Gear Review: Primary Arms SLx 1X MicroPrism Scope – Gen II

There are a couple of very big benefits of microprisms over standard red dot sights. The first one most people think of is that shooters with astigmatism can see a prism’s etched reticle without the halo or flare they get with the reflected dot of reflex sights. The other big checkmark on the microprism side of the ledger is you can see that etched reticle whether it’s illuminated or not.

Yes, reflex sights are generally lighter by a couple of ounces (or more, depending on their size), but microprisms can be magnified where a red dot is strictly a 1X optic. Oh, and microprisms also have diopter adjustments that let you fine tune their focus to your particular eyesight.

The Primary Arms SLx 1X Gen II MicroPrism gives you all of the benefits of a prism sight in a compact package that works well on any long gun. And Primary Arms packs it with a range of mounting options so that it works for virtually any shooter.

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The SLx 1X MicroPrism is available in two models, illuminating its ACSS CYCLOPS reticle in either red or green. If you’re a fan of red reticles, go for it. But green light is about six times more visible to the human eye and given that Primary Arms prices both versions the same ($269) you don’t pay a premium for that better visibility.

The ACSS CYCLOPS G2 reticle has the characteristic chevron aiming point surrounded by a semicircle.

Primary Arms provides this handy online cheat sheet for using the ACSS chevron at various ranges for the most common calibers and barrel lengths.

Below the chevron are ranging stadia. In short, if you take the time to learn to use the ACSS reticle fully, you can be extremely accurate and effective at distances out to and beyond 300 yards with a very affordable 1X sight.

For me, on an AR or a 10/22, the highest (ACOG compatible) spacer mount worked best.

But Primary Arms gives you options. Lots of them. They include three additional cantilevered mounting shoes of different heights that you can mix and match to fit virtually any gun/shooter combination.

Dial in the diopter adjustment for your eye to make the reticle tack-sharp and you’ll probably never have to do it again.

If you read the forums, some have complained about some prism sights not being bright enough in daylight. That isn’t a problem for the SLx MicroPrism. It has thirteen brightness setting including three for night vision. Its brightest settings have more than enough illumination power for full sunlight.

Again, one of the biggest benefits of an etched reticle is that you can see it clearly (as long as there’s almost any amount of light short of a black target in total darkness) with the power on or off. See above.

One advantage reflex sights have over prisms is they have an infinite eye box. But the PA SLx MicroPrism’s eye box is very generous. It’s a good foot deep and I had to try to find a distance at which I started to lose the target picture.

Battery life is excellent, too. It’s rated at between 25,000 and 50,000 hours on a 2032 battery. The SLx 1X MicroPrism also has a shake-awake (Primary Arms calls it AutoLive) feature to stretch that to the maximum.

The SLx 1X MicroPrism is durable, too. I froze it and dunked it in water for a half hour. It was no worse for the wear.

Windage and elevation adjustments are 1 MOA per click. Some gripe about that, claiming it isn’t fine enough, but on a 1X sight, it’s simply not an issue. Primary Arms also makes 3X and 5X microprisms. Both have ¼ MOA per click adjustments which makes a lot more sense in those magnified optics.

I don’t have an astigmatism problem and I’ve used both red dots and prisms. In a 1X sight, I think the pluses and minuses favor prisms. But that’s me.

In short, if you’ve always dreamed of an ACOG, but could never get up the scratch for one, the Primary Arms SLX 1X Gen II is a great way to get all of the benefits of a microprism sight at a tiny fraction (about 25%) of the price. With the ACSS reticle (which some ACOGs use as well) they’re incredibly adaptable, well-made and damn-near bomb-proof. If you’re looking for one SHTF, post-apocalyptic world sight that will work from here to eternity at a price you can afford, this is it.

Specifications: Primary Arms SLx 1X MicroPrism Scope – Gen II

Magnification: 1X

Battery Life: 25,001 – 50,000 Hours

Battery Type: CR2032

Adjustment Click Value: 1 MOA


Reticle Color: Green (Red also available)

Total Elevation Adjustment: 120 MOA

Total Windage Adjustment: 120 MOA

Weight: 5.5 oz.

Made In: China

Rating (out of five stars):

Overall: * * * * *

Some may quibble with the 1 MOA adjustment, but in a 1X sight, that’s just not a problem. The SLx 1X MicroPrism with its ACSS reticle lets you do everything you need a sight to do out to 250 yards and beyond, all in a lightweight package that works in literally any conditions, with or without a battery. You literally can’t go wrong.

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