I asked several people, “If fool me once is shame on you and fool me twice is shame on me, what do you call the third time?”
My favorite response was that if it happened a third time, “You’re an idiot.”
I’ve owned three Eotechs, I have owned three broken Eotechs. I suppose that fact makes me an idiot.
I picked up an Eotech 553, an older model marked SU-231/PEQ. This model is popular due to all the photos of SEALs and Rangers using this optic.
The battery contacts on it broke. This isn’t a fluke, it is a known issue with this model. SOCOM had something to say about the Eotech 553:
To all concerned:
The SOPMOD Program Management Office (PMO) is issuing this notice to all potential users of the EOTech SU-231/PEQ Reflex Sight, NSN 1240-01-533-0941, also known as the holographic weapon sight.
1. It was recently brought to the attention of the SOPMOD PMO that there exists the possibility that the SU-231/PEQ Reflex Sight made by EOTech is susceptible to failure characterized by the sight shutting off in the middle of weapon fire.
2. The failure is caused by faulty battery contacts that were incorporated by EOTech without government concurrence. (See attached image). These faulty battery contacts are susceptible to wear due to shock while the weapon is firing. As a result, the batteries may lose contact, causing the sight to shut off.
3. EOTech has qualified a new supplier of these battery contacts and the SOPMOD PMO is currently validating this new configuration through testing. By mid April 2008, this process should be complete. At that time, SOPMOD will institute a 100 percent replacement of the SU-231/PEQs that have already been fielded. Maintenance Contact Teams will travel to field units to either swap out the sights with replacements or conduct on-site field repairs. As an interim solution, the SOPMOD PMO is currently testing a field replaceable grommet that will mitigate the risk of failure. Pending test results, these grommets will be shipped as part of a field replacement kits to units that have been issued the SU-231/PEQ.
4. The SOPMOD PMO has ordered a halt on any further fielding of this item until sufficient testing has been performed on sights with the incorporated part upgrade. For those field units that have already received the SU-231/PEQ, the SOPMOD PMO strongly recommends not using those sights until they can be replaced or repaired.
Even after this I hear multiple reports of the 553 failing and that Eotech is now replacing military 553s sent in with the newer EXPS models. I hear so many people claim the 553 is good and proven, but there are other better options.
So instead of a good and proper review, this is another rant about how I can not and will not recommend Eotech optics. I will post a more proper review some other time, also I can’t seem to get the reticle to show up in my photos at this time.
An upper with no bolt carrier group was rested on wooden blocks. Pictures were taken with a Samsung SIII.
ACOG TA01 Front sight base shadow was less visible then what the photograph shows.
Eotech 552. At max brightness (with week old batteries) I could barely see the reticle at max brightness.
The Aimpoint PRO looked better then what the photo shows.
Except for my finger in the picture, this photo well depicts the view thru the Aimpoint T1.
The ACOG reticle was crisper then what the photo shows, and the front sight base shadow less apparent.
Tech Specs:Aimpoint PRO – $400 11.6 oz 2 MOA Dot One 3V 2L76 or DL1/3N 30,000 hours – about 3.4 years (@ setting 7 out of 10) ½ MOA clicks
Aimpoint T1 with mount LT660 – $6503.7oz (not including mount) 4 (or 2) MOA Dot One 3V CR2032 50,000 hours – about 5.7 years (@ setting 8 out of 12) ½ MOA clicks
Eotech 552 – $57910.9 oz 1 MOA Dot, 65 MOA Ring Two AA batteries 1,000 hours Lithium @ 12, 600 with alkaline (About 42 days) (@settings 12) ½ MOA clicks Trijicon ACOG TA01 9.9 oz Bullet Drop Calibrated Crosshair No batteries Tritium half-life ~12 years. 1/3 MOA click
Aimpoint VS. Eotech VS. ACOG VS. Aimpoint
I rounded up an Aimpoint PRO, Aimpoint T1 (4 MOA), an Eotech 552, and a Trijicon ACOG TA01 for a side to side comparison. To try and get an unbiased opinion, I had a friend use all 4 optics on the same firearm, shooting both groups and assorted drills.
Comparing reflex sights to magnified optics is like comparing motorcycles to semi-trucks, but the subject is of much debate online. The simple answer is that you need to select the optic that best suits your needs.
I had my friend start off by shooting groups at 25 yards. His groups with iron sights and all the reflex sights were about the same. However when he used the ACOG the group tightened up considerably. I believe that because of having magnification and a crosshair that he slowed down and focused on the shooting fundamentals.
At this point my friend most preferred the ACOG. After using the ACOG my friend stated, “This is more of a traditional scope, not a reflex or an ACOG.” I proceeded to tease my friend about this statement for the rest of the day.
As for the reflex sights, my friend preferred the Aimpoint T1 the most, and the Eotech the least. This Eotech had week old batteries and even at max brightness was hard to see in the Florida sunlight. I must note that this is an older Eotech and newer ones may be brighter.
After the grouping exercise I had my friend practice bringing a rifle up from a ready position and engaging multiple locations on a target at 10 yards. I started my friend with iron sights, then had him try the various optics. I was surprised that for my friend, he found the ACOG faster and more comfortable for quick shooting. Both the Aimpoint PRO and T1 were about the same, and the Eotech was still disliked due to it being dim and the reticle being cluttered.
Tried variations of multiple targets, and shooting left handed. All the same results. Trying to shoot left handed for my friend was awkward regardless of optic, but the reflex sights seemed to help.
While I was at the range, I got the chance to talk to a former Army officer and had him look over the various optics. Without shooting with them, he came to the same conclusion that my friend did. The Aimpoint T1 was the preferred optic, with the PRO being second choice. The Eotech was disliked due to being dim. My friend thought the Eotech reticle was cluttered and preferred just the dot in the reflex sights. While they both liked the ACOG, both would have taken an Aimpoint over it.
When I asked about the difference in dot sizes or window size preferences, neither my friend nor the former Army officer noticed a difference, but they both liked the Aimpoint T1 better.
Personally, I used to be a big Eotech fan but then I had mine fail me. Eotech’s record of failures keeps me from being able to like them anymore. While I much prefer the Aimpoint T1, I highly recommend the Aimpoint PRO as the economical optic choice. There are few bigger ACOG fans then myself, but I don’t believe that the ACOG is the right optic for most shooters, and that for the majority of people who plan to use their carbine as a home defense or close range firearm are better suited with a good Aimpoint over a magnified optic ACOG.
This is the first session of LooseRounds.com Q&A. If you have a firearms related question please email it to QA@LooseRounds.com. We will post the your questions anonymously and give you our answers.
1. Aimpoint vs. Eotech?
Howard: Shawn and I advocate the Aimpoint. While early Eotechs were a far superior optic to early Aimpoint, modern Aimpoints easily beat Eotechs. Aimpoints like the PRO, T-1, and Comp M4 have superior battery life over the Eotechs. An Aimpoint will run for years while an Eotech will run for a month on a single battery. In a recent drop test by Andrew Tuohy of http://vuurwapenblog.com/ the Aimpoint beat the Eotech. Eotech has also had issues with battery draining while the optic is off. Lastly, for a home defense rifle you can leave an Aimpoint on at all times so your rifle is ready to go. I would not want to have to turn on an optic in a hurry while in an adverse situation.
2. Will the Colt 901 take any 5.56 upper?
Shawn: The Colt 901 will accept any 5.56/6.5/6.8/300BLK/etc upper receiver that has a small front pivot pin hole(Sorry, no old SP1 uppers will work with out an adapter). You will need to use a mag well adapter and change out the buffer and buffer spring.
3. Aimpoint PRO vs. Eotech.
Howard: Ignoring the vs. Eotech part that was previously covered, the Aimpoint PRO is an great economical choice for a AR15. Running about $400 new, it comes as a complete package ready to mount onto an AR15. At 3/4 max brightness it will run about 3 years continuously. You can leave this on next to your bed, or in your patrol car and know that it will be ready to go when you need it. You can quickly adjust the brightness to be appropriated for the ambient lighting condition. While it runs off a less common battery, you get so much longer life out of each battery it would end up costing you less then if you use an AA battery model Eotech.
4. What is the lightest bullet for the 1 in 7 twist.
Shawn: You can go as low as a 40 grain ballistic tip as long as it is a .224 bullet and not .223 hornet diameter, because the hornet diameter bullets have a light jacket designed to explode at a lower velocity. Hornet bullets will not stand up to the faster twist and higher velocity. Any quality 40 grain load will shoot just as well as any quality 55 or 62 grain load accuracy wise. These lightweight bullets are not over stabilized and will not blow apart in flight. That myth is from the days where people used the older light jacket hornet bullets in the new higher capacity .22 caliber cases like the .223 and 22-250.
Both Aimpoint and Eotech are popular reflex optics for the AR15 family of weapons. Constantly online and there are heated debates over which is the better optic and many people have differing opinions for different reasons. There is one major reason the Aimpoint should be picked over the Eotech for home defense. This is the Aimpoints battery life and run time. An Eotech needs to be turn on before use, and will run 4 or 8 hours before shutting down. The Aimpoint will run months to years depending on model and brightness.
The Soldier or the police officer when going on duty or starting a patrol has the time to turn on an Eotech. You don’t know when you might need to use a home defense rifle, and you shouldn’t want to have to turn on its optic before you can use it. Even worse would be if your battery is dead when you need it. The new Eotech EXPS3 has a listed battery life of 25 days on setting 12. The new $400 dollar Aimpoint PRO will run 3 years on 3/4 max brightness.
Back when I owned an Eotech 512, I often found the batteries were dead when I wanted to use it. I had to store the batteries out of the optic to keep them from draining. Not only did I have to turn it on before I would shoot, I would have to check during the day that it is still on. When working at the range, I have seen more then a few shooters day at the range ruined when the only rifle they bought has an Eotech with dead batteries and no iron sights.
If your rifle is a fun gun, get the optic you prefer. But if you require a reflex sight that is ready all the time, use an Aimpoint.