Upgrading/Improving Your Rifles

Primary Arms Post10

With limitless funding, we could all create the perfect survival/combat rifle imaginable, right? Barring that, we do what we can when we can afford it, and hope that we can get our weapons to where we thing they need to be before they are need for a real world event.

I recently acquired two items that are sold by Primary Arms and one that is made by XS Sights. The optics that PA carried that I received/purchased were the Holosun HS515C red dot, and the PA 1-6×24 SFP riflescope with the ACSS reticle. The item I purchased from XS Sights is the full length rail for my Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle. BTW, all three items are cheaper if you go through Amazon instead of the links shown.


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Top is Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle with the new scope rail, Next is a DSA ParaFAL with PA 1-6x ACSS, and the bottom is the SIG M400 AR pistol with the Holosun red dot.

To start off with, my awesome Wife, (WMD) bought me the Holosun red dot for my Sig M400 AR pistol for Christmas, and it’s performance is as good as any red dot I’ve used (most experience is with the Aimpoint M68 sight). This optic is waterproof, has a battery (2032) life from 20,000-50,000 hours. Has a redundant back up solar panel for powering with available ambient light, and comes with a “Killflash” lens cover and flip down lens covers.

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The 2MOA dot (with a 65MOA circle around it if desired) was able to give me half inch, three shot groups at 50 meters, and not only is this sight compact, but it co-witnesses well with my GG&G BUIS (back up iron sight). Rounding out the features is a quick release mount that is fast, but has a built in lock so it doesn’t accidentally come open.

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Note the small, cylindrical tube in hole of the QR lever. This has to be pushed forward before you can flip the lever over and pull the sight off of the rifle.

Next up from Primary Arms is the 1-6x rifle scope with the ACSS reticle. I was immediately enamored with this scope’s reticle when I first saw it advertised and read about it. The reason being is that the reticle in the ACOG on my M4 on my last deployment was very similar, and it appears the ACSS is just a refinement/evolution of the ACOG reticle, and the PA ACSS is faster at close range.

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ACOG reticle I used in Iraq

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Our ACOG’s came equipped with a “Killflash” device attached to the end of the sight.

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Primary Arms ACSS reticle for 5.56N, 5,45S, and the 7.62N. Note the similarities to the ACOG reticle.

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How you use the reticle.


OK, so I purchased the 1-6x ACSS for my ParaFAL because I wanted something that was a little more useful at distance than my Millet DMS-1 with a circle dot reticle, and the ACSS seamed like the perfect sight since I already had experience with a similar reticle on another rifle. At the range, I sighted it in 1″ high (.308/7.62) at 100 meters ( tip of the chevron, per the instructions), and it shot 1.5-2.5″ groups with Mil ball.

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Top is the Millet DMS-1 scope that the PA 1-6xACSS (bottom) replace on the ParaFAL.

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Keep in mind, this is a second focal plane scope, meaning to get the correct range and hold, it has to be on the highest power setting (6x). At 200 meters, it was dead on (between the bottom tips of the chevron). I haven’t had the opportunity to shoot past 200 meters yet, but I’ve heard nothing but good things about the reticle’s ability to range correctly at all the given ranges.

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DSA makes a decent brass catcher if you have need for one, it attaches directly to their scope mount via two holes in the rail.

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Ball detents keep the catcher attached, and the bottom has a convenient velcro opening to let the brass fall out in a nice pile if you don’t want it collecting in the bag.

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Holes for brass catcher shown in rail scope mount.

The final item I bought recently was the XS Sights extended rail for my Ruger Scout Rifle. The difference this made in the accuracy of the rifle was phenomenal. The rail has a built in ghost ring rear sight (sighted in at 50 meters) built into the back end of the rail, so I don’t have to worry about not having back up iron sights (the reason I didn’t use the Ruger supplied rings for a rear scope mount before. You have to take off the rear sight). As you can see in the below pic, the scope sits a good bit lower now and wears quick release rings. During the sight in, I actually shot two one hole groups at 100 meters. This might not seam like a big deal, but the best it shot before that was 1.5″ at 100 meters. A good cheek weld and lower sitting scope (no raised cheek piece) can make a big difference.

Ruger Scout03

Top shows the scope mount before and bottom is the new rail system.

Well, that’s it for now, let me know if you’ve tried any of these items, and your “mileage”.


American by BIRTH, Infidel by CHOICE


20 thoughts on “Upgrading/Improving Your Rifles

  1. Pingback: Two From MDT | Western Rifle Shooters Association

  2. I was wondering on what you think of the Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle. Is it really worth the money?

    I’m thinking of buying one after doing my research. The Mossberg MVPs seem to have why too many issues, even with people who really love them and the new Ruger American Ranch rifles, that now take box magazines, are optics only rifles. Which is too bad since they have one that is in 7.62×39.

    • I like it a lot, but the two primary reasons I bought it was the teue mauser action, and it was the only “Scout” available left handed. It’ssomewhat overpriced, but I think it’s worth it. The MVP is a decent rifle from what some friends have told me. I’m thinkin’ about getting one for my Wife.

      • Thanks for the reply.

        I’ve looked into the MVP, but reading at the MVP forums, it seems that enough plastic parts need to be replaced. Kind of like the 10/22.

  3. What scope is being used on the Ruger Scout rifle? The rail looks to have extra unused length up front, was the length needed?

    It’s winter, great time to review your set ups.

    • It’s a Sightron 3-9x mildot. Considering that’s where the rail is connected up front (the old rail screw holes), it’s really not an issue. I’m probably gonna switch over to a Primary Arms 4-14 with ACSS as soon as I can afford it.

  4. I have a Trijicon ACOG mounted on my Ruger GSR (7.62). Because it has a very short eye relief, I used a LaRue mount on the XS rail that enables the scope to be mounted well to the rear. I sighted the rifle in whilen visiting the Talladega Marksmanship Park. It works.

    I have since acquired a second Ruger GSR in 6.5 Creedmoor. I have an XS rail for it, but haven’t yet decided on the optics. This GSR has an 18.7 inch barrel, according to a barrel length test, the velocity loss over a 24 inch barrel isn’t as much as expected.

    This is my 7.62 GSR.

  5. I’ve found the Holosun 503GU with 2moa dot and a 60moa circle to work well on my AR pistol. I see they are now offering an ACSS BDC reticle…

  6. Why negate the Scout Rifle concept with a conventionally mounted scope?

    I know, because ” ‘preference’ is why,” but still…. The Colonel’s point was not to build just another scoped rifle, but a multipurpose platform for general use???

    Not that Ruger has built the perfect Scout, and not to disparage your personal choices, neither to be contentious, but curious as to what you consider the Scout concept to be….

    • I didn’t negate anything, I added to it’s versatility. I used QR/ZH rings so I can use either the conventional scope, or my IER 4x. Personally, I’d rather use a conventional scope over the IER/LER scopes or red dot’s, but I made sure I can use either if I think I need it changed.

      • I have the same idea going on my AR. Since it has a rail nearly the length of the gun, I have QD mounts for a standard 4×12 scope, a Leupold 2 1/2 Scout scope, and a buis set, all repeatably zeroed. The rear iron stores on a small section of rail up front away from my support hand when scopes are installed.

        They all work great as intended, although that gun, with 18″ barrel and A2 stock is somewhat heavy for a pure scout and obviously not in .308. Still, it serves three roles very well.

    • I call it a “Scout” because Ruger calls it a “Scout”, not bevause that’s it’s purpose in my mind. Although I’ve use it in the manner it was designed for, I’m not the biggest fan, and bought the rifle for other attributes I wanted on a rifle, namely, it was the only left handed, carbine length, rifle available with sturdy irons, threaded muzzle, mauser style action (especually the extractor), and detachable, extended magazine.

    • One range session with my back to the sun was enough to cure me of the fwd mount scope fetish.

      ymmv, but if I cant reach the eyepiece with the brim of my hat then the scope is too far away for my liking.

  7. I too have the Ruger Scout and have had a lot of fun with just the stock iron sights but now it is time to move up to some optics. Have been doing some research but why re-invent the wheel. I did not want the forward type scout scope as I am more comfortable with a standard eye relief. I’ll try your set up for a bit and see how it works. What are quick release rings you are using?

  8. I have several Primary Arms ACSS scopes (1-6x, 1-8x, 4-14x, and Holosun HS503G) mounted on several ARs. I was sold on ACSS after my brother-in-law (currently a USMC Major with several tours to Iraq and Afghanistan) showed me his AR with a PA 1-6x scope and explained the reticle and how to use it and it’s inherent advantages. He challenged me to a friendly timed competition (loser buys the beers) to hit targets at various distances — I had a Nikon 3-12x scope on my AR at the time and he smoked through the targets while I was left clicking the dials on my scope trying to engage the subsequent targets. Sure a lot of it had to do with his skill and experience, but after he taught me how to use his AR with the ACSS scope I was almost as fast as he was. I was still somewhat skeptical since I never heard of Primary Arms at the time but the ACSS reticle is very intuitive, sure the glass isn’t as clear as my Leupold or Nikon scopes, but I can consistently get faster shots on target with the ACSS scopes especially when engaging multiple targets at various ranges. As we all know most misses are due to incorrect ranging, but the two built-in ranging features in the ACSS reticle makes it easy — even my 9 year old daughter shoots first round hits out to 500y on man-size targets.

    Our biggest reason for having several ARs with ACSS is for consistency and familiarity with different users especially my immediate family. Each family member has their own “go-to” AR (customized to their preference) but all ARs have some type of ACSS scope. As such, my wife now enjoys shooting without having to be encumbered by the technical aspects of MOA/MIL, etc. We haven’t subjected our PA scopes to abuse (we’re not tier-1 operators) but do use them (at the very least) on monthly range trips. All our PA scopes are functional with no issues with the oldest one, the 1-6x was from the 2nd production batch purchased in 2014 or ’15, is still functional with no issues other than usage wear and replacing the battery. The newest is the 4-14x mounted to a .308 AR but has only been to the range a few times to get it sighted in. I also have several ARs with Aimpoint T1 red dots and, if not for the investment I’ve already put into them, am mulling replacing them with the Holosun HS503G w/ ACSS pending our own evaluation of it’s performance.

    MDT, I would love to hear your thoughts and experience with the Primary Arms scope especially the ACSS reticle since you’ll probably put it through more rigorous use. Best wishes!

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