A brief note on optics

Yesterday I was *training during my reserve weekend when the subject of optics came up. There was some confusion amongst the younger soldiers as to the difference between Close Combat Optics (CCO) and the Advanced Combat Optical Gunsights (ACOG). It’s not the first time I’ve seen confusion on this topic, so I thought I’d make a post about it. The simple answer is magnification. The CCO has no magnification, whereas the ACOG has about 4X. Each serve their own purpose and serve them well. For example, one would want to use an ACOG while patrolling in the mountains of Afghanistan. Whereas a CCO would be preferable in Baghdad where it is more urban and confined.





I’ve personally never used an ACOG, however I have used a CCO. Truth be told I prefer iron sights. My old Army unit was too poor cheap to give us optics so we trained and deployed with iron sights. Honestly, I prefer iron sights.  It’s not just because I’m a cranky old man who prefers to use the sights of his forefathers. Or even think that kids these days have it easy with their fancy-pants red dots. I prefer iron sights because it obstructs my vision less while scanning my sector. I understand that optics are widely liked and for good reason. Reflex sights give a good tactical advantage. Not to mention not having to use the large rear sight aperture at night.

Better hope it’s a big target

Another problem with iron sights is accidentally using the night aperture during the day. Mostly during range qualification. Then wondering why you can’t seem to hit anything you are aiming at. But that’s never happened to me, of course…

I would like to know your preference when it comes to optics. Leave a comment telling me about your favorite optic and why you like it.

(*) Training – drinking coffee and playing Angry Birds.

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    SWEETNESS………I’m with you on the Iron sights……at least on M-4/16 style/markmen rifles/weapons (AK’s, get a scope or just spray & pray haha). I am not big into optics as I could spend that money on ammo.

    I HAVE see & gotten to use foreward mounted sight systems on the springfield SOCOM II & quad-rail carbines & I like it because I have MUCH greater visiability as to what is happening around me.

    I would still take Irons any day as they are long proven & easy to use(once taught/learned).

    Good read, thanks!

  • SAWGunner

    Ha! “I could spend that money on ammo”, that’s the spirit! Glad to see I’m not the only one who would prefer iron sights. It’s all about the visibility. Be it forward mounted sights or irons, you need to see what’s going on around you.