Thu. Dec 12th, 2019

Assessment: Holosun HE503R Gold Dot Sight & Magnifier

Until you’re presently dwelling in a log cabin together with your great-grandpappy’s vintage flintlock assortment, you most likely personal a minimum of one gun with a crimson dot sight. These illuminated sights are ubiquitous on rifles, carbines, PDWs, and shotguns, they usually’re turning into steadily extra widespread on pistols as effectively. The minimally-obstructed subject of view, easy-to-acquire level of intention, and lengthy battery life an RDS gives make it an interesting alternative for any close-quarters-oriented weapon platform.

That stated, crimson dot sights aren’t the one possibility anymore. Many optic producers supply completely different reticle colours, corresponding to inexperienced or gold/amber. We just lately picked up the brand new Holosun HE503R-GD gold dot sight to see the way it fares compared to a conventional RDS or a inexperienced dot sight just like the HE510C-GR we beforehand reviewed. We additionally took this chance to judge the Holosun HM3X magnifier, which provides versatility to this sight.

Learn on as we overview the gold dot sight, the magnifier, and the way the 2 labored collectively.

Holosun Gold Dot Sight

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The corporate has expanded its Elite optic line with two new gold reticle fashions: the HE403R-GD and HE503R-GD. Each are variants of current crimson dot sights from the corporate’s Traditional line, particularly the HS403R and HS503R. All 4 of those fashions characteristic a compact 20mm housing with a guide brightness dial, and every features a low mount and a lower-1/Three co-witness mount.

The 403 fashions characteristic a 2-MOA dot, whereas 503 fashions characteristic Holosun’s A number of Reticle System (MRS) which affords a 2-MOA dot with a user-selectable 65-MOA ring possibility. There’s an $85 to $100 distinction between the 2, so for those who aren’t dedicated to the 65-MOA ring, it can save you a substantial quantity by going with the dot-only 403 mannequin. Present MSRPs are $199 for the HS403R (crimson dot solely) or $218 for the HE403R-GD (gold dot solely), and $285 for the HS503R (crimson dot/ring) or $320 for the HE503R-GD (gold dot/ring). The latter mannequin is the topic of this overview.

As talked about in our HE510C overview, Elite fashions additionally supply a greater guarantee than the Traditional sequence. Particularly, you get a restricted lifetime guarantee in opposition to defects on the housing or lens, and a 10-year guarantee on the illumination system. Traditional optics have a 5-year lens guarantee and Three-year illumination guarantee.

Why Gold?

Now for the elephant within the room — what’s the purpose of a gold reticle? Is it actually superior to crimson or inexperienced? As chances are you’ll count on, that reply is generally subjective. Nonetheless, there are some potential professionals and cons to think about earlier than selecting a gold dot.

Holosun says the gold reticle was developed partially as a result of it’s not affected by the commonest type of color-blindness. In line with the U.S. Nationwide Library of Drugs, red-green colour imaginative and prescient deficiency impacts 1 in 12 males and 1 in 200 females in inhabitants teams with Northern European ancestry. Compared, blue-yellow colour imaginative and prescient defects are far rarer, solely affecting about 1 in 10,000 folks worldwide. For those who have been born with red-green color-blindess, a yellow reticle must be a lot simpler to identify than both of these colours.

The opposite claimed benefit of the gold dot reticle is its effectiveness in a greater diversity of environments. Whereas a crimson dot may get washed-out in opposition to burnt sienna rock formations and a inexperienced dot may mix right into a grassy subject, this vivid yellow-orange hue stands out in each settings.

There may be one evident situation (no pun meant) with the gold reticle: battery life. For those who immediately evaluate the specs field between crimson dot and gold dot fashions, you’ll see that the previous lists “as much as 100,000 hours” of battery life at medium brightness whereas the latter lists “as much as 50,000 hours” (the identical as inexperienced dot fashions). Though 50,000 hours continues to be a really very long time — roughly 5.7 years — it’s nonetheless half so long as the usual crimson dot. Additionally, this sight doesn’t have Holosun’s battery-saving options corresponding to Shake-Awake or a photo voltaic panel, so it’s possible that you simply’ll be consuming into that battery life 24/7/365 if it’s used on something aside from a secure queen.

Holosun 3X Magnifier

The HM3X magnifier is new for 2019, and Holosun boldly proclaims that it’s “the very best magnifier worth available on the market right this moment” on account of its $235 MSRP. It encompasses a lever-locking QD rail mount with a detachable spacer to be used with absolute co-witness or lower-1/Three co-witness sights (1.four or 1.63 inches from high of rail to heart of lens, respectively). The aluminum housing flips on to the aspect and is retained in both place by a sturdy detent.

A ±Three diopter permits you to focus the magnifier to match your eye, and the windage/elevation controls may be adjusted to heart the dot utilizing a flat screwdriver or the slotted caps from a Holosun sight. Eye aid is 2.75  inches; exit pupil is zero.29 inches.

Vary Time

We put in the HE503R-GD sight and HM3X magnifier onto a S&W AR-15 alongside the usual Magpul MBUS rear sight. The lower-1/Three mount comes pre-installed on the gold dot sight, however the matching lower-1/Three spacer needed to be put in on the magnifier to get it to line up. With that step full, the HE503R was put in onto the higher receiver with the included Torx wrench, and the magnifier’s QD mount was locked in place after adjusting its clamping drive with the identical wrench. It’s good that this QD mount comes commonplace with the sight, since some opponents (e.g. Main Arms) promote them individually.

With the sight and magnifier put in, we instantly seen that the finishes on this stuff are completely different. Holosun’s website online lists “MAO black” because the floor end for each merchandise, however the sight we obtained seems glossier and darker than the magnifier. We in contrast a number of different Holosun sights, they usually all appear to match the magnifier’s matte charcoal end, however the HE503R-GD doesn’t. Holosun’s product images additionally present a lower-gloss end than what we obtained. This can be a minor nitpick, nevertheless it makes us surprise about how a lot variation there’s on this manufacturing line.

Cosmetics apart, the gold dot sight may be adjusted between brightness settings of zero by 12 — two settings to be used with night time imaginative and prescient, and ten to be used in daylight. The ultimate place of the brightness dial (pictured above) toggles the reticle between dot and dot+ring; it remembers this setting even when the sunshine is turned on and off once more. We want the dot+ring configuration because it makes it simpler to accumulate the dot because the weapon is shouldered.

Parallax is minimal, however not solely absent as Holosun advertises — no dot sight available on the market is actually parallax-free.

Selecting a Colour

This “gold” dot colour is an acquired style, though we don’t imply that in a damaging approach. It may be described as vivid yellow with a touch of orange, very like a yellow visitors gentle. It’s much like Trijicon’s amber reticle colour, which has been accessible for fairly a number of years now. We thought it would wash out extra in opposition to a desert background, however have been happy to see that it wasn’t very exhausting to identify so long as the brightness was set appropriately.

So, chances are you’ll be questioning, ought to I’m going with a crimson, inexperienced, or gold dot? We will’t reply that query for you, however primarily based on our experiences, we like inexperienced the very best. It appears to face out greater than the opposite colours in most environments we’ve examined, regardless of Holosun’s implication that gold is extra versatile. This is smart as a result of the human eye is most delicate to colours within the inexperienced portion of the spectrum, inflicting them to look brighter (until you’re color-blind).

A photograph of the HE510C-GR inexperienced reticle from our earlier overview.

Deciding between crimson and gold is a a lot nearer name. We’d nonetheless give a slight edge to crimson, however which may be principally as a result of we’re already had a few years to get used to it. Nonetheless, vivid crimson backgrounds aren’t widespread in nature, whereas vivid yellows — corresponding to sunlit sand dunes — are extra plentiful. Because of this, gold can be our third alternative, however we’d nonetheless gladly take it over iron sights.


The HM3X magnifier is straightforward to make use of, and pairs properly with this sight. The detent holds the magnifier firmly in line, however isn’t exhausting to beat as you push the housing to the aspect. Readability is sweet, though the magnifier cuts down on gentle transmission, inflicting the sight image to look dimmer with a faint bluish solid. There’s a variety of glass between your eye and the goal with two separately-housed optics, so that is to be anticipated.

The HM3X is on par with entry-level magnifiers, nevertheless it’s clearly not on the extent of an Aimpoint or EOTech. In fact, it’s priced accordingly.

By way of the magnifier, the dot and circle nonetheless look crisp, though the circle turns into distracting at 3X magnification. We set the sight to dot-only mode whereas utilizing the magnifier.

After utilizing a pal’s AR with a Main Arms Gen IV 3X magnifier with QD mount ($165 MSRP), the PA magnifier’s sight image appeared a little bit brighter, nevertheless it featured a smaller eyebox and a few slight edge distortion. We strongly most well-liked the Holosun’s easy housing design and flip motion, nevertheless it additionally has a $70 increased pricetag. The HM3X is a stable alternative, however we wouldn’t say it’s far and away “the very best worth available on the market” as Holosun’s product web page states.

Ultimate Ideas

Each the HE503R gold dot sight and HM3X magnifier have carried out effectively, and work collectively as meant. The magnifier makes it simpler to succeed in a little bit additional out, and may be shortly pushed out of the best way for short-range engagement.

At a mixed MSRP of $555, the HE503R and HM3X are in the identical worth vary as entry-level low-power variable optics (LPVOs). Frankly, we’re nonetheless keen on a 1-4X or 1-6X LPVO for many multipurpose carbines. These scopes supply infinite magnification adjustability, and their increased most magnification and extra detailed reticles are better-suited to longer ranges. They’re additionally contained in a single unit with one set of changes.

That stated, the “1X” provided by LPVOs within the sub-$1000 worth vary can’t contact the readability of an unmagnified dot sight for close-range use. The magnifier can also be detachable to chop weight, whereas an LPVO is a bundle deal. For those who already personal a dot sight and also you’re seeking to broaden its capabilities, otherwise you hardly ever use your weapon at longer ranges, a magnifier just like the HM3X may be value contemplating.

As for the gold dot sight by itself, we nonetheless want Holosun’s crimson and inexperienced dot sights, particularly these with Shake Awake and photo voltaic options. However the HE503R-GD comes with the improved Elite guarantee and gold reticle for $35 greater than the HS503R crimson dot, so for those who assume you’ll want the gold colour, it’s value a shot. As a client, extra selections are by no means a foul factor — though this sight configuration and reticle colour wouldn’t be our first alternative from Holosun’s lineup, we’re glad there are many fashions to select from.

For more information on Holosun’s dot sights and magnifier, go to

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