Unsuitable at Any Range: A Holosun Review

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I really didn’t want to write this article. I made lots of excuses not to. But here it is.

Lets get this out of the way up front: This is a negative review. After more than a year of use I am unimpressed by the Holosun optic, and wouldn’t use it on most of my firearms.

I was impressed by the Holosun company. They, and their Canadian distributor did lots of work to try and make things right.

They were the ones who offered me a review optic. I didn’t go begging for the gunwriters handout. I don’t owe the review to them, I owe it to you.

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If you’re not aware, Holosun produces a series of Micro-red dots that are at a very affordable price, and offer some of the features and aesthetics of much more expensive bands. In the case of the HS403A I was given to review, it clearly shares a dream with the Aimpoint H1.

I’ve owned an H1 too, and thought about writing this as a clone vs original piece. But that’s not really fair. The HS403A retails for $180 from a new company, and the H1 for $600 from the company that literally invented the red-dot sight. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the H1 is better built, with clearer glass, and tougher structure.

Holosun vs Aimpoint

It’s not really fair to stack the Holosun HS403A up against an Aimpoint H1. They share some similarity, but are ultimately gunning for different markets.

And Holosun isn’t trying to be Aimpoint. Not really. They want to make a solid feature list. They took the biggest feature from Aimpoint (the exceptional battery life) and made it a standard that regular shooters can afford. They’ve got some other pretty slick things in there too. The Auto-on function, which I first experienced in a Leupold Deltapoint, means that the optic will automatically activate when jostled or shaken. So you can leave the dot off in storage, but grab it off the rack or out of the safe and have it ready for action at a moments notice. Sexy stuff.

The HS403G uses a standard Aimpoint mount. You can recognize it by the external battery unit.

The HS403G uses a standard Aimpoint mount. You can recognize it by the external battery unit.

If you jump up to the HS403G or HS403C models, you get external battery mounts, solar assist, and compatibility with conventional Aimpoint H1/T1 mounts. Holosun is all about putting great features in an inexpensive package. But that package just didn’t hold up for me.

Here’s the breakdown…

Holosun A Issue 1: I was lucky to attend the last Crimson Trace Midnight 3-Gun to ever happen. I figured shooting in close with a flashlight would be a good opportunity to replace my 1-6x optic and put the Holosun through its paces. I found glass glare and light transmission to be an issue. There were lots of red reflections coming back at me through the optic, making it hard to find the dot. After the first stage I switched back to my regular optic, and didn’t feel too badly about the Holosun. Nighttime 3-Gun is an unusual environment. It’s dark, but there’s tons of tinted directional lighting, flashlights, glow sticks, and pulsating beacons to mess things up. Not exactly a parallel of your regular range use.

My initial low-light setup for the Tavor.

My initial low-light setup for the Tavor. After the first stage of the M3GI event I realized this was not going to work in that environment.

Holosun A Issue 2: I scratched the finish. The torx key and torx bolt that came in the box didn’t fit together very well. The key is always on the edge of slipping out of the bolt. While installing it on my Vz58 I scored a big silver scratch up the left side of the optic. Not a big deal, but I was irritated with myself.

The finish on my first unit scratched easily, which when coupled with an ill-fitting key and bolt is going to rough up your optic.

The finish is very thin, which when coupled with an ill-fitting key and bolt is likely to rough up your optic.

Holosun A Issue 3: It died. Straight up stopped working one afternoon in November, no matter how many fresh batteries I tried to feed it. At this point the company service starts to shine. They shipped me a new optic, paid to have the old optic returned, and promised to inspect it to see what had failed.

Holosun B Issue 1: The mounting base shook loose. As part of my SAP6 project I set up the sight and took it out into the backwoods in winter to zero. After the second magazine of slugs failed to produce a group (this is Canada, so 10 rounds total downrange) I realized the mount had loosened enough for the optic to slide back and forth. You could argue this is my own fault for not torquing hard enough on the star key, as I wasn’t keen on scratching a second optic right away. But what was tight became loose, and I had to go home disappointed.

Perhaps I was unreasonable to expect the HS403A to hold up to slugs.

Perhaps I was unreasonable to expect the HS403A to hold up to slugs. Perhaps I needed to muscle it harder.

Holosun B Issue 2: The auto-on stopped working. I loved this feature in my deltapoint, and found it pretty cool in the Holosun too. Any significant movement wakes up the sight, so that as soon as it comes out of storage it’s ready to go. Except that after a month or two it didn’t come on any more, no matter how hard I shook it. I can still manually turn the sight on and off, so it certainly still functions. Just minus one more feature off the list.

The author shooting at the 2015 MGM Ironman using the Holosun HS403A on his Mka 1919

The author shooting at the 2015 MGM Ironman using the Holosun HS403A on his Mka 1919

Holosun B Issue 3: The mounting base shook loose again, this time the base from the optic. This was at the MGM Ironman, it was hot, and I was shooting slugs. I can understand why an optic you attached and zeroed in Canada would start to shift in an environment where the ground is 140 degrees Fahrenheit (40 C for all my canuck chums) but it was a major upset to have that happen in the middle of a competition. Between the heat and the fun of several slugs in direct succession, the optic had come loose and needed to be retightened. Two of the four screws had loosened, causing the optic to rock side to side. Fortunately I had a jeep full of gun-tools, which meant it was working again by the next stage, but that didn’t get me back my slug misses. To be fair, this was not the only optic that shifted zero that shoot. The red dot mount on my pistol also shifted, as did the aftermarket optics rail on my Tavor.

Holosun B Issue 4: The mount deformed. I’ll confess, after twice having experienced issues with loosening, I made sure the optic was good and tight from there on in. Except of course until the mount started to mark up, mushroom, and deform around the bolt. Take a look:

IMG_2637

Which brings me to the current home of the Holosun: my recent 10/22 build. Somewhere it won’t be counted on for competition, won’t be subjected to significant recoil, and won’t be used in any kind of self defense role. With no pressure of performance on it, this is where the Holosun is happiest. It’s in a place that I can still tolerate it.

10_22

Holosun C Issue 1: A friend of mine also owns a Holosun. He’s a Canadian Forces infantryman, qualified marksman, avid shooter, and all that cool stuff. My point being that he’s not the kind of guy to tapco an SKS and blow apart an old couch at 15 yards. He shoots well and respects gear without getting high on brand names. He bought himself an HS403G for his personal AR-15, ran it through several courses, dropped it down a set of stairs, and generally describes it as “cheap and functional.”

Except that one range trip we were doing move & shoot drills and his dot disappeared. He got the experience of deploying his BUIS and using them exactly as intended. How often does that actually happen eh? Later we were able to determine that the battery cap had loosened, causing the dot to go out. Other than that he’s had no problems with it.

Perhaps the G model is a little tougher than the A model. Or perhaps he was lucky and I was unlucky.

Perhaps the G model is a little tougher than the A model. Or perhaps he was lucky and I was unlucky.

Holosun C Issue 2: Updated! Shortly after publishing this article, the owner of Holosun C contacted me to let me know that it was “trashed.” Apparently no combination of batteries will get it to produce a dot anymore. Despite a few years of function, his final thoughts are: “I gave them a chance and I’m done.” You might argue that I carry a curse with me, and can pass it on.

You could make the case that most of my issues were related to the mounting system, and that by buying the HS403G model you bypass those. Suddenly the world of quality H1 mounts is open to you and you can use awesome risers & QD setups and never worry about loosening or shifting.

But the product out of the box is the product. If Holosun’s express intention was for you to use their optics with top dollar Aimpoint mounts, then they should ship model HS403G without any mount at all. I apply this rule to firearms too. Saying that a rifle is “okay after you upgrade X to fix issue Y” doesn’t mean the rifle is okay. It means its broken out of the box, and that the customer is paying to fix it themselves.

The problem is that we all secretly want the same thing: an Aimpoint T1 for $200. I just don’t think that’s possible anymore, and that issues arise when you try.

IMG_2638

I’ll wrap this up with a little narcisstic reflection: I don’t like writing negative reviews. Despite the fact that we’re online, I don’t get a kick out of putting down people or products. I’m sure lots of readers have Holosun optics that have been fantastic for them, will never experience any of the issues I did, and are about to let me know about it in the comments section. But I know that I’ve reviewed guns, had a great time, then had readers purchase the gun and come back with reliability complaints. I feel bad for that, as if I had led them astray. The fact is: I can only write about what I experience directly. When things go well, I write about that. And when things go poorly, I ought to write about that too.

So that’s it. I won’t be buying another Holosun. I think they’ve got good ideas, but they need to get their quality control straightened out first.



Edward O

Edward is a Canadian gun owner and target shooter with a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism. Crawling over mountains with tactical gear is his idea of fun. He blogs at TV-Presspass and tweets @TV_PressPass.


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  • cons2p8ted

    Wondering if anyone has problem w/ Primary Arms since Holosun is an OEM manufacturer for their micro red dot and it’s just rebranded Holosun stuff!

    • Nicks87

      No problems with the PA stuff (see above comment).

      • MAUSERMAN

        Yeah, i use mostly PA, none of them have failed me yet. I use both PA scopes and red dots.

      • Gary Griffiths

        Same here. I’ve got a PA 1-6 on one of my ARs, a Vortex 4-16 from PA on a second, and a PA red dot on my Bushmaster Carbon-15. Oh, yeah, and I’ve got an old PA M3 clone on my M1A Scout Squad. All give excellent performance. 🙂

    • Trent

      see I am wondering the same. I have the newest and greatest PA red dot and so far it has been fine. I know the guys over at Military Arms Channel cant say enough good things about it, that’s why I bought it. Well that and I took my T1 and put it on my 300blk.

    • Just a Guest

      Yep.

      Went through a bunch of them, one after the other with the same adjustment problems. A few of them even had thick dust and scratches inside the tube itself.

      QC was awful. If you’re going to go budget, get a TRS25. If you want something made correctly, spend the money wisely.

      • Barry

        I had recurrent problems with the Primary Arms AA battery red dot with 10k hour battery life. The dot went out during recoil. I sent it back for replacement and the new one did the same thing. After the third replacement and the dot still going out, I just got a refund and will stay away from that model. However, I hear their classic style red dot is great and reliable.

        A good thing about Primary Arms is their great customer service. Even with a poor product, they were willing to help and make things right. That’s why I’ll continue to shop there.

        • iksnilol

          Put a piece of metal so that the battery stays in tighter.

          Or argue that it is a feature intended to save battery life 😛

    • BrandonAKsALot

      I was under the impression that they both get the guts of their optics from the same Chinese supplier and then finish them in house. PA designs a lot of their own reticles and housings it would seem.

  • mlk18

    I have a couple Holosun HS503C’s, things are pure awesomeness. Strong, stable, durable, hold zero and after several months of use I have had no issues at all. And I have not been soft or kind to them. While I don’t think they are on the same [overpriced] level as a T1, my experience and this review could not be more dissimilar.

    • Nicks87

      I have a primary arms Micro dot and it works fine as well. Basically a rebranded holosun optic.

      • Sianmink

        Not surprised, if the main issue here is the crappy mount that comes on the Holosun, and most of the PA micros are sold with or are compatible with high quality risers.

        • ckzero

          I believe holosun and PA are compatible with ADM and Aimpoint mounts. So I mean if all these non-LEO/Mil type want to continue the butt hurt over this article then they trust their lives to a holosun on and ADM mount and be done with it. But if I deploy somewhere holosun isn’t going to be my first choice of optic in theatre.

          • N_Lightened_1

            Who said anything about trusting your life to a budget red dot and mount? We don’t all buy our gear/accessories with the idea that our neighborhood will turn into a war zone and our lives will be in jeopardy because we didn’t buy $1K worth of optics and mounts.

          • Kivaari

            BIG BUT, since we can’t predict the future, it pays to have great gear.
            You go to war with what you have. If it fails you when you need it, then it was a waste of money. I would like to buy a good $200 optic that works. I like the current sights from Lucid, as far as it looks good and seems to have good quality. I don’t know how they have performed in the field. Compared to many Chinese optics, at least it looks good.

      • RobGR

        Glass glare is the biggest issue I’ve noticed with my PA MD-ADS, it’s very annoying.

        • The Brigadier

          Its not coated properly. Anti glare coatings are expensive. You get what you pay for. Still screws that are not dogged down at the factory is unacceptable.

      • Kivaari

        I’ve tried many lower priced devices and nearly all of them just were not worth even trying. It pays to buy good stuff. I have pared down my entire “arsenal” to just a few good guns and higher priced optics. Inexpensive mounts give fits from poor materials to poor fit. The last scope mount I ordered costs $150 (SWAN-ARMS) and for the most part they are well made. Not all of them have been perfect. BUT, chances are they will be better.
        I like not needing to buy optics and mounts over and over again.

  • Nicks87

    That Vz 58 SBR is super sexy!

    • Ya like that one eh? Me too. Here’s a bonus photo of the little beastie:

      • El Duderino

        I would LOVE one like this, alas with a “brace” down here…but hey, a full 30rnd mag.

      • Adam aka eddie d.

        Ed, what’s up with the new/upgraded VZ58 version that CZ makes for the Canadian Market? You like it?

        I live in Hungary (our second neighbor to the north is the Czech Rep.),
        and I see a few VZs, but they’re the old military ones.
        The new tricked out models from Gun Expert look awesome, but they’re mighty expensive, and they don’t have the railed top cover you Canadian guys get with the CZ 958, only the QD short optics rail.

        I’d really like to see a marriage between the CZ 958’s revised receiver-top cover combo and Czech Small Arms’/Gun Expert’s VZs with the nitrided barrel, receiver and all.
        These VZs are really compact, nice guns, they’re awesome SBR hosts,
        but they come with some serious drawbacks:
        the open top receiver, the lack of affordable accessories -the Gun Expert QD handguard is great for instance, but ridiculously expensive- and the unlined barrel.
        (The weight of the metal 30 rd. mags is also a drawback IMO,
        but that’s not a show stopper.)
        Would be nice to see a joint effort from CZ and CSA to create the ultimate VZ58.
        Really nice platform, with the above mentioned updates
        I’d buy it over an AK.

          • Adam aka eddie d.

            Yes, that’s the one!
            Looks like a really neat gun, a short, fat barrel with nitride finish
            and you’re ready to rock.
            Here in Hungary IF you can get a license, you’re also allowed to have “SBRs” and 30 rd. (or any other cap.) magazines.
            Would be great to have this 958 with a 12.5″ barrel.

            You guys in Canada have companies importing extended mag and bolt releases too, right?
            Which one would you recommend?

  • Caffeinated

    I own the Holosun HS403B and have had zero issues with it. I’ve made it a point to abuse it and it currently has gouges and chunks missing out of the housing, but has yet to loose zero or loose a dot like yours did. Granted I’m only running it on a 5.56 platform.

    As far as the mounting goes, the first thing I did was hit all the fastening points with blue loctite and have had no issues with the 1/3 cowitness stock mount.

    I love that short VZ58.

  • mike

    I only read that you had only two real problems with the sight. One died, which will happen, it is a mechanical piece of equipment, and the auto on stopped working. As long as the company backs it up and fixes the problem it is fine.

    As far as the mounting problems, that is user error. Writing up all that about you not getting it tight enough and not actually saying anything about the actual sight is useless.

    • Totally agree. The author apparently has never heard of thread locker, and it amazes me that any of his optics ever stay still. I especially love how he complains that he gouged the finish on the optic when he screwed up. Are you kidding me?

      Incidentally, my second-gen HS403C came with thread locker on the screws already.

      • JumpIf NotZero

        I 100% knew before clicking in here, people would be defending the cheap Chinese knockoff of a quality product.

        • Brett

          Not all of us can afford top tier stuff. Fight with what you got.

          • Kivaari

            If it fails on day one of use, you would have been better off buying more ammo. Junk at any price is still junk.

          • Mikial

            @Kivaari:disqus
            Gotta agree with you there. Better to stick with iron sights than stake your life on a poor quality optic. Yeah, yeah, I know . . . faster acquisition, better shot placement . . . but only if it works.

            I was a little surprised to see the “Made in China” marking.

          • Kivaari

            Yep. China can make a product to the level of quality the buyer wants. Pretty soon the item they sell to the importer at $50 would be $300. I’ve seen it on guns. Very junk like Makarovs and TT33s.and then beautiful variants. Guns with a high grade commercial finish for issue to troops.
            The cheap optics perform like cheap optics. China has sent men into space, so we know it can be done.

      • Kivaari

        Soft aluminum, or is it aluminium, is an issue with a lot of manufacturers. I have run across it in quite a few scope mounts and rings. Even Weaver went to very cheap products where threads stripped on first mounting, not making it first use. It is especially common in the optics arena. At $180-200, it is still junk. A cheap rifle fitted with good optics and mounts is OK. A Weatherby priced rifle with Chinese or other Asian junk makes the whole package, junk.

        • The Brigadier

          In this case Kivaari you and I are in absolute agreement. I wrote two posts about this before I saw your posts. China builds crap and we need to reestablish our manufacturing base before everyone who knows how dies. The Clintons made the first deal with the Chinese, buy our debt and you can make all of our stuff. 19 trillion in debt and warehouses filled with worthless junk. What a deal!

          • iksnilol

            The Chinese don’t really build crap. They build after the specs they are given. I’ve seen plenty of quality stuff from China, Norinco in particular.

            Also, the Chinese sorta depend on you Americans. You sorta can’t exist without each other.

          • Doug73

            No, Clinton didn’t make the first deal with China to buy our debt. That first deal was made in 1988, by a brand new President named George Bush. And somewhat ironically, China’s largest period of U.S. debt accumulation occurred between the years 2000 and 2010…when we had another President named George Bush.

            But now that we’ve got those facts straightened out, it’s useful to note that blaming a president for the behavior of U.S. consumers is a bit disingenuous, as it lets those consumers off the hook. Americans DEMAND low prices, even if in the long-term such demands are self-defeating. American consumers largely want to have their cake and eat it too: their fiery rhetoric wants American-made goods, but their wallets often don’t back up that rhetoric.

      • Kivaari

        Try owning a gun store when given a great deal on Chinese optical sights, when you get more back within days of sale, as they simply fail. Or you buy expensive Russian/Belarussian optics that can’t even be zeroed. Or buy $10,000 of Simmons scopes and everyone you sell (that is taken in the brush) or at the range when it is freezing our, put into a warm vehicle and they fog up. When a sporting magazine calls and ask for an honest opinion of the product and you tell the truth, you get a very angry sales rep showing up the next morning. When you show them that moving scopes from a warm area and put it in a freezer (and the reverse) you can hand the rep many failed scopes. Well, the scopes fail under what is considered normal where I live.

      • stephen

        Yea – any descent gun guy knows to use loctite… except Ed the author with a degree in journalism.

        I guess if you look at a gun and go to a couple of events your a ‘gun blog expert’.

    • 3/3 sights I interacted with suffered electronic failures.

      The mounting stuff was just additional irritation.

      • Tom Currie

        I could be wrong but it seems that the issue many readers have with this negative review is the heavy emphasis on mounts loosening during competitive events — without any acknowledgement that the first step for any serious competitor is to check his own equipment just before reaching the firing line of the first stage. Clearly the author did not check the mount prior to shooting in competition. Would we accept a negative review of a gun because the shooter started a stage and found that he had loaded the ammo backwards in the magazine? Or because the stage called for a mag change and he had left his loaded mag back in his range bag? I won’t say that I have never had a problem on a range due to neglecting to check my equipment, but I will say that I’ve never blamed the equipment for a problem that I should have fixed before I ever started.

        • The Brigadier

          Perhaps, but its the company responsibility to have it right out of the box. If I have to check everything they built then there is something very wrong with your premise. Some things we buy have thousands of parts and checking if things are properly plugged in or dogged down to proper torquing is not only impractical its also impossible for most post people and its absolutely unreasonable to have to do so. When you buy a rifle do you absolutely check every pin, screw etc.? God help us if we have do that for everything. Things have truly broken down in this world.

          • Tom Currie

            So it is the company’s responsibility to properly install the sight on YOUR gun, properly tighten the screws on YOUR gun, apply thread locking compound on the screws on YOUR gun, and to verify the zero before YOU start shooting??

    • The Brigadier

      Again it was made in China and the failures were due to shoddy materials and their workmanship leaves a lot to be desired also. We have Chinese made TVs in most every department stores that cost $1200 and up and they fail regularly before they are two years old. Same story as the sight in this article. Cheap materials and shoddy workmanship. Around you all tired of this America? Its time for America to start manufacturing again before we lose our knowledge on how to do it right.

  • DIR911911 .

    what’s up with that shiny , oily bolt in pic #4? he must want the gun to work haha 🙂

    • Ripley

      I noticed too. And the oil leak from his upper tell me there is half a bottle more inside ;D

    • ckzero

      That’s Froglube after it’s been sitting around on a rifle too long.

  • Mc Cain

    You get what you pay for.

  • bjeremy

    What 10/22 stock is that?

    • That would be a Fab Defense stock. I really like it! I did have to pin the stock open though to avoid Canada’s SBR equivalents. Here’s the other side:

      • Kivaari

        There is little value in folding stocks.

        • FightFireJay

          Your mother is a hamster and your father smelled of elderberries.

          Unless you are trying to fit it inside of a particular backpack.

          • Kivaari

            I never found a reason for folding sticks. Yes, they do get shorter. I don’t remember ever needing that feature. In a pack, it is too slow to access. Packing it while roaming about, it just made sense to have it in the ready position. I built 6 ARs since January ’14, only two had telescoping stocks. I gave one away and kept an SBR. The others have Magpul fixed stocks (length like the M16A1, 7/8″ shorter than the A2). AKs with under-folding stocks are awkward and too long. My Galils folder, but in the field I did not use the feature.

          • The Brigadier

            Check out Exos Defense for a beautiful and non-rattling adjustable stock. I just put one on my M&P and I’m glad I did rather than putting a fixed A2 stock on it. Now if only Parallax Tactical will build more slim line fore ends, although I may have to take out a loan to buy one. They are always out of stock on that part.

        • Lt_Scrounge

          I happen to like being able to fit my rifle into a suitcase if I want to take it somewhere without everyone knowing that I have one with me. Or carry it under a long coat for that matter. That’s why I have a Winchester model 12 takedown with a 21 inch barrel too. If I’m stuck in some city away from home, I’d rather not have to rely on just a handgun if a civil disturbance happens (as happened recently in Baltimore) or even a stupid drug addict decides to break into my room like happened to the former CNN reporter and her husband a couple of months ago. The shotgun and a handgun both fit with ammo into a custom case that fits into my Red Rock Outdoors traveler’s duffle with my clothes. I have checked into numerous hotels and rental car companies without anyone having a clue that I had weapons with me. Since the case locks, it even meets TSA requirements for weapons in checked baggage. I’ve even gone through a number of airports without any of the other passengers knowing that there were firearms in my luggage. Yes I could break down my AR, but my folding stock AK doesn’t require it.

          • Kivaari

            Well, I usually don’t fly, nor need checked baggage in the very rare times I fly. So you have a point. Living where I have and now, doesn’t require folding or telescoping stocks. I’ve had several, AKs, HK 91,93 & 94, and always used the rigid stocks. My issue MP5, was the fixed stock model. I had recommended to staff that the collapsing stock was a was of time, and the officers would inevitably want to carry them collapsed. I did like the small size of the Uzi-standard and Mini-Uzi as they were quite small. I never found a reason for needing smallness. Cute, but they did not get carried “stored” as opposed to “stowed”. In the field, “at the ready”.

          • Lt_Scrounge

            I used to have to spend a lot of time in hotels for work. I just had to fly to Phoenix for a conference and the flight before that was to FrontSight in Pahrump, NV. I don’t know where you live, but far too few people realize exactly how large the US is. I live in Texas at the moment and it is larger than the COUNTRY of France or the COUNTRIES of Germany and Holland COMBINED. That’s just one state. Phoenix is roughly 1000 miles (1600 Km) from here. The US has some cities with the populations of some first world countries. Canada has roughly the population of the metropolitan Los Angeles area. What I am getting at is that to get from one part of this country to another in a reasonable amount of time, flying is truly the only option. I put over 600 miles on my rental car visiting friends in Arizona while I was there.

          • Kivaari

            I live in North Idaho where guns don’t raise eyebrows. and what kind of scope I use. Well, they do when fellow gun people want to now about what kind of rifle or shotgun Since retiring I no longer attend conferences (I did 11 or more per year). Even at those I packed a gun openly and had a full compliment of combat gear in my vehicle. Even after 13 years of retirement I am getting ready to install a good security arms chest in my truck. I just never liked the feeling of not having all the good gear right at hand. I still have a M4 carbine, and I like having it onboard.

          • Lt_Scrounge

            It was the Second Amendment Foundation Annual Gun Rights Policy Conference. It wasn’t for work, it was for pleasure. When I lived in Phoenix, open carry wasn’t all that unusual. It’s only now starting to be legal in Texas and then it requires a CHL. Since I have a CHL, I’m not going to carry openly.

          • Cymond

            I agree, concealed is preferable. There are only 3 reasons I would open carry.
            1-if my concealed piece were accidentally revealed, such as my shirt riding up
            2-if I had a reason to carry a large, unconcealable gun (like hiking with a full size magnum revolver)
            3-if concealed were illegal

            #1 is my primary reason for preferring places where open carry is legal.

          • Kivaari

            Good deal to be able to attend such conferences. My job took me to those Traffic Safety meetings. We made radio and TV spots, that mostly were never heard or seen. Those conferences were populated with 300 to 600 cops. Open carry was the preferred method, since they were packing full duty gear. We have open carry, but I normally carry concealed. If I hit the forest trails I pack mostly a S&W M65-4″-.357.

          • Christina Leah

            For YOU there is little value in folding stocks. YMMV if you’re someone else. Choice is AWESOME.

          • Kivaari

            You are correct. I used pretty much every folding stock on the market. I liked the Galils stocks (like the FAL Para). I would not have been upset had it been fixed. I did like the stocks on my Uzi and Mini Uzi, as they worked well. Many folding stocks are designed for use by tall people and those are awkward. That is especially on AKs and after market stocks for rifles like the Ruger 10-22 and Mini 14. I like the AR telescoping butt, as I can shorten the stock by “1 click”. It makes the carbine handier for me. Sure if you need to hide the gun from prying eyes you can put the folded rifle in non-descript luggage. I love that I don’t have such concerns.
            If you have such fears, then maybe they are good for you. Most folding stocks are just too awkward for good shooting.

        • The Brigadier

          I like the folding paratrooper stock on my M1 carbine. Folded I can put it in my pack with 4 mags and it makes a better backup weapon then a pistol. I also carry a handgun, but in combat triple redundancy can be rewarding.

        • iksnilol

          Us who like to draw less attention like them. Easier to keep away from prying/arresting eyes. Also, I found out that a short AK (M92) can fit under a pretty short coat without a problem. So I dunno, it might be handy if you’re less legal in regards to gats and straps like some other people we won’t name are.

    • thedonn007

      Thanks, I was going to ask the same question

  • Dracon1201

    Holosun may be bad, but I’ve heard nothing but good words about the Primary Arms. Of course, this review could be showing how dangerous it is for a company to squeeze too many features at a budget price.

    • BrandonAKsALot

      So far, my experience with PA has been stellar. Not only have the optics been great, the customer service is top notch.

      • David

        Love my PA red dot. One of them was tinted funky so after a year I asked for a replacement and they said “sure”. Primary Arms ftw.

        • BrandonAKsALot

          I had a similar experience. When I made the mistake of getting a Kriss, I had a PA micro with a qd mount and I couldn’t get the mount to fit on it. I assumed the mount was bad and emailed them. They immediately sent a brand new one and asked me just to send the other back in the prepaid box. I later realized the rail on the Kriss was out of spec and the mount was fine.

      • JustAGuy

        If that was so great, then WHY did you even need customer service where you had that top-notch experience?

        • BrandonAKsALot

          I thought I had a problem with the qd mount, but it was an issue with the rail on the Kriss. They overnighted me a new mount anyway.

    • markej4801

      It has been noted elsewhere that the PA is a rebranded Holosun. I own a 403a and have had no issues with it. As to price difference, the PA is only a few bucks more and performs exactly the same. Also noted is the issue of not using locktite where it should be used. Nice try, reviewer.

    • Kivaari

      Does Primary Arms set higher standards for materials? Maybe that’s why they sell for more money.

      • Dracon1201

        I feel that they do, considering how they perform. I’m not part of the company, so I could not tell you. However, all the incredibly positive reviews, as well as my own experiences, seem to point this way.

  • ReadyOrNot

    Let’s be honest here, this is more of a rant than a review. You took a budget optic, ran it through several different types of firearms in different environments/temperatures and didn’t properly secure it and they broke. What did you expect? CS took care of it, what more do you want for $200? Christ.

    I have an HS403A mounted on a 7.62mm C39 pistol that I’ve put a couple of thousand rounds through in two hot west Texas summers and have had no issues with the exception of scratching up the finish (what a crime *sarcasm*)

    • “What more do you want for $200?”

      I want an optic that works as advertised.

      • ReadyOrNot

        “I want an optic that works as advertised.”

        Up your budget then.

        • floppyscience

          A product should work as advertised at any budget.

          • Kivaari

            But it doesn’t sell well if the truth was told.

          • ReadyOrNot

            The truth is inconvenient for this argument though.

            No manufacturer anywhere in the world is going to tell you their product doesn’t work as advertised. In the real world, you need to have expectation management.. not quibble.

    • nobody

      >Let’s be honest here, this is more of a rant than a review. You took a
      budget optic, ran it through several different types of firearms in
      different environments/temperatures and didn’t properly secure it and
      they broke. What did you expect? CS took care of it, what more do you
      want for $200? Christ.

      I don’t know, I would consider a review that shows exactly what an inexpensive optic isn’t able to take to be a good thing to learn from as it helps someone to better understand when they are good getting one of these lower cost optics and when they need to drop more money on an Aimpoint instead of just relying on the he said she said information that is often inaccurate that way to many gun owners seem to rely on.

      • ReadyOrNot

        Good points however It’s not really a fair review when the malfunctions were more person induced that anything else. I personally don’t care for budget optics, but for a Century firearm it was an appropriate choice for me. If it were to fail me today, I wouldn’t blanket statement generalize that Holosun is “Unsuitable at Any Range” as it seems amateurish especially when their CS department stepped up and took care of it.

        Buy once, cry once.

  • stephen

    Edward O as reviewer just went down a bunch of notches.

    I mean honestly, complaining about him scratching his optic, which he admitted to and then said it was an “issue”? Did the company make him do it? Did the instructions tell him to scratch it? I don’t think so- so how does his actions reflect badly on the company as an ‘issue’? I think the ‘issue’ is his lack of coordination and or safe queen mentality for this ‘review’. My question is this – did the company scratch it or did he? Nuff said.

    I was also amazed on how he failed to apply loctite a number of times and again blamed the company for that. Seriously? I mean come on Ed, are you kidding me? I don’t know of any descent gun guy that doesn’t know this simple advice – when you get an optic, MBUS, light or laser you loctite them. If you remove it or put it on another firearm, guess what, you apply more loctite – end of story. The only time I don’t apply loctite is when I installed a couple of Timney triggers and thats only because the instructions said not to.

    In this ‘review’ I think you missed the mark Ed. True you experienced some problems but a bad company would not have ‘made it right’. Again its only a $200 optic but the fact that the company did make it right, says a lot. Now I have shot a buddy’s holo-sun and it works great for being a $200 optic. Yes it has a less hardened casing like Aimpoints but what did you expect? Apparently you want scratch proof but from looking at the specs, the company does not make this claim for this optic (neither does Aimpoint for that matter). Personally I like Primary Arms Micro Dot B Max – no problems so far with lots of running and gunning – however I have the utmost confidence in my Aimpoints.

    With that being said, I’m amazed that you have a bachelors in journalism – it seems that you can’t differentiate between your mis-applied actions and that of the company who in the end made it right. In the light that you don’t like doing ‘negative’ reviews, how about you contact the company and request another optic to review (if only you promise to not let your negligent actions cloud your ‘review’).

    Just saying

    • All I want is an optic that does what it promises: Functions.

      Loctite did get applied after, and sure the mounting issues and scratching can be construed as my own stupid fault. I’ve never experienced that kind of loosening or damage with the gamut of other optics I’ve used over the years.

      But that doesn’t change the fact that 3 out of 3 optics had inexplicable failures. That’s the meat. But I couldn’t say “other than this one failure it’s been great” because it hasn’t.

      I don’t think Holosun is a bad company. I think their a great company, with some solid vision. But their product didn’t work for me.

      • BrandonAKsALot

        In your defense, pretty much every other optic ever has some sort of thread lock applied from the factory on the mount. I had one PA optic have the mount come loose after a while and I don’t know why, but I’ve never experienced that otherwise.

        • Kivaari

          About 50 years ago I started looking at and using Asian optical products. Now I can usually spot the junk while it is still in the show case. The same makers are still making junk. Importers/sellers should demand better materials, and pay the slightly higher price to get good stuff. When screws can be broken with a screw driver, it is junk. When the dovetail components are bent from normal use, there is cheapness in the build. Importers need higher standards, and testing before committing to buy 10,000 sights.

      • Kivaari

        Cheap aluminum is common on cheap optics. It has paid off when buying mounts and scopes. GG&G mounts with Leupold scopes seems to work well. That’s not the lower-priced Leupolds either. I’ve tried lower cost optics and I get what I pay for. I don’t like paying for $200 mounts and $900 scopes. A months pension for a Mk 8 Leupold – well I wont do that.

        • The Brigadier

          What’s your choice? Buying stolen ACOGS? At $1500 for a new one I can buy a decent used motorcycle. We put up with buying crap and its creeping up to the expensive stuff also, but the only choice is to pony up and hope someone is applying quality control standards and forcing the Chinese manufacturer to build it right. We really need to take it all back, go back to an asset backed currency, pay off our debt and let the Chinese sink back into obscurity.

          • Kivaari

            I have never seen stolen ACOGs being sold. If it is offered at a great discount, I’d be more inclined to call the cops. I get such items at dealer cost, and there are only shallow mark-ups on the good stuff. Buying cheap optics is most often leaving the buyer with junk. At $200 US, it could certainly be made with a higher grade metal. What would that cost? A few cents per item, would increase the sales, as long as the electronics would need more care. In todays market, there is no reason to have failures. Low bid, win contracts and leaves customers unhappy. Just think, there are our fighter jets flying around on Chinese electronics. There should never be a foreign part in our war machines.

    • nadnerbus

      If they were using one of those shallow Allen head screws where the wrench wants to push itself out every time you torque on it, I think it is a legitimate gripe. Anyone that mounts an optic with the basic mounts and not a quick release or caming type mount is going to torque it down pretty good, the screw supplied should be designed with that in mind.

      I don’t know if that was the case though.

    • joshv06

      I agree with you. This review is stupid as hell. Did this guy just start shooting or something? Ohh the finish scratched off.. Who cares? What the hell?? Ohh the mount loosened up like 3 times. No loctited ever mentioned in the whole review. This review sickens me. My guns and the stuff mounted to them are scratched up and worn in all kinds of places. Why? I put them through use. If you rub an AR15 on the ground, the anodizing will come off. Boo-hoo.

      • Kivaari

        Quality materials would reduce failures. I’ve had screws, rings and bases that break or deform with normal installation. Putting it on and having the metal stretch while firing can’t be fixed with Lock-Tite.

    • Cymond

      He scratched it because the included wrench didn’t correctly fit the bolt head. That IS the company’s fault.

  • LMarkus

    Had to send back and get a refund on a 503C model. First time out, it died on me. Went to an Eotech (yea yea yea) instead. More of these type of negative reviews should be written. I believed the hype on the Holosuns, like I’m sure many others have.

  • Mrninjatoes

    Great review but stop apologizing. You gave us good solid information. Thank you.

    • I’m Canadian. Sorry. Our politeness just overwhelms us sometimes.

      • Mrninjatoes

        Ha ha ha ha! That was my first thought when I read your article. “Well he is Canadian..” You have a beautiful country Edward. My favorite place to fly fish in North America is in British Columbia.

  • Andrew

    Here come all the Holosun/Primary Arms cheapskates getting defensive and bragging about how their HS/PA red dots perform just as well as any Aimpoint, and how they’ve abused the hell out of them at a dozen different carbine classes*.

    *carbine class = shooting 10 rounds through your Mossberg .22lr plinkster in grandma’s backyard while wearing camo pants from the army surplus store and a chest rig from ebairsoft

  • BrandonAKsALot

    I enjoyed your review. It’s nice to see an honest review without any condescension or derision. Great customer service still can’t make up for a product that can’t continue to do what it should. I’ll stick with my Primary Arms stuff for my low end optics. My idea is always to pick up the PA stuff, so I don’t over spend and can figure out what optic I like on what gun and then later swap it for something nice, but I don’t seem to take them off much.

    What mount are you using on the VZ?

    • That mount is a replacement dust cover mount. Not sure who sells them stateside, but mine came from Zahal.

      • BrandonAKsALot

        I figured that might be who made it. Do you feel comfortable in how secure it is? Is lock up tight and does it hold zero well?

  • Jacob

    Good review… Only other thing I have to say is Trijicon MRO!

  • That was the most Canadian review I’ve ever read.

    • Plumbiphilious

      Once I saw “eh,” in the article I wasn’t sure if that was some self-deprecating sarcasm on behalf of US readers, or if it was a legitimate casual-vernacular tic.

      I’m just not sure, man…

      • Little of column Eh, little of column B.

        • El Duderino

          And south of the border, a little of column sí.

        • B-Sabre

          ::rimshot::

      • Yes he is in Canada—-

      • scaatylobo

        I live on the USA side of the border,you hear ‘A’ or’eh’ so often that you get used to it.
        btw,most norks are pretty decent people.
        AND pro USA & pro gun too.

        • Josh

          For a moment there, I was thoroughly confused by your reference to North Korea.

          • scaatylobo

            “North Korea” ??.
            If you mean the term “nork”,it is a term most up here know full well.
            They even have teams called norks.

        • Cottie Cakes

          I lived and went to HS in Canada (1970-72), and I heard a significant amount of deprecating remarks constantly about the USA — and they didn’t even know I was from the U.S., nor were they talking directly to me (so it certainly wasn’t because I was acting like a “superior American”.)

          But anyway, with all due respect to our Canadian brother, hasn’t the author ever heard of Loctite??

          PS: Canadians MAY be “pro gun”, but the RCMP most certainly was not.

    • El Duderino

      Once you see the short barrel vz58 without a term like “SBR” or “had to wait 9 months for the stamp” there is no room for doubt.

  • dshield55

    Holosun also makes Primary Arms red dots (alegedly) and the folks at AK Operators Union can drag their guns behind trucks on dirt roads and their Primary Arms stuff still hold work and hold zero.

    • Ted Unlis

      BULL$#IT!

      • dshield55

        Except it really happened. TFB doesn’t approve links often… google “AK74 from Rifle Dynamics review” and find their video on their channel. That’s just one of many videos they dragged a Primary Arms optic on a rifle behind their truck.

      • iksnilol

        https://youtu.be/ox0hgWlYWOg?t=1m32s

        Here’s your “BULL$#IT!”, I also did that cool thingy where the video starts at a specific point, the specific point is where they drag the rifle behind a truck.

        Having posted on this site way too much has its perks.

  • Sergei

    Didn’t these survive Robski’s tourture test? He put his in a block of ice, smashed it out if the ice, and put it in the oven. Clearly you weren’t abusing it enough. :p

    The basemount coming loose requires loctite.

    The glare is an issue.

    The auto on failing is an issue.

    The dot died. It also happened to MAC’s Aimpoint T1 btw. Things break.

    • Ted Unlis

      To suggest that the failure rate of Aimpoint, Trijicon, or Eotech is comparable or anywhere even close to comparable to the failure rate of Holosun, Primary Arms, Lucid, Vortex, Tru-Glo, Ultra-Dot, etc is blatantly false. It’s an anomaly if one of the former fail or die while it’s not uncommon at all should any of the latter fail or die.

      • Sergei

        Apparently you haven’t read the military’s warning on using eotech’s due to massive failures to hold zero.

        • Ted Unlis

          Sergei my boy you don’t know the #*@& you’re talking about. Scientific data? Seriously? Too funny? Aimpoint, Trijicon, and Eotech have been tested, evaluated, and proven dependable, accurate, rugged, and reliable my hundreds of LE and Military outfits worldwide. All three are battle tested, LITERALLY.

          As far as this new claim by USSOCOM of “thermal shift” at extreme temperatures above 120 °F or minus 40 °F for extended periods, that alleged safety issue makes brings the total number to ONE, for organizations experiencing or claiming significant problems with Eotech over the last two decades.

          Only an idiot who read a brief reference on a blog and didn’t bother to actually read and comprehend the entire USSOCOM Safety of Use Warning would make such an asinine leap to “Eotech is getting trashed in recent news” then proceed with lie number one, “Trijicon consumer products are actually not very good”, followed by ridiculous lie number two “military’s warning on using eotech’s due to massive failures to hold zero”.

          Did you get that Sergei? You’re just an average liar with the BS on Trijicon, a huge liar with the BS about “massive failures to hold zero”, and let’s not forget that both of those lies are on top of your initial embarrassingly ignorant lie that the failure rate of Aimpoint (rare) is in any way shape for form comparable to the failure rate of Holosun (common) or any other economy red dot made in China.

          • iksnilol

            I think you’ve bought Eotechs than you will admit.

            Also 48 degrees and -40 degrees Celcius is a fra cry from “extreme” temperatures. A winter with wind is easily an effective -40. Any trunk during the summer will usually get around 50 degrees celsius or even hotter.

      • Sergei

        You also don’t have the scientific data to back that up. All I’m saying is that things can break regardless of what you do to them.

        Aimpoints brand is so far air tight.

        Eotech is getting trashed in recent news.

        Trijicons consumer products are actually not very good.

    • Kivaari

      I’ve seen glare on high end Swarovski scopes. Also weather resistance claimed by makers or importers are meaningless. I had to have Swarovski Binoculars 8×30 SLs, that leaked. I suspect Austrian makers just don’t see tough testing like the mountains of the PNW or SE Alaska. I can show them how to test products by simply walking around for hours on the Quinault Ridge, then entering a heated truck. Poof, all the optics claims of being tough, simply go away in a coating of fog on the inside of the glass.

      • Ted Unlis

        Sure you have Kivaari.

        • Kivaari

          Why would you doubt that? I am not only a lover of good optics, but I owned two gun stores. You probably have never been in the Quinault Rain Forest or on Quinault Ridge. I lived there for 50 years. I guess you have never used such items and probably never even handled them.

    • lomaxima

      In short, use Aimpoint micro mounts, get the standard dot and the only thing you have to live with is glare, if noticeable to you. I never noticed any glare in my Primary Arms micro during my night time matches.

  • hand_banana

    I’ve had a primary arms sight for a while now (holosun manufactures these) and it’s held up for me under ar15 recoil. Granted I’m not sure what model of holosun the PA MD-ADS compares to, but for what it’s worth, I’ve been using an American Defense mount that I got in a bundle with the sight. It’s solid enough for me. Never loosened up, but you’re putting a Chinese sight on a shotgun? I’m not surprised it broke. At the same time, I have quality American parts such as another T1 mount, the Samson RAM. The thing sucks and constantly falls off my rail. Perhaps I got a dud, but that is a $100+ American-made mount that never worked for me. My Haley strategic thorntail light mount also often loosened after a few hundred rounds until I used red loctite. And I think here is one of your issues. Did you loctite the damn thing? You can’t honestly expect any accessory to stand up to recoil without thread locker. It’s not like higher quality screws have an anti-walking-feature. They still do. The point is that even cheap Chinese things like my PA red dot can function better than expensive American “tier 1-ready” bullshit and quality isn’t necessarily an indicator as to whether or not a product will actually work well.

    • Ted Unlis

      Red Loctite is overkill that at a minimum will result in cosmetic damage should you ever attempt to remove the mount. Never use any permanent thread-locking liquid on a firearm part or component that might require future removal or disassembly. Blue Loctite or some equivalent non permanent thread-locking liquid is the proper choice for firearms related applications.

  • tony

    I had a chat with a local optics manufactuer a few years back. Their common practice was testing a scope under 1000 Gs once or twice to pass QC

  • Ted Unlis

    Now we know why Holosun, Primary Arms, Lucid, Vortex, Tru-Glo and Ultra-Dot haven’t put Aimport, Trijicon, and Eotech out of business. No amount of wishful thinking gets around the fact that when it comes quality optics for firearms, you generally get what you pay for whether it’s scopes or red dots.

    I have two Lucid HD7’s that have worked great and held up with no issues while mounted on AR’s that I keep handy as farm and truck guns, but a buddy of mine bought a HD7 and it died within a month, Lucid customer service also came through and made it right by replacing the dead HD7 free of charge. Any company selling these economy red dot optics can well afford to replace dead units when you consider that their production cost in China is only a fraction of what the economy red dot optic actually sells for in North America.

    Since my experience with the Lucid HD7 is that the optic has functioned flawlessly for holding zero, accuracy, and durability so far, should I kid myself into believing that a Lucid HD7 matches or equals an Eotech 512 in quality and reliability for self defense or duty use? Absolutely not.

    If an economy red dot is all your budget will allow, no problem, that’s why co-witnessed back up iron sights are a must on any self defense or duty gun. You just need to be aware of and realize going in that the rule of thumb with economy red dot optics is that they may fail or die; while high quality and much more expensive red dot optics like Aimpoint, Trijicon, and Eotech will likely never fail or die because, you get what you pay for.

    • The Brigadier

      I read a good article online a couple of months ago and the author made the statement that any sight under $300 is about the same quality from $20 to $290. I don’t doubt for a minute the guy was right. He pointed out that Aimpoint and Eotech and a few others had base models at $300 and the quality was light years above the BSAs and the other crappy ones. You do get what you pay for.

  • jpcmt

    I don’t have a holsun but I use the primary arms RDS which is pretty much the same thing, just different sweat shop in China made it. Over the years of abuse on at least 6 of the various PA RDS optics, I’ve only had a loose battery cap, and some of t hem have survived some serious abuse and rough wear and some rain and snow (MT). In short, I’m guessing you just had bad luck because this category of good quality chinese RDSes are generally pretty good. They’re no AIMPOINT, but if you’re not in combat, these are perfect optics..and you have BUIS so they could go on a combat gun I”m sure.

    • vladimir

      Same sweat shop !

  • andrey kireev

    Pleas use locktite on your optic mounts next time. T1/H1 or any other more expensive optic could have exactly same issue… it’s a user error.

    • T1s and H1s just stop working, and lose major features over time? That must be disappointing for the people who receive them as issued equipment.

      • andrey kireev

        Read my comment carefully… it refers to Locktite Threadlocker… 😉

        • AlDeLarge

          Is Locktite a cheap clone of Loctite?

          • andrey kireev

            maybe

          • vladimir

            Chinese Knockoff of Loctite = Rocktite !

      • andrey kireev

        I was talking about your optics getting loose… That’s why I referenced Locktite…

  • Spencerhut

    The only thing China makes that doesn’t suck is a vacuum cleaner.

    • The Brigadier

      Ha.

    • iksnilol

      Those Norinco M14s and 1911s disagree with you 😉

  • Adam aka eddie d.

    Thanks for the post Edward, honest and fact based review there.
    I think you gave it a fair shake.

  • Smitty Werbenjagermanjensen

    My god man, you scratched your optic? Use a black sharpie.

    Your mounts are coming lose? There is a magical substance called blue loctite.

    • Kivaari

      I can understand the scratch issue. It came with a poorly fitting wrench. When the “issue” wrench fits loosely, such things happen. Like many Chinese tools, they look like they should work, but often don’t.

  • billyoblivion

    You need any very senior Linux Admins?

  • AJ187

    Won’t stop me from enjoying mine. I found a few cases of higher end RDS’s failing. And often I find the ones that think they are the holy grail to have never owned one. If they do they are the guys that never shoot. Must not have enough left over for ammo. Thanks for an honest review.

  • Arnold_Laine

    Well, thats unfortunate. Holosun is the only maker I’m aware of making a eotech style reticle in a mico type housing. It was on the big list of things to buy someday. Maybe they’ll get their act together by then.

  • Weaponized_Hotdog

    primaryarms dot com. Great red dots for Holosun money…..

    I LOL’d that you were pissed you scratched it……

  • Bill

    Back in my day Sonny, sights were made of wood!

    • BigFED

      Sights, sights? What are these sights thee speak of???

  • scaatylobo

    “Made in China” —- did not have to post any further than that.

  • BigFED

    Decisions, decisions, decisions!!! That is all it comes down to. If one owns a “high dollar” firearm, why put a crap optic on it? I had a friend that built his AR from the cheapest parts kit(s) he could find and then put a real Tijicon optic on it. He had nothing but problems hitting anything since he was NOT qualified to stack kids A, B, C blocks much less “build” an AR (not as simple as some think)!!! Now, most folks will NEVER, ever use their systems under ANY extreme conditions and a “moderate” priced optic will work just fine for the AVERAGE user. And many users that opt for those high dollar units, do so for the WOW factor and nothing more.

    In over 50 years as an armorer and soft core gunsmith (no heavy machining), I have had one name brand optic fail and that was on a heavy barrel match bolt action that for whatever reason had heavy recoil and shook the optic apart (and it was only a .308Win). Company replaced it free and I installed a muzzle brake. Seems to be OK now, but I haven’t sent that many rounds down range in it.

    For most of my ARs I have Aimpoints. Ease of use, battery life, ruggedness, etc. they can’t be beat. Not a fan of the EOTech units. I have not used one much, but enough to understand they aren’t for me. Trijicicon are just too dollar intensive. In most cases, they are twice the value of the AR they sit on!!! I also have “real” optics that I can swap if I want some magnification. Usually a “good” 1-4.5×20/30. As I said, few of the “average” class shooters will ever exceed the capabilities moderate grade hardware!

    Buy wisely!

  • uisconfruzed

    I’ve had a T-1 on a 44 mag revolver for years, hasn’t come loose, original battery & I’m holding a 6″ group whilst standing at 75 yards.
    It’s become my hunting rifle.
    I just put a T-2 on my 300BLK.
    You get what you pay for.

  • CZFan

    Im really glad to finally see an article that isnt biased because the writer got sent free crap from a company. I rarely buy gun magazines anymore, or read internet articles from major publications because they are garbage. 99% of the time they just say how awesome a product is no matter what. For instance the UTS 15 a gun unanimously praised by the “industry” as a great gun, but the UTS 15 is actually a total piece of garbage, Ive had the misfortune of shooting two and neither were capable of functioning long enough to empty one magazine tube let alone both. And all independent sources agree the UTS15 is a total failure and isnt suitable for anything.
    But all the magazines and internet articles said it was the best thing since sliced bread.
    TFB was more vague, it didnt praise or denounce the UTS15, the blurb written about it was not a review or assessment it was a few sentences at best with a manufacturer written overview and specs attached. that “article” said “the writer was happy with overall performance” a pretty weak statement but that just shows how biased writers are when they get sent stuff.

  • midnitelamp

    grammar wise, US residents insert the “eh” at the beginning of sentences, Canadians at the end.

  • LilWolfy

    It’s made in China, so $179 too high on the price point.

  • skizzums

    it sounds like alot of folks here are in a similar position to mine, lots of firearms needing lots of optics. i am living the middle class dream and although i own a couple rifles dedicated for savving my butt if the time comes, most of them need optics that WORK for prices that don’t double the cost of the rifle. First of all, i have learned so many freaking times that cheap mounts do not work, hell….even some pricey ones don’t work. For magnified scopes of ANY kind excluding reflex sights, Nikon makes a very affordable mount that will hold it solid(this obviuosly does not pertain to current article, but it needs to be said) “tactical” scopes and smaller magnified optics can be made to fit with Nikon P-series mounts(some hand fitting COULD be required if mag turret has “knurling” that wont clear, but a simple fix), magnified AR type scopes and even “traditional scopes from most any maker with mags above 10x will be held sercurely with a Nikon M-series mount, if you have a pricier “billet machined” upper reciever or rail out of spec a Nikon XR-series will be needed. So that solves the mounting problem which is sometimes the main culprit of failre of “budget” optics, at least a walking zero. Now what i started this comment for, i have been through a decent gammut of”budget” scopes, dots , reflex, optics in general and have found a brand that i have now just invested my sixth optic with, Bushnell. I have clearer and better scopes, but for the price of bushnells line of optics, the quality is there and i have yet to be let down by a single one. I currently own most all their different styles of optics, TRS, 1-4x “throw-down” PCL(if ou want a really awesome low-power scope for flat-topped rifle, you really got to check this one out, super impressed, held on with the M mout), 1-9x AR optic with P mounts, 10x eilte with p-mount and 2 of the 4.5-18x AR optic with M mounts. I didnt even mention the 1-9x Banner series that has been tossed around for about 6 yars and still works great even sitting atop a drill and tapped Mosin reciever. I cannot spak for Bushnell customer service, because i have never needed it, and besides a hair of calrity at distances past 5-600 yards, i cannot tell a bit of “real-world” difference between my targeting with Nikon, Vortex or my cheaper Bushnell’s. I can’t say i ever see people complain about their Bushnells failing or missing the mark, but i am more confused as to why i always see them overlooked. I have trie real “budget” companies, Barska, several Sightmarks, Tru-Glo and stuff i cannot recall(i do actually have a sightmark that’s held up to some long term abuse, but two that did’t), but my Bushy’s never let me down and i use them for everything from HD to highpoer competition. It’s the only affordable scope maker that hasnt given me some kind of prob

  • myndbender

    I have owned a Primary Arms Gen 1 Micro Dot H-1 clone for a couple of years and I have been so impressed w/the quality and affordability that I ordered a
    second PA Micro Dot Gen 2, with the main upgrade being the 50,000 hour battery life plus a few minor button changes. My concern is that the Holosun optic reviewed here appears to be the PA optic I rec’d yesterday, w/just a different name on the optic & box. Or are they different products that just look alike B/C they are both doing a good job at cloning the appearance & most of the function of the same H-1 style optic? I’m not overly worried as most of my uses are not even near the high speed/low drag style of shooting/instruction, & the Primary Arms Gen 1 microdot has given me no problems & I hope it’s even better w/the gen 2. The genn 2. I just want to know if a Chinese made H-1 clone is good enough for a HD setup, or should I use irons for HD, & the gen2 clone at the range until I’m 100% confident in it’s reliability. Or hopefully the reviewed sight was just a lemon.

    • myndbender

      Shoulda just googled it. From the Primary Arms acct on arfcom where the subject of the thread was the holosun optic:
      This is one of our OEM partners and the factory owner wanted to develop his own brand. We have been working with him and this is the first one on the market.
      Until they get their US warranty facility up and running we will handle any CS issues.

    • vladimir

      They are made by the same Chinese factory as most all the other cheap dots like PA, Holosun, Bushnell etc. same electrics and glass some different body shapes but all same factory, dont let them give you a bullshit story otherwise

  • You make a good point. I’ve spoken at length with companies who started having all or part of the product line made in China. They found out very quickly they can’t take their eyes off the production of that companies products.

  • Charles Newman

    My Holosun has been awesome. Given the 50k hour battery life, just blue thread lock the base and try not to mangle the sight because you don’t have any patience. Or finesse.

  • Justin

    You bought an inexpensive Chinese made sight, mounted it on a shotgun, did not properly secure it, and after firing numerous slugs were surprised that it stopped working? You do understand that this would subject this cheap sight to significantly more recoil forces than it was most likely designed to handle right? These conditions would most likely cause all but the most well manufactured optics to fail. If you expect top tier performance, purchase top tier products. It’s ok if you don’t or can’t. But don’t have unrealistic expectations.

    Complaining about a scratch on the optic makes you sound like a girl.

  • CavScout

    You generally get what you pay for. Love how everyone is always trying to beat that as they don’t ‘get caught up in name brands.’

    • vladimir

      And they buy non-name brand junk !

  • Hyok Kim

    Too bad, tavor deserves better. However, I am a bit confused about who is distributing it. The reviewer said a Canadian company, but when I went to the site, its hq is actually located at two different locations! One at SoCal, the other at South Florida. Not a good sign. Based on my experience doing business. I didn’t have very positive experience with South Florida located companies. Also, I wonder whether the Canadian distributor is located at Toronto or nearby. Never met so many shysters in my life from one city as in Toronto.

    • vladimir

      Also sold under the Primary Arms brand name, it is made in China for these companies ! The earlier models were also made for Bushnell etc. ALL junk !

      • Hyok Kim

        Hey, thanks for the heads up. I am not knocking down anything made in China. Many Sony stuffs are made in China with Sony QA, just as durable and reliable as made in Japan. Some Chinese companies do outstanding job in audiophile components (and they don’t come cheap, but still a bargain compared to audiophile components made in USA.

  • That’s exactly.the process I followed to figure out how I wanted to set up my house carbine, just to see if I even *liked* the layout, before dropping big bucks on the quality gear. Accordingly, I found what things worked for me, and what didn’t, so I could go and buy the Aimpoint (for example), after verifying I liked the red dot at all. (My previous experience with red dots was years ago, when they weren’t neary as good.)

  • The Brigadier

    You exhibited one photo that read “Made in China”. China makes crap. If the Holosun company wants it products stronger and more trouble free find another manufacturing country. China uses inferior plastics, metal and electronics. This is the same company that puts toxic chemicals in Crest and Colgate toothpaste and they think nobody will test their products. Like all communists they focus on quantity and ignore quality. What else can you say about a nation that puts melamine (plastic) in dog food? Find another manufacturer and if anybody else is considering getting something made to market, avoid China like the plague. Whoops better not give them any ideas.

    • Nicholas Chen

      That is mostly true. However there are some really good chinese manufacturers. Hilux is one. Also some really good flashlights can come out of china. iPhones are made there too.

  • Bill

    They are these things that poke out of the top and work like little jackstands if you want to store your gun upside down. They are also handy for snagging stuff you can’t reach, taking chunks out of the corners in your wood or sheetrock walls, and hooking the seat belts in your car. Oh, and you can use them for one other weird operation, too. Put the top of the little post thingy in the center of the little circle thingy and then carefully press the metal hook thingy until the whole assembly makes a bang-type noise. You’ll find a small hole in whatever was at the other end of the line. Do not use on pets or weird friends and neighbors.

  • RoyG

    The Lucid HD7 is the best bang for the buck.. working man’s price with execallent battery life and the red dot keeps its center under most adverse conditions.. iv put over a 1k rounds in my 5.56 and combined with the tac shooting iv not ever had to adjust the center.. water proof not resistnat too.. even after dismounting and remounting the scope i havnt lost center… this is an awesome red dot scope… AND no i dont work for the company..LOL.. its just IMO one of the best optics out there..

  • vladimir

    You forgot to mention the GREEN glass, Try seeing your co-witnessed irons and the target in low light if it fails, you will not be able to because the glass is so green (cheap) that it does not allow enough light transfer, you better have this on a QD mount to jettison it quick ! and this is the same dot sold by Primary Arms under the PA name and I would not be surprised to see it with even other brand names as well, China made is indeed garbage !

  • Nicholas Chen

    Interesting. I have had my HS503C since Shot Show 2015. It has worked flawlessly. The only gripe I have is that it is not exactly T1 mount compatible. The hole pattern lines up but the bottom surfaces don’t mate up. The recesses are too shallow. So it will mount but there will be a gap.

    • holosun.ca

      Was the HS503C purchased at SHOT?

      • Nicholas Chen

        Yes it was. I bought it from Luis.

        • holosun.ca

          The units sold at SHOT were pre-production. They were to be sold to dealers as samples with the understanding that there was an issue with the depth of the slot on the mounts. This was discovered just before SHOT and was addressed on production units after SHOT. Please contact info@holosun.com.

  • Jason Bourne

    Hey Edward,
    Thanks for the review. I knew when I read the title that there would be all kinds of people dissing your review, claiming you were wrong, harping on how you can save money by buying cheap stuff that works “as good as the “real deal” expensive item” and saying “if you had done it my way it would have worked, your just dumb not knowing that my way is best.” Writing reviews and critiques is, after all, an honest look at how a product performed for a particular person. In the end, everyone should accept it as that and move on if they disagree. Instead we have everyone get on here and basically accuse you of lying and not knowing what you are doing (Which doesn’t make sense to me, but common sense is a super power these days) So basically, I guess I am saying, I appreciate your opinion.
    Thank you!

    Hello Everyone Else,
    Get real people! If you want a cheap optic, buy a cheap optic. If you want an expensive optic, then buy one. Just because something is more expensive does not make it a waste of money. Also, sometimes, I understand that price is not always an accurate determiner of quality. But, please, don’t get on here, rant and rave about how your cheapo stuff is just as good or better than the expensive stuff! Or, get on here and bash a product because it is cheap. Let people read these reviews, share your honest opinions, offer tips, and let useful info be passed around. Instead people get on here and bash the author, which is stupid, because if you knew as much as you claim you do you should have your own blog. This is a week written review. Learn from it, take it with a grain of salt, or whatever. But, really people, don’t get on here and be a know it all. No one likes a know it all.