Red Dot Roundup 2022
As with many reviews I do, this project didn’t start out as a review at all. It started out with me trying to find the best optic for my purposes.
I’m approaching 50 years of age, I wear glasses for corrective vision (myopia/nearsighted), and I’m to the point where I can use a little help for reading up-close. I also have a very mild astigmatism so some red dots I’ve tried in the past looked more like starbursts than a tight dot.
Picture courtesy of EOTech: https://www.eotechinc.com/
Here’s a list of my findings in order:
#5 Sig Sauer Romeo7
This was an interesting optic that wasn’t on my radar until I found one on sale. This is an odd duck optic in my opinion because it’s a large optic for what it delivers. But as a whole package, it’s a good choice for anyone trying to create the look and feel of a military or police rifle on a budget. It has a wider field of view and less claustrophobic feeling than the smaller Sig Romeo5, it comes with a build in Quick Detach (QD) mount, and it also uses larger and more conventional batteries (AA). But it’s hard to justify the size and weight of it unless you really want the look of an Aimpoint CompM4s on a Romeo5 budget. Honestly, I owned an Aimpoint several years ago and it was the OG tough red dot. If I were building a rifle today to create that classic look, I’d choose the Romeo7.
#4 HOLOSUN – HS510C
This is Holosun’s take on the basic EOTech HWS. It’s got the EOTech 65MOA reticle, Quick Detach (QD) base, shake awake technology, and a wide open view (think Heads Up Display or HUD) which is great for shooting with boy eyes open and no need to squint. I love absolutely everything about this optic except for the fact that it’s open. Any mud, dirt, sand, water, or blood will completely stop the optic from working if it comes to rest on the emitter in the back. Still, if you mainly target shoot at the range, or plan to mount this on a home defense weapon, it’s not a bad choice.
#3 Sig Sauer SOR52102 Romeo5 XDR
I think the Sig Romeo5 XDR is an absolute steal, and insane value, and I think it’s a severely overlooked optic. Forget about the traditional red dot and the use of lithium button batteries. Here, you get the awesome EOTech 65MOA circle reticle, with a 2MOA dot in the middle, in a fully-enclosed optic, with shake awake technology, and all for under two hundred bucks.
#3 HOLOSUN HS512C
Think of the HOLOSUN HS510C enclosed with solar panels on top, and you’ve got the HS512C. I absolutely love this optic. Nearly all the benefits of the EOTech at nearly half the price. The 65 MOA reticle is clear and sharp, the tinting used on the front and read glass doesn’t add too much discoloration or darkness to the view, the case feels tough, and the shake awake feature will keep this optic ready for action for years. My favorite thing about this optic is it still looks and feels wide open like a HUD. You don’t need to close one eye or even squint. It’s a natural to shoot with bot eyes wide open. This is an excellent choice for anyone who wants an EOTech on a budget.
#2 EOTECH XPS2 Holographic Weapon Sight
My first few EOTechs were the 512 model. I ended up getting four of them, but then moved on to other optics based on concerns that the batteries in the 512 models can briefly lose contact with the batteries under heavy recoil (such as with a .308 Winchester / 7.62mm NATO). This will turn the optic actually off until you manually turn it back on. The 512 is still a good model to consider for .223 / 5.56mm NATO, and they often go on sale for as little as $300. Recently, I ended up putting the higher-quality EOTech XPS2 on my primary rifle because: (1) I wanted my optic to be made in the USA and not by the enemy of the USA, and (2) I wanted something that was battle proven by years of service in the U.S. armed forces. The main advantage of the EOTechs is that they are truly Holographic Weapons Sights with a much more complex and robust manner of reticle presentation than a simple projection on a single piece of glass or plastic. The reticle is a bit more fuzzy by design and meant to not be focused on. You’re to focus on your target and overlap the HWS reticle over the target. The main shortcoming of the EOTechs is that they lack a shake awake option, and they eat batteries faster than most other red dot optics. But I’m willing to deal with that issue.
The EOTECH XPS2 comes with rear buttons and a standard base. In other words, no Quick Detach (OD) base. It’s the one I got, and I’m happy with it. But if I could place my order all over again, I would get the side buttons and QD model below.
#1 EOTECH EXPS2 Holographic Weapon Sight
This is a slightly improved version of the XPS2, although without night vision and the related jump in cost. As mentioned above, the EOTECH EXPS2 comes with side buttons and a Quick Detach (QD) base. I have found that the button location is not critical, but I can see a slight advantage to the side buttons if you’ve got something like a set of Magpul MBUS backup sights mounted close to the rear of the EOTech.
Thanks For Reading
I hope you found this roundup review helpful. If so, please share it. Also, do note that there are affiliate links above which won’t cost you anything, but may pay me a small commission. I will always use the funds to further review things I– and I hope others– will find interesting. Cheers.