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My 2017 Christmas present? A Trijicon ACOG…but not just any ACOG. I’ve been a big fan of Primary Arms’ ACSS reticle for many years, as it combines extremely fast, intuitive target ranging with clear ballistic drop holdovers, and it was high time to get it in a high-end optic. The ACSS ACOGs are only available through Primary Arms, and right now the TA44 compact models are on sale . . .

The following models are available, and via the links below you’ll also be presented with the option to get a second QD mount for free (a Midwest Industries AR-height mount for a lower 1/3 co-witness or an American Defense Manufacturing low mount):

•  TA44 1.5x16S with Green ACSS Reticle and AR-Height Mount (this is the one I got)
•  TA44 1.5x16S with Red ACSS Reticle and AR-Height Mount
•  TA44 1.5x16S with Green ACSS Reticle and Low Mount
•  TA44 1.5x16S with Red ACSS Reticle and Low Mount

I think it’s fair to say I haven’t been rocked back on my heels by the $30 price drop off Primary Arms’ usual, $899 sticker on this guy. But the free QD mount is worth more than twice that, and all-in it’s about $100 in savings that expires tonight at midnight.

Furthermore, if you shop around you’ll see high eight-hundreds is a typical going rate for a TA44 with no mount whatsoever, and over a grand is more common with a single mount included. Primary Arms’ regular price happens to be pretty aggressive already. MSRP, by the way, is $1,200 (no mount).

Ah, now that’s a more “normal” gun to put one of these compact TA44s on, eh? If you aren’t familiar with the ACOG, it’s a dual-illuminated optic that uses both a fiber optic and a Tritium insert. It’s rock solid and battle ready.

In bright conditions, the fiber optic channels ambient light to the reticle and ensures it always pops. Bright and crisp.

In dark conditions, the Tritium insert provides light to the fiber optic. That reticle will glow green or red no matter what.

My cell phone just doesn’t do justice to how crisp and clear the picture is through the TA44. It’s flat-out fantastic. The 1.5x zoom provides a bit of assistance on farther targets but doesn’t screw with my head for both-eyes-open, close-range use with quick target transitions.

In the case of the TA44 ACSS, ranging is done via the black etched scale and holdovers and moving target leads are accomplished via the chevron, aim points, and horseshoe.

It’s pretty darn simple for use in engaging confidently out to 500 yards, but the whole how-to spiel will come in the full review that I’ll have ready in the next couple weeks here. Or, check out the two-page owner’s manual here.

So, sure, $869.99 may be a sale price but it still ain’t exactly inexpensive — two included mounts or not. But then again, it’s an ACOG.

Believe it or not, this is the first high-end, fixed-magnification (i.e. red dot or prism style) optic I’ve owned. Sure, I’ve borrowed and shot with Aimpoints and MROs and lots of others, but my low- or no-magnification purchases have always been Primary Arms, Holosun, Bushnell, Burris, etc. in the sub-$200 range.

While I’ve had great success with most of those, one look through the glass of this ACOG makes it clear — pun intended — that it’s on a whole ‘nother level.

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      • I’m all over Primary Arms knocked off Aimponts, EOTechs, and of course Trijicons. Wish Primary Arms ripped off Leupolds as well. One can only hope. I’d much rather send my dollars to communists in china than patriots in Oregon.

        Love my Brenchmade knives and Snep On tools. And nothing’s more exciting than counterfit airplane parts.

        Are you American or not? Just checking.

        • “And nothing’s more exciting than counterfit airplane parts.”

          Especially when you’re at altitude, trying to figure just what the fuck is wrong with your airplane, just why it’s not going where you’re pointing it…

          While the A&P who worked on it is at home kicking back, popping a fresh cold one…

  1. I have a mini-ACOG on my primary go-to carbine right now – a carry handle mount on a pre-ban Bushmaster. I’ve had it so long the Tritium is nearing its useful half-life, and I’ve been reluctant to send it back and pay the $268 it costs to renew the Tritium.

    The scope itself has had thousands of rounds touched off beneath it. One day, a few years ago, I looked through it and the reticle (amber triangle) had come loose and was floating around in there. Trijicon took care of it immediately (sent me a new one under warranty, even though I’d had the scope for at least 5 years). So – not indestructible, but darned near so. I’d love to sell my old one – let somebody else pay for the refurbishing, and buy the Primary Arms version.

  2. “Am I missing something? It’s a real Trijicon. Not a knock-off.”

    You’re not missing anything. Trijicon is made in Wixom, Michigan. Great customer service. Extractor is like the person who farted, trying to blame it on someone else. Only he’s Russian, asking if we’re American… Or maybe he’s just a little slow. I haven’t decided yet. But I’d like to think he’s Russian, getting brutally punished for a terrible troll job.

    • No, their customer service is not great. PPQ rear site had front to rear play in the dovetail. Had to send in the slide for them to look at it. I was told that is was normal. Funny, the XS Big Dot I replaced it with didn’t have any play.

      • Oh hey, Bob. Thanks for the heads-up. I just threw my thousands of dollars worth of Trijicon optics in the garbage because you sanded off too much and botched a sight installation. I really dodged a bullet there. Thanks, brother.

        If anyone wants to hear REAL Trijicon customer service anecdotal evidence: They once sent me free screws for my RMR because I lost one. On a separate occasion, they sent me free screws for an RMR mount because I over torqued one and had to drill it out. I didn’t even pay for a stamp. Yeah, I mess up sometimes. But I don’t blame others when I do, unlike Bob over here.

        • You almost hurt my feelings calling me a troll. But then I remembered: I am hillbillyjew. I am legend.

          I’m sorry about your botched sight job. I do these things (well, the right way) for friends all the time. It can be nerve racking, even for me. Don’t get discouraged. Big Dots are a solid idea in theory, but you might be able to tighten up your groups with a proper Trijicon or TruGlo setup.

          Or if you really wanna spice things up, get your slide milled and throw an RMR up top. One handed slide racks off a random surface are sooo satisfying. Don’t try it with anything less durable than a Trijicon RMR though. Their customer service is… Oh. I’m sorry. We already covered that.

  3. Mmmmm… I dunno. I’m still in love with my Leupold VX-3i 2.5-8x36mm but this price does have me thinking about the idea of mounting it on one of my other AR’s…

    Then again this is Optics Planet’s usual price… and you can find them $50 cheaper on other websites if you care to look hard enough.

    • Yeah, whenever someone looks through my Leupold VXR Patrol, they’re usually like, “holy crap, that’s the clearest scope I’ve ever looked through!” or something to that effect. And that’s not even one of the real expensive Leupolds. I prefer Trijicon’s powered options over the tritium/fiber optic combos, but it’s cool in it’s own way, I suppose.

    • Strych9, that price you mentioned does not include a mount. This is the same price but with two mounts. Also, it’s the only way to get one with the ACSS reticle, which was something I definitely wanted in this kind of optic given the option.

      • Well OP kinda decided to add themselves to the shit list today so mount or no mount(s) their pricing is immaterial at this point…

    • Good question. The Nerf rails I tried seemed too small, and I think they’re usually orange. I’m guessing Jeremy mounted non-Nerf rail on there to make it work.

      Jeremy, can you fill us in on that one?

      • The optic was way loose on the rail. I just wanted the silly photo to send to some friends on Christmas 😉 But my Nerf game probably would benefit from a Trijicon haha

        • Fair enough, Jeremy. Thanks for responding.

          Holy shit. I’m so sick of the bump fire conversation. Let’s talk more Nerf. Barbies, even. Jeez.

          I prefer the Nerf guns with revolver cylinder. More reliable, in my experience. It doesn’t seem like life or death at first, cause it’s Nerf, right? But after your kids come to you with some jacked up magazine fed situation for the hundredth time, you might just welcome death after all.

  4. To the optics uneducated – what makes this worth 10 times as much as a clone on Amazon?

    The same goes for the reflex sites ($400 Trijicon vs. $40 for a clone on Amazon).

    • Is this a rhetorical question? Or did you plan to answer your own question for those who might wanna know? I’m happy to help, if you’d like.

      • This is not rhetorical.
        I want to know what the difference is between a $400 reflex and a $40 reflex. They look the same, is there a reason there’s a cost difference, and is the cost difference worth it?

        And is there a middle or the road option?

        • Sure. So a lot of the price difference has to with ability to withstand recoil. I don’t know exactly which items you’re comparing, so I’ll have to speak in some broad generalities here. I do know that a lot of the lower priced options might be ok for airsoft guns, but not so much for rimfire or centerfire platforms. I’ve learned from experience that even a pellet gun has some crazy recoil that can damage an optic not made for it.

          Apart from recoil, it kind of depends on what you wanna do with it. For instance, when I wanted a red dot on my carry pistol, I wanted something that I could rack the slide with using only one hand. The Trijicon RMR fits that role. Maybe one of my hands gets damaged, or just bloody and slippery. Maybe my left hand is fine, but I have to scoop up my daughter with the left, then clear a FTF and continue to defend with my right. I’d like to think those situations are highly unlikely, but folks like us tend to plan for the worst, right?

          I don’t work for Trijicon. I have lots of optics, each serving a different purpose. I own Zeiss, Leupold, Meprolight, Burris and more. There’s plenty of good stuff to be had out there. I even have a few Vortex that I’ll never give up on. They were priced nicely, and they serve specific purposes for me. I wouldn’t rack my slide on my bench at the range against a Vortex reflex sight like I do my RMR, but would I slap it on an AK or AR? Heck yeah.

          As for ACOG, like the one mentioned in this article, I don’t own one. I tried, but didn’t dig it. I can speak for battery powered Trijicon quality, but I don’t like the fiber optic/tritium combo. For my eyes, it’s not bright enough in bright sunlight or near complete darkness. There seems to be a sweet spot that just doesn’t work for me. That innovative combo is partly why it costs so much, so the justification isn’t there for me.

          If you have any more specific questions, I’m happy to answer, so long as my knowledge and experience applies.

  5. Not that guy but I will guess that the extra money spent on optics better than the $9.99 China-Mart special buys you a number of things, including but not limited to:

    Better quality control
    Better grade of glass
    Actual lens coatings instead of just a claim that they are present
    Better image quality especially in poor lighting conditions
    Actual inert gas purge and fill instead of just a sticker, preventing fogging
    Internal adjustment screws and gears of brass or steel instead of plastic or cast zinc
    More consistent and repeatable adjustments
    Less likely to lose zero or be damaged due to rough handling in the field

    Or if this is all too long to read, you get what you pay for. This is why Zeiss binoculars cost more than plastic toy binoculars from a box of cereal.

    There is also the less tangible benefit of knowing you have not purchased a product manufactured by political prisoner slave labor and sold by a hostile and murderous foreign government that uses the profits to build nuclear-tipped ICBMs that are then aimed at American cities. That has to be worth at least a little. It is to me, anyway. Go read Aesop’s Parable of the Arrow.


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