Our Rating: 8.4 / 10
EOTech’s entry-level holographic sight offers everything you’d need expertly crafted in a must-buy package - just as long as you aren’t thinking you’ll need night vision capabilities.
The EOTech 512 is a well-built holographic red dot sight intended to give you super accurate shots both with arm-s reach of the enemy and at a few football fields’ distance.
Size (LxWxH in mm)
1,000 hours continuous at highest setting
Lens Cover Type
$400 or less, $480 retail
The EOTech 512 is an interesting sight with interesting features. It’s easy to compare it to something like the MeproLight, and perhaps there’s a good reason for that. They’re pretty similar in a lot of ways. While this isn’t a comparison article, the EOTech 512 is a very competitive holographic sight. It’s more or less EOTech’s entry level sight, and while this is clear in a couple ways, it still has a lot to offer.
Let’s start at the optics. When you get up into this price range, things stop being impressive by virtue of being simply good, and you start being allowed to be a little more critical than you might have been otherwise. That’s the case here, too. In general, the optics are very clear and bright, regardless of the lighting. This is always a welcome introduction to an optic. However, some report that the optic can be fuzzy. This wasn’t our experience, but it’s certainly something worth bearing in mind. The sight does offer a large viewing area and eye relief, making it easy to see through this sight regardless of your vantage.
Now, onto the reticle. Personally, I like the reticle. The EOTech is a practical red dot holographic sight with quick and easy target acquisition. In fact, this thing is built for fast target acquisition. The reticle looks nice and helps you focus where you need to. Not a whole lot more to say about that! It’s super accurate even out as far as 300 yards, and you won’t have any problems hitting where you’re aiming. It’s especially striking and easy to aim in bright sunlight, where the reticle contrasts incredibly well with the environment. Regardless of the light, though, as long as there is light, you’ll do well. This sight is held back a little by the fact that it’s not night vision compatible, which is sort of a drag. You also have to adjust the brightness of the light to match the environment, and the lack of a decent auto brightness feature means that you’re going to be very hands on with this sight. Some, too, say that the dot is too big. I didn’t have this thought process, but it’s all a matter of personal opinion, I guess.
The battery life is good, but not amazing. Other comparably priced sights have the same or better battery lives - few if any have worse. This is perhaps offset by the fact that the EOTech 512 uses simply a single AA battery for power instead of more specialized batteries. This is nice by mere virtue of the fact that AA batteries are everywhere, and you’ll almost always be able to find some near you if you don’t have any. The same can’t necessarily be said for the usual CR batteries. It’s worth noting while we’re on the subject that you may have to fiddle with the battery connections a little bit when you change batteries, with some saying they’ve had to stretch or even replace them altogether. This seems to be the extreme minority, though.
The design of the EOTech 512 is nice. It’s very streamlined, and I like that a lot. It’s no-nonsense and stays out of your way. The only downside is that it’s a little long, which makes it not ideal for every setup out there. Otherwise, though, it’s pretty compact and lightweight, all things considered. The buttons are nice, satisfying, and responsive, but the fact that they’re rear-facing makes it a little bit of a chore to use them. I feel like I have to go out of my way to press them, and buttons shouldn’t make me feel that way. One super nice element of the design is that there isn’t any light emission on the muzzle side, which means that a very bright dot which otherwise might be a dead giveaway of your position is completely obscured.
Mounting the EOTech 512 is easy enough. It’s a bit of a shame that it doesn’t have a quick release mount. Not everything does at this price range, but it’s definitely a feature that will be missed if you’re used to it. It cowitnesses well and is easy to mount for cowitnessing if you’re interested in that. At any rate, once it’s on, it zeroes quickly and it retains its zero superbly well, even if you take it off. Adjusting also feels like a dream thanks to the fact that the adjustment turrets are positive and precise.
As far as construction quality goes, it’s a very durable sight, like I said. It’ll stand up to a lot. However, its durability doesn’t mean that it’s heavy. In fact, it’s pretty lightweight in a comparative sense. It won’t add much bulk to your loadout, which is important in its niche since holographic sights are commonly used in situations where milliseconds are important and endurance is paramount.
Lastly, quality of life. It’s a little disappointing in this price range when sights don’t come with lens protectors or covers. I understand that the EOTech 512 is supposed to be low profile, but a good lens cover doesn’t cost that much to manufacture and include. This also means that any lens covers you buy will be detached (obviously), which puts you at risk of losing them. A simple flip-up lens protector on either side would have been a welcome addition to the 512, especially when you’re paying more than $400 for a sight.
Because of my review style and my devotion to painstakingly pointing out both the good and the bad in optics, it sometimes can sound like I’m dragging on an optic when that really isn’t the case at all. That’s true here as well. It’s just my responsibility to make sure that people know what they’re buying. The EOTech 512 is altogether a fantastic red dot holographic sight. If you don’t think you’re going to need night vision, or you can cowitness with something that does support night vision, then definitely Yes, you should buy it.
EOTech’s entry-level offering is as strong as their more expensive stuff. I love when companies don’t skimp out on their low cost offerings in order to goad people into buying the more expensive stuff. EOTech does that and really manages to give you your money's worth.