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EOTech 518 vs 512 – Is One Better Than The Other?

EOTech 512 vs 518

EOTech already has an established name in the optics industry, so it’s not surprising to see this comparison between EOTech 512 vs 518. Since these holographic weapon sights essentially have the same functionality, gun owners find it challenging to choose which one is better.

The primary differences between the Holographic Weapon Sight EOTech 518 and 512 optics are mainly on their sizes, systems, designs and ease of use. Because 518 is the evolution of model 512, they have almost similar features for hunting, competition, and home defense. These include reticles and batteries.  However, 518 comes with side-mounted controls, while the 512 uses ambidextrous controls placed on the rear of the sight.

The 518 is slightly bigger and bulkier with 13 8 oz. and features more reticle patterns, which is excellent for a long-range target setting. The EOTech 518 uses a quick-release mounting system instead of the standard Eotech Picatinny mount. It sits a little higher than a standard sight and is also compatible with the laser battery caps that act as both a night vision and visible lasers.

Specification Chart

EOTech 512

  • Magnification: 1x
  • Low Light Capability: Not Applicable
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Fogproof: Yes
  • Field of View: 90′ @ 100 yds
  • Travel per Rotation: ±40 MOA
  • Parallax Setting: Parallax-free
  • Country of Manufacturer: United States of America

EOTech 518

  • Magnification: 1x
  • Low Light Capability: Not Applicable
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Fogproof: Yes
  • Field of View: 90′ @ 100 yds
  • Travel per Rotation: ±40 MOA
  • Parallax Setting: Parallax-free
  • Country of Manufacturer: United States of America

Comparison Guide

Price

When it comes to costs, the 512 is less expensive than the 518 since it’s an older model. Despite being an earlier model, it still has better ergonomics compared to its newer counterpart. That said, 512 gets its first win.

For other cost-effective optics, here’s our Sig Romeo 5 and Holosun comparison

Design

EOTech 512 is ambidextrous, which makes it ideal for left-hand users.

Both aren’t night vision compatible like the EOTech 558. Meanwhile, the 518 uses side-mounted control, giving its shooters access to the controls while keeping their eyes on the optic.

With this, 518 optic takes its first point.

Warranty

Since both optics belong to the same company, they have the same EOTech Holographic Weapon Sight Prestige Warranty for products manufactured on January 1, 2017, or later. This type of warranty comes with a 10-year limited lifetime warranty under regular use. With this, a draw result is apparent.

For another optic with good warranty features, here’s our Holosun 510C review

Battery Life

518 vs 512 share the same battery life because each of them works with 1.5V 2 x AA batteries. Gun owners may opt to use alkaline, rechargeable, or lithium batteries for these sights. You can get as many as 600 hours to 1 000 hours of continuous usage at minimal brightness. With this, the result is another draw.

Parallax Adjustment

EOTECH 518 parallax adjustment

When it comes to parallax adjustment, the older sight has a minimal parallax and is ideal for close-range shooting or anything closer than 50 yards.

The 518 has 1 MOA ring dot 68 MOA ring and a 22mm objective lens that is also a non-parallax. It also guarantees a more comfortable and more accurate target acquisition.

Again, since they have similarly crafted lenses, the result is a draw.

Ease of Use

With the 518 model’s side-mounted control, we could turn the sight on and change its illumination setting, both brightening and dimming it with ease. We find it easier to mount than the older model because of its quick detach lever. With these things to consider, we decided to give another point to the 518.

Further Reading:

Mounting

Both holographic sights can be mounted on a 1-inch Weaver/Picatinny Rail. However, the 518 holographic sight features a quick-release mount, which allows a more even application of tension when joined to a rail.

Whereas the older sight only uses the standard Eotech Picatinny rail. And although the 518 weapon sight also sits a little higher than a standard sight, it also makes co-witnessing with iron sights easier. With this, the EOTech 518 sweeps another win.

Durability

Riflescopes are now drawn from aircraft-grade aluminum, which is terrifically strong and much lighter than yesterday’s steel tubes. Where steel was blued, aluminum is anodized or otherwise coated. [1

Since both holographic weapon sights use rugged aluminum casting, with O-rings sealed that makes them waterproof and fog proof, they are on the same footing when it comes to durability and high-quality construction.

Looking for waterproof rifle scopes? Check out this Osprey Scopes review

Image Quality

Both sights feature 20 brightness settings.

While they feature excellent adjustments for dimming and increasing brightness, note that these models are not compatible with night vision like the EOTech 558.

With their high-quality red dot sight lenses and crisp images, we decided to give this category a draw.

image quality

Focus & Lens Clarity

The EOTech 518 has an edge in this category because it offers more available EOTech reticle options than the older holographic sight. EOTech 512 only features a 1 MOA dot reticle surrounded by a 68 MOA ring or the -0 reticle pattern. Whereas the newer EOTech sight features -0 and -2 reticle patterns.

With a load of .223 cal with 62 grains, the single dot of 518 is accurate for 500 yards and 200 yards, while the lowest part of the ring is accurate for 7 yards. The 518’s additional red dot reticle is useful for long-range shooting, so it gained another win against the EOTech 512

512 Pros & Cons

PROS

CONS

518 Pros & Cons

PROS

CONS

EOTech 518 or EOTech 512? We Recommend...

After this extensive comparison between the EOTech 512 vs 518, we recommend the EOTech 518 because it is easier to use with its side-mounted controls. We also find it more convenient because it has a quick-detach mounting system, making it more compatible with system rails. Its additional reticle option and 20 brightness settings are also an advantage, ensuring more precise target acquisition. And above all, its aluminum casting and sealed O-rings also guaranteed its durability to any weather condition.

EOTECH 518

Our #1 Recommendation

EOTech 518

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