Riton Optics has been producing and selling affordable optics for several years. The American optics market has consistently grown over the last decade, and economical brands have aggressively flooded it.
Riton offers professional-grade features in many of its scopes, and between the different product lines, it offers something for almost any shooter’s budget. Today we will look at one of its offerings from the PRIMAL line, the 3 PRIMAL 3-18x50mm rifle scope.
The 3 PRIMAL brings new features like Riton’s dual throw lever system and incorporates highly sought-after features like exposed turrets, zero-stop, and a front focal plane reticle. I’ve spent quite a bit of time behind rifle scopes, so I was eager to see how this new Riton stacked up against both the Riton scopes I’ve had in the past and the other scopes I use.
FULL DISCLOSURE: Riton sent us this scope for testing and evaluation, but it is NOT a paid promotion.
Riton 3 PRIMAL 3-18×50 Review
The 3-18 model is an excellent scope for long-range hunters and precision shooters. With six MRAD turrets, each revolution of the turret will increase the sight angle by six Milliradian.
The total mechanical elevation available in the scope is 25 MRAD, so you’ll get just over four rotations of the elevation turret. I prefer 10 MRAD turrets or higher, but I think it’s acceptable for the price point of this scope.
Optically, the 3 PRIMAL has a clean and clear image, which is something I’ve noticed in the past from Riton branded scopes. Riton seems to do a good job sourcing quality glass for their scopes.
The helically fluted control surfaces of the scope allow an easy grip to adjust the settings, and the markings and turret detents are clear and concise. The dual throw lever design is handy, allowing you to remove the throw lever or position it in one of two positions, depending on what works with your particular firearm setup.
This scope would be ideal for someone looking to get into long-range shooting or hunting with a smaller budget. It gives you many high-end features most of us want, but without needing to sell a car to get it.
If you’re the kind of guy accustomed to $3,000 European scopes, you will likely find this Riton a step down. But it certainly gives you what you need to get the job done.
Riton scopes are made in various places, but the 3 PRIMAL says it’s made in China, which may not sit well with some people. As far as Chinese-made scopes go, I felt it looked and functioned well. I’ve used a bunch of different Chinese-made scopes, and this one surely seems to be at the top of that list.
|Objective Lens Diameter||50mm|
|Focal Lens Position||First Focal Plane|
|Lens Coating||Fully Multi-Coated, Full Wide Band, Waterproof Coated, Low Light Enhancement|
|Field of View at 100 yds||35ft-6.2ft|
|Material||6061-T6 Aircraft Grade Aluminum|
|Exit Pupil||Low 8.2mm-2.8mm|
|Click Value at 100 yds/m||1/10th MRAD|
|Adjustment Range||25 MRAD|
|Included Items||Flip-Up Lens Covers, Lens Cloth, Allen Key|
Pros & Cons
- Affordable price
- Great optical clarity
- LRH reticle features useful subtensions
- Positive tactile clicks
- Dual throw lever system
- Illumination with six settings
- 25 MRAD elevation potential
- Lifetime warranty
- Made in China
- Not particularly lightweight
- Reticle gets a little bit thick at 18X
On The Range Testing
I mounted the Riton 3 Primal to a Mossberg Patriot 6.5PRC rifle. I used a set of Warne 30mm rings that fit perfectly. With the scope mounted and bore-sighted, I headed into the hills to try the combination.
After a few shots to confirm zero, it was time to use one of my favorite features of this scope; the zero stop. Using turrets with smaller MRAD counts tends to use multiple revolutions of said turret to get the full elevation.
This scope has 6 MIL turrets, so if you are shooting quite far, losing count and thinking you are zeroed when you are a full rotation (6 MRAD) off can be easy. Zero stops combat this issue by giving you a hard stop at your rifle’s zero.
The Riton 3 Primal achieves this by installing a ring under the turret after zeroing your scope. Unlike the spacer-type zero stops, this one is tightened around the turret stud and has a pin to stop rotation at zero. It’s very easy to install, and once you have the rifle zeroed, you never have to worry about it again.
Shooting with the Primal was very comfortable; my eyes easily adjusted to the view and made perfect sense of its clear image. Using the throw lever to adjust the magnification for different ranges, and spotting targets and details, was relatively easy. With just an Allen wrench, you can change the throw lever position to fit your rifle setup.
The scope was easily adjusted for focus/parallax using the side-focus knob, and targets were quick to engage with the scope appropriately adjusted. I didn’t need to use the illumination at any point, but it is nice to know it’s there.
The reticle in the Primal was perfect for measuring holdovers and corrections; that said, it is often hard to please everyone when it comes to reticles. It’s a very subjective subject, as we all have our preferences, but I found this one to be fine.
My only complaint is that at 18X, the reticle becomes a little thick, which might make it more challenging to get that perfect hold on a distant target.
The zero stop feature of the Primal 3-18 was easy and robust. It took very little time to install or adjust the zero stop ring, and it felt great when the turret hit that hard stop letting you know you’re zeroed.
I’ve seen quite a few different zero stop designs, and this is surely not a bad one, but there are a few I do like better. For this price point and purpose, though, I think it is a great option.
The included throw lever is a nice touch, and it allows you to use it or not. And if you choose to use it, you can place it in one of two positions, whichever better fits your rifle setup.
The scope also comes with a cover to replace the empty throw lever position.
Front Focal Plane Illuminated Reticle
I mentioned the reticle was a bit thick for me at max magnification; this is not a massive deal for me as I don’t often use scopes at their maximum power, at least while shooting. That said, if you plan on using this scope for shooting particularly far, it’s something you should know.
The subtensions of the reticle are small enough to be helpful without making the reticle too complicated. I also like that Riton made off positions between each brightness setting.
I was pretty happy with this rifle scope from Riton. The 3 Primal 3-18x50mm gives you a fine selection of desirable features and is very affordable.
I’ve been lucky to use many high-quality scopes in addition to those that are more mainstream and inexpensive. You will do great with this one if you are looking for an affordable precision rifle scope for recreational purposes.
It would go very well with the Mossberg featured above as a Western long-range hunting rifle or installed on your favorite range rifle. It has features that not too long ago would have cost you at least twice as much money, and despite its foreign manufacture, it presents a great picture.
What rifle would you put this scope on? And for what purpose? Let us know in the comments!