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Aimpoint Pro vs. EOTech 512

EOTech 512 Holographic Sight

Choosing a riflescope can take a lot of research, trial and error, and time. The biggest question many people have when choosing what type of scope to buy is: what type of optics should I be looking for?

For many close quarters shooters, the red dot holographic sight is their go to optic. These scopes often have no magnification, but feature easy target acquisition and durability. Two leading manufacturers in this type of rifle scope are Aimpoint and EOTech.

The Aimpoint Pro and EOTech 512 are moderately priced holographic red dot sights. They are comparable in many ways, but there are a few features of each scope that may sway your opinion on which scope to buy.

Technical Specifications

Those without a lot of time on your hands, here is a quick rundown of comparable features on both the Aimpoint Pro and the EOTech 512.

​Aimpoint Pro

​EOTech 512

Display

​Red Dot Holographic Sight

​Red Dot Holographic Sight

Aim Dot Size

​2 MOA

​2 MOA

​Night Vision Compatible

​Yes

​Yes

​Magnification

​1x

​1x

​Eye Relief

​Unlimited

​Unlimited

​MOA adjustment

​Range ±2 m at 100 meters (±2 yds at 100 yds) in windage and elevation, 1 click = 16 mm at 100 meters = 13 mm at 80 meters = 9/16" at 80 yds

1/2 Minute of Angle (MOA), ¼ inch (6.35mm) at 50 yards (45.7m), or ½ inch

(12.7mm) at 100 yards (91m) when zeroing.  1 full rotation = = 10 MOA

​Size

​5 1/8” x 2 3/16” x 2 5/8” 11.6 oz. including covers, mount and spacer

5.6”x 2”x 2.5”

 11.1 oz.

​Environmental Settings

- Fog Resistant internal optics

- 10 ft waterproofing

 - AR Coating External optics

- Fog Resistant

- Submersible 150 ft.

​- AR device compatible

​Battery Life

​30,000 hours continuous use w/3v

​1,000 hours w/ Lithium AA

As you can see there are clear differences in the two holographic sights. Let’s take a closer look at the features that each sight provides the shooter.

Display

The displays on both the Aimpoint Pro and EOTech512 sights are generous with their eye relief and parallax settings.

The Aimpoint Pro features no parallax settings. The eye relief is unlimited. This sight is designed for use in rapid fire scenarios. 

The display on the Aimpoint Pro is designed for use with both eyes open. This feature enables the operator to have greater situational awareness than with sights that require single eye operation. Both eyes open also allow for greater speed when acquiring the target.

One of the best features of the display on the Aimpoint Pro sight is the ability for the sight to activate even with the lens caps on. The lens caps on the sight are clear enabling the rifleman to sight a target, in an emergency situation, without having to worry about the lens covers. The lenses on the sight are still protected but your targeting isn’t compromised.

The EOTech 512 display utilizes a true heads up display (HUD) that allows the user greater situational awareness. The sight can be used on multiple weapons and is not limited to carbines. Many people opt to mount the EOTech on their crossbow, bolt guns, and small caliber machine guns.

The HUD on the EOTech 512 uses a laser to illuminate the red dot pattern imbedded on the sight. This allows you to sight your target accurately, no matter the positioning of your eye in reference to the display. If you need highly adaptive sighting the EOTech gives just that when shooting.

Best Sight: The Aimpoint Pro has a superior performance with the display. The “lens cap on” functionality that protects the lens and shooter is a great feature. Also, with dual eye focus the Aimpoint Pro sight performs better

Aim Dot

The Aimpoint Pro sight features a 2 MOA dot. Some models of the Aimpoint pro have an adjustable 2-4 MOA dot. There is a 1 MOA dot on the EOTech 512. The MOA ring goes from 0 to 68 and offers plenty of correction for the operator.

The Aimpoint Pro sight can be a little funky when interacting with various background colors. This may just be a preference. There are adjustments for the brightness of the sight. Once you adjust for your preferred brightness on the red dot, you should find that it corrects the transparency issues.

The EOTech is much smoother when sighting because it doesn’t react the same way that the Aimpoint scope does to background color. This may have something to do with the overall construction style of the two scopes.

Best Scope: It’s really a wash and depends on how you prefer your aim dot to look. Since they are the same magnification and size, it is about personal illumination preference.

Night Vision Compatible

The Aimpoint Pro is night vision device compatible. The lenses are coated to ensure that the reticle is clearly visible.

The EOTech512 is compatible with night vision. EOTech recommends that you switch the scope to night vision mode before you turn the scope. Doing so avoid image saturation when using the scope in tandem with an NVD. 

Best Scope: When it comes to night vision both scopes perform well.

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Size

The overall sizes of the two scopes are the same. Their weights are almost identical. The housing for the display is where the two scopes really differentiate.

The EOTech sight housing is a thin box that almost disappears when sighting your target. It is easy to ignore the little metal box when you are looking towards your target.

On the other hand, the display housing on the Aimpoint Pro is a little bulky. If you like a slim profile for your sight the Aimpoint pro may not have what you want.

Best Scope: User preference is going to play a big part in this. The slim profile of the EOTech 512’s display housing makes it better for overall function.

Environmental Settings

The usability of the scopes in various environmental conditions is vastly different. The Aimpoint Pro scope makes certain that you know that this scope is going to function, no matter what you put it through. The EOTech 512 lags considerably behind the Aimpoint Pro when considering operating conditions.

​Aimpoint Pro

​EOTech 512

​Waterproofing

​10 ft.

​150 ft.

​Temperature

​-45°C to 71°C (-49°F to 160°F)

​-40F to 140F. **

​Shock

​Operable before and after shock. Limits: X-axis: 500 g, 0.7 – 1.1 ms (3 shocks), Y-axis: 40g ±4g, 11 ±1ms (2 shocks in each direction, Z-axis: 40g ±4g, 11 ±1ms, 2 shocks in each direction. Functional during exposure (room temperature)

​Not listed. Only mention is the shock capability of the batteries installed within the scope.

​Chemical

​Withstands occasional contamination of: Hydraulic oil (FSD 8407, Tryckolja 021), Lubricating oil (FSD 8127, Motorolja 5W/30), Lubricating oil (FSD 8220, Smörjfett 220), Lubricating oil (Break Free), Fuels (FSD 8612, Diesel fuel oil), Solvents/cleaning

​N/A

** EOTech reached a $40 million settlement (2007) on the 512. This was because of zero shift that occurs with the sight when zeroed at ambient temperatures (79* F) and then used in a colder or hotter environment. These numbers are only the operating temperature that the sight will function in, not the accurate operating temperatures of a zeroed weapon. Some EOTech 512 optics that reached a zero shift could never operate with an accurate zero again.

The difference in the environmental specs given by the two manufacturers shows what each one values with performance. The Aimpoint Pro is specifically designed to take a beating. They use the smaller 3v battery to withstand shocks and vibration and not allow the sight to be interrupted.

The waterproofing on the Aimpoint Pro means that you could practically scuba dive with the scope on and it would still be functional. The 150-ft. depth of the Aimpoint completely dwarfs the EOTech’s 10 ft. submersion depth. For any amphibious firing conditions, the Aimpoint Pro is a superior choice.

The basic clear covers on the Aimpoint Pro are designed not only to protect the glass, but to assist the operator when firing in intense conditions. They protect from water, sand, and a large majority of chemicals likely to be found in a combat zone (lubricating oil, diesel fuel, hydraulic oil). The EOTech 512 doesn’t have any chemical resistance listed on its user manual. Because of the housing of the display it appears that chemical interactions would disrupt the HUD.

Finally we come to temperature operating parameters of the two scopes. It is important to note that the settlement against EOTech for faulty scope operation in harsh weather conditions was in 2007. There doesn’t seem to be a large reporting of additional issues since then. Unfortunately, this doesn’t alleviate the functionality issues that come with the use of the AA batteries within the scope EOTech has chosen to put inside their 512.  The battery choice for the two scopes is the main difference in their temperature functionality in real world conditions.

AA alkaline batteries have a functional temperature of -30° C to 55 C (slightly higher for lithium). The 3v batteries that are the power source for the Aimpoint Pro Scopes have an operating temperature of  -40°C to 125°C. While it is never likely that you will be operating in conditions of 125* C (because you would be dead), your scope may experience temperatures much higher than the physical environment.

The barrel friction from rapid fire heats up your weapon, the heat transfers to the scope that is mounted on the weapon. This means that the temperature of the scope can rapidly change if firing in a cold environment. Also, in a hot climate shooting scenario, the temperature of the scope will go much higher than the ambient temperature.

The temperature range for the battery in use doesn’t seem like it should be a huge deal until you break down the usage. In this case, the use of a AA battery instead of a 3v clearly stunts the performance of the EOTech 512.

Best Scope: Hands down the Aimpoint Pro.

Battery Life

In addition to the operating temperature issue with the two battery choices, there is the question of battery life. There are striking differences between the EOTech 512 and the Aimpoint Pro.

The EOTech 512 has the battery life of 1000 hours. There is an automatic shut off on the EOTech of 8 hours. In real-world situations, the automatic shut off can create problems (imagine being in the middle of a combat situation and your sight powers down). Many people insist on having a good iron sight on their weapon, and with the EOTech 512 it is a must for a worst-case scenario.

In contrast to the EOTech 512 the battery life of the Aimpoint Pro is 30,000 hours. That is 3.5 years of always on activity for the scope. There is no auto shut off and many users of the scope just remember to change the battery on their birthday every other year or so. If you turn the scope off, the battery life increases dramatically.

Longest Life: Aimpoint Pro has a superior battery and lifespan of always on usage.

Conclusion

If you go line-by-line on features and specs, the EOTech 512 is a great scope for those who are not faced with life and death situations. The Aimpoint Pro is a superior scope when in a combat situation. Those who need a scope that they can count on to save their friends, will choose an Aimpoint Pro.

That being said, the EOTech 512 is a great scope. It is just designed to function differently than the Aimpoint. Many people will never see a combat situation and will enjoy the freedom of the display on the EOTech 512. The slimmer profile and easy operation make the 512 a great choice for many marksmen.

Rifle Scopes Center Staff
 

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