As is obvious by my previous articles, I’m a fan of mixing the tactical world and the wild hog hunting world. I think they have a great crossover, that skill in one arena pays dividends in the other. On that same theme, let’s talk about the use of traditionally tactical optics for use in hog hunting. For this entry, we’ll look at the Trijicon ACOG. The ACOG in has been counted on by soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq, law enforcement here at home, and by hunters and enthusiasts across the county. Let’s look specifically at the Trijicon ACOG 4×32 w/ 4.0 MOA RMR Sight.
This is a classic tactical optic used by military and law enforcement personnel around the world. It is a supremely manufactured optic that has proven itself in the most extreme combat situations. The general specs on this optic are as follows:
Magnification – 4x
Objective Size – 32
Bullet Drop Compensator -Yes
Length (In) -6.2
Weight (oz) -15
Illumination Source – Fiber Optics & Tritium
Reticle Pattern – Crosshair
Day Reticle Color – Green
Night Reticle Color – Green
Calibration – 0.223
Eye Relief – 1.5
Exit Pupil – 8
Field of View (Degrees) -7
Field of View @ 100 yards (ft) – 36.8
Adjustment @ 100 yards – (clicks/in) 2
Mount – A.R.M.S. #19LD
Mount Comes With – A.R.M.S. #19LD
Housing – Material Forged Aluminum
I am a fan of this optic as a dual use tool for a few reasons. First and foremost is that it is light, durable, and reliable. I have never experienced a shift of zero with standard use and carry. Once you get it doped in, it stays in the fight with you. One of the unique aspects of this particular ACOG is the presence of the RMR or “red dot” site mounted on the top. The addition of this is a game changer for the ACOG. While the primary unit has 4x magnification, in the event a hog presents itself at close distances you can transition to the red dot and go to work! This had been one of the initial criticisms of the ACOG. Prior to the addition of the red dot, the ACOG was a bit slow in CQB distances. But wait! There is more! On the left side of the optic housing is an emergency back up iron sight. If the worst case scenario has occurred and the scope AND red dot are down – you can go to BUIS!
“True story,” says SHWAT co-founder Jonathan Owen. “There are a number of great optics I’ve used to take hogs, but late one afternoon as the sun was sinking low in the West Texas sky, my two hunting partners and I were low crawling up on a group of hogs feeding on 14 inch tall green wheat. When the shooting started we were up close to hogs. Sighting with the red dot, I shot, or maybe shot at, a 180 pound pig that still managed to stage a speedy exit towards the tree line to the west. I transitioned from the red dot to the ACOG, and sent 3 or 4 rounds his way. About a hundred yards from where we initially engaged them, that hog spun around and dropped. It all happen in mere moments, and the ability to transition instantly between the red dot and magnified ACOG was really great.”
The optic has an illuminated reticle, which makes it very easy to acquire in all light conditions. I know many people like to take hogs in the early morning light as well as at dusk. A non-illuminated reticle can make for frustration you don’t need when a 600 pound hog is giving you the evil eye. The standard reticle pattern has a built in bullet drop compensator. What this means is that all you have to do is raise or lower the crosshairs to match the distance to your target. This makes quick shots very easy and is much more reliable than the ever technical “Guestimation Hold”.
The optic mounts with a very slick “throw lever” style device. It is designed to mount on standard picatinny rails. While most newer rifles come stock with these rails, some older guns are simply tapped for traditional rings. With the expansive tactical market there are now many manufactures making picatinny rails for just about any rifle. This is a strong addition on other areas of the rifle as well, but we will hit that topic at a later time. The quick mount and removal aspect of this device can potentially be a hunt saver. I have been on hunts where a gun goes down and the “back up” is essentially a revolutionary war musket compared to the high end blaster initially brought to thin the heard. Taking a standard scope off of a rifle and moving it to another in the field is a serious pain. It is generally accompanied by extensive bouts of foul language, some reference to using the rifle as a bludgeoning tool and at least one lost screw. The quick release mount changes that. Simply open the mount and take off the optic. Put it on the back up; re-zero and then get back in the hunt! I will even go so far as to say this from personal experience: If your picatinny mount is solid on your back up gun, you will need to do very little to re-zero the scope. The mount is that good.
As with any optic, it does have some downsides. The scope is fairly small and the field of view is only 7 degrees. It is not intended to be used as a scan and hunt scope but rather a target engagement optic. The major downside of this wonder glass is its price. Ttijicon has the suggested retail set at $2050.00. Most retailers have it listed in the $1800 range. This is indeed a lot of money for a scope. I attribute the high price to a few things. First is their military and law enforcement clientele. They have customers buying these a hundred at a time so they naturally are getting a premium for the scope. Second is that they are indeed well made. The initial design and testing of this scope was time consuming, expensive and required huge capitol from the company. They are recapturing their investment for the most part. So in the end I do not begrudge the price but I certainly wish it was more affordable. It does bring to light a shocking fact that many new scope shoppers find out. Serious optics usually come with serious price tags!
The ACOG is a great scope for hunting hogs. It is light and reliable in every environment. It is one of the best crossover tactical tools that I believe serious hog hunters should look at. Once you crack the wallet open and make the jump, you will not be disappointed! Until we get to train together, stay safe and stay in the fight!
On the Web:
Trijicon ACOG: http://www.trijicon.com/na_en/products/product1.php?id=ACOG