What if you could have all the advantages of a red dot but none of the negatives?
Red Dot Positives:
- Field of view
- Excels at both eyes open shooting
- Daylight bright illumination
- True 1x
- Small & Lightweight
Red Dot Negatives:
- Completely electronic – Battery or electronics fail and you have nothing to aim with
- Shooters with astigmatism (30-60% of the population) don’t see a clear round dot but rather see a blob of distorted light that looks bloomed and constantly changes shape.
- Not precise, generally 2-8 MOA dots.
- Poor light transmission (due to coatings needed to reflect the dot).
- Poor quality lenses, often plastic, with distortions that most users can’t see due to lower magnification but that ultimately affect the sight picture.
The Primary Arms new SLx 1x Compact Prism Scope ACSS Cyclops has ALL of the advantages of a red dot but NONE of the negatives. How? Well, it uses an actual glass etched reticle. It’s clear and crisp because they use higher quality lenses. Add daylight bright electronics and you have a bright clear crisp aiming point that still exists should the electronics fail. It’s kind of a cross between a real scope and a red dot.
The PA SLx 1x Prism only weighs 9.7 oz so it will work great on a lightweight build.
The scope is fully Nitrogen purged, IP67 Waterproof and Dustproof. Primary Arms claims they have durability-tested this optic wearing out two 308 FN SCAR rifles. FN SCAR rifles are piston-driven and notorious for wrecking optics.
The base is removable so you can use other popular micro red dot mounts. However, the base/mount that it comes mounted on is completely acceptable and puts the height at 1.41″ which is about perfect.
There is an adjustable ocular so that you can focus the reticle perfectly for your individual eye. This is really important because the aiming point is very fine. I love how small it is because it allowed me to still shoot 1 MOA groups at 100 yards. You usually don’t associate precision with one power optics but this delivers. For speed, there is a much heavier horseshoe shape that is bracketed over the precision aiming point. It’s especially fast illuminated.
While this scope certainly isn’t intended to be dialed, it has 50 MOA of adjustment and the windage and elevation turrets move in .5 MOA increments.
The model I tested has red illumination. There are 11 illumination settings, 12 if you count the off position. Each setting has a positive detent. The owner’s manual claims 13,000 hours of battery life on a medium illumination setting which is 541 days or 1.48 years. This probably varies from brand of battery and I didn’t test this. Even if you should have a battery fail or get in a situation where the world ends and you can’t get a replacement battery, you still have a reticle to aim with because it’s glass etched. Without illumination, the reticle is black and contrasts well.
Speaking of the reticle, the model I tested has the ACSS-CYCLOPS reticle which is basically a chevron (an inverted V) with a horseshoe over the top of it. The tip of the chevron is meant to be zeroed at 50/200 yards. The owner’s manual shows holds for 300 yards and 400 yards which I did verify working by shooting those distances with an AR-15 using a 223/5.56.
Below the reticle is a rangefinding stadia which I didn’t use or test. My personal preference would have been for PA to have left that feature out and kept the image cleaner as I think it’s gimmicky. I can guess pretty close to 400 yards and I’m likely not shooting past 500 with a 1x in 223 regardless. There may be someone that loves it and it really doesn’t hurt the functionality of the scope so I guess it really doesn’t matter.
I should mention that both the Chevron and the Horseshoe illuminate.
Overall, the optic is a winner. It seems well designed, well-engineered, and it’s very functional. It worked. I fully plan on purchasing this from PA and using it to shoot a limited 3 gun match where you can’t use magnified optics.
The current price is $239.99 and they were in stock when this review was published.
- Battery Type – CR2032 3V Lithium Coin
- Brand – Primary Arms
- Click Value – 1/2 MOA
- Eye Relief – 3.70 in
- Field View 100 – 76.30 ft
- Illuminated – Illuminated
- Magnification – 1X
- Manufacturer – Primary Arms
- Night Vision Compatible – Non-Compatible
- Reticle – ACSS CYCLOPS
- Total Elevation Adjustment – 50 MOA
- Total Windage Adjustment – 50 MOA
- Turret Features – Capped Turrets, Tool Adjustable
- Type – Fixed Magnification
- Weight – 9.7 Oz
- Warranty – Lifetime Warranty