This post may use affiliate links from Amazon and other retailers which may earn a commission for purchases made at no extra cost to you. Learn more.

Looking for a high-quality LPVO but don’t want to empty your bank account? Feeling overwhelmed by the plethora of choices can be like being a deer in the headlights. Here we dive into this Primary Arms 1-6 review with one great option in mind: 

Meet the new Gen IV Primary Arms SLx 1-6×24 SFP Rifle Scope with an updated illuminated ACSS Aurora Reticle.

Think about this – you’re out hunting or at the range, your target is set but can’t get that perfect sight. That’s where this particular scope comes into play with its improved design and illuminated reticle.

This isn’t just another Primary Arms 1-6 review; it’s a roadmap guiding you through performance analysis under different shooting conditions, optical clarity & illumination specifics, user experiences, and more! All while comparing it with similar options out there.

Lock ‘n load because we’re just getting started.

Primary arms 1-6 review

Our Primary Arms 1-6 Review

primary arms 1-6 review

If you’re on a quest to build strength through preparedness, with both shooting skill and quality equipment, it’s crucial to have gear that matches up. In our scope review, the Primary Arms SLx 1-6×24 stands out as a quality contender for your rifle that doesn’t drain your bank account.

Some of its features include:

  • Fully Upgraded Optical System
  • Integrated Magnification Throw Lever
  • ACSS Aurora 5.56 Yard Reticle
  • Magnification: 1x min – 6x max
  • Second Focal Plane
  • Primary Arms (PA) Lifetime Warranty
  • FREE shipping

Read on for more!


Primary Arms SLx Gen IV Overview

radian weapons best ar 15

An LPVO (low-power variable optic) with solid construction and advanced features, while remaining affordable, is as beneficial as spotting an oasis in a desert when it comes to gathering tactical equipment for accurate shooting.

I found the design of this scope to be very sturdy, yet light and comfortable to handle. The body is built from aircraft-grade aluminum which means it’s durable without adding unnecessary weight.

The SLx optics line from Primary Arms is known for its innovation, reliability, and value. These scopes undergo extensive field testing to ensure they perform well in any environment, making them a trusted choice for shooters.

I personally didn’t hold back when testing the one Primary Arms sent me either. From the scorching coastal mountains of CA to the humid rainy range days in the Tennessee mud, this optic was hit with a lot.

It’s also comforting to know they have PA’s Lifetime warranty. 

Additionally, did I mention that if you use my link, they’ll give you a discounted mount, throw lever, AutoLive Battery Cap, AND free shipping?!

super deal
PA SLX 1 6X24S AUR 5Y6 05

Primary Arms Gen IV SLx 1-6×24

FREE shipping, FREE Deluxe AR-15 Scope Mount and discounted extras with a lifetime warranty

Second Focal Plane Reticle

primary arms 1-6 review
Photo by BadAssOptic

Besides its impressive build quality, another key element that sets this LPVO apart lies inside – the ACSS reticle. The model I tested was in the second focal plane (SFP) which is my preferred configuration. 

Unlike first focal plane scopes where reticle size changes with magnification adjustments, an SFP keeps the reticle size constant no matter how much you zoom in or out. 

Imagine if your dumbbells changed weight mid-lift. While that premise has its purpose in lifting weights, it’s not exactly ideal for most shooters.

This characteristic allows for more accurate shot placement at varying distances – making those long shots seem like they’re just across the room.


Light Up Your Shot With Illuminated Reticles

A major standout feature of this scope is its illuminated ACSS Aurora 5.56/.308-yard reticle which is optimized for the best Ar-15s out there. It offers clear sighting even under low-light conditions and it gets bright enough for those days where the sun is just beating down.

The illumination operates via 11 brightness settings, allowing for optimal viewing regardless of the time of day. The reticle illumination is perfect whether it’s dawn, midday sun, or twilight.

No issues with a dim reticle like some people had with the Gen II and Gen III models.

Keeping Your Eye on The Target

Just like how our faith allows us to focus on the larger aspects of life without stress, during our Primary Arms 1-6 review, the scope offers a generous eye relief range from 3.5 inches to 4.9 inches. This comfortable range guarantees ease and consistent use.

For an LPVO that is.

There’s nothing quite like the eye relief of a red dot optic though 🤣

Key Takeaway: 

The Primary Arms SLx 1-6×24 brings a lot to the table. Its durable yet light construction with a lifetime warranty promises durability, while its second focal plane guarantees shot accuracy at any zoom level. The scope also features an illuminated reticle perfect for low-light conditions and generous eye relief to ensure comfort during use.

Primary Arms 1-6 Review: Performance Analysis

primary arms 1-6 review

I’ve found that Primary Arms scopes have become a favorite among tactical trainers and range-goers due to their affordability, versatility, and robustness. They actually make the list for the best LVPO’s.

It’s designed for both close shots as well as longer ones and provides reliable performance under various shooting conditions.

During my Primary Arms 1-6 review, I shot with the Aurora reticle on my budget-built AR-15. It’s a PA patented ACSS reticle that offers bullet drop compensation up to 800 yards which is quite impressive for a scope at this price point. This feature lets you easily adjust your aim according to distance without needing complex calculations or guesswork, but more on that below.

While I have not had the opportunity to shoot at that distance with it just yet, the optic performed extremely well at the distances I have put it through (somewhere around 500 yards). That being said, I have not even pushed this scope to its full potential yet but I can already tell you that this thing performs.

Magnification Range & Optic Quality

When it comes to magnification range, this optic is in league with other higher-end scopes but plays with optics like the Vortex Strike Eagle because of its affordability. With a 1-6 LPVO you get a range from 1x for quick target acquisition up close to 6x enabling precision long-range shots. 

This is pretty standard in the industry but the Gen IV SLx has such clear glass that is definitely out of its tier so there’s no need to compromise on functionality over cost anymore. Seriously in my Primary Arms 1-6 review, I found the glass quality to be really impressive for an LPVO in this price range.

It’s not just me either, other users report excellent clarity throughout the entire magnification range due to its superior glass quality. Even though some slight distortion may appear around edges at higher settings. However, this doesn’t impact visual clarity during actual use though.

primary arms 1-6 review

Reliability & Versatility

The durability and reliability are often compared to that of the Vortex Strike Eagle, but what sets this scope apart is its ACSS reticle, glass quality, and durability for a similar price.

You get a lifetime warranty and the optic held up unscathed to the abuse I put it through in the dry and hot mountains of SoCal and traveling out to TN where I trained in the rain and clay-like mud.

If you ask me, I wouldn’t be concerned with its durability. Long-term use is TBD, but you always get that lifetime warranty from PA.

Key Takeaway: 

Not only does it offer bullet drop compensation up to 800 yards for precision long-range shots, but its illuminated reticle options are also perfect for low-light situations. This means whether you’re shooting in the bright afternoon or at dusk, this scope has got your back. It’s not just about power—it’s about adaptability and making every shot count.

Primary Arms 1-6 Review: Glass Quality and Reticle Features

This clarity makes a world of difference when it comes to spotting your target, whether at close range or the maximum 6x magnification.

I’ve heard of the waves PA had been making with the glass clarity of the new Gen IVs but it showed once I mounted it up with a discounted mount and took it to the range to set it up with my usual 50/200 yd zero.

The glass is noticeably clearer than others at this price point, at least to my eyes. Others have said the same as well.


Reticle Brightness

In terms of brightness, this scope shines (pun intended). The illumination dial lets you adjust light settings for optimal viewing in different environments. Whether you’re hunting deer at dawn or lining up a long-range shot under overcast skies, this scope has got your back with 11 brightness settings.

Field of View

Field of view is another area during our Primary Arms 1–6 review where it stands out from the crowd. At 1x magnification, it offers an impressive field of view that spans about 110 feet at 100 yards. Nothing too crazy but still worth mentioning since the field of view is an LPVO’s weak point compared to a red dot.

Fully Multi-Coated Lenses

The PA scope comes with fully multi-coated lenses that minimize glare and maximize light transmission, ensuring bright, clear images in any condition.

Whether you’re gazing at a distant buck or observing your surroundings for potential threats, these coated lenses help keep everything crisp and colorful.

Key Takeaway: 

These fully multi-coated lenses make sure you get bright, clear images every time. It’s not just about performance, but also about providing a great viewing experience. This scope combines both for the best results.

Primary Arms 1-6 Review: The ACSS Aurora Reticle Advantage

pa 1-6 review aurora reticle

This scope’s Advanced Combined Sighting System (ACSS) Aurora reticle offers A LOT. Its red-illuminated chevron isn’t a center dot but it enhances your accuracy and speeds up target acquisition.

This isn’t just some flashy selling point either, it’s a practical reticle system designed for real-world use. When seconds count and every shot needs to hit home, a reticle like this can be extremely valuable.

The ACSS Aurora reticle is a game changer, especially at this price. 

But why? What makes it stand out?

In short, the ACSS reticle lets you hit your mark quicker and more accurately without needing special calculations. It has built-in shortcuts for distance estimation, bullet drop compensation, moving target leads and wind holds. 

The ACSS Aurora reticle is a high-performance LPVO reticle with a comprehensive toolset for ranging and engaging targets.

This doesn’t just help with speed but also improves accuracy. How many times have you misjudged distances or failed to properly account for bullet drop?

If you properly use the ACSS Aurora reticle, those errors become less frequent.

Let’s take a deeper look


Built-In Target Ranging Features

Ranging targets quickly can be tough without proper tools and know-how. The beauty of the ACSS Aurora reticle lies in its integrated range estimator. 

No more guesswork – now there’s a faster way to figure out how far away that target really is without coming off target.

The built-in ranging features use size references that match common hunting game sizes at various distances making field estimations simpler than ever before.

pa aurora reticle overview

The ACSS Aurora reticle allows you to range a target using either its width or its height: 

Width: The width of each BDC stadia corresponds to an 18-inch measurement at the indicated distance. To estimate the range of a target based on its width, align your BDC with the target and identify the stadia that closely matches its width.

Height: To estimate the distance of a target based on its height, refer to the numbered stadia markers positioned next to the center chevron. Each complete stadia mark corresponds to a height of 5 feet and 10 inches at the specified distance. 

You can also utilize either the upper or lower half of a vertical stadia to gauge targets approximately measuring 36 inches in height. 

This method proves particularly useful for partially concealed or crouched targets, where you align their position from groin level up to their head. For distant targets, employing half of a stadia allows for an estimation of twice their indicated distance.

Bullet Drop Compensation Simplified

primary arms 1-6 review bdc

A significant advantage offered by the ACSS system is Bullet Drop Compensation (BDC). BDC isn’t new – scopes have had BDC marks for years. 

But what sets apart the Primary Arms’ scope from others is how they’ve implemented their BDC marks into their unique patented design.

Rather than generic marks that leave you guessing about your exact bullet drop, the ACSS system gives clear and precise aiming points. This makes long range shots easier as it takes into account average cartridge performance.

The ACSS Aurora reticle offers versatility for a range of cartridges and velocities, but it is particularly optimized for 5.56x45mm NATO and .308 Winchester rounds. 

The BDC starts from the chevron’s tip and extends up to the 800-yard stadia, allowing you to quickly adjust your aim based on target distance. 

Additionally, the ACSS Aurora 5.56 Yards reticle includes smaller marks between numbered stadia that serve as holds at 50-yard intervals, further aiding precision targeting.

Enhanced Windage Corrections

primary arms 1-6 review wind holds

The Primary Arms ACSS Aurora reticle doesn’t just stop at range estimation and BDC. Windage compensations are also integrated right into the design. 

It features quick reference wind holds for both 5mph and 10mph crosswinds which can be handy when there’s a sudden gust.

At 400 yards, you can see two dots on each side of the stadia. These dots represent a hold for either a 5-mph or 10-mph crosswind at that distance. 

However, only the 10-mph hold is visible on the 400-yard stadia, as the 5-mph hold falls just inside the edge of the stadia itself.

Moving Target Leads

primary arms 1-6 review moving target leads

Lastly, the ACSS Aurora provides effective tools for engaging moving targets within the range of 100 to 300 yards. 

To get real technical, these tools are particularly useful when dealing with targets that are in motion at a speed of 3.1 mph, moving perpendicular to the shooter’s position. The outer edges of the chevron on the reticle can be used as leads for such targets.

Additionally, there are lead dots on either side of the chevron specifically designed for targets running at a speed of 8.6 mph. 

To determine which lead to use, consider whether the target is moving from left to right or right to left and select accordingly.

Obviously, you’re never going to know how fast a target is really moving but it’s nice to have them there as an option and to train with.

ACSS Nova Reticle

acss nova reticle

The Gen IV Primary Arms SLx 1-6 is also available in another reticle system and that is the Illuminated ACSS Nova Fiber Wire Reticle with a bright red center dot.

I haven’t personally used it yet but it is another option if you’re interested or want MIL marks instead. Learn more here. 

As we have seen the ACSS Aurora reticle is ram packed with all kinds of features that shooters of all types can use to make them more accurate.

Key Takeaway: 

The ACSS Aurora reticle is feature-packed and gives you a leg up on the range or the hunt. It’s more than an advantage, it’s a game changer. You’ve also got the ACSS Nova reticle to choose from!

User Experience with the Primary Arms SLX 1-6 LPVO

Getting hands-on experience with any tactical gear is crucial before making a decision so I will share both my experience and the experience of others that I shoot with that have spent some time behind the optic. 

I’ll do the best I can to give you a detailed feel of the Gen IV Primary Arms SLx 1-6×24mm tube. 

Let’s explore how this scope behaves out on the range.

Ease of Use

The Primary Arms 1-6 had a very familiar and user-friendly design. It gives easy access to all adjustments and capped turrets without causing discomfort during prolonged use.

The throw lever helps make adjusting the magnification ring smooth even if the adjustment ring feels a bit stiff at least initially. More time will tell if this eases up a bit more but I guess it’s better than always bumping your optic out of magnification.

Additionally, it has pretty generous eye relief for an LPVO which means you won’t be getting “scope-eye” even after extended periods at the range or on hunting trips. 

Furthermore, zeroing in this scope is quite straightforward as well and provides a great opportunity to get acquainted with the reticle system.



In terms of satisfaction, I have been more than pleased and other users have been pleased by what they got for their investment into this scope. Its sturdy build quality combined with a higher price-tier glass gives you great value for the money.

One particular shooter and friend of mine told me “It’s got as clear of glass as my Vortex Razor”. So it’s safe to say that he is impressed by it considering the Razor is significantly more expensive.

Mounting a scope is always kind of a pain but there were no issues here and was pretty straightforward. The Primary Arms 1-6×24 SFP comes with discounted scop mounts, like the Primary Arms Deluxe mount, letting you get your rifle range-ready without any additional headaches.

Feedback from Different Scenarios

This robust optic proves itself reliable across different shooting scenarios and environments too, living up to its promise of versatility.

For example, with the ACSS reticle, I found it to be a game-changer in low-light conditions on those foggy training days and when the sun starts to go down.

My optic ran out of battery on the range because I left it on from my dryfire training sessions days prior and the etched reticle still kept me going strong all day.

The optic really shined on some wet weather training days as well.

primary arms 1-6 review
The SLX in action while instructing at Freemen Forge in TN

Thoughts on Durability

So far nothing more than a few minor scratches from some average to hard use.

I traveled all the way from CA to TN with it, trained out in the pouring rain and mud, and traveled back and the SLx 1-6 performed flawlessly.

Have I dropped-tested it from 50 ft? No. Although it has fallen over a couple of times and only got a couple dings.

But I have put it through the regular paces from hot dusty and rock climates to cold, wet, and muddy environments and the LPVO performed without a hitch.

Key Takeaway: 

With a rugged construction, it’s not easily damaged. The ACSS reticle stands out in low-light conditions, adding to its adaptability across different shooting scenarios. So whether you’re at the range or on a hunt, this scope is sure to impress with its clear optics and durable design.

Comparing The Primary Arms SLx With The Competition

This scope has the firepower (pun intended) to rival even its pricier counterparts, but let’s dig deeper and see how it truly measures up.

Vortex Strike Eagle Vs Primary Arms SLx

We’ll kick off our comparison with Vortex Optics’ Strike Eagle 1-6, which once also sat on the same AR-15 that the SLx is currently on right now. 

These two are pretty much direct competitors because they are nearly identical in terms of functionality and price tier so it makes sense to compare them.

They both offer a similar magnification range, but here’s where things get interesting. The ACSS Aurora reticle of the Primary Arms gives shooters an edge in speed and precision for sure. You probably won’t find this sort of functionality on many scopes at this price point.

Another area where the Slx comes out on top is the glass clarity. PA really upped their game with this one and it shows.


The Strike Eagle is priced pretty evenly with the SLx and also comes with a lifetime warranty from Vortex. On a great sale, you can get the scope with an included mount for a little cheaper than the SLx, but its not by much.

The additional features and options of the SLx line, as well as the glass quality, give it that extra edge over the Vortex Strike Eagle if you ask me.

Key Takeaway: 

So, if you’re after top-notch quality without breaking the bank, this Primary Arms SLx 1-6×24 is a real contender. It goes head-to-head with pricier brands and doesn’t just match them – it surpasses some of them. This scope truly punches above its weight.

super deal
PA SLX 1 6X24S AUR 5Y6 05

Primary Arms Gen IV SLx 1-6×24

FREE shipping, FREE Deluxe AR-15 Scope Mount and discounted extras with a lifetime warranty

FAQs about Primary Arms 1-6 Review

Is Primary Arms any good?

Yes, Primary Arms offers reliable and durable scopes with excellent performance. Their tactical optics are appreciated by shooters for their quality and affordability.

Is Primary Arms a Chinese company?

No, although some of their products are manufactured in China. Primary Arms is an American company based out of Houston, Texas.

Does primary arms make good rifle scopes?

Absolutely. The brand’s reputation hinges on making top-notch rifle scopes that perform well under different shooting conditions. They’re praised for affordability, versatility, innovation, clarity, and accuracy.

What is the warranty on primary arms 1-6×24?

The Primary Arms 1-6×24 scope comes with a lifetime warranty covering defects due to materials or workmanship. Even if normal wear and tear has caused your product to malfunction, Primary Arms will either repair or replace your product. That’s a testament to their confidence in product quality.

primary arms 1-6 review


The journey through the world of rifle scopes has been enlightening, hasn’t it? Our Primary Arms 1-6 review has shown that the Primary Arms SLx Gen IV 1-6×24 Rifle Scope truly shines with its robust design and quality build.

It’s not just about specs; it’s about performance. Remember how this scope held up for me in various shooting conditions? That’s a testament to its reliability and versatility.

Then there’s the glass clarity & illumination features. These aren’t just fancy terms but real advantages when you’re out hunting or at the range. They make sure your target isn’t blurry or hidden in shadows.

The famous ACSS Aurora reticle is always great as well. It helps for quick target acquisition and improves shooting accuracy in a wide variety of situations so what more could you ask for?

Last but not least: comparison is key! We saw how it stacks up against the competition and it stood out on all fronts!

So if you’re ready to level up your sighting game… This could be the perfect solution for you!

super deal
PA SLX 1 6X24S AUR 5Y6 05

Primary Arms Gen IV SLx 1-6×24

FREE shipping, FREE Deluxe AR-15 Scope Mount and discounted extras with a lifetime warranty

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links. This means if you click on an affiliate link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases made through my Amazon links as well. The price of the item is the same whether it is an affiliate link or not. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers. By using the affiliate links, you are helping support our website, and we genuinely appreciate your support.

Similar Posts