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Best Prism Scope for AR15

best prism scope for ar15

Riflescopes contain a series of lenses, used for magnifying the targets. Having said that, prism scope technology has taken target shooting and hunting to a whole new level. Which brings us to what is a prism scope and is it for you? 

First of all, a prism scope is composed of, well, prisms! These scopes are very robust and compact and they function similarly to red dot sights but have an illuminated reticle in the shape of a cross or a dot with a circle. 

Top 6 Best Prism Scope for AR15

NameSepcsToday's Price
Vortex Optics Crossfire II Second Focal Plane2-7x32Click Here
Burris Handgun Hunting Scope2-7×32Click Here
Nikon M-Tactical1-4X24Click Here
Vortex Optics Diamondback4x to 16xClick Here
Tasco Red Dot1 X 30mmClick Here
Steiner T5Xi Tactical3-15 mmClick Here

Suitable for people with an eye issue due to the adjustable dioptre which these riflescopes come with. Below are the top 6 prism scopes for your ar 15 rifle.

1. Vortex Optics Crossfire II Second Focal Plane, 1-inch Tube Riflescopes

Vortex Optics Crossfire II  Riflescopes -best prism scope for ar15

Vortex Optics Crossfire Prism scopes are both pocket-friendly and give a high-performance output.  Crossfire II second focal plane (SFP) has various features such as rugged construction, long eye relief, and controls that are smooth and accurate. 

It’s a scope for any situation as it has a dead-hold BDC reticle, which in turn means that you never have to guess and calculate your bullet drop compensation. 

Consists of a fast-focus eyepiece which helps to adjust the center of the reticle in quickly and easily. Moreover, with windage dials and elevation that can be adjusted, this is one of the best prism scope for ar15 rifles.

When we tried our hands on this scope, we loved the fact that the clicks are audible while moving MOA. With the help of which, it was easier than usual to estimate the point-of-impact ¼ MOA (minute of angle).

The maximum elevation adjustment is 60 MOA, and the image focus or parallax adjustment provides sharp images and removes errors in the parallax. This model also has an adjustment knob on the eyepiece that helps to illuminate the reticle without taking your eye off the target.

Another feature is the windage and elevation dials, helping to re-index the zero indicators. Now the question is, Is it suitable for you?

One thing is for certain, It’s a must grab for all who want to shoot at varying ranges!


  • Better than other riflescopes which have the same price
  • Maximum elevation adjustment – 60 MOA
  • Dead-hold BDC reticle
  • Requires minimum maintenance
  • Fog proof, Waterproof, Shockproof
  • Constructed from aircraft-grade aluminum


  • Models with lower power are pre-focused at 100 yards distance 
  • Parallax adjustments are absent.

2. Burris Handgun Hunting Scope

Burris Handgun Hunting Scope

Perhaps the best scope for a handgun in the current market. It has a post-lock design to secure the target on-site, which didn’t deviate even after facing a harsh recoil generated from our ar15. And mind you, ar15s are known for their hostile recoils!

The 2-7×32 mm tube helps the shooters with a wide 32mm lens and 2 to 7 magnification range, which was more than enough for us to comfortably shoot an object at 200 yards. 

The scope has 2x low-end magnification which provides a fast hold of the target and a very large field of view. Moreover, precision at handgun stretching distances is provided by 7x zoom.

Finally, a ballistic plex reticle is used by this scope, which helps you determines the hold-over position and saves you the trouble of doing math in your head. We understand how that struggle goes!


  • Lightweight.
  • Large field of view
  • Has excellent magnification, 2 to 7x
  • Outstanding brightness and clarity even at 500 yards
  • Durable
  • Ballistic Plex Reticle for automatic hold-over calculation


  • Slightly on the expensive side
  • We felt the amount of eye relief to be limited

3. Nikon M-Tactical 1-4X24 Matte MK1-MOA

Nikon M-Tactical Matte MK1-MOA Riflescope

It’s NIKON! And just like what you’d expect from any Nikon product, the glass and the multi-coating technology present helps in making the pictures bright with high contrast even at high magnification. 

Needless to say, the reticles are designed for long-range purposes. Magnificent adaptability and functionality are provided by quick focus eyepiece, steady eye relief, and 4X zoom range. 

The 30mm main body tube with spring-loaded instant zero-reset turrets with coarse knurling is one of the most beneficial features presents. Our team was able to operate the scope in a comfortable manner with or without gloves present. We would expect you to have the same experience as well.

Furthermore, the body itself is made from aircraft-grade aluminum alloy. Nikon’s M-Tactical riflescope also consists of a side focus parallax adjustment feature. This aids in better calibrating the center of your target even when your own eye-ball is moving all over the place. 

It is also nitrogen purged and hence quite dependable against thermal shock.


  • Instant zero-reset turrets
  • 30mm main body tube
  • Aircraft-grade aluminum alloy
  • Nitrogen purged
  • 1 to 4x zoom range
  • Waterproof and fog proof
  • Durable and Shockproof


  • ½ minute adjustment might be a little coarse
  • Turrets don’t lock easily

4. Vortex Optics Diamondback Second Focal Plane Riflescopes

Vortex Optics Diamondback Second Focal Plane Riflescopes

Let’s start with the rough and tough features of this riflescope, it’s highly resistant to magnum recoil. Also, the argon purging takes the fog proof and waterproofing game to a new level. 

If you are expecting to be hunting deer and rabbits out in the snow during the winters, you may as well buy these now without reading further! 

It is constructed from a single piece of aircraft-grade aluminum which makes this scope highly durable just like others in this list. 

The multi-coated optics which are advanced help in getting a clear and sharp image in the crosshairs. At the same time, the second focal plane reticle helps in maintaining the accuracy of the target. 

Furthermore, the precision-glide erector system ensures smooth and clean visibility through all ranges of magnification. And the low glare matte surface helps in camouflaging the position of the shooter.


  • A budget buy
  • 4x to 16x magnification
  • Clear optics at all magnification level
  • Dead-hold BDC reticle
  • Has customized dot design 
  • Easy to set up
  • Has hard-anodized finish
  • You get more than what you pay for


  • Sometimes hard to feel the turrets click
  • Images might become unclear at low light

5. Tasco Red Dot 1 x 30mm Rifle Scope 5 MOA Dot Reticle

Tasco Red Dot Rifle Scope 5 MOA Dot Reticle

A red dot riflescope that we tried out with a variety of rifles at our shooting range, and each time Tasco Red Dot astonished us with its performance. Especially, when we tried it out with our ar15 rifle.

This riflescope has a 57-foot wide field of view at 100 yards which shows bright pictures and the 5 MOA red dot helps to spot the target quickly. 

The wide 120 MOA windage and elevation range helps to aim at the target. It has a 50-yard parallax setting and unlimited eye relief. 

Like we said, Tasco red dot riflescope can also be used for shotguns using up to 3” shells and for handguns up to 0.357 magnums. Hence, if you have a shelf full of the shiny armory, you should consider this riflescope. Additionally, it is made of anodized aluminum which makes it light in weight.


  • Unlimited eye relief
  • Red dot riflescope
  • Works on handgun and rifle
  • Easy to sight in
  • 5 MOA dot reticle
  • Fixed Parallax setting – 50 yards
  • Affordable 
  • Lightweight


  • Lens caps are not attached
  • The turning on and off switch is near the elevation adjuster
  • The size of the red dot is slightly big

6. Steiner T5Xi Tactical Rifle Scope – Close Compact Riflescope for Hunting

Steiner T5Xi Tactical Rifle Scope

Steiner T5Xi tactical riflescope provides the shooters with accuracy and precision. The reticle is from Special Competition Reticle (SCR) technology and it is located on the FFP, hence a wider bright area. 

The lens is of high quality with multi-coating and allows more contrast and brightness in a low visibility environment. Furthermore, the windage and elevation knobs provide 0.1 mils/click correction in any situation. 

The 34mm tube has a 50mm objective lens with 3-15 magnification. Not only this, but it also has independent parallax adjustability. 

This scope can be used for various purposes like hunting, competition, and law enforcement. The reticle is of broken cross style which helps in target spotting and hence minimizes the obscured groupings. 

An additional feature of this riflescope is that it has a low profile and capped turrets which is beneficial. Due to the 14-psi pressurized nitrogen seals into the optics, it is waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof. 


  • Clarity is good
  • 5 to 25x magnification range
  • Special competition reticle 
  • Extended illumination area, and holdover lines
  • 1/10 mil ranging brackets
  • Long-range
  • Versatile, precise, rugged
  • Illuminated reticle
  • Reasonable price
  • 5x magnification range


  • Parallax adjustment could be a problem for beginners


How to avoid a scope bite – eye relief?

Scope bite can easily occur when the scope is kept very close to the eye. This commonly occurs when the rifle is not held properly against the shoulder. 

It can also occur if there isn’t enough eye relief and hence the recoil knocks the scope in the eye. This can cause headaches, scars, and bleeding in some severe cases. 

It is necessary to consider the eye relief mentioned in the features of the scope and also it is imperative that the scope when mounted, should not be too close to the face. 

Another thing to consider is bracing the butt-plate firmly against the shoulder. The most frequent reason for having a scope bite even among the most experienced is the positioning of the rifle. 

It is a good idea to keep the distance and angle between the scope and angle between the scope and the face the same. This probably happens when the scope doesn’t match the rifle and also when the shooter is not careful to position himself with the scope accurately.

You can check our other articles to figure out which riflescope is for your armory.

What are the advantages/benefits of using a scope for ar15?

A scope will offer clear and accurate shots even while aiming from a distance. A better light transmission means a brighter and clearer view of the targets. 

Provides target acquisition under low visibility, and the scopes mentioned in this list are fast and reliable. 

Is a fixed magnification riflescope better or variable magnification riflescope better?

If versatility is required then zoom scopes are a better option than fixed scopes due to the presence of minimum and maximum magnification levels. Therefore, allowing the shooter to aim at the target in between these ranges. 

However, if you are a beginner, wanting to do some shooting practice and try your hands on aiming then fixed magnification scope is good as the trainee shooter does not have to keep adjusting the magnification. Moreover, these scopes are more durable than variable zoom scopes.

Benefits of having adjustable objective lenses (AO)

In some cases, the target cannot be viewed clearly due to parallax. Having an AO allows the shooter to make manual adjustments to the scope which in return allows correcting the parallax errors when the shooter shoots at different distances. 

The adjustment of the objective lens depends on the magnification which is required.

To know more about adjustable objective lenses check out this video from an expert shooter.

Advantages of prism scopes versus red dot sight

  • It has a magnification range which helps to view a zoomed picture.
  • Prism scopes have an illuminated reticle system that has an etched reticle that can be viewed without batteries or any optic problems.
  • Helps the shooter by providing a bright and sharp image 
  • Acquire the target quickly
  • A good option for people with an eye condition 

Things to consider while choosing the perfect riflescope

  • The purpose for which the scope is being used- self-defense, target shooting, hunting
  • How far is your target?
  • A budget should be considered as fixed scopes are cheaper than variable scopes.
  • The environment should be considered beforehand as it can affect the scope. Conditions such as heat, fog, humidity, and moisture can impact the chosen scope.

What does the battery life of a riflescope depend on?

The battery life depends on different factors that allow them to work for a long time versus a short time. 

The temperature during which the riflescope is being used could be a factor or even the time of the day (daytime or nighttime). Furthermore, it is observed that the battery decreases faster during cold weather. Similar is the case when using the riflescope during sunset.


Prism scopes are a great option for you if you require something compact, and accurate. Which can be easily carried from one place to another, especially during competitions.

On the other hand, it also depends on the purpose you are buying the prism scope for. 

But from our experience of using the above mentioned 6 prism scopes, it can be used for tactical shooting or hunting as well. 

Steiner T5Xi Tactical Rifle Scope seems to be the cherry on top of the cake for us. Extends a classy look while on top of the rifle, and delivers the sweetness when ar15 throws its recoil. We can’t complain, it was indeed a delicious affair! 

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