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Eotech HWS Series (EXPS/XPS/5X Series) Rundown

Eotech HWS Series (EXPS/XPS/5X Series) Rundown

EOTECH HWS (Holographic Weapon Sight)

So let's start with the name, HOLOGRAPHIC weapon sight, it immediately differentiates itself from a "red dot" optic, but how? The window contains an embedded holographic reticle pattern, which means this will continue to function even if the sight window is partially shattered or obscured. A red dot, on the other hand, has an LED emitter that sends a beam at the glass, which reflects back towards your eyes. 

So let's get into the features of this optic that makes it worth the price point (depending on the model, anywhere from $350-$600s).

  • The more compact HWS models use a CR123 Lithium battery, while the larger models use two AA batteries (potentially better option in a "SHTF" scenario).
  • Every optic in the HWS line has its own integrated mounting system, a cross bolt or a QD lever (depending on model). 
  • Most famously uses the "donut reticle" - which has a large outer reticle, and dot inside. 
  • NVG capability (and surprisingly bright and crisp reticle under NODs). 

So now, let's get into the gripes with holographics, more specifically the EOTECH HWS series. 

  • The battery life, in comparison to a red dot in this price range are not even close. When compared to an Aimpoint T2 (over 50,000 hours of battery life), the 1,000 hours of battery life with the EOTECH EXPS feels awful. Granted, for a civilian like myself, the 1,000 hours of battery is perfectly acceptable, because I don't leave my optic on most of the time - I find it to be fine to activate it with one quick button if I need it. If I was in something like law enforcement, where my patrol rifle needed to stay "ready to rock" at all times, I would be leaning more towards a common red dot. 
  • Delamination in recent models has occurred, though I have not experienced it. Delamination is when the laminating on the reticle window begins to peel backwards from the edges, which will eventually leave you with an optic that doesn't work properly. 

Final thoughts: overall, I like my EOTECHS, I currently run an Eotech EXPS3-0 on my LMT Nightfighter setup, used mostly for, you guessed it, night shooting. The footprint doesn't bother me, and I love the enlarged window. Overall, I would recommend utilizing one on a shorter rifle or PCC.

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