What are the best holographic sights available?
If you want to get on-target faster, a holographic sight can be an excellent asset. They increase accuracy and reduce the amount of time it takes to aim and fire your weapon.
They also provide more reticle options than a red dot sight – like a variety of crosshairs or dot configurations – so if you have a strong preference for a specific reticle a holographic sight will probably be your best choice.
While quality holographic sights can help you track targets within a range of around 300 yards, they tend to be used for close-quarter situations. They provide a single focal plane by superimposing the reticule over the target – eliminating the need to decipher the reticle from the target – drastically improving target acquisition speed.
To find the best holographic sight we had a combat shooting expert spend over 10 hours reviewing more than 25 holographic sight options – both through online reviews and via his experience with different models and manufacturers. Our recommendations are listed below.
Quick List: The Best Holographic Sights or Any Shooter:
- Best Overall: EOTECH XPS2 Holographic Weapon Sight
- Runner-Up: EOTECH 512 Holographic Weapon Sight
- Best Budget Holographic Sight: Holosun HS510C 2
- Best Night Vision Compatible Holographic Sight: EOTECH XPS3 Holographic Weapon Sight
- Best Pistol Sight: Trijicon RMR Type 2 3.25 MOA Adjustable LED Red Dot Sight
Top Choice (Best Overall):
- EOTECH EXPS2-0 - Holographic Weapon Sight in black with 68 MOA ring & 1 MOA dot reticle
- Side Button Operation - Compact design and side button operation consumes minimal rail space and is...
- Mount - Quick Detach lever fits 1" Weaver and MIL-STD 1913 Rails
EOTECH is hands-down the most dominant force in the holographic market game.
They engineer high-quality products that are both durable and highly performant. The 1 MOA Dot Rectangle sight on the XPS2 is made to help users lock-in on targets from both close range and long distances.
A history of innovation is important when considering optical products, and EOTECH has demonstrated innovation for years. They recently slimmed down the XPS2 to use just a single CR123A battery instead of two AA batteries – improving weight without sacrificing performance.
The EOTECH XPS2 offers 20 different brightness settings that are manually adjustable. Our expert loved the adjustable eye relief on the XPS2, which allows for a variety of user preferences and ultimately translated into more precise field vision.
Since battery life is a common issue with holographic sights, EOTECH includes a user-controlled auto-shutdown feature, set to 4 or 8 hours. EOTECH makes monitoring battery levels even easier with a blinking low battery indicator that lets you know when it’s time to swap out the battery.
Recognized as one of the original holographic sight manufacturers, EOTECH continues to innovate with models such as the XPS2. It has a smaller profile than other competing sights, which makes this model from EOTECH a perfect combat rifle sight for your AR-15, AR-10, shotgun or other combat-centric firearms.
- Adjustable brightness
- Battery conscious design
- The high field of vision
- More rail space for magnifiers
- Not as functional with higher caliber weapons
The EOTECH 512 speaks for itself – and has been a best-seller for more than a decade. The 512 is a remarkably rugged optic – with the kinds of durability features required for military and combat situations. The 512 requires two AA batteries instead of one CR123S battery, so it’s a little heavier than the EXPS2, but AA batteries are super common and easy to change out.
Using premium lithium AA batteries, you’ll receive up to 1,000 hours of battery life—generally the highest number of service hours you can expect from holographic sights before requiring a battery swap. Standard alkaline AA batteries will only give you around 600 hours of battery life.
The 512 offers all the top-tier features of the XPS2, however, our expert placed the 512 in the runner-up position due to its larger overall size, bigger footprint, and additional weight. You’ll save some coin with the 512 though, so even though it’s a bit heftier than the XPS2, it still makes for a very capable holographic sight at a more affordable price point.
The 512 is water-resistant at levels up to ten feet, so if you live around water or find yourself crossing rivers with your rifle the 512 is a good investment.
EOTECH 512’s are the company’s most popular model because offers the best mix of features and affordability.
- Adjustable brightness
- Eye relief
- Auto shutdown
- Larger footprint
Best Budget Option:
- The Holosun HS510C New advanced technology LED allows up to 50,000 hours of operation on one CR2032...
- 2 MOA dot and a 65 MOA ring, Dot only, Ring only, or Dot and Ring reticle combinations
- Unlimited field of view, Titanium-alloyed, shock resistant hood
While the 512 is great for the price, it’s important to clarify that the Holosun HS510C is our best budget pick because its price is much lower than the 512.
The Holosun HS510C is not technically a true holographic sight. Still, it builds off the holograph design to produce an open emitter sight at a much lower price point than other brands, while pairing red dot technology with the durability of a holographic sight.
Our experts noted the ease of locking onto a target with the Holsun – thanks to the reticle’s clarity paired with the device’s light weight.
The Holosun HS510C can hold its own against big-time competitors like EOTECH due to the build quality, similar reticle features, and impressive battery life of up to 50,000 hours with a lithium battery. It’s a surprisingly good product at a fair price.
One potential issue with the Holosun is fewer daylight brightness settings. While not a massive flaw, if you often find yourself shooting in bright, direct sunlight (desert shooting in Arizona comes to mind) you may get a more washed out reticle than you’d like.
Similar to market-dominating models such as the EOTECH 512, the HS510C provides lots of eye relief to and good field of view. When looking for top-notch reflex sights, consider the Holosun HS510C.
- High performance at a low cost
- Long battery life
- Night vision
- Eye relief
- Small footprint
- Fewer daylight brightness settings
Best Night Vision Compatible Holographic Sight:
- EOTECH XPS3-0 - Holographic Weapon Sight in black with 68MOA ring & 1 MOA dot reticle
- Night Vision Compatible - Works with all Gen 1-3 night vision devices
- Compact Design - Leaves more rail space for rear iron sights or magnifier
Upon a first glance at the EOTECH XPS3, you might notice their similarity – and it’s night vision support that separates the two EOTECH models. The XPS3 was explicitly designed for night vision and is compatible with any night vision scope or optic on the market.
This sight not only has 20 daylight settings, but it also features ten additional night vision settings, which gives you a clear sight picture no matter the time of day.
Our experts love the water-resistance of the XPS3 and its thick glass. You can submerge the XPS3 in up to 33 feet of water, and the thicker glass reduces the chances of your sight shattering with impact or recoil.
If you don’t need night vision, go with the XPS2 as it’s less expensive and similar to the XPS3’s compact design, which gives you additional space for accessories.
- High water resistance rating
- Impressive night vision capability
- 20 daylight settings
- Compatible with any 1-3 gen night vision scope
- Compact design
- Higher price than the XPS2
Best Pistol Holographic Sight:
- Designed to fit on many of the most popular concealed carry pistols on the market.
- CRISP 3.25 MOA DOT
- EASILY ADJUSTABLE WINDAGE/ELEVATION
Since it’s evident that some gun owners only own handguns, our experts provided a sight option that works well for pistols.
Like the Holosun HS510C, this sight draws on holographic sight design to provide an option that allows users to quickly acquire targets while improving field of view.
With the lightweight design, the Trijicon RMR gives you speedy target acquisition, close-quarters performance, and battle-proven durability.
This pistol sight has multiple reticle size options, but the 3.25 MOA dot reticle is the more popular and offers a wide array of uses. With a CR2032 battery, you’ll receive a four-year battery life when the sight is set at a 4/8 brightness level. Weighing a little over one ounce and sitting at just two inches long, the RMR is super light and easy to use.
There are multiple mounting options for the Trijicon RMR, proving you can’t go wrong with this sight for your handgun.
- Lightweight design
- Quick target acquisition
- Excellent field view
- Long battery life
- Need to remove sight from the base for battery change
How to select the best holographic sight for you
How will you use it?
Holographc sights for pistols are incredibly popular 0 but they’re also fantastic for mid-range hunting turkey and deer. Specific types of weapons that work well with holographic sights include, but are not limited to, AR-15’s AK-47’s, and shotguns.
Even though holographic sights aren’t particularly cheap, it’s worth investing in a quality model as lower-cost options tend to be less durable – especially with higher caliber weapons.
Gun competitors can significantly benefit from adding a holographic sight to their arsenal of accessories. Small details are incredibly important in the world of gun competitions. If holographic gun sights can help you level up your game, why not consider picking one up?
Invest in durability
Durability is critical when looking for a top-notch holographic sight.
If you end up investing in one of the top holographic sights we mention, you can be sure that the sight can endure high levels of use. As we expand further on durability with holographic sights, it’s worth noting that if your lens ends up broken or even shattered, the sight will continue to work.
Consider the advantages you’ll want from a holographic sight
Many gun owners prefer holographic sights over red dot sights, as users tend to have an easier time locking into the reticle.
Holographic sights project the reticle pattern in front of the optic rather than directly into shooter’s eye.
Red dot sight users can face the problem of focusing back and forth between the dot and the target, which can introduce delay – not something you want when it comes to hunting or close quarters combat.
Both sights allow you to keep both eyes open and drastically improve field of view.
Questions to Ask Yourself When Browsing Holographic Sights
Asking yourself what weapon you plan to purchase a holographic sight is a great way to point yourself in the right direction. Smaller holographic sights are great for weapons with lower amounts of recoil.
If you’re looking to purchase a holographic sight on weapons with higher recoil energy like shotguns, look for more shock resistance products.
Next, it’s essential to identify the context in which you’ll be using a holographic sight. Tactical shooters can benefit from holographic sights that present a full field of view in the objective lens. At the same time, hunters should look for sights that can endure outdoor elements and offer water and fog proof features in addition to working well in a variety of light conditions.
A lightweight holo sight can be beneficial if you’re looking to maximize your ability to maneuver your environment.
Are the potential disadvantages dealbreakers?
Up until now, we’ve been praising all of the unique capabilities that holographic sights possess. The one main downside that holographic sights present is their limited battery life of up to 1,000 hours.
Red dot sights don’t deal with battery limits as they can provide up to 50,000 hours of battery life. Lasers in holographic sights require an immense amount of battery power during their display. If you’re utilizing a holographic sight for home protection, the ability to quickly turn a sight on can be beneficial if an incident occurs.
Holographic vs red dot sights – what’s the difference?
More Reticle Options: Holographic
Holographic sights use a series of mirrors to create an image that’s crisp and easy to read – but they’re also much more complicated than red dots, which means they’re more expensive and can be more delicate.
Red dot sights bounce an LED beam off a single pane of glass via a coated finish on the front lens. They’re pretty simple devices.
Light Weight & Small Size: Red dots are better
Holographic sights also tend to be larger than red dots, owing to their more complicated technology.
Durability: Holographic sights take the cake
Major military operators use holographic sights due to their legendary ability to withstand even catastrophic abuse (some have even survived house fires.) Red dots, on the other hand, are much less capable of enduring abuse.
Magnification: Holographic sights are better with magnification
Many holographic sites can be paired with magnification, and the beauty of that the MOA will stay the same. Red dot sights reticule will grow with magnification, obscuring more and more of your view with increased magnification.
The EOTECH XPS2 Holographic weapon sight is the clear winner of our expert’s picks due to its eye relief, wide field of view, conscious battery design, multiple brightness settings, and impressive durability. EOTECH is the pioneer and, by far, the most reliable market option for holographic sights. With a compact design, the XPS2 creates a small footprint for users. The XPS2 comes with a ten-year warranty to ensure you’ll get plenty of future use out of this sight.
Our experts note that the EOTECH XPS2 cuts right through the noise with so many holographic sights on the market.
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