As I sit here at my desk examining (read: ogling) the ACOG model TA31RCO-M150CP that Trijicon was kind enough to entrust me with, my first impression is…ruggedness. The kind I was previously unaware existed in rifle optics. While the glass on the scope clearly isn’t up to Zeiss standards (see what I did there?) it’s very bright for such a compact sight. I’d place the brightness on par with a 30mm Leupold Mark V. The field of view at 100 yards is a very generous 36.8 feet which provides a good balance of situational awareness and precision. The scope feels not only idiot- but also soldier- proof. Don’t get me wrong with that statement — soldiers aren’t dumb, but if there’s a surefire way to break something, they’re the ones who will figure it out . . .
The TA31RCO-M150CP’s Bullet Drop compensator is zeroed for the M16a4, the M4, and the SAW. This makes it an attractive package for the military as it means this model ACOG is much more versatile than, say, its Soviet counterpart, the POSP (which is only calibrated for a specific cartridge from a specific barrel length). It’s also great for the average AR-15 enthusiast who may own both 20- and 16-inch rifles and wants to share one optic between them. The fixed 4x magnification also not only gives that “just right” level of magnification for most targets, but its fixed nature also makes the optic less prone to breaking under heavy stress.
Speaking of which, if you’re going to invest in an upper-end optic like an ACOG I can’t emphasize enough how useful and convenient ARMS levers are. (Not pictured) I was spoiled by having them on my EOTECH holosight and didn’t think much of them until I had to make due with thumb screws. At least Trijicon was kind enough to cut a relief slot so that a coin can help you get a little more leverage.
Another aspect of the ACOG is the option it gives the shooter to use of the Bindon Aiming Concept – or aiming with both eyes open. While that’s sometimes doable with traditional magnified optics, with the large illuminated the ACOG has, it seemingly superimposes itself on the target like a holosight. That means better situational awareness when engaging moving or multiple targets. And if you close the ACOG’s forward lens cap, you can utilize the sight like a red dot.
Speaking of that lens cap, if you take a careful look at the front of the ACOG you’ll noticed a hexagonal honeycomb pattern that covers the forward aperture, this is the patented killFLASH anti-reflective system. What it does is diffuse the reflected light or glare coming off the front objective that’s normally a dead giveaway that someone is aiming at you. While a lens hood would function in the same manner, it would require the ACOG to extend an extra 5 inches or so which would defeat the purpose of having such a compact sight.
I mounted the ACOG on my 3 favorite .223 rifles; a BCM AR15a4, a BCM M4a3 Midlength, and a Sig 556 Patrol Carbine. The optic was a breeze to mount and an absolute joy to shoot on all 3 platforms. The bullet drop compensator is accurate within 3 inches on all platforms out to 200 yards. The sight never seemed to lose zero and in fact was close enough when switching platforms (assuming the same ammo used) that unless shooting at 300 yards, it would hardly affect point of impact.
Specifications: Trijicon ACOG TA31RCO-M150CP
Objective Size: 32
Bullet Drop Compensator: Yes
Length (In): 7.3
Weight (oz): 16.2
Illumination Source: Fiber Optics & Tritium
Reticle Pattern: Chevron w/ Target Reference System
Day Reticle Color: Red
Night Reticle Color:Red
Eye Relief: 1.5
Field of View (Degrees): 7
Field of View @ 100 yards (ft): 36.8
Adjustment @ 100 yards (clicks/in):2
Housing Material: Forged Aluminum
Design * * * * *
In a word, awesome. The sight will likely outlast the user. And his children.
Durability * * * * *
The ACOG is rubber-coated and overbuilt without being cumbersome. Clearly designed for people who are shot at for a living, it’ll serve a civilian indefinitely.
Usability * * * * ½
“Point the red arrow at the bad people” is pretty straightforward. Tool-less windage and elevation adjustments make zeroing a breeze.
Value * * * * ½
While quality doesn’t come cheap and there are several fine optics out there in the ACOG’s price range, none of them are as versatile or durable. If throw levers were included, this would have been a five star rating.
Overall * * * * *
Rock-solid design combined with bright, vibrant optics makes the ACOG the paradigm for other scope manufacturers to live up to.