The world of first-person shooter games becomes a reality when you purchase your first holographic sight. You will be amazed at the speed, control, and accuracy you have as you easily eliminate each target. First introduced on the scene in 1996 by EOTech, holographic sights have become the staple in law enforcement and military sectors. And the products are getting better and better all the time. We want to introduce to you one of our favorite holographic sights: the EOTech 512 A65. In this article, we will review this optic and give you our take on why we think it is a solid investment in your gun arsenal.
If you are looking for a holographic sight for your gun that is on par with military-grade optics, the EOTech 512 A65 is for you. This gun sight allows you to maximize your peripheral vision as well as increase your depth perception as you shoot. We recommend this baby for hunting or close contact combat. There is a reason, after all, that the 512 is a favorite among law enforcement and the military. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned hunter, we believe this optic will improve your accuracy. This makes for a more rewarding hunting experience.
This Holographic Weapon Sight (HWS) has stood up to many tests, including military drop tests in which the 512 held its zero, remaining in full operation consistently. There were other tests of the sight which involved a recoil simulation of up to 3,500 Gs of acceleration in less than 0.5 milliseconds. This equates to using the 512 on a .454 Casull handgun.
Even though we think you’ll be impressed with this puppy, it is still at the lower end of EOTech’s holographic sight products. It doesn’t have a lot of features the other products have, but we still think the 512 gives more value for the money. Other sights may be smaller and lighter, or they may be night-vision ready. If you are ok with not having these features, we think the EOTech 512 A65 is the best choice.
So let’s dive into the features the EOTech does have. We will go over all the pros and cons so you can determine if this is the holographic sight for you.
Appearance, Size, and Weight
The EOTech 512 typically comes in a non-reflective black color with a hard coat finish. In some cases, you can find the sight in a Mossy Oak Obsession finish, which is referred to as product EOTech 512.A65MO.
Your EOTech 512 A65 comes with an aluminum hood assembly, as well as a mounting bolt. You can pair it with a 1” Weaver or 1” Picatinny rails (MIL-STD 1913) which allow co-witness to iron sights.
The 512 is made of a strong aluminum hood assembly and features a knobbed mountain kit, which is quite easy to use. The dimensions of the unit at 5.6” X 2” X 2.5”, and it weighs 11.5 ounces. The front window consists of ⅛” solid glass, while the rear window consists of 3/16” thick shatter-proof laminate. You can see that this model is lightweight, with impressive durability for any situation.
Now, how about we focus on what’s most important: the reticle. This is the crosshair or aiming point of your field of view. The A65/1 reticle pattern is made up of three parts: 1 MOA red dot, a large outside ring with 65 MOA, and 4 quadrant ticks for the North, South, East, and West points.
The 1 MOA dot is about half the diameter of the 2 MOA dot that is typical for a red dot sight. Because the dot is smaller, it allows you to more precisely pinpoint your target, which makes a big difference for longer-range shots. On the flip side, since it is smaller, it is not as easy to find, which may slow down the target acquisition. But having the large outer ring will allow you a larger field of vision, which helps get you quickly on target. The combination of a large outer circle and 1 MOA center dot combines fast target acquisition and precision. These particular features are ideal for the fast shooting of moving game, predators, or varmints, as well as close-quarter combat which is typical of law enforcement.
The reticle should be set up to a 200-yard distance and has a .5 adjustment range of 100 yards. We find the 512 to perform well at close-range such as 100 yards or 200 yards. We also recommend adding a magnifier if you’d like to go for 600 yards. Due to this being a holographic model, there are not extensive magnification options. You do have the ability to magnify the target up to one time, but the holographic reticle is precise enough without an extensive magnifier. This is because the reticle accepts the laser and reflects it so that you have optimal aim without the need to zoom in. But, if you do decide to add a magnifier, you could increase that to about 600 yards. This can be achieved with an EOTech G23.FTS 3x magnifier, which can be mounted behind the HWS. You can easily flip it to the side when using the red dot at a short distance. You can also utilize an Aimpoint magnifier without any decrease in quality.
Field of View
The 30-yard field of view enables you to hone in on far-away targets. Eye relief is 4”, allowing for high visibility. You can shoot with one eye closed or both eyes open with no issues. If you can keep both eyes open, you will have better peripheral vision and depth perception. You will have full situational awareness, which enables the unhesitating firing of your weapon. So this is highly recommended. Having unlimited eye relief is a huge benefit.
Brightness settings range from 110,000 to 1 (brightest to lowest), controlled through 20 brightness levels with a scrolling feature. This means this HWS can work in any lighting scenario, whether it be a bright desert day, or you are traversing through thick forest fog.
The 512 uses a fighter jet style Heads-Up Display (HUD). The view is not obstructed by anything, the controls do not protrude, nor is the angle of vision restricted. The HUD is made of 3/16” thick shatterproof laminate glass, consisting of three durable layers. A roll bar hood covers the optical parts of the sight. Optical surfaces have anti-glare coating allowing for clear visibility, preventing disturbance in vision while aiming.
Keep in mind that the 512 does not have night vision compatibility. If this is a feature that you might be looking for, you may want to instead consider the EOTech 552. It may be a little more money, but night vision may be a worthwhile expenditure for you.
The brightness feature, battery check indicator, and auto shutdown run under an on-board microprocessor. These are encapsulated in a resin compound that allows for shock absorption. This sight absorbs shock and vibrations well, which means you won’t get a full kickback.
Even with an obstruction of the anti-scratch shatterproof reticle window, this will not prevent the ability to aim. And in the very unlikely chance the window gets shattered, the 512 will continue to function if you have any portion of the window left remaining. In this instance, the complete aiming pattern can still be seen. Compared to Aimpoint, EOTech 512 A65 may not be as effective at keeping mud and snow out. Both brands offer sealing lens caps, but Aimpoint seals a little better than EOTech’s.
The EOTech 512 A65 supports two 1.5V AA lithium, alkaline, or rechargeable batteries. We recommend using lithium batteries because they enable 1,000+ continuous hours at nominal setting 12. Compare that to 600 hours when using alkaline batteries. Battery life is automatically shown to you when you turn on your sight. The reticle will flash when there is 20% battery life remaining, which will give you plenty of time to put in new AA batteries. Keep in mind you can save battery life by using the auto-shutdown option. With the auto-shutdown, the sight will shut down after 8 hours or you can program it to shut down after 4 hours. We find it a good idea to change your batteries often, to be certain you will have enough battery on each excursion.
Because you have to take the time to turn on the optic before we use it, and because the battery could be dead once you do turn it on, we wouldn’t necessarily recommend this sight for home defense. A better option might be an optic that is ready all the time, such as an Aimpoint reflex optic.
Water, Fog, and Other Conditions
The 512 has been tested in some of the most extreme conditions, and it has been reliable. It can withstand water, fog, and a wide range of temperatures.
This holographic sight can stand the rain, puddles, and tactical romps through shallow waters. The EOTech 512 is submersible up 10 feet. This means you can easily hunt in low depths with no problem, or even shoot underwater without any damage.
The internal fog proof optics of this HWS will minimize fog issues. You will be looking through clear glass no matter what the conditions are.
The EOTech 512 is supposed to stand up to extreme temperatures without sacrifice accuracy. The manufacturer claims you can utilize this sight in temperatures from -40 to 150 degrees F for lithium batteries, and -20 to 140 degrees F for all other batteries. However, the company has been known to have some issues surrounding this topic.
EOTech, an American company, has been the only producer of these types of sights until Vortex arrived on the scene in 2017. Along the way, the company has admittedly hit some bumps in the road. Their products were accused of experiencing “thermal drift,” which is when the point of aim differs from the point of impact. This was said to occur when the device was subjected to hot or cold temperatures. In some cases, there was thermal drift when going to very extreme temperatures, such as -40 and 122 degrees F. Another temperature-related problem included the shifting of the reticle from a dot to a larger blob in extreme cold. This would sometimes occur around 32 degrees F and would affect the accuracy of the sight and worsen as the cold increased. The company has since then said they have made improvements to their sights to reduce the problems.
The optics of the 512 are said to be 100 percent parallax free. This means you shouldn’t have a problem with the target and reticle being on different planes. You don’t have to center the scope, meaning you will always have a clear shot of your target no matter what angle you look at.
However, EOTech has admitted that their sights can experience parallax if the red dot is not centered and off to the side. There will be very little to no parallax in the center of the window. Though they admitted to the possibility of this problem, they also brought up the point that every other optic has parallax to a degree. It is unlikely that this issue will occur, but EOTech wants its customers satisfied. They will repair or replace any device which experiences these issues.
The EOTech HWS has a Prestige Warranty, meaning you will receive a 10-year limited warranty. This brand has been known to give great customer experience through its support and service after the sale has been made.
- The auto-shutoff option helps to conserve power
- AA battery powered which are easy to find and cheap
- The brand offers excellent customer service and support
- The battery compartment has a click fit lid
- Easily mounting of sight using an easy thumb screw
- Great quality and the price is lower than other EOTech sights
- One of the lowest weight sights on the market
- Full eye relief
- Does not have night vision compatibility
- Higher brightness level settings make the red circle blurrier
We love the EOTech 512 A65 because it easily engages the target, minimizing the time it takes for target acquisition. As a result, you will begin shooting faster, which means a better chance of hitting your target. With the 512, you just have more control over your shooting environment. This holographic red dot sight will suit anyone’s needs, from the gun noob to someone in a professional position, such as law enforcement. EOTech’s red dot sights are the best when it comes to CQB speed and versatility. The military-grade performance will leave you impressed as soon as you power it up. This model remains the top choice for carbines, which is understandable.
Why Choose A Holographic Sight?
The biggest advantage of holographic as well as red dot sights is that they can be used with both eyes open, allowing you to focus on the target. When using an iron sight, your focus is split between the sight and the target.
Reflex sights are made for precision and are just quicker to use when you look at the evidence of their strong performance in speed competitions.
And while red laser pointer type sights may have a low cost over reflex sights, they give away the position of the shooter and their intentions. You may also want to look into these hunting blinds which will also help conceal your position.
When comparing holographic over red dot sights, yes holographic can be more expensive, but ultimately you will be a bit faster. Also with a holographic, you can shoot better at 300+ yards magnified. And the great thing about holographic patterns is that you can see them in any light. Regardless of the way you hold your weapon, the patterns will center and remain visible while perusing the area. The reticles are large, and mostly transparent, which can allow you to make a quick shot without the target being obscured. When comparing red dot sights and iron sights with holographic ones, you see that the holographic is not as sensitive to the position of your head and cheek weld. This makes it easier to shift into extreme shooting positions.
Ultimately, the sight you choose will heavily depend on how you choose to use it, and the price point. Go for an EOTech 512 if you are looking to do some precision shooting, don’t need night vision capability, and have a bit of money in your pocket. We hope this EOTech 512 review has put you on target. Besides your gun and sight, check out this list of items you should bring to make your next hunting trip a success. Happy hunting!
Bonus tip: Just like any other sight, you will need to zero it in. Zeroing-in refers to the process of aligning the sights with the rifle, allowing you to aim accurately at your target. When your weapon is properly zeroed, you can be sure it will be aligned with the intended point of impact. Follow this video to enable more accurate sighting!
EOTech 512 A65EOTech 512 A65