Holographic sights are one of the best types on the market. They produce a red dot that is more visible than other types of sights, and they’re also quite accurate. However, not all holographic sights are created equally. Some offer features like locking in zeroing for long range shots or night vision modes to make shooting in low-light conditions easier. For these reasons, we’ve ranked our top 7 favorite holographic sight models below.
The Difference Between Red Dots And Holographic
Without giving an epistle about the two gadgets, the most critical question you should ask yourself is why would you require a red dot compared to a holographic sight? Red dots, also known as reflex sights, use an LED projection of a dot from the lens to aim a target. It operates using a particular coat to allow light rays to bounce towards your eye, creating clear visibility.
However, holographic sights ensure the laser transmits through a reticle hologram and passes through a series of lenses before projecting view. It appears complicated right, that is because it is. The laser used for the reticle transmission causes the utilization of more energy, unlike a simple LED.
To further understand the process of vision transmission on the device, it is essential to know that instead of the reticle bouncing back towards the eye, it projects outwards in the direction of the target.
Most professionals prefer this methodology because it is easier to acquire targets since you don’t have to worry about red dot focus long distances. With holo, the user simultaneously focuses on the reticle and target. Interestingly, the study shows holographic sights project better and larger views as it is also effective in situations where you are struggling with the front lens.
Why is Holographic Sight More Preferable To A Red Dot?
When you go to the store to acquire an effective hunting gadget with red dots and holographic available, why should you pick a holographic sight over the other? Aside from the cheap pricing, availability, and maybe longer battery span, a holo sight is a superior device in every aspect to a red dot.
If you know about weapons, you will understand that holographic sight is worth its investment. Another reason why it is preferable is that it makes it easy to focus on the target of any distance and far better than a red dot in this regard. On a red dot, the eye concentrates on the red dot to acquire a distance target while the holographic project sights through the reticle.
It is difficult for the human mind to focus on multiple targets simultaneously. Using a red dot sight, you will notice the brain multitasking between concentrating on the dot and the distance focal point. This process is one of the reasons why individuals might not hit the bullseye with a limited shot on a red dot.
A holo sight appearance has more advancement compared to the other. If you can acquire the aim from the lens, you can hit the target with a few shots, which is much easier and faster. When you need another shot, you don’t need to stress yourself like using the other device. In other words, holographic sight acquires a target faster.
In the aspect of durability, holo sights also stand out as they can withstand ocean depths, powerful recoil, harsh temperature, and heavy G-forces. If you can get the perfect view from the front window, the holographic sight still works fine. This advantage is not the same as the most expensive red dot. Cheap models of red dots are suitable as airsoft weapons compared to centerfire because they can’t handle the mild recoil force.
Best Holographic Sights
EOTech XPS2 – Best For The Money
The EOTech XPS2 is an exact value for its price. A single experience of this high-quality equipment is enough to convince you. However, the glass clarity is excellent but not solid, implying that you may view the target but not transparent enough. Compared to red dots in a similar price range, EOTECH XPS2 is better. If there is debris in the holographic sight, it will function with no hindrance.
The HWS-2 reticle makes it easy and prompt for target acquisition as you can set your preferred light condition with the 20 adjustable brightness settings. The hologram illuminates a light in red so you can quickly catch your target. Both eyes can access unlimited eye relief. By using this weapon, you can appreciate the wide sight window and focus on a target using the reticle.
Furthermore, XPS2 is useful for protection against danger as the styled & rugged roll bar hood can withstand a demanding environment. Similarly, it is shockproof, waterproof, and fog proof.
The turrets are adjustable but pretty small but can have a coin in your pocket if it comes in handy. For zeroing, You get a perfect view at 50 yards, as some experts suggest getting a standard flip-up so your sight can remain upward and zeroed irrespective of the environment.
Furthermore, you can set the magnification at 1x if the target is within short range, but getting a magnifier might be a fair idea if it is within distance. It is parallax-free and an effective weapon to acquire soon.
The presence of a rail mount on XPS2 makes it a ready and compact design equipment with space for a magnifier or rear iron sights. If the magnification provided by this weapon is not enough, consider using UTG 3X magnifier because it contains a Flip-to-side QD mount that can adjust the 1x magnification to 3x. This device is unique to install and keep sight upright during practices. With this feature, you won’t fumble in the dead-on-accuracy shooting classes.
If you are a beginner and want one of the best equipment in the holographic market, the EOTECH XPS2 is for you.
For the AR-15 top-of-the-line holographic sight, look no farther than the EOTech 552. As a matter of fact, most United States military and government law enforcement agencies prefer it.
Are you curious as to why this is the case? The EOTech 552’s glass is very clear. Night vision is accessible with an extra 10 settings, allowing you to see well no matter what time of day it is. With quick and straightforward target engagement at the brief to mid ranges, it comes with a 68 MOA ring and a 1 MOA dot reticle. If you are not familiar with holographic sights, check out EOTech’s excellent guide.
The most important thing to remember is that bullets follow the lead of the red dot on the holographic sight. There is no end to the amount of eye relief you may experience with the EOTech 552. This sight’s best feature is that it is designed to be used with each open eye. The eyes and the position of the head are entirely irrelevant.
Because of this and the eye box’s broad field of sight, you will have complete operational capabilities, with nothing in your visual field being obstructed. Choosing a long-lasting 6.5 Creedmoor scope is essential if you are in the market for one. The EOTech 552 fulfills this requirement because of its water resistance and ability to survive extreme temperatures.
The astounding fact about such a sight is In situations when the view glass is splattered in dust, mud, or fog; it retains its pinpoint precision. You can even use it if it’s partly broken. In addition, the HWS Prestige Warranty from EOTech is included. The main drawback is that it is a little heavier and thicker than, say, prism view or red dot because of its tremendous durability.
0.5 MOA clicks can adjust the turrets’ windage and elevation. The uncovered screws upon those turrets make it easy to screw them loose with a screwdriver. Take-off and loose caps are a thing of the past. In the aspect of zeroing, the EOTech 552 can take you exactly one minute to zero. The reticle is still exactly where it’s positioned, even after a lot of banging. It is an excellent sight that is even more precise than anticipated.
EOTech’s 552 magnifying capability is 1x, which is why it is exceptional at close range. It produces more efficiency in Close Quarters Combat and personal protection with thunder speed target engagement. A Low Power Variable Optic (LPVO) is recommended for hunting purposes.
You do not have to bother about parallax with the EOTech 552 or holographic sights generally. Virtually, they are impervious to problems caused by refraction.
No mounting and rings are included with the EOTech 552, but they may be mounted to MIL-STD 1913 rail or a 1-inch weaver ring. For AR-15 rifles, this implies that your holo sight will attach securely to the regular Picatinny rail, which is generally inclusive. When you’re not using the lens, you can add a GG&G EOTech lens covering to the picture. The EOTech 552 is the best AR-15 holographic sight on the market today. The EOTech 552 is a bit costly, but the most crucial factor is getting your exact money worth, and the quality is also worth the price you pay.
You will receive unrestricted eye relief, Turrets with intuitive controls, incredible durability, a Broad field of vision, a Reticle that is simple to use, bolt speed target acquisition. There is a good reason why law enforcement personnel and military officers choose this sight. When lives are on the line, it provides dependable and effortless precision at proximity.
Try the EOTech 522 if you want to be confident in your ability to hit a target with accuracy when it matters most. You will be glad you did it later on in life.
Vortex AMG UH-1
For the time being, Vortex’s AMG UH-1 is the only holographic alternative to EOTech. Designed to last a lifetime with its tank built characteristics
It appears to be much larger than the EXPS; however, the two devices are nearly identical in length. Because of the additional hood that covers everything, it appears much larger than it is. Being new, it lacks the military history of the EOTech. Still, thus far, there have been no significant concerns aside from an initial batch with minor reticle flaring that has been corrected. In addition, because it is a Vortex, the warranty is transferable for the product’s lifetime.
Vortex UH-1 Reticle 3x Zoom Reticles aside, this scope is a people’s favorite. However, there is a beautiful little triangular stripe at the bottom for short encounters, so the enormous circle is still there for CQB (Close Quarters Combat).
For the short PCC contests, use a zero of 25 yards. However, if you zero at the typical distance of 100 yards, the triangle will be highly beneficial. It features a beautiful inbuilt QD setup that stays at zero throughout the testing process, which is another plus.
The only thing that will make it get a lower rating is the slight green hue. If it has one, it is far more obvious than EOTech’s, which is practically unnoticeable. It might not seem like a big deal when you’re shooting, but as time goes on, it becomes a reason for concern.
Because the buttons are located on the rear, they could potentially obstruct the use of magnifying glasses. However, it includes a replaceable battery that you can recharge via USB, which is a nice feature. You can try out the battery features to confirm the theory. Compared to simply switching batteries, though, It’s a possibility you might want to bother hooking your upper body to your computer.
In terms of battery life, the AMG UH-1 has an excellent 1500-hour advantage over EOTech’s 600-hour advantage.
Razor is one of the few Vortex optics that has an integrated quick-release mounting system. The quick-release mount can be used with Picatinny or Weaver bases. This makes it easy to open the optic and get started using it in a matter of minutes.
It is easy to open and close the mounting system to allow you to swap optics between rifles. This doesn’t require any tools and takes minimal effort. With the help of a screwdriver, you can adjust the tension of your mount to suit your needs or make it more compatible with the weapon you’ve chosen.
Currently, in the market, EOTECH 512 is the most affordable holographic sight device today. Interestingly, it works effectively in harsh weather conditions and can aim at animals as big as a coyote at -18 degree temperature.
The glass is non-reflective and clear, with no indication of light bleed at the other end. In addition, the window allows quick target acquisition because of its portable size, as you can acquire the target with no struggle with the top-notch 1 MOA clean reticle surrounded by 68 MOA rings.
Furthermore, the brightness is adjustable through more than 15 brightness settings as the rear adjustment buttons make it easy for shooters to use either the left or right hands. Although visible from numerous angles, it can ghost target like the red dot as the 3-4 MOA deviation makes it easy to view the reticle from either side.
The eye relief is excellent for open-range shooting with the necessary adjustment. With an objective lens of .85, it is a perfect option for shooting at sight. As regards durability, EOTECH is the lead brand in the market. Although not identical to military models, it has good durability, is fog-proof, with rigidity.
You can use the device for hunting at zero temperature as it is suitable for hot or cold weather. Although the battery might not be as efficient as sights, they are changeable. You can find the windage & elevation at the adjustment knob side with similar features as the best scope for 308. Although it is possible to use a hand for adjustment, it is not easy to get a screwdriver.
An excellent feature about this device is that users can leave the backup iron sight up and won’t affect the functionality. The sight does not hit the iron sight or tamper with the hammer motion. It is possible to compare Weaver and MIL-STC 1913 rails with the in-built mount.
The purpose of this device is for close-quarter combat. However, you can use it for recreational shooting or home defense. The presence of multiple accessories makes it a preferred option for hunting. Some features why the weapon is unique include ten years warranty, universal mount, clean 1MOA dot, durable tactical grade, and AA power battery.
This equipment is perfectly worth its monetary value as the device can stand any environment and test of time. When next you want to go hunting gadget shopping, remember to include EOTECH 512 as your toy.
Although not as pricey as other devices, you will get almost similar features which is a good advantage. These unique properties include; durable sight window, distance field view, double eye open shooting, and close quarter combat. Interestingly, users enjoy ten years warranty as it is returnable within the first five years if the sight breaks. For the remaining five years, you pay $79 as a bench fee.
After the repair, the sight is transparent, and you can target your dream prey anytime. Thus, the XPS2 holographic sight is a simple illustration of low price for high-quality features. Furthermore, it is an appropriate option for occasional shooters or serious hunters.
It is not a holographic sight in the strictest sense of the word. Instead, the Holosun 510C combines energy-saving LED technology to create a revolutionary new flashlight. Enhanced features include longer battery life and a sharp reticle, rather than the usual blur.
The center has a tolerance of 2 MOA, while the outer ring has a tolerance of 65 MOA. You also have the option of switching between the dot and ring or utilizing the combo. It does, however, share the Vortex’s greenish tint. Using this option at the range can raise your chances of getting good shots. There is nothing better if you only care about the circle and dot reticle and do not mind the slightly slower acquisition pace. Like its kinds, it is sharp and practically parallax-free.
In addition, the battery life is 50,000 hours because LEDs are used instead of lasers. The solar capability switches on when the sun shines, so you do not have to rely on batteries. It is finally lighter and more streamlined.
The buttons are located on the side of the device for ease of use, and the QD attachment system helps keep the battery voltage at zero. However, it is less water-resistant than the others because of its NVG capabilities.
The 510 has a quick-release mounting mechanism that attaches to any Picatinny rail system. The sight can be quickly mounted or removed from your weapon system. This gives you the ability to switch to another optic or move it to another platform.
The EOTech EXPS3, as an all-in-one sight, contains all necessary features required for shooting practices. You can use it from dusk to dawn to hunt various targets, and it would function correctly. In addition, some individuals use this device for shooting competitions. Currently, it is one of few holographic gadgets that offer 100% efficiency.
Numerous military personnel use this device as their spare weapon because it provides one of the best target acquisitions at a fast pace irrespective of the close-quarter situations.
The sight is accurate and visibly precise because it comes with a 1 MOA reticle(red dot) and 68 MOA circles. The glass of this device is unique because it is super bright and has zero tints, unlike others. Similarly, there are 20 settings options of the brightness reticle, making it easy to adjust from blindingly bright to barely visible. The standard brightness is level 12. In addition, there are another ten additional settings compatible with Gen I through night vision Gen III+ devices.
Sometimes the reticle can be blurry, which is common among most holographic sights. If you experience this challenge, the best solution is to close an eye while shooting or adjust the brightness until the fuzz is lost. If the two approaches did not work, you might need to consider red dot sight for nearsightedness or astigmatism.
In addition, it is possible to experience a grainy effect for the first time utilizing a holographic sight. The effect occurs as a result of the technology typically used in creating the reticle image. The sight uses thousands of red dots to project the target view.
Individuals used to red dot scope(LED-based sights) might find this equipment challenging and be surprised by its effect. After using the device, you can affirm that the EOTECH EXPS3 is a real big deal.
Some hunters express that the weapons take time to turn on, making them lose their prey at times. About the pricing, if it has always-on features or something close to that, it would have been great. However, something unexpected may come up, and you might be in urgent need of your weapon; at this period, the EOTECH EXSP3 is not the perfect choice for you.
The automatic shutdown feature of this sight is disheartening after it warns of low battery. Furthermore, there are two arrows in the unit. The down arrow provides at least four hours of use before the shutdown, while the up arrow(also known as the NV button) ensures the user enjoys eight hours before shutdown. Note that the shutdown duration resets when you use any of these buttons to change the reticle intensity.
On level 12 brightness settings, the EXPS3 can run 600 hours which is commendable compared to other red dot sights. Furthermore, the unlimited eye relief makes it easy to use a lower third co-witness with the backup iron sights. Finally, the eye box ensures a wide-field view. These features make shooting quicker while both eyes open.
It has a swift detach lever mount with in-built 7mm that fits a 1 Weaver & MIL-STD 1913 rail. EOTECH EXPS3 is easy to use and mounts firmly on AR-15 rails.
As a versatile and dependable high-end scope, the equipment is worth its price. Some of the features include; 20 brightness settings, lightweight & durable, bright optics, night vision settings, unlimited eye relief, and broad field view.
In conclusion, EOTECH EXPS3 is a trusted holographic sight available with not much difficulty.
EOTech is the undisputed leader in the field of holographic sight. Yes, there was a misunderstanding about thermal drift a few years ago (when the reticle fails to return to zero when it encounters a high temperature). However, they have returned, and this time they are much better than before.
Check out EOTech’s answer to their new sights if you are still concerned about thermal drift (every sight, including the red dots, has it). This new EXPS2-0 model, shorter than the previous model’s most popular variant, has become a general preference for most professional shooters alike. It boasts a large, crystal-clear rectangular window—lastly, the 68 MOA circle, which features a 1 MOA dot in the middle. For example, at 100 yards, the large circle will cover 68 inches while the center dot will cover 1 inch. It is known as a minute of angle (MOA).
In general, holographic views will appear blurry due to the nature of the technology whenever you are aiming at a target while keeping both eyes open. No one or nothing is harmed as a result of this. There is no better reticle than this one for fast target acquisition and pinpoint accuracy. The reticle is visible because the image has been enlarged three times with a Vortex 3x (preferred 3x Magnification).
In bright conditions, it was difficult to capture good shots of the reticle. However, even on the hottest desert days, it still works well.
There are a few different variants of EOTech.
It is 1/3 co-witness that does not interfere with irons or backup irons compared to the usual XPS series, but the EXPS2-0 (Best Backup Irons for AR-15) is the renowned option. As a bonus, it boasts a sturdy quick-detach (QD) rail system and buttons on the side. As the name implies, this revolves around an arc of 68 MOAs with a 1 MOA center. It is a must in my opinion. Opt for the EXPS3-0 if you will be using night vision goggles.
Moving your head will keep the reticle in the same place even if you use a little artificial parallax to show how it works. When used for pistol caliber carbine competitions, the reticle makes it easier to get up close for close shots. In contrast, a 1 MOA dot is beneficial for plate racks that were further away.
It will always remain at zero (25 yards of plate rack) regardless of how many times you switch it on and off. Let us not forget about the extremes. This thing has withstood being submerged in water, being exposed to extreme cold and hot temperatures, being dropped, and then shot with various ammunition.
Standard reticles include a 65MOA ring and a true 1MOA dot. In addition, an optional 1MOA dot (EXPS2-2) is available. This allows the shooter to engage targets at different ranges and not have to worry about distance holdovers. For close-in engagements, the ring can be used as a quick acquisition device. Place the circle around your target and pull the lever.
Trying to get the best holographic sight that suits your preference might seem like a pretty challenging feat to achieve. Challenging, yes, but thanks to this guide, it’s no longer an impossibility. There are different gun variants in the market ranging from standard rifles to revolvers. However, it is essential to integrate the best holographic sights into your firearms for perfect target accuracy.
Thanks to the likes of Eotechs 552, which happens to be the best holographic sights available, target practice just got better. You can also check out all the products mentioned in this article and their capabilities to determine which one best suits your preference, regardless of whichever shooting exercise you’re involved with. I can assure you that these holographic sights are the precise game changers you need to transform your shooting experience.
With more than 50 years experience in the field and the testing lab, author L.P. Brezny is one of today’s most recognized shotgun experts and authors. He is a contributor to dozens of firearms publications, such as Wildfowl, Shotgun Sports, and Varmint Hunters, and he is a regular columnist in the Gun Digest annual as well as AmmoLand News.