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Primary Arms SLx 1-6×24 Gen IV Review: Best Budget LPVO?

The SLx 1-6x24 Gen IV is the latest LVPO to come from Primary Arms but does this budget-friendly scope offer enough features for the modern rifle shooter?

    The world of magnified optics is flush with options for those shooters needing to reach out with some clarity at distance.

    Narrowing the field, there are a lot of low-powered variable optics (LPVO) too.

    Primary Arms SLx 1-6x24mm Nova glamour

    The high-end scopes available on the market are amazing but can have you considering a second mortgage. But there are good options that do most of what you need without breaking the bank.

    We can agree we should have options that provide good performance at a low price — optics that don’t suck.

    Primary Arms SLx 1-6x24mm Nova barricade

    Primary Arms recently sent us their latest SLx 1-6 to test out, and after putting it through the wringer…we think it’s a great value.

    So keep reading while we walk through the pros and cons and take it to the range!

    Table of Contents


    Why You Should Trust Us

    Sean Curtis has been shooting since childhood but really began to delve into guns more during his law enforcement career of over two decades. He received continued training for his roles in SWAT and as a POST-certified handgun instructor.

    FN 502 Tactical - Sean Sul
    FN 502 Tactical – Sean Sul

    He began writing in 2014 for Police1.com, covering many topics, including firearms reviews. From there, his works spread to Guns.com, American Survival Guide, Gun World Magazine, and the Glock Annual.

    Sean then came on board full-time in 2021 where he soon began focusing on reviews and videos…with tons of hands-on experience with a variety of optics.

    Primary Arms SLx 1-6x24 Gen IV Pros & Cons


    • Affordable
    • Daylight bright dot
    • Clean reticle


    • Minor loss of clarity at edges
    • Stiff magnification adjustment

    The Bottom Line

    The Primary Arms SLx 1-6x24 Gen IV is an excellent value for the money. The quality of materials and features at this price point is stellar, even when including some minor gripes.

    at Primary Arms

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    Primary Arms SLx 1-6x24 Gen IV Specs & Features


    Tube Diameter
    Focal Plane
    Second Focal Plane
    Click Value
    01. Mil
    Eye Relief
    ACSS Nova
    17.9 oz.
    Adjustment Range
    120 MOA elevation and windage
    11 settings


    ACSS Nova Reticle
    Modular throw lever
    IP67 rated

    Primary Arms SLx 1-6×24 Gen IV Background

    The SLx lineup (read silver) is a budget-minded series offering good features at a competitive price. Primary Arms also has a GLx line representing gold at a slightly better quality and higher price.

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

    There are also PLx or platinum offerings that represent the premium category of optics. As the Gen IV designation of this 1-6 indicates, there have been previous versions of this scope, and the Texas-based company seems to improve them with each iteration.

    Feedback to Primary Arms from previous models consisted of the reticle light not being daylight bright. The improvement of that feature with this new model is dramatically brighter.

    Star Trek Bright
    It’s bright y’all!

    Who Is It For?

    Anyone wanting to extend the capabilities of their rifle should check out low-powered variable optics since they offer greater clarity at distance when compared with a simple red dot.

    The tradeoff is added weight, bulk, and a bit of distortion at the lowest magnification.

    Primary Arms SLx 1-6x24mm Nova prone

    The SLx 1-6 Gen IV is a great place to dive into these waters. The quality of the materials, feature set, price, and lifetime warranty make it a low to no-risk option.

    Knobs & Settings

    The SLx 1-6 is made with a 30mm tube of 6061 T6 aluminum, allowing more room for the internals and, accordingly, more adjustment. Its exterior surface appears to be black aluminum with a nice finish and white lettering.

    Primary Arms SLx 1-6x24mm Nova left

    The exit pupil (end you look through) features a diopter adjustment to dial in for your particular vision. This is very stiff, but it’s okay because you typically set it and forget it.

    Moving up the optic, you soon arrive at the magnification adjustment, which features some well-textured knurling and a 90-degree throw lever. The (removable) lever is well placed, sitting at 3 o’clock at 1x magnification and 9 o’clock at 6x.

    Primary Arms SLx 1-6x24mm Nova lever

    Adjusting magnification is a bit stiff and takes a good grip. This is a delicate balance because you don’t want your scope to easily adjust magnification by bumping into something, but you also don’t want to strain to get there.

    Toward the middle, you reach the windage and elevation controls, which feature capped turrets. These are fairly low profile and likely a money-saving feature compared to exposed turrets.

    Primary Arms SLx 1-6x24mm Nova turret

    Removing the caps, the dials adjust easily with a slight tactile bump and minimal sound. There are 120 MOA of adjustment available on windage and elevation.

    In the same area on the left side of the scope lies the illumination knob, which shares the same knurled exterior as the windage and elevation caps. The actual adjustment is fairly stiff, gives good tactile feedback, and makes a soft pop each time you hit a setting.

    Primary Arms SLx 1-6x24mm Nova illumination dial

    There are 11 numbered brightness settings, with zero representing the off position. There are no off settings in between the various power levels, requiring users to spin the dial all the way back to zero to turn it off.

    Additionally, the SLx 1-6 Gen IV also comes with pop-up caps for the objective and exit pupil. These are closeable for extra protection of the lenses or removed easily.

    Glass & Reticle

    The clarity of the glass on the SLx 1-6 Gen IV is quite good, as is light transmission. In fact, the middle portion of the glass is quite sharp.

    Primary Arms SLx 1-6x24mm Nova reticle

    It was only with greater scrutiny that I noticed a little bit of loss of quality out on the edges. Again, the middle was very sharp up close and under magnification, but the edges lost a tiny bit of sharpness.

    Check out this quick video of it zoomed in:

    The quality of glass is one of the most significant factors in the performance of a scope, and this result is a worthy tradeoff when you consider the price of the SLx 1-6 Gen IV.

    Primary Arms SLx 1-6x24mm Nova periphery

    Check out this quick video of it at 1x and also activating the illuminated reticle:

    I like the ACSS Nova reticle as it is uncluttered and easy to use. From the dot in the middle of the crosshairs, there are three stadia representing holds for moving targets.

    The first is for a target moving at 3 MPH, the next is 6 MPH, and the last is 9 MPH. These handy references enable shooters to quickly build leads without guessing.

    Primary Arms SLx 1-6 Nova Reticle holds

    Below the red dot are 10 additional stadia for elevation. These decrease in width the lower they go and are designed to allow shooters to range a target based on an 18-inch width.

    If the first MIL covers and matches the target width best, your target is approximately 300 yards. This progresses with smaller MILs as you move down.

    Primary Arms SLx 1-6 Nova Reticle ranging

    Shooters who know their ballistic performance at distance may also use these MILs as a ballistic drop calculator (BDC). Again, holdovers are simplified by simply moving the reticle up to the appropriate stadia on the reticle.

    As this model is a second focal plane, the reticle does not enlarge as magnification is increased.

    In the very middle of the crosshairs lies one of the most significant improvements with the Gen IV, and that is the red dot. Primary Arms installed a high-efficiency fiber optic wire to achieve impressive brightness.

    Primary Arms SLx 1-6x24mm Nova red dot distance

    Notably, with the Gen IV Nova, the highest setting is more than daylight bright. I was able to engage a red steel plate in the high noon Texas sun at various distances and could clearly distinguish the dot.

    It is much brighter in comparison to previous versions and other optics I’ve used from Primary Arms. In the video, you can tell the difference is stark, even between the SLx and the very impressive PLx we reviewed previously.

    SLx 1-6×24 Gen IV Performance

    The overall performance of the SLx 1-6 Gen IV was solid. Establishing zero was a piece of cake, and over the course of testing, I noted no shift from zero.

    Primary Arms SLx 1-6x24mm Nova sighting

    The eye relief, listed at four inches, feels right on though I was able to pick up normal shadow when I got my head a little off-axis. This increased with magnification but, again, was totally normal.

    At 1x, there is a slight distortion, a magnification-induced appearance of making things a tiny bit smaller. It was not disturbing in any sense, and the optic performed well as I transitioned between targets at low power.

    Primary Arms SLx 1-6x24mm Nova PLx compare

    While I noted the minor loss of sharpness at the far edges of the optic, I realistically don’t use that area for targeting. Instead, I find targets in the field of view, move the reticle to the center, and press the trigger.

    During a recent training, I learned the importance of returning your LPVO back to 1x after you’ve shot at magnification. This way, you aren’t lost at 6x if a close-range target is your next shot.

    Primary Arms SLx 1-6x24mm Nova adjust

    The stiffness of the magnification adjustment ring made this transition a little more challenging. Time will tell if this will loosen up, but again, this is a balance between holding magnification and ease of use.

    Check this quick video of it zooming between 1x and 6x:

    The ACSS Nova reticle was easy to use, and although I didn’t have moving targets, I was able to use the lower stadia for distance holds. Brightness on the dot, as noted previously, was impressive.

    What Sets it Apart?

    Two things help distinguish the SLx 1-6 Gen IV: the brightness of the dot and the value. This optic is marginally better than much of the competition at this price point.

    Primary Arms SLx 1-6x24mm Nova shoot right

    In many ways, I feel like the SLx line is becoming a benchmark in budget optics, something other companies should be compared against.

    By the Numbers

    Durability: 4/5

    While I did not abuse the SLx 1-6 Gen IV, over the course of normal use, I tested zero and found the optic held true. This optic is IPX6 and covered by a full lifetime warranty.

    Clarity: 3.5/5

    The visual clarity of the main targeting area is crisp though this drops a bit on the periphery at 1x and throughout the magnification range.

    Magnification: 3/5

    At 1x there is slight distortion. The magnification adjustment is also a little stiffer than I would prefer.

    Value: 5/5

    At a current price of around $339.99, this optic is tough to beat, given its capabilities. Plus if you use our link you’ll get the choice of a free mount.

    Overall: 4/5

    at Primary Arms

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    For the free mount, go to the options and click the dropdown.

    Primary Arms Free Mount

    Final Verdict

    The Primary Arms SLx 1-6 Gen IV is an outstanding value.

    While it has some minor drawbacks, the overall quality for the price is what makes this scope an excellent choice.

    Primary Arms SLx 1-6x24mm Nova glamour 2

    If you want to increase your range with an LPVO but don’t want to shell out $1,000+, you’ve got a good option here. We’ll keep testing this one, but the performance so far has been great.

    Will you be purchasing a SLx 1-6? Let us know in the comments below. For more LPVO love, be sure to check out the 7 Best LPVOs: Low, Mid & High Power!

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    8 Leave a Reply

    • Commenter Avatar
      Marine Distinguished

      I would like to see a Green dot vice Red. Leupold had the Green Firedot and I purchase two. Great scopes but to inexpensive for the high quality so they discontinued them. I appreciate this type of scope in that if the battery dies you still have a functional optic. But I still would like to have a green dot of my aged eyes.

      August 18, 2023 1:20 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Bert Powers

      Be careful with this company, not all of their scopes are made here. Please buy American while you still can.

      August 18, 2023 6:03 am
      • Commenter Avatar
        Sean Curtis

        Bert, you make a good point. This optic is made in China and that's important to a lot of people.

        August 18, 2023 9:33 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Tony Commero

      Great review - funny just called PA today as I was looking for a red dot with magnification for my Springfield Saint and thought I would have had to buy 2 components. The customer service was very nice and recommended the "Primary Arms SLx 3X MicroPrism™ Scope - Green Illuminated ACSS Raptor Reticle - 5.56 / .308 - Yard " - $319. He said the prism scopes are very good for astigmatism as I explained its tough for me to see even 50 yd targets clear and also I am right handed but left eye dominant so I have to lean my head over the stock further. He als recommended the green over the red dot but obviously user choice.
      Wondering what would be your recommendation between the 2, pros and cons since their in the same price range basically? Love your newsletter emails and thx for the reviews!

      August 17, 2023 10:42 pm
      • Commenter Avatar

        Red dots and microprisms on an AR should be shot with both eyes open. It shouldn't matter about a dominate eye. These aren't scopes.

        August 18, 2023 8:57 am
        • Commenter Avatar
          Tony Commero

          Agree, both eyes open but my right eye is a lazy eye so usually only using my left eye. Thats what Im trying to compensate for.

          August 18, 2023 11:02 am
      • Commenter Avatar
        Sean Curtis

        Thanks Tony! In that scenario, the MicroPrism might be just the answer for you. Primary Arms also just release a 5x version that I haven't gotten a chance to try yet. If you're close to a big store that has a lot of optics choices, it would be worthwhile to go check out a couple options and see what you think would work best.

        August 18, 2023 9:38 am
        • Commenter Avatar
          Tony Commero

          Ok - yea hard to find a bigger store close by. Appreciate the advice. Like I replied to the other post, I keep both eyes open but my right eye is a lazy eye so usually just seeing out of my left (dominant) eye so trying to help compensate for that.
          Thank you

          August 18, 2023 11:05 am
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