If you do not have time for the details, here are our top picks for holographic sights:
- EOTech Model XPS2
- EOTech Model 512
- EOTech Model 558
- EOTech Model EXPS3
- Aimpoint PRO Red Dot Reflex Sight
- Holosun HE510C-GR Elite
The best holographic sight will help you get on target fast like a red dot, but has a more advanced reticle for more precision shooting. Check out our in-depth reviews to find the best options on the market.
If you want to get on target fast, there are few options on the market more efficient and accurate than a holographic sight. One of these high-tech optics may be just the thing you need if your main goal is to improve your shooting skills. In this article, we will walk you through the advantages of a holographic sight, why you need one, and even offer some in-depth reviews of our favorite models. On a quest to find the best holographic sight? Keep reading. You’ve definitely come to the right place.
- What is a Holographic Sight?
- Why Choose a Holo Sight Over a Red Dot Sight?
- Comparison Table
- Top 6 Holographic Sights with Detailed Reviews
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- The Final Verdict
What is a Holographic Sight?
Holographic sights (also called holographic diffraction sights or holo sights) are some of the fastest and most intuitive sighting systems available to the modern shooter. First introduced by EOTech at the 1996 SHOT show, these sights use a series of mirrors and lasers to produce a holographic image of a reticle superimposed on the field of view.
Why Choose a Holo Sight Over a Red Dot Sight?
Although they often get thrown into the same category, red dot sights and holo sights use very different technology.
Red dots use an LED (light emitting diode) to project a red dot onto a specially coated lens. The lens then reflects the dot back toward the shooter’s eye. The shooter then uses the dot as an aiming point.
As we already mentioned, a holo sight uses a complicated configuration of lasers and mirrors to produce a reticle that is more complex than a basic red dot.
The reticle is the main advantage of a holo sight. While red dots offer a simple aiming point, the technology used in a holo sight allows for reticles with much more detail. Some holo reticles can help the shooter range targets or adjust point of aim when shooting longer distances.
The reticle produced by a holographic sight also appears to float in front of the optic. This enables the shooter to focus on both the target and the reticle at the same time, making these sights more intuitive and easy to use, especially for inexperienced shooters.
With other optics, the shooter has to shift focus from the target to the reticle or vice versa because the eye is unable to simultaneously focus on two objects at different distances.
Although we are huge fans of holographic optics, red dots have their own set of advantages. First, the LED light on the red dot uses considerably less battery power than a holo sight. If you are in a shooting situation where battery longevity is necessary, a red dot definitely wins out over a holo sight.
Another advantage of a red dot sight is the price tag. Because the technology used to produce that red dot reticle is less complicated than holographic technology, red dots generally come with more affordable price tags than their holo sight competition.
|EOTech Model XPS2||
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|EOTech Model 512||
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|EOTech Model 558||
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|EOTech Model EXPS3||
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|Aimpoint PRO Red Dot Reflex Sight||
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|Holosun HE510C-GR Elite||
||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
Top 6 Holographic Sights with Detailed Reviews
If you aren’t sure where to start in your search for a holo sight, here are a few of our favorites to get you started.
1. EOTech Model XPS2
EOTech is the undisputed leader in holographic technology. This company introduced the first holographic weapon sight at the 1996 SHOT Show, where it won Optic of the Year from the Shooting Industry Academy of Excellence. The company continues to flex its holographic muscle by producing the ultimate in holo tech gun sights.
The EOTech Model XPS2 is definitely one of our favorites. This model is the shortest, smallest, and lightest holo sight in the EOTech line-up. It runs on a single lithium battery, so it leaves plenty of rail space for a magnifier or rear iron sight. Despite its single battery configuration, you can still enjoy 1,000 continuous hours of use at the lowest brightness setting.
Although EOTech offers some variation in reticle design, all of their reticles feature a 68 MOA ring surrounding a 1 MOA (minute of angle) center dot. This means that when you’re aiming at 100-yard targets, the ring will cover 68 inches of the target while the center dot provides a precision 1-inch aiming point. This configuration allows you to quickly lock on to your target at a variety of ranges.
EOTech holo sights are virtually indestructible. They even function if the window is shattered or partially obscured. This level of reliability makes EOTech holo sights perfect for your AR-15 or other tactical rifles.
2. EOTech Model 512
The Model 512 is EOTech’s most popular and affordable holo sight. This one has some pretty hefty recoil resistance and holds zero like a pro, making it a great option for your tactical or turkey hunting shotgun. However, it feels just as at home on any firearm in your arsenal.
The Model 512 has all of EOTech’s key features, including the signature dot/circle reticle and nearly indestructible construction. However, the Model 512 comes without some of the fancier bells and whistles of EOTech’s other models. If you’re looking for the best value for the money in a true holo sight, the EOTech 512 definitely fits the bill.
3. EOTech Model 558
The Model 558 is similar to the EOTech Model 512, only this one has the added advantage of night vision compatibility. Because this model works in conjunction with any Gen 1 through Gen3+ NVD (night vision device), it makes the perfect optic for home defense and tactical weapons.
Although the Model 558 is designed to work with night vision, it also features twenty different brightness settings for reliable dawn to dusk use. Plus, it has a respectable battery life of up to 1000 hours on the dimmest setting.
4. EOTech Model EXPS3
Designed for tactical operators, the EOTech Model EXPS3 is ideal for CQB engagements. It delivers easy both-eyes-open shooting, which helps preserve peripheral vision and increase situational awareness. It also has a 7mm raised base for lower iron sight access.
The Model EXPS3 is night vision compatible and has a quick-detach lever for fast and easy installation and removal. Plus, it has all the signature qualities that have made EOTech holo sights so popular.
5. Aimpoint PRO Red Dot Reflex Sight
The Aimpoint PRO (which stands for Patrol Rifle Optic) isn’t a true holographic sight. This optic is what is often referred to as an EOTech “clone.” While this full mil-spec scope uses an LED rather than holographic technology, it still has many of the benefits of a holo sight, particularly enhanced speed on target.
The Aimpoint PRO does have one major benefit over a true holo sight – the battery life is crazy long. You can turn it on, leave it on, and still get up to 3 years of use before you’ll need to swap out the 3V lithium battery. And because it is always on , your optic is always ready. You won’t be caught fumbling with a power switch at crucial moments.
This thing is really built for battle, too. Incredibly rugged, the Aimpoint PRO has a hard anodized aluminum alloy housing and is submersible 150 feet. It has 4 night vision compatible settings and 6 daylight settings for maximum visibility. It’s also virtually parallax free for more consistent accuracy.
6. Holosun HE510C-GR Elite
Although the Holosun HE510C-GR Elite isn’t a holo sight, it is definitely the next best thing.
This pseudo-holographic sight is technically a reflex sight. Although it uses an LED to produce the reticle, the reticle options are more detailed than a simple red dot. This provides you with the same accurate performance you would expect from a holo sight.
It’s also cheaper than anything that uses holographic technology, which is another major bonus.
The HE510C-GR Elite is virtually parallax-free, has unlimited eye relief, and a wide sight picture. Perfect for tactical carbines and rifles, the Holosun HE510C-GR Elite has a Solar failsafe and a Shake Awake feature that ensures your optic is always ready to go when you need it.
And since the reticle is produced by an LED instead of a laser, the battery life is incredible. Expect to get somewhere near 50,000 hours of use. Chances are good, these batteries will outlast your weapon.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
With what types of firearms can I use a holographic sight?
You can use true holo sights (like the models from EOTech) with most shoulder-mounted small arms weapon systems. This includes modern sporting rifles, shotguns, bolt and lever action rifles. They can even be used to enhance accuracy on sub-machine guns, shoulder-mounted rocket launchers, and grenade launchers.
For EOTech clones and other pseudo-holographic sights, check the manufacturer’s guide. While most of these sights can handle the recoil most rifles dish out, they may not be up to the task of heavier hitting weapons.
Can I use a holographic sight for long-range shooting?
While you shouldn’t expect sniper-like precision from a holo sight, they can enhance accuracy on targets out to 300 yards. These are non-magnified optics, and their real advantage can be seen in close-quarter battle (CQB) situations where speed is essential.
Do holographic sights have parallax?
Yes. Parallax is an optical phenomenon that makes the reticle appear to shift when the shooter changes position.
Although some manufacturers tout their products as “parallax free,” all optics experience parallax to varying degrees. However, both red dots and holo sights are virtually parallax free.
Shooters will experience only minimal parallax when the reticle is in the center of the viewing window. Parallax increases as the shooter’s view nears the outer edges of the window. For best results, keep the reticle centered in the viewing window.
Does a holographic sight project a light beam onto the target?
No. A true holographic sight does not project any sort of visible light toward the target. The reticle is only visible to the shooter, eliminating the concern of your optic revealing your position.
Can I use my holographic sight with my iron sights?
Holographic sights (and most red dots) are designed to co-witness with your iron sights, especially on modern sporting rifles like the AR-15. You can zero your red dot or your holo sight reticle to coordinate, with your iron sights, allowing you to have a BUIS (or back up iron sights) if your technology fails.
The Final Verdict
Sometimes shooters spend tons of money on optics hoping for a quick-fix magic wand to instantly and miraculously improve their shooting. A holographic sight is a technological marvel that is certainly fast, accurate, and easy to use. However, it is only going to take you so far.
If you really want to improve your shooting skills, you need to practice. This is particularly true when you’ve added a new gadget to your tactical or hunting rig. Ultimately, the best weapon you have at your disposal isn’t your weapon at all, it’s your proficiency with that weapon. The only way to achieve proficiency is through practice.
Although this is an article about finding the best holographic sight, we understand that technology is expensive. We’ve included some optics that aren’t holographic sights (at least not by the strictest definitions). We did this intentionally to provide as many options as possible. While every optic on our list may not be a true holo sight, every optic that made the list will enhance target acquisition and your shooting accuracy.
Alice Jones Webb is a writer, life-long hunter, experienced shooter, and mother of 4 up-and-coming shooting and outdoor enthusiasts. She grew up flinging arrows and bullets at Virginia whitetails, turkey, and game birds, but her favorite hunting experience is chasing bull elk in the Colorado backcountry.
Never one to sit still and look pretty, Alice is also a self-defense instructor and competitive archer. She currently resides in rural North Carolina with her children, non-hunting husband, and a well-stocked chest freezer.