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Discussion Starter #1
I have had an Aimpoint PRO since shortly after they came out and am very happy with it, but I have a hard time justifying $400.00+ for an additional unit on each rifle I want a red dot on. So I started looking for an affordable unit that still had a good battery life and would stand up to anything from .22LR to .308 WIN.

The most promising thing I found was the Primary Arms Advanced Micro Dot. At about 40% of the cost of the Aimpoint PRO, it was still higher than what I hoping to spend, but it was at least affordable. I figured that since everything less expensive had either a very short battery life or a much larger dot. This one was worth looking at. It seemed to get fairly good reviews, in that if you got a good one it was great, and if you did not get a good one the company did whatever they needed to do to make it right.

The Primary Arms Advanced Micro Dot has a 2MOA dot (good for close range out to 100+ yards) with a 50k hour battery life. It also uses the CR2032 battery which is a readily available battery that is MUCH less expensive than the 1/3N battery used in the Aimpoint PRO.

2MOA dot
50k hours batter life
CR2032 Battery

This unit arrived on Sunday, January 8th. The first thing I did was to take it out of the box and take a look at it, followed by turning it on.

At first look, I liked what I saw. It is a nice, small, compact unit that is easy to turn on and adjust both windage and elevation settings. It also came with a rubber lens cover that stretched over the unit to cover both front and back lenses; this was a pleasant surprise as I had not expected it.

The first thing that really stood out to me was the amount of glare and reflection I got off of the lens. I was in my basement, so the lighting was typical indoor lighting and not bright outdoor sunlight, yet, I seemed to still get a lot of glare off of the rear lens, not a major deal, but the we will have to see how it is when outside.

After initially looking at it, I turned it on and placed it on the shelf above my workbench. I wanted to see how the batter life was. No, I was not planning on letting it sit there for 5 years to see if it actually ran for the full 50k hours, but it was a bit on the cold side out and my range was currently getting an additional 2’ of snow dumped on it, so I thought that I would let it run for a week or two, just while I was waiting for a decent day, to see if I could notice any dimming of the dot.
 

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3-18-17
In spite of the documentation that says the red dot comes from the factory fairly well centered and only requiring small adjustment for sighting in, I found it to be a little over 1 foot low at 28 yards from my 10/22. However, to be fair, it might have been the aftermarket rail that I have on my 10/22 rather than the red dot itself. After finally getting it sighted in and zeroed, I decided to move it forward a couple of slots on the rail and found about a 1 1/2 “ shift downward in the POI, so it is possible that the rail itself might not be perfectly aligned and that may have been why it was so far off to begin with.

After re-zeroing it in the forward position on the rail and firing a few groups to verify that it would not drift, I removed the Red Dot from the rail and remounted it in the same place. While it was off the rail I tossed it a couple of time onto the wooden table top from about 2 – 2 ½ feet away. Yes I know that some will hiss at me for abusing my equipment like this, but I wanted to make sure that it could stand up to the light bumps and drops that it might experience “out in the field”. I figured that if it couldn’t take these small bumps, it certainly wouldn’t standup to the abuse it would experience if my rifle happened to slide over and fall when leaning up against a fence or tree or tailgate in the field.

After remounting the Red Dot in the same forward position as it had been mounted previously, I was able to shoot several groups with the same POI. So far it seems to be holding its zero just fine.

Next I decided to put it on the AR to see how it would standup to the heavier recoil – Yes, I know that the AR, firing 5.56 ammo is considered to be a very light recoil, but it is still a bit more that the .22 LR.

I had expected a change in the POI when changing from the 10/22 to an AR in 5.56, but I had not expected there to be as large a change as I saw. The POI shifted up about 9“ up and to the right about 2”. If I had started out on the AR, the initial out of box settings for the Red Dot would have only been about 3” low, so when the documentation said that it comes fairly well centered, maybe that is accurate and the rail on my 10/22 is just not 100% straight.

I did not re-sight the Red Dot for the AR because I was trying to see if it would lose its zero when it went back on the 10/22, besides, in order to really use it on the AR I would have to add a riser to it. As it was, it was rather uncomfortable using it on the AR because it was mounted so low.

After firing 50 rounds through the AR, 30 of which were rapid fire, I removed the Red Dot from the AR and mounted it back on the 10/22 in the same forward position as before. Of course, after removing it from the AR and before putting it back on the 10/22, I tossed it onto the wooden table top a couple more times. This time, however, it bounced off the table onto the ground. Ok, now we are actually getting to what might happen when “out in the field”, of course it still didn’t have the weight of a rifle falling on it, so it is still rather light abuse.

After remounting the Red Dot on the 10/22 I found the first group to be about ½” low and ½” left of the previous POI. I decided to shoot a second group without making any adjustments, just to be sure… The second group was “spot on” right where it should be. After this I fired several groups, some of which had a POI exactly where they should be and some that were a bit low, always ½ to 1” low. At this point I was not sure whether the problem was the Red Dot or me, so I decided to stop here and move on to something else. I would pickup with this Red Dot on my next range trip.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
4-8-17
Finally got back to the range…
Shot a 10 round group that was spot on, so I am guessing that the last groups on my previous trip were me and not the optic.

I then mounted the Red Dot on a Springfield M1A, after tossing it onto the wooden table a ½ dozen times again (of course one of these tossed ended up bouncing off the table and landing on the ground again), and then proceeded to fire 30 rounds. The first 10 were slow fire to see where the red dot was compared to POI. Turns out, POI was about 11” high and 2” left of POA, so very similar to what I saw with the AR. The last 20 rounds were fired rather quickly.

After removing the optic from the M1A, and tossing it onto the table another 5 or 6 times, I remounted it on the 10/22 and found it to be spot on again.

I then did some rapid fire from standing, just to see how easy it was to keep track of the dot (yes, I know that this has a lot to do with recoil, of which the 22 LR really doesn’t have any, but it also has a lot to do with the quality of the optic and how visible the dot itself is). What I found was that while I shooting for groups, with one eye closed, everything looked great, however, as soon as I tried shooting with both eyes open I got a lot of red glare on the left side of the lens, although it does not obscure the dot. This is the same thing that I noticed in my basement when I first mounted it on the 10/22, so it was not because of the bright sunlight. This red glare is also present even when I turn the unit off, so I am guessing that it has to do with the anti-glare coating on the glass itself.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
4-20-17
No, not another range trip, just some final thoughts…

After over 4 months of constantly being turned on to a medium setting, I have noticed no dimming of the dot at all. I realize that this is not 5 years, but it is long enough to tell me that since I generally change my batteries once a year, I don’t think I will have any issues with battery life, even if I do forget to turn it off.

So, what do I think about the Primary Arms Advanced Micro Dot? Well, I think it is a good product for its price point.

The only thing that I really have a problem with is the red glare that shows up across the left side of the lens when I am using both eyes (I am guessing that it would be the opposite for anybody shooting left handed). I have limited experience with red dot sights, but I do not get this with my Aimpoint Pro. When I called and spoke with Primary Arms about this, the Gentleman said that this is prevalent among red dot sights and his also has it. As I mentioned before, this red glare is still there even when the unit is turned off, so I am guessing that it is the anti-glare coating on the glass itself. Not a show stopper, just noticeable.

Aside from that, there are two things that I wish were different… first is the base. The base on this red dot sight uses an allen wrench to loosen and tighten up on the rail, this means that it is not necessarily easy or quick to remove or remount the sight. I would love to see it with a QD mount, even if it did add a couple $$ to the cost they really are not that expensive (cheap ones as low as $15.00 and decent ones as low as $70.00). The second thing that I am not really sure that I like is the button controls. Nothing wrong with them, I just prefer the dial knob that the Aimpoint has. This is just personal preference and is not meant to be negative – I just prefer the knob over the buttons.

So, I guess the bottom line is – would I buy another one???

If I was concerned about cost and could not afford the Aimpoint, yes, I would get this in a heartbeat. It is a good unit and held up well to the light abuse I put it through. However, if I had the budget and was not concerned about cost, I would spend the extra $$ just for the better anti-glare properties alone. I will keep this one, and will eventually replace the base with a QD base so that I can easily remove it or move it between rifles, but I will not be getting rid of my Aimpoint.
 

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Thanks for the review and sharing your experiences with this sight. I was unfamiliar with it until reading your reviews. I have an Aimpoint Pro that I really like. I also desired purchasing a lower priced option for utility use. I ended up purchasing a Vortex Sparc AR. I haven't had an opportunity to try it yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The Vortex Sparc AR looks like a nice optic. I really like the fact that it uses a standard AAA battery that you can get at just about any corner store. Combine that with the auto shut off feature and you have something that you will not have to worry about dead batteries as long as you setup a regular schedule of changing batteries once a year or so.

On the Vortex Spark AR, do you get any of that red glare that I am seeing on the Primary Arms?

The only draw back, for me, is that it can not be mounted "low". Since this is a unit that was designed specifically for the AR platform, that is generally not a problem, but for somebody like me who might want to bounce it between AR and non-AR platform, something that can be mounted either lower or higher, depending on the base you are using, is attractive. I was actually thinking about the Vortex Spark II. Pretty much the same as far as functionality and battery life goes, but a tad bit larger, uses the CR2032 battery and is able to be mounted low on the rail. The Spark II might just be the next one I look at.

But at $170.00, I just had to start at the Primary Arms unit.
 

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If you like the turn-knobs rather than the push-button adjustments I have found the "DI Optical Rv1" to be a good choice in mid-lower price "RDS's". I bought one after researching the same issues and have been well pleased with one I put on my Tavor x95 after approximately 500 rounds. It has a 1.5 moa red dot and is rated at approximately 20,000 hour battery life on a AAA battery and it has an absolute co-witness with the Tavor's iron sights.
 

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...I have found the "DI Optical Rv1" to be a good choice in mid-lower price "RDS's". I bought one after researching the same issues and have been well pleased...
Good info. Thanks.
 

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If you like the turn-knobs rather than the push-button adjustments I have found the "DI Optical Rv1" to be a good choice in mid-lower price "RDS's". I bought one after researching the same issues and have been well pleased with one I put on my Tavor x95 after approximately 500 rounds. It has a 1.5 moa red dot and is rated at approximately 20,000 hour battery life on a AAA battery and it has an absolute co-witness with the Tavor's iron sights.
This looks like a nice unit, I will definitely look at it as an option for my next one. The only issue I see with it, off the top, is how high it sits. This is obviously not an issue if it is going on an AR, but it might be an issue for mounting on something else. I will need to see if there is somebody locally that carries it so I can get a good look at it.

Thanks.
 
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