EOTech 512.A65 Holographic Weapon Sight
Major Pandemic 12.17.13
If there’s one sight which has changed the face of warfare and dangerous game hunting, it’s the holographic EOTech. The 512A65 has become the go to sight for those that want the most durable and fastest weapon sight available.
In the 1950s, ERIM researchers developed several technologies, which lead to the invention of the HUD (heads up display) nearly 30 years later in the 1980s. In 2013 we don’t yet have HUD systems in every home, but its features are on luxury cars, prolific in the military, and of course represent over 50% of yearly total optics sales on firearms.
The technology for HUD or reflex sights is not especially complex. What is tough is making that image hold a point over time (i.e. hold zero), be durable, and most importantly not be $1 Million per unit. ERIM later formed a company call EOTech, and in 2000 launched the commercial line of HUD EOTech sights we now enjoy and the military depends on for each and every shot.
The EOTech HWS (Holographic Weapon Sight) is now renowned for its speed and represents the fastest reticle to target acquisition sighting system in the world. The 512’s 65 MOA ring was scientifically tested to allow the eye to acquire the image faster than any single dot or solid image. This allows users to move the sighting image (reticle) onto the target faster, with less time spent searching for the sighting image. At the same time, the 1 MOA dot in the center of the reticle is a very small image which allows for precise shot placement. Now equipped with electronic weapon sights, our troops have the highest hit ratios in US military history.
Current Red Dot Crop
Many people believe holographic sights are fragile, but that stigma has changed significantly in just a couple years through our significant combat engagements overseas. With EOTech’s sights, the holographic reticle image is recorded in every particle of the glass. If the glass is shattered or covered with debris, the sight is still fully functional. Zero, point of aim, and point of impact are maintained even when the optic is seriously damaged.
Another big advantage is the shooter/operator can engage targets while keeping both eyes open because of the distortion free 0X magnification. This was a shooting/sighting concept that Jeff Cooper strongly recommended in the Scout Rifle concept when dangerous game or dangerous attackers are involved. Over the last five years, the EOTech sights have become mainstays on the firearms for dangerous game hunters due to their reliability and enormous speed advantage over iron sights.
The other advantage is field of view. Looking through the large rectangular window with both eyes open allows the shooter to maintain peripheral field of view — you know in case there is more than one of whatever dangerous game you are hunting. This is essential in military and law enforcement, where knowing what’s going on around you can mean the difference between life or death.
Fit, Finish, and Function
Like you would expect with any other Mil-Spec product, the fit is perfect between each and every part on an EOTech sight. When mounting up to a standard 1913 picatinny railed AR-15 upper, the sight locks down tightly and doesn’t budge a bit regardless of how hard I push it. Most importantly, it also returns to zero after removal and re-mounting.
The EOTechs have been famous for their rugged feel and durability. Suffice it to say, the EOTech is a solid piece of equipment that even the military has failed to destroy.
The Model 512 is EOTech’s most popular model. This tactical optic is perfect for agencies that want the best in CQB speed and versatility, without the need for night vision compatibility and simple AA battery power. The 512 is the longest of the EOTech sights due to the AA battery power, and depending on the firearm, can prevent unencumbered access to the rear two operation buttons if you are running rear BUS (back up sights).
I found that on several of the standard AR-15s in my inventory with BUS and standard plastic forends, the 512 could not be comfortably mounted forward enough to work the buttons with tactical gloves due to interference with the front forend. I did not have any issues with any AR-15s with Magpul forends or aluminum/billet forends, and the EOTech 512 could be easily mounted forward enough that one extra rail number to allow for easy access to the controls even if the rear sight was up.
EOTech’s sights feature auto shut offs after 4 or 8 hours of operation from the time the last adjustment is made. This conserves power and assures the sight is not sitting idle. Other features are a low battery indicator, an auto power-up to a normal setting, and instant on.
Operation is simple. Hit the right up button and the unit powers on instantly to “standard brightness”. The brightness of the reticle can then be adjusted up or down using the up/down buttons. Once you want to turn the unit off, simply press and hold the up and down buttons simultaneously and the unit shuts down.
The EOTech 512’s Field-of-View is more than twice as wide as “red dot” competitors and is completely passive, which means that no light will be emitted to give away your position to the “other guy” or scare game. I should note that not all red-dot sights do this, and most can be seen from the opposing direction. In the case of the EOTechs, the operator and hunter will remain undetectable. EOTech sights are now not just for the Military. Hunters and outdoorsman are discovering that quick target acquiring 1X red dot sights are just as handy the middle of Iowa hunting deer or the middle of Texas hunting hogs as in Afghanistan hunting Taliban.
Probably the most compelling reason to pick up the EOTech 512 is that you do not need to worry about burning through the batteries in a couple hours like the old red dot sights did. With AA Lithium batteries, the 512.A65 delivers over a 1,000 hours of constant runtime and over 600 on simple alkaline batteries. With an auto off feature every four hours, there is little hope of draining the batteries during 42 days straight continuous use. Most combat veterans have found find that standard batteries will last a couple months, and for the hunter and sporting shooter, you may not need to replace the batteries more than once a year. Just note EOTech recommends lithium AA batteries for long-term storage in the sight as they will not corrode like Alkaline batteries.
Mounting is simple via the knobbed, tool-less mounting bolt which interfaces to 1″ Picatinny (MIL-STD-1913) or Weaver rail. Of note, I have found that the unit holds zero extremely well even after repeated removals as long as it is returned to the same rail slot position.
The EOTech sights help you shoot and acquire target more accurately with the 65MOA circle and 1 MOA dot. It you don’t believe this, then you simply have not shot enough with a Holographic Weapon or Red Dot sight. There is a reason the majority of the military and nearly all major competitive shooters use electronic sights: they get you on target faster than any other sighting system.
One thing EOTech forgot to mention in their marketing info was the brightness advantage of the EOTech sights over other Red Dot designs. Turn off the lights and look through a typical Red Dot and you instantly notice significantly darker sight picture than through the EOTech models. As most bad stuff happens at night, and the best hunts happen at dusk/dawn, the EOTech would seem to have a distinct advantage over other sights on the market.
The other complaint I hear is “those high end weapons sights are so expensive,” which is a fallacy. How much do you spend on a good set of steel AR sights? About $300, which still will not get you the advantages of the EOTech sight. I am now seeing this sight street priced well under $400. Personally I would rather splurge on a military proven optic and save a few bucks using some less expensive back up sight options. One other point is that the 512 makes a lot of sense from a long-term survival situation or even out back hunting situation. Not many convenience shops in the middle of nowhere have CR123 batteries, but all have AA.
The EOTech 512.A65 is military proven, but it’s more than just a military or police sight. It has become a tool that hunters are using more and more on their shorter range brush guns, crossbows, slug guns, and even black powder rifles.
- Suggested Retail: from $439.00
- Optics: Transmission holography – parallax free
- Magnification: 1x
- Eye Relief: Unlimited
- Length/Width/Height: 5.4″x1.8″x2.25″ (137x49x60 mm)
- Weight: 10.9 oz (309 grams)
- Temperature: -40 to 150 F (using AA lithiums); -20 to 140 F (all other battery choices)
- Waterproof: Submersible to 10 ft depth
- Sealing: Fogproof internal optics
- Adjustment (per click): 0.5 MOA (1/2″ at 100 yds)
- Adjustment Range: +/- 40 MOA travel
- Mount: 1″ Picatinny (MIL-STD-1913) or Weaver rail
- Return to Zero: Repeatable to 1 MOA after re-mounting
- Heads-Up-Display Window
- Optical Surfaces: Anti-glare coating
- Window Dimensions: 1.20″ x 0.85″ (30 x 23mm)
- Front Window Material: 1/8″ solid glass
- Rear Window Material: Shatter resistant laminate (3/16″ thick)
- Field of View (100 yds): 30 yds (28m) at a 4″ eye relief
- Brightness Adjustment Range: 110,000:1 brightest to lowest
- No Night Vision Compatibility
- Power Source: 2x 1.5V AA batteries (supports lithium, alkaline, or rechargeable)
- Battery Life: 1,000 continuous hours (lithium) at nominal setting 12; 600 continuous with AA alkaline
- Brightness Settings: 20 settings with scrolling feature
- Auto Battery Check Indicator: Flashing reticle upon start-up
- Auto Shut-down: At 8 hrs- programmable to 4 hrs