Intro to Prism Scopes: What are they Anyway?

At SHOT Show this year I took some time to speak with Mike Branson of Gideon Optics (formerly of Primary ands and Swampfox). Mike’s a friend and a true optics nerd, and I figured he could help give folks an understanding of some of the fundamentals of modern firearms optics. Today, we are going to talk about prism scopes. These have become popular and common in recent years, offering an alternative to red dots for unmagnified optics, and many are also available at the 3x magnification range. So, what do they do better or worse than red dots and traditional tube optics?


  1. I have a 4x ACOG and two 4x Browe Combat Optics. I also have four 2x PA prisms that seem nearly ideal for 7.62×39 weapons. I really like the ruggedness of prism optics.

  2. I am going insane trying to figure out how a “prism” can be 1x. Furthermore, what is the point of having a prism without magnification? Why not have a single pane of glass, it would be even lighter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.