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Primary Arms’ new SLX 1-10

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Earlier this year I was searching for an optic to put on my 300BLK Ruger American. In the thick brush of Eastern Oklahoma, most of my shots on hogs or deer are within 40 yards but I have had opportunities out to 200. This combination of close-range running hogs with the possibility of longer shots made me start looking for an LPVO (Low Power Variable Optic) and Primary Arms’ new SLX 1-10 caught my eye. I reached out and they agreed to send me one for review.

The first thing I notice when looking at a new scope are the adjustments (I generally reserve any opinion on clarity until I’ve used the optic a bit more). The diopter adjustment turns smoothly but has enough resistance to prevent it from turning on its own. The magnification ring was originally stiff, but it has broken in with use. The windage and elevation turrets are protected by screw-on caps and are easily adjustable by hand. They have tactile clicks for each ½ moa adjustment. I think ¼ moa intervals would have been a better choice since the 10x magnification opens this optic’s use-case up to more precision roles.

This scope has a 34mm body. Poor light transmission is an issue that plagues LPVOs due to the optical constraints that prevent manufacturers from enlarging the objective lens. In this case, the objective is 28mm.

This scope is relatively dark at 10-power. I believe this is a product of the high magnification and only a 28 mm objective so I wouldn’t call it an issue; It is just something to be aware of. A 1-10 optic is remarkable in itself because it can magnify the 1x image by a factor of ten to create the 1-10 range. As opposed to a 4-16 scope that only has to magnify the base 4x image by 4 to make a 16x image. The fact that most scopes magnify the base image four times or less makes me appreciate the engineering that goes into magnifying an image ten times. All that to say, a darker image can be expected from an 8 or 10-power LPVO.

My model uses a second focal plane ACSS Griffin reticle. This reticle has a large, illuminated horseshoe to aid in fast shots and a small chevron in the center of that horseshoe for more precise shots. The reticle also includes scales for range estimation and wind/elevation holds out to 800 yards.

The reticle brightness is controlled by the turret on the left side of the scope. It has 11 brightness levels which include two night vision settings. I have tried aiming passively through this scope with night vision and it was far from practical. Although I haven’t met a person yet that would recommend an LPVO for passive aiming with night vision. On the other hand, the daylight settings get bright enough to be used like a red dot in most environments.

The base power seems to be a true 1x. I mention this because the “1x” setting on many scopes is actually .9x or 1.1x. Shooting with both eyes open through an LPVO takes some getting used to when compared to a red dot but having true 1x seems to help.

With the price of 300BLK being what it is, I decided to mount the scope on my AR for a while so I could spend some more time shooting with it. It mounted easily in the 34mm Primary Arms’ mount, and I had no trouble zeroing it. The infinitely precise point of the chevron reticle made shooting groups easy. One suggestion I would make is to mount the scope just a little forward of where you normally would. By doing this, you will see some scope shadow around the edge of the image. Once the image is centered in the shadow, you can be sure you are placing your eye behind the scope in the same position each time. This technique will help ensure consistent accuracy since this scope does not have the ability to adjust parallax.  

The scope comes with a short throw lever on the magnification ring that makes adjusting magnification quick and easy. I enjoy this feature, but it came close to interfering with the bolt handle on my 300BLK when the scope is on 10x. I took it off for a while and found that the advantage of the throw lever was worth adjusting how I grab the bolt, so I decided to put it back on.

I used a set of Wheeler engineering rings to mount the scope when I swapped it over to my 300BLK. Once again, the zeroing process was easy. I think this scope fits the purpose of my 300BLK particularly well. The 1x setting should make close-range shots on running hogs easy and 10x is plenty for the max range where I hunt.

This scope has served my purposes well and with a $450 price tag, it is a good value too. I have no problem recommending this scope to anyone looking for a 1-10. You can visit Primary Arms’ website for a full spec sheet on this optic or to order your own.

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