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Author Topic: Primary Arms Red Dot Sights, Magnifiers and Mounts  (Read 2583 times)

Offline masfonos

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Primary Arms Red Dot Sights, Magnifiers and Mounts
« on: August 02, 2011, 12:17:41 PM »
I got some gear from Primary Arms a while back and I've been having great luck with it.  Keep in mind that these optics are much cheaper than brand name optics such as AimPoint, EoTech, etc. and there is a reason for that.  I don't think anyone buys these optics with the intention of taking them into battle but that type of disclaimer doesn't hurt.  This is pretty good quality equipment at a great price but the price is lower because the big brands put a lot more engineering, craftsmanship, etc. into theirs.  PA gear does, however, make a great product that is perfect for the range, target practice and, perhaps, basic home defense situations.

I got a PA M3 Clone red dot sight with a high cantilever mount and a 5x magnifier with a high quick-detach mount.  Mounted on an M4 upper, these sights co-witness with the fixed front sight post and a flip-up rear sight.  I first had this setup in use with an ARMS #40 flip-up rear sight but that particular sight is too tall to fit under the magnifier so I switched it out with a Troy Folding Battlesight.  The stock photo below shows a setup very similar to the one I  describe with some slight differences.

This photo shows the RDS on a high cantilever mount as described but with the magnifier in a screw-in mount rather than a QD mount.  Also, the photo shows a ARMS #40L (low profile) flip-up rear sight rather than the Troy sight I described.  I believe the MagPul folding sight also fits under the magnifier as it has a fairly low profile when folded.

This particular model of RDS from Primary Arms has a 4 MOA dot, which isn't that great for tack-driving but it's sufficient for putting holes in paper or bowling pins out to a decent distance at the range.  I believe they are now offering a newer model with smaller dots and multiple reticles.

The magnifier is a bit hard to get used to.  The eye relief isn't very long as it's apparently designed for NTCH (nose to charging handle) use.  Despite the awkwardness of that position, the equipment performs as intended.

I like this type of setup because it gives a lot of flexibility with how you can sight the rifle.  The red dot can be used by itself for targets out to a fair distance or it can be used in conjunction with the iron sights for a co-witness sight picture.  In the event of an equipment failure (loss of zero, battery failure, etc.) the iron sights can be used alone.  The QD mount for the magnifier is a nice touch.  If desired, the magnifier may be kept on the rifle with the rear sight folded under it.  If you don't wish to use the magnifier for shooting or you otherwise want to use the iron sights, throw the lever, remove the magnifier and deploy the BUIS.  This is also handy for the range where the RDS or the iron sights can get a lot of use and the magnifier can be used as a spotting scope without having to wave the rifle around.  I haven't used the sights in this way, but I have also read of others using the RDS as an occluded eye sight (OES) by simply closing the front lens cover.

I have yet to either experience any equipment failures or hear of anyone else who has with PA optics.  Battery life is good; I've never replaced the batteries that came with the unit, even after many, many range outings and several instances of getting the rifle out of the safe and finding it still turned on from the last range trip.  I also haven't heard of any of these sights loosing their zero.  I seem to recall a company rep stating on another forum that their equipment was test fired on a .50 Beowolf or a 6.5 Grendel platform for loss of zero and passed with flying colors.

Speaking of company reps, the guy in charge (Marshall) is very personable.  He quickly answers emails, responds to questions and concerns and really takes care of customers.

From the PA website, features include:
■ Weapons grade red dot sight
■ 3 MOA Dot
■ Eye Relief: Unlimited
■ Optical Coating: Anti-reflex
■ Uses 2 LR44 batteries
■ 4 batteries included
■ Battery Life: 200+ hours
■ Water proof - shock proof
■ 7 brightness levels
■ Anodized aluminum tube
■ Parallax free
■ Length: 4 7/8"
■ Width: 2.2"
■ Height: 2.2"
■ Ring Size: 30mm
■ Weight: 5 7/8 oz
■ Weight in Low Mount: 7 5/8 oz
■ Weight in High Mount: 9 1/8 oz
■ Flip-up caps included
■ Low mount included, other mount options available
■ Optional high mounts allow for a lower 1/3 cowittness on an AR15
■ Unlike Airsoft red dots the LED is firmly attached to hold zero under live fire
■ One year exchange warranty

If you're looking for an affordable sighting system, don't hesitate to check out Primary Arms.

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Primary Arms Red Dot Sights, Magnifiers and Mounts
« on: August 02, 2011, 12:17:41 PM »

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