The Search for the Best ACOG Clone – A Good Trijicon Acog Clone
The advanced combat optical gunsight, or ACOG, is valued by soldiers the world over. It’s a rugged, tough, small design that makes it perfect for combat at a wide variety of ranges.
There are a range of clones on the market, and their quality ranges from absolute trash to close to the nigh-legendary sight by soldiers the world over.
We’ve dug up some of the best ACOG Clones in order to help you make an informed choice, so let’s take a look at what makes one great and then we’ll show you what we’ve found.
The Unique Abilities of the Best ACOG Clone
For a clone to be a properly functioning replica of an ACOG (ACOG replica) and not just a stylized, fixed magnification scope it needs a couple of essential qualities to remain intact. An ACOG is designed to be used with the Bindon aiming concept.
This unique aiming concept means that you’ll be keeping both eyes open. Target acquisition is then performed with the full range of view and the dominant eye is switched to in order to use the magnification before firing. While they were originally designed for combat arms such as the M16A4 and the M4 carbine, some civilian models have been made which can be mounted on pretty much any rifle with a picatinny rail.
A true ACOG will generally have illuminated sights so that they can be used in bright daylight as well as during nighttime operations and dusk and dawn engagements. They’re also well known for being extremely durable and nearly shock-proof.
The true Trijicon ACOG has acquired an almost legendary reputation, with the US Marine Corps having actually bought enough of them to outfit every single one of their rifles and carbines with them.
While not exactly a hunting sight, they’ve seen quite a bit of popularity in recent years with the rise of the AR-15 model as a popular sporting and self-defense rifles.
They’re definitely worth consideration for those purposes, and also make a good sight for predator hunting which can occur at unpredictable ranges and might require the ability to acquire a target rapidly and fire before it’s out of range.
➜ Related: The Best AR 15 Slings On The Market
Picking the Good ACOG Clones
Due to the popularity of the design and the expensive nature of the Trijicon ACOG there’s been an increase in the amount of clones on the market. While none of them can touch the quality of the original, most of them are available for only a fraction of the price.
Keep in mind the following when you’re looking to purchase a clone and you’ll be on the right track.
These sights work with a fixed magnification. The ones issued to the military are 4x with a 32mm objective lens. This is ideal for medium range engagements and many models of the ACOG either incorporate a ghost ring sight or allow for the iron sights on the weapon to still be used with iron sights for engagements under fifty yards.
Most of the clones will follow this pattern, but if you’re planning on using it closer or farther then you’ll probably want to make sure that the magnification of your new clone fits your needs.
Variable power clones do exist, but this kind of defeats the purpose as the idea of the ACOG is to provide a sight which can be used at long range without you needing to fiddle with it.
Almost all clones will have some variant of a crosshair. Only the highest quality of them will also include a red dot sight. The crosshair itself isn’t as important as the optical qualities of them.
A true ACOG has tritium sights, which keep it illuminated at night as well as fiber optic wiring which will funnel in natural sunlight when the glow in the dark properties of the tritium won’t be apparent. This is part of what makes them so effective for rapidly finding and firing upon a target.
This will be the deal breaker for many people with the cheaper variants, without the illumination you’re just working with a standard, stylized scope. Many ACOG clones will use batteries and LEDs instead, and these can work fine but you’ll need to replace them on occasion.
A true ACOG is virtually indestructible. They’re tough, made to withstand extreme conditions, and nitrogen purged in order to ensure no fogging occurs within the scope. They’re waterproof down to 11 meters as well.
You’re most likely going to have to compromise here if you’re purchasing a clone. Since you’re unlikely to be in prolonged combat experiences while state side, this is the safest place to make the compromise while allowing you to still get the experience you need.
We’re going to be frank here: a basic Trijicon ACOG will run you over a thousand dollars. The more advanced models will cost even more. You simply aren’t able to replicate this advanced sight at an extremely low price point except in looks.
The more expensive the sight is, in this case, the better it’s going to be. Decide on your budget now, and stick to it, but remember you can get quality optics that aren’t quite as combat ready for a fraction of the price of an ACOG or high-quality clone.
Of course, if you’re just going for the styling then some of the cheaper clones make acceptable optics systems for your AR rifle.
The 5 Best ACOG Clones Reviews On The Market
We’ve gone through the trouble of digging up some of the best, readily available ACOG clones on the market. Let’s take a look at them now and see which of them suits your needs the most readily.
This Bushnell ACOG clone is actually a pretty impressive piece of work as far as tactical scopes go. This clone offers a red or green dot sight which lights up, allowing for quick target acquisition and it is nitrogen filled which makes it pretty much immune to fogging up and other issues which can plague some of the cheaper clones.
This AR optic is configured in a 1x32mm configuration, which makes it great for combat or close range predator hunting. It also has a back-up iron sight mounted on top to allow for quick firing at extremely close ranges. It does lack any sort of magnification, however, but if the dot is configured properly it’s surprisingly accurate.
The main issue that people seem to have with this particular scope is the size of the dot. While it’s fine for anything up to 50 yards many consider it simply too large for long distance shooting. Combined with the 1x magnification, it’s not really a true combat ready scope although it would be perfectly serviceable in close quarters.
It’s obviously not as durable as a Trijicon ACOG, but it’ll hold up well enough for most uses.
Fortunately, the price is fairly low and it’s still a Bushnell. While it may not live up to the true standards expected of an ACOG most people will find it to be a perfectly suitable tactical sight for self-defense and short range shooting.
- Adjustable, illuminated dot
- Back-up iron sights
- Clear optics
- Fog and water proof
- Dot is too large for long distance shooting
- Only 1x magnification
This BD tactical ACOG styled scope has a green dot optic and comes in a 1x32mm configuration. The green dot is nice, and the styling is similar to an ACOG but it’s not so much a clone as a highly stylized optic.
That’s not to say it’s a bad set of optics, but you’re not going to be using it with both eyes open and it’s not really a tactical scope. As an optic for an AR-styled .22LR used for small game hunting it’d be quite formidable and it can be dialed in to about 100 yards with a reasonable amount of accuracy.
This means that for the money it’s quite a deal, but it’s no substitute for an actual tactical scope. It holds its zero very well with small caliber rifles, and it looks cool but beyond that it’s not really exceptional.
If you’re just into the styling, however, it’s a good bargain and for the cost it’d be hard to find a better dot sight for a small caliber rifle.
- Fiber optics on sight
- Illuminated sight
- ACOG styling
- Holds zero extremely well
- Amazing value for the price
- Not a true tactical scope
- Low build-quality
This ACOG clone comes in a 4x32mm configuration, making the sight quite similar to those used by US armed forces. Unfortunately, it does suffer from some issues.
The light on the reticule has no on/off switch, instead it has a light sensor which is supposed to turn the sight on when the light level gets low enough. It looks similar enough to an ACOG and feels quite durable but at the end of the day you simply won’t be able to match a real one with this particular 4x32 ACOG clone.
It’s really not ideal for a “real steel” rifle. Although it’s marketed as being configured for a .223 rifle it doesn’t seem to be able to hold zero. Some people have actually remarked that it’s broken internally after a few shots.
It is quite good for air rifles or similar low recoil weapons like a .22LR rifle if you have the mount for it however. In these cases you’ll still be able to get a good sight picture and won’t have to worry about the recoil damaging it or taking it off zero.
For the cost it makes a decent optic for a low caliber hunting rifle, but it’s not much of a tactical sight when it comes to rifles chambered in anything much bigger than .22LR.
- Illuminated dot with light sensor
- Fixed 4x magnification
- Adjustable windage and elevation
- Fiber optic reticule for shooting during daylight
- Not suitable for .223
- Low build-quality
Trijicon TA31F 4x32 ACOG with Dual Illuminated Chevron .223 Ballistic Reticle - Best Trijicon Acog Clone
Now we’re talking. This is a true Trijicon ACOG clone. Battery-less, nearly indestructible, and nearly indestructible. This is the low end of the line, and it will blow pretty much any clone out of the water.
Of course, it also comes at a high cost, but if you’re looking for a tactical sight that you can rely on there really is no substitute for this one. This is the real deal, and despite the high cost you simply won’t be able to find a more reliable scope for combat on the market.
ACOGs are actually restricted for export outside of the United States due to their effectiveness. This should give you some idea of the level of quality you can expect when you order one of these. All of the above advantages apply to this optic.
You can receive your reticule in one of three different colors, depending on your tastes as well. It’s the little things that count, and this is the real deal.
There is, however, one issue with ordering. Until a recent crackdown some unscrupulous individuals had been ordering these, then replacing them with look-alikes and returning them which has left some individuals paying the full price for knock offs.
Take a close look when you receive yours to make sure it has the distinguishing features of a true Trijicon. These are a warning that it contains tritium on the left side of the scope, raised lettering on the right hand side declaring the brand, and a serial number in two places.
While this can be an issue, make sure you report it to Amazon if it happens and return it immediately if it’s a clone.
- The real deal
- No batteries required
- 4x32mm configuration
- 3 colors available
- Highest quality combat optic on the market
- Amazon has had some issues with counterfeits
- Very expensive
This tactical scope from Ade Advanced Optics is quite the bargain for the price. It’s not quite what most people are going to be looking for when it comes to an actual ACOG, but as a fixed magnification scope there’s no real issues with it.
It comes with color selection between red, blue, and green in order to suit your tastes and the illumination is quite sufficient for most people. The eye relief on the scope tends to be a little bit close for most people, but it’s not so close you’re at risk of a black eye unless you really limp wrist the rifle.
While it is ACOG styled, it’s not a true tactical scope. That is, you won’t be able to use it with both eyes open. For the cost, however, it’s still a bargain and the little bit of ACOG styling certainly doesn’t hurt.
It does its job as an optic quite well, but it simply isn’t much more than a regular ACOG clone without any special features.
- 4x32mm magnification
- Multi-colored illuminated sights
- Very reasonably priced• Holds zero well with .223
- Quite accurate to about 400 yards
- Windage and elevation are “backwards” from most scopes
- Not a true tactical scope
You can’t go wrong with the Trijicon TA31F 4x32 ACOG. The real deal is always going to outperform any clone on the market. This is actually one of the lower end ACOGs which the company offers, but it’s more than sufficient for anyone looking for a scope suitable for combat.
We also recognize that not everyone can afford such a high priced item, in which case the Bushnell AR Optics 1x MP is the clear winner of the clones we’ve dug up. It’s a respectable tactical scope and its performance will outstrip most of the competition quite easily.
We hope that we’ve helped you find exactly what you’re looking for when it comes to the best ACOG clones on the market. There’s a lot of them on the market that aren’t worth the plastic they’re stamped out of, but each of the above has some advantages regardless of whether or not they’re truly worthy of the ACOG stamp.
Any more questions? Recommendations? Let us know below.