I recently (as in, it’s still mounted to my test bed AR) spent three weeks with the new Holosun circle red dot optic, and I couldn’t be more pleased…
A QUICK UNBOXING
The Holosun circle red dot optic arrived in a very nice foam-fitted hard plastic box. The packaging indicates to me that they care about their product and want it presented well. The sight was already mounted to what appeared to be a same focal plane height mount. It was fitted well; when I tried to tighten the sight further into the mount I found everything to be snug and within torque specs.
I have three basic criteria with all AR optics systems I have used and tested: Is it reliable and robust enough to carry and use on a daily basis? Once sighted-in with a particular round does it hold zero? How well do I like the optic, as well as the glass and optic clarity?
SET-UP and OVERALL IMPRESSIONS
I mounted it to a very reliable and lightweight AR system which I built several years ago and regularly use. With this build I used machined receivers and mounted a lightweight FN barrel to the upper receiver, with a BCM comp attached. The trigger was a polished and nickel-boron-finished trigger group; “military” ruggedness with a cleaner break and reset.
I turned on the optic and took this rifle with the newly attached Holosun circle red dot sight and threw it, uncased, on the rear seat floorboard of my daily driver Tacoma. The intention was to keep the Holosun optic bouncing around the rear compartment of the truck throughout my travels and shoot it throughout the following weeks when I was able to do so.
Having most of my years of AR shooting and instruction experience with a simple non-magnified red dot optic or an etched reticle variable-powered optic, I found the Holosun circle dot optic quite interesting. The reticle was very clear with absolutely no shadowing of the circle portion of the optic. It was daytime bright, and on the highest setting the entire reticle was clearly bright and clear—even in the blazing Arizona sun.
As with all AR optics, my first order of business is to sight-in the rifle with a particular load. The following day I was able to zero this AR at 100 yards and do a limited amount of shooting. I zeroed the gun with medium-grade .233 ammunition, shooting consistent 1¼ to 1½-inch groups at that distance. It’s a very good group for this shooter, with this AR, and other non-magnified optics I have mounted to it in the past. Back it went in my truck for some “real world” carry impact testing.
Over the next three weeks this rifle and the Holosun circle red dot optic resided on the floorboard of my truck. Twice a day I took it out to verify the optic was still aglow, and approximately every other day I shot it under various conditions at various ranges. The Holosun never lost its illumination when checked and the same while shooting, even without a “flicker.”
The optic never lost its zero through 10 different shooting sessions including two several-hour road trips to the Arizona “great white north” to ranges in the high country. Shooting was done up close and at 100 and 200 yards at a USPSA-sized steel target. At close ranges the circle portion of the reticle was the approximate width of the A zone on a USPSA paper target at 7 yards—perfect for close and fast indexed shooting. Put the circle on the A zone, hold the rifle for a quick pause, and break shots quickly. Shooting at distance I found the dot portion also very clear and precise. In fact, this circle portion seemed to assist me in centering the dot in the optic’s glass to make repeated accurate shots at distance much more consistent.
The circle red dot reticle facilitated me in using a technique which I learned years ago: to “center the dot.” The shooter is to try their best in truly centering the dot on the objective of the optic. The circle portion of the Holosun circle red dot optic helped tremendously with the initial visual focus of this technique. My eye initially used the circle portion, then focused on the dot to gain just that bit more precision. In no way was the circle portion distracting when trying to make those more precise shots.
In closing: Ruggedness, an A. Reliability, another A. Holding a zero, snooze – yep another A. Optic clarity, also an A. This is definitely one of those optics I will purchase and keep on my rifle to shoot recreationally with, at club matches, and showing an optional optic when teaching AR classes. Both thumbs up for the Holosun circle red dot optic.