I started my first AR15 build way back in 2010. I somewhat chronicled that build early on in this blog’s life. At the tail end of that first iteration, I was agonizing over what optic should go on top of my “general-purpose-SHTF-WROL-ZPAW” build (obviously, my priorities and maturity have changed a lot since then). At the tail end of 2011, my choices came down to the TR24G and a TA33G-H ACOG. Obviously, I chose to go with the TR24G. Since then, the number of choices in the 1-4x optic class has grown by leaps in bounds with new reticle designs and all sorts of whiz-bang features. Despite that, the TR24 still holds its own.
I have used this scope in amateur three-gun, mid-range range precision, and my own practical shooting quest right here at this blog. In five years, the only hiccup I’ve had was when one of the turrets popping up from the “locked” position inside the cap and lost my zero right before a three-gun stage. That was easily rectified with a quick field zero.
The optic itself is 10.3 inches long, has a 24mm objective, and a 30mm tube. The tube is made of 6061-T6 aluminum and it weighs in at 14.4 ounces. Add another 7.1 ounces for the ADM Scout Mount and the total comes to about 21.5 ounces. Measuring it myself on my food scale with theTR24G, ADM Scout Mount, and a 3gunstuff cat tail, the total was 20.9 oz. That is on the lighter end of low power variables on the market, but heavier than a quality fixed magnification optic like an ACOG (even the larger ones like the TA11) or my ELCAN SpecterOS 4x.
The TR24 comes in three different reticle patterns: either a triangle post (what I have), a German #4 crosshair, or a simple duplex. The latter two have only a tiny illuminated dot that lends itself to better precision. The lighted triangle of my model is geared more towards speed. Regardless of version, the reticle is in the second focal plane and the capped turrets are in 1/4 MOA.
Eye relief is advertised at 3.2″. I found it to be about right, if not just a hair shorter. Some will talk about the changing eye relief of the TR24 as you zoom through its magnification range. This is not actually the case, though. Really, what they are seeing is the changing size of the exit pupil. Now, at 1x, you can move way behind the scope and still have a usable sight picture, but that doesn’t mean your eye relief is changing. If you use a proper cheek weld and position the scope accordingly (while at 4x), you will never have to move your head as you zoom back down to 1x.
The field of view at 100 yards is 97.5 ft at 1x and 24.2 ft at 4x, or about 4.2 degrees at 4x. That is eight feet less than my ELCAN SpecterOS 4x, but more than the 19.3 ft of the competing TA33. The pictures show the TR24 on the right and the ELCAN on the left looking down a street in front of my house; you can see what the wider field of view looks like. I will not say that looking through the TR24 is like looking through a straw, but it does feel like a narrower field of view compared to the ELCAN or one of the larger ACOGs (TA11 and TA31, specifically). However, the TR24 has the advantage of zooming down to 1x and practically appearing to be a red “dot” sight.
Please take these two photos with a grain of salt, as I took them through the scopes with my iPhone and then cropped, zoomed, and tried to color correct the images to a better approximation of how it looks-I didn’t do a great job
The glass is Japanese and very clear, as is standard for Trijicon. It is not as clear as the ELCAN, but the difference is very minute and not worth worrying about in realistic terms. I see no issues with edge to edge clarity, or fish-eye effects. Some have complained that the scope is “not really 1x”, but my observation is that they forget that the image is “taken” from the front lens which is a good 14″ in front of your eye. Past about 10 yards, it is effectively zero magnification.
The reticle in the TR24G (like the 24R and 24A) is a simple post and triangle. The triangle on the post is illuminated by fiber optic spool located by the ocular. There is a rotating cover that lets you control the amount of light entering the fiber optic element (something that I wish the ACOG had). This is useful for days where I want maximum sharpness on the reticle, and blocking illumination makes the post become a nice sharp black triangle. In full sun, the fiber optic is almost retina-searingly bright- washout is never a problem.
Like an ACOG, there is a tritium vial embedded in unit to provide some illumination in a low or no-light environment (you cannot control the brightness of this component). The tritium illumination works best when your eyes are already dark-adjusted, and it work well. Some people try to judge tritium illumination by walking into a dark room and looking through the optic; this is not a good representation because your eyes need at least thirty minutes of darkness to chemically adjust to the low light environment.
Tritium is a radioactive isotope of hydrogen that slowly decays into helium. It has a half life of about 12 years. how long the tritium in my scope lasts has a lot of factors such as when the vial was made and how much tritium is required in oder to sufficiently illuminate the fiber optic. Here I am at about five years after date of purchase and it is still going strong.
At 4x, the triangle of the reticle is 4.2 MOA tall. The post and triangle design limit the usability of the reticle for holdovers and BDC references. ACOGs have useful stadia lines for a nominal ballistic calculation, and other newer 1-4x scope designs use MOA or Mil markings that are paired with ballistic data for various loads. Due to the lack of usable reference marks, this post-style reticle is best geared towards point blank zero shooting methods (also seen in other methods like the S4G system of the Swiss). I consider the post reticle of the TR24G to be just fine from point blank to about 350 yards (depending on the chosen PBZ).
Obviously, it is nice to have an optic that can be easily used to 400, 500, 600, and 700 yards. Being realistic, the 5.56 cartridge and M16 rifle were developed primarily for warfare at 300 yards and closer. For what it’s worth, the TR24G is a great general purpose optic in this regard for a “set and forget” type of zero, but will be outclassed by some of the newer designs out there.
The adjustments are in 1/4 MOA increment. The turret itself is locked only by pressing it in until it clicks. Once set, the turrets are capped with threaded aluminum covers. Again, “set and forget.” As I said earlier, I once had an issue with the windage turret popping loose within the cap and losing my zero. I cannot explain how it happened, and it has never happened since then.
I’ve tried replacing this optic over the years, yet I keep finding myself coming back to it. The ELCAN I purchased last year has been the best replacement, yet, and it now sits on my “serious use” rifle while the TR24 has found its way back on my marksmanship training rifle (I know…I probably shouldn’t have these as two separate rifles). The next optic I try is going to be a TA11, which gives me the longer eye relief and battery-less illumination along with usable stadia lines for distance.
Trijicon has since come out with a 1-6x optic as well as the Accupower line which are constructed similarly, but using battery power instead of fiber optics. The newer Accupower line has a few new reticle designs that include MOA hash marks or BDC stadia lines in addition to the illuminated center points. If I could have my ideal scope, it would be an Accupoint (1-4 or 1-6) with a fiber optic center aiming point and MRAD hash marks on the vertical and horizontal planes.
The Final Word
This optic is ‘old reliable’ for me. With a carefully chosen point blank zero, this little scope is very fast to use. It really shines from 0 to 350 yards or so. It is not as precise as a dedicated crosshair, nor as useful at range as an ACOG (or any scope with BDC stadia), but it is faster than both- especially given that it has a 1x setting that effectively makes it a big glowing green-“dot” sight.
- Great glass
- Battery-free illumination that is very bright
- Light weight for class
- Very fast for usable distances
- Generous and consistent eye relief through magnification range
- At 1x, the relief is practically limitless and usable from awkward positions
- Reticle is rather limited in use
- Maximum of 4x magnification is lower than competing models
So who should buy this? Well, that’s a tough one. This optic is clearly showing its age in design features compared to scopes that are new on the market. Trijicon itself has updated the Accupoint line with a 1-6x version that is priced about the same. The scope is well designed and tough, and is still on the high end of the market in that regard. It is very fast, and makes an ideal scope for situations in which speed is more important than precision, especially for the realistic distances an AR-15 will be used. However, when precision becomes important, the lack of usable reference marks and covered turrets limits your options.
Would I buy it again? Absolutely, but I would definitely be shopping my options among the ACOG line and other newer battery-powered options.