John reviews the Holosun 510C Elite reflex optic on his Ruger 556 Rifle.
U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- I have been in the market for a new optic for my Ruger 556 as well as a couple of other ARs that I have in my collection. I have been using just iron sights for quite a while on my AR556. The issue with owning a lot of ARs is that it can get costly to equip each one with either an Aimpoint or an EOTech. I started looking into less expensive alternatives.
Vortex Optics is always an option for optics at a friendly price, and there are some other companies I have used for optics in the past that didn't break the bank. I was thinking about going with one of these companies an was going to decide when I got back from SHOT Show in Vegas. I wanted to check out some sights while there before committing to a single optic.
A friend of mine, who is a bad ass operator for the US Military, always talks about a company called Holosun. He talks about how much of a value they are for your hard earned dollars. So, when I was walking around SHOT Show and saw their booth, I decided to stop by and take a look to see what they had to offer for reflex sights.
I looked at the Holosun HS512T, and I liked what I saw. Unfortunately, that was not in production yet, but when it does hit the market, I will be checking it out. I Also looked at the 510c Elite which is kind of like an EOTech holographic sight. After speaking with the Holosun reps for quite some time about the optic, they offered to send me one to try out.
The Holosun 510C Elite is a reflex sight meaning a projection superimposes an image (ex. crosshairs) into the operator's line of sight. Reflex sights allow most shooters to acquire the target easier and quicker. This technology has been around since World War II, and the US Army used it in anti-aircraft guns. A cool thing about the 510c Elite is instead of having a red reticle; Holosun used a green reticle which in my opinion is more comfortable to use than the standard red. I also liked the fact that the optic had an unlimited eye relief.
The LED-powered 510c Elite offers a 2MOA dot/65MOA ring reticle as the default reticle. Although the Holosun built in two other reticles, this is the one I recommend. To access the different reticles, the user would hold down the “-” for three seconds. The second reticle is just the 2MOA dot. The third reticle is the 65MOA ring. For this reason, I just stuck with the default reticle. The only reason I would use just the 2MOA dot is to save battery life, and I wouldn't use just the 65MOA ring. I hope Holosun adds more reticle choices in the future.
The 510c Elite comes standard with a co-witness quick disconnect mount. I used the mount to co-witness the 510C with my iron sights on my AR556. Co-witnessing your sights is always a good idea. The 510c lined up correctly with my front sight post.
Holosun says the Holosun 510C Elite comes zeroed out of the box and may require minor adjustments. This statement was not the case for me. The optic was way off. I was shooting very low and way off to the left. I was able to make adjustments using the small tool that the optic came with and was able to zero the optic in at 50 yards. The maximum adjustment for the sight according to Holosun is +/- 50MOA (manual states 40MOA) from the center.
After putting 200 rounds through my AR556, the parallax free 510c Elite still held zero. This fact didn't come as a shock to me. Holosun claims that the optic will withstand up to 1000G. So the g-force from an AR15 should be easy for the optic to handle.
Holosun made the body of the 510c Elite out of 6061 Aluminum which is the same material of a lot of AR15s. Holosun also made the hood of the optic out of a titanium alloy which is incredibly strong. The optic is also designed to be able to be fully submerged in water (submerge rating: IP67). It is designed to take a beating and keep on working even under water.
I could feel how tough Holosun made the Holosun 510C Elite, and it feels like a duty optic. It has a little bit of weight to it (8.3 oz), but it doesn't feel bulky or cumbersome. Also, the optic is night vision compatible and works in temperatures from -22° to 140° this is genuinely ready for fieldwork.
The power source of the 510c Elite is really cool and what sets it apart from a lot of other optics on the market. Holosun designed the optic actually to have a dual power source. The first is solar. There are solar cells built into the top the optic to run on the power of the sun, but that isn't always possible at night or on a cloudy day. That is the reason that Holosun built in a battery backup.
The Holosun 510C Elite also will run on a single CR2032 battery for up to 50,000 hours (for red dot only. 20,000 hours for the dot and circle at maximum brightness) according to Holosun. Since I didn't have five to six years to test the battery life, I will have to take Holosun's word for it. Another unusual thing is that Holosun included a second battery tray.
Holosun built in two modes into the 510c Elite. The first mode is the auto mode. In this mode, the amount ambient light in the room determines the brightness of the reticle. The optic will run on solar power until the required power is too high for just the solar cells. Once the optic gets to that point, the optic will supplement the energy needed by using the battery. I liked this mode. It seemed to work really well so I don't see a reason why I would take it off this setting.
The second mode of the 510c Elite is a manual mode where the operator can select the brightness of the reticle by using the “+” and the “-” buttons. The user has twelve different levels of brightness to select from on the optic. To switch between modes the operator just holds down the “+” for three seconds or until the reticle blinks once.
The Holosun 510c Elite is always on unless the user turns off the sight. With the battery life being as long as it is with a solar backup there is no reason to turn off the sight. The optic also will go into a sleep mode after ten minutes which will extend the battery life. The optic will then wake instantly with any movement using the Holosun's “shake awake” technology.
I really like the Holosun 510c Elite. At just under $340 the consumer gets a lot of bang for their buck. If you are looking for a reflex optic that is tough and works like it is supposed to work, then this is the optic for you.
You can find the Holosun 510C Elite on the Holosun's website.
About John Crump
John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. He is the former CEO of Veritas Firearms, LLC and is the co-host of The Patriot News Podcast which can be found at www.blogtalkradio.com/patriotnews. John has written extensively on the patriot movement including 3%'ers, Oath Keepers, and Militias. In addition to the Patriot movement, John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and is currently working on a book on the history of the patriot movement and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss or at www.crumpy.com.