"Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight" doesn't exactly roll off the tongue like its snappy ACOG acronym. Sometimes shorter is better, and Trijicon designed its latest ACOG—the TA44S-10—with this in mind.
Fittingly, the "S" in TA44S-10 stands for "short." Measuring just 4 inches in length, the TA44S-10 is the most compact ACOG Trijicon manufacturers at its Wixom, MI, facility. Its 1.5X magnification and 16 mm objective lens make the TA44S-10 well suited for close-quarters combat when mounted atop an AR. Weighing less than 5 ounces, it's light, too.
Both the U.S. Army and the Marine Corps rely on a 4x32 mm ACOG model for their combat rifle optic. Although the TA44S-10 is smaller, it retains the rugged characteristics that make the ACOG line popular. The optic employs a forged 7075-T6 aluminum-alloy housing to protect its inner components from damage. It's dry nitrogen filled to prevent fogging, and Trijicon says the TA44S-10 is waterproof to 500 feet.
Like other ACOG models, the TA44S-10 has an illuminated reticle that uses light from two sources—neither of which requires batteries. First, a fiber-optic rod running along the top of the TA44S-10 illuminates the etched reticle in proportion to the amount of ambient light. In bright daylight, you get a bright, high-contrast reticle. When there isn't as much light available and a subdued reticle is more effective, by nature the fiber optic transmits less light. In addition, a tritium-phosphor lamp allows the reticle to glow in low-light conditions.
The TA44S-10 reticle is a circle-dot design located above a vertical post. The outer circle and the inner dot are both illuminated, but the post is not. In practice, the reticle provides four aiming points: the top of the circle, the inner dot, the bottom of the circle and the top of the post. Time at the range will show how bullet trajectory corresponds with these points. The fiber optics that illuminate the reticle are available in amber, red or green.
Internal windage and elevation adjustments come in 1⁄2-inch increments at 100 yards. In the field, the rim of a .223 Rem. case serves nicely to turn the adjustment dials. Aluminum caps cover the dials, with a rubber O-rings sealing out moisture when the caps are snug.
What sets the TA44S-10 apart from the rest of the ACOG line is its generous eye relief. Trijicon lists it as 2.4 inches, but in testing I found that it seems more like three times that number. This allows you to mount the TA44S-10 far enough forward on the receiver to allow ample room for a rear backup iron sight. Some ACOG models have such short eye relief that it is impossible to fit a rear iron sight behind them on the receiver. Not an issue with the TA44S-10.
During testing, I found the low magnification and the illuminated reticle of the TA44S-10 to be perfect for fast, both-eyes-open aiming at close targets, while precise hits at 100 to 200 yards were also possible. The ACOG answered windage and elevation adjustments dutifully, and a 30-minute submersion in a 5-gallon bucket of water revealed no leaks.
With all the benefits of its larger counterparts, plus longer eye relief, the Trijicon ACOG TA44S-10 is one of the most advanced, but practical, optics on the market. Whether you mount it to your home-defense AR or a .22 LR version for plinking, the TA44S-10 won't disappoint.