Holographic sights make targeting and shooting much easier, faster, and accurate. There’s plenty of these sights on the market and it can be confusing to decide which one to purchase. Here’s our review of the best holographic sights to help you pick the right one that’s worth every dollar spent.
Table of Contents
- 1 Top 10 Holographic Sights in 2021
- 1.1 1. EOTECH XPS2 Holographic Sight
- 1.2 2. EOTECH 512 Holographic Sight
- 1.3 3. Holosun HS510C
- 1.4 4. EOTECH EXPS3 Holographic Sight
- 1.5 5. EOTECH XPS3 Holographic Sight
- 1.6 6. Sightmark SM26005 Ultra Shot M-Spec Reflex Sight
- 1.7 7. DD DAGGER DEFENSE
- 1.8 8. CVLIFE 1X22X33
- 1.9 9. Vortex Optics Venom
- 1.10 10. Burris Fastfire III with Picatinny Mount
- 2 Buying Guide
- 3 Holographic Sight vs Conventional Sight
- 4 Why Should I Use This Sight?
- 5 FAQs
- 6 And Our #1 Holographic Sight is...
Top 10 Holographic Sights in 2021
1. EOTECH XPS2 Holographic Sight
XPS2 is designed for quick target acquisition at close engagements. It’s robustly constructed with military-grade standards, making it durable and recoil-resistant. Even when it’s slightly broken or covered with dust or snow, it can still provide pinpoint precision.
It features a 68 MOA ring that picks up targets quickly. Its 1 MOA dot is ideal for close-range sighting at 100 yards. It offers 20 brightness settings to suit various shooting environments.
This holographic sight offers a wide field of view and unlimited eye relief. It’s parallax-free so regardless of head position, the rounds will hit at exactly where the red dot points. It’s water-resistant at 10ft.
XPS holo sight is powered by a single CR123 battery, which can last up to 1,000 hours of continuous use at setting 12. Because it’s a compact design, it allows more rail space and absolute co-witness with iron sights or magnifiers.
2. EOTECH 512 Holographic Sight
Touted as the most popular and most affordable EOTech holographic sight, 512 is quite sturdy and water-resistant. It features a 68 MOA ring and 1 MOA dot center for fast target acquisition at close ranges, such as 100 to 150 yards.
Unlike other red dot sights, its reticle isn’t etched onto the glass but projected with a holographic system. Thus, the reticle is much more stable and incredibly clearer.
It has 20 brightness settings for dawn-to-dusk hunting and competitive shooting scenarios. It holds zero pretty well. It offers a wide field of view, unlimited eye relief, and parallax-free optics.
It runs by two AA batteries, which are very easy to find and can last 2,200 to 2,500 hours of continuous use at setting 12. It supports alkaline, lithium, and rechargeable batteries. Its programmable auto-shutdown feature helps prolong battery life.
It’s mountable to a 1’’ Weaver or MIL-STD-1913 rail.
3. Holosun HS510C
The HOLOSUN HS510c an open reflex sight designed for rifle and carbine applications. It’s constructed of aluminum alloy making it solid and impact-resistant.
It has three reticle options: 2 MOA dot, 65 MOA circle, and 65 MOA circle with the 2 MOA dot inside. It has 10 brightness settings and 2-night vision modes.
The lens offers a large viewing window, which provides crisp and crystal-clear target images.
This sight uses solar power under normal light conditions. It can also be powered by a single CR2032 battery that can last up to 50,000 hours under low light settings.
It features a Shake Awake technology. This means that the optic automatically goes off to sleep after a designated number of minutes and automatically turns on when it detects motion.
This red dot is parallax-free and offers infinite eye relief. It has a quick-detach lever and mounts easily on Picatinny or Weaver rails.
4. EOTECH EXPS3 Holographic Sight
One of the best features of EXPS3 holo sight is its compatibility in all lighting conditions. It has 20 brightness settings and another 10 night vision settings. It’s compatible with all Gen 1 to 3 night vision devices.
This holographic sight utilizes a 68MOA ring and 1 MOA dot reticle, which are advantageous for close-combat encounters (100 yards plus).
The lens is surrounded by an aluminum hood, which acts as a protective covering to reduce glare in bright light conditions. Its crystal clear lens and wide field of view ensure accuracy in sighting and shooting.
Powered by a single CR123 battery, this holo sight allows 1,000 hours of battery life at the medium illumination setting. It’s water-resistant and submersible to 33ft.
It can deliver excellent precision even when shattered or covered with elements. It gives more rail space for co-witness iron sights, magnifiers, or night vision devices.
5. EOTECH XPS3 Holographic Sight
This holographic sight is constructed of aluminum, making it rugged and shock-proof. It can withstand aggressive recoils of high caliber firearms without losing accuracy.
It uses a 68 MOA circle and 1 MOA red dot reticle that help track targets easily and accurately.
It offers an infinite field of view, which aids in rapid target acquisition. It features 20 daylight settings and 10 additional settings for night vision. It’s compatible with Gen 1 to 3+ night vision devices.
This sight is compact and lightweight, which makes it an efficient tool for mobile shooting or tactical applications. Since it’s small, it allows more rail space for additional accessories. It’s equipped with a co-witness and a quick-detach lever for easy mounting and unmounting on Weaver or MIL-STD 1913 rails.
XPS3 holo sight is powered by a CR 123 battery, which gives 1,000 hours of battery life at setting 12.
6. Sightmark SM26005 Ultra Shot M-Spec Reflex Sight
It’s an entry-level optic yet a true holographic sight of high-quality. It’s made of a rugged cast-magnesium alloy housing with a protective shield for increased durability and reduced weight.
It’s equipped with a 65 MOA circle for quick aiming and 2 MOA red dot for accurate shooting at 100 yards and above.
This reflex sight features digital switch controls. It has 8 daytime brightness settings and 6 night vision modes to suit a variety of shooting environments. It’s water-resistant and submersible to 40ft.
It has dual-pane glass and a parallax-corrected lens system to allow smooth and accurate sighting from 10 yards to infinity. It can hold zero very well and it’s easy to mount.
This sight runs by a CR2 battery, which has an average battery life of 1,000 hours depending on use.
7. DD DAGGER DEFENSE
This Dagger Defense red dot reflex sight is durable and impact-resistant as it’s constructed of aircraft-grade aluminum. It’s lightweight and small, which saves more rail space for other accessories. It comes in a black finish.
It features red and green reticles as well as four reticle positions. Hence, shooters have more choices to use the type and hue of the reticle that best fits their current shooting environment.
It offers a generous field of view ([email protected]) that aids in precision shooting. It is powered by a CR2032 battery. It is easy to zero and mount on a variety of firearm platforms. It’s best for close-range shooting.
This red dot sight is compatible with Picatinny rails. It’s equipped with a locking set screw to help stabilize sighting adjustments.
8. CVLIFE 1X22X33
CVLIFE holographic sight is an inexpensive alternative for budget-conscious gunslingers and novice shooters. Constructed of aluminum alloy, it’s durable and tough.
The lens is coated with an anti-glare finish for improved clarity. It features two reticle colors, red and green. It also offers four different reticles: circle dot, cross, 10 MOA, and 3 MOA. Shooters can choose which reticle color and type will be efficient for their environment, especially in low light settings.
It offers a wide field of field and shooters can sight at a safe distance onto the eyepiece. It is equipped with fully adjustable windage and elevation knobs. Zeroing this sight is very easy.
This holo sight is operated by a CR2032 battery, which is becoming more common and easily accessible. It can be mounted on many firearms with the Picatinny, RIS, and Weaver rails. It comes with a rubber protective cover.
9. Vortex Optics Venom
This durable aluminum-constructed holo sight can withstand extreme abuses. Its fully multi-coated lens allows glare-reduction and increases optical clarity. Its O-ring seals prevent moisture, dust, and other debris from obscuring or penetrating into the optic.
It uses a 3MOA dot that provides excellent precision and facilitates rapid acquisition of targets. It offers 10 brightness settings to meet the amount of illumination needed in a shooting environment.
Just like Vortex AMG UH-1, it has an auto-brightness mode that uses an ambient light sensor to adjust the intensity of the red dot. Venom sight features adjustable windage and elevation dials with 1 MOA clicks.
CR1632 battery is used to operate this red dot sight. It can last up to 150 hours at the highest setting and up to 30,000 hours at the lowest setting. The battery can be changed without removing the entire optic, which is quite convenient for shooters.
10. Burris Fastfire III with Picatinny Mount
Fastfire red dot sight increases speed and accuracy in sighting and shooting. It’s durable, compact, and lightweight, which makes it a convenient gear or co-witness for any shooting purposes. It’s shockproof and can hold out against powerful recoils.
It features two dot sizes. The 3 MOA increases pinpoint accuracy as the smaller dot size covers less of the target’s surface area. It’s popular with rifles. Meanwhile, the 8 MOA is most commonly used in handguns or shotguns for short-range shooting. The larger dot helps acquire targets more quickly.
This sight is parallax-free and has a good field of view. It offers three brightness levels that are manually adjustable and an automatic brightness setting that acts as a sensor to adjust lighting depending on environmental conditions.
Fastfire operates with one CR1632. Its battery compartment is located on top of the sight so shooters can replace spent batteries without removing the sight.
Choose a holo sight or red dot sight that’s not only suitable for your shooting preferences and profession but is also the best deal for the price.
Holographic sights with advanced features and specifications often are expensive, especially those that are branded and manufactured with military-grade standards. They are more popular than red dot sights but they are more pricey.
Always beware of counterfeits. A true holographic sight has high-quality electronic components and rugged construction.
Some of the best budget sights on the market with reliable quality and performance include Holosun, DD Dagger, Sightmark, CVLIFE, and Vortex AMG UH-1.
If you intend to do hunting, shooting, surveillance, or any tactical operations from dusk to dawn, it’s best to choose a holographic sight, reflect sight, or any red dot sight that has a night vision compatibility mode.
One of the best advantages of using an NV compatible device is not only rapid target acquisition but also accurate target detection and identification.
The best holographic sight or reflex sight should have an NV mode, although they are more pricey. Nevertheless, it’s worth investing in one (e.g., HS510C, XPS3, EXPS3, AMG UH-1) as it may come in handy in the future.
Battery life is affected by brightness levels, frequency of use, and the type of battery used.
It’s best to know in advance the battery that is required to power a sight and how long it will last so you can weigh down your options properly.
Holographic sights and red dot sights require batteries to function, such as AA batteries, CR2032, or CR1632. In general, AA batteries are much more common and easily accessible.
Some holographic sights or reflex sights have an auto-off or brightness sensor feature to help conserve battery life. Always turn them off when not in use.
Make sure to choose a holographic sight that is compatible with the mounting system of your weapon. Some red dots and holographic sights have integral Picatinny or Weaver mounts.
Some holographic sights have taller bases to accommodate for lower ½ co-witnessing with iron sights or other accessories. You may have to get the right base or buy the right riser for a particular sight.
Choose a high-quality mount to ensure that your optic is securely mounted and won’t fly off with powerful recoils. Quick detach mounts with levers, for example are secure.
Red dot sights use illuminated reticles. The target and the reticle stay on the same plane to allow a single point of focus. You can choose from a variety of sizes, such as 2MOA, 4MOA, 6MOA, or 8MOA. 2MOA is best for pinpoint accuracy while 6MOA and 8MOA are best for close and fast-moving targets.
Holo sights project a holographic circular reticle using a laser diode and mirrors. This increases control and precision when sighting. You can focus on the target and the reticle at the same time, thereby minimizing parallax distortion. Such configuration works best in close-quarters scenarios.
Decide what reticle color will fit best your shooting preferences.
Red is the most common reticle color but some models have patterns available in green.
Red allows for higher contrast, especially in bushy or urban settings. It works well in low-light or overcast situations. It’s better at acquisition speed.
By contrast, green is better for environments with a lot of warm colors, such as a desert. It will provide better contrast in daylight bright settings or during sunset. Shooters with astigmatism prefer this color more than red. It puts less strain on the eyes.
Durable and long-lasting holographic sights are made of premium materials like an aircraft-grade aluminum alloy. Solid housing is vital to the stability and protection of the sight’s internal components from destructive impact or abuse.
The best holographic or reflex sight is rugged, shockproof, water-resistant, and capable of withstanding powerful recoils.
Both EOTech (e.g. XPS2, XPS3, EXPS3) and Vortex (e.g. Venom, AMG UH-1) are known for their extremely durable optics. EOTech holographic sights can still work well even with a shattered lens.
It’s worth mentioning that some budget-friendly brands are also made of high-quality materials, making them tough and sturdy.
Eye Relief (ER)
The distance between your eye and the viewing window is another important consideration. Maintain a safe and effective distance from the window to obtain the optimal view of your aim and it’s peripheral surroundings.
Short ER is less than 5’’ while long ER is 6’’ and more. The former provides higher magnification levels and ideal for long-range. The latter offers a wider FOV and quicker target acquisition.
In holo sights and reflex sights, ER is no longer an issue. Perfect eye-weapon alignment is no longer needed. You can focus with both eyes open while being aware of your situation.
Windage and elevation are two movements of the reticle. Holo sights and red dot sights have knobs for adjusting the position of the reticle either horizontally (windage) and vertically (elevation).
These adjustments help you to zero your sight and to set the accurate spot on the target.
Other adjustments are available for brightness settings, night vision modes, or adjustment range when sighting.
The best holographic sights should have an intuitive interface and smooth and easy-to-navigate adjustment controls. Fewer tools or no tools should be needed to adjust them.
Length & Weight
Holo sights are available in different dimensions and weights. You should consider buying the one with a size that matches your weapon.
You can choose a compact one to allow more space on the rails for additional accessories such as iron sights and magnifiers.
A lightweight sight could be a practical choice if your weapon is already long or heavy.
The best holographic sight should complement your weapon in length and weight. More often than not, a compact, small, and lightweight sight is the most ideal choice that can be mounted on any firearm platforms.
You may also take into account some extra features of the red dot or holographic sight you’re planning to purchase.
Most high-end holo sights have an auto-ON feature. When the holographic sight senses touch or motion, it automatically turns on the optic.
There is also a programmable auto-OFF function that prolongs battery life. The sight will automatically turn off when it has remained inactive for a certain period of time.
Some holo sights also have an auto-brightness adjustment feature, which allows the sight to adjust its brightness level depending on the lighting condition of the shooting environment.
The best holographic sight or reflex sight should be versatile. This means that it can be mounted on a variety of firearms and it is applicable for both day and night use. It also allows for co-witnessing.
Versatile sight can be used for any purposes including surveillance, targeting, hunting, shooting, ranging, or performing tactical operations. It can be used by law enforcement, military, and civilian shooters.
The holographic sights in this review are reasonably good for an all-around purpose.
You have to know in advance the warranty provisions of the sight that you want to buy. Brands and models are two factors that determine warranty terms.
Some sights have a limited lifetime warranty of 2 years while others have 10 years. Some brands have different warranty terms for the electronic components of an optic.
Authorized sellers may repair or replace defective products as long as they aren’t tampered with, misused, or altered in any way.
Take note if the warranty is transferable or not. You might not want to buy a secondhand sight if the warranty is not transferable.
Holographic Sight vs Conventional Sight
As to Projection system:
Conventional sight uses LED and objective lens. The objective lens reflects light from the LED back to the shooter’s eyes.[1,2] On the other hand, true holographic sight uses laser diodes and mirrors that work in concert to project the holographic reticle on the shooter’s window.[3,4]
As to Reticle:
Conventional sights offer different colors and sizes, unlike holo sights.
As to Shape:
Conventional sights are in tube form or round configuration while holo sights are in square form.
As to Image Clarity:
Holo sights provide clearer and brighter images than conventional sights.
As to Battery Longevity:
Conventional sights have longer battery life than holographic sights.
Why Should I Use This Sight?
Using a holo sight or a red dot reflex sight makes target detection and acquisition much easier, faster, more convenient, and more intuitive. Either one allows you to sight or shoot with both eyes open for increased situational awareness.
In some precarious circumstances, using a holo sight or a reflex sight could help protect and save lives.
In competitive shootings, either sight could be your trump card to victory.
It depends on several considerations including price, battery, and benefits.
Red dots are less expensive and they have longer battery life, up to 50,000 hours. They are parallax-free and have unlimited ER. They won’t function once broken.
Holographic sights offer a larger sight window, wider FOV, unlimited ER, and minimal parallax. They will remain functional even when broken or obscured by elements.
Overall, holo sights have better technical features than red dots. Here’s our in-depth discussion on red dot sights vs holographic sights.
Yes, at least for US troops deployed in the Middle East regions. A holographic sight is an indispensable weapon accessory that makes targetting or shooting down enemies more accurate, faster, and easier.
We think that the best holographic sights for the military are from EOTech based on customer reviews and recommendations.
It depends on individual preferences. A holographic sight is better in close combat engagements and tactical situations. Red dot reflex sight is better for self and home defense.
In terms of magnification, holographic sights are better than red dot sights. When you zoom in on a holographic sight, the aiming circle or reticle will stay the same in size. However, in a red dot sight, the reticle enlarges, which can cover the impact point.
Unlike reflex sights, the technological features in holographic sights are more advanced. Hence, they often have hefty price tags. They are often constructed using premium materials and based on military standards.
Many holographic sights have extra features as well that adds to the production costs, which in turn drive up the product’s retail price.
It may depend on the model of the holographic sight. Based on our review, you can shoot accurately at 100 yards.
With advanced shooting skills and the help of a magnifier, you can still shoot as far as 150-200 yards.
The best holographic sights should not only have longer yardage than most holographic sights but also helps shooters to hit the point of impact accurately.
And Our #1 Holographic Sight is...
Our top pick for the best holographic sight is EOTech XPS2. It is the shortest, lightest, and smallest EOTech holographic weapon sight.
EOTech is a highly trusted brand in hostile environments like war zones, tricky terrains, or dense forests.
The XPS2 holo sight is ideal for close-quarters combat, tactical operations, and home defense. Unlike the red dot sights, EOTech XPS2 can still function well even when it’s broken.
The ergonomic design of this holographic sight offers unparalleled durability, convenience, comfort, and precision for the military and law enforcement as well as for civilian shooters.
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