Best ACOG Substitutes Under $400 in 2023

The power of the ACOG is such that everyone thinks of the same product when the word is mentioned: the Trijicon ACOG. The Trijicon ACOG has the defining characteristics one comes to expect from an ACOG: 4×32, quality build, battery free illumination, and bullet drop/range finding reticle. However, if you are willing to give on a few of those, namely the 4x zoom and battery free illumination, you can shave about 80% off of your purchase price and have one heck of an optic.

When discussing affordable ACOG substitutes, you must be comfortable with giving up one of the defining ACOG characteristics. Arguably the least important one for the average rifle owner is battery free illumination powered by tritium in the Trijicon ACOG. There aren’t many scenarios, even in combat, where you do not have the ability to adjust the brightness of a battery powered optic. After all, the Aimpoint CCO (standard CQC infantry optic) is battery operated. In addition, modern battery technology is so good that most of these optics have thousands of hours of battery life before a change is required.

Next, we won’t be asking you to give up all of your magnification, just reducing or increasing it by 1 from 4x to either 3x or 5x. Gun manufacturers know their customers. They know that by making quality ACOG substitutes under $400 they will be able to lure customers away from Trijicon. The ACOG substitutes under $400 we will be discussing aren’t made by Plastic Paper Optics in some cheap foreign factory, but from reputable brands Burris, SigSauer, and Nikon.

Nikon P-Tactical .223 3×32 Matte BDC Carbine (16526)

  • Price: $169.95
  • 3×32 mm magnification
  • Constant, Generous Eye Relief
  • Quick Focus Eyepiece & Spring-loaded Instant Zero-reset Turrets
  • Adjustable windage and elevation
  • Extremely popular and highly favored by customers
  • No illumination source, allowing for daytime firing only
  • Must buy scope rings to mount
Customer Reviews of Nikon P-Tactical .223 3×32 Matte BDC Carbine (16526)

This is where this ACOG substitute really starts to shine. Aside from the fact that this ACOG substitute costs less than $170, it is one of the most highly rated rifle optics on Amazon. Just let that sink in for a second. This $170 optic from Nikon has better customer reviews than any Trijicon product! There is only one reason why: it delivers incredible performance at an amazingly low price point.

4.7/5 Stars with over 170 reviews! You can see from the review profile that this is a well qualified ACOG substitute based on its value, accuracy, and general performance. Let’s see what a few customers have to say:

“Legendary Nikon quality. Clear sharp image with plenty of light allowed through the objective lens. Holds zero perfectly with both 5.56 and 300 blackout use. Durable construction and easy to use elevation and windage adjustments. This is my second purchase of this exact scope.”


I bought this for my Sig M400 Ar-15. Very well made. Good quality scope. Sharp focus. Great at 50 and 100 yards. I also have 2 other Nikon scopes on both my crossbows and those scopes work excellent. Light gathering ability is also excellent.”


“It’s a great scope but set X3 power is strange. You can use it at close range with point tactics. That said, fixed power provides quick target recognition from simple scope. Good glass.. holds zero.. tracks well.. good price.. light.. not sure about durability (seems ok). Great hog/varmint scope for 30 – 300 yrds. Hope this helps…”

Sig Sauer Bravo3 Battle Sight, 3X24mm, 556-762 Horseshoe DOT Illum Reticle, 0.5 Moa, M1913, Black

  • Price: $339.95
  • 8 daytime/3 nightvision illumination settings
  • Waterproof and Fogproof performance
  • Industry leading 42% wider field of view using patented Megaview technology
  • 5 year warranty
  • LensArmor and LenShield technology ensure crystal clear optic performance in all conditions
  • Designed and excels in target acquisition
  • 3x24mm or 5×30 Sig Sauer SOB53101 Bravo5 Prismatic Sight, 5X30MM, 556-762 Horseshoe
  • Nightvision compatibility
  • 3x24mm is noticeably different feel than 4x32mm from ACOG
Customer Reviews of Sig Sauer Bravo3 Battle Sight

Like all of our ACOG substitutes, the Sig Sauer Bravo3 Battlesight has excellent reviews from customers. Additionally, the option to purchase in the 3x or 5x configuration is a nice bonus as it allows you to better align your optic with your shooting needs. Here are the most helpful customer reviews of this ACOG substitute:

“Granted there are better scopes. The 4x version for example is much better and stronger, but it is 2.5 times the price as the 3x. The ACOG by trijicon is better but is 3 times the price. For me and my 7.62×51 I can easily shoot 800 meters with this on steel. I have better than average vision so I can’t speak for if the reticle blooms or those with astigmatism or not but most people say prism sights help with that. The glass is very, very, clear and the reticle has never been too dim it has a lot of adjustment settings. The scope when off still has a black reticle that depending on wired lighting can be used sometimes easier than when lit. The point is the scope is very robust and very clear. It keeps zero even though I kinda abuse my gun. The batteries are easy to switch and last about a year with weekly use in my experience.”


“The glass on this scope is amazing. The extra wide view is perfect for fast target acquisition. The red dot intensity is adjustable to even a brilliant sunny day, or low enough for night setting. 300 yards is the same as a 100 yards with a typical red dot. Etched reticle is there if battery fails, which should never happen because it turns itself on and off, lasts 40000 hours . Yeah this is now on two of my ARs and after shooting a sub MOA on both, they are on it for good.”


“I purchased this for my M400 TREAD and have a Trijicon on the 516. The quality between the two is extremely close and this was about a third of the cost. The reticles are very similar with the Sig being in red and the other in green. For a third of the price I am good with selecting the intensity of the illumination for the reticle.”


“A client recommended this to me a year ago after I said I wanted an optic that was easy to see out of and didn’t cost 3x the price of my rifle. This is my first and only optic and I don’t see myself getting anything else if I buy another rifle. I put it on my AR and the clarity is amazing. No annoying black circle around the edges everytime I moved my head and I never have to worry about battery life since it turns itself off after I put it away. I’m a new gun guy and I’m not trying to win any long distance shooting competitions, but I was worried at first since it didn’t “look” like the other optics I’ve seen (too short). Now, everyone I show it to nods their head in approval after looking through it, then they look at me in disbelief when i say how much it cost (only 400 bucks)! Highly recommend!”

Burris 300217 Armalite Rifle Tactical Sight, Armalite Rifle 332, 3x32mm, Prism Sight Ballistic Cq Reticle, Matte black

  • Price: $319.00
  • Waterproof, fogproof, and impact-resistant performance
  • 3x32mm
  • Has three short Picatinny rails on both sides and the top to carry additional accessories like lasers, flashlights, or cameras
  • red-green ballistic Armalite Rifle reticle
  • 10 LED illumination settings
  • Parallax-free at 100 yds.- 1/2 MOA
  • Burris Forever Warranty
  • Does not resemble Trijicon ACOG body
  • Shares appearance of many cheaper optics, unlikely to create range envy

Customer Reviews of Burris Armalite Rifle Tactical Sight 332

As with all of our best ACOG substitutes, customers are very satisfied with their Burris optic. Of note, a handful of customers stated they had issues with the optic out of the box, but Burris took care of everything with their forever warranty and robust customer service. When deciding between the Burris or the Sig optics, they are very similar and we suggest you make your decision based on the level of magnification desired (3x, 4x, or 5x).

“Was looking for a good optic for my Sig 716, went through many different choices but none satisfied me more than the burris AR-332. It is “drop capable” for the 308/7.62×51 ammunition .. so thats what made me go for it, and it has a lower cost than most competitors with the same type of features. took it to the range and was able to reapeativly put five round groups within 1.50 moa …. I do wish it had a lil bit larger reticle for those longer shots but It still does the job! Thank you Burris For a great optic!”


“Reasons for purchasing this optic, I won’t lie when saying that due to me being a Burris (no relation to those in the corporation), a part of me had to do it for the name, but I’ve also researched enough across the industry, speaking to others who have owned Burris products, as well as others tactical scopes and found that the price of this model, and quality comparisons between others which were two or three times the cost, was something I couldn’t pass up. The model gives me everything I could need as a first time user, but also the room the expand my abilities as I gain more experience. I couldn’t be more pleased with it and highly recommend it to anyone interested. Plus, the lifetime, no questions asked coverage gives any owner comfort and assurance.”


“I purchased the Burris AR-332 about six months ago, I have it mounted on a Windham Weaponry MPC M4. Due to this being a 3-power optic, I choose to mount it to the detachable A3 carry handle so I would still have the stock iron sights should I need them. I’ve put approximately 600 rounds (.223 & 5.56) through the rifle since I added the AR-332 and I have been very happy with the overall quality of the optic and it’s ability to hold “zero” since it’s initial install. This is a high quality optic that allows you to engage in a CQB, yet still reach out a touch someone at 500 yards and at a great price to boot.”


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