SOCOM’s CQB Sight of Choice


EOTech’s HWS (Holographic Weapons Sight) continues to be the close quarter battle sight of choice for the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM); issued to its elite troops, and in-use by most—if not all—tip-of-the-spear, counter-terror units around the globe, and for all the right reasons. The rapid target acquisition this sight brings to the mission continues to go unmatched. A very large field of view paired with EOTech’s lightning-fast, yet utilitarian A65 holographic reticle, puts this sight far ahead of its peers.

Depending on model, EOTech’s holographic weapon sights are available in a multitude of reticle configurations. In the company’s signature “circle/dot” configuration, there are three options—all of which have varying degrees of built-in bullet-drop compensation capability.

Unlike tubular sights that can amplify “tunnel vision” under duress, the HWS’s wide rectangular window heightens peripheral vision and encourages both-eyes-open shooting; increasing speed-to-target time and enhancing situational awareness thanks to its enlarged field of view.

A holographic weapon sight delivers an instantaneous, razor-sharp view of both reticle and target. With HWS, the holographic reticle is perceived by the shooter to be as far away as the target, allowing for simultaneous focus on both the target and the reticle. That means not having to consciously shift focus during high-stress situations, thereby increasing target focus.

EOTech’s latest models, the XPS2 ($555) and EXPS3 ($700) maintain their signature large, square field of view, and when coupled with the optional A65 circle dot reticle, the sight is a literal super car in the realm of close-quarter battle. The center dot is a precise 1-MOA in size and is designed as your 50/200-meter zero, while the 6 o’clock portion of the bottom rocker is your point of aim/point of impact at 7 to 10 yards. The 3 and 9 o’clock portions of the reticle can be used as holds on moving targets, and finally, the reticle can also be used for ranging targets.

Coupled with an EOTech G33 Magnifier (available in both black and tan colors) — which quickly and effortlessly engages or flips to the side thanks to its without pressing buttons — adds 3x magnification to your sight picture for extended target engagement. It’s QD throw-lever mount attaches to any 1913 Picatinny rail and is height-adjustable via the supplied spacer.

The equation for the latter is a simple one; the height of an average adult male will fit within the 68-MOA circle at 100 yards and half the reticle at 200 yards. Most of our eye sight will be strained much beyond that, without a little help from a 3x magnifier and a very stable position.

EOTech Holographic Weapon Sights use state-of-the-art digital electronics, including an onboard microprocessor. In fact, it’s the same tech used by elite fighter pilots for target acquisition within the cockpit. When using holography, all the information required to reconstruct the reticle image is recorded everywhere in the heads-up display window. It creates an accurate image of a target even in poor-visibility conditions like rain, snow, darkness or cloud cover. The heads-up display of a holographic sight provides the user with 2-eyes-open shooting that eliminates blind spots, tunnel vision, and maximizes peripheral vision.

Although not an issue with scheduled battery changes, the one caveat to the high-performance electronics of the HWS is its comparatively-short battery life. Both sights are powered by a single transversely-mounted CR123A lithium battery and have a lifespan of 600 hours of runtime.
Where the XPS2 has a simple thumbscrew mount, the EXPS3 features a locking/adjustable quick-detach-lever mount. Other differences between the two include side-mounted controls, 7mm raised base and night-vision compatibility on the EXPS3 vs. rear mounted controls, standard-height base and no night vision compatibility on the XPS2. The EXPS3 is available in both tan and black where the XPS2 is a black-only proposition.

Just like a high-performance automobile, a little more preventative maintenance is required. In EOTech’s case, this maintenance comes in the form of battery life. The EXPS and XPS units are powered by a single CR123A lithium battery and have a battery life of 600 hours. Both XPS2 and EXPS3 models feature a battery life indicator that allows the reticle to pulse when initially powered on if the battery has minimal life left, although this pulsing only occurs when the sight is powered on from an off state.

Rubberized push-button controls are located on the left side of the EXPS3 model and on the rear of XPS2 model. These buttons allow the user to pre-adjust settings for known lighting conditions, or expected use with a weapon mounted light. When you first power up the sight it will turn on at level 12 of 20 daytime settings. To change the reticle intensity, simply press the up or down arrows, or press the NV button on the EXPS 3 model to activate the night vision setting for use in conjunction with in-line or head-mounted night vision devices.

The EXPS3 features an integrated throw-lever mount/riser and positions the reticle at the lower 1/3 co-witness height, or about 1.73-inches above the top rail, for more of a heads-up shooting position. One of the secrets to the EXPS3’s combat-proven durability is an integrated roll bar that protects the lens and acts as a built-in crush zone. If the sight were to take a tooth jarring impact, only the roll bar is likely to sustain superficial damage.

See them at your gun shop, or contact EOTech, Inc.; Tel.: (888) 368-4656; Web: www.eotechinc.com

The wide, rectangular heads-up-display window of the HWS lends itself extremely-well to both-eyes-open shooting, increased peripheral vision and increased speed-to-target time.

EOTech XPS2 Holographic Red Dot

Power: 1X

Objective: 30mm by 23mm

Elevation Adjustment: .5 MOA per click

Windage: .5 MOA per click

Reticle: A65—68 MOA circle with a 1 MOA red dot

Length: 3.8 in.

Width: 2.1 in.

Height: 2.5 in.

Weight: 9 oz.

Eye Relief: Unlimited

MSRP: $555


EOTech EXPS3 Holographic Red Dot

Power: 1X

Objective: 30mm by 23mm

Elevation Adjustment: .5 MOA per click

Windage: .5 MOA per click

Reticle: A65; 68 MOA circle with a 1 MOA red dot

Length: 3.8 in.

Width: 2.3 in.

Height: 2.9 in.

Weight: 11.2 oz.

Eye Relief: Unlimited

MSRP: $700