Those of you who have been around these parts for a while may remember a little review I did not too long ago about the Swarovski BRT 1-6x scope. Swarovski makes what many consider to be “THE” 3-gun scope, and we had the temerity to disagree. Needless to say, Swarovski was none too pleased, and they’ve only just started talking to us again. After that review, I started angling for Trijicon to send me their 1x+ variable scope, the direct competition to the Swarovski, to see if at 1/3 the price it was 1/3 as good. It took a couple of months but the scope finally arrived on my doorstep this week, and thanks to a range trip with Tyler (and a subsequent range trip for some fine tuning) I was able to put it through its paces . . .
As soon as it arrived, I noticed one distinct shortcoming compared to the Swarovski – the scope doesn’t zoom as far. The Swarovski goes all the way to 6x magnification, but the Trijicon tops out at only 4x. That difference may not seem like much, but when you’re on the clock and seconds count, every little bit of magnification helps.
But while the scope may not magnify the image quite as much, it still provides the ability to take a more accurate shot. The reason is that the reticle is MUCH better for competition purposes than the Swarovski.
Swarovski uses a gigantic red dot as the aiming point. It’s so big that it completely covers a clay pigeon at 50 yards with maximum magnification, obscuring part of the target and making longer range precision shots harder to make. In a world of “aim small miss small” having a beach ball for a reticle isn’t helping anyone.
In contrast, the Trijicon uses their standard green triangle which provides a very fine point of aim (the tip of the triangle) and doesn’t obscure the rest of the target. It allows for much more accurate shots at distance while still being useful in close-range target acquisition. So if you need a precise shot, take the time to use the tip. But if you just want to put rounds on something quickly, simply place the green thing somewhere over the target and squeeze.
It looks small in the picture, but trust me: when you’re looking through the scope it looks plenty big.
Speaking of the reticle, that’s another thing I liked better about the Trijicon: it never runs out of batteries. Unlike the $1,800 monstrosity, this scope relies on sunlight during the day or tritium lamps at night to power the green dot funneled into the scope via fiber optic lines. So where the other scopes might run out of juice in the middle of a stage (or whenever you need it most) this one will never go dark on you. It does make exporting the scope a little more difficult but for us Americans, it’s no problem at all.
The Accupoint is also far less cluttered than the Swarovski. I’m a minimalist at heart and the Swarovski reticle’s built-in holds for various distances simply took up too much scope real estate for my taste. Especially when the stage designers like to add in pop-up or moving targets, having as clear of a field of view in my scope as possible is a priority. It’s the same reason I vastly prefer my Primary Arms red dot to my EOTech — less crap to think about. As long as you know your holds for your ammunition, it shouldn’t be a problem and investing some time at a calculator and on the range is much less expensive.
Despite the numerous differences, there are a few similarities between this scope and the Swarovski. They both use a 30mm tube instead of a 1 inch tube, they both are “true” 1x scopes and their optical clarity isn’t remarkably different.
With two such scopes, the only way to truly figure out which was better was to pop them on a gun and see how they run. I had sent Swarovski’s scope back to them months ago, but after watching the footage of those competitions the memories of using the scope came right back. And after ratcheting the Accupoint into exactly the same mount I used for the Swarovski and mounting it on my famed .300 BLK gun, I was ready to go.
Until, that is, I realized I was out of .300 BLK ammo. Again. So the 5.56 upper took its place, and using two steel plates on the range I went back and forth trying to see how it worked for target acquisition and such.
So how did it work? Flawlessly. As anyone there can tell you I was singing steel until the magazine was empty, happily going back and forth between the targets and switching the magnification at a moment’s notice.
Admittedly, changing magnification is a bit tricky. Spinning the magnification knob is less of a “gross” motor function and more of a “fine” one, meaning that under the dump of adrenaline it might not always work as planned. A “cat tail” on the ring would make the thing loads easier to manipulate and they only run about $70.
So what’s the verdict? My opinion remains the same: this is a much better scope than a Swarovski. You get a reticle that provides a finer point of aim, it will never run out of batteries and this scope takes up less space in the field of view. AND you get over $1,000 that stays in your pocket! For me, that’s well worth trading off 2x of magnification power.
Specifications: Trijicon Accupoint 1-4×24 Riflescope
Scope size: 30mm
Price: $780 – $800
Ratings (out of five)
Ease of Use * * * *
With the exception of the zoom ring it’s a breeze to use.
Utility * * * *
It fills the role it was designed for perfectly, providing precision when its needed and speed when its not.
Overall Rating * * * *
If you have your heart set on a light variable power scope for your competition gun (or any rifle really, even hunting) and you need a 1x magnification, this is your scope. It’s the perfect balance of price and utility, wrapped up in the quality Trijicon package we’ve come to know and love.