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View Full Version : Primary Arms red dot vs. T1


zombiescanlearn
03-04-2012, 3:04 PM
anyone out there actually have the Primary Arms and ran it hard to see how it compares to the T1? Thanks.

MrPlink
03-04-2012, 3:20 PM
I like Primary Arms a lot given what they cost, but that is not even remotely a fair comparison.

If you want a cheap training device, then PA is hard to argue with.
If you want something you will likely never have to worry about, well then get the real deal.

Tier One Arms
03-04-2012, 3:22 PM
I own both, the biggest advantage to the T1 is being able to always have it on (5 years battery life on medium brightness) if I hear a bump in the night all I have to do is pick up my rifle and flip off the safety. On the PA it would go dead after several weeks. The PA is a great sight though.

zfields
03-04-2012, 3:22 PM
PA is great for what it is.


It aint an aimpoint though.

dholla
03-04-2012, 4:08 PM
Besides battery life what makes the T-1 better?

I am also looking for a red dot for a Socom build.

nicoroshi
03-04-2012, 4:22 PM
Besides battery life what makes the T-1 better?

I am also looking for a red dot for a Socom build.

Do some research into parallax, and the difference between the T1, and PA will become clear to you.

SIGSHOOTR
03-04-2012, 4:27 PM
I'm sure you've all seen this.... it really should be called "T-1 Torture Test".

https://danieldefense.com/torturetest

atsaubrey
03-04-2012, 4:35 PM
I cant comment on the T1 but I have the PA and LOVE it. For the money there isnt anything out there in comparison..IMO.

chead
03-04-2012, 4:45 PM
You could always step up to the Vortex Sparc. I'm sure the battery life isn't on par with the T-1 but it's going to be about as tough.

zombiescanlearn
03-04-2012, 4:47 PM
I cant comment on the T1 but I have the PA and LOVE it. For the money there isnt anything out there in comparison..IMO.

Under what conditions do you run your gun? Do you do mostly range shooting or carbine courses, etc.? Thanks, you're just the person I was looking for.

zombiescanlearn
03-04-2012, 4:50 PM
You could always step up to the Vortex Sparc. I'm sure the battery life isn't on par with the T-1 but it's going to be about as tough.

I actually started with a SPARC and was not happy with it -- had to send it back for a replacement, it died 2 hours into carbine course. The replacement has been ok but because of the placement on the power switch, it keeps turning on when it's in my gun case. At other times, it just shuts down in the middle of a shoot and turning back on for no reason. That's when I decided to invest in a T1. I'm just looking for a cheaper alternative that's reliable for my AK 47.

zombiescanlearn
03-04-2012, 4:51 PM
Besides battery life what makes the T-1 better?

I am also looking for a red dot for a Socom build.

The word is that it runs forever under any condition. That's why I finally got it for my H&K. So far, it has lived up to its reputation.

Fate
03-04-2012, 4:54 PM
Get an Aimpoint. If you don't need the night vision capacity, the H1 is less expensive. I picked up my T-1 on the cheap (lightly used) and love it.

zfields
03-04-2012, 5:12 PM
FWIW, I use a PA M3 Multi, and love the thing. But not something I would consider "SHTF" quality. An it on my old saiga, and now using it on my Draco. Used it on my shotgun a bit also, but didnt like it. Plan on picking up another PA, but the 1-4 scope for my lever gun at some point.

joefrank64k
03-04-2012, 5:32 PM
If you do go with an Aimpoint, and don't need the NV capability, the H-1 is less expensive than the T-1. I got my last T-1 used (LNIB) for $350.

Another thing, Aimpoint now offers the H-1/T-1 with a 2MOA dot.

atsaubrey
03-04-2012, 5:41 PM
Under what conditions do you run your gun? Do you do mostly range shooting or carbine courses, etc.? Thanks, you're just the person I was looking for.

I only do range shooting unfortunately so I cannot comment alot further. For the range, I am in love with this sight and would place it higher on the list than a Vortex Strikefire. Not like that is alot of help but....

cwin
03-04-2012, 6:07 PM
IMHO, they are not even in the same class. I own both...I ended up buying the PA for my Sig 522 and it's worked like a champ. I have the T-1 on my Noveske. For the price you're paying, the PA is a great choice to use on a training/plinking weapon. I was pleasantly surprised by the build quality and customer service but I can't imagine that thing lasting years and years. The T-1 is a combat proven optic that can take a beating and keep on ticking. Pricey though. Just my .02

HK Dave
03-04-2012, 6:21 PM
I own both... there is a significant difference in build quality.

My Primary Arms has served me well for a while now... and it's still alive after living on my 12 gauge shotgun. Seems pretty tough but trust my life with it... probably not.

The only thing that really bothers me about the Primary Arms is that its lenses are a bluish green color making everything through it that color.

That does not happen with the Aimpoint.

zfields
03-04-2012, 6:31 PM
I own both... there is a significant difference in build quality.

My Primary Arms has served me well for a while now... and it's still alive after living on my 12 gauge shotgun. Seems pretty tough but trust my life with it... probably not.

The only thing that really bothers me about the Primary Arms is that its lenses are a bluish green color making everything through it that color.

That does not happen with the Aimpoint.

never noticed that in mine.

I know on my Gen7 micro dot ( sent back ) the flaring on the dot was horrible. They sent me out a M3multi before I even sent back the old dot.

That's customer service in my book.

mlevans66
03-04-2012, 6:42 PM
I own the SPARC and I had to send it back because it got smashed up. It's currently on my ruger Mark III and the dot after the replacement is now blurry and I can not turn the intensity down. The customer service on the cheaper dots are outstanding but the Aimpoints hold up to dang near anything and last two days after forever. I'm currently selling things just to get the T-1 and later if I'm blessed an ACOG RCO. :eek:.....:D

Peter.Steele
03-04-2012, 6:46 PM
Under what conditions do you run your gun? Do you do mostly range shooting or carbine courses, etc.? Thanks, you're just the person I was looking for.



I've got a PA M4 on my AR, it gets mostly light use. My brother in law has a PA M3 (dot only) on his M16, and it's held up quite well to many, many thousands of FA rounds over the space of about 2 years now. I'm about 90% sure that he's still on his first set of batteries.

deckhandmike
03-04-2012, 8:49 PM
Batteries died in a week when left on in my new PA. Works fine for plinking but 0% useful in a defense criteria.

tools2teach
03-04-2012, 10:18 PM
I have PR and T1, build quality is way better. My ARs take a good beating and have had no issues with. The PR serves its purpose if you are on a budget

ejhc11
03-05-2012, 1:18 AM
Like others said - its looks similar but thats about it. You already stated you wanted something to run forever: Aimpoint is the only option

The PA MicroDot is excellent but not for your needs.

Also, as a suggestion look at Trijicon optical sights, no batteries on most of their sights.

starsnuffer
03-05-2012, 6:48 AM
The word is that it runs forever under any condition. That's why I finally got it for my H&K. So far, it has lived up to its reputation.

Here here. The T1 2MOA on an ADM CSAV QD mount is a perfect co-witness on the 556. After going through a few scopes, Eotech, I finally settled on the T1 and won't be going back.

I do have some cheaper red dots that I've used in the past, and the clarity of the glass, clarity and shape of the dot, and the lack of residual lighting inside the optic speak volumes to the quality differences.

-W

1lostinspace
03-05-2012, 6:52 AM
If you cowitness a PA it's all u really need but comparing a T1 to $60 red dot is a bit silly I love my PA dots they are all cowitnessed so battery life is not as important to me

peter95
03-05-2012, 6:56 AM
you are asking advice on a $600 red dot vs a $100 red dot.....

It is obvious that the T1 will def be a whole lot better, but if you cant afford the real deal, PA will suit you fine.

If and only if you can afford the T1, get the T1.

Ive played around with the PA and was truly impressed, but some have reported losing zero after a few bangs, but PA returned them for a brand new one, no questions asked.

PA indeed does have great customer service.

Standard
03-05-2012, 8:33 AM
I know everyone wants to be a tactical gunfighter and all of that, but if you're going to be shooting at the range a few times a year, the PA is probably all you will ever need.
That doesn't mean it's as good as the Aimpoint (it's not), but be sure to filter your actual needs vs your SHTFantasies before buying stuff.

NorCalK9.com
03-05-2012, 8:35 AM
I was same boat as you OP for the last 5 years ive been buying cheaper optics, they all eventually failed, but I finally got an aimpoint about 2months ago and never again will I go cheap on my reddots!

tools2teach
03-05-2012, 8:48 AM
Get the PAs if your not rolling around in dirt, mud, or water. If it fails, then be proficient in using your backup sights.

Sturnovik
03-05-2012, 9:04 AM
I wish some of the trijicons were cheaper since some have tritium in unison with battery power which is sweet.

I hear good things about the SPARC's, PA's and T1's.

chead
03-05-2012, 9:09 AM
I actually started with a SPARC and was not happy with it -- had to send it back for a replacement, it died 2 hours into carbine course. The replacement has been ok but because of the placement on the power switch, it keeps turning on when it's in my gun case. At other times, it just shuts down in the middle of a shoot and turning back on for no reason. That's when I decided to invest in a T1. I'm just looking for a cheaper alternative that's reliable for my AK 47.

What's killing them? I've seen some pretty gnarly "torture tests" of the Sparc that it passed without issue. There was a thread a while ago on CG with what sounded like a similar issue that was resolved buy double-checking the battery cap.

mike22ca
03-05-2012, 9:14 AM
I guess I'll chime in since I have experience with both as well. The Aimpoint is king of the mountain when it comes to red dots, its pretty much indestructable and the battery life is amazing. Of course like with anything, quality comes at a premium price tag. If you're looking for a red dot optic for a work gun - look no further.

HOWEVER, the PA micro clone is amazing for the price. Between my buddies and I... we have about 10 of these on various weapon systems from .22lr's, .308's, .50 beos' .45's, 12 guage shotguns, and we've never had a single issue with any of them ever. Battery life is pretty damn good as well, but it will never touch a Aimpoint. Usage cases: We use these at the range on a very regular basis, as well as take lots of 2 and 4 days rifle classes.

This is just my personal experience, YMMV.

jonc
03-05-2012, 9:26 AM
both great sights.. PA great price!!!

but T1.. must better.....:eek:

Sturnovik
03-05-2012, 9:37 AM
I checked out the lucid hd7, usa design, made in china sure, but good reviews and the guy used to work for bushnell. Doesn't look bad.

ScottsBad
03-05-2012, 1:56 PM
I'm sure you've all seen this.... it really should be called "T-1 Torture Test".

https://danieldefense.com/torturetest

You get what you pay for. There is no comparison between a real T-1 and Primary Arms red dot. I own a couple T-1s and a couple Primary Arms. No comparison in quality, BUT if you want a less expensive sight that you are not going to bet your life on, Primary Arms is very good.

PA's customer service is great too. If I were you, and had to keep the cost down I'd buy an Aimpoint PRO (Patrol Rifle Optic), they are about $400 which seems like a lot until you realize that they are the REAL thing and will last you forever.

OR- Buy the PA red-dot and save up for the Aimpoint.

BTW the Aimpoint PRO was only available for LE and Military last year, but they removed that restriction this year.

Oh, I also own EOTech, and I'd recommend Aimpoint over EOTech only because the Aimpoint seems to be more reliable for me. Even though I like the EOTech reticle better.

Good luck.

1lostinspace
03-18-2012, 3:30 PM
Porsche vs honda

chrisf
03-18-2012, 4:25 PM
Really?

clutchy
03-18-2012, 5:50 PM
the t-1 or h-1 will end up on my rifle at some point but i've been playing with a PA microdot for awhile. It's been fine for me and seems to do what it's supposed to.

I run around a bit with it in the desert and it's fine. I haven't bumped it or anything but it's still working.

I got it for $80 or i wouldn't have bought it...

FatalKitty
03-19-2012, 9:01 AM
Have experience with both. Here is a simple break down

T1 advantage:
better light transfer across all spectrums = clearer picture
(PA dot has a slightly bluish tint to it against a white wall)

T1 advantage:
battery life is phenomenal = never worry about turning it off
(PA doesn't even come close. If it's on a defense weapon that has no backup sights... check the battery OFTEN)

T1 advantage:
Allows use with NODS = actually pretty awesome IF you have a set
(PA works just fine if you shoot in the daytime, have some tritium backup irons for low light, or just don't shoot in pure darkness)

Where they are equal:
durability: I have yet to see a PA fail where a T1 hasn't failed. They are strong, mine has been thrown around, kicked, dropped, RUN OVER... short of blowing it up it has survived all the tests in the DD test.
accuracy: both hold zero under all conditions - really can't do better than that.
size/weight: the PA weighs fractions of an oz more... oh well. could it be due to the lead from china? LOL

PA advantage:
Lower cost = shoot more
anyone can say you get what you pay for, but instead of buying 2 T1s I got one of each and took a 4 day carbine course with the T1 as a BACKUP. never even needed it. Get what you pay for? yea I got hands on experience with two very fine optics training with the best of them!
think of all you can do with an extra $400 and then tell me if having all those T1 advantages is worth $400 to you ;)

glock7
03-19-2012, 11:18 AM
My PA ran pretty well for over 2yrs and I ran it hard. Over 6k hard use and it just lost zero. I noticed that at the range last weekend. For 100 bucks not a bad deal. But for heavy duty use I'd go t-1.

gun toting monkeyboy
03-19-2012, 11:41 AM
I have used several PA sights and one of their scopes for several years. For what they are, they are an incredible value. Their customer service is the best. But at the end of the day, they are still Chinese-made low cost red dots. Comparing them to a First World manufacturer making state-of-the-art red dots at 5-6 times the cost is hardly fair. I like my PA red dots, and still use them on second-string and range guns all the time. But for my SHTF guns I went with a real Aimpoint, or an Eotech. If you are tight on funds, and not looking to go work as a contractor someplace right away, I would go with the PA until you can afford better. It will normally hold up to all kinds of abuse, and let you practice with a red dot scope on your rifle. And they don't make half bad HD sights. But is you are serious about running good optics on your rifle, keep saving for the Aimpoint. When you get enough money together, you can always move the PA to another gun, or sell it on here to recoup some of your initial costs.

-Mb

1lostinspace
03-19-2012, 9:49 PM
PA=best bang for the buck

Jimmy310
03-20-2012, 9:05 PM
I got a micro after having a really good experience with my m3 clone. I cant wait for spring break to try it out on my adams arms upper!

http://i911.photobucket.com/albums/ac319/jbusman84/IMAG0138.jpg

1lostinspace
03-21-2012, 7:14 PM
If you had say $100 to spend on a dot you would have to choose a PA micro or what? All the other red dots besides bushnell are cheap chinese crap

ErikTheRed
03-22-2012, 12:15 AM
I just mounted a PA M3 multi on my newly-completed AR, and we plan to take it out for at least a couple hundred rounds tomorrow morning. After that, I'll have a more educated opinion of the PA, but as of right now I'm pretty damn impressed with my $99 optic.

robtech
03-22-2012, 11:24 AM
was looking at their website...what do you guys think of the PA 3x magnifier on their flip mount? probably going to pick up a PA dot soon to hold me over cuz an aimpoint just isnt in the budget yet

MXRider
03-22-2012, 11:34 AM
If you want an Aimpoint, but can't swing the $600 for a T1, check out the PRO. I recently picked one up for $400 shipped, but others have found them as low as $380. Very good optic with a quality mount, it's just not as small or as lightweight.

MXRider
03-22-2012, 11:34 AM
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