Well I did it.  I finally purchased a genuine Trijicon ACOG TA01NSN (M4A1 Reticle).  For those of you who do not know, this is one of the chosen optics/scopes of the U.S. Special Operations Peculiar Modifications or SOPMOD.  The TA01NSN is a fixed 4x32 scope with bullet drop compensation out to 600 meters for the M855 or 62 grain 5.56x45 NATO round, out of a 14.5 inch M4 carbine.  

It has been about 5 years since I started really reading about, testing out, and trying to decide on which ACOG model to get.  Let's start there I guess; why an ACOG at all?  The ACOG (Advanced Combat Optical Gun-sight) is perhaps one of the most durable and robustly constructed optics available for the M4/AR/M16 family of rifles and carbines.  It's robust construction has proven itself in battle for nearly 2 decades in the hands of nearly every branch of the US Military.  With a resume like that, it is not a question of if it can hold up to hunting, and range time with your average civilian marksmen.  Here are just some of the highlights of this nearly perfect scope:

From Trijicons own website:  
Designed to the exact specifications of the US Special Operations Command for use by elite US forces, the Trijicon ACOG TA01NSN is Trijicon’s most popular ACOG. The ranging reticle allows for bullet drop compensation out to 600 meters without any manual adjustments. The reticle will appear black during the daytime and will glow amber in the dark, thanks to Trijicon’s patented tritium illumination. Includes backup Iron Sights. No batteries needed!

<--The reticle.

This scope is light (when compared to other ACOGS), durable, fixed power, magnified to 4x for aiding precision distant shots, battery free, illuminated for low light, has a 36.8 ft field of view at 100 yards, and is perhaps one of the most affordable ACOGS available.  

You may wonder, "What about the fiber optic?  You don't have that."  Yes, that is correct.  The TA01NSN does not have the fiber optic.  However the black cross hairs are clear and precise, always visible during daylight hours and work well with fast sight acquisition.  I am not knocking the fiber optic, however you will hear accounts of the illuminated fiber optics "washing out" or having issues under intense daylight or direct light.  After handling the fiber optic versions of ACOGS, I realized that I did not require one, nor wish to spend the extra bills to have that constant illumination.  The nighttime illumination of the tritium would do just fine.  I guess you could say, "What's good enough for SEALS is good enough for me".  

One of the big selling points to me was the BUIS or Back Up Iron Sights.   Yes, we all know they are limited due to the short sight radius.  Thank you for shouting that at your computer, we all heard you.  The fact is, they work.  For 0-25 meters, you will get rounds on target with them.  It is a great back up should you wish to shoot at that distance or need alternative sighting method should the optic be obscured from debris, damaged, or your target is closer than anticipated during a 3 gun match.  

As a mid range, overwatch, designated marksmen type scope, the TA01NSN fulfills its responsibility quite well.  The simplicity, durability, track record of service by special forces, as well as its unbelievable clear glass make this my favorite optic by far.

I own 2 Aimpoints, a T1 2moa, and a M3 4moa.  They both require batteries, and have no magnification.  Aimpoint makes a great optic for up close, short range type shooting.  The ACOG offers things that Aimpoints do not.  The magnification, lack of reliance on batteries, bullet drop compensation range finding reticle, and what I perceive to be a more "bombproof" construction (even though Aimpoints are tough as nails).  

In addition to the ACOG, I acquired a Larue Tactical LT100 QD mount for the TA01NSN.  This will allow, precise, return to zero, quick detach mounting of the optic to the carbine or rifle of choice.  

So if you are in the market for some magnification and battery free, range finding reticle with BDC, check out the ACOG TA01NSN.  15 years of special forces service can't be wrong.  Take a moment to see my video review of it here and thanks again for stopping by!