The ACOG (Advanced Combat Optical Gunsights) is one of the best optics ever made for an AR-15 or any other rifle. It features clear optics, fiber optic, tritium lighting, and durable military-grade construction. They represent the pinnacle of low-powered optics design and are revered everywhere.
The Trijicon ACOG scope is one of the most costly and best AR-15 sights. These self-illuminating sights have been proven in war all over the globe. As a result, their export from the United States is prohibited without specific government papers. However, if you live in the United States, nothing is preventing you from buying an ACOG other than the price.
The ACOG’s brilliance is its use of mildly radioactive tritium as a battery-free lighting source. This provides a lighted reticle and ensures the illumination will operate even in crucial situations. Some versions have a typical battery-powered lit reticle, while others include a fiber optic lighting system. Regardless of what ACOG scope you’re looking for, we’ve compiled a list of the three best ACOG scopes to compare them.
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|Trijicon ACOG 4 x 32 Scope Dual Illuminated Chevron .223 Ballistic Reticle|| ||$1523 Shop NowClick to read my review|
|Trijicon TA02-C-100432 ACOG .300 Blackout Crosshair Reticle|| ||$1006 Shop NowClick to read my review|
|Trijicon ACOG 4 x 32 LED Scope Battery Illuminated Red Crosshair Rifle Scope|| ||$1400 Shop NowClick to read my review|
The 3 Best ACOG Scopes for Your AR-15
Trijicon ACOG 4 x 32 Scope Dual Illuminated Chevron .223 Ballistic Reticle: Best budget-friendly ACOG sight.
You can dominate the battlefield or the shooting range with this 4 power tritium and fiber optic TA31F scope. For individuals who want a quick zero and an effective optic adjusted to the 5.56 NATO or.223 NATO cartridge, this ACOG’s built-in chevron ballistic reticle is ideal.
However, a word of caution: there are several imitations out there. So only purchase from an established firearms retailer. For starters, the chevron reticle isn’t to everyone’s taste. Since it is based on a 55-grain bullet, it isn’t as accurate when used with rounds of different weights.
For the most part, this is a combat-oriented optic that lacks several features that would make it more appealing to the sportsman or precise target shooter. When it comes to tactical rifles, this is an excellent ACOG. Otherwise, there are many additional options to choose from.
- Budget-friendly option
- Rapid target acquisition with chevron reticle
- Designed around the most common .223 ammo
- Strictly a tactical optic
- No battery illumination
Trijicon TA02-C-100432 ACOG .300 Blackout Crosshair Reticle: Best high-end ACOG sight.
The.300 Blackout is one of the most thrilling rounds utilized in the AR-15. So if you need an ACOG for an AR15 in .300 Blackout, this is the one.
Battery-illuminated ACOGs are an excellent option for supersonic 110-125 grain bullets and subsonic 174-240 grain rounds. However, if you’re looking for an ACOG with well-known tritium or fiber optic lighting, you’re out of luck. Although this is a battery-powered lighted device, there are reasons for non-electrical versions.
However, given the limited number of high-end. 300 Blackout optics, this deficiency should not be a serious concern. The reticle is designed for military operations rather than precise target shooting, but you can also use it for hunting. This is the optic for a professional shooter or an experienced hunter searching for the best gear. Otherwise, keep searching.
- Calibrated for the .300 Blackout
- Runs long on a single battery
- Straightforward to use
- Requires battery for illuminated reticle to function
- Not ideal for precision target shooting
Trijicon ACOG 4 x 32 LED Scope Battery Illuminated Red Crosshair Rifle Scope: Best feature-packed ACOG sight.
The last one on our list may be the best way to put an ACOG on an AR-15. It comes with a battery-powered ACOG scope, and has a high-quality RMR RM06 red dot as a close-range or backup sight. It’s an excellent combination scope to pair with a battle-ready carbine and bullet drop compensator. Top it off with Trijicon’s RMR RM06 red dot, and it’s the complete scope for any rifle.
The optional red-dot sight can be used to quickly switch from long to close-range shots or even as a backup sight for emergencies. In any case, this is an unbeatable ACOG combination.
However, this ACOG sight sure is expensive. Nevertheless, you get what you pay for. But when it comes to something this big, you have to stop and think about what good this setup will do for you. It works well for most hunting, but so do a lot of fixed four-power scopes.
The setup with the red dot is nice, but before you make a purchase, ask yourself: do you really need it? You can buy this to brag about it, or because you want the best gear for your money, or because your life depends on it. This is a great setup, but it’s also a setup for professionals, so it’s not recommended for beginners.
- Works with any rifle or cartridge
- Red dot is perfect for close quarter use
- Perfect pairing of scope and red dot
- Not everyone needs a red dot on top of their scope
- Battery operated
- Needlessly complex for some situations
What is an ACOG Scope?
The ACOG scope is a technological marvel, and likely the best optical sight ever put on a rifle for use in battle. To some, it is a piece of gear that people talk too much about but isn’t that great — it just depends on who you ask. For us, the ACOG is a highly regarded rifle sight, so much so that the Marines bought one for every rifle and carbine they owned.
With its strong recommendation, it’s easy to see that this is also one of the best scopes for the AR-15. So what makes the ACOG so great? We summed it up below with a few key points.
- Illuminated reticle. While not such a big deal now, this was a real game-changer when the ACOG was first introduced, especially in this compact format.
- Fixed magnification. A fixed power scope makes for a more durable optic. Most carbines and rifles used with the ACOG are used at ranges where low power magnification is more than ideal.
- Multiple configurations and power sources. Some ACOGs are illuminated through passive fiber optics and tritium vials. Others can be had with AA battery power. All are very reliable.
- Adjustable brightness settings. Illuminated reticles are great. Being able to adjust the brightness is also great.
- Battle proven. The ACOG has proven its worth during the global war on terrorism and is standard equipment in many armed forces and special units.
- BHigh end construction. These are optics meant to be used in harsh, unforgiving situations and still function. For the average consumer, they are nearly indestructible.
Reasons For An ACOG Sight
Let’s consider why you would want to buy an ACOG even if you are not in the military. As said above, they are hardcore scopes meant for extreme duty, which is reason enough to utilize them.
In the United States, millions of AR-15s are in circulation, and they may be used for a variety of purposes, from plinking to self-defense to tactical use. Some are constructed to be models of their type, some ride in police vehicles, others protect ranchers, farmers, and outdoor enthusiasts from predators, and some are just plain awesome.
It is a privilege to live in a country where so much military-grade hardware is accessible to the general population, and the ACOG is no exception. Many gun owners and shooters have a carbine of some form, and they’d want to take it to a higher level. You’ve undoubtedly fiddled with the iron sights, installed a free-floating handguard, and rearranged the furniture to your liking, but it’s not quite there yet. An ACOG is the last step in turning your AR-15 from “meh” to “amazing.”
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How Do ACOG Scopes Work?
The Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight (ACOG) is a tactical scope created by Trijicon that doesn’t require batteries or electronics, making it a more reliable and shock-resistant device. The scope is made to be used with tactical weapons in many different kinds of lighting.
Trijicon ACOG scopes use a combination of Hydrogen-3, a self-illuminating radioactive material also known as tritium, and fiber optics that respond to the amount of light around them to give the best possible reticle illumination no matter how bright it is. This means that the aiming point can be seen even in total darkness.
How to Use an ACOG Scope
- Bring your scope into a dark room and let your eyes adjust to the darkness for about one to two minutes. Then check the ACOG . If the ACOG is working properly, the lit reticle will be visible.
- Loosen the knobs at the base of the clamp assembly on the ACOG scope. Place the scope on the flat-top rail with the studs in the grooves of the rail. Then turn the knobs until they are finger-tight, and then use a flat-head screwdriver to give them an extra quarter turn.
- Using a boresighter or live ammo at a target range and determine the rifle’s point of contact and compare it to the center of the reticle to zero the ACOG. Adjust the scope axis so that the point of impact meets the center of the reticle’s crosshairs. Each click on the ACOG is equal to 1/4 inch at 100 meters. So, at 100 meters, it takes four clicks in the right direction to move the center of the reticle by one inch. The scope’s reticle may be adjusted using the knobs at the very top and on the scope’s right side.
- It’s best to clean your ACOG using a brush attached to the “lenspen” (the cleaning equipment that comes with your ACOG). Finish cleaning the lens with the pen’s felt cleaner once it has been cleared of foreign matter.
Fakes And Clones
These precision instruments are in high demand by private citizens and government agencies, which means there are often not enough to go around. As a result, the ACOG scopes have a lot of clones. There is a lively market in cheap fakes from overseas and they sneak into legitimate listings sometimes.
Beware of any ACOG that is too cheap. As tempting as a $3-400 price tag might be, you can’t even get used ACOGs for that price — let alone a brand new one. Our product recommendations take you to a legitimate, real product. It is easy to get suckered if you don’t do your research first. Even worse, some fakers will sell at near full retail and sell you a cheap airsoft grade rip-off.
Buying an ACOG is a commitment that requires a noticeable outlay of cash. It will add a new level of functionality to your favorite rifle or carbine, improve your ability to take accurate, quickly aimed shots, and help you get the most performance out of your favorite modern sporting rifle.
A long-range target shooter probably won’t benefit from an ACOG, but a person engaged in a three-gun competition shooting will benefit from one. Hunters can sometimes benefit from an ACOG as will persons building a tactical carbine or even AR-style pistol in some cases. No matter how you slice it, there is a huge user base that can benefit from using an ACOG, and the trick then is in picking the best one. If you’ve got the cash, then there is no real reason not to grab the best ACOG you can find.