[ANSWERED] Do ACOG Scopes Work at Night?

ACOG scopes undoubtedly belong in the most popular and common optical sights. Special Ops Forces, Marine Corporations, and most hunters and gun enthusiasts worldwide appreciate using this scope for various shooting purposes. They come with so many useful features and the tritium and fiber-optic illumination reticle is mentioned worthy. 

Now to answer your question, the answer is yes, but here’s a catch. They do work at night but not like night vision, or in other other words, not more than seeing a thing in a short distance. Don’t worry! The rest of this post contains all the necessary information that help you to understand the answer properly. 

Do ACOG Scopes Work at Night

Do ACOG Scopes Support Aiming at Night?

As we’re going to talk about ACOG’s capability at night, we need to divide the discussion into two parts. One part is about the overall visible capability, and the other part is about the strength of the reticle. When both work perfectly, then we can say the scope works at night.

1. Visible Capability

Basically, an ACOG sight adjusts the brightness spontaneously according to the surrounding ambient light to provide the brightest visibility, thanks to its objective lens. It’s sufficiently capable of capturing the possibly highest amount of light from the environment through it so that the visibility gets better than in reality. But the thing is, at night, obviously, there won’t be enough light, especially if you’re in a wood.  So what happens then? 

To explain, at night, even though it’s dark everywhere, it doesn’t mean there isn’t any sign of light. For example, there can be city lights from the nearest city or moonlight. The sight’s objective lens can capture any amount of light through it. Therefore, if the city light amount is enough or it’s a full moon night, it can possibly let you get enough visibility for seeing things and aiming. Otherwise, it’ll be hard to use the sight and you may require supplement light.

NOTE: Keep in mind that, with city lights or moonlight or any other low light, you can see things only when they are near and the lights are enough bright. So, if you decide to hunt wild prey at night, never try to do that. 

2. Reticle Capability

Most ACOG scopes are designed with tritium phosphor which successfully provides properly visible illuminated reticles in low light or dark conditions. Being an able optical sight without needing batteries, its reticle gets power from the tritium core and ensures sufficient aiming support.

Unlike fiber optics, the tritium core is meant to illuminate the reticle at night. That means, there won’t be any problem with the reticle at night, and you can see it through the glass clearly. But things will turn around when you use white light in this case. The wight light will mostly wash out the reticle or make it dim, making aiming even harder.  So, you can supplement light if you have, but you’ve to compromise the reticle’s dimness. 

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers (FAQs)

What distance is ACOG good for?

The ACOG is good for short and mid-level distances. It comes with magnifications that can deliver better performance only with such distances. You can try to see and aim for further but that won’t gonna work as expected.

How long can an ACOG last?

Most ACOGs use radioactive decay of tritium phosphor core to power up and illuminate the reticle. And in most cases, it has been found that this tritium core can power up the reticle for 10 to 15 years.

Is ACOG a sniper scope?

Yes, it is but the magnification is not the best one. With ACOG scopes, you can get magnification from 1.5x to 6x. Yes, you can call 6x zoom a good magnification but surely it isn’t the best. So, when you think of using a sniper rifle at a short to medium distance, an ACOG can be a great option.


As you’ve read this far, hopefully, now you understand whether an ACOG scope can be used at night. You will only get the minimal performance from this sight if you use it at night. So, if you’re a night shooter or hunter, we’ll recommend you use a scope that comes with night vision or is designed to work fine at night. Let us know if this post is helpful.

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