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Are ACOGs really worth $900+?

5580 Views 22 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  Mick Nartin
Hi Everyone,

Is an ACOG sight really worth their price? I like the idea of using both eyes for target acquisition and then switching to one eye for a zoomed view.

Are there any alternatives to the ACOG with the same 1x to 4x zoomed view (the Bindon Aiming Concept) that are less expensive?


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Yeah, they're worth it. They are very good optics and Trijicon will stand behind them. The BAC is unique to them.

I've personally never used BAC ACOGs. I have used OEGs extensively and they work quite well for me, so I believe the BAC would as well. However, I like low-powered optics on these sorts of rifles and 3x-4x is a bit high for my tastes. The mini-ACOGs with lower magnifications also have rather short eye reliefs, which is an issue for me.

The only reason I never bought an ACOG for either my HKs or the XCR was a combination of the fixed magnification and eye relief issues (more on the HK side there).
I have a 4x32 USMC A4 spec model on my 20" M16 clone. I haven't had it all that long and really haven't got to use it in a quick shooting scenario yet, but I have a plan to evaluate it.

I'm going to use it in a 3-gun match at some point, both eyes open, as a red dot at close range.

1) bring rifle on close range target
2) see the chevron, just as a "dot" through my strong side eye. the target through this eye will be blurred and not really visible.
3) see the target through my weak side eye (not looking through the scope). Your brain will superimpose the two images like usual, and the "dot" will appear close enough to on target for the purposes of shooting quickly that close up.
4) Shoot.

For more precise shots further out, of course you just look through the scope and use the recticle as intended.

I doubt it will ever be as fast as a true red dot in this scenario (due to the eye relief, field of view, etc) , but I have a theory that it can be more flexible at close range than it often gets credit for, even without the little "doctor" sight on top. And of course, it is a fine scope at medium range.

So is it worth the money? Well, depends I guess. I used to resist spending a lot of money on optics, but really, you can't hit what you can't see. To me, its worth it if it does its job to perfection and that is what you want.

The ACOG is very tough, and also has the advantage of not having any batteries to die, as it uses tritium to give the recticle a little illumination in the dark, and collects ambient light to scale the brightness to available lighting conditions.
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Thanks for the replies.

Sloan441, what is "OEG"?

ny32182, I look forward to hearing about your experience with the ACOG.

What kind of warranty do they have? The website just talks about what you need to do to return an item. What about when the tritium decays?

The tritium will decay after about 10-12 years or so (I think), and at that point, you can send it back to the factory to have the tritium replaced at a cost of about $200-250 or something, based on what I've heard from others. May want to call Trijicon to be sure, but whatever info they give you will probably be outdated by the time the tritium dies anyway.

I also expect the sight would be functional in all but complete darkness, even with the tritium completely dead... but have never looked through a dead one to be sure. The vast majority of the recticle brightness comes from the light collector on top, to the point, I think, that if you are really using the tritium primarily to illuminate the recticle, it is going to be too dark to see the target anyway. Maybe there would be an exception if you were shooting from a very dark area into a very light area.

Alot of my comments here are informed speculation based on limited use of the scope so far, so hopefully someone with a little bit more extensive experience can chime in shortly.
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See my post about "Initial report on the ACOG for XCR" in the XCR Light 5.56x45mm NATO section for my impressions including incipient buyer's remose being completely overcome once the sight was on the rifle and at the range. I think it's just as fast as a red dot and better.
I do have one question about the ACOG if anyone is privy: Right there in the manual, it states that the right side hash marks will be out of focus in the recticle, and that is intentionally by design. Look through the recticle, and sure enough they are. Why is this?
OEG = Occluded Eye Gunsight.

It's a red dot like gadget that preceded the ACOG (and BAC ACOG) by some years. Essentially, it's the BAC without the magnified optics. It's a closed tube with a red dot lit by either tritium (night) or a fiber optic (day). Your strong eye looks into the tube and sees the dot; your weak eye looks at the target and sees that. Your brain superimposes the two images and you see a dot on your target.

They're still around as both a tipoff .22 mount and a 1" tube sight. Not nearly as popular as they once were (which really isn't saying much) and obsolete by modern standards. They do work well (assuming you can wrap your eyes around the thing; some can't), and are a very tough sight. I haven't used one on a rifle for maybe 10 years, and last I used one at all was about 6 years ago on paintball guns (which they were uniquely well suited for).
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I'm starting to look at ACOGs then. The TA33 looks nice. The price still causes me to wince, but, SigsRule, your report makes me seriously consider buying one.

Thanks, I think. :)

The TA31F with Bindon Aiming Concept red chevron doesn't have hash marks on the right, so I can't check the focus for you.

I tried the TA31F on my FAL yesterday (posted elsewhere) and it worked perfectly - I had no trouble with eye relief, and of course the balistics are so close to each other that the BC isn't an issue either. I'm really happy with my ACOG and the more I shoot with it, the happier I get.

In spite of the demonstration video on Trijicon's web site, I've found that I'm seeing the target and background clearly with the red chevron easily superimposed on it. For quick shots I'm not really experiencing my right eye refocusing and seeing the enlarged view. However, if I stop on a stationary target then my brain refocuses and I get the close up view. It's totally automatic and didn't take any thought at all from the first time I shouldered the weapon with the ACOG. As I said, no amount of looking through one in a store does justice to how well and easily it works on the weapon.

BTW, I'm not connected with Trijicon in any way, but if they see these posts and decide to reward me with a free ACOG I'd be glad to give them my address. ;D
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It's not quite accurate to say that "the Tritium decays in 10-12 years".

The tritium will decay to
1/2 it's current brightness in 12.3 years,
1/4 it's current brightnaess in 24.6 years,
1/8 it's current brightness in 36.9 years, etc.

Yes, it would be more accurate to say tritium has a half-life of 12 years (or 12.3 years).


Well, I ordered the new TA33 ACOG. I found a good deal on it. Thanks for the input.


I sent you a message.


Send me a message also please.

Has any one seen a ACOG with adjustable power objectives?

I thought I read that there was a model that you can adjust the ACOG power from 1 to 4 at the touch of a button? Digital maybe?

I checked out theri web site and couldn't find it.
One scope that has come up recently is the Elcan SpecterDr (http://elcan.com/ELCAN_Business_Areas/Sighting_Systems/Products/Day_Sights/SpecterDR.php). It's not easy to find in the civilian market. I haven't really looked too hard for it because at this point I have more scopes than rifles. However, I've seen some reticle pics on some forum and it looked like a great scope. I think it's priced around the upper end of the ACOGs ($1500 or so?). It goes from 1X to 4X with the throw of a lever. Elcan says that there is pretty much no change in the zero or the eye relief when switching between powers. It also has a pretty slick illumination system. You can switch between having a red dot illuminated or having the crosshairs illuminated.

Leupold's Mark 4 1-3x14mm CQ/T seems to be a popular scope on the market. I don't know too much about it (for the same reason as above).
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I don't think there are any adjustable power ACOGs.
Thanks, I didn't think so but I thought I read it some where??? Might have been one of theri scopes???

That Elcan that mick talked about looks interesting, but very expensive! But when you add the cost of say an M3 along with a 4 power scope and mounts, were getting pretty close ::)
Trijicon has a variable scope with the assorted lighting mechanisms. Can't recall the name of the thing. Hmmm...ahh, Accupoint. http://www.swfa.com/pc-4423-227-trijicon-125-4x24-accu-point-rifle-scope.aspx

The Elcan was one I was eyeing very seriously, but finally decided against it because of the ARMS mount that's integral to it. Not really acceptable. If Larue were to manufacture a mount for this sight, it'd move right back up to the near the top of my list of magnifying sights. I've heard it's illumination isn't really daytime visible, if that matters to you.
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