Well, that depends what you mean by good. If you are asking if you can get the performance of a Trijicon ACOG that costs $1,200 with a $150 ACOG clone off of Amazon, then no they aren’t any good. If by good you mean is an ACOG clone a useable rifle optic, then yes a ACOG clone is good.
What you are really trying to decide when you ask are ACOG clones any good is if your money will be wasted by buying an ACOG clone. Again, this depends on what you want to use your ACOG for. If you are going on a special operations mission solo in Honduras, we would not recommend an ACOG clone. However, if you are looking to plink with your S&W MP 15-22 and want an ACOG, then we definitely think an ACOG clone is right for you.
There are a variety of ACOG clones on the market, most of which fall into two categories separated by price point: $100-$200 and under $100. Check out our best ACOG clone under $200 and the best ACOG clone under $100. Now if you are looking to simulate firing a Trijicon ACOG and just want to practice or have fun, then we do recommend an ACOG clone.
However, if you are looking for something that replicates the performance of a Trijicon, then we would recommend an ACOG substitute. The difference between an ACOG substitute and an ACOG clone is that an ACOG substitute mimics the specifications of an ACOG without adhering to them exactly or replicating the body of the Trijicon. ACOG substitutes are typically very high quality optics that perform at levels similar to a Trijicon and are more expensive than ACOG clones. An ACOG clone is an optic that attempts to recreate the Trijicon ACOG exactly, except reducing its legendary price and performance by cutting corners on materials and quality control.
Just because you don’t have a Trijicon ACOG doesn’t mean that your ACOG clone is “bad”, it just is not as high quality. That is okay! There are plenty of situations where an ACOG clone makes more sense than splurging for an actual Trijicon. Do you really need a Trijicon ACOG?
[…] The gold standard of ACOGs is Trijicon. They make the optics that the U.S. military uses for its infantrymen, but they come with an unmatched reputation for quality and performance. In addition, they come with a price tag commensurate with that quality and performance. As such, a variety of competitors, including Sig, Nikon, and Burris make ACOG substitutes. A variety of smaller manufacturers make ACOG clones. […]