While putting this EOTech 512 review together, we had a bit of a hard time imagining what the average consumer would use this sight for. The EOTech 512.A65 Tactical HOLOgraphic Weapon Sight is about as close as you can get to true military-grade standards. The best way to describe this sight is to encourage you to imagine the first-person shooter game, Counter-Strike coming to life somehow and you were right at the heart of the action. That type of high-octane close-combat environment is pretty much the ideal situation in which the EOTech 512 would perform perfectly.
Design & Features
Military-grade type performance? Yes — it all starts with the comparatively light weight of the device. A very comfortable 10.9 ounces fits into a total volume size of only 5.4 (width) x 2.25 (height) x 2 (length) inches, which means a full-grown man with relatively standard-sized hands can almost completely conceal the device by placing both hands over it.
Hopefully this isn’t a feature you’ll ever have to use in real-life deployment, but the rear-facing window is fitted with a shatter-proof glass-laminate that’s over three inches thick. You would have thought that the thickness of this lens adds a lot to the overall weight of the sight, yet they managed to keep the overall weight under 11 ounces. The internal lenses are perfectly sealed, so no fogging, but this also means you get a fully-waterproof device which you can submerge by up to 10 feet deep.
With all the features the EOTech 512 offers, the $400+ price more than makes sense, but you’d be forgiven for expecting to pay in excess of $550 otherwise. There’s a lot more it offers though, such as the fact that the aluminum casing encapsulates internal electronics that are well-protected by a resinated filling, so not only do you get a physically durable sight, it’s also very practical in the sense that it absorbs a lot of shock and prolongs the functionality of the electronics. 2 standard AA batteries are used to power this 512, which is perhaps just one of the many reasons why this sight is in fact the most popular of EOTech’s holographic sights. What is it like in action though?
This is one of those weapon sights for which getting what you pay for rings true in the best way possible, because it pretty much brings versatility together with accuracy and overall great performance. If close-proximity combat was something the average gun enthusiast on the street was subjected to regularly, this EOTech 512 would probably be even more popular. What exactly can it deliver? You get military-grade precision, military-grade speed in target-acquisition, unlimited eye-relief and perhaps the largest variety of brightness levels you’ll ever need. The twenty brightness settings are good in both low-light and bright conditions, with an integrated microprocessor providing automatic battery-level monitoring, so no stopping to check the power supply — you just get on with it. It even has an automatic shut-down function which you can program and make your adjustment without additional tools (a coin will do just fine).
As far as the most fitting companion you’d pair this holographic sight with, a Picatinny rail will easily attach it to an AR-15, but since this is indeed a holographic device, it doesn’t have any magnification. That means you can’t make compensations for problems with your vision. The reticle also tends to fluctuate in quality a bit, but it’s quite innovative in its appearance — you’ll definitely know you’re aiming with an EOTech 512 holographic sight.
You won’t get Night Vision with this sight though, but you’d ordinarily not need it if you’re exclusively looking at holographic sights — plus it’s not actually bad at all in low-light conditions. If you really can’t do without night vision, check out our Trijicon RMR review of the 6.5 MOA Red Dot Sight.
We have it on good authority that some military law enforcement officials actually use this sight for their personal requirements, particularly because the quality it delivers pretty much mirrors what they’re officially used to. This sight is so good that it has become a victim of its own success, with some knock-offs doing the rounds, so if you plan on buying the EOTech 512, make sure you’re getting the original. Check out our best red dot sights guide list to see how this sight compares.
- Military-grade quality
- Electronically-aided precision performance
- Great for close-combat deployment (lightweight and durable)
- Very robust (absorbs shock as well)
- Fully waterproof (and submersible up to 10 feet)
- Extensive brightness settings range (20 levels)
- Uses easily-available batteries (2 standard AA batteries)
- Shatterproof optics for practical safety
- No Night Vision
- Reticle quality inconsistency (varied performance, but still good enough)
This EOTech review basically explored one of the best holographic sights around when taking everything into account. From the sight’s price right up to how it compares to sights used by official military personnel — it doesn’t get much better than this at the moment.