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Posted: 6/11/2018 12:32:13 AM EDT
Right before the last presidential election I put together a mostly high end component 16” RECCE inspired build. Before optic I think I was almost $2000 into it. I sort of ran out of budget money and got the latest Primary Arms 1-6x ACSS (dot not Chevron) to throw on top. Thought it was odd my G mount cost more than the optic but I was impressed with quality. Took the rifle on an extreme wild hog hunt last year and it got banged around quite a bit shooting in and out of off road vehicles. But held up great.

Wondering now if it’s time to upgrade. I like to shoot this rifle out to 400-500 yards. I’m starting to find the glass not as crisp as I would like and am picking up a little chromatic aberration. Also struggle some to get the eyepiece completely focused. But nonetheless it’s probably the best sub $300 LPV on the market. Has anyone had any negatives or issues with the PA at all?

I’ve considered giving the Sig Tango 6 a try. Now the big Army just selected it for CSASS which I thought was interesting. Just not sure it’s worth it, especially being that close in price to the Vortex Razor. I wouldn’t mind spending $600-$800 on a serious upgrade to the PA. Just not sure if such a LPV exists.
Link Posted: 6/11/2018 1:32:54 PM EDT
You will want to look at the PA Platinum 1-8x FFP scope.

It is a 34mm tube but it will meet your needs 100%

It is Japanese glass, with a solid FFP BDC reticle.

It has amazing clarity and durability. There are several prominent YouTube reviewers who speak highly of it.
Link Posted: 6/11/2018 8:08:34 PM EDT
The 1-6x and 1-8x ACSS reticle scopes are hard to beat for the money. Yes, Platinum is very nice.

But when you get to a Platinum budget, Trijicon is good as well. Once there, Nightforce NX8 is amazing...

Everything has to be looked in context
Link Posted: 6/11/2018 8:14:56 PM EDT
I just picked up a Gen III 1-6 and I am pretty pleased with it (chevron Griffin-Mil)

I never played around with the old 1-6 so can't speak to glass differences.

For a sub $300 scope, it'sll do everything that I need it for (11" 6.5G pistol)
Link Posted: 6/11/2018 10:07:10 PM EDT
In case I didn’t clarify I am running the Gen III PA 1-6x now.

Yeah I have looked at the Platinum series. Very nice. But I think it would be difficult to pass up Vortex or NF for close to that kind of $. The next step is to move up to Japanese glass for me.
Link Posted: 6/11/2018 10:59:49 PM EDT
How about the Burris xtr 2 1x5 or 1.5x8. It's in your price range and had exceeds the PA by a good bit. The 1x8 is a little more than listed budget but good as well
Link Posted: 6/12/2018 5:38:43 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/12/2018 7:58:11 PM EDT
If you want to upgrade your current scope... Break down the feature set of your current scope, and look at what it takes to meet or exceed.

Glass... You would likely want to get better glass than you have now. Japanese glass is king in the sub2k price range (for the most part) Sure European glass is great, but most scopes with that level of glass run over $2k. And yes, you can get some decent glass out of China and the Philippines, that is almost as good as the lower cost Japanese glass, but not quite.

Magnification... You would want to stay at 1-6x, or go up to 1-8x, going 1-4x seems a backwards step IMO, but maybe not to you

Weight... Your current optic is around the 16oz range, without a mount, and while everyone has a different tolerance to weight, going significantly higher in weight seems silly to me.

Durability... The PA scopes are known to be pretty rugged. There are some more rugged scopes out there for sure, but the PA scopes are not crap by any means when it comes to durability. (from user reports)

Turrets... Good sturdy adjustment knobs and internals, with good positive clicks. (most decent scopes have the last part at least) Do you want exposed or capped. (I prefer capped on a LPV, as I don't spin dials with one of those)

Reticle... I am a big fan of a good BDC over a mil or moa hash reticle. Some bad mouth them, as being imprecise... Well... Some generic BDCs are not very good, so I can see the hate there... But a BDC specific to the load you use is great. Like 55gr 5.56 from a 16in barrel (Trijicon has a reticle like this in their Accupower 1-4x, and I found it to be spot on out to 400yds, the max I shot with it, and I bet its good out to the full BDC range. Strelok says so, using my real world chrono velocity data) Problem is, not every load can be accounted for this way, only the more popular loads like 55gr, 62gn, and 77gr tend to be represented. The ACSS reticle is pretty good, and is pretty close to dead on through the BDC range. For the most part, out to 400yds, the BDC being off by 15-20yds only accounts for at most few inches of POA/POI difference. Plenty good enough for a combat focused reticle.

Reticle illumination brightness... Not every scope is daylight bright. I don't use LPVs as a red dot substitute, so being red dot bright isn't a priority to me, but helping with contrast is a good thing. Some want that level of brightness.

The problem comes in getting all of the above for $800...

The Trijicon Accupower has very good glass, but is 1-4x... Weight is good, and all the rest of the boxes get checked, but for the brightness... Its not daylight bright. Cost on sale is around $650, average is $700 or a bit more...

The Vortex PST II 1-6x... Ticks most of the boxes, but is a bit heavy. I'm not a fan of the reticle personally. Glass isn't quite as good as the Accupower though, I notice some slight distortion when looking though one.

The new PA 1-6x with FFP... That scope is going to be a small step up over what you have, and not be very expensive, but is the small bump worth the cost.

There are other options as well, just break them down and compare features to price, vs what you have right now.

I had a Accupower 1-4x, and I couldn't find a scope that was enough of an improvement until I got close to $2k... It would always be only an improvement in one or two areas, and cost me double or more, and I just couldn't see the justification.

I looked at the new Nightforce NX8 a while back... Very nice scope... But the glass wasn't noticeably better than what was in the Accupower. It had a bit more fisheye effect, but overall looked similar. I'm sure the glass was better to some degree, as the magnification is double the Accupower, and when you increase magnification, glass gets more important... Though that applies more to scopes over 15x more than LPVs, It is important in an LPV as the magnification range increases. (IE a 3-9x is only a 3x magnification range, a 2-12x is 4x... 1-6x is a 6x range, etc)

In the end I couldn't justify a $1700 scope, that I highly disliked the reticle of... Even if I could get 8x top end for only 1oz more weight. The magnification and weight were not enough to counter a reticle I didn't care for, and a bunch of other features basically breaking even.

Thats my process for evaluating an upgrade... Maybe it will help.

You can ask here, and get a dozen different answers, ranging from "no" to "Its pointless to spend less that $2K on a LPV"... And none of it may be relevant for you.
Link Posted: 6/12/2018 11:09:05 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/12/2018 11:09:53 PM EDT by alpha0815]
Thanks for the breakdown. I think the most functional part of the scope that you shouldn’t compromise with is the reticle. One of the best looking reticles I’ve seen other than the ACSS is the GSRC CSR.

Some of the best glass and durable LPV optics have useless reticles IMO.
Link Posted: 6/13/2018 12:00:38 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By PA_Mike:
Don't forget we have the 1-6x Raptor now in First Focal Plane, which requires better glass than what you have in your older Second Focal Plane unit. It isn't terribly expensive at $399 with a lifetime warranty but it's a definite step up if you want something interim before diving into the $1000+ price point.

Not disparaging Sig Optics because we sell their line as well, but choose your reticle really carefully if you decide to snag the 1-6x Tango 6 (or any low power variable optic at all). Looking at the website, the "Horseshoe Dot" reticle looks great, but they are showing it you at 6x. It's quite fine, the center horseshoe is pretty small even at 6x, and for me it pretty much disappears at 1x due to the FFP scope construction. The whole point of having 1x in the magnification range is to maximize speed at that setting, if I have to slow down to find this tiny thin reticle then I'm not really gaining anything over a fixed power scope like an ACOG.

Here's a review of the Tango 4 1-4x which is also FFP. https://www.ar15.com/forums/Precision-Rifles/Sig-Tango4-1-4x24-Illuminated-Horseshoe-review/5-5105/

Here's the sight picture as presented in the Sig catalog and website, at full 4x magnification.
http://i.imgur.com/PI7dg3A.jpg

But here's the same scope at 1x magnification. Does this seem like a fast acquisition sight picture worth a $1000 investment to you?
http://i.imgur.com/mIXE6wb.jpg

Like I said, I'm not saying Sig Optics sucks or anything, I'm saying choose what you are going to look at through the scope when engaging targets really carefully.
View Quote
Those FFP models sold out quick? I see they are OOS. I bet it’s a nice upgrade. I just really don’t care for the chevron. My PA 1-6 ACSS has the dot, got it just before y’all switched to chevron.
Link Posted: 6/13/2018 12:24:02 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Marine6680:
If you want to upgrade your current scope... Break down the feature set of your current scope, and look at what it takes to meet or exceed.

Glass... You would likely want to get better glass than you have now. Japanese glass is king in the sub2k price range (for the most part) Sure European glass is great, but most scopes with that level of glass run over $2k. And yes, you can get some decent glass out of China and the Philippines, that is almost as good as the lower cost Japanese glass, but not quite.

Magnification... You would want to stay at 1-6x, or go up to 1-8x, going 1-4x seems a backwards step IMO, but maybe not to you

Weight... Your current optic is around the 16oz range, without a mount, and while everyone has a different tolerance to weight, going significantly higher in weight seems silly to me.

Durability... The PA scopes are known to be pretty rugged. There are some more rugged scopes out there for sure, but the PA scopes are not crap by any means when it comes to durability. (from user reports)

Turrets... Good sturdy adjustment knobs and internals, with good positive clicks. (most decent scopes have the last part at least) Do you want exposed or capped. (I prefer capped on a LPV, as I don't spin dials with one of those)

Reticle... I am a big fan of a good BDC over a mil or moa hash reticle. Some bad mouth them, as being imprecise... Well... Some generic BDCs are not very good, so I can see the hate there... But a BDC specific to the load you use is great. Like 55gr 5.56 from a 16in barrel (Trijicon has a reticle like this in their Accupower 1-4x, and I found it to be spot on out to 400yds, the max I shot with it, and I bet its good out to the full BDC range. Strelok says so, using my real world chrono velocity data) Problem is, not every load can be accounted for this way, only the more popular loads like 55gr, 62gn, and 77gr tend to be represented. The ACSS reticle is pretty good, and is pretty close to dead on through the BDC range. For the most part, out to 400yds, the BDC being off by 15-20yds only accounts for at most few inches of POA/POI difference. Plenty good enough for a combat focused reticle.

Reticle illumination brightness... Not every scope is daylight bright. I don't use LPVs as a red dot substitute, so being red dot bright isn't a priority to me, but helping with contrast is a good thing. Some want that level of brightness.

The problem comes in getting all of the above for $800...

The Trijicon Accupower has very good glass, but is 1-4x... Weight is good, and all the rest of the boxes get checked, but for the brightness... Its not daylight bright. Cost on sale is around $650, average is $700 or a bit more...

The Vortex PST II 1-6x... Ticks most of the boxes, but is a bit heavy. I'm not a fan of the reticle personally. Glass isn't quite as good as the Accupower though, I notice some slight distortion when looking though one.

The new PA 1-6x with FFP... That scope is going to be a small step up over what you have, and not be very expensive, but is the small bump worth the cost.

There are other options as well, just break them down and compare features to price, vs what you have right now.

I had a Accupower 1-4x, and I couldn't find a scope that was enough of an improvement until I got close to $2k... It would always be only an improvement in one or two areas, and cost me double or more, and I just couldn't see the justification.

I looked at the new Nightforce NX8 a while back... Very nice scope... But the glass wasn't noticeably better than what was in the Accupower. It had a bit more fisheye effect, but overall looked similar. I'm sure the glass was better to some degree, as the magnification is double the Accupower, and when you increase magnification, glass gets more important... Though that applies more to scopes over 15x more than LPVs, It is important in an LPV as the magnification range increases. (IE a 3-9x is only a 3x magnification range, a 2-12x is 4x... 1-6x is a 6x range, etc)

In the end I couldn't justify a $1700 scope, that I highly disliked the reticle of... Even if I could get 8x top end for only 1oz more weight. The magnification and weight were not enough to counter a reticle I didn't care for, and a bunch of other features basically breaking even.

Thats my process for evaluating an upgrade... Maybe it will help.

You can ask here, and get a dozen different answers, ranging from "no" to "Its pointless to spend less that $2K on a LPV"... And none of it may be relevant for you.
View Quote
Just a quick note:

The sub 1k scope that can compare to the Accupower 1-4x is the Steiner P4xi 1-4 and it costs less than the Accupower. It has the Steiner glass, daylight bright illumination (single center dot) and a reticle that stretches out to 600 yards. Although it is designed for M855 instead of M193 but it can he used with M193 close enough to 500. It is a little heavier but it does boast a better 1x FOV. Some have said it's probably more like 1.1-.2x but it doesn't bother me shooting both eyes open. Also the Accupower is available under $600 new too.
Link Posted: 6/13/2018 8:12:09 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By PA_Mike:
Don't forget we have the 1-6x Raptor now in First Focal Plane, which requires better glass than what you have in your older Second Focal Plane unit. It isn't terribly expensive at $399 with a lifetime warranty but it's a definite step up if you want something interim before diving into the $1000+ price point.

Not disparaging Sig Optics because we sell their line as well, but choose your reticle really carefully if you decide to snag the 1-6x Tango 6 (or any low power variable optic at all). Looking at the website, the "Horseshoe Dot" reticle looks great, but they are showing it you at 6x. It's quite fine, the center horseshoe is pretty small even at 6x, and for me it pretty much disappears at 1x due to the FFP scope construction. The whole point of having 1x in the magnification range is to maximize speed at that setting, if I have to slow down to find this tiny thin reticle then I'm not really gaining anything over a fixed power scope like an ACOG.

Here's a review of the Tango 4 1-4x which is also FFP. https://www.ar15.com/forums/Precision-Rifles/Sig-Tango4-1-4x24-Illuminated-Horseshoe-review/5-5105/

Here's the sight picture as presented in the Sig catalog and website, at full 4x magnification.
http://i.imgur.com/PI7dg3A.jpg

But here's the same scope at 1x magnification. Does this seem like a fast acquisition sight picture worth a $1000 investment to you?
http://i.imgur.com/mIXE6wb.jpg

Like I said, I'm not saying Sig Optics sucks or anything, I'm saying choose what you are going to look at through the scope when engaging targets really carefully.
View Quote
And that's what the army picked for their sdmr rifle? Army should have chosen primary arms
Link Posted: 6/13/2018 10:29:57 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/13/2018 10:34:18 AM EDT by PA_Mike]
Link Posted: 6/15/2018 11:05:27 PM EDT
Thanks PA_Mike. I am sold. Friend of mine has one and he likes it. I am planning to purchase one.
Link Posted: 6/16/2018 9:26:45 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By alpha0815:
Thanks for the breakdown. I think the most functional part of the scope that you shouldn’t compromise with is the reticle. One of the best looking reticles I’ve seen other than the ACSS is the GSRC CSR.

Some of the best glass and durable LPV optics have useless reticles IMO.
View Quote
wish I'd seen this a couple months ago. Boughr Viper pst & cant see the reticle at all. Glass is nice but might as well be a monocular
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