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Updated Feb 13, 2023 9:57 PM
If you still envision giant optic tubes and huge power source compartments that have to have the batteries changed once a week, then you are living in the past. Today’s best holographic sights have gotten much more compact. They’re very powerful, issues with battery consumption have been solved, and they’re incredibly reliable.
There will always be a place for traditional iron sights no matter how advanced technology becomes, but it would be silly to ignore the amazing advances that have been made with holographic sights over the past few decades. Holographic sights can help improve your shooting and make sure you hit more targets. We reviewed some of our favorites below.
How We Chose The Best Holographic Sights
Generally speaking, holographic sights aren’t an inexpensive option, so it was important that we really take a good look at some of the most important features when picking what models would make this list. Here’s what was taken into consideration:
- Price: Does the cost of the product match the quality of what is being delivered?
- Accessory Compatibility: Can you easily adapt the sight to other accessories, such as magnifiers or night vision?
- Integrated Technology: Are there any bonus features, such as solar power, auto on and off, etc?
- Battery Life: We aren’t looking for a lifetime battery life, but it’s got to last long enough that we have to stop and think about the last time it was changed.
The Best Holographic Sights: Reviews & Recommendations
Best Overall: EOTech EXPS2
Why It Made the Cut: The EXPS2 is like EOTech’s other incredibly popular holographic sight – the EOTech 512 – but better making it the best holographic sight overall.
- Average 1,000-hour battery life
- Water resistant
- 20 brightness settings
- Can be ordered with a one dot or two dot reticle inside a 68 MOA circle
- Incredibly clear sight picture
- ⅓ cowitness with iron sights
- Not night vision compatible
Rail space is at a premium, and so that’s why the EOTech EXPS2 is so great. It takes the trusty 512 model and shrinks the footprint so that it takes up less space on your gun. While there are other options that boast better battery life, the fact of the matter is that an average life of 1,000 hours is going to last most users for a very long time. If you want to pair it with a magnifier, the side buttons ensure that you won’t lose any functionality by doing so. The QD attachment allows you to easily remove it and go back to iron sights if you need to run your rifle that way instead.
EOTech has proven its products to be rugged through military service, and they stand behind their products. The EXPS2 is covered by EOTECH’s HWS Prestige Warranty, a 10-year limited warranty, so you know it will last. And if it doesn’t EOTech will make it right.
Best with Magnifier: EOTech HHS I
Why It Made the Cut: EOTech is a leading name in the holographic sight industry and their products have always been top-notch. As an added bonus, the HHS I is a package deal with a holographic sight that comes with a magnifier.
- 20 daylight settings
- Night vision compatible
- 10-year warranty
- Comes with a magnifier but can be used without it
- Water-resistant down to 10 meters
- 10 additional brightness settings with night vision compatibility, for a total of 30 settings
- Not inexpensive, but that’s why it’s not in the budget slot on the list
If you’re in the market for a holographic sight and a magnifier, then this is a match made in heaven. You could buy them each separately and put together a pair on your own, but these two products were paired by EOTech for a reason – they work perfectly together.
The EOTech Holographic Hybrid Sight I (HHS I) pairs an EXPS3-4 with a G33 magnifier. This makes it a great choice for close quarter situations with just the sight and for targets out to 600 meters when you transition to the magnifier on a side-flip mount.
Best Premium: Vortex AMG UH-1 Gen II
Why It Made the Cut: With an industry-leading warranty and updates made to the Gen II based on customer feedback, the Vortex AMG UH-1 Gen II took an already fantastic holographic sight and made it even better.
- Night vision compatible
- Large viewing window
- 100 MOA of windage and elevation adjustment
- Industry-leading lifetime warranty
- 15 different brightness settings
- Built like a tank
- It’s not a large optic, but it still might be bigger than some people want on their gun
Vortex improved on their already great AMG UH-1 sight with the introduction of the Gen II model. They enlarged the viewing window, made it compatible with night vision to include a dedicated NV button, and more. Speaking of nighttime, Vortex’s FHQ technology keeps stray light emissions to a minimum, so you can sneak up on that sounder undetected.
The built-in QD rail mount puts the optic at a ⅓ co-witness height right off the bat, so there’s no need for any extra mounts or risers. Interestingly, while the mount and optic are one piece, they’re actually independent of one another when it comes to adjustments. Though the EBR-CQB reticle is designed to excel in close quarters situations, Vortex built the AMG UH-1 Gen II with 100 MOA of windage and elevation adjustment, so you can reach out if needed.
Best Budget: Holosun HS510C
Why It Made the Cut: Holographic sights can be pricey, but at less than $400, the Holosun HS510C delivers a lot of bang for a budget buck.
- Shake Awake Technology
- Solar Failsafe
- Up to 50,000 hours of battery life
- Solar Failsafe ensures that your optic will still work even if the battery dies
- Battery tray allows access without removing the optic
- Parallax free with unlimited eye relief
- Impressive battery life only applies to one specific brightness setting
Designed for the perfect pairing with rifles or carbines, the Holosun HS510C has a lot of features at a great price point. Weighing less than five ounces, the HS510C extends its battery life with Shake Awake Technology which comes on when it senses movement and turns off during inactivity. The 2 MOA dot and 65 MOA circle make for easy target acquisition and the brightness will automatically adjust to lighting conditions.
Despite the lower price, the HS510C is built to last. The display is protected by a tough, titanium alloy hood that should shrug off bumps and bruises from the range or in the woods. The rest of the housing is built from 6061 aluminum, so it can also handle some rough treatment. An IP67 rating protects the electronics from splashes, rain, and brief immersion. Battery life on the commonly available CR2032 coin cell is 50,000 hours, thanks to Holosun’s Solar Failsafe back up.
Q: Do holographic sights work at night?
Yes, holographic sights work at night. Like other sight options, they have a variety of different brightness settings and some are even compatible with night vision equipment.
Q: What’s better: EOTech or Aimpoint?
Figuring out is EOTech or Aimpoint is the better product is like trying to figure out if Ford is better than Chevy. It’s a really subjective choice with lots of personal answers. They’re both great companies with fantastic products, so whichever you choose, you’ll be happy.
Q: How much does a holographic sight cost?
The cost of a holographic sight varies widely, but you can generally expect to spend at least $200-$300. And it’s not uncommon to spend $800-$1,000 or more.
Final Thoughts on the Best Holographic Sights
This list of the best holographic sights could have been a lot longer and included dozens of different sight options from which to choose. In the end, though, most people tend to already have things narrowed down on their own by the time they get to this point.
There are a lot of other choices than what’s featured here if these don’t tick all the right boxes for you. There are others that are also night vision compatible if that’s a deciding factor for you. There are also a lot of other holographic sights that work very well with magnifiers if you’re in the need of one as a part of your kit. Battery life and battery type vary widely and can often overlap with other features.
Don’t get hung up on one little thing here or there. Be flexible. The ultimate decision lies with you, but if you choose one of the optics on this list, you won’t be disappointed.