Red Dot with Magnifier Vs Prism Scope – Which optics is the best for precision hunting


Red dots are famous for placing the target on a horizontal optical plane enabling a direct shot. While the magnifier enhances visual aid by magnifying small or objects that are in a far distance. For precision, you, therefore, need a magnifier more so if you must first evaluate whether the target (deer) on your site is legal to kill.

Prism scopes on the other hand are not as effective because they are limited to the lower range magnifications, and are, therefore, suitable for use with specific types of shooting equipment such as the tactical rifles and the AR-15’s. Red dots with magnifier and the prism scopes are sights each of which is effective in its own right; let us see how they differ.

What are the differences between the Red dot magnifier and the Prism Scope?

Vortex Optics Micro 3X Red Dot Sight Magnifier
Vortex Optics Spitfire 1x Prism Scope
Eye Relief
2.64 inches
3.8 inches
Objective Lens Diameter
2.9 inches
4.3 inches
Optical features
Fully multi-coated
Fully multi-coated

Brightness settings

Parallax free

Prism based design


Red Dot with Magnifier Vs Prism Scope

  • Magnification

Red dot optics close in on a target pretty easily, but with a magnifier then precision shots can be achieved; some people, therefore, prefer to place a magnifier behind the red dot sights. Buying a separate red dot sight and a separate magnifier is hectic because you have to be sure that they match, so to save you from the above trouble we present to you the Vortex optics micro 3x red dot sight magnifier for precision shots.

The Vortex 3 x red dot sight magnifiers is designed to allow you to increase the effective distance to 300-500yards, the above then means that you will be able to get a clean shot when hunting or if you need to take out the human-sized products and that is even if they are in motion. The Prism scope offers 1x magnification which when viewed doubles the size of the perceived object, meaning that if you were to view the same object with naked eyes then it wouldn’t be as large.

The vortex 3x red dot sight magnifier is therefore the better sight because it enables the shooter to increase the effective distance and can take out targets that are in motion, while the prims scope only doubles the size of the object.

  • Optical Features

When it comes to the optical features the differences are quite significant mainly because both of these units perform differently. So for the Vortex 3X red dot sight magnifier, the only feature that stands out is the fact that it is fully multicoated meaning that it offers the best light transmission complete with bright images. The prism scope on the other hand has a plethora of features, from being fully multicoated to posing a prism-based design.

Both the Vortex 3X red dot sight magnifier and the 1x prism scope are parallax-free however, the prism scope does have additional brightness settings ( 12 variable illumination settings), a feature that is missing on the Vortex 3X red dot sight magnifier optic and which makes the prism scope the better unit as regards the optical feature.

  • Objective Lens diameter

The objective lens is the light-gathering lens normally equipped at the front of the scope, their purpose is to admit light into the scope, so if your objective lens is large enough the more light it will be able to admit, and the better the performance of the optics. The Vortex optics red dot sight magnifier objective lens is 2mm in diameter while the Vortex prism scope objective lens diameter is set at 25mm.

The above then means that the Vortex 1X prism scope will offer a higher resolution and a brighter image when compared to the Vortex 3X red dot sight magnifier because of the large objective lens.

  • Weight and build

The Vortex Spitfire 1X prism scope is heavier than the Vortex red dot with magnifier and one of the features that contribute to the extra weight is the large objective lens. From the outside, you can tell that the unit has incorporated some extra features enhanced features, for example, the turret cap that covers the elevation turret dial and the turret cap that covers the windage turret, are quite pronounced and bit bulky thus add to the weight of the scope.

A look at the build of the Red dot with magnifier, reveals two small-sized turret caps, we also have the 3x shim and the flip mount and to make it complete is the single-piece tube of aluminum all of which weighs a mere 9.55oz making it the best unit in terms of weight because shooters don’t appreciate a sight that will add extra weight to their machines.

Red Dot Sight Magnifier vs. Prism Scope- A comparison Overview

Vortex Optics Red Dot Sight Magnifier

Vortex Optics Micro 3X Red Dot Sight Magnifier with Quick-Release Mount
  • The Micro 3x Magnifier adds next level 3x magnification to your rifle's red dot or holographic sight in...
  • Anti-reflective coatings on all air-to-glass surfaces provide increased light transmission for greater...
  • Integrated quick-release mount allows fast attach/detach from your rail and a patented camlock desing...
  • The magnifier is shockproof and has been nitrogen purged for reliable water and fogproof performance in...

With an adjustable mount, the red dot sight magnifier can be used by both the left and right-handed individuals. The optic is compact and light in weight integrates quickly to your rail thank to the camlock design that engages as fast as it disengages. The unit is highly versatile and you, therefore, get two mounting positions, the Absolute co-witness height with flip mount and the lower 1/3 co-witness height with flip mount while using the riser plate.


  • Offers Micro 3X magnifier adjustments
  • The build is good quality
  • Clear glass with comfortable eye relief


  • Reticle shift is not effective

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Vortex Optics Spitfire 1x Prism Scope

Vortex Optics Spitfire 1x Prism Scope - DRT Reticle (MOA)
  • The Spitfire Prism Scope has been built from the ground up to maximize the fast handling performance of...
  • The generous sight picture and forgiving eye box get you on target effortlessly in any scenario. Fully...
  • The dual ring tactical reticle is etched on the prism providing you with a visible point of aim whether...
  • With shockproof construction, the Spitfire withstands recoil and impact while nitrogen purging and o-ring...

Incorporating the dual ring tactical users can expect to achieve precision when shooting at closer ranges. The sight affords users five levels of intensity necessary for matching specific environmental conditions. The build of the unit was to encourage quick handling and you have, therefore, been provided with illumination buttons with both the red and green hues. The incorporated reticle is super easy to focus just orient it to the direction of a white wall then adjust the eyepiece focus dial until you get a crisp and clear image.


  • The center 2MOA dot is visible
  • Comes at a good price point
  • The big objective lens offers higher resolution


  • Rail clamp claw is threaded aluminum instead of steel

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The vortex 1x prism scope is the perfect unit for close-range shooting, and comes with customizable options from the various brightness levels but lacks the height adjustment option. The red dot with the magnifier on the other hand, allows precision shooting on targets that are at far away distances and will enable a clear shot even when the target is in motion.

Final verdict; so which is better the red dot with magnifier or the prism scope

The Red dot with magnifier is the better unit because the incorporated magnifier zooms in on the targets that are far away thanks to the 3x magnification, which then enables the perfect shot.


  1. Is it okay to mount the magnifier in front of the red dot?

If you mount the magnifier in front of the red dot, your eyes will simply be beyond the eye relief range resulting in a dark image.

  1. Can I use the Vortex magnifier with a prism scope?

You cannot use the Vortex magnifier with the prism scopes because the prism scopes are not compatible with the VMX-3T magnifier.

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Terrence Miller
Terrence Miller is a hunter by birth, picking it up from a lineage of hunters and will probably hand the skill down to his son. He has been hunting since he was a young boy and has knowledge of both the new and old hunting equipment. This goes to say that the information provided is very reliable and conclusive. Using the hunting rifles and getting the right hunting gear seems to be a challenge for many individuals who want to learn the skill of hunting. And the reason why the information presented by Miller has detailed coverage on the different types of rifles, and rifle scopes. When not in the wild hunting, Miller loves horseback riding.


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