first published on November 24, 2015 by Tim
For decades EOTech sights, which are manufactured by L-3 Communications Corp., have served our nations military and police. Civilians have also purchased hundreds of thousands of the popular sights for target shooting as well as for use on personal defense firearms. Many shooters prefer the large holographic screen to the smaller tube like sights such as those manufactured by Aimpoint.
Today L-3 Communications Corp. settled a lawsuit for $25.6 million that claimed they covered up test data which clearly indicated the sights weren’t as tough as many once believed. It turns out that the sights are prone to failure when the conditions are less than ideal. Sights like the Model 512 featured in this article were claimed to be impervious to temperatures ranging from -40 degree to +140 degrees and unfazed by humidity, moisture and shock.
For years you’ve heard me say I don’t care for the popular EOTech sights. I found the sights to be alarmingly frail as did USSOCOM when they issued their Safety of Use message that originated at the SOF Weapons Program Management Office at NSWC Crane. In my personal experience I’ve seen the sights lose zero, I’ve seen reticles fade or completely disappear, I’ve seen them shut down due to heat and I’ve seen them outright stop working without any obvious cause. Out of the (5) sights I’ve owned over the years, only one remains serviceable and that’s the one pictured here which still resides on my Kriss Vector.
Even my local Police Dept. has seen their EOTech sights fail, we just received a defective Model 511 on a T&E rifle they returned to my retail store, Copper Custom. They told us we could keep the sight… thanks guys!
I’m not sure what L-3 will do going forward. Will they redesign the once popular sight and try to breath new life into it? Or will they retire the brand, given the bad publicity, and come to market with something totally new?
Despite their bloodied nose, L-3 Communications’ stock was only down 1.1% in trading which may indicate there’s no immediate need to replace or repair the flagship of their optics line. I know from conversations around the gun counter that die-hard EOTech fans appear to be unconcerned about the problems and offer retorts such as, “I’ve had mine for years and it’s never failed me.” I’ve yet to see a rush to find replacements by EOTech owners as most seem content to keep using their sights until they fail them. Let’s just hope that any failures that might occur happen harmlessly on a square range.
As for me, my last remaining EOTech sight is forever relegated to plinking duty. All of my defensive rifles wear Aimpoint H1, T1 or T2 optics.