The L-3 EOTech M553
The L-3 EOTech M553
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As an enhancement to iron sights, the optical gun sight has become an accepted addition to the military battle rifle and the law enforcement patrol carbine. Optical sights offer faster target acquisition, the ability to keep both eyes open, a wider field of view to see more of the target area and may also include magnification and night-vision compatibility. Among the quality sight systems available, the L-3 EOTech holographic weapon sight (HWS) has developed a strong following in the fight overseas and at home on our streets. Starting out as a sporting-type red-dot sight more than 10 years ago, the holographic design has proven itself as a close-quarters (and beyond) optic, offering extremely fast target acquisition through all lighting conditions.
In many areas, the EOTech is the primary choice of sights on SWAT-entry sub guns and carbines. With the zero-parallax holographic design, it does not change the bullet s point-of-impact if you view the red-dot aiming reticle off center. Regardless where the shooter sees the red dot in the scope lens, impact is the same, a big plus for those entry-team officers who use respirators and employ shoulder-fired weapons.
The EOTech uses a rectangular lens system that has a larger viewing area than tube-type sights, and as one officer in my department commented, it s like watching television. The aiming reticle is a 1-minute-of-angle red dot (i.e., it covers one inch at 100 yards) and is surrounded by a 65-minute-of-angle circle.
I make no bones about my positive view of this scope. I ve equipped the Rock River .223 patrol carbine I carry with one of the EOTech models for the past six years. In and out of my squad car s Big Sky rack during street work and in numerous police training exercises, including the Center Mass National Patrol Rifle Competition, the evolving models have served me very well. In the Rifle Field Training Exercises of the Illinois Tactical Officers Association, attended by more than 200 SWAT and patrol officers, we find the EOTech remains a favored optic.
The Latest Version
All things evolve, and the EOTech 510 552 holographic weapon sights have undergone welcome upgrades in a few areas. Recently, the company released the M553 A65-1 SU231/PEQ-NV Compatible HOLO sight. Useful enhancements include changes to the mounting system used to fasten the scope to your rifle. In the 510 552 models, a single mounting screw kept the sight locked to the rifle s Picatinny rail or Weaver-type base. The new 553 features a built-in ARMS dual throw-lever mount. The ARMS mount is a significant improvement in ease of removal and security. In the single-screw mount versions, lacking use of a liquid thread locker, we experienced scopes shooting loose. Using a glued screw to mount the scope was a semi-permanent addition. Further, the screw is susceptible to damage. (I found my scope detached and fallen from the racked carbine when the mount screw once fractured in two.) The new ARMS system locks down very tightly, and you can readily remove it with a coin, screwdriver blade, etc. Testing the mount during live fire, I repeatedly removed the scope from the carbine and then reattached it to the same mounting position, and the point of aim/point of impact remained the same.
The 553 also features an upgrade to the battery type and life. Transitioning from N and AA batteries, the new version uses the DL123-type 3V lithium battery common in current light systems. Battery life is rated in excess of 1,000 hours, and lithium batteries fare much better in extreme temperatures. The 553 offers an auto shut-off of either four or eight hours depending on the user s preference. A blinking reticle on startup indicates a low battery.
Durability proves mandatory for the gun sight s use on fighting weapons in tough environments. The lens material remains very durable yet not indestructible. Even when the lens is broken, however, it continues to work. I handled one EOTech sight that had been struck by a marking cartridge that broke the front lens, leaving a smear of paint. The scope continued to function unaffected.
Other improvements in the 553 include a raised sight body that visually places the front iron sight lower in the field of view and stainless steel sight-adjustment screws with a more positive-click feel. In the earlier series, the battery-compartment electrical contacts could prove problematic at times, and in the 553 they have also been enhanced.
One upgrade remains necessary: magnification. Target identification and clarity of vision at a distance remains vital. A new 3X and 4X EOTech magnifier is coming on line. I ll report back on this.
Price for the new model is higher, as you would expect. The upgrades bring the cost to the $600 dollar range. This price is comparable to other high-quality systems on the market. Good gear costs, and when life depends on it, the extra dollars are well spent.
With the EOTech sight enjoying a military buy-in and law enforcement popularity, I expect the 553 will not be the last in the series. For now, it s the best of the series. The enhancements in the 553 demonstrate EOTech s commitment to product improvement supported by strong customer service.
Fun For kicks, try the simulator at this Web site: www.eotech-inc.com/simulator/simulator.html.
EOTech HOLO Sight M553 A65-1 SU231/PEQ-NV Compatible
- Optics: Transmission holography (100-percent parallax free)
- Magnification: 1X
- Eye relief: Unlimited
- Length/width/height: 4.9"x1.8"x2.8"
- Weight: 12.3 oz.
- Temperature: -40 to 150 degrees-F
- Waterproof: Submersible to 66 feet
- Sealing: Fogproof internal optics
- Color/finish: Black and flat dark earth (non-reflective black on some small components)
- Adjustment (per click): 0.5 MOA (1/2" at 100 yards)
- Adjustment range: +/- 40 MOA travel
- Mount: Dual quick-release throw levers designed specifically for the Picatinny (MIL-STD-1913) mounting rail. Certain commercial variants of the MIL-STD-1913 rail specification may not be compatible with the SU-231/PEQ (M553) mounting assembly. The SU-231/PEQ (M553) base consists of dual ARMS throw levers and is adaptable only to rails that properly accept the ARMS design.
- Return to zero: Repeatable to 1 MOA after re-mounting
Head-Up Display Window
- Optical surfaces: Anti-glare coating
- Window dimensions: 1.20" x 0.85" (30mm x 23mm)
- Window material: Shatter-resistant laminate (3/16 thick)
- Field of view (100 yards): 30 yards (28m) at a 4" eye relief
- Standard reticle: 65 MOA circle with quadrant ticks with 1 MOA aiming dot
- Brightness adjustment range: 110,000:1 brightest to lowest
- Night-vision brightness range: 1,000:1 with NV switch engaged
- Power source: Two 123-lithium batteries
- Battery life: 1,100 continuous hours at nominal setting 12
- Brightness settings: 30 settings with scrolling feature (10 settings for NV use)
- Auto battery-check indicator: Flashing reticle upon start-up
- Auto shut-down: At eight hours; programmable to four hours
3600 Green Court, Suite 400
Ann Arbor, MI 48105