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Optics, Mounts, Rails and Sights If it aims your firearm, post about it here.

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  #1  
Old 12-26-2020, 3:59 PM
ct78 ct78 is offline
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Default Is the Primary Arms 1-6x24 ACSS scope still the king of budget LPVOs?

LPVOs are still hotter than ever. Hell the Army just chose the Sig Tango6T a few months ago. I have been researching budget LPVOs and the PA Gen. III 1-6x has always been argued as the most bang-for-your-buck in the $250-300 price range alongside the Burris RT-6. (Although there is still much debate) One tier above it seems to be the Viper Gen II 1-6x.

However, in the age of rapid technological progress, the Primary Arms Gen III 1-6x LPVO has remained relatively the same for the past 3 years.

In the meantime there has been improvements in 1-8x and 1-10x LPVOs. Competitors have also tried their best to mimic the coveted ACSS reticle in order to improve their offerings. Some say that those higher mag LPVOs have no place in the $300-400 price range since the quality suffers compared to the 1-6x counterparts. The 1-8x Strike Eagle and 1-8x PA come to mind.

But there are some really interesting options like the SwampFox Arrowhead 1-10x that a lot of people are big fans of. They say the glass is comparable to if not better than the Burris RT-6. However they are a newer company so they don’t have the same word of mouth or vetting that PA or Vortex has.

What do you all think? Is there anything you prefer dollar for dollar than the PA 1-6? The free mount with the mrgunsngear discount code and free shipping makes it hard to beat to get everything you need for under $300.
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  #2  
Old 12-26-2020, 4:09 PM
bombadillo bombadillo is offline
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Good question. Waiting for good answers
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  #3  
Old 12-26-2020, 7:13 PM
static2126 static2126 is offline
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I love the ACSS optic and that is a big selling point for me.

That said the 1x6 Swampfox Arrowhead that I own and the 1x8 Arrowhead I have.shot a ton are both awesomr.optics.

If you want ACSA go PA. If not go Arrowhead
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  #4  
Old 12-27-2020, 9:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by static2126 View Post
I love the ACSS optic and that is a big selling point for me.

That said the 1x6 Swampfox Arrowhead that I own and the 1x8 Arrowhead I have.shot a ton are both awesomr.optics.

If you want ACSA go PA. If not go Arrowhead
What optic is the Arrowhead glass most comparable to?
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  #5  
Old 12-27-2020, 9:42 AM
HKAllTheThings HKAllTheThings is online now
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All these Chinese scopes look the same to me.
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  #6  
Old 12-27-2020, 9:53 AM
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Originally Posted by HKAllTheThings View Post
All these Chinese scopes look the same to me.
I mean... almost all LPVOs look the same. Sure some of the ones assembled in the US are colored brown errr I mean stealth shadow but what do looks have to do with this question.
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  #7  
Old 12-27-2020, 9:54 AM
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More of a statement about the glass, illumination levels, turrets, etc. Not just the exterior.

It's a good bet that they come out of the same OEM factory in China.
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  #8  
Old 12-27-2020, 12:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HKAllTheThings View Post
More of a statement about the glass, illumination levels, turrets, etc. Not just the exterior.

It's a good bet that they come out of the same OEM factory in China.
I see. That makes more sense. So in your opinion, besides the reticle and warranty, it doesn’t matter if someone were to buy the Vortex Strike Eagle, Primary Arms ACSS, Burris RT-6, SwampFox Arrowhead, or Bushnell?

I would think we would see some differences between them that prove otherwise regarding the factory.
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  #9  
Old 01-01-2021, 6:17 PM
b18bturboek9 b18bturboek9 is offline
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Works good on my ptr91, haven’t had any issues and seems pretty accurate. Best bang for your buck is all I can say. I have a vortex viper 1-4x and both have nice glass but the vortex cost me 150$ more.
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  #10  
Old 01-01-2021, 8:31 PM
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The adjustments are based upon max power. I think I would stick to a 1-4 or a 1-6 power.

I’m not sure a 10x would have much field of view at 10x
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  #11  
Old 01-03-2021, 3:04 AM
sigstroker sigstroker is offline
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The cheap Strike Eagle illumination is not daylight bright. I have a PA 1-6 but haven't taken it outside to check the reticle. It has some fun features, like FFP and the ACSS Raptor reticle.
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  #12  
Old 01-04-2021, 9:39 AM
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I'm not sure the ACSS 1-6 was ever "king". It's a very good scope for sure, but I've heard of enough quality issues with the sub $300 LPVOs to give me enough hesitation to just avoid them altogether. Honestly, I'm 100% satisfied with my rock solid SWFA SS 1-4x24. It normally retails for $400, but is often available on sale for much less than that around the SWFA holiday sales (Tax Day, 4th of July, Black Friday).

With the sub $300 optics, I feel that there are just enough compromises that I'm hesitant to declare any of them the "king". What Primary Arms did was deliver a good optic, with a good reticle designed for typical AR use, at an affordable price. Then everyone else jumped into the market with sub $300 optics that will get the job done, and they're all pretty dang close in terms of quality, features, & price.

While the $300 optics are much better today than they were in the past, you will still see a noticeable improvement in overall quality once you jump into the $500+ price range (which I think is the sweet spot for most optics). In this range, the overall design & quality are much more durable and the features end up being the primary deciding factor for which scope fits your needs best, such as magnification range, illumination, reticle design, turrets, etc.

If all you can afford is the PA $300, it's a good scope for the money, especially if you're just getting started. But if you can afford to save a bit longer, the $500-$1000 optics are definitely worth the additional cost for serious field use if you're hunting, competing, or trusting your livelihood or life to your rifle.
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  #13  
Old 01-04-2021, 9:59 AM
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I don't have really expensive glass, and the PA along with Strike Eagle have worked and seem like the bottom of the LPVO pile to me even in my cheap bunch. Glass-wise, RT-6, Nikon M, Viper PST II are better.

The RT-6 is pretty cheap now and has a lifetime warranty that you may have to use...

Only the Viper has a day bright dot... seems like other manufacturers could choose a small illuminated DOT instead of a huge pink illuminated reticle... but I've heard some people theorize that this is rocket science and is is super difficult to acquire that technology, hahahahah. Someone from Swampfox or Monstrum or Sightmark said it at SHOT or at a bar, hahahah. I don't buy it.

Someone smart should put that on a sub-$800 LPVO besides Vortex.
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  #14  
Old 01-04-2021, 6:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrewTheBrave View Post
With the sub $300 optics, I feel that there are just enough compromises that I'm hesitant to declare any of them the "king". What Primary Arms did was deliver a good optic, with a good reticle designed for typical AR use, at an affordable price. Then everyone else jumped into the market with sub $300 optics that will get the job done, and they're all pretty dang close in terms of quality, features, & price.

While the $300 optics are much better today than they were in the past, you will still see a noticeable improvement in overall quality once you jump into the $500+ price range (which I think is the sweet spot for most optics). In this range, the overall design & quality are much more durable and the features end up being the primary deciding factor for which scope fits your needs best, such as magnification range, illumination, reticle design, turrets, etc.

If all you can afford is the PA $300, it's a good scope for the money, especially if you're just getting started. But if you can afford to save a bit longer, the $500-$1000 optics are definitely worth the additional cost for serious field use if you're hunting, competing, or trusting your livelihood or life to your rifle.
Thanks for the input. It’s genuinely insightful to hear other people’s thoughts. My “king” award was more hyperbolic than anything else, but the PA 1-6 seems to be the most popular hands down if you want a “budget” sub-$300 LPVO with 1-6 and a great reticle.

I think if people are willing to accept less magnification, then the scope you describe or the Viper Gen. 1 PST 1-4x could claim the title as well.

Do you think the PA compromises in terms of durability and ruggedness? The quality in those aspects seems just as high to me as scopes in the $500-600 range. I would agree with you that the scope doesn’t have the same glass and illumination, but those are the only areas of compromise that I see.
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Old 01-04-2021, 6:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crufflers View Post
I don't have really expensive glass, and the PA along with Strike Eagle have worked and seem like the bottom of the LPVO pile to me even in my cheap bunch. Glass-wise, RT-6, Nikon M, Viper PST II are better.

The RT-6 is pretty cheap now and has a lifetime warranty that you may have to use...
You’re not the first person I’ve heard give high praise to the RT-6. Im sure the YouTube channel C_DOES has compared the PA and RT-6 scopes. I’d need to get behind the glass and see the difference between the two. From what I’ve seen so far, nothing about the PA 1-6 makes it unusable, at any magnification between 1 thru 6 so the glass quality meets that standard IMO.
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  #16  
Old 01-04-2021, 8:29 PM
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Originally Posted by ct78 View Post
You’re not the first person I’ve heard give high praise to the RT-6. Im sure the YouTube channel C_DOES has compared the PA and RT-6 scopes. I’d need to get behind the glass and see the difference between the two. From what I’ve seen so far, nothing about the PA 1-6 makes it unusable, at any magnification between 1 thru 6 so the glass quality meets that standard IMO.
Well, I did say you may have to use that Burris warranty. I did. A turret came loose with minimal use and zero abuse. Not an adjustment cap but the turret where it joins to the main tube. The defect made the elevation turret unusable.

The RT-6 glass clarity appears closer to a VIPER PSTII than anything else. Strike Eagles and the cheap PA's look on par with each other and MAYBE a P series Nikon. A lot of people are familiar with those. Vortex AND PA do put way better glass in other lines. I would love to have a PA Platinum series. So, even PA is not just mediocre glass like the cheapest PA LPVO.

RT-6 at $250 or whatever the street price is hard to overlook, BUT they seem to be $340 now that the sales are over.

I can think of a few scopes that I really like at about $300... that Viper 6.5-20x44 and the SWFA SS 10x40... I think the SWFA was $260 and included a free bubble level. RT-6 could have been on that list except the turret failed... I guess some people would say the warranty puts it back on the list. I buy early batches sometimes too, but they should be ready for prime time if they ship them.

Last edited by crufflers; 01-05-2021 at 6:25 AM..
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Old 01-04-2021, 9:51 PM
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European glass > Japanese glass > Philippines glass (Burris) > Chinese glass
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Old 01-05-2021, 3:01 PM
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Originally Posted by HKAllTheThings View Post
European glass > Japanese glass > Philippines glass (Burris) > Chinese glass
Cool, let’s find some of that Japanese glass for under $300.
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Old 01-05-2021, 3:03 PM
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It's old and obsolete but Japan. Hai.

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1009768280
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Old 01-07-2021, 5:10 AM
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If you want a lightweight LVPO the Leopold firedot series is pretty amazing. We have 3 and they have held up great and are not babies. 1.5 to 4x magnification which gets you to 400 to 500 yards. 1.5 if fast for cqb. Dot is daylight bright. Great eye box and eye relief.

The swampfox arrowhead is hard to beat for the money but beefy.

Our firedots mounted are 14 to 19 oz vs 31 for a mounted arrowhead. That affects close distance handling and speed.
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Old 01-07-2021, 5:55 AM
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We do have an arrowhead. Love it but beefy.

Your uses will dictate your gear. For us we care about close distance to 300 to 400 yards.

For that use combinations of red dots, 2x GLX, and light weight LVPOs work (firedot wins as it has a daylight bright dot that is red dot fast on 1.5)

Also with LVPOs for us eye box and eye relief matter more than top end magnfication
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Old 01-07-2021, 7:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ct78 View Post
Cool, let’s find some of that Japanese glass for under $300.
The real world use for some of those LPVO’s is always leave it on the highest mag setting... I bet a SWFA 6x42 would work for some people with a offset RMR.

Last edited by crufflers; 01-07-2021 at 8:21 AM.. Reason: u wot mate
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Old 01-07-2021, 8:36 AM
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I have the opposite I spend most of my LVPO time in 1.5 or 2 to 3x

Then sometimes in top end mag (4 or 6x)
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Old 01-07-2021, 8:56 AM
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I have the opposite I spend most of my LVPO time in 1.5 or 2 to 3x

Then sometimes in top end mag (4 or 6x)
I was happy using only fixed 4x for years... I have a Trihawk now that is fixed 3x with a huge FOV only backed up with flip BUS... do have another upper with a Viper PSTII and the offset RMR.
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Old 01-07-2021, 11:37 AM
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I was happy using only fixed 4x for years... I have a Trihawk now that is fixed 3x with a huge FOV only backed up with flip BUS... do have another upper with a Viper PSTII and the offset RMR.
I actually really like the Trihawk and that FOV is brilliant. On some models reticuke bloom has been an issue bit my samples of 3 are fine. A few friends have had the reticule bloom issue
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Old 01-07-2021, 12:25 PM
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I actually really like the Trihawk and that FOV is brilliant. On some models reticuke bloom has been an issue bit my samples of 3 are fine. A few friends have had the reticule bloom issue
I have the green illumination version... adjusting the focus so the reticle is crystal clear, I have zero bloom inside or outside, sunlight or lamp light... illumination doesn't seem very bright to have bloom. Seems similar to my AR536 as far as mediocre illumination, but etched reticles don't care. I like it.
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Old 01-07-2021, 4:54 PM
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Originally Posted by crufflers View Post
I have the green illumination version... adjusting the focus so the reticle is crystal clear, I have zero bloom inside or outside, sunlight or lamp light... illumination doesn't seem very bright to have bloom. Seems similar to my AR536 as far as mediocre illumination, but etched reticles don't care. I like it.
Same I really like the Trihawk. That FOV is a game changer for any non bench work.
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Old 01-07-2021, 6:40 PM
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Quote:
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I actually really like the Trihawk and that FOV is brilliant. On some models reticuke bloom has been an issue bit my samples of 3 are fine. A few friends have had the reticule bloom issue

Sorry to be that guy, but it's reticle. There is no cule.
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Old 01-07-2021, 6:42 PM
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Sorry to be that guy, but it's reticle. There is no cule.
Ha you are good I have extremely fat fingers
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Old 01-11-2021, 8:55 AM
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Interesting development in the conversation. Primary Arms has a new GLx series of 1-6x LPVOs coming out soon. Constructed in the Philippes. No MSRP listed so who knows if it will be in the realm of “budget” like their SLx series.

http://primaryarmsoptics.com/product...-5-56-reticle/
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Old 01-12-2021, 9:29 AM
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Interesting development in the conversation. Primary Arms has a new GLx series of 1-6x LPVOs coming out soon. Constructed in the Philippes. No MSRP listed so who knows if it will be in the realm of “budget” like their SLx series.

http://primaryarmsoptics.com/product...-5-56-reticle/
If it is a GLX it likely will be 600 to 750 ish
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Old 01-12-2021, 7:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ct78 View Post
Interesting development in the conversation. Primary Arms has a new GLx series of 1-6x LPVOs coming out soon. Constructed in the Philippes. No MSRP listed so who knows if it will be in the realm of “budget” like their SLx series.

http://primaryarmsoptics.com/product...-5-56-reticle/

Looks to be 600 ish
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