Primary Arms 4-16x44 Illuminated Rifle Scope

Primary Arms 4-16×44 Illuminated Rifle Scope Review

Primary Arms  is a a well known company that offers several types of scopes.  While their optics are not considered to be top of the line, they are definitely worth the cost and perform much better than most of their similarly priced competitors.

Primary Arms has two lines of scopes, one that is made in the U.S. and one that is Made in China.  The model above is one of the Chinese made models but don’t let that fool you into thinking its inferior.  All of their optics are made with the same components and undergo the same rigorous QC process.

Specifically, the scope we are looking at is one of the more powerful options offered by Primary Arms.  It is a full-featured optics that is quite capable at long distance shooting and offers performance that is usually reserved for more expensive brands.  What you get out of this scope for the price is almost shocking.


All decent scopes made today use a 1-piece aluminum tube and Primary Arms is no exception.  Overall it comes in just under a foot and a half in length which is normal for scopes of this power range.  The tube measures 30mm and is hard-coat anodized for added durability. The largest dimension, the objective lens, is 44mm.  It will require regular height scope rings. On any platform you would want an optic of this power, the Primary Arms will shine!

Lens Quality

While the overall quality of the glass on a Primary Arms scope is somewhat inferior to premium scope brands, it is by no means poor.   It could be said that it easily outstrips the glass quality of most similarly priced rifle scopes. Unless you are very demanding on the lens quality, you will likely never notice a difference between the optical quality of Primary arms and most any other rifle scope.

Despite the lower price, Primary Arms does use a full proprietary multi-coat on its lenses.  This greatly improves the glass from being just average to being quite good. Their coating is very similar to most other companies and does a great job of tuning up the overall image quality and making everything brighter and crisper.

Further benefits of the multi-coat are a reduction of glare and refinement of the light spectrum.  In low-light, the image will remain clear and crisp longer than the naked eye. From the sunniest day to the dim dawn conditions often encountered by hunters, you can count on this scope to help you get on target.

Durability and Weather Resistance

In addition to the thick-walled, aircraft aluminum tube, Primary Arms has stepped up their game to make a rugged and dependable rifle scope.  This rigid construction ensures that lenses are properly aligned at all times and that it can take the recoil of even the most powerful calibers without failure.

While the sealing of the scopes internals are a step below many of the premium brands, all Primary Arms scopes are fully water and fog proof.  This also means they resist dust which is the killer of many cheaper optics. Submersing this optic would be a bad idea but when it comes to standing up to the elements, you will have no issue what so ever.

Features and Function

In truth, this Primary Arms scope is right in the range you find the most versatile scopes.  Being a 4-16x variable powered optic, you get low-end magnification that is perfect for shorter distance but you can easily get out to 500+ yards on the high end.  If you are good, 800+ yards is possible with a scope in this range.

Primary arms view

Including a mil-dot reticle on a scope of this power is a no-brainer.  While close shots aren’t an issue, the purpose of this scope is to really reach out to distant targets.  The reticle is glass etched and illuminated with 12 levels of brightness for shooting in most any possible light condition short of full dark.  The CR2023 battery that supplies the power for this scope comes included.

Focus comes from a side-mounted knob on the scopes erector assembly much like most high-end scopes.  Power adjustment is atop the eyepiece which makes using it while looking through the scope much easier than side mounted or ring-style adjustments.

When it comes to getting on target, you do get full turrets for making those modifications but you will only get a total of 30 MOA of windage and elevation adjustment in 1/4 MOA increments.  This is quite a bit less than most scopes offer but enough for shooting reasonable distances. If you want to shoot farther, you can always get modified scope rings that will help you get a little more range out of this rifle scope.

Eye relief on the scope remains around 3.5 inches no matter the magnification level.  While this may be a little less than you would want for larger magnum calibers, it will work on many of the most popular military calibers all the way down to rimfire rifles.

Primary arms dials

You will also get a set of caps with this rifle scope to help protect your investment.  These are not the best quality but they are a great value-added item to include. Every Primary Arms scope is covered by a 1-year warranty that should solve most any issue you have with the scope but you are likely to have very few if any, serious problems.


One of the best things about Primary Arms as a company is the support they have offered to the shooting community over the years.  They are supporters of many smaller groups and web forums that work to increase the respect and appreciation of firearms and the sports they are used in.  While this alone is not a reason to purchase their products, it does sway things in their direction. The reason you own a Primary Arms scope is for the amazing quality they offer for the very budget-friendly price.

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