(Editor’s note: This article was a submission from freelance writer Max Slowik)
The long-running debate over which optic platform is better, Aimpoint or EOTech, may have come to a head. Electronics and aerospace firm L-3 Communications, manufacturer of EOTech optics, is now offering refunds to customers after settling out of court for falsely representing the capabilities of their holographic weapon sights to the U.S. government.
And last month, the FBI selected Aimpoint to supply their specialized Hostage Rescue Team and Defensive Systems Unit with updated Micro T-2 and Micro H-2 red dot sights, respectively.
These wins and losses have a huge effect on public perception and will influence buyers in all markets for some time to come, from individuals to law enforcement and military customers around the world.
Owners of EOTech sights can apply for a refund if they have problems with their optics through the EOTech website.
EOTech optics were pushed into the spotlight last September when the USSOCOM issued a safety warning stating that several models showed significant shift in zero when subject to extreme high and low temperatures–122 degrees Fahrenheit and -40 degrees–and that a return to zero was not guaranteed even after the optics were brought back to ambient temperatures.
At high and low temperatures the point of impact shift can be off by plus or minus 4 MOA, or about 4 inches every 100 yards, and remain off by as much as 2 MOA when brought back to room temp. They recommend that users verify and adjust their optics’ zero accordingly.
This warning followed an earlier notice in March, highlighting problems with optics that have been in service for long stretches that showed signs of fading reticles and parallax shift.
Under the wrong circumstances, it’s possible to have up to a 10 MOA shift in zero, or about 10 inches of impact shift every 100 yards–more than enough to miss a target by a wide margin. Earlier cases reported up to a 20 MOA shift in zero under severe conditions in a series of incidents dating back to 2006.
Shortly after the second safety warning was issued the government filed a Federal suit alleging that EOTech committed fraud by misrepresenting the capabilities of their holographic sights. L-3 Communications settled on the same day, paying $25.6 million.
Not everyone will have these problems. Many users, including private gun owners and law enforcement agencies alike, aren’t necessarily going to run their optics at these extremes. EOTech sights, for all these problems, still have their advantages including large windows and fast reticles.
But with the option of getting a refund a possibility, more than a few EOTech owners are likely to “trade in” their older optics for money to upgrade to something else. The new question might be “What’s better, Aimpoint or Trijicon?”