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.
I have one of the 1.25-4x Accupoints. It’s pretty much the same scope but with a 1 inch tube, and often a couple of hundred bucks cheaper. It is a great AR15 optic. On of the nice features about the triangle post reticle is that you can use to for some “on the fly” bullet drop. I have found that if zero the scope with the tip of triangle at POI at 100 yds, the 300 yds POI will be (not couting wind drift) on the bottom edge of the triange, in between the vetical posts at 4x magnification. That gives the reticle at 4x, a 300 yds point blank range, which is pretty good for a 16″ barrel AR15 in any civilian defense application. Great optic, can’t speak more highly of the Accupoint.
Nice review nick. I’d like to see one done on the Vortex model.(I can’t remember which model number, but the highest priced vortex 1-4x one) It’s supposed to have superior glass to the trijicon, but is battery powered so that’s a downside.
That would be impressive – the word on the street and within the optics community is that Trijicon uses the same glass manufacturer as Nightforce…
Looks like your BUIS is taken our of commission with this optic, Nick. Do you feel that’s an issue at all?
Looks like it’s on a quick-release mount. Wouldn’t a few seconds put the BUIS back in commission? This sight is built like a tank. I’m waiting for a Leopold 1-6. I’m less sensitive to some of the issues others care about.
What model Primary Arms red dot do you prefer? Is the red dot a preference only b/c of the “clutter” of the EOTech? If someone was looking for a good, multipurpose optics option, what would you recommend based on this most recent review?
I prefer their micro red dot, it’s MUCh cheaper than an Aimpoint and works just fine.
But if I wanted the “one optic to rule them all” It would probably be this one.
Is there anybody who doesn’t love Trijicons? My sometime shooting buddy (and occasional TTAG contributor) ‘Tony’ put a 3x ACOG on his Rock River AR-10 and never looked back. My only reservation with that scope is that the magnification really slows you down at short ranges, but your true 1x scope sure solves that problem.
But what mount are you using for the Trijicon? The Leupold Patrol 1.25-4x I reviewed last year desperately needs a lighter mount that scoots it forward over the receiver and makes room for the Magpul BUIS like yours.
Primary Arms, baby.
Hey just read your review of the trijicon accupoint 1-4. Great review, but was wondering when u switched to your .223 upper did the front post affect your vision in your scope. I noticed two different guns with it on, do u still recommend that mounting system?
I think the Trijicon Accupoints are probably the most underrated scopes out there. Everyone wants to love the Mark IV’s, NXS’s, USO’s, etc – but I love my Accupoints and would put them out there against any other high-end scope in terms of quality and rugged construction (this coming from a guy who owns a $3200 S&B PMII). I hope that Trijicon will tweak them a bit as to gain more traction in F-Class and Tactical matches – i.e. more internal MOA adjustments (although 50 is OK for me), a finer (target) reticle, and perhaps a FFP option.
“I think the Trijicon Accupoints are probably the most underrated scopes out there.”
I noticed this a bit too. I had been searching for feedback on them, and while people have good things to say about them, they don’t seem to be as popular as they should be.
How many years does the tritium last? How hard is it to replace?
The half life of tritium is 12.32 years. So assuming it’s new, in 12 years it will be half as bright as it was when new. Then in another 12 years it will be half as bright again, or 1/4 the original brightness, and so on from there.
As for replacing it I can’t say, it might be something that needs to be sent in to be serviced. Personally I always figured that it has a long enough life that I wouldn’t mind buying a new one when the time comes.
The fiber optics (in theory) should never run out, so unless you foresee yourself in a nighttime firefight you should be fine.
Good point, and these are reported to be durable too.
Nick is correct – unless you’re in COMPLETE darkness, you’ll never see the tritium dot/triangle. Even in the most minute amount of light, the dot is impossible to see (with the FO window covered). The FO picks up so much light that even in very dark/dusk conditions, it will show the aiming reticle for you.
Another trick that you could do that is popular with the bowhunting crowd is to use those little “glow sticks” designed for archery sights. Just tape one over the FO window as you’re good to go…
Would this scope hold up on a 870 with slugs?
Had a saddle mount for 870 TruGlo red/green dot from OpticsPlanet that busted internally after only a few rounds, is the reason I ask.
(Hornady sabot slugs in rifled barrel for hog and hog hunting reach out 150+ yds and this looks like a good fit).
I have sold several of my Leupold’s and replaced them with Trijicon’s. I have the 1.25 x 4 on my AR-15. The 3×9 on my Remington R-25 308 that I hunt hogs with day or night here in Texas. I replaced a Mark 4 on my custom 308 Tactical Rifle. I can’t say enough good things about them. The glass is excellent and you can’t beat the tritium/fiber optic lighting system. They are also very well built mechanically. The settings are true and repeatable. You get all this at a much lower cost than some other big name scopes. I guess the military doesn’t buy all of those ACOG’s for no reason.
If you look at the Trijicon website. They market the TR-24 and 21 series as hunting scopes. Since the design makes it very easy to engage fast moving targets.
Most of my AKMs are equipped with TR-24s. If you need magnification, it makes more sense to use the TR-24 than an E0tech-+ magnifier, or Aimpoint + magnifier setup.
Given the price, I fail to see why you wouldn’t just get an ACOG. Just a few hundred dollars more and it’s a far better system IMO.
Greetings! Very helpful advice within this article! It’s the little changes which will make the most significant changes. Many thanks for sharing!
I’m a fan of the Accupoint, its a great scope for hunting, and the smaller sizes are great for carbines. Like other Trijicons it has a unique illumination system to keep the reticle bright under any conditions. I did a full breakdown of the Accupoint series over on my blog and discussed how its features make it great for many different applications.
I “had” a Trijicon Accupoint 1-4 X 24 with German #4 crosshair that had the Tritium center dot fade completely out at four years since delivery new.
Sent it to Trijicon for repair and they sent it back with no noticeable change.
Have sent it back to them and it has been almost four months since they received it the first time and I haven’t heard anything from them yet.
It was a nice scope, until it wasn’t.
Have your cataracts checked, since they could be suppressing light and making you see less bright than you did 4 years earlier.