Trijicon Surpasses 1 Million ACOGs Produced

Trijicon Surpasses 1 Million ACOGs Produced

Outside of Fallujah, Iraq, on September 17, 2004, Sgt. Todd Bowers of the 4th Civil Affairs Group, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, saw insurgent snipers initiate an ambush on his security patrol. While engaged in the firefight, his sight picture exploded as an enemy bullet impacted Bowers’ Trijicon ACOG.

Fragments of both the bullet and optic showered the left side of his face. A U.S. Navy corpsman tended to Sgt. Bowers and called for a medical evacuation, but Bowers refused and kept fighting alongside Marines during the four-­hour battle. The ACOG on his M16A2 was given to him by his father, John, a former Marine sergeant, just two days before his deployment.

Conceived in 1986 as an idea rooted from a halved pair of binoculars by Trijicon’s founder, Glyn Bindon, Bindon moved the roof prism assembly closer to the eyepiece and created a prototype that was light and compact. To make it durable, he selected 7075 aluminum, the same alloy used in making M16 receivers, and forged the housing. He named the concept the “Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight,” and the acronym “ACOG” stuck. The first 4x32mm TA01 featuring a black crosshair reticle was introduced in 1987 with a screw mount for the M16A2 carry handle.

During the U.S. Army trials of the Advanced Combat Rifle (ACR), which was intended to replace the M16 and M4, a test rifle blew up. However, the ACOG remained functional and impressed evaluators. The patent followed news of its durability on February 21, 1989, and a few ACOGs were used during the invasion of Panama (i.e., Operation Just Cause) starting in December that year.


The first military order was for 36 ACOGs in 1991, ahead of Operation Desert Storm, followed by another order from the U.S. Navy SEALs who then began using the 3.5x35mm models. Between 1992 and ’95, the SEALs purchased hundreds more with the added illumination feature of a red fiber-optic reticle. New magnifications were developed and the ACOG was soon adopted by other units including Germany’s GSG9 (1993), the Israeli Special Forces (1996) and by the U.S. Army Special Forces (1998).


Unfortunately, Bindon passed away in September 2003 before he saw his invention’s worldwide approval. In 2004, the U.S. Marine Corps adopted the ACOG as the Rifle Combat Optic (RCO) with the first order for 104,000 4x32mm TA31 ACOGs featuring a bullet-­drop compensator (BDC) reticle. Though it took 18 years to sell the first 100,000 ACOGs, it only took 18 months to sell the next 100,000. Then-­Major General James Mattis, former commander of the 1st Marine Division, said, “The ACOG mounted on the M16 service rifle has proven to be the biggest improvement in lethality for the Marine infantryman since the introduction of the M1 Garand in World War II.”

The ACOG line experienced growth and developments for various platforms and the second-­generation ACOG was introduced in 2015.

//content.osgnetworks.tv/gunsandammo/content/photos/1-Million-Trijicon-1.jpg

I had the opportunity to visit Trijicon’s factory in Wixom, Michigan, where I was trained to build the ACOG. The experience offered unique insight and appreciation for its engineering, the skills of the hands that make them and Trijicon’s quality control. Though my sample, which took several inefficient hours to build, might have been “good enough,” it was laser-­engraved with the Guns & Ammo logo so that it couldn’t be sold at retail.

Recently, Trijicon assembled its 1 millionth ACOG and continues to produce more. Visit millionthacog.com to learn more about the ACOG’s history and read stories from those who have relied on it in the field.


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Century Arms Introduces a Heavy-Duty AK Rifle

Century Arms Introduces a Heavy-Duty AK Rifle

Chambered in 7.62x39mm with components machined from extremely durable S7 tool steel, a chrome-moly 4150 barrel and a carburized 4140 steel bolt.

All About .300 Blackout

All About .300 Blackout

The .300 Blackout is here to stay, and we take some time to look at new technology surrounding this cartridge. Next, we pit subsonic rivals against each other before stretching the legs of this CQB round out to 600 yards from a short 9-inch barrel.

Hornady 6MM Creedmoor

Hornady 6MM Creedmoor

Tom Beckstrand and Neal Emery of Hornady highlight the 6MM Creedmoor ammo.

Gun Clips with Joe Mantegna - 94 WINCHESTER

Gun Clips with Joe Mantegna - 94 WINCHESTER

Joe Mantegna talks about the origins of the 94 Winchester rifle.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

How-To

9 Commonly Misused Gun Terms

Kyle Wintersteen

"Assault weapon." Sixteen-round "clip." A box of "bullets." When it comes to guns and gun...

Here's the latest competitive intel on what are the top ARs in 3-Gun today and why. Rifles

Top ARs in 3-Gun Shooting Today

James Tarr - May 14, 2019

Here's the latest competitive intel on what are the top ARs in 3-Gun today and why.

A guide on how to pair .223 and 5.56 NATO rifle barrel twist rates with bullet weights. Conventional wisdom says slower twist rates wouldn't properly-stabilize a heavy bullet. On the other hand, faster rates could over-stabilize lighter bullets. This is correct in theory, however, modern ballisticians have all but debunked the over-stabilization theory. All things being equal, it is better to have too much twist than not enough. How-To

Pairing Barrel Twist Rates with Bullets for .223 and 5.56 NATO

Keith Wood - November 17, 2018

A guide on how to pair .223 and 5.56 NATO rifle barrel twist rates with bullet weights....

Don't underestimate the fun factor. Shotguns

Review: Remington V3 TAC-13

Brad Fitzpatrick - March 08, 2019

Don't underestimate the fun factor.

See More Trending Articles

More Optics

Leupold & Stevens, Inc. announced its Freedom RDS (Red Dot Sight) is now available in a Black Ring model. Optics

Leupold Freedom RDS Black Ring Model – First Look

Guns & Ammo Digital Staff - May 01, 2020

Leupold & Stevens, Inc. announced its Freedom RDS (Red Dot Sight) is now available in a Black...

Vortex Optics unveils the 1-10X Razor HD Gen III scope. Optics

Vortex Optics 1-10X Razor HD Gen III Review

Tom Beckstrand - April 21, 2020

Vortex Optics unveils the 1-10X Razor HD Gen III scope.

While the Omnia 8 1-­8x24mm isn't the ideal choice for precision riflery, it is an excellent choice for recreational use — about 90-­percent of all rifle shooting. The wide magnification range lets the owner use it from the muzzle out to several hundred yards, useful under a wide variety of lighting conditions. Optics

TruGlo Omnia 8 1-8x24mm Scope Review

Tom Beckstrand - June 12, 2020

While the Omnia 8 1-­8x24mm isn't the ideal choice for precision riflery, it is an excellent...

Firearms and red dots are a match made in heaven. Since the principles of aiming and shooting are so similar, why not use a red dot on your camera? Attaching a red dot to your camera can be as effective as one on your firearm. Optics

Mounting Red Dots on Cameras

Mark Fingar - July 20, 2020

Firearms and red dots are a match made in heaven. Since the principles of aiming and shooting...

See More Optics

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All Guns and Ammo subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now