Sights

5 BEST PCC Optics (Red Dot Sights + Scopes)

5 BEST PCC Optics

As an avid shooter, I’ve learned the importance of outfitting my Pistol Caliber Carbine (PCC) with a top-notch optic. It’s not just about hitting the target; it’s about the speed and precision that a quality optic brings to the table.

My personal favorite? The Swampfox Blade. It’s a stellar combination of clarity, durability, and adaptability, making it a prime choice for any scenario, whether I’m competing or just enjoying a day at the range.

But before you click the buy button, let’s take a look at some of the other options on this list – there might be one better suited for your use case.

Why Use An Optic On Your Pistol Caliber Carbine (PCC)?

Using an optic on your Pistol Caliber Carbine (PCC) is essential for several reasons.

Firstly, it significantly improves accuracy and target acquisition speed, especially in fast-paced shooting scenarios.

Optics provide a clearer point of aim compared to traditional stock sights, which is crucial for competitive shooting, hunting, and tactical applications.

Additionally, many optics offer illuminated reticles, enhancing visibility in low-light conditions, something a standard front and rear sight does not offer. This is particularly beneficial for home defense scenarios where lighting may be suboptimal.

Best Optics For A PCC

We tested a lot of PCC optics, of which we listed the five best below.

  1. Swampfox Blade
  2. Holosun 510C
  3. Primary Arms SLx 2.5 Compact ACSS CQB
  4. Trijicon SRO
  5. Lucid HDx Red Dot

1. Swampfox Blade – Best PCC Optic

The Swampfox Blade is an optic that immediately stands out. The Blade boasts a unique CQB Bullet Rise Compensation reticle. This enclosed emitter reticle, combined with the 1x magnification and a 25mm lens, makes it a force to be reckoned with for close-quarters combat.

What really caught my eye was its illumination settings. With 10 positions, including 2 for night vision, it’s like having an optic that’s ready for any shooting expedition, day or night. The digital brightness adjustments are intuitive, adding to the ease of use.

The durability is nothing short of impressive. With a shockproof rating of 800Gs and an IPX7 waterproof rating, this optic can handle the rigors of the field. And let’s talk about battery life – 3,000 hours on a single CR123a battery means more shooting and less worrying about power.

In terms of build, it’s a solid piece. Weighing in at 13.1 ounces and measuring 4 inches in length, it’s neither too heavy nor too bulky. It’s like the perfect middle ground for pistol-caliber carbines.

The fully multi-coated lens with special anti-fog, hydrophobic, and anti-scratch coatings provided exceptional clarity, which was evident during my range sessions. And at 100 yards, the parallax-free feature shines, ensuring pinpoint accuracy.

Mounting it on my carbine was a breeze, thanks to the Picatinny T25 Star Mount Bolts, and the 6061-T6 Aircraft grade aluminum chassis just screams quality. With a windage/elevation movement range of +/- 45 MOA, it offers plenty of room for adjustments.

In short, the Swampfox Blade, at its price point of only $239, is a top-tier choice for anyone looking for reliability, durability, affordability, and performance in a red dot sight.

2. Holosun 510C – Best Feature-Rich Red Dot Sight

I have the pleasure of owning a Holosun 510C, and its use cases just don’t seem to end – ranging from self-defense to range shooting and hunting.

It’s renowned for its reticle innovation, offering a Circle Dot reticle, 2 MOA Dot (just the dot), and a 65 or 32 MOA Circle. This range of options means you’re ready for any scenario, be it close-range engagements or more precise shots at a distance.

The sight’s battery life is astounding – up to 50,000 hours on a CR2032 battery with the solar panel and shake awake technology. It’s the kind of longevity you dream of in red dots. Plus, it’s equipped with 12 brightness settings, including 2 for night vision. This versatility makes it suitable for all lighting conditions.

Weighing just 4.94 ounces and with dimensions of 3.3×1.68×1.78 inches, it’s a compact red dot that still allows for good peripheral vision. Its aluminum and titanium hood construction is a testament to its durability and makes me rest assured that I can take it on even the toughest shooting expeditions.

The sight’s parallax-free feature and unlimited eye relief significantly contribute to rapid target acquisition. It’s a feature that’s especially handy when things get intense in the field.

The optical clarity is top-notch, with a crisp and bright red dot that remains consistent across different lighting conditions. When I mounted it on my carbine, it felt like a natural extension of the weapon.

Overall, the Holosun 510C is perfect for tactical and sport shooting with its robust build and versatile reticle options. At only $364.69, you’ll make an affordable investment in quality and performance that won’t disappoint.

3. Primary Arms SLx 2.5 Compact ACSS CQB – Best PCC Magnified Optic

The Primary Arms SLx 2.5 Compact ACSS CQB is an exemplary prism scope that truly does it all.

The 2.5X magnification is ideal for competitive shooters who need a bit more reach than a standard red dot but don’t want the bulk of a full-sized scope.

The ACSS 5.56 CQB-M1 reticle is a standout feature, offering BDC and ranging out to 600 yards, which is quite impressive. This reticle not only aids in rapid target acquisition but also in making those longer shots count, especially with its ballistic drop compensation.

Illumination is a strong suit here, with a fully illuminated reticle that stands out even in the brightest daylight. And the option to mount a piggy-backed red dot sight on the optional M1913 Picatinny top rail? That’s like having the best of both worlds at your fingertips.

Its 37.5ft field of view at 100 yards is a game-changer, making tracking moving targets like turkeys much simpler. The generous 10.16mm exit pupil ensures a bright and clear sight picture, which I found extremely helpful during hunting sessions in the woods.

In terms of durability, this scope doesn’t shy away from challenges. Waterproof, fog-resistant, and shockproof – it won’t let you down. I also quite like the Type II hardcoat anodized finish because it adds to its ruggedness and also gives it a sleek, professional look.

Mounting it on my carbine was straightforward, and the 14.9-ounce weight felt well-balanced. The capped turrets with tool-adjustable 1/2 MOA clicks made zeroing an effortless task.

In summary, the Primary Arms SLx 2.5 Compact ACSS CQB is a formidable choice for anyone looking for a durable, versatile, and high-performing optic. Whether for competition, hunting, or just plinking, at only $249.99, you get a versatile PCC optic that won’t break the bank.

4. Trijicon SRO – Best Premium Red Dot Sight

The Trijicon SRO is a red dot that’s all about precision and ease of use. Its 2.5 MOA single dot is the perfect size for both rapid target acquisition and accuracy at range. I found the dot’s crispness and brightness to be consistent across all lighting conditions, making it a reliable choice in any scenario.

One of the most striking features is its compact and lightweight design. Weighing only 1.6 ounces, it’s almost like it’s not there – until you need it. This makes it an excellent option if you want to prioritize agility and speed in your PCC setup.

The automatic and 8 adjustable illumination settings, including 2 for night vision, offer great versatility. This, combined with the LED illumination source, ensures you’re always on target, day or night.

Battery life is another area where the Trijicon SRO shines. Over three years of continuous use at a moderate setting is exceptional, meaning less fuss with battery changes and more focus on shooting – 3.5 years and counting; I’ll let you know when my battery decides to die!

Durability-wise, the 7075-T6 forged aluminum housing can take a beating, and its 10 ft. submersion depth is a testament to its ruggedness. Whether it’s rain, mud, or dust, this red dot is built to handle it all.

Using it on my carbine, the sight felt like an extension of my will – intuitive, responsive, and precise. The 1 MOA per click adjustment is both tactile and accurate, allowing for fine-tuning with ease.

Overall, the Trijicon SRO is a top-of-the-line red dot sight that excels in both tactical and sport shooting.

However, all these bells and whistles come at a cost. Be prepared to pay $771 for this quality red dot sight.

5. Lucid HDx Red Dot – Best Beginner PCC Optic

Lastly, the Lucid HDx Red Dot shows that you don’t need advanced features for a red dot sight to be good. Its 3 MOA reticle is the perfect size for quick, accurate shots at close range, and the red dot’s brightness and clarity stand out in various lighting conditions.

What I love about the HDx is its robustness. It’s waterproof and shockproof to .458 SOCOM standards, meaning it can take a beating and keep on ticking. This makes it an ideal companion for those rugged, outdoor hunting adventures.

The compact and lightweight design of the HDx is a major plus. It’s unobtrusive, easy to handle, and doesn’t add unnecessary weight to your firearm. This makes it a great choice for both tactical applications and hunting.

Battery life is always a concern with optics, but the HDx handles this gracefully with a reliable CR2032 battery. This, coupled with its solid construction, ensures that it’s ready whenever you need it.

Mounting the HDx on my carbine was straightforward, and its performance in the field was nothing short of impressive. The sight’s ability to maintain zero, even after rigorous use, speaks volumes about its quality and engineering.

The Lucid HDx Red Dot is a fantastic choice for those seeking a dependable, easy-to-use optic for close-quarter engagements. It offers great value for its price ($355.99), combining durability, clarity, and ease of use in a compact package.

Which PCC Optic Should You Choose?

When choosing an optic for your PCC from the above review, consider the following:

  • For Versatility: The Holosun 510C, with its multiple reticle options and long battery life, is a great all-rounder.
  • For Close-Quarters: The Swampfox Blade, with its CQB Bullet Rise Compensation reticle, excels in close-range scenarios.
  • For Durability: The Trijicon SRO’s rugged construction makes it a reliable choice for various environments.

Which PCC Optic Is Best For Competition?

For competition shooting, the Primary Arms SLx 2.5 Compact ACSS CQB is the best option.

Its 2.5X magnification offers a balance between close-quarters speed and medium-range precision.

The ACSS reticle provides quick target acquisition and ballistic drop compensation, crucial for competitive shooting where accuracy and speed are paramount.

Which Optic Is Best For A 9mm PCC?

The Holosun 510C is ideal for a 9mm PCC.

Its versatile reticle options (Circle Dot, 2 MOA Dot, and 65 MOA Circle) cater to various shooting distances and styles.

Its compact size and lightweight design complement the 9mm PCC’s form factor without compromising performance.

How To Pick An Optic For Your PCC?

To pick an optic for your PCC, consider the following factors:

  • Use Case: Determine whether you’re using your PCC for competition, tactical applications, hunting, or casual shooting.
  • Reticle Type: Choose a reticle that suits your shooting style and needs (e.g., smaller or larger dot, circle dot, BDC).
  • Magnification: Decide if you need magnification based on your typical shooting range.
  • Durability: Look for rugged construction if you plan to use your PCC in harsh environments.
  • Battery Life: Consider longer battery life for convenience and reliability. You should opt for a battery life of at least 20,000 hours.
  • Weight and Size: Ensure the optic balances well with your PCC without adding unnecessary bulk.

Should You Use A Scope or Red Dot On Your PCC?

Choosing whether to use a scope or a red dot on your PCC depends on your intended use.

Red dots, like the Swampfox Blade and Holosun 510C, are excellent for close to medium-range shooting, offering quick target acquisition.

Scopes, such as the Primary Arms SLx 2.5, provide magnification, which is beneficial for longer-range accuracy.

For versatile use, a red dot is generally more suitable due to its simplicity and ease of use. Plus, if you need magnification, you can always use a red dot magnifier with your red dot sight.

Where Should You Mount An Optic On Your PCC?

Mount your optic on your PCC, where it provides the best eye relief and field of view.

This is typically on the top rail, forward of the charging handle. The position should allow for comfortable and natural alignment with your eye when you shoulder the carbine.

Adjust the position for comfort and optimal performance based on your shooting stance and preference.

Can You Mount Other Accessories On Your PCC?

Yes, you can mount other accessories on your PCC, such as flashlights, laser sights, and forward grips, depending on your carbine’s rail system and space availability.

Ensure that these accessories do not interfere with the optic’s field of view or the carbine’s balance and handling.

Can Tactical Lights Be Used With Optics On A PCC?

Yes, you can use tactical lights on your PCC. They are particularly useful in low-light conditions or for home defense scenarios.

Pro Tip: When mounting a tactical light or any other weapon accessory and modification, ensure it is positioned in a way that it does not obstruct the optic’s view or interfere with its functionality. Also, consider the ergonomics of activating the light while maintaining a proper shooting grip.

The Bottom Line

Selecting the perfect optic for your PCC is crucial for maximizing its potential. The Swampfox Blade is our number-one choice, offering unparalleled clarity, durability, and versatility for various shooting scenarios.

Remember, when choosing an optic, consider factors like reticle type, magnification needs, and the specific use case of your PCC.

A well-chosen optic like the Swampfox Blade can transform your shooting experience, ensuring accuracy, faster target acquisition, and reliability in every shot.

About the author

Charles Neser

I'm a life long hunter & gun lover. Currently pursuing my Master's Degree (M.Sc.) in Animal Nutrition at University of the Free State.

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