First field session with mini-ACOG: review and questions


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Oleg Volk
September 18, 2005, 01:40 PM
I got a 1.5x mini ACOG with amber dot reticle (6MOA, I think). I zeroed it roughtly a few weeks ago, had no chance to use it otherwise. Took it on a long hike through the woods and fields, wearing full gear. Learned a few things, such as:

:eek:a slippery camelbak buckle ended up on the vest's recoil pad, preventing good stock mounting

:eek:A2 stock is just too long, I should get a Sully stock installed on mine. With that in mind, I also removed the slip-on recoil pad from my shorty Garand.

:eek:Three point sling slips off my right shulder and cuts into the neck. My vest has no epaulets, so I can't lock the sling in.

:eek:Can't figure out how to sling the rifle in the back with the three-point set-up...I think it is possiblem just not sure how.

:eek:Sneakers suck for cross-country, need boots. Same for the thin cargo pants, need something that would keep thorns out. Need to find my gloves, hands got abraded a bit.

Now to the scope.
GOOD:
:DOptics are great, sharp and free from flare. Target is easier to see than with naked eye or an unmagnified red dot. LESSON: Get compact binoculars for the kit.

:DReticle was ALWAYS bright and contrasty, either orange on dark background or black on light background. Vertical line below helped with ranging and could be used as a reference to stop me from canting the sights.

:DThe mount is sturdy.

BAD:
:eek:Viewing with two eyes (Bindon concept) didn't work all that well for me. The sight picture between the two eyes differed considerably left to right, requiring aim adjustment. Not as fast as an EOTech.

:eek:The dot reticle is big. It is not suitable for precision shooting, as it obscures the bullseye. At 50 yards, I got a 2" group. :eek:Some of it was due to shooting prone after walking and running about three miles in full gear, but I did as well with Garand shorty and iron sights.

:eek:Up close, muzzle rise on recoil moved the target out of the field of view. At longer ranges, I could observe the impact.

THOUGHTS
Considering that the scope was to help in identification and acquisition of human-sized targets out to 200m, it probably can work. The reticle is just about the width of a head at 100m, and the dot+vertical line are half a body height. I am sure that continuing with weight training would improve my ability to handle the 20" HBAR (for now, it enabled me to function for several hours with a lot of gear on) and I'd get better accuracy eventually. However, I can't help thinking that a scope with different reticle (triangle or chevron) would be better, a wider field of view and maybe slightly higher magnification would make it better for precision shooting.

WHAT TO DO?
Besdies training more with the AR and with .22s, I wonder what I could do. I don't think that reticle replacement is an option. I called Trijicon, they said they won't do it.

I could try to sell this scope and get a replacement, if compact ACOGs are available anywhere. Any comments from your experience with these? Looking at the specifications, it seems that eye relief and field of view are inversely related, and that higher magnification (2x) scopes would execerbate the problem with losing the target after firing. Also, iron sights cannot be used through the scope as they could be through EOTech, so I wonder if I ought to go back to the red dot. The problems with the red dot are:

:eek:having to fiddle with the brightness adjustments every time I pointed at lighter or darker background (the workaround is to keep the dot dim and use iron sights when in bright light)

:eek:optics are more prone to flare when in bright light

The Aimpoint option is probably out because I find the narrow tube a handicap and easily lose the sight picture with it. I don't want to stay with iron sights only, because focus on the front sights requires focusing away from the target. That makes acquiring and tracking low-contrast, moving objects difficult. I don't want a really strong scope, as this rifle is for self-defense use out to 200m...and more likely under 25m.

Please advise. :eek:

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Beren
September 18, 2005, 02:21 PM
I was looking at the same model scope at our last local gunshow. The dealer offered me a great price on it but I simply didn't have the case at the time.

Consider dumping the 20" HBAR for a 16" lightweight, like this:

http://colt.com/law/ar15a2.asp

Or, at least, a Gov't profile 20". It'll save you a few pounds of weight and make the rifle easier to manage. My "personal defense rifle" will be an 11.5" AR. The upper should be here early next week. :D Of course I also have a Colt 6920 and 6450 to play with, and I'm going to build a 20" by using a Colt M16A4 upper on a Stag/CMT lower.

I may pick up a TA47-2 from MidwayUSA at some point. It's a 2x20 Compact with Amber triagle ret and BAC. My C&R will give me a decent discount on it.

If all you want is to better distinguish targets at range, then a very low power scope should meet your needs fine. Consider the Aimpoint + 3X magnifier as an option, it would give you the best of both words. (Not trying to plug the Aimpoint M3 I have for sale! :D )

Dave Markowitz
September 18, 2005, 02:29 PM
A2 stock is just too long, I should get a Sully stock installed on mine. With that in mind, I also removed the slip-on recoil pad from my shorty Garand.

There's a reason that AKs have short stocks. :) It's so you can use them no matter what clothing you're wearing. This is why my preferred AR stock is the telescoping one. It's instantly adjustable for LOP to accomodate different clothing or shooters.

Three point sling slips off my right shulder and cuts into the neck. My vest has no epaulets, so I can't lock the sling in.

Can't figure out how to sling the rifle in the back with the three-point set-up...I think it is possiblem just not sure how.

I have my AR-15 and AK equipped with IDF patrol slings from DSG Arms (http://dsgarms.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=product.display&Product_ID=135&CFID=117621&CFTOKEN=85925744). They are cheap, comfortable, easy to get in and out of, and carry the rifle well.

Jeff White
September 18, 2005, 02:41 PM
Three point sling slips off my right shoulder and cuts into the neck. My vest has no epaulets, so I can't lock the sling in.

Are you still using the Eage LBV I gave you? If so, use the nylon webbing tab on the front of the shoulder to hold the sling in place.


The Aimpoint option is probably out because I find the narrow tube a handicap and easily lose the sight picture with it.

Are you keeping both eyes open when using the Aimpoint? I find that the tube isn't really noticable.

Jeff

JShirley
September 18, 2005, 04:22 PM
The raison d'etre for a 1.5x scope is speed of acquisition, not precision.

You might have the most success satisfying your needs if you identify what is most important to you first, since everything, after all, is a compromise.

John

Bartholomew Roberts
September 18, 2005, 05:24 PM
Also, iron sights cannot be used through the scope as they could be through EOTech, so I wonder if I ought to go back to the red dot.

The nice thing about the ACOGs is they usually come with a built in carry handle mount as part of the scope body. If you switch back to an A1 or A2 style upper and mount the compact ACOG in that, you can have immediate use of irons by dropping your head a little bit. You may also find slightly better speed in target acquisition using the compact ACOG if you favor a more "heads up" fighting stance with the stock in towards the center of your chest more.

As far as precision, a 6MOA dot isn't going to help you much. A section of inner tube to dim the reticle in bright sunlight and using the top of the dot as a point of aim will help you wring a little more out of it; but the reticle is going to limit you.

bogie
September 18, 2005, 05:40 PM
Carhart isn't "tactical" but it works. And it doesn't stand out, unless you're at a nice restaurant...

Chris Rhines
September 18, 2005, 06:04 PM
The BAC just doesn't work for some people. One thing you might try - find a Butler Creek objective cover that will just fit inside the objective bell of the scope, wedge it in and secure it with a few dots of RTV or Liquid Nails. Snap the scope cover down, and you've pretty much got a 1x dot sight.

Exactly how far does your POI change when shooting BAC?

I've found the Sully stock to be too short. An -A1 stock is just about right for me. Or try a collapsable stock of some kind.

My TA11 has the triangle reticle, which I love. A 6MOA dot is too big for anything.

- Chris

RnR
September 18, 2005, 06:31 PM
I do recommend the A1 stock for darn near all situations.

One benefit is that there isn't near as much mental shift (if I can call it that) when shouldering other semi's due to less potential difference in pull length. Not a great deal of difference mind you, but enough that you start feeling comfortable with whatever you've grabbed ahold of much quicker... and it is that 1st shot that just might count.

pauli
September 18, 2005, 06:38 PM
no pictures? oleg, have you considered purchasing a camera? ;)

NMshooter
September 18, 2005, 07:14 PM
A collapsible stock will work with the rifle length gas system and is the most versatile option.

I have the 3x with red crosshairs and with practice it can be quick but prefer a dot sight for close in, especially indoors.

Lightweight barrels are the way to go unless it is a target rifle, the 16" length does not give up anything at your intended range of use.

Sometimes a collared shirt is a nice thing to have as it keeps stuff from rubbing your neck, otherwise pull your shirt up and over the sling and anything else rubbing your neck.

When considering what kind of optic to get, which mount to use, and where to put it consider the eye relief and your preferred cheek weld.

Oleg Volk
September 18, 2005, 09:01 PM
Got a few photos, need to edit them. My new PC will be back from repair tomorrow night.

Does anyone want to buy my compact ACOG so that I could get one with a different reticle?

Oleg Volk
September 19, 2005, 02:27 AM
http://olegvolk.net/gallery/albums/moreofoleg/team6353.sized.jpg
(I am on the right)

chopinbloc
September 19, 2005, 04:22 AM
oleg,
if you are considering giving up the telescopic sight idea and moving back to the collimator style sight, i recommend the trijicon reflex II. i have their 4moa dot version mounted on my m16a2 and i love it. it is fast, adjusts automatically to any light conditions and it has a reticle that is small enough for reasonably precise shooting. i can only shoot a little better than 4moa on a good day, anyway. whatever you do, i strongly recommend the ability to use irons if the optic goes downhill. that is, if you plan on using it as a social rifle as it appears you do. btw, the bac doesn't work for me, either.

RnR
September 19, 2005, 08:01 AM
A comment on the suggested Reflex -

While I have the first version of the Reflex, I have found that the amber color of the dot isn't the greatest when working in an environment full of sand as it is very similar in color - to guess what? That amber dot!

Should be just fine for those places where woodland camo is typically used, but when using the Reflex in alot of incandescent lamp lit places, or a sandbox - you'll end up wishing you had a red dot or reticle.

My two cents...

(Kinda looks like your Triji is mounted a tad forward, Oleg... did you try the BAC with the scope mounted rearward for a shorter eye relief and easier "image-merge"?)

chopinbloc
September 19, 2005, 08:41 AM
rnr,
that's true, though i think they shifted the color a little to the red side in the reflex II, that combined with the lens coating provides a pretty good contrast in almost any conditions. the only difficulty i've noticed was at home the dot tends to wash out against white interior walls with artificial light (including a weapon light). i don't see this as a big issue because at close range all you need to do is frame the target in the window and squeeze. there is also a polarizing filter you can get to take care of the problem. i have one but i don't use it. i'd prefer to get as much light transmission as possible in low light. there is alot of dust here and the dot shows up just fine almost all the time. i have mine co-witnessed with the iron sights so if i ever did have a problem finding the dot i could simply lower my cheek about a half-inch and use the iron sights. i've experimented with alot of different collimator sights and this one is my favorite. there are no batteries, no switches, no sealed components other than the tritium vial. the sight is nearly indestructible. honestly, i can't say enough good things about it.

Oleg Volk
September 19, 2005, 10:57 AM
The scope IS too far forward for comfort...but that's the only way I could get back-up irons to clear the rear objective...not sure what I can do to make both fit otherwise.

I tried Reflex 2, didn't like it all that much. I'd go for a red triangle in the next scope, I think.

NMshooter
September 19, 2005, 03:14 PM
Assuming your ACOG Compact has the integral carry handle mount if you get the ARMS #40L the optic will clear the BUIS, at least mine does (mounted on a LaRue ACOG mount). I think there are one or two other low profile BUIS available, but the ARMS is the only one I have experience with.

Try that, and if you are willing try a collapsible stock on your rifle, and see if that helps.

spacemanspiff
September 19, 2005, 04:57 PM
how strong is your dominant eye? can your weak eye just 'sit there' while open? i can keep both eyes open while using the tri-power, and when using a buddy's acog ta31rco (4x mag) i can let my weak eye just do nothing while dominant eye commands view through the optic.

should definitely find an acog with the chevron reticle. moa is very possible to achieve, making it far more versatile than the eotech, which is strictly a cqb tool capable of getting hits minute of torso.

as far as i can tell, trijicon is revamping their process of designing the fiberoptics; the reticle on the ta31rco doesnt 'flare' or get lost on the target even in the brightest of sunlight like my tripower does. i couldnt get the rep at trijicon to divulge any details, except he said the new products being released this fall/winter were 'greatly improved'.

if you need help finding good prices, send me a PM, i'll see if theres any arms i can twist.

Oleg Volk
September 19, 2005, 05:29 PM
I re-mounted the scope and inch or more back and the BUIS still clears the mount. In any case, the scope must be removed before BUIS can be used, tough I can use the front sight only and point shoot. That really improved the eye relief situation.

I need more range time with this scope, but I think I'd like to swap it for a triangle or chevron reticle in red, probably the same 1.5x16 optics.

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