Best ACOG Clone – What Good Trijicon Alternatives are there?
Let’s be honest. The Trijicon ACOG is one of the best scopes you can get for tactical uses. They are, in one word, awesome. However, they are definitely on the expensive side. There are some alternatives to the original and we’ll have a closer look to find the best ACOG clone for the money.
- 1 What Is an ACOG Scope?
- 2 Trijicon ACOG – What Makes it the Standard?
- 3 ACOG Clones – Are They Any Good?
- 4 Who Makes ACOG Scopes?
- 5 What Makes an ACOG Scope So Good?
- 6 What ACOG Does the Military Use?
- 7 What Is the Best ACOG Clone?
- 7.1 CTOPTIC 4×32 Rifle Scope
- 7.2 CRUSHUNT 4×32 Scope Hunting Riflescope
- 7.3 Ozark Armament 4X Magnified Optic with Illuminated BDC Reticle
- 7.4 Armybase ACOG Chevron Reticle Red Fiber 4×32 Magnification Rifle Scope
- 7.5 Monstrum 4×30 Ultra-Compact Rifle Scope
- 7.6 Vortex Optics Spitfire 3x Prism Scope
- 7.7 Sig Sauer Bravo4 4x30mm
- 8 Conclusion
If you’re in a hurry, here’s our list of seven optics we looked at to find the best ACOG clone:
- CTOPTIC 4×32 Riflescope
- CRUSHUNT 4×32 Hunting Riflescope
- Ozark Armament 4X Magnified Optic with Illuminated BDC Reticle
- Armybase ACOG Chevron Reticle Red Fiber 4×32 Magnification Riflescope
- Monstrum 4×30 Ultra-Compact Rifle Scope
- Vortex Optics Spitfire 3x Prism Scope
- Sig Sauer Bravo4 4x30mm
There’s no single best ACOG clone that you can get in our opinion. Depending on your needs and budget you can pick any of the ones we listed above and reviewed below as your riflescope of choice!
What Is an ACOG Scope?
ACOG scopes are among the most popular options for rifles. Frequently used in law enforcement and the military, These scopes have become the standard for reliable performance. The ACOG comes with fixed 4x magnification, a battery-free illuminated reticle, and a completely waterproof design.
Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight (ACOG) refers to a series of sights developed and manufactured by Trijicon. Based in Wixom, Michigan, Trijicon specializes in the manufacturing of optical sights and the ACOG line is their most popular option.
The company started in 1981 as Armson USA. The company was the sole importer and distributor for Armson OEG gunsights in the United States. The company was reorganized and renamed in 1985, two years before developing the first ACOG scope.
The TA01 4×32 ACOG was developed for the US military for use with assault rifles, including the M4 carbine and M16 rifle. The company has since released multiple configurations of ACOG scopes for use with different rifles.
While it was originally developed for the military, ACOG scopes have become a favorite for all types of marksmen. No matter if you are a casual shooter or a hunter, the ACOG offers reliability in the field.
The one limitation is the fixed magnification. The standard ACOG comes with 4x magnification. However, different configurations and clones come with other magnification levels. – Have a look at how to figure out the best scope magnification power range!
Four times magnification is mostly used for close ranges, between 25 yards and 100 yards. You may stretch your range to 400 yards, depending on your skill and environmental conditions.
If your hunting plans require you to shoot at different ranges, then a magnification that is fixed is not ideal. For everyone else, the ACOG is a superb option, especially in low-light settings.
The ACOG scopes come with Picatinny rails for mounting (find our take on the best mounting kits!). ACOGs are mostly used on the M16 and M4. Trijicon has also produced these types of scopes for the Beretta AR70/90, HK416, Bushmaster ACR, SIG SG 550, and Enfield L85A2. These rifles all use 5.56 mm cartridges. However, some ACOG scopes work on .233-caliber rifles, such as the AR-15.
Trijicon ACOG – What Makes it the Standard?
The Trijicon scopes stand out for a variety of reasons, including dependability and clear optics. The scopes are built for use in rugged environments.
Trijicon manufactured the original ACOG scopes and continues to manufacture a variety of ACOG configurations for the M16, M4, and AR-15. The high price of the scopes has led several other riflescope manufacturers to start producing ACOG clones and alternatives.
Over 30 years after the company released the TA01 model, Trijicon ACOGs remain the standard for ACOG scopes. One of the best-selling Trijicon ACOGs is the 4×32 Dual Illuminated Horseshoe Dot .223 Ballistic Reticle Trijicon ACOG.
The 4×32 ACOG includes many of the standard features found on most Trijicon ACOGs, including:
- Battery-free illumination
- Rugged aircraft-grade aluminum housing
- Bullet drop compensator reticle
- Wide field of view
The main feature is the battery-free illumination. Instead of a battery, the illuminated dot is powered by internal phosphor illumination. Tritium contained in the scope slowly decays, which creates light without the need for battery power. The tritium lasts 10 to 15 years, ensuring a long service life for the ACOG scopes.
Eliminating the need for battery components allows Trijicon to use smaller dimensions for the scope. ACOGs are lightweight and relatively compact.
As the military requires a scope that can withstand the recoil from 5.56 rounds and rapid shooting, the Trijicon 4×32 ACOG is durable. It features aluminum-alloy housing and completely fog proof, shockproof, and waterproof design.
This model comes with a horseshoe reticle for bullet drop compensation and ranging. It ranges out to 800 meters, which is further than most shooters will need with an ACOG.
Other highlights include a wide field of view and easy to adjust knurled turrets. The field of view is 36.8 feet at 100 yards. With the 32 mm objective lens and the reticle that’s illuminated, you get a clear view of your shot in most lighting conditions.
Unfortunately, Trijicon ACOG scopes are designed for a limited selection of rifles. They also come with an expensive price tag. Due to these limitations, you may need to consider buying an ACOG clone for your rifle.
ACOG Clones – Are They Any Good?
ACOG clones and alternatives are scopes that are based on the design of the Trijicon scopes. The best ACOG clone often includes many of the same features at a fraction of the price. However, when it comes to rifle scopes, you tend to get what you pay for.
The first noticeable difference between a true Trijicon model and a clone is the clarity of the optics. The lower price point of the clones may result in lower quality optics compared to expensive Trijicon scopes. This is not a major issue for the average person. Several of the best ACOG clones come from trusted manufacturers and offer decent sharpness in low light settings.
Even with a quality clone, you may notice a difference when focusing on your target. Trijicon has refined its rifle scope over the years to make it easier to shoot with both eyes open.
Shooting with two eyes open allows for faster target acquisition and tracking while helping you remain aware of your surroundings. These are important features in a combat situation, but not essential for hunting.
Budget ACOG clones and alternatives are less likely to include the brightness and clarity needed for shooting with both eyes open. Instead of fiber optic illumination, many knockoffs come with battery-powered illumination and need for example an aa battery.
The clones that come with fiber optic illumination still lack the brightness provided by a true Trijicon scope. They do leverage the fiber optic component to improve over many standard LED-based red/green dot sights.
The next difference is the magnification. Trijicon scopes come with magnification that’s fixed. Four times is the most common configuration, but you can find lenses ranging between 1x and 6x fixed power. Some of the best clones provide different power ranges to suit different uses. If a real ACOG does not offer the magnification needed for your typical shooting situation, you may prefer a clone. – Here’s how scope magnification and distance should be matched!
The durability is another differentiation between a real Trijicon and even some of the best ACOG clones. Trijicon ACOGs are built to withstand the toughest environments and heavy recoil.
Overall, the best ACOG clones provide a budget option for those that do not want to spend $1,000 or more on a rifle scope. They may lack some of the features that help ACOG scopes stand out, but they save you money.
Who Makes ACOG Scopes?
The original ACOG scopes are made by Trijicon. You can also find a variety of knockoffs featuring similar designs and features. Most of the best clones are made by budget manufacturers, such as CTOPTIC, Ozark Armament, and Monstrum. These companies are known for manufacturing low-cost scopes.
The budget ACOG clones tend to offer decent performance for their price ranges but may not hold up to rugged use and heavy recoil.
Several midrange rifle scope manufacturers also offer their own design of the best ACOG clone, including Sig Sauer and Vortex Optics (check for example our review of the Vortex Viper HST). Sig Sauer is a German and Swiss manufacturer of firearms and firearms accessories. The company is known for its SIG P210, P220, P230, and P320 pistols. Sig Sauer has over 70 years of manufacturing experience and offers quality products at reasonable prices.
Vortex Optics is an American-owned company. Founded in 1986, Vortex Optics has earned a reputation for manufacturing a wide range of midrange scopes. As with Sig Sauer, Vortex offers reliable scopes at decent prices, bridging the gap between budget scopes and high-end scopes.
What Makes an ACOG Scope So Good?
The military prefers these scopes due to their durability and performance in low light conditions. The scopes are compact and available with thumbscrews for mounting on the carrying handle instead of the Picatinny rail.
These scopes are made to provide superior dependability in the field. It can take a beating and continue to deliver clear optics. With the waterproof design, it can even remain submerged in water up to 10 meters deep without allowing moisture to penetrate the interior.
With such an optic, you can focus on your target while remaining aware of your environment, making it a great rifle scope for tactical situations. However, the feature that stands out the most is the illuminated reticle.
Many rifle scope manufacturers offer illuminated reticles. Trijicon sights rely on fiber optics to eliminate the need for battery power. The fiber optic and tritium combination are what make the Trijicon optic a one-of-a-kind. ACOGs also adjust the brightness automatically to enhance your ability to lock on your target in the dark.
What ACOG Does the Military Use?
The military still relies on true Trijicon scopes. The company has expanded its line to include 12 different ACOG models. You will not find the military use an ACOG clone!
The TA31 model with 4x magnification and a 32 mm objective lens became the preferred choice for the United States Marine Corps (USMC) and the US Army. The TA31 comes in several variations.
Trijicon developed the TA31RCO (Rifle Combat Optic) for the USMC. There are two variants, including the TA31RCO-M4 and the TA31RCO-A4. The USMC bought over 100,000 TA31RCO scopes in 2003.
The Army also uses the TA31 model. However, a different model was created for the Army. The M150 includes the same features found on the TA31RCO, but with the parallax set to 300 meters instead of 100 meters.
Some Marines may use the newer TA11SDO (Squad Automatic Weapon Day Optic). It is a 3.5x magnification ACOG based on the TA11 series and adopted by the US Marines in 2010. The TA11SDO mounts on the M249 and has a longer eye relief compared to the TA31 ACOG.
What Is the Best ACOG Clone?
Now that you understand the features that help set ACOGs apart from the competition, it’s time to find the best Trijicon ACOG clone. Here are seven suitable options for such ACOG clones and alternatives.
CTOPTIC 4×32 Rifle Scope
The CTOPTIC rifle scope is a low-cost alternative to true ACOG scopes, featuring a horseshoe reticle with red illumination powered by real fiber optics.
This ACOG clone includes a real fiber source to increase the brightness of the illuminated red dot horseshoe in the reticle. As a budget scope, it does not quite match the clarity provided by a real ACOG. However, you get a clear view during the daytime. The red dot scope has a real fiber optic component which improves the visibility of the dot during daylight hours.
The CTOPTIC 4×32 scope is best suited for those that want the most affordable alternative to an ACOG. It has 4x magnification and a 32 mm objective lens. The field of view is sufficient while the eye relief at 1.5 inches being pretty short compared to some of the other options. These features make the red dot scope a good choice as an ACOG replacement but by no means does it compare to the original!
The housing is a full-metal design. It is also shockproof, fog proof, and water-resistant. If you drop it in the water, it may survive.
- Decent price for a reliable rifle scope
- Includes real fiber optics for daytime illumination
- Holds zero surprisingly well
- The lenses are not fully multicoated
- The recoil from an AR-15 may require frequent adjustments
- Short eye relief
CRUSHUNT 4×32 Scope Hunting Riflescope
Designed for use with any 20 mm RIS weaver standard rail, the CRUSHUNT 4×32 riflescope uses real fiber optics to illuminate the reticle. It may not resemble an ACOG scope, but it includes many of the same features.
The CRUSHUNT ACOG clone includes 4x magnification, an illuminated chevron reticle paired with a 32 mm objective lens. It also has a waterproof, shockproof, and fog proof design with a forged, aircraft-grade aluminum body.
The reticle of this ACOG scope is a Chevron reticle, which is intended for use with the Bindon Aiming Concept (BAC). The Bindon Aiming Concept was developed by Glyn Bindon, the founder and designer at Trijicon.
The Bindon Aiming Concept allows you to shoot with both eyes open, helping you center on fast-moving targets. Unfortunately, the Chevron reticle is less effective on this rifle scope compared to a true Trijicon ACOG. You may still need to close an eye when looking through the lens. It also struggles to hold zero with heavy recoil.
The eye relief on the Crushunt ACOG alternative is only 1.5 inches. That’s quite a short eye relief if you mount this optic on a rifle with substantial recoil.
While this rifle scope has a few limitations, the glass is very clear. It is also an affordable choice compared to the high price of a true ACOG.
- Includes bright illumination during the daytime
- Features durable construction for rugged use
- Relatively affordable option
- True fiber-optic illumination for improved daytime use
- Does not include tritium, which keeps it from glowing in complete darkness
- The Chevron reticle may still require you to close one eye
- Short eye relief
Ozark Armament 4X Magnified Optic with Illuminated BDC Reticle
Featuring all-metal construction, the ACOG clone from Ozark Armament is a budget rifle scope with 4x magnification, illuminated BDC reticle, and a 32 mm objective lens size.
The compact Ozark Armament scope is the least expensive ACOG clone that is worth recommending. It includes a built-in Picatinny mount for quick installation and three forward mount points for installing accessory options.
Unlike some of the other clones, this scope is battery powered. The illuminated BDC reticle adds a bright dot during any light conditions. Instead of red or green dots (the CVLIFE 1x22x33 also offers green or red dot reticles), the Ozark Armament scope allows you to choose from red, blue, or green. However, you may need to occasionally replace the battery.
This rifle scope is compact, but it’s also a little heavy. It weighs almost 1.5 pounds, making it one of the heavier options.
Additional features include ¼ MOA windage and elevation adjustments, a generous 3.5-inch eye relief, and a 36.8-foot FOV at 100 yards.
- The most affordable ACOG alternative
- Offers significantly longer eye relief
- Provides multiple mounting points
- Allows you to select red, blue, or green illumination
- Uses battery-powered illumination instead of fiber optics
- This scope is relatively heavy
Armybase ACOG Chevron Reticle Red Fiber 4×32 Magnification Rifle Scope
For those wanting a durable ACOG clone for use with standard weaver rails, the Armybase ACOG Chevron Reticle Rifle Scope is a top recommendation. It includes 4x magnification and true fiber optics.
Unlike some of the less expensive ACOG clones, the Armybase scope uses red fiber optics to illuminate the reticle. As with a true ACOG scope, it does not need battery power. Unfortunately, it does not use tritium, which is needed for illumination in the darkness.
The illuminated reticle works best during the daytime. Hunters may enjoy the assistance of an illuminated dot when hunting at dawn or dusk.
This rifle scope stands out due to its durability. It has a compact design and a forged aircraft-grade aluminum body. It weighs about 1.3 pounds, making it slightly heavy, but it can also withstand abuse.
The eye relief is short, which may be an issue for those with glasses or when using a high-caliber rifle with heavy recoil.
- The design is durable and built to last
- Offers a wide FOV
- The optic is compact and mounts on any weaver standard rail
- Fiber optic-based illumination
- The lenses are multicoated, but not fully multicoated
- The eye relief is short
Monstrum 4×30 Ultra-Compact Rifle Scope
The Monstrum Tactical Ultra-Compact Riflescope comes with 4x fixed magnification and one of the smallest designs compared to any other clone.
If you need to estimate your shooting range, the Monstrum riflescope can help. It includes a glass range finder reticle with range finder markings. While this reticle helps determine the range, some people may not like the layout of the design.
This compact scope weighs just 12 ounces and measures 6 inches long. It is small, yet very durable. The housing is made from ultra-lightweight aircraft-grade aluminum.
Most of the other features are standard options on any other of the best ACOG clones. You get 4x magnification, a 30 mm objective lens, 2.5-inch eye relief, and adjustments for windage and elevation. As with most optics, it is also shockproof, waterproof, and fog proof.
This is one of the least expensive ACOG clones. While it is a budget scope, it offers reasonably clear optics. You should not notice any blurring in the reticle. The Monstrum scope also holds zero, even after hundreds of rounds.
- Incredibly affordable ACOG alternative
- Includes red or green illumination
- Offers one of the lightest, most compact designs
- Holds zero surprisingly well
- The range finder reticle may not appeal to everyone
Vortex Optics Spitfire 3x Prism Scope
The Spitfire 3x Prism Scope from Vortex Optics is a midrange optic with a selectable red/green illuminated reticle and five brightness levels.
The Vortex Optics Spitfire 3x Prism Scope mounts on any rifle that uses Picatinny rails and comes with a multi-height mount system. You may select between 30 mm and 40 mm.
Vortex Optics ensured that this riflescope performs well in most conditions. It has a shockproof design and fully multicoated lenses. It also features nitrogen purging and O-ring seals to help make it waterproof and fog proof.
The rifle scope has an EBR-556B (MOA) reticle and selectable red/green illumination with five brightness settings. The markings in the reticle are etched in the glass to provide a clear view in any lighting conditions. You may also adjust the brightness setting of the illumination to suit the environment.
With the Vortex Optics Spitfire 3x Prism Scope, you also get 3x fixed magnification and a fast-focus eyepiece. With the lower power magnification and fast focus eyepiece, this is a good choice for hunting fast-moving targets at close ranges.
The eye relief on the Vortex Optics Spitfire 3x prism scope is 2.8 inches. That’s sufficient for mounting the optic on many types of rifles even if they produce some recoil.
- Includes fully multicoated lenses for greater clarity in low-light conditions
- Offers five brightness settings for the reticle illumination
- Allows you to select between red and green illumination
- The reticle does not include bullet drop compensation or range finding
Sig Sauer Bravo4 4x30mm
Produced by a respected firearm manufacturer in Germany, the Sig Sauer Bravo4 is a 4x30mm scope with a wide field of view and motion-activated illumination. This may be the best Trijicon ACOG clone available.
The rifle scope comes equipped with a horseshoe dot reticle, providing compensation for bullet drop and range. The magnification is fixed at 4x and it includes a 30 mm objective lens.
The eye relief on the Sig Sauer Bravo4 is 2.2 inches. The field of view is an exceptional 53 feet at 100 yards.
It also comes equipped with a Picatinny rail mount and an aircraft-grade aluminum body. The design is waterproof up to 13 feet and fully fog proof. As with most scopes, it includes adjustment knobs for elevation and windage which can be adjusted by 68 MOA each.
While this rifle scope includes many useful features, it does not use fiber optics for illumination. It has a battery-powered illuminated reticle with over 20 daytime brightness settings and two different night vision modes.
Sig Sauer added two unique features to this scope. The Megaview system increases the field of view of the scope, providing a 53-foot FOV at 100 yards, compared to the 36.8-foot FOV offered by the Trijicon ACOG at the same distance.
The large FOV allows for faster target acquisition and greater awareness of movement in the periphery of your view. The motion-activated illumination (MOTAC) is another unique feature. The reticle illuminates when motion is detected, conserving battery life.
- The closest you can get to a true ACOG without spending a fortune
- Offers an amazingly large field of view compared to other options
- The reticle illumination includes over 20 intensity settings
- The reticle illumination is battery-powered
Trijicon ACOG scopes are often used by the military and law enforcement professionals thanks to superior durability and reliability. These scopes are compact and built for use in the harshest conditions. They can withstand shock and water while continuing to provide a clear view of your target.
ACOG scopes are also equipped with illuminated reticles with 4x fixed magnification which makes them perfect for tactical engagements. They offer greater clarity in low-light settings.
While these scopes include many advantages, they are also expensive. If you want some of the same features at a lower price point, some of the listed best ACOG clones may provide a suitable alternative.
The Vortex Optics Spitfire Prism Scope a reliable midrange scope with an illuminated reticle at about a third of the price compared to a true ACOG. It also features clear optics in low-light conditions.
The Sig Sauer scope is the closest and probably best competitor to the Trijicon ACOG. It is a high-end scope with superior clarity and an incredibly large field of view.
The Vortex Optics and Sig Sauer Trijicon ACOG clones are great alternatives for hunters and anyone needing faster target acquisition even though both are not true ACOG scopes.
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In our original post, we did list the wipboten 4×32 scope as an ACOG alternative. While it was a great optic that included features like real fiber optics for the illumination, it is unfortunately no longer available. We replaced it with the CTOPTICS scope which offers similar features to the wipboten 4×32 scope. Both of these scopes are affordable ACOG clones that will give you plenty of good capabilities for your everyday shooting needs!