Primary Arms 4-16×44 Illuminated Mil Dot Scope Review

Disclaimer: This scope was purchased by me with no discount. My review reflects my feelings with no compensation from Primary Arms. The links in this article are for your use and I do not receive any payment for these.

A few weeks back I received my shipment from Primary Arms. In this was the Primary Arms 4-16X44 Illuminated Mil Dot Scope PA416X [Mount:Primary Arms Scope Mount] at a cost of 179.98 which included the mount. Below is a look at the scope, recitle and dials.


According to the Primary Arms website here is the description of the item:

  • 4-16X.  Side focus
  • 30mm tube
  •  Illuminated Mil Dot Reticle
  • 1/4 MOA locking resetable turrets.
  • Waterproof
  • Nitrogen purged
  • 14.75-Inch long
  • 26 ounces
  • Eye relief 4-Inch
  • 80MOA of internal travel
  • One year replacement warranty.

When you are a new shooter or just new to scope purchasing there is a lot to learn. We are going to start by breaking these items down for new users.

4-16 Is the amount of magnification used in the scope. At 4 times for example something that is 100 ft away will look like it is only 25 ft away. The more magnification the closer a target will apear. However keep in mind that with more magnification there is also more disorientation when going from looking with your naked eye to your scope. Target acquisition is also likely to take longer. This is one reason Red-Dot sights are so popular as no magnification means very quick target acquisition and no disorientation.

x44 is the size of the Objective Lens. This is the lens in the front that allows the scope to collect light. The larger the Objective Lens the brighter your view through the scope. I am attaching an example here:


30mm tube is the center tube section between the Objective Lens and the Ocular Lens.

Illuminated Mil Dot Reticle means that they use a Mil Dot Reticle or cross hairs that has dots in the center instead of a solid line. These dots allow for visual adjustment of windage or distance without having to adjust the actual scope. Illuminates means that it can be lit up. This scope has 11 settings for how bright this can light up. We tested this on a very sunny day and even in full daylight we could see the illumination.

1/4 MOA locking resetable turrets are the dials you see in the images above. This moves the point of impact 1/4 of an inch at 100 yards per click of the dial. Since they are locking  this means that you have to pull the dial up in order to adjust. By pushing the knob back down again the dial will not move ensuring that you do not loose your adjustments.

Waterproof – No need to explain this but I did not nor do I plan to test this.

Nitrogen Purged means they replace any oxygen inside the scope to remove all moisture. This makes it not fog up as well as not rust internally.

Eye Relief is the distance from the objective lens you view the entire Field of View.

80MOA of internal travel relates to how much up and down or side to side movement is allowed in adjustments. So in this case we can move the scope a total of 80 1/4 inch increments at 100 yards.

Overall with the above specifications this is an impressive scope. What makes it even more impressive is the price tag you get all this for. While more inline with the cost of a 30 or 60 moa scope that use inferior parts you will find the quality more inline with scopes that cost considerably more. Now the parts are coming from China and are not made here like some of the more expensive scopes. As a Michigander buying American made counts for a lot but when you simply don’t have the budget for a Trijicon or other high end scope then this is a great choice.

When you first purchase the scope you are presented with several options. Such as upgrading the covers as well as various mounting styles. Regardless of your needs it appears they have a mounting style that fits you. Best of all when you purchase a new scope the mounting brackets are offered at a reduced rate.

The customer service is easy to deal with as mentioned in a previous review we did related to the ordering process. I accidentally ordered 2 instead of one and they fixed it within minutes of me emailing them.

We started shooting at 45 ft and it dialed right in. We moved to 25ft next and it only took a few shots to adjust the scope to the new distance. 50ft took less than 3 shots to get hitting dead center with groupings about the size of a nickel. At 100 yards I suck as a shooter I’ll be honest so it is not a fair test, especially as we began to run out of time. We will be taking it back out next week with a buddy of mine that is far more accurate than me to see what this thing can really do.

Unlike mot Chinesse scopes I have tried and I have tried several this scope don’t shake loose or break with basic use. I have not dropped it or beaten the hell out of this scope but we did put about 300 rounds through the gun so far with no issues. Much better results than I can say for the last Barska scope I tested.

My feeling is this is money well spent. The reviews on the Primary Arms website are in line with my results and echo a similar level of satisfaction especially at this price point. If you are new to shooting or want to get comfortable with your rifle before spending as much on the glass as you did on your gun get this scope. It can take the beating that a gun can put out. It is very accurate and comfortable to use with its 4inch eye relief and large objective lens.

Charles is the editor for 248 Shooter a midwest based gun news and gear review site as well as Online Content Director for On Target Magazine. He is an avid student taking classes from top tier trainers around the country. Charles shares his love for training as well as experience and opinions on some of the most talked about gear and products used by competitive shooters, military, leo and civilians.