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Posted: 12/1/2018 11:06:26 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/1/2018 11:24:29 AM EST by rxer311]
So my eyesight keeps deteriorating and my astigmatism continues to get worse. I love my Aimpoint PRO on top of my primary home defense SBR, but it is getting to the point where I think it is time to switch all my optics to etched reticles.

Now the reason I am running an Aimpoint on my home defense rifle is because of the battery life and the proven reliability and its ability to take a beating in a package that costs $400. In switching over to etched reticle optics I know I have a few options including low power variables and prisms.

I have switched my other rifles over to High power variables and low power variables with others just running simple irons.

For a 10.3" HD rifle, I don't see a low power variables being a good option. This leaves me with 1x power prism scopes. There are a few options here, from decent manufacturers, however, they all seem to be made in China.

I don't have a problem with Chinese made optics per se. But, I do always tread with caution before jumping in. At the moment there are 1x prisms offered by Vortex, Burris, Primary Arms, Athlon, and Bushnell. I am really leary about trading an Aimpoint for a chinese made prism, but my eyesight is telling me it is time. I don't want to be a brand snob, nor do I want to discount a well made optic just because of the country of origin (not everything from China is crap...though most is).

My questions revolve around, the comparative ruggedness and reliability of these optics compared to my Aimpoints and my recently sold of Eotechs. I know that the etched reticles will be there no matter if there is power or not, but since it is a HD rifle and the possibility of night use, I would like to have usable illumination with a reasonable power reserve.

Have any of you made a similar jump?

Also, will all of these have enough eye relief for back up irons?
Link Posted: 12/1/2018 11:30:21 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/1/2018 11:31:39 AM EST by shadowblade232]
My favorite prism sights so far has been Primary Arm's offerings with the ACSS reticle. I've owned the 2.5x, 3x, and 4x versions at some point in the past couple of years. Some of the newer models have a bit of pic rail on top so you could slap a mini-RDS up top. They all have enough clearance under them for BUIS and fit ACOG pattern mounts.

If it has to be 1x, maybe this version? https://www.primaryarms.com/pa-1x-compact-prism-scope-with-acss-cyclops-reticle-black

EDIT: Now that I've said it, have you considered a low-power ACOG?
Link Posted: 12/1/2018 11:32:11 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By shadowblade232:
My favorite prism sights so far has been Primary Arm's offerings with the ACSS reticle. I've owned the 2.5x, 3x, and 4x versions at some point in the past couple of years. Some of the newer models have a bit of pic rail on top so you could slap a mini-RDS up top. They all have enough clearance under them for BUIS and fit ACOG pattern mounts.

If it has to be 1x, maybe this version? https://www.primaryarms.com/pa-1x-compact-prism-scope-with-acss-cyclops-reticle-black
View Quote
I was definitely looking at this one. I still need convincing that this scope will be as reliable as my Aimpoint, though. Remember, this is my go to home defense SBR. I has to work every time.
Link Posted: 12/1/2018 11:34:45 AM EST
I have considered the lower power ACOG but I believe they are 1.5x and they are pricey. If it comes down to it, I could lay the cash down for one, but I would really prefer a pure 1x.
Link Posted: 12/1/2018 11:37:58 AM EST
Before you spend the money on an ACOG, look through one to make sure your eyes work well with them since your eyesight isn’t great.
Link Posted: 12/1/2018 11:58:00 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By dcs12345:
Before you spend the money on an ACOG, look through one to make sure your eyes work well with them since your eyesight isn’t great.
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If he can see to drive, he can see fine through an ACOG.

Either you are going to pay for proven ruggedness or you will not. What I mean by that, the PA optics are plenty rugged, it’s your peace of mind you are paying extra for.
Link Posted: 12/1/2018 1:41:40 PM EST
Following this thread as I am in the same boat with somewhat failing eyesight.
Link Posted: 12/1/2018 2:04:24 PM EST
I have a couple of the Vortex 1x prisms and a couple of the PA 1x prisms. I think I like using them better than a red dot for the most part, but that reliability question is there. All I can say is that I've yet to have a problem with the prism sights I'm using, but I still have my Aimpoints on my 'go to' guns. It seems like the prism sights should inherently be durable, but I really don't know what all is going on inside them and what can fail. They do have the advantage of still showing a reticle with a dead battery so if the reliability question could be answered better I'd probably go all in on prism sights.
Link Posted: 12/1/2018 2:20:49 PM EST
If there was a USA or Japanese made 1x prism for $4-500 I would jump right in. That nagging question is there...
Link Posted: 12/1/2018 6:07:57 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By shadowblade232:
My favorite prism sights so far has been Primary Arm's offerings with the ACSS reticle. I've owned the 2.5x, 3x, and 4x versions at some point in the past couple of years. Some of the newer models have a bit of pic rail on top so you could slap a mini-RDS up top. They all have enough clearance under them for BUIS and fit ACOG pattern mounts.

If it has to be 1x, maybe this version? https://www.primaryarms.com/pa-1x-compact-prism-scope-with-acss-cyclops-reticle-black

EDIT: Now that I've said it, have you considered a low-power ACOG?
View Quote
I'm in the same boat at the OP; eyesight finally forced me to give up my beloved RDS'.
I researched every 1x prism scope available at the time and biggest drawback on most were the reticles which I didn't care for.

Finally decided to try the PA Cyclops and am glad I did. Took a big leap for me to try my first 'chinee' optic, but I reasoned PA (whom I trust) wouldn't sell them (especially w/a lifetime warranty) if they weren't decent, and batteries/electronics/switches aren't as critical in a 1x prism as in a std RDS which is 100% dependent upon those parts working correctly. Even if those do fail on a Cyclops, I still have the etched reticle 24/7.
Finally, since the Cyclops isn't a LPVO, there's a lot less to go wrong internally and fewer internal moving parts equals increased ruggedness/reliability.

I've owned both my Cyclops for less than six months so far, but they've been 100% and barring some hidden catastrophic flaw I have no reason not to recommend the Cyclops.

Tomac
Link Posted: 12/1/2018 6:19:31 PM EST
I love and use ACOGs, including the TA44 1.5X on one of my 10.5" pistols. But for pure HD, where a weapon mounted light is a must, I would look elsewhere. Probably a Trijicon Reflex sight. I have not used one of the newer ones but one of my HD rifles has an old RX01 Reflex II (amber 12.5MOA triangle) mounted on the carry handle and it works well even with a light. I assume any of their newer Reflex sights would be even better.

Or get a good 1X4 variable that is daylight bright reticle and keep it at 1X. Or get one of the newer LED ACOGs which are great even behind WML but you will have to deal with the magnification, which again is not ideal for pure up-close HD.
Link Posted: 12/1/2018 8:30:59 PM EST
Leupold makes or made a 1x prismatic scope. It takes the same battery as the Aimpoint. Battery life is not great, but the reticle is always there. It's as tough as M4 optics built like a tank.
Link Posted: 12/1/2018 8:41:44 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By 64tinc:
Leupold makes or made a 1x prismatic scope. It takes the same battery as the Aimpoint. Battery life is not great, but the reticle is always there. It's as tough as M4 optics built like a tank.
View Quote
I've owned the Leupold Prismatic, excellent optic for its type but never could get used to their DCD (Double Circle Dot) reticle, YMMV.

Tomac
Link Posted: 12/1/2018 9:33:24 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By shadowblade232:
My favorite prism sights so far has been Primary Arm's offerings with the ACSS reticle. I've owned the 2.5x, 3x, and 4x versions at some point in the past couple of years. Some of the newer models have a bit of pic rail on top so you could slap a mini-RDS up top. They all have enough clearance under them for BUIS and fit ACOG pattern mounts.

If it has to be 1x, maybe this version? https://www.primaryarms.com/pa-1x-compact-prism-scope-with-acss-cyclops-reticle-black

EDIT: Now that I've said it, have you considered a low-power ACOG?
View Quote
This looks like it could be a good replacement for my EOTech 557 that's failing.
Link Posted: 12/1/2018 11:56:53 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/2/2018 12:23:52 AM EST by Lightstriker]
What exactly are you concerned with?
I've had 2 Vortex Spitfire DRTs for years now that have been absolutely fsntastic , so good that ai bought 2 more when they were on clearance for dirt cheap. All 4 have given me zero reason to doubt them in any way.

ETA: my Wife's 16" do all AR has one, my 10.3" HD 'firearm' has one, and the other two have been tested and occassionally get messed with by me, but are usually placed back in their boxes as they are for my kids'.
Link Posted: 12/2/2018 2:08:03 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/2/2018 2:20:29 AM EST by olds442tyguy]
I hate the 1.5X ACOG with a passion. The .5X gives me drunk vision inside of 10 yards and the eye box blows hard for being so close to "unmagnified". I don't have the best eyes so YMMV, but DO NOT buy one before trying it because I'm not alone in that absolute disappointment.

I wouldn't hesitate to trust Primary Arms prism optics at this point. I had an ACOG years ago but hated the eye box, Leupold can't seem to pull their prism game together, and Steiner uses craptastic reticles. So I've used a few different Primary Arms prisms through the years. The glass is kind of soggy, but they're probably the only company offering prismatic optics that aren't an after thought. Even with my judging of their glass, it still bothers me less than the blue tinted high end red dots, especially when you throw in astigmatism.
Link Posted: 12/2/2018 2:43:52 AM EST
Do you need a perfectly crisp and round dot for HD? It's at such a close distance as long as you see a big red blob don't you think you'll be ok?
Link Posted: 12/2/2018 9:32:57 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By hammermill290:
I have a couple of the Vortex 1x prisms and a couple of the PA 1x prisms. I think I like using them better than a red dot for the most part, but that reliability question is there. All I can say is that I've yet to have a problem with the prism sights I'm using, but I still have my Aimpoints on my 'go to' guns. It seems like the prism sights should inherently be durable, but I really don't know what all is going on inside them and what can fail. They do have the advantage of still showing a reticle with a dead battery so if the reliability question could be answered better I'd probably go all in on prism sights.
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This.

I have a variety of Vortex optics, and think they are GREAT on my range guns. However, my concerns over rugged durability (and battery life ... yes they're etched but try to see that reticle in very low light when the battery dies) means I use Aimpoint and ACOGs on my "go to" guns.
Link Posted: 12/2/2018 9:35:16 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By 64tinc:
Leupold makes or made a 1x prismatic scope. It takes the same battery as the Aimpoint. Battery life is not great, but the reticle is always there. It's as tough as M4 optics built like a tank.
View Quote
Ancedotal or can you provide evidence of the claim? The CompM4 and CompM4s have been in military use around the world for about a decade... lots of evidence of their durability.
Link Posted: 12/2/2018 10:35:55 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By GaryT1776:

This.

I have a variety of Vortex optics, and think they are GREAT on my range guns. However, my concerns over rugged durability (and battery life ... yes they're etched but try to see that reticle in very low light when the battery dies) means I use Aimpoint and ACOGs on my "go to" guns.
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True, etched reticle does you no good in a complete darkness, but I can still see mine with very minimal light, and perfectly fine with the wml deployed.

I replaced my MRO on my HD rifle with the Cyclops. I figured the chances of me being in a situation where I'm in complete darkness, the Cylops' light not working, and my WML not working are pretty slim.
Link Posted: 12/2/2018 10:58:21 AM EST
OP, I don't think you will get the answer you are looking for on ruggedness and reliability. The Chinese made prism sights haven't been battle tested by thousands of America's finest. Aimpoint, Eotech and Trijicon have been.

I'm 50yo and my distance vision is still perfect, but my arms aren't long enough to read a book without +1.5 glasses. I also have an astigmatism and get a starburst in my Aimpoints and MRO, but within 100yds it doesn't matter. At distance I can flip up the irons and use them with the red dot and the starburst goes away.

I recently bought a Trijicon TA31 and I have no issues seeing the reticle. Nothing beats a red dot at close range, but the ACOG is close and has the advantage to get you on out to 500yds.

I also have a Burris 3x prism sight and it's nice at the range, but when TSHTF I'll grab one with a proven track record.
Link Posted: 12/7/2018 3:00:13 PM EST
Quick question... Can you use a prism scope and in particular the 1x PA Cyclops with both eyes open? Or because it works more like a scope is this a peep through it with one eye technique?

I currently useca Vortex Crossfire RDS. Love its size and weight and using both eyes open. But I am not getting any younger and my vision is proof! For me the RDS isn't really a dot. I can get close by turning down the illumination. Comments in this thread lead me to belive a prism sight might be the way I should go although one comment suggested the Cyclops reticle is still too small to use without difficulty. None of my LGS stock PA so I am unable to look through one myself.
Link Posted: 12/7/2018 6:25:37 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/7/2018 6:29:02 PM EST by Lightstriker]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By kmckinnon:
Quick question... Can you use a prism scope and in particular the 1x PA Cyclops with both eyes open? Or because it works more like a scope is this a peep through it with one eye technique?
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A 1x prism scope (or any true 1x scope at 1x power) can be used with both wyes open. To be perfectly honest, any scope at any power can also he used both eyes open.

I remember being taught to close your non scope eye when I was a kid, but it's not the correct way as it puts undue strain on your eye that remains open. It's why Optometrists and even professional shooters use a wide flat spoon looking wand or patch respectively to occlude one eye. Minus some contraption to occlude your non scope eye, it's best to just leave both open. Believe it or not, your brain will figure out what to do.

ETA: I still catch myself closing my non scope eye from time to time.
Link Posted: 12/8/2018 10:57:27 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/8/2018 10:59:25 AM EST by Trollslayer]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By GaryT1776:
Ancedotal or can you provide evidence of the claim? The CompM4 and CompM4s have been in military use around the world for about a decade... lots of evidence of their durability.
View Quote
The fact that they are in use does not equate to proven durability. If we had the failure rate data from the service and maintenance records, then we could talk about reliability and "durability". Another factor is the military likely uses them in a very different environment.

Even if all of those issues were addressed, there'd still be the question of, "Is THIS optic reliable?" That is, is the exact unit, the one and only unit the OP owns, is IT reliable or is it the dreaded lemon made by a hung-over drunkard on Monday morning?

Really, the only way to know YOUR optic is reliable is to buy it and mount it and use it. Test it. Work it out. Do this while under warranty. Don't store it away thinking it is proven and will work when needed just because "the military uses these".

Borrowing from elsewhere - This is my optic. There are many like it but this one is mine...
Link Posted: 12/8/2018 1:06:51 PM EST
Corrective eye surgery is cheaper than a ACOG these days.
Link Posted: 12/8/2018 2:33:32 PM EST
Why not just change the battery on a regular basis? Seems a lot cheaper to replace batteries than but a new optic.

My H1 has been used and abused for roughly five years. Classes, duty use, call outs, range time. It’s never failed me. I replace the battery in it once a year, usually around the new year.
Link Posted: 12/8/2018 3:21:41 PM EST
A few points.

Either the OP can accept Chinese equipment or not.

I'm not aware of any "decent" quality US company that does not have personnel assigned to the plants in China to monitor qc and adherence to their specs.

Many, if not all, better optics imported from China, the Philippines, Japan, actually use Japanese glass.

Everyone's favorite marketing tool; "Battle tested". I can promise you Chinese optics and other Chinese equipment are battle-tested ad- nauseam.

For a 1x prism, there are a few choices. It basically comes down to reticle styles, illuminated with etched reticle, asthetics, etc. I've been waiting for Bushnell to release the Lil P 1x prism. Considering taking it for a little spin if priced right to include a holiday price. I'm hoping for Memorial Day 2019.
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