PA Micro: Initial Thoughts

Part one of what will be a long-term (or not if it buys the farm) review of my highly scientific single sample of a Primary Arms FB-MDGII. I will state right now that I bought the little bugger with my own money like a big boy and Primary Arms knows nothing about this review.



Initial Impressions:

– Seems solid enough
– Dot quality comparable to my Aimpoint PRO
– Glass tint is more blue than an Aimpoint. But just about as clear once a weapon light is fired up.
– Elevation/Windage/Brightness dial clicks positive
– The provided torx wrench is sloppy in the base screw and makes me want to slap whoever ordered it to pack with the sight. But it *can* be convinced to work with care, though it SHOULD BE THE CORRECT SIZE.
– Range time will see if it shifts, but it seems to mount far more securely than the janky UTG dot and Center Point dot I also have on hand for screwing with airguns. Note that I have not used either airsoft-grade dot for live fire on a ~real gun~ but have played dress up with them.
– Shipping was speedy from Texas to New Hampshire.
– Came with a spare battery. Neat.
– No picture of John Wayne competing in the biathlon included with my order as requested 😦 But I did get a note leaving me hope for the future, “Maybe next time!”

The Plan:

– My beloved Benelli MR1 is a spaaaaaaaceguuuuuuun range toy with sights low to the rail. Co-witness is not possible with anything and chinweld is unavoidable with anything higher than the iron sights. From past experience, I know the PA micro will cut off the lower ~3/8 of the rear peep and just barely allow the tip of the front sight into view. This should make the irons usable in a real pinch. Not that it matters beyond the fact I am a nerd. And the optic is small enough to leave me with an “AR with lower 1/3 co-witness” grade cheek weld. So the micro is intended to live on my fungun.

– The thought of replacing my Leupold FX-II on my Winchester ’94 with an Aimpoint H1 sometimes passes through my head. I will give the Primary Arms a brief howdy-do on the rifle to help decide if it would be THREE HUNDRED FREAKING DOLLARS better than my current setup before dropping coin.

– I plan to get a moderated 22 caliber nitro piston air rifle with picatinny rail for optic mounting and try the micro on that through the break-in period. Reverse recoil will kill it if anything will. Should the unit survive and the combo work as well as it should, I will order another one to leave on the gas piston as a go-to barn pest and errant tin can rig.

– I might, probably will…maybe pick up a lower 1/3 co-witness riser and try it out on my lightweight beater AR. If it proves worth the extra half pound, I might maybe grab another for that gun. Or a Vortex SPARC. Maybe. Iunno v0v

– If by some freak chance I wind up with three, I’ll report any issues or differences between them.

Special Note:

A friend once left an old style PA micro on his neglected and abused M17S trunk gun and it worked well for him. But I will say that I will not suggest a Primary Arms optic for any gun you may use defensively. Just because a unit or a few earn their owner’s trust, they crap out more than Aimpoints. Always on capability and earned reputation for trustworthy reliability out of the box are $300-500 better than Primary Arms. By the same token, I don’t think my friend was foolish and I won’t nag anyone who drags their personal unit through a rifle course to test out before trusting on a social rifle. Y’all are adults.

P.S. The lack of initial verdict, recommendation, or condemnation is intentional. I have not even used this thing in live fire, yet.



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10 responses to “PA Micro: Initial Thoughts

  1. I will also be curious about battery life (though like most other things, it’s a factor that’s pretty well overblown compared to real life)

  2. Rrpalma

    Hello, nice site and nice article. I just bought a Benelli MR1, and am looking for a red dot sight that will cowitness with the irons, without sacrificing too much a good cheek weld. If you don’t mind, what would you suggest? Perhaps a Burris Fastfire? — thanks!

    • The Primary Arms micro allowed a lower 1/4-ish cowitness which was better than complete sight obstruction. If you want a nice dot you will never regret, drop the coin on an Aimpoint micro. If you want a range toy, the Primary Arms is a very good optic for the money.

      Not sure if the emitter or mount on a Burris would pay nice with the low sights. Same for TRS-25 and Vortex.

      And good to hear from someone else with a MR1, they are neat and don’t get enough love.

      • Ricardo Palma

        Thanks for your welcome! Yes, the MR1 is a fantastic rifle. I was in fact thinking Aimpoint, but trying to decide between the H1 and the Patrol Rifle Optic (PRO) with a low 30 mm mount.

        • The PRO will never cowitness and will be a chin weld with the lowest of mounts. I tried with mine and even got a nice aftermarket mount lower than the included QRP-II with spacer removed. The PRO is wicked nice and priced very fairly but just won’t cut it on the Benelli without a super bulky cheek bag strapped onto the stock. And the rifle is already hefty.

          The H1 would be your best bet and better hold some value should you decide to sell. And has more potential than the PRO to mount to a handgun/other rifle/shotgun/airgun if you like it but decide to return the MR1 to irons-only.

          • Ricardo Palma

            Thanks — I also tend to prefer the H1.

            However, what optics have they mounted on this picture?
            It would appear that it’s the PRO, and it seems, from the pic, they got it to cowitness …. did you try it with low rings? On that picture, it would appear they’re using a Burris XTR low ring ….

          • I used a low Burris ring someone gave to ke and an American Defense low mount as well as the PRO’s included mount with spacer removed. All of them completely obscured the sights.

          • Ricardo R Palma

            Thank you. So I guess I’ll go for the Aimpoint Micro. Do you know if I’ll be able to cowitness with the irons at least 1/3?


            > >

          • More like lower ~1/4. The irons are are cramped at the bottom but can be used.

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