The Primary Arms Advanced Micro Red Dot says it all when you read the title, a micro red dot; I really can’t get any more descriptive than that for this optic. Like the Aimpoint T1 / H1 ( click on links to see respective reviews ) series it’s a miniature red dot optic designed for rifles, shotguns, handguns, and nearly anything you can mount it on. If you’ve never heard of primary Arms you’ll be surprised at the quality of their optics.
Primary Arms in an American company that is based in Texas, but many of their products are produced overseas, in China, by Holosun to be exact. Now that doesn’t make it a bad optic, and Primary Arms actually makes some very nice optics, including one of the cheapest first focal plane scopes out there.
Before the review starts I want to go ahead and get one of the biggest advantages of the Primary Arms red dot out of the way. Its price. At 169.99 you are paying a fraction of the Aimpoint T-1s 700 dollar price tag and less than a third of the H-1s 600 dollar price tag.
The Primary Arms Advanced Micro Red dot is a tiny, lightweight little beast that is a good companion on a variety of weapons. The Micro red dot weighs a mere 3.9 ounces. The little box it comes in feels nearly empty. Although it’s light, it doesn’t come off as cheap, or poorly made. Upon first examination I don’t see any of the typical ‘this optic is crap’ qualifiers. The finish was even, unchipped, the adjustment dials turned easily, but not freely, and the buttons clicked.
Primary Arms Micro Dot
Aimpoint Micro H-1
Aimpoint Micro T-1
|Dot:||2 MOA||2 or 4 MOA||2 or 4 MOA|
|Length:||2.38”||2.4 inches||2.4 inches|
|Weight:||3.9 oz||3 oz||3 oz|
|Battery life:||Up to 50,000h||50,000 h||50,000h|
|Brightness levels:||10 + 2NV||12 daylight||8 + 4 NV|
Comparing It With Aimpoint Micro Series
The Primary Arms Micro red dot has two buttons which turn the optic on and adjust the brightness. They are placed on top of the optic, and this is a nice consideration for left handers. The buttons are marked with a + and – sign to indicate the brightness level changes. This does make the little optic look kind of busy. The Aimpoint Micro series we have reviewed previously are more streamlined, and a little easier to use when wearing gloves.
The optic offers 12 different brightness settings, with one dedicated to night vision. The night vision setting also puts in one step above the Aimpoint H-1, which features zero night vision settings, and on par with the Aimpoint T-1, which also offers night vision settings.
Turning the optic on gives you a nice looking, albeit smallish red dot optic. The red dot is plenty crisp and I didn’t experience any washout until the two highest settings.
At less than 200 dollars new I’m not complaining about a little washout. I doubt I’d ever amp the optic up to its highest setting anyway, I don’t live in the Mojave. Now a big question is what’s the battery life? Well I can’t confirm for sure, because I didn’t have thousands and thousands of hours to dedicate to its lifespan. Primary Arms says the battery life from a single CR 2032 battery is 50,000 hours. That is the same as the Aimpoint H-1 and T-1 models.
The Primary Arms Advanced Micro Red dot is plenty tough. The optic is nitrogen purged to defend itself from internal fog buildup. The optic is also waterproof, and shockproof. The optic can be run on a variety of weapons and can reportedly withstand the recoil of several powerful weapons.
Range Test Time
We took the Primary Arms Micro Red Dot out to the range to try it out on a number of different firearms, so we had to stop and re-zero the optic here and there.
Primary Arms produces a wide variety of risers for this optic and for a variety of different weapons. The first weapon was the Umarex created H&K MP5 22LR. An affordable, lightweight, fun firearm designed for plinking at the range. Zeroing the optic is rather simple; its ½ MOA settings make the whole process quite fast. The ½ MOA changes are completely fine for a red dot, it does not need ¼ or even ⅛ MOA adjustments.
We placed about five hundred rounds of 22 LR through the weapon and cycled it through a variety of different shooters. The youngest being 15 and having an absolute ball with the weapon and optic. The red dot makes it faster, and funner to fire the weapon accurately. The little M&P5 didn’t give it much of a challenge though, and we decided to move it up to a big boy, our AR 15.
Once we were zeroed the optic to the weapon, we stretched the optics legs out at to 50 yards, and started shooting playing cards. These small playing cards were mounted side by side on a long piece of cardboard. We fired 16 shots and hit twelve targets. The main issue was the dot appeared to be a little larger than the cards and we had to guess just a bit. Even so we still scored a decent hit ration. At 10 yards the story was entirely different; we lit up the target over and over, 12 from twelve for most shooters.
The last weapon we mounted the Primary Arms Red Dot on was a Mossberg 930 semi automatic shotgun. We ran the weapon at fifteen and ten yards with buckshot and just lit torso targets up. At 25 yards we placed Winchester PDX 12 gauge slugs into the chest of a torso target with ease. The shotgun provided it the most recoil for testing, and the reticue never moved between shots. Most said the shotgun was significantly easier to use when equipped with the red, and accuracy was certainly improved on with the junior shooter.
Summing It Up
On the range I honestly couldn’t see a difference in performance between the Aimpoint H-1, the T-1, and the Primary Arms Red Dot. I haven’t had months, or even years to run the optics side by side, but my initial impression is good. The optic worked perfectly on three different weapons, and the optic shined on all three. With its price I could afford three of them, one for each weapon, for less than the cost of one of the Aimpoint micro models.
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