U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- Finally! After manufacturer shipping delays and a pandemic, the long-awaited “ACOG Killers?” article is here. After individually reviewing 5 different prismatic optics and delving into what makes each of them tick, we're here now to rank them against each other in a few different categories.
Who will win in a battle royale comprising of the:
- Atibal MROC
- Primary Arms SLx 3x
- Burris TMPR
- Vortex Spitfire 3x
- Sig Bravo 3x
To paraphrase the preeminent sage Deckard Cain, “Stay awhile, and read”.
For the individual articles, see:
The optics will be compared based on the following categories; weight, price, battery life, construction, and field of view. If an optic gets first place in a category, it receives 1 point. The last-place finisher in a category gets 5 points. Points are bad, roger? Ties are given equal points, even if this word processor doesn't let me have two lines labeled #2. The next position would be given points for fourth place in this example, skipping third place according to traditional “tie” rules. Let's get to it!
- Atibal MROC 14.4 oz
- Vortex Spitfire 3x 15.4 oz
- Primary Arms SLx 16 oz
- Burris TMPR 18.2 oz
- Sig Bravo 3 22 oz
Weight is a double-edged sword. Nobody wants a porker on top of their rifle, but quality construction often means more metal in the body or more wiring. Will this early advantage come back to bite the MROC?
- Primary Arms SLx $289
- Sig Bravo 3 $310
- Atibal MROC $323
- Vortex Spitfire 3x $349
- Burris TMPR $699
Price is a major driving consideration in purchase decisions. While the old adage “you get what you pay for” is true, it can also be a warning. The Burris TMPR for example comes in with the highest cost, in part no doubt attributable to the complex wiring necessary to have three integrally powered expansion slots on the optic body. A great feature if you want it, added expense if you don't. Does the Primary Arms optic win here because they skimped elsewhere? Or do they price lower to make their profits through volume?
- Sig Bravo 3 40,000 hours
- Primary Arms SLx 1900 hours
- Vortex Spitfire 3x 1000 hours (tied for third)
- Burris TMPR 1000 hours (tied for third)
- Atibal MROC 600 hours
The Atibal MROC shows its age here, while the youthful Sig Bravo 3 far outpaces the competition. An interesting side note is that the recently released Primary Arms Gen III SLx 3x improves battery life to 3000 hours, which would still be good for second place.
Field Of View (FOV):
Measured in feet @ 100 yards
- Sig Bravo 3 50′
- Burris TMPR 40′
- Atibal MROC 37.7′
- TIE: Primary Arms and Vortex 31.5′
The Sig Bravo 3 again outclasses the competition by a wide margin. Such a field of view improvement is critical when spending long periods of time looking through your glass downrange. Whether you're hunting and need to scan the hillside or keeping the reticle centered on one spot but need to maintain situational awareness in a wider radius, a 37% decrease from top optic to bottom is a huge loss. I guess this is why the Sig weighed the most, glass is dense.
Construction and Design:
This covers both design and field durability. If it broke, it was either poorly designed or constructed. If it works but does so poorly, those flaws fall into this category as well.
The difference in top place and bottom place here isn't a wide margin. If these complaints seem minor, it's because they're all built pretty well and only minor differences separate them.
- Primary Arms SLx 3x. Who saw this coming? I didn't! The PA optic nails the broad strokes and gets the little details right. The eye relief seems to be better than the numbers listed on their website. The turret caps are rubber-wired to the turrets individually. The mount is strong, yet not excessively heavy. The ACSS reticle is my favorite among this group, giving an uncluttered view field that also provides easy rangefinding, BDC and windage hold.
- Sig Bravo 3. The Bravo 3's mount is beefy-strong, contributing to its weight disadvantage. The turret caps aren't retained by any method. The reticle is clean and bright, and night vision goggle compatible as well. The reticle is a simple BDC type, but lacking in information as to what it's calibrated to, nor what that information is in MOA/Mils for alternate cartridges. The Bravo 3 is a great optic though, with awesome glass and class-leading electronics and FOV.
- Burris TMPR. While the turret caps are wired, they're only wired to each other and not to the body of the optic. The reticle has dropped illumination a few times, though never when on an AR10. This mount is one of my favorites, with solid lock-up and dual throw levers to release. The reticle is big enough with illumination powerful enough but doesn't provide the ease of use that the Primary Arms or Sig reticles do.
- Vortex Spitfire 3x. The turret cap retention wires broke and the thumb studs on the mount came loose, both on the first range day. The reticle is easier to pick up and shoot at range with than the MROC, and the more potent brightness more effective for summer shooting.
- Atibal MROC. This optic has some pretty weak illumination on its exceptionally fine reticle. By “fine” I mean slim, tiny, hard to pick up in a hurry. By “weak” I mean “washes out easily”. You get the idea. Finger adjustable turrets are a nice touch, one I'd like to see more companies adopt.
- Tied for 1st: Primary Arms SLx 3x and Sig Bravo 3 (11 points)
- Tied for last: Burris TMPR, Atibal MROC, Vortex Spitfire 3x (17 points)
I didn't quite expect a tie at the top, not to mention the bottom three. This does pretty well sum up my experiences with these optics. The PA and Sig prismatic are clear cut champions, and kings in this price range. The Atibal MROC and Vortex Spitfire are good optics that many will love. The Burris TMPR is almost in a category of its own, as it was designed to have a modular capability that few will use, but those who do will love.
None of these optics falls into a “do not buy” category for me. All provide good features and definite value at price. Two walked away as champions of the budget range, and now approach the venerable Trijicon ACOG for a head-to-head range day. Stay tuned.
About Rex Nanorum
Rex Nanorum is an Alaskan Expatriate living in Oregon with his wife and kids. Growing up on commercial fishing vessels, he found his next adventure with the 2nd Bn, 75th Ranger Regt. After 5 tours to Afghanistan and Iraq, he adventured about the west coast becoming a commercial fisheries and salvage SCUBA diver, rated helicopter pilot instructor (CFII) and personal trainer, before becoming a gear reviewer and writer.”