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When it comes to scopes and optical accessories, people are pretty loyal. They find an optic which they are comfortable with, and they stick with it. Two of the most popular optics are Trijicon’s Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight (ACOG) series, and Electro-Optics Technology’s (EOTech) holographic weapon sights (HWS).
As ACOG vs EOTech rifle sights go, the differences between these two systems are many and varied. Some people don’t give them the time of day, preferring more traditional scopes or even back-up iron sights. Those are all well and good, but if you are interested in getting the best for your rifle, Trijicon’s ACOG and EOTech’s HWS are the way to go.
EOTech Holographic Sights for Rifles
These days, there are tons of tools and optical accessories available. As with every single firearm accessory ever made, it is the shooter’s wants, needs, and financial abilities that will have the last say. You need to know what distance you will be shooting at, approximately. Will it be daytime or nighttime? Is the weapon designed for home defense or open combat? An accessory – especially an optic – may be great, but if you don’t need it, then you simply won’t use it. If you don’t use it, it becomes a liability and a hassle. Nobody wants that.
EOTech holographic sights have quality glass and a small red dot. They are ideal for quick, semi-long range shooting – even though there they have no magnification capabilities. The MOA is minimal, which means that you have better chances of being on target, even from a distance.
The EOTech design enables fast target acquisition. You can shoot it with both eyes open, thereby maximizing your field of vision (straight and peripheral) without compromising your surroundings. You can also shoot it with the classic one eye shut technique, and get very good results. By the way, there are ways of achieving magnification with an EOTech, but since that involves purchasing another accessory, we will be leaving that option out.
EOTech sights are battery-powered, which is something of a drawback, in my opinion. But, to be fair, this battery thing is true to many scopes, and is not at all specific to EOTech’s devices. Battery life is about 500 hours, which is good but not amazing. If you put an extra battery in your stock or grip, you should have no problem. Still, you don’t want to end up in a situation where your optics fail due to a dead battery. If you are shooting a target of up to 100 – 120 yards, EOTech are definitely worth looking into.
Holographic sights are normally less expensive than telescopic sights, but that does not make them any less of a threat. People do not necessarily need magnification, and for them there is a good chance that the EOTech will provide all of the security they will ever need.
Trijicon ACOG Sights for Rifles
Trijicon ACOG sights are a whole other story. While holographic sights fall under the “red dot sight” umbrella, ACOGs are in a class of their own. ACOGs are telescopic sights, with varying degrees of fixed magnification. They have been standard issue for U.S. Army personnel ever since the late 80’s, and in the 90’s they also became standard issue for the Marines. That should give you an idea of just how accurate, precise, and shooter-friendly these scopes are.
ACOGs have different systems of illumination. Some utilize tritium, and others use a fiber optic. Some systems use both, and are magnificent to shoot with during day or night. The thing about ACOGs is the price – it is high. Totally worth it, make no mistake, but nevertheless high. If you can afford one, and are interested in getting one, go for it. You will not be disappointed. ACOGs are a work of modern optical art.
Even though tritium does have something of a limited lifespan (12-15 years, give or take), the ACOG scopes serve as a wonderful optic even after the tritium has faded. Trijicon’s devices are fit for hardcore combat situations, and they have been seeing combat for many years, in many places around the world.
These scopes have proven themselves worthy of all the praise which they receive. ACOGs are used by many security organizations and armed forces, and are well-respected. You don’t reach recognition of that magnitude without doing something right. This would not be the case with an inferior product, and sure enough – companies which produce low-quality ACOG-like products are not on the same level. Trijicon stand behind their scopes with pride.
This series of scopes is constantly illuminated, thereby eliminating the need for batteries or other external sources of power. Once the juice does run out on your ACOG, it remains a great optic on its own merit, with phenomenal sight quality, durable materials, and superb craftsmanship.
ACOGs are made for longer ranges than the EOTech, so it really does depend on the shooter and the intended targets. If the rifle in question is designed for home defense or other kinds of close quarter combat (CQC), the EOTech might be the better option. Although, for the sake of fairness, you could make use of the Bindon Aiming Concept (BAC) with the Trijicon, and make every shot count, regardless of the proximity of the target.
The BAC technique was developed by Trijicon’s founder Glyn Bindon, and at its core, it acts as a way to successfully acquire a target, while keeping the shooter’s field of vision open and unobstructed. Closing one eye puts the shooter at an optical disadvantage, and using the BAC is a way to ensure that you are not missing out on what is going on around you.
Best Optical Accessories for Your Rifle
Both EOTech and Trijicon manufacture their accessories right here in the U.S., and that is no small thing in today’s world. EOTech provides a two-year limited warranty on its sights, and Trijicon provides a limited lifetime warranty on their scopes. To be clear, with Trijicon, the lifetime warranty is on materials and craftsmanship, and the systems of illumination are guaranteed for 10 – 15 years (depending on the method used).
The bottom line:
ACOGs are more battle oriented. They are a combat magnifier, and they do their job wonderfully. Police, SWAT, Army, Marines, and even everyday civilians – many of them swear by the ACOG and its effectiveness. At longer ranges, there is no beating its quality and reliability. Main downside – price.
EOTech sights are made for more ‘in your face’ kind of situations. Part of what makes EOTech sights so popular, is the ease and rapidness with which a shooter can locate the target. Just lift your rifle and WHOOMP, there it is. Holographic weapon sights allow the shooter to achieve a proper balance between speed and accuracy. Some EOTech models even sport night vision compatibility. Main downside – battery-operated.
Both the ACOG and the EOTech come in a variety of models, and it is always recommended you do your research before putting your money on the counter. If you get the chance to try these both out, I urge you to do so. It would be the best way to see which one is the sight for you. With accessories, it is always a matter of personal preference and opinion. Features and attributes which fit your wants and needs, may not fit another’s.
Both of these companies have made it their mission to provide shooters with the best, clearest, and most accurate shooting experience. Whether you are at the range or on the battle field, it doesn’t get any better than this. When you mount either one of these optics on your rifle, you will know exactly where your money went.
Of course, there is a simple way to resolve this whole “versus” thing. If you have more than one rifle – and the disposable income to make it happen – there is no debate. You could fit one rifle with an EOTech, and another with an ACOG.