The 3 Best AR 15 ACOG Scopes — AR15 Sight Reviews 2023

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Photo by Keith LeFaille / CC BY

The ACOG, also known as the Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight, is the ultimate AR 15 optic. The optic is designed around the AR platform and was initially made for police and military use. These optics widely issued by both the U.S. Marine corps, and the U.S. Army, and have found widespread acceptance among the troops (indeed, the person writing this statement has had 5 years, two deployments, and several hundred thousand rounds behind an ACOG as a Marine).

The Trijicon ACOG has been widely adopted by civilians as well for a variety of purposes. The ACOG fills a variety of roles, including self-defense, hunting, and competition. The ACOG is not a single scope, but an entire line of optics designed for specific missions and calibers. In this article, we picked the best AR 15 ACOG scope for each use that a civilian might want (though, if you want to see the whole catalog, it’s all right there online).

The Best Hunting ACOG for AR15

Smooth, lightweight, and downright svelte, the ACOG 4 x 32 is a medium, fixed power optic that is perfect for the AR 15 platform. The standard model ACOG is as light and as small as it gets. The model is designed to be simplistic, without much frill or spectacle. This lightweight ACOG would be an excellent companion on an AR like the R 15 by Remington. AR 15s are rising in popularity as hunting rifles, and their optics are following suit.

The ACOG 4 x 32 is a mere 10.9 ounces and is only 5.8 inches long. The standard model features a bullet drop compensator for the 5.56 / 223 Remington round. This compensator can act as a rudimentary range finder, and takes the guess work out of estimating bullet drop. The ACOG 4 x 32 allows a hunter to stretch out the range on his or her rifle and use the rifle to its max effective range. The bullet drop compensator works out to 800 yards, which makes arguably the best ACOG scope for AR15 rifles used for hunting.

The reticle is powered from a battery-free power source (the radioactive isotope tritium) and will remain illuminated at night. The ACOG is also completely waterproof and remarkably durable. The ACOG was originally intended to be a military optic, and the design meets the military’s strict standards for durability and strength.

The Best Home Defense ACOG for AR15

The AR 15 is not only quickly becoming one of the most weapons for hunting, but also for home defense. An AR 15 is easy to use, accurate and reliable, and an AR 15 ACOG should be the same. The main issue with using an AR for home defense is making sure your rounds hit their target. In close quarters combat, every shot matters.

The Trijicon TA31 RMR ACOG is a mouthful, but it is far superior to using iron sights for home defense. The Trijicon RMR ACOG is actually two optics in one. Of course, you have the fixed power 4 power ACOG, with a 32 mm objective lens. Mounted on top of that ACOG is a Trijicon Ruggedized Miniature Reflex sight. This small optic is a 1 power, holographic, open sight.

The ACOG itself uses a two eyed aiming method, known as the Bindon aiming concept. This allows a 4x optic to be used similarly as a red dot. With both eyes open the reticle is imposed over your vision and acts somewhat like a red dot. The RMR mounted on the top of the ACOG is designed for rapid engagement. The RMR is so easy to use, it’s simply put the dot on the target and pull the trigger.

In a home defense situation, you may not have the opportunity to take even a few seconds to aim. You need rounds on target as quick as possible and the RMR is perfect for that. However, if the situation is dragged out further than the first few shots, you may have a moment to take careful aim, and use the actual ACOG to place accurate shots on target. The fight may even go outside, with someone shooting into your home, having precision is what counts. This is definitely a contender for the best AR15 ACOG scope for self-defense.

The Best “Heavy” ACOG for AR 15

When it comes to accuracy, distance, and precision it’s hard to beat the 308 or 7.62 x 51mm round. This powerful 30 caliber cartridge is a favorite for the AR platform, second only to the 5.56. Trijicon has produced the ACOG with a 308 ballistic reticle. The ACOG is a 3.5 fixed power optic, with a 35 mm objective lens.

The Trijicon 308 ACOG in designed to fit flat top AR rifles and is calibrated for up to 1200 meters. The 308 Acog is a wonderful design for those running a heavier rifle for competitions like the Heavy metal class of 3 gun competition. The Heavy Metal class requires a full power round like the .308, and the courses are typically short to medium ranges.

The Trijicon 308 Acog is perfect for competition. The 3.5 power is perfect for engaging either medium range targets or small targets at close range. The optic is designed to use the same aiming technique as its little brother—that being two eyes open shooting for close range encounters.

The 308 ACOG uses the same style bullet drop compensator as the 5.56 model. This allows the shooter to fire at extended ranges without having to do the math to compensate for bullet drop. The hash marks of the BDC coincide with a certain range, so all you have to do is place the hash mark on the target and pull the trigger.

Trijicon ACOG TA11J-G BDC Basics

Conclusion – Shots Fired

The Advanced combat optical gunsight is an excellent model for every optic’s company to follow. The ACOG is easy to use, precise, and tough as nails. AR15 ACOG scopes are tough enough to take a bullet and continue working, which, take it from me, is a true story from a Marine formerly in Iraq.

Back home, the ACOG is one of the best optics on the market. It can fill a variety of roles, and it’s not a Jack of all trades master of none either, it’s superbly capable in nearly any role you throw at it. The AR 15 ACOG can hunt, can defend and compete.

  • Owner of, Boyd Smith is a major handgun enthusiast, and although he owns Glocks, he prefers the revolving wheel type. His go-to guns are a Smith & Wesson 642 Performance Center for carry and a Ruger GP100 in the nightstand biometric safe (he has kids). He loads both revolvers with old-school 148-grain Federal Gold Medal .38 wadcutters. It’s OK if you think he’s a wimp. Email him.

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2 responses

  1. Excellent conclusions.
    I am now convinced. I am obtaining the ACOG 3.5 X30

  2. I have the RMR/ACOG on layaway. I already own the ACOG with the .308 reticle. Up to 300 yards it is excellent. I’m looking forward to getting the RMR/ACOG on my Wilson Combat AR!

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