. greyling22

    greyling22 Member

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    personally, I bailed on prism scopes and just use a 1-4 or 1-6x. more versatility and I dislike many of the reticles in the prism scopes.
     
  4. Gumby0961
    • Contributing Member

    Gumby0961 Contributing Member

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    I like both of sights I have, Burris 5x on my 450 BM & a 3x Primary Arms on my 7.62x39. The magnification on both works real well for the range I use them at. Both are very clear and have wide field of view. Most of the time I use them without lighting them up. I haven't had anything to complain about on either so far.
     
  5. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    That is what has stopped me from trying one so far.
     
  6. beeenbag

    beeenbag Member

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    I have a spitfire 1x and it isn’t great, my wife likes it so it lives on her AR, but it fish bowls pretty bad. I can’t speak for the 3x though.
     
  7. TAC

    TAC Member

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    I recently purchased a SIG BRAVO 3 prism scope for my Kel-Tec RFB bull-pup. MSRP is $419 but Optics Planet is $308 w/free shipping. It's built like a tank, has sharp bright lenses and has a 5.56/7.62 or .300 Blackout horseshoe etched dot illuminated reticle. Can't wait to get it out to the range!

    Specifications for Sig Sauer Bravo3 3x24mm Red Dot Sight:
    Color: Graphite
    Finish: Matte
    Fabric/Material: Aluminum
    Magnification: 3 x
    Objective Lens Diameter: 24 mm
    Illumination Color: Red
    Brightness Settings: 10
    Eye Relief: Unlimited
    Adjustment Type: MOA
    Adjustment Click Value: 0.5 MOA
    W/E Travel at 100 Yds: 100 MOA
    Lens Material: Glass
    Optical Coating: HDX
    Attachment/Mount Type: MIL-STD 1913
    Battery Type: CR2
    Battery Quantity: 1
    Battery Life: 40000 hours
    Operating Temperature: -40 - 140 Fahrenheit
    Weather Resistance: Yes
    Water Resistance Level: IPX-8
    Water Resistant Mark: 400 m
    Shockproof: Yes
    Fogproof: Yes
    Gun Model: All models
    Height: 2 in
    Included Accessories: Batteries, Mount, Mounting Tool, Lens Covers, Lens Cloth
     
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  8. cougar1717

    cougar1717 Member

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    I have used a Steiner M332. The glass is very clear, but I could see that it is not for everyone being that it is a fixed 3x scope. Once Trijicon's patent on the prism scope expired, there are a ton of lower cost options of varying quality. While they may use the same or similar tube, giving a similar appearance, just like an afterschool special, "it's what's inside that counts" in terms of glass quality, scope adjustments, mounts, holding zero, etc.

    The fixed prism scope is not good at short distances, like 0-25yds, which is why it's usually piggybacked with a micro red dot. Typically, they need to be mounted with a shorter eye relief than a typical scope. If you use a prism with a harder recoiling cartridge (like a 308 Win), you won't get a crescent eyebrow scar due to the rubber coated eyepiece, but it is apt to push your shooting glasses into your face.

    There's no way to use BUIS through the prism scope, but offset BUIS would be complementary. A person could take off the prism to flip up their BUIS also.

    It slots better at 50-100yds - up to about 300yds since you can see a little better than an RDS. Obviously, shooting 300yds at 3x is equivalent to irons or a 1x dot at 100yds. Most people don't have trouble with that as long as the target is big enough. It's not ideal for uber-precise shooting at distance, but most people considering a fixed 3x already know that. I used 5" to 6" targets at 100yds and that was ideal IMO for 3x. I could see 223 Rem bullet holes at 100yds with the M332. I needed a higher magnification to see the grouping, but I was pleasantly surprised that I could see the holes at 3x.

    Some may make the argument, "If I already have a 1x RDS, why do I need 3x magnification?" The answer is that you don't. RDS's are more plentiful than they have ever been and the popularity of the 1-6 scope has put a damper on prism scope sales. The prism scope, in a way, combines a RDS with a magnifier in a smaller package, without the ability to switch between 1x and 3x. It is a product of compromise.

    Knowing their limitations, prism scopes are a simple solution for 50yds to 300yds+. They will never be as popular as RDS's, but if you can live with the limitations, a prism sight may be for you.
     
  9. Robbins290

    Robbins290 Member

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    I got the burris when midway had a sale for them. I am impressed with it. Clear lenses and the reticle works good for what i plan on using it for. i got the 3x one.
     
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  10. SageRatSafaris

    SageRatSafaris Member

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  11. DerMerchant

    DerMerchant Member

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  12. army_eod

    army_eod Member

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    I run two rifles with Primary Arms Cyclops 1x prisms. Excellent optic for me.
     
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  13. JDGray

    JDGray Member

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    I really like PA, have the Cyclops 1x, and the ACSS 3X on rifles, and both are crystal clear. The Cyclops reticle is a bit small, but the ACSS is plenty usable, and at close range too. The eye relieve is the only issue, you don't have a great deal to play with, has to be up close.
    d8hw3dSh.jpg
    cv7o11uh.jpg
     
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  14. army_eod

    army_eod Member

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    Pic of an AR with the Primary Arms 1x Prism (Cyclops).
    IMG_0022.jpg
     
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  15. DerMerchant

    DerMerchant Member

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    Guess I'll post a pic of mine, 5x PA prism. IMG_20200222_230900 - Copy.jpg
     
  16. wally

    wally Member

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    I've the Primary Arms and Burris 5X versions. The Burris is maybe a bit brighter, but both allow fast good hits from 50-400 yards on IPSC-style torso silhouette steel plates. Red dots are my favorite at 100 yards or less, but if you need to reach out more these are a great choice.

    I've the PA on my SCAR 17S, why a "cheap scope" on an expensive rifle? Because it works and I'd rather use the savings for more practice ammo.
     
    DerMerchant likes this.
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