ACOG vs. EOTech with Magnifier Comparison (2024 Review)

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What’s the difference between ACOG vs. Eotech with Magnifier?

That’s a question I get asked often. As a result, I decided to write this in-depth review between the two.

By the end of this article, you’ll know which sight is best for you.

Let’s get started!

What is an ACOG?

Trijicon’s Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight is a rifle scope with a unique feature.

Trijicon ACOG

Its reticle lights up without a battery source. Most of ACOG models use radioactive tritium and fiber optics for illumination. There are a few models that use AA batteries, such as the TA02 4×32 scope. And just like the Aimpoint Pro and T1, the ACOG is built for military strength and durability. It can withstand brutal impact and contact with water. ACOG sights come in a variety of reticles, from horseshoe to chevron designs, with BDC hash marks. If you’re shooting from 100 yards out, this is the ideal brand for you.


What is an EOTech?

The EOTech holographic sight with magnifier has a battery-powered illuminated reticle.

EOTech with Magnifier

It’s an ideal sight for quick and close action and holds zero following recoil. If your target is further away, you can flip on the attached 3x magnifier. This makes the sight suitable for close-to-medium range shooting, like the 1-6×24 scope lines.


What’s the Difference between ACOG vs. EOTech with Magnifier?

ACOG vs. EOTech with Magnifier

Let’s break down the difference between ACOG and EOTech with magnifier, starting with…

Price

There isn’t a world of difference in price between the two brands. The EOTech with magnifier goes for about $1100. The ACOG series ranges between $1000 and $2000. The price you’re willing to pay depends on what matters to you. Standard ACOGs already run high, but if you want to switch to an unmagnified view, you’ll need to add about $500 to the cost. The EOTech’s magnifier is fixed at 3x, but it’s a better bargain at its retail price.


Battery

Most ACOG models don’t need a battery to illuminate their reticles. They use a combination of tritium and fiber optics. Tritium powers the reticle at night and fiber optics collect light during the day. A tritium reticle stays bright for up to 15 years’ worth of usage. Once that 15-year period is up, the reticle’s illumination dies. An EOTech sight’s battery lasts between 600 and 1000 hours, depending on battery type. You can replace the battery once it’s dead.


Magnification

ACOG riflescopes are already magnified at fixed power settings. Models under this series range between 1.5 and 6x. EOTech’s magnifier goes no further than 3x. This is because the hybrid holographic sight (HHS) is meant for closer targets (like The Huey and Eotech 512). ACOG has more variety, but EOTech lets you decide if you want magnification or not.


Which One Should I Choose: ACOG or EOTech with Magnifier?

You need to think hard about what you want out of your optic before choosing between ACOG and EOTech. If you want the option to switch from an unmagnified to a magnified view, you should go with EOTech. You’ve already got the magnifier in place between your eye and the holographic sight. You only need to flip it upward to switch to a normal view.

If you want more control over your reticle’s brightness, EOTech is also the way to go. You can modulate through six settings of brightness. Though a few of ACOG’s sights have adjustable settings, there are fewer of them at comparable prices.

If you’re focusing on price, EOTech’s hybrid sight is the cheapest option. If you prefer ACOG’s superior glass quality, you can add on an RMR red dot sight, but you’ll pay twice as much for it. EOTech’s glass is still very clear and its low-power magnification doesn’t dampen the speed of your aim.

If EOTech has a magnifier, why should you get the ACOG? It’s more expensive and it’s not as good for close quarters as the EOTech. Its illumination system runs out after 12-15 years. At that point, it becomes a typical, overpriced riflescope. A self-illuminating reticle can get too bright for its surroundings. It matches the lighting conditions of your immediate surroundings instead of the target. This can make an illuminated reticle seem inconvenient and you can’t get rid of it. What makes the ACOG worth it?

Trijicon’s ACOG is the most consistent and reliable choice for most of the US Armed Forces. Between the two brands, ACOG gets higher marks for durability and longevity. You get higher glass quality, more magnification options, and longer-lasting illumination than EOTech. In case your optic should happen to malfunction or break, you’ve got a lifetime warranty with ACOG. With EOTech’s hybrid holographic sights, you get only a 10-year warranty. The EOTech has had a history of breaking or powering down, so you might prefer ACOG instead.

Price, durability, and magnification aren’t the only things to consider. You need to find the optic that best suits your firearm’s specs and ensures your safety and success out in the field. You also need to think long term. In 15 years’ time, will you expect to use the same optics? If so, would you rather let ACOG’s tritium run its course? Would you rather risk buying batteries every 1000 hours? There is, though, the option of choosing both for different guns and occasions. If you can afford to test out both, you should. If you can only choose one, ACOG is your best bet for the long haul.

Now I’d like to hear from you:

Which one would you rather choose: an ACOG or EOTech with magnifier?

Let me know in the comments down below. Also, if you’re interested in a long-range riflescope, read my Viper HST 4-16×44 review.

6 thoughts on “ACOG vs. EOTech with Magnifier Comparison (2024 Review)”

  1. Thanks for the comparison. You mention ACOG tritium will only last 10-15 years but has a lifetime warranty. Does Trijicon cover the tritium in its warranty? Also, your final thoughts you mention to get the ACOG for longevity. If it only last 10-15 years, how long does the EOTech last? And what would be the first thing to go on the EOTech?

    Reply
  2. Nice article. I ended up getting both. For the ACOG I bought the TA02. Sure it uses batteries but so does the EOTech. The ACOG TA02 brightness is adjustable which is great. I like the ability to not use the magnifier with the EOTech. They are both great and I don’t really have a favorite. I end up using both. I’ll just have to buy another AR if I don’t want to swap them out on one rifle

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  3. Regardless of the exact model, long as you keep to high-end optics like Aimpoints and Eotechs, you’ll be well-served. However, having said this, I also know ACOG is built to last decades and you certainly can’t go wrong with it on your rifle.

    Reply
    • You can’t go wrong with any of them. It all boils down to personal preference.

      As far as a red dot type of non-magnified sight, I prefer the EOTech over AimPoint for the larger objective. It just makes acquiring the target a little bit easier. Additionally, with holographic sights, if one end of the sight’s glass breaks it still works, which isn’t true with a traditional red dot like an AimPoint.

      As far as ACOG vs an EOTech with a magnifier, you aren’t limited to using EOTech magnifiers. There are other manufacturers who make magnifiers out there that are not only adjustable, but magnify well beyond 3x.

      There’s no right or wrong; I have a couple different setups, & I like them for different reasons. I’m not an ACOG fanboy, but I have one, and it will serve its purpose for a few more years. Batteries are cheaper to replace than optics though, all things considered.

      Reply
  4. Good read. And to update this article Eotech now has the G45 magnifier that is 5x magnification. So it’s 2x more than the g33 in this article..

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  5. EOTech now offers the G-45 magnifier, which is infinitely adjustable from 1x-5x, and has a quick adjust lever that allows you to go to 5 power almost instantly.

    The Eo Tech EXPS3 with the G-45 magnifier seems like a better ‘bang for your buck’ option than the Trijicon TA-02 & RMR combo. The downsides of the Eo Tech are the CR123A battery, which is more expensive and will be harder to source if the world goes sideways, and the overall durability. This isn’t to say that the Eo Tech isn’t durable, but the reputation of the ACOG simply can’t be beat. Either way, if things go sideways, I don’t know if either company will be honoring warranties, especially if normal delivery services are temporarily out of commission.

    Honestly I’m torn between the two. I like the EO Tech combo a bit better, not only because of the holographic sight, but also because of the ability to adjust magnification, and the slightly higher power of magnification. It’s also half the cost of the TA02 & RMR. On the other hand, the ACOG may be slightly more durable.

    Since I’m running BUIS, I may just go with the value option here and go with the EO Tech combo.

    I will say that I have no interest in a tritium/fiber optic sight at the moment. While it’s fantastic to not have to rely upon electronics, the ability to shoot from dark environments to bright environments and vice versa is somewhat challenging with the ACOG using fiber optics and tritium.

    One other thing that may be noteworthy to some people is that the EO Tech works great under NODS, while the ACOG’s tritium isn’t really that great to put it nicely. The bloom is ridiculous, and it’s almost impossible to use. This won’t affect that many people, as most people aren’t running NODS anyway.

    Reply

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