Primary Arms has a new higher-end series of riflescopes called the Platinum Series. The Platinum series is a big departure from their increasingly popular budget optics but that doesn’t make it any less of a value.
The company’s developed a solid reputation over the years with their low-cost red dot and fixed and variable-magnification scopes. The bulk of their options are extremely wallet-friendly, with most options in the $100 to $300 range. And even though most people wouldn’t compare them to the Aimpoints and Trijicons of the optics industry, they’ve proven to hold up to more abuse and pack more features than many like-priced alternatives.
These new scopes are definitely higher-end. By a lot, actually, which has thrown some people a little off-kilter. The least expensive Platinum scope runs $1,299 which is more than three times what their most expensive non-Platinum scope runs. The question is, are they three times better?
From the initial review by Mrgunsngear, the answer seems likely, especially for their 1-8×24. His independent review lines up with Shooting Illustrated’s early testing. And now Primary Arms has two Platinum models, the 1-8x24mm and the new 6-30x54mm. Both are offered with either a simple BDC reticle or Primary Arms’ in-house ACSS reticle.
It may seem steep but at $1,299 the 1-8×24 is competitive with scopes that run two or three times more, and that’s tremendous. Only recently have 1-6x scopes become a reality and 1-8x scopes have been around for even less time. These scopes typically command a serious price premium, with most listing upwards of $2,000 to $4,000.
On paper, the Primary Arms Platinum 1-8×24 is nearly identical to the top-flight Leupold Mark 8 1.1-8×24. Some specs are even better, offering 1x at the low end instead of the slightly-magnified 1.1x. It has more eye relief, too, although it weighs a couple ounces more; 26.5 ounces versus Leupold’s 23.2. They have similar features including locking turrets and illuminated first focal plane reticles. But the cost difference is staggering: the Mark 8’s street price starts at $2,999.
Specifications aren’t everything, though. The product has to actually live up to them, and when there’s this kind of disparity the cheaper product usually falls short. That doesn’t seem to be the case with the Platinum series. The throw levers turn smoothly, the knobs dial in with positive clicks, the illumination is visible in broad daylight and the 1x magnification delivers.
These are relatively new riflescopes so their long-term durability will take time to find out, but Primary Arms has always focused on offering (relatively for their price) tough products. They are protected by a limited lifetime warranty in case. Even if they can’t withstand as much as their higher-priced counterparts, they still cost half as much or more.
The 6-30×54 model just hit store shelves so it will take a little more time to develop quality and value profiles for it, but if it delivers half of what the 1-8×24 Platinum scope it’s going to make a lot of people happy, even at a higher price point ($1,499). And likewise we hope Primary Arms has more Platinum options in the works.
Still, if dropping over a grand on glass is too rich for your blood, they continue to offer a full line of value-priced scopes, including 1-6x and 4-14x second focal plane scopes for $300 or less. Primary Arms is also announcing their new low-cost second focal plane 1-8x24mm scope, which will retail for just under $400. Not only does it cost less, the simpler reticle system makes it a lot lighter. The SFP 1-8x model weighs 10 ounces less at a clean pound.
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