I am a firm believer in high-quality optics. I’ve bought cheap scopes and lived to regret it. That’s why a Zeiss Conquest sits on top of my main hunting rifle.  A Vortex Viper PST 4-16 first focal plane scope is on my other bolt action. They’re both expensive scopes, but well worth the price.

As my father told me when I was a little boy, “Son, if you buy cheap tools, you get cheap tools.”

While my habit is to look at high-quality and pricey optics, I just couldn’t bring myself to drop several hundred dollars on an Aimpoint to place on my AR-15. I’d just purchased the Vortex scope and my gun fund was running a little low. Then I happened to stumble across a company called Primary Arms. They sell a very wide variety of products, including high-end scopes. They also sell their own line of cheap, Chinese-manufactured scopes, red dots, magnifiers and lights.

I took a chance and ordered their Gen 2 red dot. It’s based off of the Aimpoint Comp M4S and will fit on any mount designed for the M4S. Like the Comp M4S, the Primary Arms Gen 2 will run on any AA battery . The PA red dot has a stated battery life of 1000 hours. I cannot count the number of times I have accidentally left the red dot on, but the battery has yet to die.

The 2MOA dot makes the sight very accurate and the variable brightness settings allow for you to customize your sight to the environment. Yes, the glass does have a slight tint to it. Yes, it is not something you can take with you when you go diving. Of course, it’s only a hundred dollars.

As far as reliability, the sight is very nice. I have given it several hard knocks (most of them unintentional), with absolutely zero effect on the optic or the point of aim. With the Primary Arms red dot mounted, I have dropped my carbine, knocked it over and used it in the rain. Again, zero issues with the optic.

If you’re in the market for a red dot to use on your training rifle, consider the Primary Arms Gen 2 in AA. It’s inexpensive, robust and accurate. You can’t ask for much more.


By: Allen Cosby

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53GR is an avid shooter, hiker and tinkerer. Introduced to guns at an early age, the hobby became a passion in his early twenties. After two years in Iraq as a contractor for a defense company, he developed an unhealthy addiction to military surplus gear. Though he's currently in treatment, the prognosis is that the condition is chronic.

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