Life with the Trijicon TR24
I've been running the Trijicon Accupoint 1-4x for about 2 years now. When I first bought this scope, I thought... this is just about the perfect 3gun scope. Of course things change. The distances I shoot has changed. My own ability has changed. My rifles have changed. Believe whatever you want, but the TR24r is a 300yd scope. Anything beyond 300 is a compromise in some way. Unfortunately, this year nearly every match I've shot has stretched me to 400 and beyond. The search began for a new scope and what I've learned over time is that the perfect 3gun scope simply doesn't exist. The Z6i looks promising, but I've never actually seen one and won't drop the coin until I see it in person. The short dot is closest to perfect, but even the mighty short dot has its little quirks. We'll see what the new 1-8x SB SD looks like, but on paper it sounds like it will be a winner. Even so, it won't be perfect because it will be perfectly unaffordable for most 3gunners. Some new releases have piqued my interest. The new Vortex PST is a solid performer for a budget minded price, but not day light bright. The new SWFA 1-4x HD is way overpriced and a major disappointment, for me at least. The new Meopta ZD is on the way, but right now they are as rare as my wife in thigh high stockings (I'm just gonna have to start appriciating flannel I guess). I've just not found anything out there I can afford, which has convinced me that it will put points on the board. Maybe I'll come across a used Short Dot for a poor man's price, but untill then I'm left with the challenge of learning how to use the inherent advantages of the triangle reticle, to thier greatest potential, while learning to work around the limitations. I grumbled to Hoser about it and in his usual pragmatic way, he told me to quite complaining and get my butt to the range and practice. Not being one to shirk off such heart felt and spiritually uplifting advice I set off to the range for about 3 months of high quality personal time with my rifle and scope. Here is what I found, learned, developed... whatever.
The body of the red triangle in 1x is one of the very best CQB reticles I have come across. It's large enough to be every bit as fast as an Eotech, while being small enough to not cover up too much of a fast target. I can smoke targets every bit as fast with the TR24 as with any reflex red dot. In fact, I recently threw an aimpoint on one of my rifles and was instantly distracted by the major tunnel effect of the aimpoint. Something I never noticed before, but after running a good 1-4x, you begin to grow accustomed to the very large sight picture and the thiness of the black ring around it. With close work covered, I started working on the practical distance range of 100 to 400yds. If practical distance were limited to 300yds, there wouldn't be anything to work on, but this year, I've had to make quite a few 400+ yd shots in competition. At one of the Johnsons, this year we stretched out to 550yds. I can tell you right now, there just isn't one zero which works well for 100 and for 400yds. There just isn't. I ran a 200yd zero for a while, but found that it put the 400yd hold over too far under the reticle to be anything other than guess work. I then switched to a 300yd zero for a while and found that while 400 was nicely placed at the bottom of the triangle, the pickets covered too much of the target and I just couldn't get consistent. I actually preferred a windy day with a 300yd zero, because it moved the reticle off to one side and I could see the target. The big compromise however was when shooting the Vtac board at 100yds with a 300yd zero. The hold off was really agressive, again making things pretty much guess work. I eventually gave up on finding one zero for all distances inside of 400yds and embarked on a different route.
Suck it up and dial in the range. I found that one of the virtues of the TR24 is that it has decent turrets and a very good return to zero. I figured this out the old fashioned way. I put up targets at 100 and 200yds. I then dialed and shot 5 shot groups at each distance, back and forth for 5 groups each and then reviewed the targets. All groups were pretty much spot on and zeroed where they should have been for both distances. I ran the ballistics calculator and then rezeroed at 100yds and marked the turret with tiny stickers for 200, 300, 400, 500 and 600yds. It took a lot of experimentation, but I found that inside of 300yds, a 250yd zero was just about perfect. The crossover is almost exactly at 50yds, which means that all of my CQB hits will be somewhere inside the body of the triangle. Between 50 and 200 I hold slightly low with hits being about 2" high. 250 is dead on and for 300 I hold slightly high with hits about 4" low. This means that through about 350yds, I can use some part of a plate as a hold over/under reference for the tip of the triangle. If the 400+yd targets are large, such as the size of an IPSC target, I don't bother to dial, just hold on the head at 400 and it will drop in center of mass. At 500yds you hold the bottom of the triangle at the top of the head and for 600, the tip is about as high above the target as the target itself. Maybe a little more. If the 400+yd targets are small, I simply dial in the range I need and hold dead on. A few timed runs showed that I can dial in a shot in about the same time as it takes to miss one long range shot. After dialing I am far more likely to hit my distant target than when not dialed. It works the other way too. A 250yd zero has significantly less hold off than 300 when shooting off angle, such as on a Vtac wall. The dialing also works great both ways. If only shooting the Vtac wall, I can dial in at that distance and simply hold slightly high on the target but with the reticle centered. Either a 250 or 100yd zero is easy to work with.
Some additional and sometimes unexpected advantages came to light as I learned more about using my scope outside of it's designed intent. 1st the top of the triangle is far more precise an aiming device than I originally gave it credit for. When using the tip of the point, most of the target is still visible and with the hood roled over (turning down the brightness), the tip of the point is nice and sharp. I have actually found it easier to shoot groups for instance, with the tip of the triangle, than with crosshairs which are say 1moa in size, or with a 2moa dot. Just a few weeks ago I put down a 3" group at 400yds using that scope at 4x and with the tip of the triangle dialed at that distance. 2nd the wings of the triangle make a pretty good reference for a 10mph full value wind at 400yds. Not sure if this is by design or an accident, but I'll take it either way.
No one can argue that the TR24 comes with some significant advantages over other scopes under $1000. No batteries, daylight bright, good glass, diopter adjustment to fine tune that 1x. I don't think anyone will argue that those advantages come with some compromises as well. No hold over references and the body of the triangle and pickets makes holdovers tricky. All of the scopes on the market for less than $2k present some sort of compromise though. We'll see how the new Meopta looks and of course there will be the new S&B 1-8x short dot for those with means. Personally, I still think a TR24 with an ACOG reticle would be the shizzle. Trijion in thier infinite wisdom however has delayed the release of a scope which would undoubtedly sell by the truck loads, in favor of building yet another fiber optic bow sight and yet another set of ACOG reticle variations. Untill something truly and significantly better comes along (which I can afford), I believe I have found enough harmony with my TR24 to keep pluggin away and remain pretty darn competitive at least on the local 3gun circuit.
I have not considered buying one of these scopes for the exact reason you brought up in your post.
No BDC ability. At all.
I would kind of equate shooting with one of those scopes the same as shooting w/ a duplex or crosshair reticle. good to about 250-300 yds, and past that its just holdover guesswork.
I agree 100% with the idea of an ACOG reticle in a TR24 or a TR21.
If something like that came on to the market, I would buy it in a heartbeat, and I would bet money that just about everyone that owns a rifle setup for 3 gun would too.
If I had it my way, I think the new cqbss from leupold would be the way to go for just about everything...
(that is, if the damn thing didnt cost as much as a honda civic...)
Nice tactile features, great and easy to use reticle (horus), and its illuminated!
But until leupold gets off their high horse, they sadly fall into the same category as fun toys like S&B short dots.
Last edited by leatherneck448; 06-08-2011 at 12:36.
I've shot several matches now with the elevation turret marked up for dialing. Now that I've come to embrace the dialing I've begun to think of stages entirely differently. Now I dial all the time. I look at the distance spread and dial in a different zero depending on the shot distance. When the distance spread is between 200 and say 550 (such as at the last CRC 3gun), I use a 300yd zero and then adjust to 550. I only had 3 adjustments during the stage costing me only a few seconds. Cool part is that I hit the 550 target on the first shot. It was a large target, but I ran the fastest time in our squad because everyone else had holdovers or mills or something in thier scope, but still had trouble connecting. The way I see it, it was an 18 shot course and it took me about 30 shots total to finish. The guys who win long range stages are the guys who don't miss much. I lost a heck of a lot more time missing than dialing. Some day this won't be true, but today... I'm only average.
The dialing in on a stage works great for the shorter stages too. Most short course rifle stages are inside of a small square berm and are inside of 25yds. A 300yd zero gives a 25yd cross over. Many competitors zero at 100yds because that is what coincides with thier hold overs and then clip the top of a close no shoot because they forget about the sight hieght above bore. At Johnson, they love to run stages with targets between 50 and 150yds. Crank in a 100yd zero before the buzzer and go to work. I was really lamenting having to some times dial during a stage, but in the last 5 matches I have only had to do this in one stage. All other dialing has happened off the clock.
Something else will come along which grabs my attention, but for now, I'm enjoying my scope. A buddy recently purchased an SWFA 1-4HD. I think it was a waste of money. The reticle is cool, the glass is clear and turrets are pretty good, but the 1x is terrible (to the point of distraction), the eye box is unforgiving, it has a severe tunnel effect and a severely limited FOV. The diopter adjustment on the back doesn't do anything at all. The virtues of the SWFA don't outway the distractions. On my TR24 the virtues still outway the distractions. It's still a solid 3G scope.
CO-Exprs, I have pretty different experiences than you do... This is gonna be my 2 cents, think it that way
Trijicon glass is no match to Meopta; 1-4x Accupoint looks like European scopes 10-15 years ago - small fov, not very sharp glass (specially outside cebter of fov) that has pretty thick black line around fov (so called "tunnel") + pretty bent fov.
1-4x is definitely 100x better than old 1.25-4x, but not still with Europeans.
I just hate Trijicon illumination, if you start in shade and advance to bright sunlight, you will lose illumination. Otherwise, it is even worse
I prefer battery powered dot about 168x more.
Trijicon reticles are kinda awkward... If you wanna shoot fast, round red dot is only one you need and nothing else is only slowing down. I see the need for hold over lines, you always compromise something with or without those lines.
I would go with Daniel Horner, Raine Peltokoski etc - Swarovski Z6i 1-6x24, with BRT-I if you wanna have reticle with drop compensation. Buy cheap, buy twice
IMHO no S&B scope is anywhere near match to Z6i. Old Short Dot 1,1-4x has better fov on low range (close to new Meopta) but super stupid 1st focal plane red dot New SD has 2nd fp red dot, but the dot is still pretty blurry and fov is worse compared to 1,1-4x. Why they did not make it nice like Swaro, is still something I can not understand...
What I like with S&Bīs, reticles kinda "disappear" with low magnification and do not distract so much.
Just my 2 cents after seeing / using those scopes and many others
Well I got to spend 3 days ROing stage one of the RM3G. An all rifle stage with targets from point blank out to 460yds. It was an amazing stage and one I am glad to have gotten to work as it provided me the opportunity to learn a great deal in terms of how the big dogs approach differnt target types as well as gear selection. I took a moment with each shooter to catalogue the hardware and especially the glass. The three most popular scopes were the 1. Burris XTR, 2. Leupold 1.5-5x illuminated and the Swaro Z6i. The Burris XTR has never done anything for me. I don't have a good reason, just never warmed up to it. The Leupold is a terrific scope for the money, but I couldn't adjust to the 1.5 low end so I had to let mine go. Daniel Horner let me check out the Z6i he had and I gotta say that that is hands down my favorite 3gun scope. The FOV is huge and reticle is just right. The dot is glowing bright in the bright NM, high desert sun light. Eye relief is also forgiving. The price tage puts it soundly out of reach for me untill I pay off a few more things (like my car). Two other scopes deserve honorable mention however. I got to check out the new Burris M-Tac. It's basically a beefed up version of the Tac-30. Same circle reticle, slightly brighter illumination with a real knob, and improved turrets. The new M-Tac is hands down the best 3gun scope for less than $500 (although I also really like the Vortex PST). I got to see one and only one of the new Meopta ZD 1-4x scopes. This scope is my new favorite glass for under $1000. The image and light transmission was on par with US Optics and the Razor HD. The new reticle is indeed day light bright and the tiny chevrons are also day light bright, while still being crisp and sharp. Not quite as bright as the Z6i, or a short dot, but plenty bright for fast, day time use. Once the 1-8 short dot hits the streets, all bets will be off, but my new short list is Burris M-tac (sub $500), Meopta ZD (sub $1000), and the Z6i (for those with means). I'm pulling my pennies together now for a new Meopta.