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The EOTech XPS2 is an extremely popular red dot sight for the AR-15. The EOTech HWS XPS2 isn’t just a red got sight it falls into a special category called Holographic red dot sights.
Table of Contents
My first impression of the EOTech HWS XPS2 is that it’s in a very aesthetically pleasing somewhat compact site the controls are very clean and obvious.
The battery compartment is much smaller than the original EOTech that I had which was the 510 or 512.
At first, glance looking through the viewport it’s very clean it’s wide enough to see easily.
The left side of the optic has up-and-down controls. These controls are very simple and this model includes a lever to attach it to a 1913 Picatinny rail.
The rear of the optic is clean with just a plate and four screws and overall it’s a very clean look.
The reason the HWS XPS-2 is so popular is probably because of the looks it does function well and it is a very tested and proven optic in combat around the world.
But let’s face it it looks phenomenal.
The EOTech HWS XPS2 is a mostly aluminum hood with the optic being mostly plastic.
The back cap with the four screws appears to be plastic but obviously, the screws are metal.
The touch controls to brighten or dim the optic are a rubber or silicone material.
The right side of the optic hosts the adjustment turrets and they are clearly metal.
HWS XPS-2 Weight
The weight of this holographic sight comes in right at 9 ounces which is not super lite but also isn’t too bad considering that it has a built-in mounting system.
We’ll talk a little bit more about the mounting system later but the fact that it’s integrated and quick detach makes 9 ounces seem not so bad.
There’s a lot lighter optics on the market but again you don’t get the feature of holography or the benefits holographic features come with it. The single CR123 battery does add a little bit of weight but you need a good bit of battery power to make this optic function.
The reticle of the EOTech HWS sights is one of the things that make them so coveted. While I’m not sure if EOTech originally designed the style of reticle it has become the icon of their brand.
The reticle is a circle with a single or double dot in the middle with crosshairs coming off the outside of the radical.
The reticle is known to make it easy and allows you quickly acquire targets and allow you to transition from target to target easily.
EOTech HWS XPS-2 Dot Adjustment
Dot adjustment on the EOTech XPS2 it’s actually quite easy each click is .5 MOA per click you have when did you and elevation and it’s easily marked on the outside cover down in right so you know which way you’re adjusting your optic.
You could easily use a coin or a flat-head screwdriver to make your MOA adjustments.
The knobs feature a very distinct and positive click while making your MOA adjustments.
Overall, adjusting the EO Tech is easier than most red dot sight because they’re not actually covered by any turret caps.
However, I don’t worry about the site being changed accidentally because they’re recessed behind the hood of the sight.
Dot during Bright Light and Low Light
The dot on the EOTech HWS XPS-2 in low light does well as long as your brightness setting is not too high.
The caveat to that is is if you’re in low light and you have your brightness setting too low and you hover the reticle over a bright light your reticle might get washed out.
For example, if you’re in low light and you have it on a low brightness setting and you cross a window you might lose your reticle while crossing that window.
That’s not a big deal for most because you can quickly and easily up the brightness level and the problem goes away.
When outdoors you don’t even need your brightness setting to be at the maximum of 12 in order to see it.
I had no issues seeing the reticle outside operating at setting 10.
Like I mentioned in the weight section of this article the HWS XPS-2 is powered by a single CR123 battery it is in the front compartment that is held on with a single screw-on cap.
That cap is slotted much like the adjustment turrets, but it does have the ability to remove by hand.
However, whenever I try to take this one off it’s on so good that you’re going to need a flathead screwdriver or a coin to stick in the slot to get a little bit more torque to get it open.
One nice feature is the cap has a little wire to hold the cap on once you take it off so you don’t lose it. Obviously losing that cap is going to be a dealbreaker for this optic so that’s nice little touch so you don’t lose it.
While I have not durability-tested this optic it has been beyond tested in the global war on terror.
EOTech is well known for being used in special operations forces around the world. It is constantly one of the go twos for serious operators and the very tip-top of the proverbial spear.
I don’t think any amount of durability testing I or any other civilian reviewer could possibly do could outmatch what our military forces have already done in real-world situations proving this optic to be durable.
HWS XPS2 Sight Picture
I really like the sight picture on the HWS XPS2 sight it’s clear it’s rectangular it’s wide.
No matter where you move the center reticle inside the viewport you’re on target and that’s really the magic of holography.
But let’s talk about the overall sight picture, while the site picture on this optic is good, it could be improved and it probably could be improved pretty easily.
I have confidence EOTech is going to release something new in the future that will basically remove the hood and most of the complaints about the EOTech will be void.
I feel like removing the hood would do two things:
- Reduce the weight and
- Improve the sight picture
I realize every decision or product design change creates a compromise. Removing the hood would possibly reduce the durability and expose the adjustment turrets making them subject to possible accidental manipulation.
The main beef I have with the sight picture and the hood is the fact that the hood creates a ring around the viewport.
That ring can be somewhat distracting in that there’s space between it and it could draw your eye away from your target.
Naturally of course what you get used to is important and it may not bother you, so it may be irrelevant but it’s worth noting if you’ve never looked for the viewport of an EOTech.
Mounts and Mounting Options
One of the key features that we mentioned before of the EOTech HWS XPS2 is the fact that it has a built-in mount.
The mount will attach to a 1” weaver mount or a 1913 Picatinny rail.
This is a big deal because you can easily mount this to your gun right out of the box and you’re pretty much ready.
Alternatively, if you really wanted to rase the optic you could easily buy a 1913 riser and go a different route that would just make more sense.
The locking mechanism/take-down mechanism on the HWS XPS2 works extremely well and holds onto the rail like a champ.
Shooting the EOTech HWS XPS2
Shooting and target acquisition with the XPS2 is fantastic. I shot on steel targets most of the time and 99% of the time they are painted white.
Seeing the red reticle on the target is easy and the holographic nature of the sight makes it extremely fluid and easy to stay on target and even switch between targets.
Final Thoughts on EOTech HWS XPS2
My final thoughts on the EOTech HWS XPS2 are this:
The HWS XPS2 is an extremely high-end and high-quality optic. While the body may be plastic it definitely doesn’t feel like it. The aluminum hood makes this site shine. I look forward to seeing feature releases of the HWS from EOTech in the future.
The holographic nature of this optic is like magic. It just works and it’s an awesome feature to pack in such a small package.
Should I buy?
Should you buy the EoTech HWS XPS2? That’s really up to you?
Is it in your budget?
Does it meet your needs?
I think this optic is great for almost any purpose other than bolt guns or guns you want magnification on. It really shines in CQB situations and anything less than 150-200 yards.
If you can accord it and you’re in the market for a red dot sight you likely won’t be disappointed by the HWS XPS2.