If you're looking to improve your shooting skills and get the target fast, a holographic sight may be what you need. With the best holographic sight, you can increase your target accuracy and improve your shot for precision shooting. This can be done from all environments, light settings, and at all distances.

Looking for the best holographic sights in the market today? This comprehensive guide gives all of the information you need to choose the highest-quality holographic sight for your specific needs.

What is a Holographic Sight?

A holographic sight, also known as a holo sight, holographic weapon sight, or holographic diffraction sight, is one of the types of an unmagnified optic. They are also one of the most intuitive and fastest sighting systems for a modern shooter.

Holographic sights are pretty similar to the red dot sights and reflex sights, but they have different technology. They were first introduced by EOTech at the 1996 SHOT show. The holo sights use a series of lasers and mirrors to give a holographic image of a reticle.

They allow faster target acquisition for easier follow-up shots. So whether you're hunting, playing in a competition, or just want to shoot repeatedly, a holographic sight will help you shoot not only quickly but also efficiently. Another reason why they are preferred by hunters and competitors is because of their increased field of view.

Important Terms to Note

1. Eye Relief

The eye relief is the distance you stand from the viewing point in order to get a good view when using an aiming sight. When the distance is too short or close to the sight, it is called short eye relief. When it comes to a holographic sight, there is no specified margin to the eye relief, enabling you to stand at any distance.

2. Reticle

A reticle is a small circle or dot that you find in your sight. It acts as a projection to get a better aim for shooting your target. In addition, the reticle acts as a laser light hologram with almost every holographic sight, which means you get a clear vision even during the night.

What is the Best Holographic Sight?

So, here are the seven best holographic sights you should consider. 

1. EOTECH EXPS2 Holographic Weapon Sight

EOTECH EXPS2 Holographic Weapon Sight
  • EOTECH EXPS2 Holographic Weapon Sight
  • Side Button Operation - Compact design and side button...
  • Mount - Quick Detach lever fits 1" Weaver and MIL-STD 1913...
  • Adjustable Brightness - The EXPS2 has 20 brightness settings...
  • EOTECH HWS Prestige Warranty - Comes with 10 year limited...

EOTech has continuously made an impact in the world of holographic sight markers with their advanced holographic technologies. The EOTech EXPS2 Holographic Weapon Sight is one of their most intuitive and latest holographic weapons sights. It measures 11 ounces and is compact enough to integrate it with a G33 magnifier easily.

Unlike most holo sights that widely use the red color reticle, this model reflects a green laser that can quickly be visible during the day. This is why most paramilitary and military organizations in the US prefer it. It features a 1 MOA dot and a 68 MOA reticle that provides a more accurate shooting.

Additionally, the model has a quick detach lever that enables it to be switched to a magnifier. It can easily be installed on a MIL-STD 1913 rail and 1-inch Weaver. For easy replacement, the battery compartment is found on the side to ensure you won't need to unmount it.

The eye relief is unlimited and enables you to shoot within 30 to 100 yards. It has 20 brightness levels to allow the control of the brightness depending on the situation. It also features an auto battery indicator and auto shut off for power management and enhance the battery life.

  • Pros
  • The green reticle is green in color
  • It can be used on most AR-15 rifles20 brightness levels
  • Easy to get the target
  • Reliable and functional;
  • Great battery life
  • Compatible with a G33 magnifier
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Auto shut off and battery indicator included
  • Cons
  • Relatively expensive

2. EOTECH XPS2 Holographic Weapon Sight

EOTECH XPS2 Holographic Weapon Sight
  • EOTECH XPS2 Holographic Weapon Sight
  • Mount - Compatible with both 1" Weaver and MIL-STD 1913...
  • Adjustable Brightness - The XPS2 has 20 brightness settings...
  • Compact Design - Leaves more rail space for rear iron sights...
  • EOTECH HWS Prestige Warranty - Comes with 10 year limited...

The EOTech XPS2 Holographic Weapon Sight features an HWS-2 dot illuminated reticle, which offers a promo target acquisition. Its glass clarity is great; however, the holographic clarity is slightly not clear. It comes with 20 adjustable brightness levels for use in any light condition.

The hologram is illuminated in red, which means your eyes can easily catch on it. Additionally, the eye relief is unlimited to locate the reticle easily. As one of the best EOTech holographic weapon sights, the XPS2 holo sight is built for tough conditions. It is protected using its rugged roll bar styled hood and its fog proof, shockproof, and waterproof.

Although the turrets are small, you can easily adjust them whenever you want. Its magnification is 1x, which works great for a short shooting range and is also parallax-free. As a result, it is not very expensive as other sights but comes with features that stand out from the rest.

  • Pros
  • Night vision compatible
  • Wide field of view
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Durable sight window
  • Precise reticle
  • Mounting is easy, compatible with MIL-STD 1913 Rails and 1" Weaver
  • Two eyes open, shooting
  • Resistant to fog and water
  • Cons
  • Doesn't include a dust cover

3. EOTECH EXPS3 Holographic Weapon Sight

The EOTech EXPS3 Holographic Weapon Sight is considered one of the best holographic sights when it comes to a fast target acquisition in close-quarter environments. It features 68 MOA Circle and 1 MOA red dot reticle that is accurate and clear. The glass has zero tints and is super bright on its own.

It comes with 20 reticle brightness settings, with the level being the standard brightness. This holo sight also includes ten additional settings making it compatible with Gen I to III+ night vision devices. Moreover, it comes with an automatic shut down feature that warns you whenever you have a low battery.

This unit also includes two arrows, where the arrow down provides you with four hours of use while the arrow up or the NV button gives you eight hours of use before shutting down. It comes with unlimited eye relief and a large eye box for a wider view. It has a fixed 1x magnification.

Furthermore, t is exceptionally durable as it is made from an aircraft-grade aluminum alloy as well as nitrogen purged O-rings, making it shockproof and weatherproof. The EXPS3 has a built-in 7mm riser, and a quick-detach lever mount that fits a 1″ Weaver and MIL-STD 1913 Rails.

  • Pros
  • Bright optics
  • The holographic ring won't expand when magnified
  • Wide field of view20 brightness settings that are easy to control
  • Replacing the battery is easy
  • Lightweight but durable design
  • Night vision compatible
  • Unlimited eye relief
  • Cons
  • The buttons are hard to press

4. Vortex Optics AMG UH-1 Gen II Holographic Sight

Vortex Optics AMG UH-1 Gen II Holographic Sight
  • The AMG UH-1 Gen II is an incredibly fast holographic...
  • With the UH-1 Gen II, you get an improved sight picture...
  • The lightning-quick EBR-CQB reticle with 15 illumination...
  • An integrated, quick-release mount makes the sight easy to...
  • Ultra-hard, scratch-resistantant ArmorTek coating protects...

While Vortex is relatively new to the world of holo sights, it is the only other real holo sight manufacturer in the market, apart from EOTech holo sights. The Vortex Optics AMG UH-1 Gen II Holographic Sight boasts a scratch-resistant, shatterproof, and fog-proof design that can withstand different weather conditions.

The user-friendly design also provides a sharp and crisp view with zero distortion. It is quite similar to circle dot reticles on EOTech sights but has a 1 MOA dot and a 65 MOA ring with a triangle. In addition, this true holographic sight has 15 brightness settings which include four-night vision compatible settings.

Its optics are multicoated for a clean and crisp view. It comes with an ArmorTek scratch-resistant lens coating and uses FHQ Technology to eliminate stray light and prevent glare on the lenses. The construction is IPX8 waterproof, shockproof, and has a matte anodized finish to protect it from corrosion and reduce glare.

  • Pros
  • Shockproof, fog-proof, and waterproof
  • Easy installation
  • Zero distortion, and the image doesn't fade
  • USB port for charging the battery
  • High energy efficiency
  • Easy to use for short and distant range targets
  • Scratch resistance lens coating15 brightness levels
  • Cons
  • The reticle becomes blurry when the brightness is too high

5. EOTECH 552 Holographic Weapon Sight

EOTECH 552.A65 Holographic Weapon Sight
  • EOTECH 552.A65 - Holographic Weapon Sight in black with 68...
  • Works with all Gen 1-3 nv devices
  • Mount - Compatible with both 1" Weaver and MIL-STD 1913...
  • Water Resistant - The 552 is water resistant to 33 feet...
  • EOTECH HWS Prestige Warranty - Comes with a 10 year limited...

Looking for the best holographic sight for your AR-15? Look no further because the EOTECH 552 Holographic Weapon Sight is the best choice. It is a top pick by most law enforcement officers and the US military. Although it is fairly expensive, it provides an amazing value for money with its impressive features.

Its glass is very clear and comes with 20 daylight settings as well as ten additional settings for complete clarity throughout the day. It is also night vision1 MOA dot reticle compatible. In addition, this 552 model features a 68 MOA ring and 1 MOA dot reticle for easy and quick target acquisition at both short and medium ranges.

As with other EOTech holographic sights, this one also has unlimited eye relief and a wide field of view from the eye box. It is also made to withstand tough conditions and is water-resistant. It has 0.5 MOA adjustment clicks for windage and elevation turrets. The magnification is 1x, which makes it an excellent option for short ranges.

  • Pros
  • Easy to use reticle and turrets20 brightness settings
  • Impressive durability
  • Fast target acquisition
  • Unlimited eye relief
  • Maximum peripheral vision
  • Night vision compatible
  • Cons
  • Bulky and heavy

6. HOLOSUN HS510C Circle Dot

HOLOSUN HS510C Circle Dot/Solar Panel/QD Mount + Lithium 3V Coin Battery CR2032 + Cleaning Cloth
  • KIT INCLUDES: Holosun HS510C MOA Open Reflex Circle Red Dot...
  • ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY: The Holosun HS510C New advanced...
  • UNLIMITED VIEW: Unlimited field of view, Titanium-alloyed,...
  • EASY USE: The reticle can be switched between a 65 MOA...

Although the Holosun HS510C is technically not a holographic sight, it comes with some of the impressive qualities of a red dot optic and also a user-friendly reticle similar to those found in holo sights. The reticle is super versatile, as well as clear and crisp. You can easily switch between a ring only, a dot only, or a dot and ring combination.

However, since it is not a true holo sight, you may experience some focal issues that are commonly found in red dot sights. You get approximately 50000 hours of use before a need to change the battery arises. Furthermore, it features solar capabilities that automatically switch when there is sunlight to preserve the battery even more.

This holo sight is lightweight and has a compact profile as true holo sights. It features a Shake Awake Technology, which means it comes with a built-in motion detector. When motion is not detected for a specific amount of time, it enters sleep mode, and when motion is detected, it is automatically boosted up.

  • Pros
  • Easy mounting and unmounting
  • Powered by both solar and battery
  • Very durable
  • Automatic brightness adjustments
  • Shake Awake technology for automatic switch on or off
  • Very lightweight
  • Waterproof, dustproof, and fog proof
  • 12 brightness levels
  • Cons
  • Auto brightness is too dim for some users

7. EOTECH 512 Holographic Weapon Sight

EOTECH 512 Holographic Weapon Sight
  • EOTECH 512.A65 - Holographic Weapon Sight in black with 68...
  • Mount - Compatible with both 1" Weaver and MIL-STD 1913...
  • Adjustable Brightness - The 512 has 20 brightness settings...
  • Water Resistant - The 512 is water resistant to 10 feet (3m)
  • EOTECH HWS Prestige Warranty - Comes with a 10 year limited...

The EOTECH 512 Holographic Sight is the best budget holographic sight in the market. It not only comes with a non-reflective and clear glass but also ensures that no red light bleeds to the other side. It features 1 MOA red dot reticle that is clean and crisp and a 68 MOA ring for fast target acquisition.

This is an excellent option for shorter distances as it removes the search for the dot when sighting, giving an immediate target recognition. The brightness can be easily adjusted with the 20 different brightness settings. The rear button makes it user-friendly for both right and left-hand shooters. It comes with a built-in mount that is compatible with MIL-STD 1913 rails and  1" Weaver.

Despite the great brightness range, this holo sight is not great for night vision. However, it is more accurate than rear iron sights. It provides unlimited eye relief, which is great for two eyes open shooting. Another downside is it doesn't feature any additional magnification but can easily be paired with magnets for a longer range.

  • Pros
  • Crisp and clean view
  • Great durability
  • 10-year warranty
  • Easy mounting
  • Fog proof and waterproof
  • Great packaging than most reflex sights
  • Eye relief is unlimited
  • 20 brightness settings
  • Cons
  • Expensive
  • Lacks a night vision

Holographic Vs. Red Dots: What’s Best For You?

Why would one prefer a holographic sight to a red dot? The informative breakdown has significant similarities and differences between the two sights as well as the benefits of choosing one over the other.

1. Power

Red dots use an LED technology that helps in saving lots of power. Generally, they have 50,000 hours of battery life, which is approximately five years or sometimes more. On the other hand, some holo sights will last you the same amount of time as a red dot sight, but others will only last for about 500-1000 hours.

2. Size

If you're looking for something small, then a red dot sight is the best choice. It comes in different sizes since the technology is much easier to construct in comparison to holo sights. You can find sizes that are small enough to fit on handguns and rifles. Most holographic sights are not as compact, but they are also not very huge.

3. Price

A high-quality red dot will have a higher price range. While you can get a decent red dot for $100, it is not as good as an expensive one. There is a massive range of companies that make red dots which means you can easily find a good one that is within your price range.

However, your options are limited when it comes to holographic sights because only two companies make true holographic rifle sights, including EOTech and Vortex. These companies have their best holographic sights at a $400+ range. Although you have limited options and price ranges, you'll get high-quality devices.

4. Durability

Most of the time, the higher price, the higher the quality of the sight, and also the higher the durability. This is true for red dots as cheaper models can only be used for use in airsoft and not for serious shooting.

However, holographic sights have the best durability features and don't require an internal front window to work. This means that if you have debris or mud blocking your sight, then a holo sight will still work as long as there is a partial view.

5. Colors and Patterns of Reticles

One of the main features that One feature both red dots and holo sights have in common is the red illumination reticle. The eyes tend to quickly pick up the red color, which is the obvious color choice. However, newer versions come with green illumination, which is much easier on the eyes. One downside of using the green light is that it won't move as well in indifferently lit areas.

So, if you'll be using it in multiple rooms, then red light might be a perfect choice to allow you to move smoothly from the basement to the living room. However, the green light stands out when it comes to competition. When the outdoor lighting is consistent, your eyes will quickly pick up the green light.

6. Magnification

While both holographic and red dot sights can magnify, holographic sights can double their magnification. For example, when you place a magnifier in front of a 2 MOA red dot, it will become 6 MOA, which means it will cover more area. However, when you place a magnifier in most holo sights, it will still remain 1 MOA. Since the sight coverage remains the same, it provides a better view of the target area.

7. Field of View (FOV)

When shooting, a great view is essential. Using an electronic sight is a great bonus as you can use both eyes. However, when it comes to red dots, you only get small windows which means you need to get way behind it to achieve the best target sight.

Holographic sights give a rectangular view that provides a wider FOV than their red dot counterparts. Although there is a wide FOV range in red dots, the wider FOV of holographic sights tends to be better.

8. Acquisition Speed

In comparison to traditional irons, red dots and holographic sights have a faster acquisition speed. In addition, since the red dots focus the dot to your eye, the focal distance will be at the sight. On the other hand, holographic sights will project the hologram at the front of the sight.

Since your eyes will only focus on one thing at a time, you will most likely get slowed down. Holographic sights focus on your target, and so will the reticle. You will most likely get more precise shots since the sight remains at 1 MOA.

9. Night Vision

Another common feature between the red dot and holographic sight is their night vision ability. They both make use of dimmer settings that won't cause damage to night vision devices.

Additionally, if you have eyesight problems like astigmatism, the red dots may look like lines instead of a precise light. If this is a problem for you, get a holographic sight. Although they may not cure your problem, they will work better with your eyes.

What Do You Consider Before Choosing the Best Holographic Sight?

1. Reticle

The type of reticle that the holo sight uses is a crucial element that shouldn't be ignored. This is because different reticle designs are made for different purposes. For example, sights made for close ranges as well as those used in fast-moving objects should come with a reticle with larger MOA.

On the other hand, sights designed for medium to long-range shots need to have red dot reticles. Check to see if the type of reticle will work for you before purchasing a holo sight. However, some holographic sights have functional reticles that can be changed to match your specific needs.

2. Size and Weight

While all holo sights are designed to perform the same function, the size and weight are very important in determining the best holographic sight. For example, if you have a larger rifle or gun, then a large holo sight will work best for you.

If you have a smaller gun or handgun, then a smaller holographic sight will be okay for you. A lightweight and compact sight will make transportation and storage much more manageable. However, what matters is how well you will perform while using the sight, but it is also vital to ensure that the size of the sight works well for your weapon.

3. Materials

To ensure that the holographic sights will be durable, check the material. The sight should be made from a durable but lightweight material to ensure you won't weigh down your weapon. The most common material used in holographic sights is aircraft-grade aluminum, which is not only durable but also lightweight. The materials should also be water-resistant, corrosion-resistant, shock-resistant, and fog-proof.

4. Construction

Another critical factor is the construction of the sight. The sights need to have recoil resistant to prevent damage or to fall off when using it. For instance, if the body of the sight lacks a good resistance and you're using it on a repeated basis by firing several rounds at a go, chances are, you will generate an opposite force and end up losing balance.

5. Battery Life

The last thing you want is your optics shutting down while in the midst of shooting. For this reason, it is crucial to take into account the battery life of the best holographic sight you're looking to purchase.

Ideally, the better the battery life, the longer you will be able to use the holo sights. However, you can also find a holographic sight that has a power-saving mode or a programmable auto sleep to ensure the battery will last for as long as you want it to.

6. Adjustments

Just like in any other sight, the reticle of a holographic sight should be adjustable vertically and horizontally once it has been mounted. As you may already know, the spot where the reticle points are is where the bullet will hit. For this reason, proper adjustments of the reticles are crucial to ensure you can shoot right. Vertical adjustments are also called elevations, while horizontal adjustments are also known as windage.

7. Aperture Window

The aperture window in a holographic sight is defined as the element that allows you to see the field using the reticle in the sight. It is one of the most essential features as it allows you to shoot while both of your eyes are open to avoid any blind spots. With that, you want to go for a sight with a suitable aperture window of about 20 to 35 yards.

8. Red Dot Sight Magnifier

The red dot sight magnifier is an excellent addition as it allows one to add the magnification to the red dot set up. Moreover, this feature comes in handy when you're looking to shoot at smaller targets or further distances. If the sight you're using has a reticle with many holds for a drop, then a sight magnifier would be a great addition. Most magnifiers are 3x or 4x and have a flip side for mounting to switch the different magnification levels easily.

9. Brightness Options

Another element is the brightness levels that you wouldn't want to miss. The brightness options of a holographic sight are another essential factor that you're going to consider. Remember, if the brightness level is too high, it will probably wash out your target, and if it's too low, you will not get a clear view.

Therefore, find a holographic sight that has a broader range of brightness settings to provide you several options to adjust the brightness settings to fit your specific needs. This allows you to focus on your target and achieve precise shots, no matter your setting.

10. Night Vision Compatibility

Most holographic sights on the market today are designed with night vision ability. With this feature, the holographic sight becomes compatible with all brightening intensifiers, providing a clear field of vision even in darkness. As a result, if you're looking to shoot at night, it is crucial to consider a holo sight that provides night vision abilities.

11. Price

Lastly, it is essential to note the price of the sight in comparison to your budget. The prices vary widely, and it is advisable to set a budget before starting your shopping to avoid overspending. Holographic sights can vary from $1,000 or more to less than $100 on the lower side. Note the more features or functionality a holo sight offers, the higher the price will be. So, if you're looking for higher functionality and more features, you might be forced to spend more.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Holographic Sights

1. Can I use a holographic sight for long-range shooting?

While you should never expect great precision from holo sights when it comes to long-range shots, they tend to enhance the accuracy on targets that are up to 300 yards. This is because the holo sights are non-magnified optics, and they can best be used in close-range situations where speed is quite essential.

2. Is there any disadvantage of using a holographic sight?

The main drawback of using a holographic sight is that it is more expensive than other sights, including the red dot. Moreover, they also tend to need more battery, especially when accommodating the massive load required by the laser. This makes them have a shorter battery life compared to a red dot reflex sight.

3. Where can I use holographic sight?

Holographic sights can be beneficial if you're hunting for some types of game like deer and turkeys or are engaging in any close-quarters combat scenarios. Most high-end holo sights will feature a shock rating that can be used on different weapons, including AR-10, AK-47, AR-15, SCAR 17, pistols, and most shotguns.

4. Do holographic sights have parallax?

Yes. Parallax is a sight phenomenon that makes the reticle look like it's shifting when the shooter changes position. Although some manufacturers may say their products are free from parallax, all opticals tend to experience parallax at varying degrees.

However, red dots and holo sights are virtually parallax-free. This means that the shooters will only experience minimal parallax when its holographic reticle is at the center of the viewing window. The parallax will also increase as the view of the shooter goes close to the outer edges of the window. To avoid parallax and achieve the best results, ensure the reticle is at the center of the viewing window.

5. Can I use a holographic sight with iron sights?

Holographic sights and most reflex sights have been designed to be used with iron sights, especially for modern sporting rifles like an AR-15. With your iron sights, you can zero the red dot or holo sight reticle for coordination, allowing you to achieve a backup iron sight or BUIS when the technology fails.

Image source: guide.sportsmansguide.com

About the Author Anton Scharff

Anton is a hunting expert who respects nature. Ask him anything about large game. Lover of the great outdoors.

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