The Science of Brilliant Shooting Optics

Trijicon continues to provide state-of-the-art military optics and cutting-edge sporting optics

The Science of Brilliant Shooting Optics

Back in 1981 an aeronautical engineer at Ford Motor Company, Glyn Bindon, was visiting a family friend with his brother in South Africa. His brother had a friend who made the tritium-illuminated red-dot Armson OEG gun sight. This friend needed a salesperson to launch the product in America. Glyn, an experienced hunter and plinker, decided to give it a shot as a small “side job.” 

Glyn’s first Armson sale was for six pieces. Armson then supplied Glyn with the first tritium-illuminated gunsight, from Armson OEG, available for sale in stores in 1983. At the time, Glyn ran sales and warehousing out of the family house, with his children helping. 

As the “side business” grew, Glyn would often take apart, dissect, and explore optical technologies. He wondered if moving the prism in a riflescope (much like in a pair of binoculars) could make the riflescope more compact than the big, bulky scopes on the market at that time. Short answer: It could. In fact, it revolutionized riflescopes, and continues to do so to this day. Then, in 1987, Trijicon introduced the TA01 4x32 Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight (ACOG), which was included in the U.S. Army Advanced Combat Rifle program almost immediately. This implementation by the U.S. Army was just a small hint at what would soon become a life-changing partnership with the U.S. Military. 

Trijicon was off to the races. Today, while the company continues to provide state-of-the-art optics to the military, it also manufactures cutting-edge sporting optics, which began in 1998 with the introduction of the AccuPoint 3-9x40 dual-illuminated riflescope. In late 2022, Shooting Sports Retailer spent time in hunting camp with Josh Lyall, Trijicon’s director of marketing. Here’s what he had to say.

SSR: In today’s economy, how critical are price points to selling a premium-class hunting and target shooting optic like Trijicon products? Have you had to keep price increases stable or nonexistent, given current economic conditions? What’s the near-term future in that regard? 

Lyall: Like every manufacturer in this economy, we are facing cost increases for the materials we use to build our products. We certainly do all we can to help contain these increases, but we won’t sacrifice the quality of the components we use – when consumers purchase a Trijicon product, they know they are getting a premium product that is built from the best available components. 

SSR: How do you see the future of the hunting market segment? The target shooting segment? Is there growth, and if so, where? In long-range shooting? If so, how is Trijicon addressing this segment? What’s the future of the Ascent, Huron, Credo, TenMile, and AccuPoint product lines? Any new lines in the offing? 

Lyall: In the last couple of years, it has been exciting to see the number of first-time firearm owners grow significantly. The data we’ve seen on these new firearm owners points to a significant percentage of them focused on personal and home defense, which certainly aligns with a number of our core product groups like pistol night sights, red-dot optics, and the ACOG. However, a percentage of those new firearm owners also reported purchasing their first firearm to begin hunting, and that is also something we’re excited to see as we have a passion for hunting within the walls of Trijicon, and we’ve created a great selection of hunting optics with our Huron, Credo HX, Tenmile HX, and AccuPoint families. 

SSR: Any plans to produce laser rangefinders downstream? Spotting scopes? 

Lyall: We’re always looking at additional product categories and new product families where we could bring a great product to market.

SSR: How much does the military R&D trickle down to the sporting marketplace? 

Lyall: Over the 40-year history of Trijicon, we have consistently put a high priority on creating the most innovative, durable products possible for the U.S. Armed Forces. Most notably, the creation of the legendary Trijicon ACOG (Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight) that became the first official optical enhancement of the M16 family by the U.S. military, and has since been fielded in more battles than any other optic ever made. Each new product we bring to market has to endure a regimen of durability testing to make sure it meets the Trijicon standard, and subsequently, many of those products have been adopted by the U.S. military, including the Trijicon RMR, VCOG, and MGRS. 

SSR: What are the most popular riflescope configurations in terms of power, objective lens size, and tube size? Are 30mm scope tubes overtaking traditional 1-inch tubes in popularity? If so, why? 

Lyall: Low Power Variable Optics (LPVOs) are very popular right now, with both 1-6X and 1-8X varieties in first and second focal plane leading the way from a sales perspective. The LPVO provides a lot of versatility from close-up shots that require a wide field of view to extended range shots that need a precise aiming point and more magnification. The 30mm tube has certainly surpassed the 1-inch tube from a sales perspective and is the configuration of most of the scopes we sell. However, other tube diameters like 34mm continue to sell well for optics where they bring extra capability like additional elevation adjustment. 


SSR:  Any upcoming dealer specials/promotions that SSR readers/dealers need to be aware of? 

Lyall: Trijicon recently launched our own Dealer Training and Rewards Tool that enables brick and mortar dealer sales staff to learn about our product line and then earn points for the Trijicon products they sell, which can then be redeemed for free Trijicon products. We also recently launched a Range Optics Program that offers qualified dealers with an onsite range the opportunity to purchase discounted optics for use on rental guns. We are constantly looking at new ways to support our local dealers and that will continue to be a big focus for us in the years to come.

SSR: How can a dealer who does not currently carry Trijicon products become a dealer? 

Lyall: It’s an easy process to apply to become a Trijicon dealer, just go to our website,, and fill out the “Become a Dealer” form on the “Contact” page. Someone from our team will reach out to go over the requirements and options for carrying Trijicon products.


SSR:  Where is Trijicon located? 

Lyall: Trijicon is headquartered in Wixom, Michigan, where we were founded over 40 years ago, with additional offices and manufacturing facilities in Stafford, Virginia; Atlanta, Georgia; and Auburn, California.


SSR: Are all Trijicon products made in the USA? 

Lyall: The vast majority of Trijicon products, including ACOG, VCOG, RMR, RMRcc, SRO, MRO, Iron Sights, MGRS, Thermal Optics, and Mounts are designed, engineered, machined, and assembled at our facilities in Wixom, Michigan or Auburn, California, and are therefore 100% made in the USA. Our AccuPoint riflescopes are assembled in the U.S. but have significant components purchased in Japan. Our Huron, Ascent, Tenmile, and Credo riflescopes are manufactured in Japan according to our design and rigorous testing requirements. All Trijicon products are designed in Michigan and have the same stringent quality processes applied to them, including the Science of Brilliant testing methodology.


SSR: Is Trijicon still producing/promoting the ACOG crossbow sight and AccuPin bow sight? If so, what’s their future? 

Lyall: We discontinued the AccuPin bow sight last year due to parts availability. We do offer the ACOG XB, a 3X ACOG specifically designed for today’s premium crossbows. Beyond the high-quality glass and rugged construction consumers expect from an ACOG, the ACOG XB also has a custom reticle with bolt drop stadia lines and deer/elk ranging markings.


SSR: The thermal sight market has a lot of buzz around it these days. Is the OASYS product line the future for Trijicon in this category? Is their growth there for dealers? 

Lyall: The thermal night vision category continues to grow rapidly and Trijicon offers a line of premium scopes led by the REAP-IR and IR-HUNTER that sell well for the dealers who stock them. They are built using the same construction as the ACOG to offer the kind of durability customers expect from Trijicon and should demand for a significant investment like a thermal scope. The OASYS product line is primarily for LE/military users and is not currently part of our commercial line.


SSR: What do you do to promote sporting optics worldwide? TV show sponsorships? Print advertising? Social media influencers? Other? 

Lyall: Trijicon supports our brand with an integrated marketing plan that includes print and digital advertising, TV advertising and sponsorship, social media marketing, and email marketing. We are always looking for additional ways to reach our target consumers and drive them to our local dealers to purchase Trijicon products.


SSR: Handgun sales continue to explode. How is Trijicon addressing the need for optical handgun sights? 

Lyall: Trijicon pioneered the pistol-mounted red-dot market with the RMR, which was originally designed to deploy on top of an ACOG, but due to its small size and rugged construction made it ideal for mounting to a pistol slide. Since then, Trijicon has maintained leadership in the pistol-mounted red dot optic space with the RMR, SRO, and RMRcc. The RMR has even been adopted by SOCOM as their Miniature Aiming System-Day Optic.


SSR: With the Bindon family’s leadership and example, Trijicon has always been a faith-based company. Is that philosophy still bedrock for Trijicon? How does that affect your day-to-day business operations and relationships with dealers and consumers? 

Lyall: Trijicon’s core values include honesty, integrity, and morality, and they are key components of what drives our decisions every day. We believe that America is great when its people are good. That goodness has been based on Biblical standards throughout our nation’s history, and we strive to follow those morals.


SSR:  Other comments, news, notes dealers need to know? Final thoughts? 

Lyall: Last year, Trijicon launched a new line of quick-release mounts with Trijicon Q-LOC Technology. This line of mounts provides great return-to-zero performance featuring multiple proprietary recoil lugs to ensure total rail engagement. Heavy-duty springs enable one-handed operation while also ensuring secure retention under hard and repeated recoil. This line of mounts is a great addition to a dealer’s offering and provides an excellent add-on sale to a premium Trijicon optic.


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