The AR-15s are great firearms without a doubt, but can benefit from an upgrade of certain parts. If you are looking forward to improving the accuracy, effective range and speed of your AR, you should consider buying the best AR 15 scope available today. In this regard, few sights can beat the performance and effectiveness of Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight (ACOG) Scopes today.
Initially meant for military and police use, ACOG sights were specifically designed around the AR firearm platform. Up to date, these sights are still widely used by the U.S. Army and marines. Additionally, the scopes have been widely adopted by civilians across the globe for various applications.
The success of this model may be attributed to the fact that they are offered in several variants to suit different applications. For instance, some of the scopes are ideal for hunting, some for self-defense and others for competition applications. If you are shopping for the right scope for your AR-15, here are reviews of three of the best ACOG scopes you should consider.
Best AR-15 ACOG Scopes 2019
|Trijicon ACOG 4 x 32 BAC Dual Illuminated Riflescopes|
|ACOG Trijicon 3.5 x 35 Riflescopes|
|ACOG 4 X 32 Scope Dual Illuminated Crosshair .223 Ballistic Reticle|
Our Top Picks
1. Trijicon ACOG 4 x 32 BAC Dual Illuminated Riflescopes – Best Overall
If you are looking for the best fixed magnification scope with illumination capabilities, the ACOG 4 x 32 BAC Dual Illuminated Riflescopes will be a great choice. Having been designed for AR rifles, this scope is a great match for the AR 15 rifle. To being with, you will love the simplistic, compact and lightweight design of this product.
So far, this is one of the best AR hunting scopes in the market. In this regard, the unit offers a fixed 4 x 32 magnification power. Currently, the Trijicon manufacturer is renowned for developing some of the best aiming systems in the industry. The ACOG 4 x 32 BAC Dual Illuminated Riflescopes are no exception, in this regard.
What will be more thrilling and satisfying than using a scope that is combat proven? Well, this is what you will be buying in this AR 15 sight. As a matter of fact, the product is still being used by US Marines. Over the years, the scope has been proven to help with faster target acquisition. According to these corps, the exceptional reticle pattern in this unit helps with quicker target acquisition at a close range.
Versatility is something you cannot afford to ignore when shopping for the right optics. In this regard, this product offers a battery-free illumination. By coupling an innovative dual-illumination technology to self-luminous tritium and fiber optics, this unit offers you customizable illumination.
With such capabilities, this ACOG scope is capable of adjusting the brightness automatically in accordance to the prevailing light conditions. During the day, the product relies on fiber optics and uses tritium reticle at night to give you the illumination you need. The Bindon Aiming Concept (BAC) used by the manufacturer on this unit is another thing that sets it apart from other scopes.
BAC makes it easier for you to engage with your targets as it allows you to keep both eyes open while aiming. By so doing, the product allows you to maintain an optimal awareness of the situation whenever you are aiming.
- Offers battery-free illumination
- Backed by a lifetime warranty
- Features a Bindon Aiming Concept (BAC) Reticle
- Comes with a fitted neoprene Scopecoat
- Equipped with bullet drop compensation (BDC)
- Features broad-band anti-reflective coated lenses
- Improved target identification up to 800 m away
- Offers quick and precise aiming
- Features a durable and tough aluminum-alloy housing
- Comes with a TA51 Picatinny flat top rail adapter mount
- Features a waterproof construction
- It is a fixed scope
2. ACOG Trijicon 3.5 x 35 Riflescopes – The Best Short-range AR 15 ACOG Scope
This may not be the lightest AR 15 scope by Trijicon, but is definitely one of the best you can get. Just as is the case with the other riflescopes by this manufacturer, the 3.5 x 35 Riflescope features Tritium Phosphor Lamp for night time illumination and Trijicon Fiber Optics for illumination during the day.
This particular model of the ACOG scopes is known to offer a fair compromise between the extremes of field of view, eye relief and magnification. If you are looking for something in between the extremes in all these gun sight specs, this riflescope will be a perfect choice. With regards to the field of view, the unit will offer you a decent 5.5 degrees of FOV.
The large FOV will make you feel like the scope has a higher level of magnification than it really does. As compared to the ACOG 4 x 32 reviewed above, the 3.5 x 35 Riflescope offers a larger eye relief. In addition to the higher eye relief, 2.4 inches, you will find the exit pupil on this unit comparatively large.
As such, the unit is known to be a little bit forgiving for the user’s head positioning. This is why you will have an easier time positioning your head and eye correctly to acquire the target with this scope. The 3.5 x magnification power of the scope makes it ideal for competition in shooting medium to close range targets.
You will also love the bullet drop compensation technology used in this model. With this technology, you will be able to shoot more accurately at extended ranges. In this case, you will not need to actually workout the compensate drop for the bullet; just aim higher or lower and shoot. While this is a great AR 15 sight, it is also heavy and relatively longer.
- Features automatic, battery-free illumination
- Allows you to aim with both eyes open
- Combat proven for fast and easier target acquisition
- Features bullet drop compensating and ranging reticle
- Features a durable, rugged construction
- Perfect illumination during the day or night
- Comes with a Pelican Case and a Flattop Adapter
- The scope is comparatively heavy
The AR 15 is one of the most preferred firearms for hunting and home defense today. However, ensuring that your rounds hit the target may be a little challenging without the right aiming system in place. If you will be using the AR-15 for home defense or hunting, you should consider investing in the ACOG 4X32 Dual Illuminated Crosshair scope.
The good thing about the ACOG model TA31 RMR is that it serves as two scopes in one. With this product, you will have a powerful 4 x fixed power optic with an objective lens of 32 mm. in addition to this, the unit also serves as a Ruggedized Miniature Reflex sight. This combo makes it one of the most powerful sights for hunting and home defense available today.
Just like the other ACOG models reviewed in this guide, the TA31 RMR ACOG applies a two-eyed aiming method (BAC). This comes in handy for enhanced situational awareness. With both your eyes open, you need to position your head such that the reticle is imposed above your vision to act as a red dot. This makes target acquisition easier and quicker.
- Uses a crosshair reticle pattern
- Features a durable, forged aluminum housing
- Uses amber reticle with a eye relief of 1.5 inches during the day
- Offers bullet drop compensation, up to 800 m
- Uses amber reticle at a calibration of 0.223 at night
- Features a Trijicon RMR on top
- Relatively easy to target
- Allows for a fast head position
- The eye relief is comparatively low
Things You Need to Know Before Buying an AR 15 Optic
As a gun enthusiast that you are, you probably are aware that the AR 15 is one of the most versatile firearm platforms you can get today. One thing users love about this platform is the fact that it allows them to configure their guns in accordance to their preferences. As a result, you will find AR 15 weapons ideal for almost any user, including civilians, law enforcement and military.
Based on your preferences and the intended use of the firearm, the AR 15 allows you to reconfigure several of its components. For instance, you may decide to upgrade the stocks, grips, or even the trigger on your AR 15 gun. However, almost any user of this gun will benefit from upgrading from iron sights to a great set of optics.
Yes, the right optics will enhance your accuracy, speed and effective range whenever you are using the AR 15. However, you will need to choose from the numerous optics makes and models available today. To do this, here are some of the key considerations you need to make:
1. Types of AR 15 Optics
Well, not all the optics available today for the AR 15 are the same. Basically, you must have realized that the various options differ in terms of reticle pattern, magnification power, length and weight. Despite these differences, these units may be classified into three main types. The choice of the right optic type should be determined by the intended application of the gun, as discussed below:
- Telescopic Sights
Also referred to as scopes, telescopic sights are best suited for medium to long range shots. These units are designed to offer magnification coupled to either dot reticle or crosshair. Based on what you will be using the gun for, you can choose to buy a fixed scope or one with variable power.
With a variable telescopic sight, you will be able to use the on-the-fly zooming to choose your preferred magnification level. Fixed models, on the other hand, only offer a fixed magnification power. If this is your preferred optic type, it is advisable to go for a magnification power of between 3X and 6X.
- Reflex Sights
These are the commonest upgrades from iron sights in AR firearms today. Their preference by a considerable number of users today may be attributed to the fact that they are comparatively affordable. In their functioning, reflex sights project an illuminated red dot reticle on the FOV.
As such, these products are non-magnifying. If you are shopping for a reflex sight for your gun, you will need to consider the reticle size, objective size, battery life, length and weight of the product. Regardless of the case, you will find these optics compact and relatively easy to integrate into your rifle.
- Holographic Sights
In their functioning, holographic optics may be compared to reflex sights. However, holographic sights apply a different projection system in creating the reticle. Rather than using LED, these units rely on a laser diode to achieve this. By so doing, the reticle is superimposed to the viewing window of the sight.
This being the case, holographic sights do not require additional optical components for them to work. This makes them low profile and lightweight.
2. Optical Power
Once you have decided the right type of optics you would like to have, you need to choose the right optical power. To ascertain this, you need to know the distances you will be shooting at. For instance, a person who will be shooting targets that are more than 500 yards away will need a more powerful sight than one who will be shooting at shorter distances.
Again, the optical power you go for should be in line with the capabilities of your firearm. For instance, using a 12X magnification scope on a rifle with an effective range of 500 yards will be of no help.
3. Reticle Type
Different manufacturers of AR sights use different reticle styles in their products. Therefore, you will need to find out which of the reticle types works best for you. Basically, each of the reticle types available today has its unique set of benefits and downsides. When shopping for the best AR 15 optics, here are some reticle types you should consider:
- Dot reticle
This is one of the simplest reticle designs you can buy today. These reticles feature a single dot precisely at the centre of the scope. If you will be using your rifle for close range shooting, you should consider buying a red dot reticle. Scopes with a dot reticle will also come handy in more tactical shooting situations.
- Bullet Drop Compensation (BDC)
As opposed to Red dots, BDC reticle allows you to adjust aim with ease and faster, based on your rough estimation of the shooting distance. To achieve this, you only need to aim sown or up. Normally, such products adjust in 100 yard or meter increments. Most of products within this category are availed as circles, lines or dots.
4. Eye Relief
This is another aspect you need to be very keen about when choosing the right scope for your AR 15 firearm. In this regard, you need to choose between the two eye relief options available today; the long eye relief and short eye relief. Most of the short eye relief scopes available today range between 1 and 5.5 inches.
Scopes with a short relief are considered to be best suited for long range shooting. In such a case, the short eye relief of the scope will give you a relatively large field of view. This, in turn, will give you a clear and more concise vision at higher magnification, than you would get from a long eye relief scope.
Basically, optics with a short eye reliefs offer some of the highest levels of magnification available today. Some of these products are also equipped with BDC reticles, which make them a great choice for long-range shooters.
The long eye relief sights, on the other hand, are best suited for short-barreled firearms. These are the sights that are longer than 6 inches. While such scopes will give you a narrower field of view, they are recommended for firearms that generate a large amount of recoil. With such considerations in mind, you will find the short eye relief sights better suited for your AR-15.
5. Illuminated or non-illuminated?
Illumination is another thing you should worry about when shopping for the right AR-15 optics. So, when will you be using your gun; during the day or night? If you will be using the scope under low light conditions or at night, it is advisable to go for the scopes with illumination capabilities.
If you think that you will not need to shoot under low light conditions, you may go for the models that are not illuminated. However, there are some models that allow you to turn illumination on or off. Such models are considered to be more versatile as they may be used under different light conditions.
Our Final Verdict
The Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight (ACOG) scopes are simply the best of their kind. They are accessories designed to offer clear and concise target acquisition within a timely manner in a combat environment. However, these units have also proven to be great when used in AR 15 rifles meant for home defense, hunting or even range shooting competitions.
While these products may not be suitable for just any application, you will find them durable, tough, easy to use, efficient and reliable. Regardless of your intended application, this guide will help you choose the best AR 15 ACOG Scope.