Here at Primary Arms, we get pretty excited about bringing new products to you. This one is no different. You all told us exactly what you wanted, and we made it happen. You wanted a prism scope with a powerful ACSS reticle etched into the glass and modular mounting system. It had to have exceptional clarity, be made super tough, and it had to have absolutely no magnification. True 1X power for CQB supremacy. It’s the Primary Arms 1X Compact Prism Scope with ACSS® Cyclops™ reticle, and we think it’s the most advanced CQB optic available today. Let us show you why your next close quarters rifle scope should be the Primary Arms 1X Cyclops.
Red Dot Recap
The “red dot” sight has always been the king of fast sight acquisition. For quick shooting up close where speed is the primary concern, a good red dot can get you on target faster than iron sights. Don’t get us wrong, we love red dots. We built our legacy on red dots. However, they aren’t perfect. There’s only so much you can do with a dot. We think a smarter, more advanced reticle system is just as important in CQB applications as it is when shooting out to longer ranges. Why settle for a just a dot?
There are many shooters who find red dots problematic because they have astigmatism or other issues with how their eye perceives the reflected image of a red dot. A simple dot has enough limitations already, when your eyesight turns it into something undefined and incorrect, the issues with the red dot start to compound. Even if you have 20/20 vision, it’s still possible to run into performance problems with a red dot. So we wanted to build something different.
The Smart 1x Alternative
The Primary Arms 1X Compact Prism Scope with ACSS Cyclops reticle excels where the limitations of a red dot start to show. It features a permanently etched reticle like the rest of our line of prism scopes. This means that every shooter will see a crisp, defined reticle when they look through the glass. And a diopter ring on the ocular end ensures that the reticle will be perfectly in focus for your eyesight. The ACSS reticle design is more precise than what is possible with reflected LED emitter technology, and we’ll cover that more thoroughly below. Any optic’s purpose is to provide the highest amount of contrast possible in relation to the target, so we’ve powered the ACSS Cyclops through 11 brightness settings up to daylight bright. At a medium power, the cyclops will run continuously for 3,000 hours. But even if you do lose power, unlike a red dot the Cyclops’s etched reticle still shows up in black. Shooting in a washed out environment, the black reticle can be more useful than an illuminated one to pick up a high-contrast point of aim, giving you more utility in a larger number of situations.
Looking Through The 1x Prism
If you’ve run prism scopes on your rifles before, you’re probably used to keeping them pretty close to your eye. For a CQB optic that’s designed for fast target acquisition, we needed eye relief to be as long as we could make it. We stretched Cyclops’ eye relief out to nearly 4 inches, 3.7 to be exact. That’s a full inch more eye relief than our own 3x prism scopes, and 2 inches more than a 4X ACOG. So go ahead, extend that stock out a little, or make some room for your back up iron sights, the Cyclops won’t give you any issues.
Unlike a red dot, Cyclops does have eye relief and exit pupil specifications. The exit pupil is pretty huge at 13mm, giving this scope a large and forgiving eye box. We built this for fast sight acquisition, so it needed nothing less. Once you have the diopter set to your eyes, you can easily shoot with both eyes open like a red dot, maintaining situational awareness and increasing your speed on target. When you add that capacity for speed to the ACSS Cyclops reticle, what you get is so much more than what a red dot can provide. Allow us to explain further…
The Smartest Reticle System In The World
ACSS stands for Advanced Combined Sighting System, and it’s the smartest reticle system in the industry. To be as effective in CQB applications as red dots are, the reticle has to have a simple and intuitive point of aim. The Cyclops achieves this by utilizing the familiar CQB Horseshoe. For targets up close, where speed is everything, just place the horseshoe over the part of the target you want to hit and squeeze the trigger. To quickly hit targets out to 100 yards, just center the target inside the horseshoe and still achieve excellent first round hit probability. The outer edges of the horseshoe also function as moving target leads. For a target moving from right to left, you use the right edge of the horseshoe as your point of aim. The a target moving left to right, use the left edge of the horseshoe.
The Chevron and Bullet Drop Compensation
If you need precision with the Cyclops, we’ve placed the patented ACSS Chevron in the center of the CQB horseshoe. The tip of the chevron provides an infinitely small aiming point that never obscures the target, so you can take a very precise shot when you need to. Sight in your rifle’s point of impact to the chevron tip at 50 yards to create a battle sight zero, meaning the round’s trajectory will impact an inch high at 100 yards before falling back down to the chevron tip at 200 yards. A second tip formed by the underside of the chevron forms a second point of aim, and the bottom of the chevron’s legs forms a third point of aim. How bullet drop compensation works out depends on the caliber. 5.56 NATO and other rounds with equivalent trajectories will reach 400 yards while the slower 7.62×39 and 300 BLK rounds will only make it 300 yards before crossing that point of aim.
Underneath the horseshoe and chevron are four horizontal ranging bars. These bars offer two methods to quickly estimate your range to a target. To vertically range the target, line up the bottom of the target with the bottom ranging bar and then measure upwards. If the top of the target reaches the highest ranging line, the target is 200 yards away. The other lines indicate 300 and 400-yard distances. The second ranging method is to use the horizontal the width of the ranging lines. Each line correlates to an 18-inch wide target at that specific distance, 200, 300, or 400 yards away. This is useful if you’re estimating the range of a target that’s partially obscured in long grass or behind a rise in the ground, making it impossible to range vertically. The ranging capabilities combined with the ACSS Chevron’s BDC calibration gives you the power to take more intelligent and accurate shots on targets at an unknown distance. For example, if you vertically range a target to approximately halfway between the 200-yard and 300-yard ranging lines, you can use that information to select a point of aim about halfway between the top and bottom chevron tips and give yourself the best possible opportunity to put that round on target.
The Base Is Not Basic
The Cyclops is compatible with any standard micro dot mount that you would use with a red dot sight. Because it’s a little larger than red dots, the center of the Cyclops will fall a little higher than a red dot’s would, so always be sure to zero properly. The included Picatinny rail base positions the center of the 1X Cyclops at 1.41 inches above the receiver, the same height as standard AR-15 iron sights. You can remove the base via four Torx screws located underneath. Later this year, Primary Arms will have two spacers available which can be placed between the included base and the scope body to raise the mounting height. PA1X-HM-SPCR-1.535 (PA1X-HM-SPCR-1.535-FDE for FDE version) will place the centerline of the Cyclops 1.54 inches above the receiver rail, or at lower 1/3rd co-witness height. The PA1X-HM-SPCR-1.64 (PA1X-HM-SPCR-1.64-FDE for FDE Version) riser will place the centerline of the optic 1.64” above the receiver rail as an extra tall option. A low mount will place the centerline just 1.05” above the receiver rail will be ideal for shooters using AK-47s and similar configurations.
A Few More Things
It is possible to use the Primary Arms 1X Cyclops in line, co-witnessing with iron sights like a typical red dot. When placed in line with iron sights, the front sight can be visible through the scope, so if you really want to, co-witness away. But the truth is, you don’t need to. Co-witnessing with a red dot is necessary in case your dot loses power. Even with no power, Cyclops still has a reticle there for you. If you’re insistent on co-witnessing, the iron sights should be zeroed while in line with the Cyclops to make sure your zero is true when you view it through the prism, which does inherently change the way your eye will perceive your iron sights.
Magnifiers will also work with the 1X Cyclops when placed in the standard configuration behind the prism scope, but you will need to take a little extra time to get the magnifier focused on the reticle to get a crisp picture. When setting up a magnifier for the first time it is important to realize that you are now employing two separate optical systems, and each needs to be calibrated to your eye. We recommend to first adjust the diopter ring on the magnifier to the furthest out position. With the magnifier diopter ring in the furthest out position and in line with the 1X Cyclops, adjust the Cyclops’ diopter ring until the reticle is crisp and clear. Flip the magnifier to the side and check the reticle image unmagnified. If the reticle image is not clear unmagnified, continue to make small adjustments to the Cyclops’ diopter ring with the magnifier in line and out of line until the difference between the two is eliminated or minimalized to fit your needs. For some individuals, this difference may never be eliminated completely, and the Cyclops’ diopter will need a slight adjustment each time the magnifier is moved in line or out of line behind the prism scope. This should be expected, as it is inherent to the unique combination of the two optical systems.
In addition to the configuration described above, a typical magnifier can be placed in front of the PA 1X prism scope. However, it will introduce a large amount of point-of-aim shift, parallax and overall unreliability of the optical system. We don’t recommend using a magnifier with the 1X Cyclops in this configuration.
So Good We Guarantee It – For Life
Lots of company’s warranties cover “manufacture defects” or flaws in workmanship or materials. If there are manufacturer defects present in an optic, it was there when that optic left the warehouse. 15,000 rounds put downrange are not going to magically make a manufacturer defect appear. It was either there, or it wasn’t. At Primary Arms, we believe in what we build. We don’t bring a new product to market until it’s stood up to our exceptionally rigorous testing process, and it doesn’t leave our facility in Houston, Texas to arrive at your door until it’s been inspected by hand. If it can take the abuse we put it through, pass our inspection, and still perform to our exacting standards, only then are we confident that it will absolutely blow away your expectations. We make optics to last a lifetime. Because we’re so confident in that, we stand behind our products for a lifetime. It’s our promise to you. If your Cyclops ever becomes damaged to the point of failure we will repair it for you or send you a new one. No questions asked. So go ahead. Buy with confidence.
You asked for it, and now it is here. They’re bound to go fast, but they’re here to stay, so get your hands on one as soon as you can and check back often if they’re out of stock. The PA 1X Cyclops is the smartest, most capable CQB optic we’ve ever seen, and we think you’ll agree.