Choosing the best EOTech holographic sight is not a simple task at all. EOTech designs and markets electro-optic products. They produce weapon sights for small arms, including AR-15 rifles. Primarily, EOTech manufactures holographic weapons sights.
As the first company to create holographic sights, EOTech solved the problem of wavelength instability that was exhibited by laser diodes. The sights they developed, achromatic holographic optics, compensate for any change in the emission wavelength of the laser diode with temperature. Designed to be mounted on small arms, they offer better visibility and assist in aiming.
Contenders for the Best EOTech for AR-15
- Model 512 Holographic Sight: Base holographic sight in EOTech’s product line. (See ratings and full reviews HERE)
- Model 552 Holographic Sight: A night vision ready step up from the 512 with mostly the same specs. (Full Review)
- XPS2 Holographic Sight: Lighter and smaller than the 5XX series. (Review)
Unlike reflector sights, EOTech does not use a reflected reticle system, instead a reticle is recorded in three-dimensional space onto holographic film as a part of the optical viewing window. This reticle uses collimated light and has an aim-point that can move with eye position. Since a laser is used as the light source the aiming reticle can be an infinitely small dot, for someone with 20/20 vision the dot can appear at about 1MoA. As compensation for any change in the laser wavelength, EOTech sights employ a holography grating that disperses the light in the opposite direction, resulting in a reticle that is stable despite any change in temperature.
500-series Holographic Sights
The EOTech 512 and 552 models are your starting point for holographic sights in the EOTech line. And, they are probably all you need.
Lets start with what these two sights have in common: Both take two AA batteries and last 1,000 continuous hours (on a lithium batter). Dimension-ally they are the same. And, both sights weigh in at 11.5 oz. The 500-series weighs less than half of some variable magnification scopes, which can weigh-in at well over 20 oz.
They also feature the same A65 reticle, which is great for accuracy and fast target acquisition. The reticle has a tiny 1 MOA red dot in the center for precision shots, and a 65 MOA outer ring for getting on target faster at closer distances.
The advantage of the 552 over the 512 model is night vision compatibility and weather-proofing. The 512 is not night-vision ready. The 552 is. And, the 552 is water proof down to 30 ft vs the 512’s water resistance to 10 ft.
Between the two I would go with the EOTech 512 A65 model. Go with the 552 if you plan to use night vision, or need the extra weatherproofing.
XPS-Series Holographic Sights
While stepping up slightly, the XPS2 and XPS3 models mostly fall in line with the 500-series. The XPS2 being the lower-end version without night vision capability. The XPS3 also has the better weather-proofing you see in the EOTech 552.
What stands out about the XPS-series is their size and weight. They are much smaller and lighter than the 512 and 552. This could be a major advantage if you are likely to be in high stress situations at close quarters – like you might in law enforcement.
That weight and size advantage will cost you 400 hours of battery life on a single charge (down from 1,000 continuous hours to 600). This may not be an issue if you regularly swap-out your batteries, but keep it in mind.
The XPS line is also more expensive, with the XPS3 running about 25% more expensive than the 552.
EOTech has been producing superior sights for years. Their holographic technology will keep you accurate at longer distances, and get you on target faster as short distances. The sights they design and market are often superior in many aspects, an excellent product for use with any gun – the AR-15 especially.
All of the sights made by EOTech are excellent, but the best holographic sight for the money is the EOTech 512 Holographic Sight. It’s a solid sight that delivers. It might be missing a few of the features of the 552 or the XPS-line, but you may not need the extra bells and whistles. Unless you have a special need, go with the 512. You won’t be disappointed.