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Is an ACOG worth it?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by zstephens13, Jan 11, 2012.

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  1. zstephens13

    zstephens13 Member

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    I've got some electronics I'm going to liquidate and I am wondering from you guys that have some Trijicon ACOGs:

    ARE THEY WORTH THE MONEY?

    Things that really interest me about the ACOG

    -The ability to use it in low light situations, which is about 9 months of the year in Alaska.

    -The ruggedness and durability of the optic. The plan is to put this on my "go to" rifle so I don't want something that break or lose zero if it bangs on a tree or on a vehicle while getting out.

    -Battery-less.

    If you care, I'm thinking about getting a Trijicon TA11J-308 on my Rock River Arms LAR-8.

    What do you guys junk about your ACOGs?
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2012
  2. Bovice

    Bovice Member

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    Junk and ACOG don't fit in the same sentence. There's nothing low-quality about an ACOG optic. However, for most of our purposes, you can get by just fine using something a little less pricey, like an Aimpoint. Still very rugged. It does take batteries, but the battery life is ridiculously long even with it constantly on.
     
  3. zstephens13

    zstephens13 Member

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    An ACOG does not take batteries.
    Fiber optics and tritium.
    Do you own one?
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2012
  4. Saakee

    Saakee Member

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    Actually, they do make a battery powered model: link
     
  5. zstephens13

    zstephens13 Member

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    Thank you. I was not aware of a battery powered model.
    The type I am interested in hearing about is the fiber optic/tritium versions.
    I know lots of you guys have them or have had experience with them.
    Complaints? Praises? Thoughts?

    Are they worth the money?
     
  6. KNOCKDOWN

    KNOCKDOWN Member

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    Something to consider...if I remember correctly, Tritium has a radioactive "half-life" of 25 years. Which would mean the light from the Tritium portion would only be about half as bright in 12 years, if that even matters to you. However, the brightness on the Aimpoint stays consistent throughout its 5 year battery life.

    The ranging & bdc & magnification are an added bonus on the ACOG, so brightness and battery life, etc., may not be an important consideration for your purchase. ..."your mileage may vary" ;)
     
  7. nyc71

    nyc71 Member

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    I recently bought TA11H for a FAR .308 at this point I do not regret buying it. Great eye relief & it's built like a tank.
     
  8. AK_Maine_iac

    AK_Maine_iac Member

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    I too live in Alaska. When i first bought my AR10 I had to have an ACOG. After about a year i came to the conclusion, I did not need it. Sold it and got a good set of trijicon AR sights. Never been sorry i sold it. Although i do have an Aimpoint that i can slap onto the rail if needed. 99.9% of the time it is just the AR style night sights for me. Less weight to carry around, and one less thing to worry about when bouncing in a canoe or 4wheeler.

    http://www.armalite.com/ItemForm.aspx?item=LAW1180
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2012
  9. briansmithwins

    briansmithwins Member

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    The Trijicon ACOGs are rock solid, lit w/o batteries, and have very good glass in them.

    Generally speaking, the only shortcoming they typically have is short eye relief.

    That said, since they are lit with radioactive tritium, the illumination is going to be 1/2 as bright as new in 12.5 years. Recharging the optic is a factory overhaul job.

    With the Aimpoint I'm using, I can leave it on and replace the battery every 5 years. Sure, I'm out $5 for each battery but I also get the ability to control the amount of illumination and get a optic that's unmatched for durability and speed close up.

    If you did decide to go with a Aimpoint, make sure you use lithium batteries. Alkaline tend to fail in the cold.

    BSW
     
  10. OneLiveRound

    OneLiveRound Member

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    The ACOG is a great choice, it's rugged and damn near bulletproof. The issue I have with it has nothing to do with the quality of the product. The primary target of the ACOG is government sales and the prices reflect that. If the rifle you're running isn't going into a hard use enviroment, I reccomend the Trijicon Accupoint. If you're really digging the ACOG , go for it...there's nothing worse than buyers remorse.

    I run an EOTech XPS2 w/ a G23 magnifier on my carbine because I like the flexibility , I also had a max budget of $1000, that system fit nicely into my budget.
     
  11. Pete D.

    Pete D. Member

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    I have two Trijicon sights, the RX01 reflex and the TA01 ACOG. Both are great optics. I have an Aimpoint. I have an Eotech. Also fine sights.
    The ACOG is a very rugged, dependable scope; it is one of the brightest, clearest scopes that I have had the pleasure to look through.
    They sure have gotten expensive, though. They were never cheap but I surely paid hundreds less than I see them going for nowadays. Not sure that I would buy one today at that rate.

    Pete
     
  12. marine 97-03

    marine 97-03 Member

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    I use one over seas and love them
     
  13. jsimmons

    jsimmons Member

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    If you have the money, and you want one, then it's worth it.
     
  14. Lloyd Smale

    Lloyd Smale Member

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    ive got only one. Its the 4x army model. I love it! I wish i could afford to have one on every one of my ars but being retired and on a fixed income i just cant afford it so the rest of my ars have aimpoints on them.
     
  15. ROCK6

    ROCK6 Member

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    As an owner and a user, they are excellent optics. They are expensive, but the benefit is a great company and excellent service. ACOG's are like other peices of expensive equipment; if you're going to use it, you'll appreciate the quality and accept the price...if you don't use it, you'll think it's medocre and not worth the coin.

    ROCK6
     
  16. ultradoc

    ultradoc Member

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    I would like to get one but the price...is pricey. I bought an EoTech a couple of years ago and don't use it much so I think the same thing would happen if I broke down and bought an ACOG.
     
  17. Adam123

    Adam123 Member

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  18. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

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    As far as the criteria you are listing as important to you, the ACOG is outstanding in all of those areas. Not only will it not shift zero on you; but with a Larue mount, you can dismount the scope and remount it between shots and still have a good group. And as to durability, it is almost literally, bomb-proof. If you search the archives here, you can see ACOGs that stopped 7.62x54R rounds or that were strapped outside of an armored vehicle when a 155mm IED went off.

    The TA11 is also excellent in low-light since it has a 10mm exit pupil and excellent glass, so your eyes are always getting the maximum amount of light available. The exit pupil isn't artificially restricting that.

    The fiber-optic/tritium combo on the TA11 is also great in that it automatically adjusts the illumination to ambient light. A couple of years ago I started running an Aimpoint T1 in conjunction with my ACOG and one of the things that irritated me is how often I have to adjust brightness on the T1 - not a major thing by any means, but it highlighted for me how spoiled I had gotten from the ACOG. Prior to that I only noticed the auto-illumination when the ambient light wasn't great for my targeting conditions. Running it alongside the T1 helped me realize how often the auto-illumination was just right.

    As I've owned the TA11 since 2002, I'll go one and add my two cents to some of the other feedback as well...

    This is true of the 4x32 ACOGs the military uses. It is not true of the TA11 (3x35) or the TA33 (3x30) ACOGs; both of which are fairly generous with eye relief (in fact, if you shoot nose-to-charging handle, you'll need to mount it at the front of an AR15 receiver to get enough eye relief - though probably not so far forward on the longer LAR-8 receiver).

    This is correct and last time I looked (several years ago) refurbing the tritium was a $250 job. Though since you are going with a TA11, you also have the fiber optic illumination - which actually supplies most of the light in most conditions. The only place you'll notice the dimming of the tritium is in almost absolute darkness where there is no ambient light for the fiber optic to gather. As I said earlier, I've owned my optic for 9 years (and have no idea how much older the tritium charging it might be) and even in absolute darkness, I have a usable reticle (although not much too target in absolute darkness).

    And actually, that brings up one of my gripes with the ACOG, compared to Aimpoints/Eotechs, they don't play well with PVS-14s or other night vision devices. The tritium is too bright for those.

    If you decide the ACOG reticle is too bright from too much ambient light, a strip of tape or an inner tube over the fiber optic lets you adjust the brightness just like you would an Aimpoint.

    Overall, I think you will be more than happy with the TA11 ACOG, given the criteria you listed as important to you. However, I would just about bet money that there is probably a more traditional scope out there that is cheaper and that would serve your needs just as well (Trijicon's Accupoint line being a good place to look for that matter). And as much as I like the ACOGs, variable magnification is nice too; but if you want an ACOG, it will certainly do well in the criteria you listed.
     
  19. JustinJ

    JustinJ Member

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    I think they're great for combat in that they are a great compromise between a red dot and a more conventional scope. For most civilian uses there really isn't a need for such a compromise. But there is also nothing wrong with wanting what professionals use on their combat weapons.
     
  20. Robert

    Robert Moderator Staff Member

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    The TA11 is awesome. I do not own one but my shooting partner has one on his competition rifle that I have used a fair amount. We have used that TA11F and his JP to make good center hits on a torso sized steel plate at 600y in a good cross wind. Amazing little 3x optic. They are built like a tank and last forever. If it gets dim send it back and you have a new scope for the next 12 or 15 years. Not a bad deal if you ask me. Want to control the amount of light coming in the fiber optic? Check out the Scope Fly from 3Gun Stuff:
    http://www.3gunstuff.com/?page_id=263

    Looks a little goofy but it works. So sticky goop like tape. And faster to adjust.
     
  21. c0nspire

    c0nspire Member

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    I own a TA31F that I absolutely LOVE. I originally had an EOTech XPS-2 with flip-to-side magnifier (also a great setup), but the ACOG works better for my purposes.

    As said above, one of the bigger issues for me with the EOTech was in transitions from light to dark (or vice-versa). The current lineup of EOTech's and Aimpoints don't "auto adjust" (although several new optics are about to hit the market that do). That's never been an issue with the ACOG however. For me the brightness of the reticle has always been perfect in any lighting due to the fiber-optic design.

    I don't worry much about the tritium running dim. While it is usable, it is relatively faint in TOTAL darkness (I got mine used, so I admittedly don't know how old the tritium is). That said, I don't see myself doing much shooting in the kind of darkness where the tritium appears to be effective (and even then I'd be using a weapon light). That fiber optic tube seems to gather quite a bit of light for the reticle even in low-light conditions. Clearly it's not as good as an EOTech or Aimpoint for something like room clearing, but it CAN do the job.

    I was also pleasantly surprised at how well the BAC (Bindon Aiming Concept) worked for me. Again, not better than a red-dot, but pretty good nonetheless.

    As stated, the thing is a tank. It's bomb-proof and the glass is outstanding. I put mine on a LaRue QR mount and never looked back.

    I'm dying to get my hands on the SRS red-dot Trijicon just announced. It looks to solve many of my issues with EOTech's and Aimpoints, and Trijicon claims it stands up to the same torture tests the ACOG does. Right now that's the only thing that I might consider besides an ACOG for a carbine.
     
  22. Z-Michigan

    Z-Michigan Member

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    I have one, a compact 1.5x model. I like it well. The major benefits of the ACOG are:
    -tritium illumination - nothing to fail
    -ruggedness. above all.
    -compact size and weight for any given magnification

    The major drawback is price, of course. As already noted many models have good eye relief. For your purposes the ACOG might be a good choice. I would also consider an Aimpoint, but even with long battery life, batteries can still fail, and they work differently from an ACOG anyway.
     
  23. X-Rap

    X-Rap Member

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    I got mine used so yes it was well worth it to me. If I had to pay retail I would have probably bought a MK 4 for another rifle because $1100-$1400 is steep for a low power sight when I don't "need" that kind of indestructibility. If I found another used for a good price I would have 2.
     
  24. C-grunt

    C-grunt Member

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    I used one in the Army and found it to be a great combat scope. I have a TA-31RCO on my Colt now and I still believe it to be a fantastic general purpose rifle sight.
     
  25. Nullcone

    Nullcone Member

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    KNOCKDOWN said:
    Actually, Tritium has a half-life of around 12.3 years. That would make the light around half as bright in 12 years as you stated, except iirc due to the geometry of the capsule it acts like it is "overfilled" (long thin tube compared to a sphere with Tritium in it) you end up getting more like 1.5 half-lives before the emitted light dims to 1/2. Hopefully, someone with more knowledge of this can explain it better.

    As for the ACOG... I've shot a few weapons with them mounted and like them, but never had the desire to drop that much on an optic. If I needed that much optical quality for something like long-range precision shooting I wouldn't hesitate, but I've been served well by Aimpoints and Holosights in the red dot arena.
     
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