If you are an avid shooter or even someone who’s tangentially aware of assault rifles via popular video games like the Call of Duty series, you’re probably somewhat aware of the existence of holographic sights. A holographic sight simply aims to correct some of the issues users might have with typical optical scope systems by allowing the user to always stay on target with perfect alignment, even when they are on the move.
The technology of holographic sights has advanced fast, and there are a lot of options out there on the market that varies a lot in terms of price and quality. We’re here to help you choose the very best holographic sights for your particular needs, whether they be budget-related or not.
First, we’re going to showcase the bare minimum of what you should know about holographic sights before making an informed purchase. After that, we’ll get straight into the product reviews Finally, we’ll cap off the article with a section with even more details on holographic sights that will enrich your understanding of them and will help you to galvanize your decision making process.
Alright, let’s suit up in all of the necessary tactical wear, and find out the real reason why a holographic sight is a fine purchase for all rifle-owning enthusiasts.
- Features to Consider for Holographic Sights
- Top 8 Best Holographic Sight 2021
- 1. Best Holographic Sight Overall: Holosun HS510C Holographic Sight
- 2. Best Trustworthy Holographic Sight: EOTech 512 Holographic Sight
- 3. Best Lightweight Holographic Sight: EOTech XPS2 Holographic Sight
- 4. Best Premium Holographic Sight: EOTech EXPS3
- 5. Best Holographic Sight for Value: Dagger Defense Red Dot Reflex Sight
- 6. Best Holographic Sight for Handguns: Vortex Optics Venom
- 7. Best Entry-Level Holographic Sight: CVLIFE 1x22x33 Red/Green Dot Holographic Sight
- 8. Best Holographic Sight Under $50: Pinty Red Green Dot Sight Reflex
- Guide to Buying the Best Holographic Sight
- Final Considerations
Features to Consider for Holographic Sights
Here are some fast points of consideration that need to be made before making a purchase decision for a holographic sight product. For a more in-depth look at these fantastic additions for your rifle, please consult our more in-depth guide toward the end of our product reviews.
Good holographic sights are going to be recoil-resistant, as these sorts of firearms are usually shot at a rapid-fire pace. Make sure that the product you are looking at is made of durable construction and remains in place while being vigorously used during a shooting session.
Many of these products are made of aircraft-quality aluminum. Additionally, another good thing to look for is if the housing of the sight itself has a rubber or plastic casing, this is advantageous as it keeps the sight from being too marred by the shock of a rifle being fired repeatedly.
Also, make sure that the lens of the model you are purchasing is hardy as well. They are the most expensive component of the holographic sight, and they need to be able to withstand the rigors that you put it through.
These products will usually require high-quality and long-lasting lithium batteries to function. While these aren’t your standard run-of-the-mill batteries and are expensive, they will ultimately allow your holographic sight to have long battery life.
When shopping for one of these products, make sure the model you are interested in has long battery life. If you’re interested in having ultimate longevity in terms of power, consider purchasing a model that has an automatic standby mode, or one with multiple brightness settings that can help to save battery life in the long run.
Holographic sights aren’t all made the same. Some will only fit on Picatinny rails but be incompatible with Weaver and rail mounts. Be clear on whether or not your model of firearm is appropriate for the type of holographic sight you are considering for purchase, otherwise, you might end up with something that won’t fit your rifle at all.
Accuracy matters, no matter what. A good quality holographic sight will come with options for elevation and windage settings for those of us that want to fine-tune our gear as much as possible.
Alright, now it’s time to get to the real meat and potatoes of this article, and the real reason you are here. Without further ado, here are the best holographic sights that we found for the year 2021.
Top 8 Best Holographic Sight 2021
- Weight: 8.3oz
- Battery: CR2032 + backup solar panel system
- Mounting: Picatinny and Weaver
This holographic sight model has 12 brightness settings, two of which allow it to work in tandem with various night vision devices. As far as the reticle system goes, it has what is called a Multi-Reticle System which allows for custom reticle patterns to your specifications. Also, another awesome thing about the reticle system with this sight is that it automatically adjusts its brightness in regards to the atmospheric lighting conditions you happen to be in at the time, which is great for power-saving purposes.
The most interesting component we found with this product is how it is powered. It can either use one CR2032 battery, but it also comes with a unique solar panel design that works as a backup power source if the internal battery runs out of juice. However, with a total running time of up to 50,000 hours, we don’t think you’re going to be in much danger of that any time soon!
The Holosun even takes its auto-shutoff capabilities to the next level as well. It utilizes motion detection to determine if the device is being used or not. Once it detects a certain amount of motion, the device will turn on again. While this isn’t a necessary feature (you can even turn it completely off, or program it to your exact specifications) we still think this is a very impressive, forward-thinking component to this product overall.
It’s really difficult to give the Holosun any negative marks. It’s such a solid, and forward-thinking piece of holographic sight technology. It’s lightweight, extremely durable, and shock-proof like many of the other models on this list, and it comes with several advanced features that really take it to the next level while still keeping the price point lower than some of the other models on this list.
- Weight: 11.5oz
- Battery: (2) 1.5v AA OR CR123. Also supports rechargeable batteries.
- Mounting: Picatinny and Weaver
This is one of the oldest models of a holographic weapon sight on the market, and it’s made by the originators of the holographic sight system, namely EOTech. You’re going to see these guys appear a few times on this list, and that’s because they make some of the highest-quality optical systems out there.
This is a mil-spec tactical holographic sight, meaning you’re getting the same quality here that the military would utilize. The model is made out of solid aluminum and is both shatterproof as well as water/fog proof.
We think the most interesting thing about the product is the versatility as far as how it gets its juice. It can take both lithium as well as 2 AA batteries. It can even accommodate rechargeable AA batteries as well! This versatility is great if you’re in the middle of the woods and need a fast (as well as cheap) change of batteries. Another nifty feature is the programmable shutdown mechanism which can keep you in command of your overall battery life.
Those batteries are going to be put to good use as well because there are a whopping 20 different brightness settings on this device. You’re never going to be put at a disadvantage in any lighting setting with this guy in your arsenal.
There’s no real compatibility with night vision, so if you’re looking for an optic system that is good for nighttime hunting, look elsewhere. Beyond that, this is a trustworthy model that has been available for quite a while, and we tend to think that’s a good sign of a quality product no matter what.
- Weight: 9oz
- Battery: 123 Lithium
- Mounting: Picatinny and Weaver
This model by EOTech is claimed by them to be their lightest model period in terms of overall weight, this is mainly due to the smaller battery compartment it carries. It has all of the same features as the 512 model.
This model comes with 20 different brightness settings for all kinds of ambient light situations. It also has an automatic shutdown system to keep battery life at its apex. The real allure of this holographic sight, however, is how light it is. At just 8 ounces, it feels light as a feather on the end of your rifle and is perfect for long treks in the woods for those hunting expeditions that may take days on end until you bag that prize buck. So, if you’re looking for a lightweight holographic sight that gives your premium features at the same time, this is your ticket item.
The downside to the XPS2 is that it has far less battery life than the EOTech 512. This is due to the smaller size of the battery compartment, which to some might be more of an advantage in the long run as it ultimately weighs less because of this. Just be aware that this model only has up to 1,000 hours of battery life total, so if you’re looking for a longer-lasting holographic sight in the power department, it might be worth looking elsewhere.
- Weight: 9oz
- Battery: CR123
- Mounting: Picatinny and Weaver
This is pretty much the same kind of product as the EOTech XPS2, just with additional night vision capabilities, including ten additional brightness settings to accommodate most generations of night vision devices. This is the obvious choice on this list for someone who likes to hunt at nighttime as opposed to the brighter hours of the day.
This product also comes with all of the standard EOTech quality that you would come to expect out of their products. It’s made of solid aluminum and has a shatter-proof design scheme that will keep your device safe and sound during those long nights where accidents can potentially happen. Additionally, you don’t have to worry about nighttime cold either, as this device is weatherproof, along with waterproof.
This is a fantastic product, as is pretty much everything that EOTech offers, however it’s not without its downsides. For one it’s quite expensive and this is definitely not an entry-level sight. Additionally, unless you’re a nighttime hunting enthusiast, you’re better off just going with the XPS2 model as it is somewhat cheaper while still being effectively the same device.
- Weight: 10.2oz
- Battery: CR2032
- Mounting: Picatinny
Dagger Defense provides a budget-minded rifle reflex sight while not sacrificing the quality in the least. Not only is it constructed out of aircraft-quality aluminum, but it’s easy to install on your Picatinny mount and has 4 different reticle options along with the choice between a green or red laser. So, already you’ve got some great aesthetic options to choose from which we think is great for such an inexpensive reflex sight.
Another great thing to note about this product is how fantastic customer support is for it and all of the other Dagger Defense products. They are attentive to their customers and will help to solve issues quickly and effectively.
It’s hard to imagine that a good quality reflex sight could come at such a low price, especially a product made to the specifications of veterans, but the Dagger Defense reflex sight provides value and quality wrapped in one package. While it’s not the best in terms of overall bells and whistles that you will find with most other products, at a price like this, it can’t be beaten. Additionally, it only fits Picatinny-mounts, so it’s not a universal fit either.
- Weight: 1.05oz
- Battery: CR1632
- Mounting: Picatinny
This sight is designed low and with a wide view, which makes it fantastic for quick target acquisition, especially in tactical situations where under-a-second reflexes are crucial. Also, its size is another huge advantage. This is a small reflex sight, and it’s perfect for smaller firearms like handguns, SMGs, and even different kinds of shotguns.
The Vortex Venom also has some high-level advanced features such as eight different illumination settings and a fantastic automatic brightness mode that is based on one’s ambient lighting situation. The Venom will also power off after around 14 hours of sustained use to keep the battery in good condition.
The biggest issue we had with the Venom was that the battery was difficult to change and the model itself can be a challenge to install for some. Additionally, we think it’s a very pricey model for a smaller reflex sight, however, it more than makes up for the price with all of the fantastic advanced features it holds and because it will step up your response time game considerably due to its unique design.
- Weight: 4.5oz
- Battery: CR2032
- Mounting: Picatinny, Weaver, and RIS
Learning how to shoot the old-fashioned way is a very important thing for new marksmen to embody, however, we know that there’s a certain level of excitement when it comes to trying out the latest new things for your favorite hobby. The CVLife 1x22x33 holographic sight is an inexpensive way of dipping one’s feet with more advanced optics without destroying one’s bank account in the process.
The sight itself isn’t anything special or advanced compared to other models on this list, but we wouldn’t expect that due to its overwhelmingly inexpensive price point. It’s made of durable aluminum, so it’s not going to shatter easily if at all if you accidentally drop it in the middle of a rocky spot in the woods. It also happens to be waterproof, fog-proof, and shock-proof as well, making it great for all kinds of weather conditions you can put it through.
One thing where this product truly shines is how versatile it is. It can fit on Picatinny and Weaver rail systems. It also utilizes a red or green dot system along with four reticule patterns, giving you some degree of aesthetic control with the target reticule system.
The downsides to this incredible budget sight are that there are no brightness adjust options. Additionally, it comes off as a bit heavier than other reflex sights, but not by much. Overall, if you’re looking to try out something along the lines of an advanced option while not destroying your wallet, this is a great start to your optics journey.
- Weight: 8oz
- Battery: CR2032
- Mounting: Picatinny and Weaver
This impressively low-cost reflex sight from Pinty is an absolute steal if you’re looking for something low-cost for airsoft or light plinking at the end of a hard work week. It’s made fairly similar to other sights on this list including having a durable aluminum body, several brightness modes, and having four different reticle pattern options. It also has both red and green laser capabilities, giving it some versatility in different lighting conditions.
There are some issues here with the Pinty that need to be explained, however. We found that it can lose its zero at times, which might mean it isn’t well optimized for the shock of a lot of higher-powered rifles. So, don’t expect to be using this model for long without having to re-calibrate it.
Pinty’s tagline of “have a blast on a budget” is definitely something key to keep in mind here with this product. It’s certainly not the apex of design specification, but if you absolutely desire a low-cost advanced sight now, or are looking to try out something in the realm of a holographic sight without spending too much cash, this is the ticket item right here. This is a good pick for an airsoft gun, but not a serious tactical or hunting sight.
Guide to Buying the Best Holographic Sight
Here are some more in-depth points that expand a bit more on what we covered earlier in this article. Our goal here is to give you the additional information that we think you might need on holographic sights and their value to gun owners everywhere.
Holographic Sights and Reflex Sight: What’s the Difference?
You might have noticed looking through our product reviews that we’ve included several items called reflex sights in the list. For the most part, Reflex sights are very similar to holographic sights besides a few key differences.
Reflex sights usually offer more of a color variety than holographic sights do. Additionally, they come in a lot of different shape types, such as triangles, circles, dots, and your standard crosshair. So, if you’re looking for a good selection of reticle shapes, we certainly think that a reflex sight might be the best choice for you.
How It Projects
Holographic sights utilize lasers in tandem with mirrors, which when merged allow for the user to see the holographic display reticle in the window of the sight. Reflex sights use LED lights and objective lenses instead. The objective lens merely projects the LED’s light back into the user’s field of vision.
Shape of Device
Holographic sights have a square design to them due to their usage of mirror systems for projection purposes. Meanwhile, reflex sights are usually in some sort of tubular or circular design. Neither one offers any real advantage or disadvantage and is mostly up to the preference of the user.
This is where the reflex sight really shines far more than a holographic sight. The battery life of a reflex sight is usually far longer because it utilizes LED lights, which are not nearly as bright as the laser systems utilized in holographic displays. Most reflex sights have a battery that can last up to 50,000 hours, whereas a holographic sight battery will only last you up to 1,000 hours at the most.
Holographic Sights and Their Uses
Some people are comfortable and knowledgeable about red dot optical systems but are in the dark about holographic sights and their uses. How are they different? Well, for starters, a holographic sight system utilizes a mix of laser and mirror mechanisms to provide the shooter with a crystal-clear image of their particular target. A red dot system is merely a small LED light that reflects towards a special lens near the eye of the rifleman.
While most individuals think that holographic sights would be predominantly used in combat scenarios, this is simply not the case. They can also be used for hunting, especially for big game animals such as deer and elk. We also think that holographic sights could be used for target shooting as well, though it’s obviously up to the individual and whatever league they happen to be in if such devices are even allowed in the first place.
Overall holographic sights allow for quick-response shooting with extreme accuracy, and their versatility and ease of use make them a fantastic item to have in any situation where shooting with accuracy, as well as swiftness, are top priorities.
For more information on the differences between holographic sights and other types of optical sighting systems for firearms, please check out this video by Ghost Tactical on YouTube.
Holographic Sight Advantages
Holographic sights are designed in such a way that they allow the shooter to find the targeting reticle much faster than a standard red dot optical system. Why is that? Simply because it’s fully displayed at all times and doesn’t rely on reflection into the shooter’s eye in order to be seen. A holographic sight also allows a rifleman to focus on both the target as well as the targeting reticule at the same time, increasing the overall accuracy of each shot. This is a significant advantage over red dot sights, as generally, one has to switch back and forth with their vision between the target and the red dot itself to line up the perfect shot.
Holographic sights are also durable, far more than most other optical systems on the market. This is actually because the internal components of the holographic sight heavily depend on highly reflective mirror-based systems, and consistent shock of modern-day rifles would end up jarring said mirrors into relative uselessness over a period of time.
So, in order to combat this problem, designers of these products usually will construct each holographic sight towards more military and law-enforcement specifications to maximize their long-term use. So, needless to say, if you partake of long and arduous hunting trips in harsh places where the elements might be an issue for some pieces of equipment, there’s a good chance that a holographic sight will brush off anything you could potentially throw at it.
Are There Any Disadvantages to Owning a Holographic Sight?
We think the biggest disadvantage to these amazing gun accessories is their battery life. A lot of these holographic sights burn through juice because the laser systems in them require a lot of power to function at maximum levels.
Are Holographic Sights Useful for Hunters?
We’d say yes, especially if you are consistently putting your gear through rough scenarios and places where the elements are sure to affect certain pieces of gear (such as extremely low temperatures). Holographic sights are built to handle abuse due to their military-grade specifications.
I’m Not a Hunter, nor Do I Have Any Tactical Training. Why Would I Ever Want to Buy a Holographic Sight?
A really good example to follow here would be a home defense scenario. Due to the way a holographic sight is designed, it allows for complete situational awareness as far as optical sights go. This can mean the difference between life and death in a close-combat situation like a home invasion, for instance.
If you’re interested more in how holographic sights are beneficial for home defense, please check out this video by The Daily Shooter on YouTube.
We hope that this article has informed you enough to decide on purchasing a holographic sight. We tend to think that these are a fantastic, and utterly modern, addition to a rifleman’s toolbox and they can step up a shooter’s game compared to basic iron sights. While they can be a bit pricey, what you get is ultimately long-lasting and will serve you well for years to come if you take care of your gear properly.
If you didn’t see a product on our list that struck your fancy, or if you’re still on the edge about just what it is you need for your growing arsenal of rifle accessories, please take another look at the minimum we think you need to know before making a purchase. If you want more depth, however, take a look at our more lengthy section after our product reviews to satisfy your curiosity.
We hope to see you at the range with your new sighting system very soon. Happy shooting!