View Full Version : Thoughts on different ACOG reticles?

02-24-10, 13:44
I'm in the market for an ACOG scope. I'm pretty pumped about it and I've got a number of models I'm looking at. I've spent some time with the ACOG brochure on Trijicon's site, looking at specs and reticles, but there's only so much a pdf can do to give you a feel for what looking through a $1,500 scope will be like.

So what are you experiences with different ACOG reticles? Do you have any thoughts in terms of pros and cons?
Green vs. Amber vs. Red?
Chevron vs. Horseshoe vs. Donut vs. Triangle vs. Crosshair vs. Circle Dot (etc.)

Basically, I'm just looking for hands-on experiences and thoughts that'll help me decide on the right reticle for me.

02-24-10, 21:03
I used to have a TA01 full line red and currently own a TA 33 with amber chevron recticle which I have used for hunting and target shooting a lot. I've viewed numerous other models. I don't care for the four power models.

From viewing all the color options, I prefer red. Recticle wise, I believe it was the SME IraqGunz EDIT or Riverine, who gave less than stellar review of the chevron concept. After a lot of rounds with mine, although I love the little scope, I agree with his critique. The chevron covers too much of the target when trying to use 200 and 300 yard BDC marks. IMO, the best ACOG I've seen is the TA11 with the red crosshair. It's still plenty fast to pick up and easier to use for precision. IMO.

diving dave
02-24-10, 21:12
I've got the big boy, a TA55 with the red chevron on my 6.8 SPC build. the only thing I dislike is during bright sun, the chevron gets so bright from the fiber optic that is almost overpowers everything else. I fixed that with a small piece of black tape to limit the amount of light. I havent had any issues with the chevron, but havent shot it past 200 yds yet.

02-24-10, 21:44
I'm running the TA33-R8, it's a great balance between magnification and scope size/weight.

Have to agree with diving Dave though... must cover fiber optic in full sun because the reticle bloom is overpowering.

02-24-10, 22:22
Another vote for the TA33R8 (red chevron, 5.56 BDC.

I have shot it from 5 to 600 yds. for a basic AR optic, I think it's the best combination of size, performance and value in the ACOG line.

02-26-10, 21:48

02-27-10, 02:19
I ran a TA-11 with a red donut from 1997-2002 as a deputy sheriff. I love that scope. I switched to a RDS for my M4. A buddy has a TA-33 with the amber chevron. I got to play with all of them at SHOT this year and in the past. I like the TA-33 with the red chevron the best of all the ACOG scops I have put my eye to. The green was cool and I am on the fence with it. A buddy just bought one and is waiting for the brown truck to bring it home. The horse shoe ret is going to take me some time to get used to. It just seemed a bit busy.

02-27-10, 04:05
Horseshoe trumps chevron, because you can actually look through the reticle pattern to shoot and the outer portion of the horseshoe gives you a no-crap 200m range estimation capability. W/chevron, you have to sorta guess for 200m and either remember to use the lower/inner apex (what Marines call the crotch of the RCO, because we're disgusting) for aimpoint or remember to hold the tip of the chevron 2-4" inches high (based upon what ammo you use and whether or not you did a no-BS 100 METER zero like you're supposed to).

Doughnut, the lack of a specified aimpoint inside the circle makes it possible, even likely, that groups will swim around your desired strike area. Okay for snap shots, after a fashion, but not great for anything resembling precision.

Scientifically, green is your best color, because it sits right smack dab in the middle of the visible light spectrum, and is the color your eye is most transparent to. Hold a red, green, and amber light dot up on a wall (all at the same measurable level of intensity), the human eye will register green as brighter even though it actually isn't. It will also pick it up faster. Of all the colors, it is the least likely to not show up against a similar-color background because the Trijicon one is set to 532 nanometer wavelength, and there are few colors in nature to match it. Mostly, man creates garbage in that tone (lasers, reticles, shitty clothes). Ooh-rah, science.

Regarding color, that's still based on bell-curve stuff. I've seen a lot of folks do better with amber or red vs. green, but they are NOT the majority. Those bell-curves have a left and right side to them, too. Only way to really tell which color works best for you is to shoot with each. Same to be said of reticle type too, though.

Bottom line, of all the Trijicon stuff we test, green horseshoe has generally resulted in the best balance of speed and accuracy in regard to how the shooter interacts with it.

02-27-10, 21:08
Over the years as a LEO I've used several models. I started with the TA01 and TA31's. Of those I preferred the dual illumination models as I generally worked at night. At the time I was using them I was using them on my patrol rifle as a rural deputy sheriff. I had friends who really liked the TA-11's with the donuts but I stayed away as I didn't like the larger profile. I liked the TA01 for longer range precise shots but it was at a disadvantage close in as the recticle was difficult to see quickly. I generally fought with the TA-31 when trying to use it up close, eye relief and paralax issues. I ended up selling them off and going back to an aimpoint for several years.

When the TA33H-G came out I began the long drawn out search that after many months resulted in finding one priced right and in stock at the same time. It is my single favorite ACOG, by far. Great eye relief, small footprint, green horse shoe with a dot. It's not as fast as an aimpoint but it beats the hell out of the TA-31 and TA01 as far as I'm concerned.