179 – New Primary Arms Optics

This week on The Mag Life Podcast, Daniel sits down with Ian Boehm, the Engineering Support Technician at Primary Arms.

In recent years, Primary Arms has made a name in the realm of firearm optics as well as cementing themselves as a popular retailer for gun sales, parts, and accessories. Ian discusses the inception of the optics division at Primary Arms, the latest optics coming out for 2021, and what the future holds for the company.


Host: Daniel Shaw

Guest: Ian Boehm

Introduction/Timeline: Eric Huh

00:42 Primary Arms Optics Introduction.

Ian retells the humble beginning of how Primary Arms entered the optics industry. The founder and owner, Marshall Lerner, originally conceived the idea of quality optics that were affordable while in the back of his barbershop. Primary Arms has since expanded from red dot sights to Low Power Variable Optics to now having a full-blown retail store.

01:45 Ian describes his day-to-day responsibilities within the optics department.

When the conception of an optic is done, Ian will convert this into a true engineering blueprint to be manufactured. Upon receiving the final product, he subjects each optic to a series of endurance tests, namely the infamous SCAR 17 survival test. Thousands upon thousands of rounds are shot through the SCAR with their optics mounted in order to verify its durability on the most unforgiving weapons platform on the market.

05:09 What’s new for 2021?

Ian reveals Primary Arms’ latest product line ups for 2021, starting off with their updated GLX 2.5-10×44 FFP scope that will feature the popular reticle design from their PLX series. This reticle offers the user an illuminated chevron reticle in smaller magnifications for CQB and a mil-based grid for precise holdover calculations for longer ranges.

The optic will also feature AUTOLIVE technology (a mechanism that allows for the illumination to automatically turn off when not in use and turn on when picked up), a lifetime warranty, and options for throw levers.

The Primary Arms GLX 2.5-10x44 FFP Scope will feature an updated PLX style mil-based grid reticle for enhanced targeting.
The Primary Arms GLX 2.5-10×44 FFP Scope will feature an updated PLX style mil-based grid reticle for enhanced targeting.

07:31 Primary Arms lifetime warranty.

Daniel inquiries about the specifics regarding Primary Arms’ lifetime warranty. Ian explains that manufacturer defects, normal wear and tear, materials or workmanship problems will all be covered under the warranty. In addition, this warranty applies to the optics regardless of how they were purchased. If the product cannot be repaired, it will be replaced.

“The beauty of our warranty is as soon as you buy the product… we’re gonna stand by it, it doesn’t matter if you got it directly from us or one of our dealers”

09:11 Who is the GLX for?

Daniel asks who the target audience is for the GLX series. Ian describes the GLX series as a mid-tier optic for both amateur and professional shooters. The GLX 2.5-10×44 model will be priced at $650. Other models that have increased magnification can be priced up to $800.

09:57 Additional new Primary Arms optics for 2021

Ian shows the new SLX Microprism optic, which will be available in both 1x and 3x magnifications. The goal was to construct a sighting system for a long gun in as small a configuration as possible.

Ian also makes the distinction between a red dot and a micro prism optic. A traditional red dot consists of a simple red emitter that reflects off a series of lenses, while a prismatic optic uses a glass prism to present an image. The advantage here is that a prismatic optic will allow for a more compact housing, as well as an etched reticle that does not rely on a battery for sighting.

Daniel further adds that this is a great feature for those, like himself, who have astigmatism.

Primary Arms SLX Microprism
The SLX Microprism offers an extremely small form factor in an optic of its caliber.

12:33 Ian has tested this optic extensively by shooting over 7,000 rounds with it attached, submerging it in nine feet of water, dropping it two dozen times from a meter height onto concrete, freezing it for a long period of time, and heating it in an oven. This optic remained intact and fully usable.

The optic will also feature the AUTOLIVE technology, 13 illumination settings, three night vision modes as well as four different mounting spacers. These spacers will allow for different height adjustments, ranging from 1.93” to as low as 1.1”. The optic will be retailed at $239.

16:32 Additional features to the SLX

Primary Arms has further plans for the SLX, such as a soon-to-be-released 9mm specific reticle. This would be a perfect match for pistol caliber carbines. Additionally, an unintended positive byproduct of the micro prism design is that the optic is very much usable when paired with a magnifier.

17:24 Primary Arms magnifiers

Primary Arms is currently in the development of a new magnifier to pair with the SLX Microprism that will use the same design and intent. This will impart the same level of compactness and durability as the prism optic.

18:33 Primary Arms and Holosun co-branded 507c ACSS Vulcan

Soon to be released this year is a co-branded pistol red dot sight between Primary Arms and Holosun. This takes Holosun’s popular 507c optic and integrates the Primary Arms patented ACSS Vulcan reticle.

Holosun 507c
The Holosun 507c has been an industry favorite for pistol red dots.

In the center of the red dot is a V-shaped chevron and on the outer edges is a circle. If the shooter presents the gun and has improper sight alignment, the red circle will indicate how far off and which direction adjustments need to be made to the shooter. This unique sighting system will help mitigate the “fishing” effect some shooters have when using a pistol-mounted red dot for the first time. Additionally, the ACSS Vulcan reticle assists with shooting in unconventional or awkward positions.

Primary Arms ACSS Vulcan reticle
Primary Arms’ ACSS Vulcan reticle offers a unique solution for pistol red dots by offering reference points to realign the eye back to the center.

22:58 Affordability and durability all in one

Daniel applauds Primary Arms for their decision to collaborate with Holosun, an optics manufacturer renowned for their incredible quality in their products without the exorbitant cost. Daniel has yet to have personally experienced and heard of any major trending instances of defects or problems with current-gen Holosuns.

Ian elaborates that Primary Arms has already had a longstanding relationship with Holosun so choosing to further build upon the 507c was an easy decision to make. Both agree that while a red dot or any optic for that matter will not necessarily make one a better shooter, it will certainly assist in acquiring sights.

25:43 What does the future hold for Primary Arms?

As stated before, Primary Arms is currently developing new magnifiers to compliment the new micro prism optics. In addition, they have plans to revamp their higher-end optics such as making their current 1-8x LPVO models lighter.

27:06 The Primary Arms quality standard

Ian reaffirms the mission of Primary Arms which is to provide quality products that they themselves would use on a day-to-day basis. Their testing standards are torturous to ensure reliability and their affordable pricing is meant to be a low barrier to entry for gun owners.

Daniel commends companies that employ individuals who are legitimately shooters and gun enthusiasts. This level of passion oftentimes reflects in the quality of their products and services.

“We want to create optics that we will use, not [just ones] that we’re gonna sell to the customer.”

Article/Show notes by Eric Huh

Gunmag Training's Chief Instructor Daniel Shaw is a retired US Marine Infantry Unit Leader with multiple combat tours and instructor titles.  Since retirement from the Marine Corps, Daniel teaches Armed Citizens and Law Enforcement Officers weapons, tactics and use of force. Daniel takes his life of training and combat experience and develops as well as presents curriculum to help Law Enforcement, US Military and Responsible Armed Citizens prepare for a deadly force encounter.  When he isn't directing marketing for Gunmag Warehouse, Daniel travels the US teaching and training under Gunmag Training, and discusses all things hoplological and self-defense related on The MagLife Podcast.

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