Welcome to Optics Trade debates. In each episode, we will talk about a different topic and try to answer the most common questions we receive about it. Today, we are going to talk about the differences between red dots and prism scopes, why and how we should use one and the other and their main purpose.
The first main difference is in the magnification. Red dot sights operate at 1x magnification while prism scopes operate either at 1x, 2x, 3x, 4x, or 6x magnification. We can compare red dots with prisms scopes which operate at 1x magnification.
Illumination with both can be in two colours. With prism scopes, it is common that you can switch between the red and green colour. With red dots, the trend of offering the illumination in green is now coming to the stage.
The advantages of prism scopes are diopter setting, an integrated mount, the option of ordering it with a magnification other than 1x, and a reticle etched onto the glass with holdover points for bullet drop compensation.
The advantages of red dot sights are unlimited eye-box and eye-relief that allow the user to shoot even if he or she is not in a perfect position to shoot, faster shooting at close range; smaller, more compact design and the ability to look through them with both eyes open.
Basically, red dots are for close range while with prism scopes the user can shoot at close to medium range.
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