The Primary Arms Micro Dot–Easy on the Wallet

The Micro Dot doesn't take up too much room. But its compact size is only one of its defining features.

The Micro Dot doesn’t take up too much room. But its compact size is only one of its defining features.

The Micro Dot at Primary Arms: https://www.primaryarms.com/

At Midwest Industries: http://www.midwestindustriesinc.com/

Smaller isn’t always better. When it comes to our guns, though, we tend to lust after the smallest package we can slap together. People buy shorter barrels, shorter stocks, smaller grips, and microscopic optics. There is a point where this becomes counter productive. You lose area to grip, you sacrifice length of pull, and you lose field of view with smaller optics.

When choosing an optic for your rifle there are many things you need to consider. What is this weapon’s intended use? At what distances will I be engaging targets? And will it ever be used in a low light/ no light situation? Depending on your answers there are plenty of option for optics. You might decide that a nice 3×9 is right for you, or that iron sights will fulfill your needs. But if you’re looking for the optic that does it all fairly well, Primary Arms has the sight for you.

The Primary Arms Micro Dot Classic is a budget red dot optic that is built with hard use and compact design in mind. The design should be familiar to fans of the Aimpoint Micro When compared directly to the legendary Aimpoint, the Micro Dot does come up short. Its battery does not last five and a half years. It can’t accompany you on your next dive to the deepest depths of the ocean. But when was the last time you left your optic on that long or took your rifle on a scuba dive? The point here is that there are a lot of similarities between the two, and some notable differences–the biggest being price.

We've shot with the Micro Dot in all kids of weather, including rain and snow, with no problems.

We’ve shot with the Micro Dot in all kids of weather, including rain and snow, with no problems.

Even though this version isn't truly waterproof, like the Aimpoint, it is certainly capable of withstanding the elements.

Even though this version isn’t truly submersible, like the Aimpoint, it is certainly capable of withstanding the elements.

The Micro Dot is a capable optic with more than adequate performance. The battery lasts over 1,000 hours. The sight projects a crisp 3moa red dot into the center of glare resistant front lens. The optic is also adjustable giving you 11 intensity settings to optimize performance in low light or extreme light situations. The Micro Dot is waterproof (if not submersible), something we tested fairly well during this range session.

AK or AR the Micro Dot is capable of being mounted to cowitness. The Micro Dot features a removable base, allowing you to utilize any mount designed for the Aimpoint Micro. Using the supplied mount, the optic easily attaches to an Ultimak AK gas tube. If the AR-15 is your rifle of choice, the Micro Dot will need a quick addition of a riser and its good to go.

With the riser, the optic is ideal for cowitnessing on an AR.

With the riser, the optic is ideal for cowitnessing on an AR.

The railed sight tube allows for a low, forward placement of the optic.

The railed gas tube allows for a forward placement of the optic.

I personally have been running this optic on every rifle I have reviewed over the last two years and have had zero issues. Shotguns with heavy recoil. Hot running AKs. Precision ARs. I’ve abused the Microdot. Yet still it chugs on. It should be noted that I changed the battery once in 2014. I’m actually at a point now where I am just leaving it on to see how many months it will last before it needs service. 3 months in and so far so good!

One last thought–I’ve been working on this article for quiet some time. During my endless testing of the Micro Dot, this model has actually been discontinued and has now been replaced with two other models. The direct replacement for this model is no surprise, just a newer version of the old workhorse. Retailing for $89 it gives you an even more precise 2 moa night vision capable dot. The other new model is the Advanced Micro Dot. It has a 2 moa night vision dot, 50,000-hour battery life and waterproof capabilities! The Advanced retails for $169 and may or may not give the Aimpoint Micro a run for its money. Check back in later months for a follow up review on these two new sights.

  • The front lens is COATED and ANGLED to prevent glare
  • Brightness adjustment knob stops at 0
  • Illumination knob is on the right hand side
  • removable base.
  • Ultra sharp 3 MOA dot.
  • 1,000+ hour battery life at medium setting.
  • Uses 1 CR2032 battery (included).
  • 11 brightness settings
  • Visible in bright sunlight.
  • LED emitter on the side (4:30) for better cowitness.
  • Fits any industry standard Micro mount.
  • One year manufacturer warranty
  • Bikini covers included.
  • Only weighs 4.5 ounces.
The Micro Dot is a good looking optic, and an incredible value.

The Micro Dot is a good looking optic, and an incredible value.

On the AR, eye relief is easy to perfect--and is a matter of preference.

On the AR, eye relief is easy to perfect–and is a matter of preference.

On the AK, you are more dependent on where you have available rail.

On the AK, you are more dependent on where you have available rail.

At 100 yards, the 3 MOA dot isn't going to allow for super precise placement--but that's not the intention of an optic like this.

At 100 yards, the 3 MOA dot isn’t going to allow for super precise placement–but that’s not the intention of an optic like this.

The reflective coating on the front lens cuts glare, but adds color.

The reflective coating on the front lens cuts glare, but adds color.

On the AK or the AR, the optic is a solid option for those on a tight budget.

On the AK or the AR, the optic is a solid option for those on a tight budget.

Without a riser, the optic sits in line with AK sights.

Without a riser, the optic sits in line with AK sights.

The dot is fine enough for precise work. This is from 25 yards.

The dot is fine enough for precise work. This is from 25 yards.

This group was shot from 100 yards. The Primary Arms Micro Dot on the Daniel Defense M4A1 with a 14.5" barrel.

This group was shot from 100 yards. The Primary Arms Micro Dot on the Daniel Defense M4A1 with a 14.5″ barrel.

{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Drew May 20, 2015, 2:32 pm

    I would need to see one in person to know how I feel about it but it doesn’t look bad and for the price it could be a good pick up. Thanks for posting.

  • W. Radford March 9, 2015, 12:45 pm

    Love Primary Arms. Own an MD 06 and an older Red dot with no model number (unless it is under the scope ring) in a cantilever mount. Both have been in use beyond 4000 rounds, the micro on an AK (ultimak mount) and the RD on an AR. They are durable, return to zero when removed for cleaning is 100%, and they just flat out WORK. IMHO, better bang for the buck than the high dollar analogs. And yes, I also own ACOGs, AimPoints, etc. They are better than the clones, but the clones are sufficient for all but the most battle-hardened couch commandos /;-).

  • Lee March 9, 2015, 11:09 am

    The photo looking through the sight shows the reduction in brightness I find so annoying with red dot sights. It takes a very expensive on to reduce this problem. One way to deal with this is to aim with both eyes open. Yourn brain overlays image from both eyes. Even a completely blocked view ends up as a red dot over the unovbatructed other eye. I don’t know how accurate such aiming is, but should be fine for CQB.

    • Damon March 9, 2015, 4:55 pm

      Agreed. I was taught to sight with both eyes open, and it cures this and other problems (like losing your target due to too much magnification ).

  • Marlinlever March 9, 2015, 7:10 am

    These really are good sights for the money. Primary Arms has a reputation for standing behind them if you do have an issue, maybe not five years down the road though. As can be seen in the photo, this model at least and mine included, have a bluish tint, just a heads up, not a big concern on my end. Also, P.A. Will sell this to you with a riser, 1: non-quick release, that seems to work well. 2: a cheap quick release that did NOT work well for me, or others it seems. Just check their website reviews. 3: an American Defense quick detach, which I upgraded to and it was worth the money. Almost as much as I paid for the red dot when it was on sale. I have since purchased a scope mount and Atlas bipod with with the A.D. mounts, I like them very much. My life is worth a lot, to me at least, so I put Aimpoints on my , possible, fighting guns. But these are great entry level sights and since they use Micro mounts, they are better than the Bushnell TRS-25, which I have and like also. But I would recommend the P.A over the Bushnell for the most part.

  • Tom Benton March 5, 2015, 1:31 pm

    Purchased this microdot for an AR15 pistol. It is well made, easily adjusted for intensity and just the ticket
    to allow a non shouldered AR to be aimed easily. Great deal for the money.

Leave a Comment

Send this to a friend