Chris Parkin finds that Primary Arms’ 1-6×24 riflescope is transformed into an awesome foxing option with the addition of the latest ACSS Predator Reticle Gen III.
Primary Arms are offering a full armoury of optics and accessories through the Sportsman Gun centre, with innovative new reticle styles like the ACSS Predator spearheading the concepts.
This reticle, mounted here in a 1-6×24 fast target acquisition and engagement optic, is ideal for point and shoot activities on low power before more concerned shots are taken with the advantages of the 6x zoom and multiple range holdover reticle.
The 30mm tube is smoothly finished hard anodised aluminium with parallel objective body shrouding recessed multicoated lens within a supplied flip-up cap.
The central spherical saddle carries windage and elevation dials under screw caps, each offering ½ MOA clicks or approximately half an inch at 100 yards for primary zeroing.
Clicks are positive and secure, but remember, this is a scope designed for zeroing for ammunition type and not so much for repetitive dialling day after day for different ranges – that’s what the reticle is for.
Illumination is controlled on the left side, with a capped dial offering five intensity levels of either green or red hues on the second focal plane reticle. This means it stays the same size across the magnification range, and later on offered more options for the reticle, with some compromise of simplicity.
Back at the ocular end, there’s a smoothly rotating zoom control collar with reassuring stops at either end of its travel, plus easily gripped knurling with a single wing at 3x magnification for tactile familiarity in low light. The rearmost fast focus eyepiece allows compensation for natural eyesight variation toward the reticle with a similar flip up protective cap.
ACSS Predator Reticle Gen III – tech specs
Battery type: CR2032 3V Lithium coin
Click value: ½ MOA
Exit pupil diameter: Low: 9.00mm / High 4.00mm
Eye relief: Low 3.5” / High 3.30”
Field view (@100m): Low 110.00 ft / High 19.30 ft
Focal plane: Second Focal Plane (SFP)
Length: 10” / 25.4cm
Magnification: 1x – 6x
Night vision compatible: No
Objective diameter: 24mm
Reticle: ACSS Predator Hunting
Reticle Type: BDC
Tube diameter: 30mm
Weight: 16.9oz / 0.479kg
An effective Predator
The ACSS reticle is patented and offers multiple aim points for extended ranges. Primary Arms encourage you to investigate and study this in detail, as although suggested with compatibility with 223/308 and 6,5 Grendel, being in the second focal plane means that subtension spanned across the target varies with magnification, so you need to set it to your own personal sweet spot if you want to aim and fire with immediate ease. It is also important to make sure you always use that setting!
The centre upright ‘V’ is the only illuminated segment, and quite small, but intended to differentially illustrate centre without undue dazzle or limitation to low light sensitivity of your own eyes. The lower aimpoints are a combination of circular segments with lateral bars offering a certain amount of repetitive aim off for wind compensation.
Primary’s diagrams in the detailed instruction book highlight use on boar and coyote, which perhaps sway a little away from our own homeland quarry species, but as you have to set it up for cartridge ballistics anyway, the same concept applies for your preferred quarry choice – still with all the normal caveats of actual maturity and body size within that species.
The 83-88mm eye relief, along with a 9-4mm exit pupil size through the zoom range, keeps you close to the action and points again to small/medium cartridges and corresponding physical recoil.
The 50 MOA. mechanical adjustment range gives ample setup capability when zeroing, and I used the scope on a semi-auto .22 rimfire to benefit more from the compact 530gr tube’s ‘point and shoot’ capability for multi-positional plinking shoots, more than hunting for me.
It fit this role perfectly, and was a delight to use with good picture quality and bright image with a flat field of view in strong daylight or artificially lit indoor scenarios on the range.
Small and mighty
At 530mm long with shorter eye relief, it should also be noted that it suits smaller rimfire rifles and shooters for who larger scope promising ‘magnum eye relief’ are actually unsuitable, because they can’t actually get the scope to sit correctly on the rifle without an unusually rear biased head position.
I think this is a fact that should be stated clearly in the scope’s favour for UK shooters for who that is a distinct benefit rather than carelessly defined as a downside, which it is not in these scenarios.
Construction was neat, with no tactile perception of motion or drag from the internal mechanisms in use, the 6063 Aluminium body benefitting with a lifetime warranty with full waterproof and fog proof assurances from the multi-coated optics.
The single CR2032 battery is included for illumination, but carry a spare, as there is no ‘auto off’ function and as the central ‘V’ is not particularly bright, and it’s not always obviously illuminated from a quick glance, especially in full daylight.
Although The Primary Arms scope may be seen as a hunting item, I think its benefits lie with the rimfire market, where that shorter eye relief has particular advantages and creative reticle design offers simple ‘watch and shoot’ performance that is certainly very instructive of ballistics and equally appealing to the AR-15 Market, where it is also ergonomically suited to a similarly compact, low recoil rifle concept.
A foxer’s friend?
Low magnification down at 1x enables relaxed target acquisition with both eyes open and, when needed, a fast flick of the wrist will increase the magnification if range requirements increase or precision shooting positions and requirements become a priority over simple fast hit/miss shots on reactive targets.
A final point is that in smaller calibres, especially .22 rimfire, learning the capability and required magnification control for correct ballistic compensation is much cheaper, with a steeper trajectory at which to illustrate and learn second focal plane holdover type reticles.
Overall, I liked the weighting of the reticle with a good flat sharp focus, easily picked up against most backgrounds in varied light conditions, only veering towards the precision concentrated centre point when time allowed more precision fire.
I would say though that the centre ‘V’ is tiny, and illumination is only really noticeable in poor light, so perhaps would benefit from higher intensity if you do need it in daylight, especially with weaker eyes that many of us are realising we have to admit to in the end.