Advantages: Always on, great reticle, long battery life
Disadvantages: Finicky battery compartment
Rating: 5 out of 5
I was shooting a 3 Gun match a few years ago, and I discovered, much to my chagrin, that I had forgotten to turn on my red dot sight before I placed it in the staging barrel, meaning I had to take a few extra seconds to turn it on before I proceeded to shoot the stage. This was embarrassing at a match, but potentially lethal if I needed to defend myself with my rifle.
So I decided to try out some options. First up was a Sigtac CP1 3x scope which did the job, but the reticle was far too confusing for serious work. I then swapped that out on my SU16 for the Leupold 1.5-4x scope I originally got for 3 Gun, and it’s working out just fine.
But that left out my .300 Blackout pistol., and for that, I reached out to Brownells for a Holosun HS503C 2 MOA Circle Red Dot Sight. I was particularly interested in this sight because of it’s auto-brightness, solar cell recharging capability and ridiculously long battery life.
And so far, 3 months into it, I am very impressed with this sight. The sight illumination is always pretty much spot-on, although it does have some issues when I’m in a darker spot and pointing out to a much brighter sport. The reticle itself is clear and sharp, with a 2 MOA center that’s surrounded by a 65 MOA circle. I found that the circle fit neatly inside the torso of a standard USPSA target at 40 yards, making rapid shots on close targets a breeze, and the 2 MOA dot was a nice, round circle, which, because of my astigmatism, doesn’t happen all that often for me.
I can’t speak to the ruggedness of the sight, as I’ve really not torture-tested it in anyway, but I did run into a spot of trouble when it came time to slide in a battery for the first time (and by “spot of trouble” I mean “I actually had to read the directions to see how things were supposed to work”). The battery itself, after three months of being left constantly on, is still going strong, where by this time, the battery in my Bushnell TRS-25 would have been a useless lump of metal.
Bottom line is, if you’re looking for a 1x red dot for defensive or competition purposes, I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a better combination of features and pricing than this little sucker, and it’ll be my first-choice for such things from here on out.
FCC Notice: Brownells gave me this to review, not Holosun. Did I write a glowing review of it because of their generosity? Heck no, I wrote good things about it because it’s a good optic!