Review by John Humpton
Co-Owner of Black Flag Armory

This week I had the pleasure of testing out the Primary Arms 3x Compact Scope with their patented ACSS reticle. For those of you that hate to read, there’s a quick video below. Also, TLDR: This is a great optic for the price! A little short on eye relief and a tad bit heavy, but very much worth the money. Now, let’s get into it!


This optic is packed with great little features, but where it really shines is the reticle. You get everything you expect in a quality optic, clear, multi-coated glass, a Nitrogen purged body, and robust housing. The housing is solid. The brightness adjustment knob is plenty big. You also have four slots of picatinny rail on top if you really need an RMR or mini red dot. The attachment is pretty much what you’d expect, but you have the option to swap out a portion of the mount for the full size ACOG quick detach mount. Which is pretty cool.

But seriously, let’s talk about this reticle. The ACSS® is pretty awesome. It comes calibrated for 5.56 or .308. The reticle is a hybrid type that allows for range and wind estimation and gives you points for holdover. The BDC portion of the reticle reaches out to 600 in the 5.56 version. But, if you’re anything like me, I know what you’re thinking about now, “Cool, but how does it shoot?” The answer? Pretty Great.

Shooting With The PA 3X ACSS Scope

First, I’ll tell you what I didn’t like. The reticle seemed a little small. Once I was past about 200y with it, even the smaller interior circle was covering a fair amount of the target. But with a human sized target, this was a non-issue. My second gripe was eye relief. It is 2.7”-3” on this scope. Decent, but it was easy to have bits of scope shadow creep in on me when moving through different shooting positions.

Now that I’m done whining, let’s talk about my overall impression. This thing is awesome for the money! Its very versatile. While I’m never going to advocate someone try and do it all with one optic or one gun, this is pretty adaptable for the average user.

In close range, <60y, you have to be smarter than me. Think of the EoTech reticle with the 65moa outer ring – this optic is to be used like that. You use the thick inner ring as your dot and the thick outer ring as a reference. When I switched my brain on and started looking at the reticle like this for close shots, I was much quicker and more comfortable!

Beyond 100y, you use the scope exactly as you would expect to, and it works great.
All in all, this thing is affordable at $240, very robust, and a pretty great mid-level optic. We are definitely going to carry them in store and I feel completely comfortable recommending these to people looking for a little bit of magnification and versatility beyond a simple red dot. So if you’re on the fence, don’t be. Go out and buy one. You won’t regret it.

Hope you found this review helpful! Feel free to hit me up with comments, tips, or requests. I made this for you.

Primary Arms 3x Compact Scope on Anderson AR 15
Primary Arms Compact Scope ACSS reticle 5.56

Purchase the Primary Arms 3x Compact Scope today for just $240.

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