Can You Use A Magnifier With A Prism Sight?

Prism scope and red dot optics both tend to come with fixed magnification. Prism scopes tend to have more than 1x magnification often while red dots are always fixed at 1x magnification.

Naturally, you will want to expand the magnification if you are a rifle user. To make that possible, a lot of companies also make magnifiers that they sell separately. There is an issue with this tho. Most of these magnifiers are compatible with reflex sights. Ever so often, you would see people who own prism sight wanting to use magnifiers as well.

Can they do it? Can you really use a magnifier with a prism sight? Let’s find out.

Can You Use A Magnifier On A Prism Scope?

The short answer is, no. You cannot use a magnifier with an optic that follows the prism lens mechanism. The reason is, in the prism mechanism, the focus point of that optic is different. If you are using a prism optic in front and a red dot at the back, when you flip one to use the other, you will immediately notice you are aiming wrong.

That’s because the eye relief difference between the two makes it impossible to maintain close focus. If you are trying to use a 3x magnifier on a 1x prism sight that is not rated to be used with magnifiers, you still can manage to narrow down the focus difference and use it.

But the moment you flip your magnifier to the side to use the optic only, you will again get hit by that focus shift issue. The eye relief difference is too important here. Unlike reflex/red dot sights, where you can maintain unlimited eye relief, prism scopes don’t allow you that benefit.

What About Magnifiers On Prism Sights?

They are 1x and they are often rated to be used by magnifiers. Well, my friend, there are no 1x prism sights. They are still classified to be called a scope. And to most, 1x prism scope seems like a silly thing to consider.

But if you are a shooter who suffers from astigmatism and having a hard time calibrating the red dot optic to your needs, then a 1x prism scope is your best bet. After all, the prism lens focus system covers astigmatism and makes it easy for you to focus.

So, when you add in a magnifier on this optic to increase 1x to 3x, the focus issue will be back. That’s the main issue of using a prism sight with a magnifier. I know I said you can’t use it, but you definitely can. The difference will be within the margin of error. The real problem lies in the focus.

For that reason alone, I will always say you shouldn’t use a magnifier with a prism sight. If you want magnification and a prism sight, why not go for Trijicon ACOG? Or BROWE 4×32 combat optic? They are too expensive? The Primary Arms SLx 3 gen 2 is a good choice on the budget.

The bottom line is, that you shouldn’t use a magnifier with a prism sight. If you want to use a magnifier, do that with red dot sights, not prism ones.


What did we learn today? We learned that the internet is a weird place and there are two types of information present on the same topic. It’s always been yes vs no when it comes to simple questions like this.

I know you will find a lot of people disagreeing with me and saying that they didn’t face any issues while using a magnifier with a prism sight, but in reality, you are not them. I’m not them, I’m not trying to be different or edgy here. I’m just trying to warn you against a problem that you have a solid chance of facing.

And if you do end up facing that problem, will the person who said your magnifier will work refund you for spending on a magnifier? No, right? Then again, if you are anything like me and want to experience yourself to find out what’s real for you then you definitely should try the config out at least once.

With that said, that’s all for now. I hope you found the read useful and now know better than before. Whether you still want to use a prism sight with a magnifier or not, I will leave that decision up to you. Thanks for reading, I will see you next time.

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