View Full Version : Acog or Red dot sights?

May 9, 2011, 09:06 PM
First off I want to apologize if this is the wrong section for this topic.

I'm deploying to Afghan here in a few months and though I haven't gotten word on if i can bring my own gear, i'm planning ahead in case i can. Right now I got a M16 A4 with a M203 and a ACOG on it.

I know the ACOG is great for long range but in close range I'm not comfortable with the eye relief on the ACOG. I really don't like looking thru it when i got both eyes open. It just doesn't feel natural. I have never used red dot sights yet, so I'm hoping you guys can give me some advice on whether i should keep the ACOG on, drop the ACOG and put red dot sights on, or use both??? I've seen red dots mounted on ACOGs but I don't know how it feels or what other people think about it. Is it necessary?

May 9, 2011, 09:32 PM
I guess it really depends on what type of environment you can expect to fight in most. From an LE perspective, I know I won't likely be shooting more than 100 yards, so my Eotech on an A2 gives me fast target aquisition and makes for pretty accurate shooting to boot. Also, it allows me to keep my peripheral vision clear. If longer ranges are expected, the ACOG may serve you better with the increase in magnification.

May 9, 2011, 09:55 PM
I would highly recommend you go to the CMP E-Store/Bookstore and get the DVD "Close Quarters Marksmanship".

This DVD is put out by the Army Marksmanship Unit and will cover the questions you are asking. It only cost $6.95.

I would recommend it to anyone going over, or LE dealing with Close Quarters Combat.


May 9, 2011, 10:05 PM

God bless and keep you!!!!


May 9, 2011, 11:00 PM
I *like* seeing somebody who is about to deploy using his brain instead of just taking what the Army issued to him. :-) If they've got a lick of sense, they'll let you take some of your own stuff over.

Unfortunately I have no combat experience, so I'll bow out on the advice. Good luck.

May 9, 2011, 11:07 PM
I think the ACOG with a Red dot (Doctor) mounted on top is a good idea. And having the extra zoom of the ACOG out in the open mountains is a HUGE advantage in my Opinion. But for anything close, like room clearing or general urban combat I think your best bet would be an Aimpoint comp M4.

However I would not want an ACOG only, because I'd feel like I had no quick way to aim at anything close.

I'm just a civilian speaking from range experience. To sum it up, An aimpoint will give you the fastest, accurate, on target shots at anything from close to mid range. An ACOG with a mounted red dot will be a tad bit slower (getting used to using two sighting systems and a "smaller" red dot on top of the ACOG will not be quite AS fast as just an aimpoint IMO) when it comes to close to mid range targeting. On the other hand, it will work, and then you'll have a huge advantage for longer range shots. Instead of just covering the target with the red dot, and doing your best to hit at long range with a red dot sight, The ACOG will allow you to actually place the shot on to the target. It will also allow you to see whats going on "out there" without having to have some other form of magnification thats not part of your weapon.

It all depends on what environment you'll be in and what your comfortable with. What ever you end up using, Practice with it as much as you can so you have confidence with it.Good luck. Stay safe. and Thank you for your service!

P.S. If it were me, I think I'd chose the ACOG/Doctor red dot combo. But I'd be sure to have a good quick release that didnt hang up on my gear and would allow me to go to iron sights if needed.

But I honestly would be happy with the aimpoint comp M4 too. What ever you get to use, make sure your good with it. Be confident in your shooting, and do your best to always have some cover!!!...

May 9, 2011, 11:31 PM
in terms of the red-dot being viable at longer ranges, consider this:

high quality red-dot sights have a dot size of 3 MOA. this means that at 300 yards, which, as far as i know, is the max distance at which you will probably ever have to engage an enemy, the dot will cover 9 inches of the target.

so, even at 300 yards, you will still be able to see the majority of the target behind the red dot.

of course, if you expect to shoot entirely at 300 yards, the acog would be a better choice. this seems unlikely, however. it seems more likely that you would engage most enemy combatants from across the room distances to 100 meters, and occasionally have to push past that.

but, i am speaking with no combat experience, so realize that my advice is probably worth what you paid for it.

if it were me, i would go to whatever person would be in charge of this sort of thing (im thinking quartermaster type position, or maybe logistics....dunno though) and find out, first, if you are even allowed to use your own equipment.

if the answer is yes, then i would go buy a quality red-dot and practice with it at 300m, just to see if you can reliably see and hit the target. i would also range test it in varying light conditions, from bright and sunny, to overcast, to twilight, to total darkness (if you can do that).

May 10, 2011, 12:29 AM
Red dot coupled with magnifier.

May 10, 2011, 07:14 AM
I don't exactly know what you mean by "deploy". And I don't know what branch of service.

But my experience in the U.S. Army is that all soldiers are equiped with standard issue U.S. Army equipment. Period.

And the issue of the M203 really depends on the MTOE of your unit.

For a while I was issued an M16 with the M203. Just my experience, but as neat as you might think it would be to have a 40mm grenade launcher, the real reason I got the M203 is that no one else in my sqaud wanted to carry the extra weight of the launcher and the ammo.

May 10, 2011, 08:26 AM
well if you can use your own stuff like my friend can and he is stationed in Washington...he said it depends on who your commander is..( commanding officer maybe )...but if it was me I would get the acog ( correct one for use with a 20" barrel ) and a doctor optic ( I think there called ) to piggy back on top of the acog which is a red dot site so that way you have the best of both worlds..and remember with a 2 moa dot you got a 6 moa dot at three hundred yards..I would prefer a chevron at those ranges..but to each his own..I hope you can use your own stuff...then you would know where you got it and how reliable your mounts and such will be...one of murphys laws are that your weapons are made by the cheapest bidders...that will not be the case if u buy your own :)

May 10, 2011, 08:58 PM
and remember with a 2 moa dot you got a 6 moa dot at three hundred yards..

actually, a 2 moa dot is a 2 moa dot is a 2 moa dot. the reason is that MOA is a measurement of an angle, not a distance. if you imagine a triangle starting with your optic, the angle of the triangle is MOA. so while the width of the triangle will grow as the distance grows, the MOA stays the same.

1 moa is very close to 1 inch at 100 yards, 2 inches at 200 yards, 3 inches at 300 yards, etc.

so a 3 MOA dot will cover 3 inches at 100 yards, 6 inches at 200 yards, and 9 inches at 300 yards. but it will still be 3 MOA.

you are absolutely right, though, a chevron sight would be better for 300 yards. the consideration here, however, is that the OP will probably do almost all of his shooting at much less than that distance, and that the magnifying optic is not ideal for 25 yards. Which, if he does most of his shooting at, is what he needs an optic for.

May 10, 2011, 09:23 PM
Lol I understand that man..I worded it wrong I ment that a 2 inch circle at 100 yards seemms like a 6 inch circle at 300 yards...just didn't use the right words lol...and yea 4x is probably a little much at 25 meters...also you don't have much time to aim so the quicker the better...a no magnifying optic will probably serve him well...better not use that 203 tho :)....a friend of mine had a mk19 blow up on him...idk how it was a flash round..we also got alot of jokes about the lubricant that thing uses.and what it looks like :)

May 10, 2011, 09:34 PM
I have no combat experience, this is just my 2 cents. I thought this article(previously posted on this forum) was interesting and the author had some good ideas. The article states, "52% of the fights in Afghanistan begin at 500 meters" so I would believe that an acog is necessary. Considering you may be clearing buildings or engaged in an urban setting, a small red dot piggy-backed on your acog would definitely be handy. Here's the link. http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/journal/docs-temp/532-wall.pdf

God bless, and best of luck!

May 10, 2011, 10:32 PM
Another vote for the ACOG with Doctor set-up. An Aimpoint with a 3X magnifier (on a QD flip mount) would be nice too. It depends on what you will be using more.

Aimpoints are nice out to about 200m. They lack any accurate way to measure variation from their zero, which is an issue past about 250m (using a 50/200m zero).

If you expect to be in an urban environment, go for the aimpoint. If you expect to be in the open/mountainous areas, go for a magnified optic first.

May 10, 2011, 10:42 PM
I have been using a 3x acog for the last two years and I gotta say that I love it. It of course has it's limits like ALL optics do. It's not going to be as fast as a RDS at CQB, it's not going to be as accurate at say 400-500 yards as a 4 or 5 power, but it can do both of them. It has more eye relief then the 4x ACOG it's lighter then the 4x ACOG. Some people are turned off by the small 30mm glass but I don't think it's a handycap at all. I think it makes your feild of vision better with both eyes open. The outer frame of the ACOG 3x30 is small enough that view obstruction is not a problem for me. I'm very happy with it. I think it would be faster at closer ranges then a 4x ACOG.

Thank you for your service and I hope you and your whole unit return safely.

May 10, 2011, 10:51 PM
first off, thank you for serving. secondly i have 0 combat experience. what i did have was a gazillion hours and a laptop while recovering from back surgery. doesnt the military issue a lot of eotechs? how about one of them with the 3x flip down magnifier mounted on a SOCOM 16? here's what i'm talking about on an AR and the sight and mag by themseelves

May 10, 2011, 10:57 PM
The RDS and magnifier combo is a very popular all-around option.


"...and a ACOG on it."

Which one?

If it isn't one which lends itself to to using close in (some do more so than others) than figuring out where to mount a small RDS to compliment your ACOG is likely going to be the solution that makes the most sense for you.

Thank you for your service and best of luck.

May 12, 2011, 05:08 PM
My thought here is:familiarity with the weapon is more important than what sight is on top. If you're gawking around looking for the reticle, you're dead. When you mount the weapon the sights should line up with what you were looking at before you raised the rifle. I've jump shot deer at 15-20' with a 4x scope and knew exactly where the crosshairs were when the rifle went off. How about shooting flying clay birds with a scope mounted rifle-no time to waste finding the target in the scope's field of view. I don't know how the current military handles non TO&E equipment but if you take your own stuff you'd better be sure it's able to handle the static. If I were going, I'd want an Aimpoint and a magnifier or Aimpoint and a 3-4 x scope on separate mounts so I could swap the scope if I was in a longer range situation. I had the option of carrying a sidearm in addition to the bolt rifle and chose a Browning HiPower with 4 extra mags. Up close it was as good as anything else and a lot lighter.

May 12, 2011, 05:24 PM
I was issued both when I deployed to asscrackistan 02-03. I started with the acog with the thought that it would be more effective at range. However, for reasons stated above, I was more concerned with a close range encounter (the afghans were not known for long range marksmanship) so I used the aimpoint for the majority of the deployment, which was building clearing or vehicular combat patrols. Also, we had been issued the reddots a year prior and had used them with good accurancy out to 600m on a KD range (prone, no stress, paper targets). The more crap you have strapped to your boom stick the slower it is to point. Throw in a flashlight, a vert foregrip and a PEQ2 (along with your 203) and your lightweight rifle now weighs 15lbs loaded. Something to think about.

May 13, 2011, 02:35 PM
"Also, we had been issued the reddots a year prior and had used them with good accurancy out to 600m on a KD range (prone, no stress, paper targets)."

Yep, and as with most things, it is just a matter of familiarity and practice. In other words, being able to range targets and knowing where to put the dot for hold over.

Using a 50/200 zero, rounds will drop approx 8" at 300, 24" at 400, and so on. Match the drop up with the size of a given RDS' dot, and figure the hold over. For example, at 400, hold a 4 MOA dot over the head, and torso shots result.

More accuracy than that needed? Then an RDS is not the right tool.

May 13, 2011, 02:52 PM
I've been in country now for a few months. I don't know where you're deploying too, but without getting into too much detail I've been all over the south. In my opinion, you'll want the ACOG. I carried both in Iraq, but when I was there it wasn't to kintetic. Here, I've stuck with the ACOG. The terrain is ever changing, and I think it's better to have the extra magnification and not need it then need it and not have it. Look at the stats on the war and you'll notice most casualities are from IED's. I don't know if you know what the 5 c's are when dealing with an IED, but one of them is confirm. Guess who gets to do that? Unless you're SOPs are different, you do. I'd rather have that magnification to scope out a possible IED with a blast radius of whatever the hell the insurgent felt like making..A little bit of stand-off if ya will ;)

When it comes to CQB, there's always this great debate of using the sights or 'glancing over them.' I think the point and shoot reflex would be easier to master then judging where to hold at 600m's with a reddot in the middle of getting shot at, especially considering the type of training you'll probably be getting.

That's just my opinion though.


May 13, 2011, 03:40 PM
I think the ACOG with a Red dot (Doctor) mounted on top is a good idea.

That's the combo I'd recommend.

Having access to a magnified optic is crucial for target identification, adjusting fire, etc, and while 10x binos are nice, it is often faster and easier to simply use the optic on your weapon.

I prefer the ACOG for the magnification, the ballistic reticle, and for the range estimation capabilities. However, it does suck using it to clear rooms, even with the integrated iron sights, which your model probably doesn't have. That's where a J-point, or similar RDS, comes in handy.

A RDS can get the job done, however, you have to acquire the add on magnifier if you want enhanced target ID capabilities, you will have to learn and use hold offs beyond 300M, and you don't get the benefit of using the reticle for range estimation. They are great up close though.

Most of the direct fire engagements are going to come from well out of effective range, and if you don't have some type of magnified optic, it's going to be difficult to locate baddy firing positions.

Back in the day, we had to make a choice to compromise either the speed offered by a RDS, or the magnification offered by the ACOG. Today you can have both, and I'd highly recommend you take advantage of this capability.

May 13, 2011, 07:42 PM
And the old 11B squad leader in me speaks: It's the training, not the gear. Hopefully you guys are getting it, if not, head to a range with long-distance lanes and get some trigger time in, if possible. Good luck, thank you for your service, and happy hunting.

May 13, 2011, 08:36 PM
I have a scope on My AR-15 coupled with a reflex sight. You complaint is a common one from some of the Soldiers that I worked with when using the ACOG at the closer targets. I thought that some of them had a ghost ring setup on them for 50M and closer? They got issued a mixture of ACOGS and prismatic sights.

May 14, 2011, 06:04 PM
You could do this. ;)