The Marines are Replacing the ACOG with… The VCOG

The Marines are Replacing the ACOG with… The VCOG

The Marines have awarded Trijicon a contract to produce the “squad common optic” which appears to be a variant of the VCOG from Trijicon.


The SCO is a magnified day optic that improves target acquisition and probability-of-hit with infantry assault rifles. The system comprises a noncaliber-specific reticle and incorporates an illuminated or nonilluminated aim-point. Because the optic is variable in power, Marines can identify their targets from farther distances than the RCO.

The variable continues to march forward into combat roles. The extra 4X over the standard RCO does result in increased hit percentages past 400 yards, but the penalty is weight.  With the extra 31 oz of the VCOG a loaded M27 becomes a 12 pound carbine.

If you want to read some more, visit the presser at MarCorsysCom here. 

Written by lothaen


  1. DAN III · February 26, 2020


    Read your posting regarding USMC adoption of the VCOG. One can read the press release from Trijicon, dated 25 FEB 20 at

    You remark the VCOG adoption will add 2x magnification to the current RCO ACOG which is a 4x optic. The VCOG chosen by USMC is the new 1-8x VCOG. So, the first benefit is a 4x increase not 2x.

    It is my guess USMC chose the MOA reticle allowing easier transition from the RCO reticle.

    I myself own both the 1-6x VCOG and the 1-8x VCOG. Trijicon’s marketing advertised the 1-8x VCOG as having an extra “super-bright” illumination setting. It does not. Comparing the new 1-8’s brightness on it’s highest setting to the 1-6’s illumination there was no greater brightness with the 1-8x. The 1-8x cannot be illuminated any brighter than the 1-6x. A phone conversation with Trijicon technical support confirmed that illumination is no greater in the 8x than the 6x. My initial thought the illumination in my 1-8x was defective. It was not. Just a very annoying disappointment ! So much for honest marketing.

    The second benefit to the Marines VCOG is having ocular focus. The lack of ocular focus on every, single ACOG model ever produced has been a major sore point for me. As half of US citizens wear corrective lenses it never made sense to me that every ACOG was fixed focus.

    The third benefit is of course variable magnification. A technology decades old that Trijicon managed to convince DoD was not of value with their ACOG. Hell the ACOG would be durable. What more could DoD want ? I often wondered how much extra that “convincing” cost Trijicon.

    A fourth benefit of the Marines VCOG will be enhanced eye relief and eyebox. The ability to acquire and engage targets will be enhanced.

    A fifth benefit, IMO, is the contracted Trijicon VCOG is a first focal plane (FFP) optic.

    Regarding illumination brightness. There is no such thing as daylight “bright”. Daylight visible yes. “Bright” ? No !

    “Daylight Bright” has been a misnomer adopted by the optics industries to enhance the value of their lighted reticles in variable magnification optics. One could consider the term “daylight bright” nothing more than the optics industries implementation of newspeak to push their product(s). On it’s highest illumination setting a VCOG of any model is not near as bright as in an Aimpoint red dot. Visible is not the same as bright. And the VCOG is not bright !

    Regarding the extra weight of the Marines contracted 1-8x VCOG, it is a problem for 21st century “warriors”. As new 21st century Army or USMC, 18 year old recruits cannot do three (3) pushups. They are nothing like the “Greatest Generation” of men who carried the M1 Garand. However, the benefits of the VCOG optic outweigh (pun intended) the disadvantages of the extra weight. Our 21st century “warriors” will just have to adjust. And grow up !

    The above are just my experiences and observations of the Trijicon’s variable “ACOG” so to speak.


    • lothaen · February 26, 2020

      Thanks for commenting Dan. We appreciate the insight on your VCOGS. Can you tell me how much light spills from the front of the optic in a dark room?

  2. h0neyc0mb · February 28, 2020

    I can understand DMR’s getting this optic ..

    But .. in day to day work .. most riflemen are better suited to the tried and true ACOG.

    As for the ocular adjustment .. I wear scrip’s now that I’m an old guy. I can run an ACOG with and without scrip’s (with its fixed ocular).

    Regarding the eye-box issue .. the BAC system won’t work if you distance yourself from the optice. So, if you divorce yourself from BAC because you don’t like it then the obvious choice is a variable.

    I like simple things in combat. I love my 2 ACOG’s .. and these days I rarely engage anything past 300m.

  3. Chris Kuehl · August 6, 2021

    The new optic has twice the magnifying powers, hence the 2x power statement. 4x would be 16x magnification, it’s multiplication not addition.

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