Eotech EXPS3-4 Review : Hands-On Experience

eotech exps3-4

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Are you looking for the ultimate close-quarters optic and don't believe in compromising on durability, quality, and effectiveness? Unless you've been living under a rock, you've probably heard about EOTech's venerable line of holographic weapon sights, and the EXPS3-4 represents another evolution in their already world-class design.

Read on to see our thoughts on this optic, as well as a detailed rundown on the specs, features, and field-tested performance impressions. Whether you're looking for a home defense or duty optic, or you're simply a recreational shooter who accepts no substitutes when it comes to their gear, the EXPS3-4 has a lot to offer.

Overview

First things first – what exactly is a holosight, and why should you care? In simple terms, a holosight uses a laser diode and a complex system of mirrors to project a “floating” reticle, in contrast to the simpler and more common red dot technology, which relies on an LED emitter to bounce the reticle off of the lens and back to your eye.

eotech exps3-4 review

In practical terms, the biggest difference is that a holosight allows you to focus on the reticle and the target at the same time, which means a clearer sight picture, faster target acquisition, and little to no parallax distortion. It’s also a much better option than a red dot for shooters who suffer from astigmatism or other ocular conditions.

If you are looking for best red dot for astigmatism, then must check out our guide on best red dot for astigmatism.

The other major difference is that a holosight reticle will still be perfectly clear and visible if it's covered in rain or dust, or even if the lens is cracked—this rugged, reliable performance regardless of conditions is one of the reasons these optics have found a home with the US military.

Like other holosights, the EOTech EXPS is unmagnified, though they are so often paired with a magnifier than EOTech even sells them as a combo called the HHS 1 optical system.

What's In The Box?

As of writing, the EXPS3-4 is available on Amazon for just under $700, though if you're patient you might be able to shave a little extra off with the occasional discount. So what do you get for your money? When you unbox your new optic, here's what you'll find:

  • EXPS3-4 Optic with Raised Quick-Release Mount
  • A Quick-Start Guide
  • Warranty Card
  • CR123 Lithium Battery

It's also worth pointing out that the box it comes in pulls double duty as a pretty tough protective case, which is a nice touch that more optics manufacturers should take notes from. To put it simply, you get everything you need to run your optic right out of the box.

EOTech EXPS3-4

EOTech EXPS3-4

The price of EOTech EXPS3-4 varies, so check the latest price at

Design & Features

4-Dot Ballistic Reticle

In addition to the large 68 MOA ring and 1 MOA dot in the center, the EXPS3-4 has 3 additional holdover dots for making easy adjustments out to 600 yards. 

The holdover markings are designed specifically with 62-grain FMJ .223 ammo in mind, which makes it the perfect choice for anyone who wants a versatile optic for their AR platform.

Military-Spec Durability

EOTech has a contract with the US military, which means their optics undergo extremely rigorous testing to ensure they meet the standards expected of battle-ready equipment. 

In addition to passing the military's drop test, the EXPS's o-ring seal means it's waterproof and even fully submersible up to 10 meters. EOTech holosights are also designed with a clever aluminum hood over the optical element itself, which gives them a whole extra layer of protection.

Truly Zero-Parallax

The laser-and-mirror design of holographic sights means that even the cheapest ones naturally produce a much weaker parallax effect than red dots or traditional scopes, but EOTech are one of the few manufacturers who can boast a truly zero-parallax optic. 

eotech exps3 review

It may not make much difference in close quarters, but if you plan on running your optic with a magnifier and taking shots at longer ranges, parallax can really start to cause problems. It's a great feeling to know that you don't have to worry about that when you're using this sight.

Overall Performance

EOTech sights aren't cheap, but when you mount one your rifle for the first time, you'll definitely see the difference that money makes. The reticle is crisp and bright even in low light conditions thanks to its impressive 20 levels of daylight illumination, and if you want to keep shooting after the sun goes down, fear not – there's a small “NV” button on the side of the optic that gives you an additional 10 night vision compatible illumination settings.

As a side note, an interesting aspect of holosight design is that there is no forward emission of the laser that provides illumination, which means that not only are they easier to use with night vision goggles, but you won't be giving your position away to anyone else wearing them. Not something that most shooters are going to have to worry about, but if you're looking for a patrol optic, it's something to keep in mind.

The adjustable windage and elevation turrets are nice and tactile, with 0.5 MOA click values and 40 MOA of total travel. Battery life is rated for 1000 hours, which is almost double what the older EOTech models ran, and the optic has an auto-off feature so you don't have to worry about whether you forgot to turn it off between uses.

eotech exps3 4

The only nitpick I have is that the holdover dots are so small that they can sometimes start to blend together, especially at higher brightness settings, but the truth is that these dots are meant to be used with a magnifier anyway, and anyone who is out there making 400+ yard shots at 1x magnification certainly has sharper eyes than I do.

For CQB applications, the EOTech reticle is probably the fastest I've ever used in terms of quickly acquiring targets and putting rounds on target at variable ranges. I'm also a big fan of the larger rectangular lens you get with these holosights, which I personally find makes it much easier to track game (especially tricky quarry like coyotes and other varmints) if you plan on using this as a hunting optic.

The optic can be mounted on any standard Weaver or picatinny / MIL-STD-1913 rail, and the quick-detach mount has a riser that allows for a lower 1/3rd co-witness with backup iron sights.

Pros / Cons

Pros

  • Battle-proven durability, fogproof, waterproof, and shockproof
  • Zero parallax
  • Incredibly fast target acquisition
  • Convenient Side Buttons

Cons

  • Not cheap
  • Holdover markings are a little blurry without a magnifier

Good Alternative

It wouldn't really be fair to compare the EOTech to a red dot sight, and there simply aren't a lot of holosights competing with it at this price point, but there is one alternative I can recommend if you want to pick up a holographic sight at a slightly lower entry cost.

1. Vortex Optics UH-1

Vortex Optics UH-1

The Vortex UH-1 holosight may not have the military record that the EOTech does, but in my experience Vortex puts out rugged optics, and their fully transferable lifetime warranty is arguably the best in the business.

I'm a fan of the UH-1's reticle, which shares the large circle / small center dot style with the EOTech, but ditches the BDC markings in favor of a small chevron at the bottom of the center ring for even quicker close-range shots. I will say that the lens has a much more noticeable green tint to it compared to the EOTech, though it's not bad enough to be a deal-breaker.

The UH-1 is definitely designed with CQB in mind, and the button placement on this optic means it's not ideal for use with a magnifier, but if you're looking for a dedicated close-range option, this one is worth considering.

Vortex Optics UH-1

The price of Vortex Optics UH-1 varies, so check the latest price at

The Verdict

There's a good reason that some of the most elite operators in the world have EOTechs on top of their rifles – these optics are arguably the best in the world for close-range applications, and they have the track record to prove it. The EXPS 3-4 is built like a tank, and it feels like EOTech have finally perfected the design.

eotech exps3

If you're looking for the best of the best, this is the optic to beat. Whether you're hunting, using it on a patrol rifle, or mounting it on a home defense rifle, you can rest assured that this optic will rise to any challenge, and you'll never have to worry about it failing when it matters most.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Which is better, Aimpoint or EOTech?

Comparing these two sights head-to-head is a bit tricky, since their basic design is completely different. Both manufacturers have military and law enforcement contracts and a proven record of reliability in the field under some of the most extreme conditions imaginable, and both are designed for close-range shooting where every second counts. 

I will say that in my own opinion, while Aimpoints certainly have a more impressive battery life, I have to give the edge to EOTech for their faster target acquisition and slightly better clarity.

For more detailed comparison of these two, Check out our detailed guide on Aimpoint vs EoTech with magnifier.

Is the EOTech G33 worth it?

The EXPS3-4 was designed with the G33.STS magnifier in mind, to the point that EOTech even sells the two together as a bundle. If you want a more versatile optic capable of reliably making shots out to 600 yards, this 3x magnifier is a no-brainer.

And in terms of quality, I'm quite impressed with the G33. The reversible switch-to-side (STS) design means it can be used by lefties and righties alike, and I didn't notice any point of impact shift with the magnifier in place. 

It also has a very generous field of view compared to most other 3x magnifiers. Like the holosight, the magnifier also has a quick detach lever. If you do opt for the magnifier, definitely look for the bundle, sold as the Holographic Hybrid Sight I, or HHS I system, to save a bit of extra cash.

What distance should I zero my EOTech?

The manual recommends zeroing it at 50 yards, and I'd have to agree with that assessment, assuming you're running it on top of an AR. A 50 yard zero suits the .223 cartridge's trajectory, letting you easily put rounds on target from 0 to 200 yards, after which your holdover dots will be dead-on out to 600 yards.

I heard there were recalls on EOTech sights?

In 2017, EOTech recalled several of their optics due to unforeseen issues with thermal drift, which occurs when extremely high or low temperatures cause the reticle to drift out of alignment with the actual point of impact. 

Though very few sights were affected and the conditions necessary to cause the issue involve some of the most extreme weather on the planet, EOTech pulled the sights and redesigned them to eliminate the problem. None of the modern EOTech optics, including the EXPS3-4, are at risk of experiencing thermal drift.

Parting Shots

Here at Hunting Mark, our job is to sift through all the marketing buzzwords and the seemingly endless supply of mediocre shooting gear to deliver you honest, accurate information that will let you make an informed decision and get back to the range.

In this case, the product lived up to the hype, and I can definitely see why EOTech has earned a reputation as a titan of the optics industry. If you end up picking one up for yourself, don't forget to stop back and sound off in the comments to let us know what you think of it! And if you want to see the EOTech go head to head against another legendary optic, check out our EOTech vs. Trijicon ACOG article! Also, if you are looking for some alternative for Eotech, then must check out our complete guide on best Eotech clones & alternatives.

References

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