Trijicon’s optics and specifically its line of ACOGs (Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight) are known across the globe for being one of the toughest magnified optics on the planet. Designed specifically for medium-range engagements, selected by both the Marine Corps and U.S. Special Operations forces, ACOGs all feature battery-free design, forged aluminum housings, waterproof and shock-resistant designs, and fairly impressive optical quality across a broad range of magnification levels and BDC designs and types. It goes without saying that ACOGs (in particular the TA11) are among my favorite types of fixed power optics and I’ve recently had the opportunity to play around with Trijicon’s latest addition to the ACOG family – a dedicated 9mm BDC version of the TA47-C (TA47-C-400387). The TA47 is almost as old as I am and is more or less just a 2X power ACOG featuring a 20mm objective lens. So does this 9mm version of the TA47-C ACOG actually make sense for the modern 9mm PCC or are you still better off with other, more affordable optic options for your 9mm PCC?
Trijicon @ TFB:
ACOG for a PCC? Trijicon’s Dedicated 9mm TA47-C
The Trijicon 2×20 9mm ACOG (SKU TA47-C-400387) is specifically marketed for firearms chambered in 9mm, such as UZI and H&K MP-5 submachine guns. This optic aims to provide a compact and low-magnification solution for firearms with limited space. Right off the bat, this seems a little silly to me specifically because the reticle itself, like all other ACOG reticles, is designed to work with one type of ammo and one barrel length. In this case, the ACOG is prescribed for use with 9mm 115gr FMJ ammunition with a 16″ barrel length. However, right on Trijicon’s own website, they describe this particular series of ACOGs as being “well-suited to firearms with limited space, like UZI, H&K or MP-5 9mm submachine guns.” All of which have barrel lengths shorter than 16″. My best guess is that Trijicon saw that most people weren’t buying these things for actual SMGs and instead came out with a BDC that made more sense for the modern 9mm PCC owner. Oh, and before you ask, this ACOG will set you back $1,430.00 MSRP – not cheap at all. However, it is quite compact only taking up about 5.5 inches of linear space, and the included Q-LOC mount takes up only 5 slots on an M1913 rail.
The reticle – Trijicon’s RTR or Rapid Target Reticle features a bright red fiber optic powered 2 MOA illuminated center dot, a horseshoe shroud (Trijicon doesn’t state its width), and holdovers out to 300 yards with a presumed zero of just 50 yards. As is to be expected from most Trijicon products, the glass quality is pretty good, the eye relief sits at a comfortable 2.1 inches and the eye box is more than forgiving with Trijicon even going as far as to say that you can shoot this optic with both eyes open. While this is indeed possible and even somewhat useful, especially at close range, I still find that with any magnified optic I’m more comfortable shooting with just one eye open rather than two.
Several other reticles do exist including a simple green or red dual-illuminated crosshair and a 9.2 MOA triangle reticle. However, the 9mm PCC one is the most interesting to me simply because of recent experiences I had at InRangeTV’s Woodland Brutality. Those matches often allow people to run the entire competition using only a pistol caliber carbine, however, the stages still often require you to engage targets out to 300 yards or so. With this in mind, I configured a Russel Phagan-inspired 9mm PCC using a KE Arms KP-9 lower receiver, Rekluse RTS trigger, and a complete 16″ 9mm PCC upper from Angstadt’s Arms. The ammunition I used for all BDC testing was AAC 115-grain 9mm FMJ.
Zeroing and Durability
For this portion of the review, I strictly followed one of two videos. The first video is from a good friend of mine who goes by the name of DeltaThirtyFour. He is a fellow ACOG fan and has a very great detailed video on how to properly zero your ACOG. Since this particular ACOG requires a 50-yard zero, I adjusted for that but more or less followed Delta’s zeroing instructions to the letter. You can watch the video below.
For the durability portion of the review, I had to get a bit creative. First, I don’t have $1500 sitting around to pay Trijicon for a broken optic, since this is a loaner optic and I wanted to keep the review piece in good condition for other people to appreciate. Thankfully, our friend DeltaThirtyFour has already gone through the process of dishing out an absolutely irresponsible amount of abuse to an ACOG so if you’ve ever been curious to see how well ACOGs live up to their durability claims, you should check out the video below.
Suffice it to say this ACOG works and is built to the same quality and specifications as other ACOGs despite my gut feeling that this particular version of the TA47-C was designed for PCC competitors in the civilian market rather than frontline operators with MP5s. That being said, ACOGs have a reputation for reliability for a reason. This optic will probably outlast your firearm twice over.
Does the BDC Work?
The big question for me was first, if the BDC actually worked, and second, if the tiny 2X ACOG would even be useful out to distances beyond 100m. 100 meters or 100 yards is already a pretty far distance to see anything in great detail – even with a 4X LPVO with an even larger objective lens. The magnification power is certainly helpful in spotting targets, but at a distance, you’re seeing large shapes rather than fine details (weapons or identifying marks). At distances of around 50 yards or so, I would describe the feeling of using the 2X20 ACOG as maybe something akin to squinting your eyes slightly to see something. I feel like it is helping but I’m not actually sure if it is doing anything actually useful for me.
The BDC, on the other hand, works beautifully all the way out to 300 yards. On a recent trip to the Oregon badlands, myself, TFBTV’s Hop, and BrassFacts took the PCC and the compact ACOG out to put it to the test and gave it a fair shake out to distance. The holdovers are surprisingly accurate and even somewhat useful with slightly different ammunition, although the holds for the heavier 124-grain ammunition we used did mean you had to hold slightly higher than with the prescribed 115-grain 9mm which turned out to be very precise at longer distances when used in concert with the 9mm TA47-C. The target we were using on the longer shots was a 3/4 size IPSC target. In the footage seen below, we were using the 200-meter holdover. Spotting the target was fairly easy because it was painted bright orange, but the magnification did help some despite my earlier statements about the feeling of the 2X on the ACOG.
Trijicon’s ACOG series has long been revered for its versatility, durability, and combat-proven performance. This iteration lives up to all of those. However, the addition of the 2×20 9mm BDC ACOG makes me question the necessity of expanding an already extensive lineup. Does anyone really need or want a 9mm PCC reticle in the configuration of a 2x ACOG? The existing ACOG models already offer a wide range of magnification options and reticle configurations to cater to various firearm platforms and engagement distances and 300-yard engagements with 9mm are not only unlikely, but even if you’re on the hunt for this specific magnification, illumination, and a dedicated 9mm BDC, there are other similar prism options out there for far less.
The combination of a low-magnification scope and a passively illuminated reticle seems mismatched for the intended use of firearms chambered in 9mm, typically employed in close-quarters scenarios. However, for competition scenarios, I could see this being quite useful when you aren’t as concerned with positively IDing a threat and are more or less just looking for steel targets to smash. While Trijicon’s reputation for quality and reliability is well-deserved, the practicality and relevance of this specific optic remain questionable within the realm of how pistol caliber carbines are often used.
Those of you seeking an ACOG for your 9mm submachine guns may find it challenging to justify the inclusion of the 2×20 9mm ACOG, especially at an asking price slightly north of $1,400. If money were not an issue, the ACOG does still look really cool on just about any gun and even I’ve been guilty of making zaney purchases for the simple sake of appearances.
Even then, the ACOG wouldn’t work as intended with the drastically reduced barrel length and you’d be stuck with a simple 50-yard zero and a bunch of extra clutter in the way. However, I’m happy to report that my primary goal, to assess the efficacy of Trijicon’s new 9mm BDC reticle for the Compact ACOG series, has been answered – it just works. In addition to that, ACOGs are always cool. Is this one you’d consider using for its intended purpose on a 16-inch 9mm carbine? Let me know in the comments!
We are committed to finding, researching, and recommending the best products. We earn commissions from purchases you make using the retail links in our product reviews. Learn more about how this works.
Read the full article here