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Primary Arms 1-8 FFP Platinum Series Scope Review

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Full disclosure I paid full price for this optic and I am not being compensated in anyway for writing this review.

Product Review: Primary Arms Platinum Series 1-8x Mil Scope FFP
Part 1 of a 2 part review.


I got this scope in last week on 8-30-15 and could not wait to open up the box and take a look at it. I noticed that the glass was extremely clear all the way out to the edges with no distortion or dark spots. The illumination was good visible even on a bright sunny day. The turrets had positive clicks and I like the fact that they are fairly low profile and are locking. I do wish there was a zero stop capability but that is not a deal breaker by any means.


I wanted this scope for my AR10 lightweight semi auto precision rifle build. See the attached picture for more details on this build. Basically with this rifle I wanted it to be as light as feasible while still having 1 MOA accuracy. With the loads it likes the best this rifle is a ¾ moa gun. With FMJ cheaper plinking rounds it’s typically a 2 moa rifle.
I thought a 1-8 scope would be ideal for this platform. I had a 2.5-10 mounted on it to start with. The 2.5-10 Vortex is one of my favorite scopes but it lacked the speed up close I wanted because the reticle was too small to be useful on 2.5 x. It was a nice scope and I have one on my .223 precision semi auto build but on this rifle I wanted something a bit better up close.
Then tried a 1.5-8 Burris XTR 2 and I was not happy. The glass quality was not there, the adjustments were a bit mushy and the dual focal plane reticle it had did not line up. (2nd focal plane to the first focal plane) I ended up selling the scope. To be honest I was very disappointed in the Burris and its retail is in the same range as the Primary Arms at 1200 to 1439. The glass on the Vortex PST 2.5-10 was better and it’s a $800 scope.
Then I put a 1-6 Vortex Razor 2 on it and I love that scope its super clear with great illumination. The Razor 2 was a great scope but it lacked the qualities I wanted in a long range scope like such as exposed turrets and mil markings ( I have the JM reticle). A great scope but I put it back on one of my three gun rifles.
So the search was on for the perfect scope that could be fast up close and still be used as a precision medium range optic (out to 600 yards or so). Before the Primary Arms 1-8 I had considered a Leupold 1-8 but 3k is out of my price range. The Primary Arms is an answer to my quest for the perfect optic to match the mission I had in mind for this rifle.


ZEROING 8-31-15

I mounted the optic in a ADM Delta mount leveled it and then took it to the range on 8-31-15 for the first time. It was a very windy day and I ended up only sighting in the rifle at 100 yards. My best group of the day with my best load for this gun was .65. (168 grain Sierra Match King 44 grains of Varget CCI Bench Rest Primer, Lapua Brass) On that day my 3 shot group average of 8 3 shot groups was 1.0 moa. I blame some of that on the wind.
I liked the way the turrets are simple to operate. You just lift them up to turn them and then push them back down into the locked position to lock them in place. Once your zeroed you unscrew the turrets and lift them off being careful not to lose the rubber o ring and then set them back down in the proper place. Fairly simple to do but be careful not to lose the oring I almost did. Like I said earlier the clicks were very positive with no mush.


On 9-7-15 I took the rifle out again. It was a great day with almost no wind and it was sunny with no overcast. I was in a hurry to get some ammo loaded up for testing and I did not want to use up a lot of my 168 grain load in tracking testing so I loaded up some cheaper rounds. That load is described below.
The load I loaded up somewhat in a hurry to get this report done was Federal cases trimmed on a Dillon 1200 trimmer. I did not deburr the cases inside and out like I usually do. I used standard CCI primers instead of bench rest and I loaded Hornady seconds bullets (178 BTHP) This load average 1.48 MOA for 18 groups fired 1 of the groups was a 4 shot group 4 of them were 5 shot and the rest were 3 shot groups.
For the tracking test I dialed 2 mills up then down then left then right all shooting 3 shot groups at each adjustment. The final group was shot back in the middle. The tracking was as it should be.
I also noticed that my Level bubble which mounts on the rail was slightly touching the scope mount. I moved it back on the rail and the last three groups were a bit better 1.26 moa. Not sure if it mattered or not because the change was less than .25 moa.
I fired 5 3 shot groups at 174 yards which is as far as I can go on the city range we have. I dialed up 3 clicks (3 tenths of a mil) which is what my Shooter App said was needed after I entered the loads data into it and it was spot on. The group size at this range averaged 2.34 inches or 1.35 moa.


I tried to find flaws in the class but found none. Even at the outer edge I could see the bullet holes on target at 100 yards just as clear as in the center of the class.

This is a true 1x scope. See the pics below and notice how the grass in the back ground stays the same side in the scope as out of it.
I plan on taking this rifle out to the 400 yard range at the prison next week with my shooting buddy. We will test the scope at 200, 300 and 400 yards. I also plan on doing some close in speed drills with it as well comparing the speed of the scope on 1x to the off set red dot.

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I'd have to see one in person as I've never had a first focal plane scope and am not sure whether I'd like it or not.

Good write up !!! :cheers:

The First Focal plane reticle on this scope is very usable. On 1x you see the horseshoe and its big and easy to aim with. When you crank it up you see more and more of the fine details of the reticle for longer range shots. Its not like some FFP reticles where they are not usable on low power or cover too much on max magnification. They designed this one right.

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So the question is would you replace your Razor 2 with this scope on your 3gun rifle?

Yes. Not that the Razor is not a great scope this one just has more to offer at the same price.

Hmm. ok. I guess to me exposed turrets and mils are a downside not a plus side, and personally I don't like the large donut, but I can understand why someone else would.

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Exposed turrets that lock are not a down side. Now if they were unlocked like the Burris XTR2 where they could be bumped I could agree. I much prefer mills to a bullet drop but you can order this scope with this reticle and have a bullet drop if you prefer.


As for the Donut Its what makes the FFP aspect of this scope work. IF you just had a dot it would either be too small or too big depending on the magnification.

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What makes this not the ultimate 3gun scope?

For us cheap bastards that mostly shoot club matches - the price. It's more $$$ than my Stag 3G.

Sure, but it's less than the Vortex or Swarov.

Also its not uncommon to have the glass cost more than the rifle. I have gone through nice rifles but I tend to keep my nice optics and move them around. They last pretty much forever.

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It's a very tempting scope. The weight is comparable to a lot of other popular 3-gun scopes, so unless I decide specifically to go for lighter weight on my next piece of glass, this could definitely be in the running.

I have the ACSS reticle on the PA 1–6x, so I know that I would have no problems with this reticle at full zoom on a FFP incarnation, and zoomed out it seems very similar to the horseshoe on the Bushnell 1–6.5x, which certainly isn't bad at 1x... If I got this I might still be tempted to go for the mil reticle, though.

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