Primary Arms Platinum Scopes Are Here and Looking Good

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?

scope 1-8x primary arms platinum

This scope isn’t cheap, but it’s a lot cheaper than the rest. (Photo: Primary Arms)

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.

See Also: Optics Buying Guide: Iron Sights, Red Dots, and Scopes

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.

scope 6-30x primary arms platinum

The new Platinum scope is meant for long-range shooters. (Photo: Primary Arms)

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.

Are you a Primary Arms’ user? Share what you think of your purchase!

About the author: Max Slowik is a writer with over a dozen years of experience and is a lifelong shooter. He has unwavering support for the Second Amendment and the human right to self-defense. Like Thomas Paine, he’s a journalist by profession and a propagandist by inclination.

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • DrThunder88 July 16, 2016, 4:23 am

    Primary Arms’ 4-14x44mm FFP scopes are probably the best deal in optics right now. They seem to be made in a factory in China that also produces a few other bargain FFP scopes. A mil dot PA FFP has been on my long range .243 Winchester for over a year now, and it’s proven its worth out to 1000 yards repeatedly. The glass is good but not exceptionally clear at the highest magnification, as you might expect from a $230 scope, but other important aspects hit away above the price range. The adjustments, for example, have been very repeatable since breaking them in. As with a number of cheap scopes (I’m told), running the turrets through their entire range of adjustment smooths out minor machining marks that would otherwise make for unpredictable tracking. The visual and tactile turret clicks can be a little indistinct. Durability is solid as well. Anecdotally, I’ve heard of a PA-equipped rifle being thrown down a hill from a 4-wheeler, but mine has suffered through a number of out-of-state car trips in a drag bag with no loss of zero or damage.

    One thing to note is that the mil dot reticle is not a standard mil dot. The diameters of the dots are 0.25 mil rather than the standard 0.2 mil.

  • R. Saylor July 15, 2016, 1:15 pm

    I have no experience with the new Platinum line but I have 2 of there Aimpoint Pro knock off’s and never a problem with one they have held there zero through hundreds of rounds. The glass ain’t what’s in my Aimpoint Pro but there worth every penny.

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