Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight

Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight

The Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight (normally abbreviated ACOG) is a commonly used telescopic sight for firearms, particularly carbines and assault rifles, such as the M16 series. In contrast to sniper rifles, which generally have special or hand-crafted scopes that can magnify in excess of 10x, ACOGs generally only possess magnification of 1.5x–5.5x (depending on model). They feature a fiber optic light-gathering rail for daytime use and tritium-illuminated reticle for nighttime use — unlike "red dot" electronic sights, such as the Aimpoint CompM2 (known in the U.S. military as "M68 CCO"), these scopes do not require batteries. The United States Army and Marine Corps both field ACOGs, while Marines have recently reclassified inventories as the AN/PVQ-31 Rifle Combat Optic or RCO, based on the TA31 model ACOG. [ [ Trijicon website] ]

Manufacturer description

:"The ACOGs are internally-adjustable, compact telescopic sights with tritium illuminated reticle patterns for use in low light or at night. Bindon Aiming Concept (BAC)* models feature bright daytime reticles using fiber optics which collect ambient light. The ACOGs combine traditional, precise distance marksmanship with close-in aiming speed. Although the ACOGs have many features which are very advantageous for military use, they were developed by Trijicon without government funding.

:"Designed for use with the M16 family, every feature of its mechanical and optical design was chosen for a single purpose: to provide increased hit potential in all lighting conditions — without failure-prone batteries.

The ACOG is available in a variety of configurations from the manufacturer. The TA01NSN model is the most common in use in the U.S. military. It features a crosshair reticle with Bullet Drop Compensator that allows the operator to engage targets out to 800 meters. The TA01NSN model incorporates rudimentary ghost ring sights as a backup for targets that are within 50 meters. The TA31F model is also in use by the U.S. Marine Corps as a Rifle Combat Optic (RCO), which also uses the BAC fiberoptic tube for reticle illumination during the day.

Use and issuance

The ACOG TA01NSN is an integral part of the SOPMOD package for the M4 Carbine, the TA31RCO is used on the M16A4.

Because of its durability and popularity among special forces personnel, the ACOG has been widely purchased by both individual soldiers and military units. Its ease of use initially led to a resurgence of the designated marksman role in the infantry squad. There is debate among the infantry community over exactly how the ACOG should be fielded within units. Many U.S. Army commanders, as well as the entire U.S. Marine Corps prefer that all soldiers use the ACOG. The 4x magnification of the ACOG, however, can limit the ability to quickly acquire a target at closer ranges. Some units choose to issue the ACOG to only the designated marksman and squad leaders that can use the magnification in order to call for fire, while the rest of the unit is issued the unmagnified M68 Aimpoint CompM2. Fact|date=March 2008 The U.S. Marine Corps is in the process of issuing the ACOG to all deploying units, not just "frontline" troops as was the previous policy, and may eventually equip every rifle with an optical sight.


The standard TA01 is designed to be mounted on the carrying handle of the M16 series rifle — when mounted, it features a "look through" base that allows the conventional iron sights to be employed. Certain models of ACOG even featured built-in ghost ring iron sights, a Picatinny rail, or a 7.0 MOA red dot sight mounted on top of the scope. For "flattop" and M1913 Picatinny rail-compatible weapon systems, the ACOG series is usually mounted into an adaptor manufactured by ARMS.

Trijicon has responded to market demand by offering mounting systems for a variety of platforms, including the Beretta 70/90 series, SIG 550, Heckler & Koch weapon systems and Steyr AUG.


ee also

*Telescopic sight
*Red dot sight, Aimpoint CompM2
*Advanced Combat Rifle Program

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