Ed. Note: In 2013, EOTech introduced a number of new products including the new EOtech 300 Blackout optic. Aaron had a chance to shoot with one and spend time with the company engineers out in Las Vegas. This is his preliminary review of the 300 BLK optic.
Being a user of this company’s products, I was interested to see the new EOTech Model 300 Blackout Whisper at the 2013 SHOT Show.
This new holo sight was one of two introduced in the XPS2 series of weapon sights. The other, the XPS2 Zombie II, was an obvious cash grab during the zombie craze that seemed to grip America for a few minutes. Fortunately, it died leaving us with only quality optics like the EOTech 300 BLK.
The XPS2 Platform
Officially named the model XPS2-300, this new EOTech holographic sight was specifically designed for tactical shooters. This new Holographic Weapon Sight (HWS) is based upon the XPS2 platform, the smallest HWS offering by EOTech.
The XPS2 is beneficial for more than just its small size, as it only requires one CR-123 battery to operate, instead of the two batteries in many earlier models.
In addition, the XPS2 has a perpendicular battery position. That means that the battery is perpendicular to the rifle barrel. This feature is a huge benefit. In some HWS systems, where the batteries run parallel with the rifle barrel, there have been issues with the sight shutting off during heavy shooting.
The cause is likely attributed to the jarring effect during shooting. With the batteries running parallel with the barrel, the full force of each shot is jostling the batteries forward and backward in the housing with every recoil. If there is any play at all with the battery connection, the sight can shut off during shooting. That situation can run from frustrating on the range, to a critical failure in a life-or-death shooting scenario.
This situation does not occur with all parallel battery sights, or obviously that design would not be on the market. However, I do know of an EOTech 516 that had to be returned to L3 for this very reason. The sight was mounted to an AR-15 shooting training .223 caliber ammunition. It was during a training exercise where multiple shots and targets were being engaged. The problem may have simply been a loose tension bar, but it appeared that the battery housing was closed tight.
L3 was more than helpful in that situation, and in no time the sight was back and in running condition. The XPS2 platform should eliminate even the concern of that situation occurring.
The 2-Dot Ballistic Drop Reticle
The 300 Blackout/Whisper offers a 2-dot ballistic drop reticle. This is similar to higher end hunting scopes that have mil-dot or hash marks so shooters can shoot at multiple known distances with a specific zero – often a 100 yard zero. To accomplish this the ballistic calculation has already been completed by the sight manufacturer. The other dots on the sight allow the shooter to simply move to a different dot and fire accurately without any manual adjustments of the sight.
For the red dot community I see that as a great improvement. Granted, most holographic sight shooters have that sighting system for up-close-and-personal work, but for those who may see a use for longer range shooting, this sight can fill that void. I see it as a great advantage to hunters using the .300 BLK or similar cartridge through an AR-15 platform. The guessing of zero is eliminated for the variety of practical ranges of the .300 BLK shooters.
300 BLK/Whisper Zero
L3 has gone a step further to assist the shooters of this new sight. Using laser etching, the EOTech 300 has the zero for subsonic and supersonic rounds right on the top of the hood for easy reference. Using the same sight picture, the known zeroes for each round are clearly marked.
For the subsonic rounds EOTech has used the top dot (the centered dot) for a 50-yard zero. The bottom dot is set for 150 yards. For the supersonic rounds EOTech has set the top dot zero for 100 yards, and the bottom dot for 300 yards. Each type of round is listed on the opposite side of the etched sight on the top of the hood, so there should be no confusion.
EOTech XPS2-300 BLK Sight Specs
- Length – 3.5″
- Width – 2.0″
- Height – 2.4″
- Weight – 8 oz.
- Waterproof – up to 10 feet
- Color – Black only
- Mount – 1″ Weaver or MIL-STD 1913 rail
- Return to zero – Repeatable to within 1 MOA after re-mounting
- Power source – (1) CR123 battery
- Battery life – 600 continuous hours at the nominal setting of 12
- Reticle options – 65 MOA ring w/ (2) 1 MOA dots
- MSRP – $619
- Available – now
- Announced – January 2013
Since the time this article was initially written, EOTech released several new red dot style optics. One of the latest is the 518 Holographic sight. The 518 is a descendent of the wildly successful 512 that has served the military, police and public very well for years. If you are looking for a reflex-type sight, but prefer another brand, consider the Miniature Rifle Optic (MRO) from Trijicon.
Last Update: June 19, 2022
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