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View Full Version : Primary Arms: Micro Dot vs 1-4x Scope


mrvash
08-22-2011, 9:21 PM
I've tried searching, but didn't really come up with much detail about these particular optics. I'm torn between PA's 1-4x scope or their Micro dot to hold me over until I save enough money for a Trijicon ACOG TA31HG. What are you experiences with either the 1-4x scope or the Micro Dot, i.e; battery life, weight, holding zero, mount stability/durability? Also, if you have any photos of either please post. Thanks guys!

MrPlink
08-23-2011, 1:15 AM
why is this in the gallery forum?

the PA micro is great. Sure, its not as tough as a aimpoint, for range, training, and just all arround fun use they are great.

mrvash
08-23-2011, 3:06 AM
I accidentally made the thread here instead of the optics forum. Thanks for the insight, but I've decided to just not waste the money and save for the TA31HG.

ejhc11
08-23-2011, 11:02 AM
I accidentally made the thread here instead of the optics forum. Thanks for the insight, but I've decided to just not waste the money and save for the TA31HG.

I don't think you'll waste your money on any of the PA products. Not all of us can even save up for a Trijicon so a PA equipment is more than adequate.

I recommend you buy a PA and try it out. If you decide on something later you'll always be able to sell it on this forum. Every PA device in the FS forum is snatched up quickly so the product speaks for itself. I'm happy with my PA MicroDot - its actually better than my Bushnell TRS-25, the red dot is brighter and more clear. I have a lot of the CR2032 batteries, picked up like 20 for $3 on eBay. It mounts well with the PA mount and holds zero with no problem and Marshall the CEO will answer you back on any issues or questions - so very good personable service.

tacticalcity
08-23-2011, 12:02 PM
All 3 sights you are interested in are radically different solutions to similar problems.

Personally I am a red dot fan. If you plan on taking a carbine course, you have a significantly easier time of it with a red dot.

Magnification (even variable power) will hinder your performance for CQB work. Magnification is disorienting in itself when working at speed up close. So that makes ACOGs a lousy choice for run and gun rifles. It is better suited on a main battle rifle where the vast majority of shots are medium to long range.

While the variable power 1-4 scopes are a slight improvement, anyone who has used them for running and gunning will tell you that you can get lost in the tube when on 1 power and lost in the magnification when at 4 power. So it is not ideal for CQB either. Again it is much better on a main battle rifle where most shots are further out.

Basically, the way you use your rifle needs to justify the decrease in CQB performance by being mostly mid to long range shooting if you want either an ACOG or 1-4 scope. However, a lot of shooters shoot on the range only. In which case, both are great options.

Red Dots are king when it comes to the type of shooting you do during a Carbine course. They are the absolute fastest solution for CQB. No magnification or tube to get lost in. Very fast target aquisition with no disorientation leads to very fast shots. Anything under 100 yards will be a brease. You can make much longer shots. They just aren't absolute cake. So if your shooting is mostly up close, red dots are for you.

No sight is perfect. No sight is one size fits all. You have to make an honest assessment of how you will be using your rifle and go from their.

That said, of the red dots the Primary Arms Micro is probably not the best option. I say that as someone who owns and runs one on his backup rifle. It has a very tiny window, and the emitor for the dot pokes out into your field of view reducing it significantly. This severely limits the effectiveness of the site. The larger the window the sooner you can get on target and fire. The smaller the window the less usable aiming surface area you have, which means you only see the dot at the very last fraction of a second when raising the rifle and pointing in. The fact that emiter is extended into and blocking that window only makes it that much harder to see what is going on down range with your target. Note that my first complaint about the small window also applies to the Aimpoint T-1 and H-1. It is a noticable draw back to this style of sight. The very first thing a shooter getting used to it notices. Given the price, popularity and sexy looks, many refuse to admit it however.

In your shoes, with the advantage of hind sight, I would get one of their sights with a larger window. The more glass, the more usable surface area with which to aim, the faster your response time. You want to know the second you are on target, regardless of your heads orientation to the sight.

Quality wise, the Primary Arms sight is a great value for the money. It is a great training tool and has held up. Would not use it in combat, but it is a really nice sight. Plus the owner is a great guy and will back up his products with great service.

SoCalXD
08-31-2011, 12:13 AM
I just picked up a Primary Arms Micro with their riser. As much as I wanted to like this low cost kit, I have to admit that I am disappointed in both function and quality. The dot is more like two dots side by side. The bloom at night inside the scope is bad, the QD Riser is mediocure and does not "QD"... the throw arm is useless... you'll need pliers or a small wrench to take the nut off to remove the base. The blue tinge of the glass just makes things darker, and the cheap kill flash dims the view even more. The co-witness is a bit low, preventing effective use of a larger aperture rear sight. I say save your money for a used Aimpoint or EoTech.

SuperSet
08-31-2011, 12:40 AM
Tacticalcity has all the right points, except for getting lost in the scope on 1X. If you use a quality illuminated scope on 1X, you can run it as hard and fast as you could a red dot up to the limits of your ability and accumulated trigger experience. There is a reason that these are being used at the top tiers of the 3-gun shooting circuit where the shooting needs vary from contact distance to 400-500Y 10" COM hits under simulated stress.

But, having looked through a PA 1-4X, I wouldn't put that into the same category as other 1-4X illuminated scopes. I'd put it into the same category as the Weaver 1-3X, a good scope for the money but with no daylight-visible reticule.

What made you decide on an ACOG by the way? See tacticalcity's notes above about it being a mid-range optic, ill-suited for shooting 25Y and in.

mrvash
08-31-2011, 11:29 AM
Tacticalcity has all the right points, except for getting lost in the scope on 1X. If you use a quality illuminated scope on 1X, you can run it as hard and fast as you could a red dot up to the limits of your ability and accumulated trigger experience. There is a reason that these are being used at the top tiers of the 3-gun shooting circuit where the shooting needs vary from contact distance to 400-500Y 10" COM hits under simulated stress.

But, having looked through a PA 1-4X, I wouldn't put that into the same category as other 1-4X illuminated scopes. I'd put it into the same category as the Weaver 1-3X, a good scope for the money but with no daylight-visible reticule.

What made you decide on an ACOG by the way? See tacticalcity's notes above about it being a mid-range optic, ill-suited for shooting 25Y and in.

I enjoy targets at longer ranges and my eye sight isn't too great.

SuperSet
08-31-2011, 11:37 AM
Then I don't think either a micro dot or a 1-4X scope is for you. You should look at a 3-9X since rapid target acquisition is not your primary rifle purpose.

barbasol
08-31-2011, 12:50 PM
I have both. The micro field of view is small and makes for slower target acquisition. The 1-4 I am very happy with but as stated is for a different purpose. Both have held zero fine. My favorite is the PA M3. Much better field of view. I also have their 3x magnifier with flip to side mount and BUIS.

marsh1
09-02-2011, 12:07 PM
I just picked up a Primary Arms Micro with their riser. As much as I wanted to like this low cost kit, I have to admit that I am disappointed in both function and quality. The dot is more like two dots side by side. The bloom at night inside the scope is bad, the QD Riser is mediocure and does not "QD"... the throw arm is useless... you'll need pliers or a small wrench to take the nut off to remove the base. The blue tinge of the glass just makes things darker, and the cheap kill flash dims the view even more. The co-witness is a bit low, preventing effective use of a larger aperture rear sight. I say save your money for a used Aimpoint or EoTech.

Seeing two dots is a common issue with red dot at first. Usually just takes a little practice or you have a astigmatism. This comes up so often Aimpoint has a FAQ on their web site to address it. If properly adjusted the QD lever works great. We do offer a American Defense option that will give a higher cowitness. The tint is also part of a tube red dot. You see the same complaint posted about T-1s. In low light you turn down the brightness. They are far from Aimpoint quality that is why we proudly sell Aimpoint and EOTech but plenty in use by experiences shooters that are completely satisfied. Not sure what is cheap about the killflash but it can be removed. That said if you are not happy neither are we. Shoot me a email and I will send you a return label and issue a full refund.

Marshall

650bail
09-02-2011, 1:32 PM
THAT is an example of a company that EARNS it's customers business. I haven't ordered my red dot yet (holiday weekend so placing it Tues), but I'm voting with my dollar. I wish more companies conducted business with this level of integrity. Most Impressive.

Ryan

tacticalcity
09-02-2011, 2:09 PM
Tacticalcity has all the right points, except for getting lost in the scope on 1X. If you use a quality illuminated scope on 1X, you can run it as hard and fast as you could a red dot up to the limits of your ability and accumulated trigger experience. There is a reason that these are being used at the top tiers of the 3-gun shooting circuit where the shooting needs vary from contact distance to 400-500Y 10" COM hits under simulated stress.

But, having looked through a PA 1-4X, I wouldn't put that into the same category as other 1-4X illuminated scopes. I'd put it into the same category as the Weaver 1-3X, a good scope for the money but with no daylight-visible reticule.

What made you decide on an ACOG by the way? See tacticalcity's notes above about it being a mid-range optic, ill-suited for shooting 25Y and in.

Thanks for the kind words. I think I should probably clarify.

It is only when extremely close up at CQB contact distances that I (and others I have trained with) tend to get lost in the tube of the 1-4x or 1-8x scopes. I'm talking 1-10 yards. The further back from your target you get the less of an issue it is. But since I use my M4 for mostly taking CQB courses that are taught by off duty SWAT guys, the shooting is mostly close up right in your face. There are a few running drills that start at 100 yards and you run towards the targets from station to station trying out the various firing positions and techniques the course covered. But the vast majority of the shooting you do is at contact distances of 7-10 yards. So for my M4, the way I use it, anything other than a red dot would be less than ideal.

If I were having to shoot out to 500 yards as often or more often than I shoot close up, and most my shots fell in the middle, the variable 1-4X or 1-8X scopes would definately be the way to go. Range shooters who are hitting that 100 yard target would be well served by such a scope, as well as competition guys who have to adapt to a wide variety of distances. But if I am shooting at the distances you would find indoors, red dot is still king.

You can make the ACOG work close-in - with some serious effort. It is slower than a 1x4X and a lot slower than a red dot. That magnification can confuse your brain and cause some headaches, literally. But it can be done. Definately not my first choice for an optic. However, since the OP sounds like he will mostly be on the range, and most ranges start at 25 yards and and end at 100 yards, I doubt he'll have any issues. It is a hard optic for newer AR guys to stay away from. We've seen so many pictures of it on the AR that it just looks at home up there. Once they get their heart set on it there is no talking them out of it. For midrange shooting like that found on a firing range it does a very decent job. Plus the tritium reticle works great. So I am sure he'll be pleased. Plus, as a brand, it is hard to knock Trijicon. They offer great quality control and excellent customer service.

SuperSet
09-02-2011, 2:44 PM
Within 10 yards, if you have an illuminated scope, you shouldn't be looking through the scope anyway. Target focus, bring the scope to eye level and press off rounds when you see the dot enter COM. Exactly like how you use a red dot.
If you're within 1-5 yards, you don't even need sights, use your index and point shoot the bastard!