Since 9/11, advanced optics have become widely used by U.S. military and law enforcement personnel. During this time, the optics industry has evolved considerably and companies have expanded their product lines to include more advanced scopes for long-range shooting as well as optics that enable an operator to deliver extremely accurate shot placement in a close-quarter battle. EOTech makes a line of sights that are very widely used in CQB applications.

Both Eyes Open

All EOTech scopes feature a holographic sighting system that is similar to the heads-up display in an advanced fighter jet. The primary benefit of a holographic sighting system is that the shooter is not required to position himself extremely close to the holographic window when looking through the scope in order to observe the red-colored reticle and acquire a target.

The large viewing window of an EOTech holographic scope enables the operator to retain peripheral vision while viewing the target area. This is an incredibly important feature for law enforcement officers who are advancing on a target or searching a high-threat location.

In contrast, an operator using a scope that is more tubular in design must focus on a smaller viewing area that restricts peripheral vision and can create distortion or tunnel vision. It should also be noted that even though the EOTech 512 Model we tested lacks magnification, a competent shooter who is completely familiar with the capabilities of his rifle and sighting system can still use this system to engage targets that are beyond CQB ranges.

Tough as Nails

Despite the high technology that goes into EOTech optics, the sights are extremely rugged. EOTech optics are designed around a streamlined metal shroud or roll bar that protects the actual scope from damage and hard use in any operating environment. These scopes can survive a 10-foot drop test while mounted on a rifle without sustaining damage to the optics. During drop tests, EOTech scopes were even able to maintain zero to within 2 MOA (Minute of Angle) or two inches at 100 yards. Durability testing also included subjecting EOTech optics to 3500 Gs of acceleration in less than 0.05 seconds.

Scopes manufactured by EOTech can also continue to work when the three layers of shatterproof glass in the viewing window become broken or obstructed by mud, snow, or blowing sand. As long as any portion of the window is intact, the operator can continue to monitor the reticle and acquire a target. EOTech optics are also shockproof, fog proof, waterproof, and are designed to function in extreme temperatures.

Easy Installation

The EOTech Holographic Weapons System must be attached to a rifle, carbine, etc., using a metal rail permanently affixed to the firearm or installed as an aftermarket option.

Once the installation is made, the operator sights the firearm in using essentially the same technique for sighting in a rifle using iron (open) sights. The difference is that these optics must be adjusted for windage and elevation to match the settings on the iron sights. This ensures that every bullet fired has the potential of striking the intended target as long as the operator uses the proper trigger control and does not fire the weapon improperly.

EOTech Optics are powered by AA alkaline batteries, N Alkaline batteries, or by rechargeable batteries and have a power setting up to 20 illumination with a built-in default.

Shooting with the EOTech

A rifle that is equipped with an EOTech scope is capable of delivering extremely accurate shot placement, as long as the rifle and scope are properly sighted in.

The trick to accurately shooting with an EOTech Holographic Weapons System is to shoot with both eyes open. For some folks, shooting with both eyes open while using optics is like swimming underwater without a diving mask on. It feels weird and it takes time to get used to the new experience. So if you choose to mount an EOTech sight on your patrol rifle or SWAT weapon, put in the time to learn how to use it.

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Nick Jacobellis is a medically retired U.S. Customs Agent and former New York Police Officer who was physically disabled in the line of duty while working undercover as a federal agent.


Once a rifle is properly sighted in, a condition known as "zero" is established when the sights are in perfect alignment. In order to maintain "zero" while using optics, an armed professional must make sure that the front and rear iron sights of his or her weapon are lined up properly with the reticle in the scope. To accomplish this you must reinstall your optics in the same position on the rail that they were before they were removed. As long as you do this correctly, you can remove and reinstall EOTech optics without firing a shot to sight in your rifle again.