Optic Review: Primary Arms GLx 2.5-10x44mm FFP Riflescope

Primary Arms GLx 2.5-10X44mm Riflescope (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

Primary Arms GLx 2.5-10X44mm Riflescope (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

Primary Arms has made a big name for itself in the budget optics world. They’ve produced feature-packed optics with a renown reticle and OK glass. The new GLx 2.5-10×44 FFP riflescope is a step up, including great glass on top of everything the Primary Arms was already doing right.

The budget optic market is a crowded one. For many years, the race was just who could put yet another feature on the scope, without much of a concentration on essentials of what makes a scope useful and dependable in the first place.

Primary Arms GLx 2.5-10x44mm (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

Features are great, and relatively cheap to build. The differentiating factor for rifle scopes is the quality of the glass itself. This scope is was designed in Houston, Texas, and made in the Philippines. I’ve reviewed some other lower-priced glass in the last few years that came out of the Philippines, and the quality of the image under high magnification of those scopes in the last few years has really impressed me. Some of them are making me a budget glass convert.

The GLx is hands down the best of the bunch. Seriously, if someone changed the reticle and I just looked through this glass, I would guess the scope costs $1,000 more than it does.

Take a look at the photo below. That’s a 10X magnification of a structure almost two miles away, on a day with 95 degree heat and high humidity.

ACSS Raptor M2 reticle (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

Is there a difference between this glass and the latest versions from Nightforce and Leupold? Yes, yes there is. But it’s much less than you might think, and it’s not really noticeable until you get to low light situations.

This is where the higher quality glass and coatings of the top end of scopes makes a difference, especially the Gen 5 and on Leupold scopes. If you are focused on shooting in the twilight, the best scopes will buy you about 20 minutes more shooting time at the same magnification. But be advised, those precious minutes come at a steep price.

Beyond great-for-class-glass, the GLx 2.5-10x44mm features the ACSS Raptor M2 reticle that made Primary Arms so popular in the first place. There’s a whole lot of people who bought Primary Arms scopes even when they could afford much more expensive scopes, purely for this reticle.

The ACSS is not a simple reticle, but a relatively complex piece of technology. It’s designed to allow the shooter to use the reticle to range targets up to 800 yards and includes a chevron for precise shots and a horseshoe for quick shots on close-in targets.

The ACSS reticle includes a bullet drop compensator (BDC) and the instruction manual lays out a very welcome table for what rounds it works for and at what ranges. BDC’s, when matched with the right barrel length and cartridge, can be reasonably precise, especially at the middle ranges where this kind of scope shines.

Primary Arms GLx mounted on Sig Virtus (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

You’ll also find simplified wind hold dots and two mover hold dots on each side of the center chevron for targets moving at 8.6MPH. Why 8.6MPH? I have no idea. That’s a little more than twice as fast as most people walk, and jog times for both humans and animals are far too variable to use as any kind of metric.  If you know why, let us know in the comments.

If you want to use the reticle to it’s fullest capabilities, you’re going to need to spend a good bit of time behind it working different scenarios. That said, if you had just one gun, or were willing to put this reticle on all of your regular-use guns, it provides a lot functionality if you dedicate the time to it.

The GLx 2.5-10x44mm is a first focal plane optic. That means that ranging can be done at all magnifications levels and still remain exactly the same. For most reticle types, I prefer a second focal plane, but for this scope, and especially for folks using this scope for competitions with multiple target stages, the first focal plane makes more sense.

Parallax and Illumination Adjustment (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

The center chevron is illuminated, with 10 different brightness settings and an Off stop between each setting. That is very much the way it should be done, as it means that you can simply on-off at your preferred brightness level for the environment.

Battery and spare battery compartment (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

The reticle is powered by a single CR2032 battery, and the left side controls not only include the parallax and illumination adjustment, but also a storage compartment for a spare battery. The scope also features Primary Arms’ “AutoLive” battery saving technology, which turns the reticle off after three minutes of stillness, and then back on when the scope is moved.

The Primary Arms website lists this scope as “night vision compatible.” I’ve read that before on budget optics, and rarely is it the case. Usually, the reticle is too blurry to use in with night vision devices, or is just too bright and washes everything out.

Illuminated reticle through PVS14 (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

Not so with this GLX scope. Mating it with a PVS14, I had no issues seeing a clear chevron in total darkness with the scope at its “1” power lever. Outstanding. The image above is actually the look through my PVS14 into the reticle on the lowest setting, with the front lens cap still on.

If there was any real downside to this scope, it’s that there’s nothing compact about it. Especially for a fairly narrow (at least nowadays) range of magnification, it’s a fairly large optic. Also the controls are huge. The large knurled knobs stick out 270 degrees. If you are looking for a sleek, lightweight scope, this ain’t it. On the other hand, all of the controls are easy to find, and easy to manipulate even in low light conditions.

Locking caps (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

The windage and elevation turrets move after a triangular button is pushed and the turrets are turned. You don’t have to keep the button pushed down, just push it once and start turning. However, note that it only locks at the zero stop. If you leave it on anything other than the zero, it will move with any steady turn. On the windage side, it will stop with each turn around to the zero mark. On the elevation side, it just keeps going.

The turret clicks are a solid and easy to feel. I would highly encourage you to stay out or get out of the habit of counting clicks. The individual mil marks are there for a reason, and it’s much faster and more accurate to just move the to the correctly marked hashmark on the dial than to attempt to feel each click.

Included lens caps (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

This GLX scope can also be purchased with an optional sun shade, and includes Butler Creek scope covers in the box.

Unlike a lot of other scopes on the market right now, there’s no throw lever on the magnification ring dial.  It is, however, very heavily textured and includes a large ramp that serves as a tactile guide. Like many things on this scope, even that little ramp was well thought out. With two small screws, it can be removed to be left off entirely, or relocated to other positions on the dial, depending on user preference.

Magnification dial ring. (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

To see if the turrets tracked appropriately, I performed a simple box text at 100 yards. I marked an 18″ square and shot the bottom left edge. Then dialed 5 mils up, shot, five mils right, shot, five mils down, shot, and five mils left, shot.  I ended up with 5 rounds in the target, each within an inch of the corners and two at the bottom left.

Primary Arms GLx mounted (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

I also dialed the turrets all the way in each direction a few times, generally just screwing around with them. I put some rounds in to the target berm, and then dialed them back to zero and shot again. The rounds ended up right next to each other on the target, within the margin of error for the rifle and the IMI 77gr Razor Core rounds I was using. The turrets track.

To test recoil sensitivity, I normally put optics on my .458 SOCOM SBR and run some very high (for the cartridge) pressure 400gr rounds through it.  Well, I replaced my 12.5″ .458 SOCOM barrel with an 18″ barrel, and I ran out of 400gr rounds. Instead, I just ran 28 rounds through the new barrel with top pressure 325gr rounds, as fast as I could shoot them. I then remounted the scope on the SIG Virtus and shot it again. The reticle didn’t move or shift, and the turrets still tracked the same.

The limited lifetime warranty associated with this scope is outstanding.

Your Primary Arms GLx scope is covered by the Primary Arms Lifetime Warranty. If a defect due to materials or workmanship, or even normal wear and tear has caused your product to malfunction, Primary Arms with either repair or replace your product.  

According to everyone I’ve spoken with, the warranty service provided by Primary Arms is one of the reasons they keep going back to this company. From the previous customers I’ve spoken with, they back their words up with deeds and provide excellent customer service.

Primary Arms GLx 2.5-10x44mm Optic mounted (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

The Primary Arms GLx 2.5-10x44mm is a feature-packed scope with very good glass, at a very low price point. It also has one of the most complex and capable reticles on the market today.

Most folks buy a scope in this price range because they don’t have the money for a more expensive model. That’s not the case here.  No matter what your budget, or what you are used to spending on glass, the Primary Arms GLX 2.5-10×44 is an excellent option.

Specifications: Primary Arms GLx 2.5-10×44 FFP Riflescope

Click Value: 0.1 Mil
Exit Pupil Diameter: Low: 16.70 mm / High: 4.40 mm
Eye Relief: Low: 2.80 in / High: 2.70 in
Field View 100: Low: 35.80 ft / High: 10.00 ft
Focal Plane: First Focal Plane
Illuminated: Partial Illumination
Maximum Magnification: 10
Minimum Magnification: 2.5
Night Vision Compatible: Yes
Objective Diameter: 44mm
Reticle: ACSS Raptor M2 5.56 FFP
Reticle Type: BDC
Total Elevation Adjustment: 37 MIL
Total Windage Adjustment: 37 MIL
Tube Diameter: 30mm
Turret Features: Exposed Turrets, Tactical / Target Profile, Finger Adjustable, Locking, Zero Reset, Zero Stop
Weight: 22.5 Oz.
Price: $649.99

Rating (out of five stars):

Overall * * * * *
It’s kinda big, but an outstanding value, at any price. This is my new standard for budget optics, and from any brand, the scope to beat under $1000.

comments

  1. avatar Ray says:

    PA need to update their hideous logo. Change my mind.

    1. avatar Mack The Knife says:

      The rest of the world likes it. You got the problem, therefore, you change our minds and don’t be so continuing shallow that you don’t include and explain your recommendations.
      If you went to a college or university you missed on the finer points of your education in preparation of working in the competitive real world.

    2. avatar Anonymous says:

      I agree, Ray. The PA logo sucks. And so does their warranty. Good thing PA keeps changing their product line so they don’t have to honor their warranty.

      1. avatar Anonymous says:

        “Good thing PA keeps changing their product line so they don’t have to honor their warranty repair anything that stopped working just after the warranty period for an optic that did nothing but sit on a rifle in the house and was never taken outside. They offered me a discount on another optic, but why would I buy a crappy optic twice??

        There we go – that is more accurate.

        1. avatar Simon says:

          Just an anecdote, but I recently had a red dot that I bought from them stop working correctly. I contacted Primary Arms and, even thought the scope was out of warranty, they told me to send it in. They fixed it and sent it back.

          Take that for what it’s worth.

        2. avatar Anonymous says:

          I offered to pay them to fix it. They said they no longer offered that product line then offered me a discount on their newer products that might break. I literally never used it. It say on the rifle in the house. It wasn’t even sighted in. It never experienced recoil. The glue broke lose around the rotating knob for the illumination, and the solder joint broke inside. Inaccessible to resolder.

  2. avatar ChoseDeath says:

    Great review, thank you for sharing!

  3. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

    Very cool. I will add in late February I received a defective prism optic from them. By March I had a new one without issue from the customer support. They have great customer service.
    With that said I am doing my best to purchase items that are Made In USA (since March).

    1. avatar neiowa says:

      As stated in the review, this scope is made in the Philippines. At least it’s not chicom so hats off to Jon for clearly stating the Country of Origin. This is long overdue in TTAG reviews.

      The chicoms are the enemies of the US and the free world. ZERO reason for any responsible adult to purchase firearms/outdoor products from the factories of the damn PLA. Philippines isn’t perfect but at this point a world away from chicomland

      I have a couple Nikon scopes made in the Philippines. Nice enough but will look at PA (NOT chicom). NOTE: their “best” is made in Japan

  4. avatar Evey259 says:

    8.6 MPH is the average running speed of an adult male holding a weapon. At least according to PA.

  5. avatar Charlie the Bear says:

    I have used those hold-offs or whatever you want to call them for windspeed adjustment. Works well.

  6. avatar Biff says:

    Thanks for the review. This will probably be my first ‘real’ scope. I’ve got a couple of PA prism sights and ACOGs but nothing over 3.5x.

    The only improvement I’d like to see is small tic marks at 450 and 550 yards and maybe every 25 from 600-700 if will they fit.

    I’m also glad they are making these in the Philippines.

    Please review the new 2x ACSS next.

  7. Have to use it twice! Great gear and definitely worth the price!

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