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Primary Arms PLx 1-8 LPVO Riflescope Review [Hands-On]

We take a hands-on look at the Primary Arms PLx 1-8 LVPO to see if this scope's features should earn it a place on your rifle.

Primary Arms has been creating budget-friendly optics for a while now but the company boldly stepped into the big leagues in a major way with the PLx, or platinum, 1-8 LPVO.

We tested one out and were very impressed with the premium offering.

Primary Arms PLx 1-8 bench
Primary Arms PLx 1-8x24mm

We’ll share our findings with videos below, so keep reading for specs, features, and more!

Table of Contents

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Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Excellent glass clarity
  • ACSS reticle
  • Compact size

Cons

  • Weight
  • Top-end brightness

The Bottom Line

For a company that built its brand on high-value, budget optics, it’s nice to see an option catering to customers who want more. The PLx 1-8x is a great scope, competitive with bigger brands for the money.

Primary Arms PLx 1-8 seperate
Primary Arms PLx 1-8 and PLx Cantilever

Specs & Features

Specs

  • Eye relief: 3.98 (1x) 3.83 (8x)
  • Length: 10.5 inches
  • Tube diameter: 34mm
  • Focal place: First focal plane
  • Weight: 26.9 ounces
  • Magnification: 1-8x24mm

Features

  • Japanese glass
  • Etched and lit reticle
  • First focal plane

Source: Primary Arms

1299
at Primary Arms

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

Background

You could say the SLx 1-8×24 was a jumping-off point for Primary Arms, a penny-pinching option that still landed shooters squarely in the LPVO market. This optic was a good offering, coming in under $400.

Primary Arms PLx 1-8 scale
Cantilever and optic weight was 1 pound, 6.8 ounces

The PLx by contrast, reflects an effort by Primary arms to create an even higher quality optic still adhering to their on-brand drive for value.

Who Is It For?

This is not the bargain bin option! Primary Arms cracked their knuckles and created a feature-packed scope that is competitive with longer-standing optics companies.

Primary Arms PLx 1-8 lever
Good knurling and throw lever

The PLx is likely intended for competitive shooters, professionals, and the discriminating customer who is willing to pay for a higher level of quality.

Fit & Feel

The body of the scope has a black, anodized, finish, common to many optics. Its coating feels durable and the matte finish doesn’t reflect light.

Primary Arms PLx 1-8 turrets
The turrets are capped, but also knobby

Interestingly, unscrewing the turret caps reveals knurled turrets, giving shooters the choice to run it how they see fit. The caps and turrets are very grippy, and easy to manipulate.

How Does It Perform?

I was really impressed with the performance of the PLx, particularly given its diminutive size. The eye relief was good with a pretty forgiving eye box until maximum magnification

Glass clarity was really impressive, on the order of higher-end scopes I’ve recently handled. The etched reticle was very crisp and functioned well during testing.

Primary Arms PLx 1-8 1x
1x magnification

The lighting on the reticle was uniform and undistorted. It only starts to become challenged in super bright, washed-out environments, particularly with lighter backdrops. Otherwise, it was wholly sufficient.

Primary Arms ACSS Raptor M8 M
The PLx we tested had the ACSS Raptor M8 M installed

The adjustment bezel for magnification, like the turrets, was stiff enough to avoid accidental dialing without being too difficult. During magnification, the reticle increased in size nicely, with leads and hold over hashes being readily visible at max.

Primary Arms PLx 1-8 8x
Full magnification with full brightness

The turrets were easy to use, though stiff enough to not get bumped. They tracked well (0.1 Mil adjustments) during zeroing with tactile and audible clicks.

There’s also the option of the Griffin reticle but it adds a little bit to the price. Great if you want additional holdover information.

Griffin Reticle
Griffin Reticle
1499
at Primary Arms

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

What Sets it Apart?

Two big things really struck me about the PLx. First, the quality of the glass is really clear. The overall image quality is very nice, providing a crisp image with good light transmission.

Primary Arms PLx 1-8 cantilever
The PLx Cantilever is a beast

The second thing that impressed me was the compact size. Neither of these accomplishments makes the optic unique in an industry filled with quality scopes, but it definitely elevates the standing Primary Arms enjoys.

249
at Primary Arms

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

By The Numbers

Reliability: 5/5

While I didn’t outright abuse the optic, I wasn’t gentle with it. The PLx held up well during normal use and is covered by a lifetime warranty.

Ergonomics: 5/5

Everything was where you would expect it and the throw lever was perfectly situated to hit all magnifications.

Accuracy: 5/5

During the zero process, the turrets tracked exactly as expected.

Value: 4/5

At an MSRP starting out at $1,299, those familiar with most optics from Primary Arms might suffer a little sticker shock at first, but the quality of glass combined with a great set of features makes the PLx a really good value.

Overall: 5/5

1299
at Primary Arms

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

Final Verdict

The PLx is a great option that really distinguishes Primary Arms as a competitor with higher-end brands. Its reticle is both useful and easy to use in close and far engagements while the glass is great.

Not to mention its overall size is impressively compact.

Primary Arms PLx 1-8 shooting
Range time enrichment

It’s lightweight but feels very sturdy and should hold up to provide years of service. The daylight brightness of the reticle at its highest strength is absolutely serviceable in all but the most bright, washed-out settings.

Primary Arms fired a shot over the bow of the competition with this optic. If you can swing the price, the PLx 1-8 is a great option.

What do you think of the Primary Arms scope? Let us know in the comments below. For more LVPO action, check out our guide to the Best 1-6x Scopes & LVPOs.

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7 Leave a Reply

  • Commenter Avatar
    Anonymous Coward

    You review the PLx 1-8x "Compact" 30mm.
    You link to the sales page of the PLx 1-8x 34mm.

    These are two separate products.
    Are you aware of the differences between these two optics?

    This is quite concerning from an optics review publication.

    May 3, 2022 5:41 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Friend Anon

      It's a separately managed ad I think mate, but I was also confused

      May 27, 2022 7:18 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    ARMED CITIZEN

    Check out Arken scopes for around$500 with Japanese glass

    The value for the money is hard to beat, so I bought 2 of them. The SH-4-16x50 and the EP4 6-24x50. GREAT RIFLE SCOPES!!!!!!!! I also have a Primary Arms 4-14x44 with the ACSS+HUD reticle.

    April 5, 2022 8:52 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Al

    Looking at that reticle, this looks like it is one of the new models in their Plx Compact series they just came out with. The MSRP for those is $1499.

    April 5, 2022 8:16 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Mark

    Way beyond my pay grade. Wonder what the comparison is with the SLX?

    April 5, 2022 5:42 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Fred Lead

    I like how the 1x lever placement is on the left side away from where 45 degree optics would be and the magnification wheel goes from left to right. That's one annoyance of the SLX 1-6.

    April 5, 2022 5:12 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Sean Curtis

      Right Fred,

      I communicated with a product engineer and PA implemented a few upgrades based on customer feedback.

      April 7, 2022 8:31 am
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