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The Eotech 518 is the natural evolution of the classic Eotech 512. The Eotech series of holographic weapon sights are designed for medium and short range engagements and use an interesting and effective reticle. This Eotech 518 is similar in purpose to a red dot sight, but it’s holographic reticle is more complicated and ultimately more useful than the simple red dot. The Eotech 518 is a semi square window that functions with unlimited eye relief, and when using it while both eyes are open you have an unlimited field of view.
What’s New In 518?
The Eotech 518 and Eotech 512 are similar in performance in many different ways. They share the same batteries, battery life, and even reticles. Where they differ is in the ergonomics of the optics. The Eotech 512 use ambidextrous controls placed on the rear of the optic, the Eotech 518 uses side mounted controls. These controls turn the optic on, and change the illumination setting, both brightening and dimming it. Most prefer side mounted controls because they can be adjusted without breaking the line of sight. Some left handers may prefer the ambi controls though. Side mounted controls make working with night vision or a magnifier much easier as well.
The Eotech 518 also uses a quick detach mount instead of the standard Eotech picatinny mount. This allows a more even application of tension when joined to a rail. This makes the Eotech 518 sit a little higher than a standard optic, but make co witnessing with iron sights easier. The Eotech 518 is also compatible with the laser battery caps that connect to the optic and act as both a nightvision and visible lasers.
Unboxing The Eotech 518
The Eotech box is one of my favorites and in my opinion is what should set the industry standard. The Eotech is a 450 dollar optic that comes in a water and shockproof case. This case latches down extremely tight and protects the optic from anything you can toss at it. No cardboard to be found here. This polymer case is filled with custom cut foam which protects the optic. There is a manual and warranty information and that is about it.
The Eotech 518 functions off of a standard double A battery. Standard batteries provide 600 hours of continuous use and lithium batteries provide 1,000 hours of use.. This sounds impressive, but is low compared to industry standards. For example, Aimpoint Micro T-1 offers 50,000 hours of continuous use from single battery.
The reason being the holographic reticle is more complicated to produce, and uses more light. and therefore results in higher battery usage. The reticle is the A65 to be specific. This reticle creates a 68 MOA circle with four stadia on the left, right, top and bottom. In the middle sits a single 1 MOA red dot. The reticle is meant to be used as a multi purpose reticle for both close and medium range engagements.
The 68 MOA circle is designed for use at close range. Shooters simply put the target in the circle and start pulling the trigger. At medium ranges the 1 MOA red dot is utilized for shots out to 200 yards with a 5.56 round. At 200 yards the small dot is easy to use, but regardless the shot on a moving target is a challenge. This reticle is very easy to use and is quite versatile.
The controls are very simple to use and quite self explanatory. The up arrow makes it brighter and the down arrow dims it. The elevation and windage turrets are easy to move and easy to sight in. The Eotech 518 has 20 daylight settings, but lacks an option for night vision. This isn’t a major concern to most shooters, and the Eotech 538 offers night vision compatibility if desired. The lack of night vision compatibility does bring the price down significantly and budget is always a concern.
Testing It Out
The quick detach lever makes mounting the optic simplistic and locks the optic down tight to the rifle. The QD lever is a definite advantage in this optic and attaching it is locktite free and will not budge after thousands and thousands of rounds of ammo. Zeroing is a bit different than the standard rifle and is much more rough. I zeroed at 25 yards and my zero consisted off turning the reticle until it matched with my group and calling it square.
After zeroing we set up at ten yards with three man sized targets and begin doing basic drills. These drills involved hammer pairs, controlled pairs, failure to stop drills and fast transitions. With one person sounding off the drill and which target we were to shoot, we were kept on our toes. If someone called “hammer pair, target three” or “failure to stop drill, targets 1 and 2” we were having to rapidly swap targets at a whim.
That’s one of the best parts about the Eotech, how fast and accurately it allows you to swap from target to target, and how fast transitions are. The Eotech shines in close range combat and using the Bindon aiming concept the optic becomes an extension of your own eyes. Backing off to a hundred yards the optic is still capable of engaging surprisingly well. This optic is not made for breaking clays, or spinning dueling trees, it’s made for striking human targets and in that realm the Eotech rules.
At 100 yards we could exercise the same drills, albeit with a little more time in between shots. At 100 yards the optic is still spot on, a little lower, but nothing extreme on target. When paired with a magnifier like G33 the Eotech 518 could absolutely rule the range, and the battlefield.
Eotech makes fine optics and always have. The 518 employs a lot of modern features that allows the optic to be more versatile, and therefore the weapon is more versatile. The Eotech 518 is a fine optic for close range combat and would be good for combat based competition, police, military, and home defense.
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