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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So after X-Mas my present to myself was an Aimpoint PRO, and what a disappointment that was. I just couldn't get a clear dot with the thing. I have corrected eyesight, but my other red dot is very clear. Even wearing glasses and looking through a 3X magnifier with diopter adjustment I couldn't get a clear dot - when I focused it down it looked like a cluster of three dots instead of one clearly defined dot. Aimpoint seems to regard this scope as a 'low priced' option, but from my perspective it's pretty darn expensive at over $400. To make a long story short, I sent it back for a refund.

I've had a Walther PS22 sight on it for some time, and it's a great little scope. Only problem with it is that it's got a 5 MOA dot, and it's somewhat problematic for mid range paper punching. The other thing is it's an airsoft sight, and even though it seems to hold up well to 223 recoil, that fact kind of bugs me.

So I went looking for another red dot with a smaller dot, and I think I found what I was looking for. I ordered a Primary Arms 3 MOA red dot, and it arrived about an hour ago. My initial reaction to this sight is very positive - fit and finish are excellent, and the overall construction seems very robust. It's easier to adjust the intensity than the Walther, and the dot is much clearer than the Aimpoint. With the high cantilever mount it co-witnesses perfectly with my iron sights, as well as with my 3X long eye relief Primary Arms magnifier in a Primary Arms flip to side mount. Everything fits on the standard flat top rail - buis, red dot, and magnifier - so I've got plenty of flexibility.

While the dot is 60% of the width of the Walther, the actual area it covers is probably more like 30%. It's a pretty fine dot, and just about the perfect size for my purposes. And it was only $79.99 with the high cantilever mount. Looks to be an excellent value. Just passing it along... Primary Arms 30mm Red Dot
 

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From my experience, the major price difference between red dots is battery life. Primary Arms has a good set of red dots with descent battery life. Move up a little to something like the Vortex Strikefire and I think you will see about the same quality of reticle and just a little better battery life.

BTW, I'm assuming you are using both eyes with your red dots. I always had problems with red dots until I learned to use both eyes. My BIL was showing me his shotgun technique of focusing on the target, rather than the sights, when the light went on for me. I believe it is call the Bindon Method, essentially don't look through the red dot but focus with both eyes on the target and the red dot will appear there as long as you have a consistent cheek weld.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
IIRC the Vortex Strikefires have a 5% vertical parallax and 4 moa dot. And they cost $100 more. The Primary Arms is parallax free, has a 3 moa dot, and costs $100 less. As far as shooting with both eyes open - it depends on what kind of shooting I'm doing. If I'm shooting at silhouette targets at relatively close ranges, then both eyes open is my preferred method. If I'm punching paper and shooting for accuracy at 100 yards I close one eye. I've found it's best if I close the eye that isn't lined up with the scope. :D
 

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At that price point you usually ARE at a 5 MOA dot - 3 is impressive and dedicated flip up covers are a nice add. Like greenwolf70 I like the Vortex line and always smile when I'm shooting with my SPARC. The 2MOA dot and 4 mounting options in the box really make it a winner!
 

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IIRC the Vortex Strikefires have a 5% vertical parallax and 4 moa dot. And they cost $100 more. The Primary Arms is parallax free, has a 3 moa dot, and costs $100 less. As far as shooting with both eyes open - it depends on what kind of shooting I'm doing. If I'm shooting at silhouette targets at relatively close ranges, then both eyes open is my preferred method. If I'm punching paper and shooting for accuracy at 100 yards I close one eye. I've found it's best if I close the eye that isn't lined up with the scope. :D
Yes - it's 4 MOA.
 

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I use both eyes open regardless of range. I tend to get those 3 dot pictures like you were talking about using one eye which was my original issue with red dots. As I said, I believe that when it comes to price the differentiater is battery life. Maybe my eye problem is parallax like Mingaa says, I don't know. I didn't even think you could have parallax in a red dot, shows what I know. Personally, I'm not a big fan of reticles that are just a dot, regardless of size, I tend to lose them in daylight. I prefer something like a T, a post, a cross hair, or even just a circle around the dot, anything that helps me locate POA.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I use both eyes open regardless of range. I tend to get those 3 dot pictures like you were talking about using one eye which was my original issue with red dots. As I said, I believe that when it comes to price the differentiater is battery life. Maybe my eye problem is parallax like Mingaa says, I don't know. I didn't even think you could have parallax in a red dot, shows what I know. Personally, I'm not a big fan of reticles that are just a dot, regardless of size, I tend to lose them in daylight. I prefer something like a T, a post, a cross hair, or even just a circle around the dot, anything that helps me locate POA.
I can put my magnifier, which has a diopter adjustment, on both the Walther and the PA red dots and focus them down to one well defined dot. The Aimpoint PRO just wouldn't cooperate. I'm thinking it might have something to do with the lens coatings. The place I bought it said there was nothing wrong with the Aimpoint, so I told them to keep it.

One thing I have noticed with every red dot I've put my eye to - you need about 20/40 vision to see a clear dot. That's what mine is corrected to these days, so if I wear my glasses I see nice dots. If I don't I see red smears.

I guess I kind of go the other way as it pertains to red dots - I don't want a fancy retical, and I really don't like the ones with multiple reticals. To me it's more stuff to break. I just wanted a simple, durable scope with a relatively small dot that was bright enough to see in all lighting conditions. I also wanted the controls easily accessible regardless of whether or not the magnifier was up. The PA's got all that, and the brightness of the dot is very good. It's got seven settings and it's pretty darn bright even at number 1.

You're probably right about the battery life thing - the PA says it's good for 200+ hours. Doesn't sound like much compared to the Aimpoint's 30,000 hours, but frankly I wouldn't want to look at that lousy dot for that long. :D Seriously, though - 200 hours will fit my lifestyle just fine, and it uses LR44 batteries. I can get ten of them for a little over $2. I wouldn't want to find myself in the position where I'd have to do a 'tactical battery change,' though. :D

And that brings up one more little thing on the PA. It comes with a rubber cap retention 3-point strap just like Aimpoint, and while it works and provides a little protection, it's kind of hard to turn the knobs with it in place. The PA also came with a wire cap retention strap, and it's much easier (and faster) to get the knobs on and off with that. But you get them both, so you can pick which one you like better.

I keep hearing good things about Primary Arms on the net.
I've got one of their 3X extended eye relief magnifiers and the flip to side PA mount, and now I've added the PA red dot and a PA cantilever mount. That mount is almost identical to the one on my Walter PS22, and I really that style. And it co-witnesses with the flip to side mount. The magnifier has windage and elevation corrections to center the dot, and I like that feature a lot too. I'm pretty happy with the setup I've got, and I have to say the things you've been hearing about PA seem well deserved.
 

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I believe that the diopter corrections just correct near and farsitedness. The problem with the single red dot looking like three small ones is due to astigmatism. You can get corrective lenses that help with astigmatism.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I believe that the diopter corrections just correct near and farsitedness. The problem with the single red dot looking like three small ones is due to astigmatism. You can get corrective lenses that help with astigmatism.
Mine do correct for astigmatism, and again, the Aimpoint is the only one that I got the three dot thing on. The PA's dot is clear.
 
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