Primary Arms has been delivering some truly amazing optic values to the market and I personally have been nothing but impressed with the three optics I have tested from them including this one. Their FFP 4-14 MilDot scope is excellent as is their original red dot sights. Now it appears Primary Arms is going after an even higher tier of red dot optics with the introduction of its own 50K hour Micro Dot.
Let’s all jointly confess that we all wish we could have $650 Aimpoint Micro Dots on our short range AR15s all the way down to our little .22 hot rodded Ruger 10/22s, but I for one just do not have the cash. Primary Arms saw and opportunity and again worked with its overseas manufacturers to deliver a solution and the result was the $169 PA Advanced Micro Dot - PA MD-ADS.
FIT, FINISH, FEEL, FEATURES, & FUNCTIONS
I am aware of the well deserved reputation of the Aimpoint MicroDot sights and sincerely believe that you should always use top end optics on defensive gun. That noted, I must admit that for most of us mortals that just want yet another red dot for yet another gun, it would be hard to justify the difference in price.
Primary Arms has delivered a very nice red dot with the MD-ADS that we all can actually afford. The Aimpoint admittedly has just a bit crisper dot, marginally better clarity, and the 80ft waterproof construction vs the Primary Arms 2 meter waterproof rating. For a $450 difference, those are the only justifiable points I could clearly concede to the Aimpoint for the buyer wanting a less expensive Aimpoint MicroDot alternative.
For 90% of non-military and LEO shooters, I could not justify the price difference without having honest second thoughts. I know many LEO and Military folks who have to buy red dots if they were not specifically issued. I see this sight as a great option for those folks who cannot drop $650 on a red dot sight. Despite its price the Primary Arms MD-ADS is a very well made sight backed by a three year warranty.
Comparing the Aimpoint T-1 with the PA MD-ADS, both have a very precise non-splashy dot, both run for approximately 50K hours on a single CR2032 battery, both share the same mounting bolt pattern, and both feature an extremely clear view and high light transmission. Comparing the PA unit to the T-1, the heft of both designs are similar.
Some of the abuse testing videos listed on the Primary Arms PA MD-ADS product page are down right amazing and frankly rival any similar testing I have seen of the Aimpoint Micro Dots.
I have only owned and tested the Primary Arms sight for about six months and it has yet to break or lose zero and it has never been shut off. I am far from the approximate 2000 days/50K hour runtime of this sight, however most sights batteries would have gone dark by now, but the MD-ADS is still glowing.
For this test, I mounted the sight with one of Primary Arms own Radial Firearms co-witness mounts onto my custom take-down AR15. This MCC Machine AR15 was custom painted with a water droplet technique with Brownells Aluma-Hyde II by yours truly and features a Copper Customs Dolos quick detach hand guard.
I figured out that the original aluminum handguard on the Dolos system was the same diameter of a Clark Carbon Fiber Tube and could be easily attached with 2-Ton Devcon epoxied in place. With a pencil barrel, carbon fiber handguard and lightweight Rogers stock, the entire rifle is an exceptionally light pack and travel rifle which tucks equally well in my 5.11 Moab Rush pack or my Leather overnight duffle. I wanted a durable simple and light red dot with a very long run time and the PA MD-ADS fits the requirement nicely without breaking the bank.
There are a number of really cool features I especially like about the Primary Arms Advanced Micro Dot. There is a waterproof spare battery holder built into the battery compartment cover. When you do actually run out of battery power, you have a backup battery right there in the cap. I find the top rubber clicky buttons easier to use through the 12 brightness settings than a rotary control. The idea to copy the same mount bolt pattern as the Aimpoints allows Primary Arms Advanced Micro Dot buyers the option to choose from the huge array of aftermarket Aimpoint compatible mounts available in the market instead of being locked into one proprietary mount. Let’s face it all the really cool and durable mounts on the market have been designed for the Aimpoint Micro Dots, so it is wonderful flexibility to be able to use these for mounting.
Of particular note is the crispness of the dot. Previously Aimpoint had a corner on delivering a really crisp dot, but now we are seeing many other companies such as Primary Arms deliver a great looking dot. The Bushnell TRS-25 has made a name for itself as a rugged little $80 red dot, however the dot is pretty splashy sometimes with the look of a “J” versus a “dot” which delivers less precision. For twice the money the Primary Arms MD-ADS is much more than twice the sight. The clarity is better, the dot is amazing well defined, and the you will notice the emitter is not visible in the ocular as it usually is on most red dot sights. Hiding the emitter within the ocular delivers a wider and less obstructed field of vision.
The Primary Arms Advanced Micro Dot MD-ADS really is an amazingly full featured and well built sight for the money. My sight has been knocked around a bit in my pack and on overnight trips and has not had an issue. Granded I am not abuse testing the sight by dragging it behind a car like some of the videos on their sight, but it has survived some pretty hard knocks in my care none-the-less. Time will tell whether the durability matches up to much more expensive red dots. One thing is for certain, the sight is definitely good enough from my perspective to adorn all those extra AR15 rifles and pistols. It has an affordable red dot and the price allows me to buy four PA MD-ADS for the price of just one Aimpoint Micro Dot. The waterproof, shockproof, and long running sight certainly seems to be more than up to the task for LEO and military who are on a budget and have to buy their own optics. Yet again one of the deals in the market that is backed by a three year warranty.
Primary Arms Advanced Micro Dot with Push Buttons and up to 50K-Hour Battery Life
Our best-selling red dot model, the MD-ADS features up to 50,000 hours of battery life from the included CR2032 battery and an ultra-sharp 2 MOA dot. Top mounted push buttons adjust the 12 brightness settings from night vision compatible to daylight bright.
This tough optic is waterproof, with a 3 year warranty.
The included 1913 Picatinny base is removable and the scope body is compatible with any industry standard Micro mount system.
Rubber “bikini” lens cover included.
Brand Primary Arms
Battery Type 1x CR2032
Finish Matte Black
Mount Style T1 / H1 Compatible
Reticle Single Dot - 2 MOA
Reticle Color Red
Base Picatinny / Weaver
Battery Life Up to 50,000 hours
Brightness 12 settings
Click Value 1/2 MOA
Control Placement Top
Control Type Push Button
Night Vision Compatible 2 Settings
Parallax Absence of parallax shift past 33 yards
Water Resistance Yes
Manufacturer Primary Arms
Shotgun Rated Yes
Weight 3.9 oz
SOURCESPrimary Arms - http://www.primaryarms.com