first published on April 27, 2020 by Josh Brooks[mashshare]
When it comes to optics, there is no shortage of options on the market right now. Before I picked up my HS510C & HM3X Magnifier Combo from Holosun, I noticed there was a lack of reviews for these two items when combined. It seemed strange to me, since both items are sold together in a very well put together combination package. That’s why I picked them up and put together this review.
By the time you leave this article, you’ll know everything you want to know about these items when purchased as a combo. Each item separately is worthy of it’s own individual review, and we will probably do that in the future. For now, we’re going to review these two items as a combo-set.
While a prism scope or variable zoom scope will be your fastest and most reliable option for getting quality zoom, that doesn’t mean magnifiers have no place. Depending on what mission you hope to accomplish with your rifle, the magnifier may actually be your best bet. For example, let’s say your rifle is a 0-100 yard rifle and you never intend on taking it past that point. Here, you might just want to use only a red dot. If your rifle is a 300 yard and out rifle, a variable zoom or prism optic will generally get the job done. Why then, do you ever need the additional weight of a magnifier on your rifle?
Magnifiers work best when used in conjunction with red dot optics on patrol-mission oriented rifles. That means, if you intend to use your rifle at a number varying distances because of an ever-changing battle-space and fight situation, then a magnifier may be exactly what you want. This is because a magnifier gets you a set 3 or 4x zoom capability at the flip of a switch or scope. You’re able to move from a 1x red dot optic to a 3x magnified optic very quickly and consistently, which is something you can’t have with a straight 4x powered prism optic or a variable zoom optic that requires the end user to push on a zoom dial.
So, in short, magnified red dots are worth it, depending on the mission-set you as an individual shooter require of the rifle. They allow more versatility, convenience, and consistent speed with less training than the prism or variable zoom optics that are currently on the market.
The HS510C & HM3X Magnifier combo is a red dot optic 3x magnification combo set. When purchased, they arrive in a small pelican style case that include all of the needed tools for both mounting and zeroing the system. It includes many of the same key features that all Holosun optics include, with the only major drawback to the system being that it is manufactured in China.
That said, even with the manufacturing in China, Holosun holds up their incredible quality control standards to ensure that the product you receive is both durable, and in working order. The HS510C red dot is encased in a titanium and aluminium hood that protects it, and boasts the same shake awake technology that many of their mini-red dots feature. On top of the 50,000 hour battery life, the red dot also has a solar back-up which can extend that battery life even further in the correct shooting conditions.
The HM3X is also a rugged 3x flip-to-side magnifier that attaches in front of the HS510C to give the optic the capability of 3x zoom.
We have listed the spec sheets of both different items separately in the sections below. It is worth noting, that while we purchased both of these items as a package deal, it is possible to buy each individually for use with other red dot sights or just as the red dot sight by itself if you don’t need magnification capabilities.
Straight out of the box, there’s one thing you have to do with every optic. You have to obtain a proper zero. For this combo, the zero process is conducted just on the HS510C red dot optic. I was able to accomplish a proper zero with ten rounds. For the purpose of this review, the combination was setup on my Daniel Defense M4A1 platform, and shooting was conducted at two different locations. I expended about 300 rounds indoors at TNT Guns and Range, and I shot another 1,000 rounds with the optic out on some BLM land near Salt Lake City.
In my honest opinion, this set-up easily rivals the higher-end competition. It is missing a few features that the higher-end optics have, like a release switch that flips the optic to the side, but at the price-point these are sacrifices that are pretty easy to make. The optic itself did not prove to have any major issues or problems when I ran it. The flip-to-side function of the magnifier was also sturdy and tight for the duration of my shooting.
Quite simply, the optic functioned exactly as intended and as advertised. It also doesn’t look bulky on the rifle, and isn’t overly heavy which is nice bonus.
The two most surprising features about this optic are the glass quality and the durability of the optics themselves. I’ve heard from other reviewers in the past that these things are durable, but until you have them in your hands you really don’t appreciate that fact. With the HS510C you have an aluminium and titanium based hood that cover the housing of the optic. This hood is incredibly strong, and protects the red dot portion of this optic from things lesser optics would fail to.
With the HM3X, I was completely surprised by the glass quality. It’s hard to really explain, but with some glass you can get a hazy image quality or just poor magnification due to minor imperfections. With the HM3X though, you get glass that would normally be found in a far more expensive optic, and is crystal clear to boot. Pictures and descriptions won’t do it justice, you honestly just need the optic mounted to fully appreciate the glass quality.
Coming in at around $480 MSRP, this combination is an absolute steal. If you’re looking for a rugged red dot optic/magnifier combo that won’t absolutely obliterate your bank account, then I can’t recommend this set-up enough. The entry point makes it solid for new shooters looking to get into the optic world, but the strong construction and quality glass give me the impression that this set-up would work just fine for duty use as well. All in all, recommending this set-up for your rifle is too easy for me.
That’s just the opinion of one individual shooter though. Let us know down in the comments if you’ve had a different experience with the HS510C and HM3X Magnifier combo set-up. Also, if you have a different recommendation, definitely put that down below as well. As a community we can come together and help each other make the best purchasing decision possible.