“Going green” is all the rage these days. Sure, what’s good for the environment is good for us, and I’m all for saving the planet. But recently, “going green” took on an entirely different meaning for me and, to be honest, it was a lot more fun. It all revolved around the EOTech EXPS2 Green Holographic Weapon Sight.
I spent some time with other writers and dozens of manufacturers at the 2018 Athlon Outdoors Rendezvous in Montana. While there, I had a chance to “play” with the EXPS2 holographic weapon sight at the range. It’s an updated version of EOTech’s popular optic system, but with a green reticle. And I have to say, I think I’m in love.
EOTech EXPS2 Green Details
The EXPS2 is one of EOTech’s latest entries in its line of holographic optics. It’s a much more compact form factor as the company utilizes a CR123 battery within a transverse battery compartment at the front of the sight. This frees up a good amount of real-estate on the user’s rail for easier mounting and the addition of other accessories.
EOTech released the new green-reticle model due to the many requests received from customers and because of, well, science. Due to how the human eye is configured, it is more attuned to shades of green than any other color. This is because light in the blue-green wavelength provides peak stimulation for both the rods and cones in our eyes, where other wavelengths only stimulate either rods or the cones significantly and the opposite only weakly — or almost not at all.
Simply put, this makes green easier to pick up on and track during movement.
EOTech’s Reticle System
EOTech takes advantage of this phenomenon and combines it with its simple, but very effective reticle system for maximum effect.
The -0 reticle that came with the EXPS2 I received for review has a 68 MOA circle with horizontal and vertical stadia, as well as a 1 MOA center dot. This template provides the user with the ability to transition quickly from close-quarters targets to targets that are farther away.
The 68-MOA circle covers (approximately):
- 68 inches at 100 yards
- 34 inches at 50 yards
- 17 inches at 25 yards
- 5 inches at 12 yards
Since the circle is a good deal larger than the center dot, and with the new green version, it is easier to track more quickly than just focusing on a small dot. This allows the shooter to accurately acquire the target much more rapidly in close-quarter encounters, but still place accurate shots.
At longer distances, the shooter can shift focus from the 68-MOA circle to the 1-MOA dot for more precise shot placement. Now, since the EXPS2 is only a 1X optic, the average user isn’t going to be shooting 1-inch groups at 100 yards. But, by concentrating on the dot, the user can contrast it against a larger target to ensure proper shot placement at longer distances.
Even with the simplicity of the standard reticle there’s a hidden complexity to it that the shooter will experience once they get to know the optic. The standard reticle is configured for a 69gr. 5.56x45mm round traveling at 2,900 feet per second.
When zeroed at 50 yards with that load, the center dot can be used as the hold point for both 50 and 200 yards. For close-in work, the bottom of the circle (the top of the bottom stadia) can be used as a reference point at 7 yards. This design adds an extra element of information for the user to quickly reference while engaging targets at varying distances.
Dialing It In
In the past few years, EOTech has tweaked the designs of its products to squeeze out every bit of extra performance possible. They’ve reworked the circuitry to improve battery life and reduce zero shift in extreme temperatures.
The EXPS2 has 20 daytime brightness settings. At setting No. 12, the average runtime of the CR123 battery is approximately 600 hours.
For ease of use with EOTech’s 3X magnifier, the MOA adjustment dials and brightness controls are located on the sides. This makes the magnifier mountable directly behind the unit without interfering with operating or adjusting the weapon sight.
To zero the EXPS2, the adjustment dials allow for elevation and windage changes in 1/2-MOA increments. At 100 yards, that is 1/2 inch; at 50 yards that is 1/4 inch. The adjustment range is 40 MOA for both elevation and windage.
To conserve battery life, the EXPS2 comes with an automatic shut-off feature that activates based on how you turned the unit on. The unit turns on by pressing either the “up” or “down” brightness adjustment buttons. If the user turns the unit on using the “up” button, the unit shuts down automatically after eight hours. If the unit powers on with the “down” button, the auto shut-off occurs in four hours.
With a rugged build, the EXPS2 can stand up to the harshest conditions. The housing includes a secondary aluminum hood to protect the optic window, which provides a wide field of view with unlimited eye relief. The unit is purged, filled with nitrogen and then sealed to be resistant to fogging.
The EXPS2 is also rated submersible to 33 feet of water. I’m not going to be popping out of the waves on a beachhead somewhere, but it’s good to know the EXPS2 can handle any inclement conditions I might encounter.
When I received the EOTech EXPS2 Green HWS for review, I quickly picked out the rifle I wanted to try it on. Of course, it had to be an AR, so I put it on my LWRCI IC-DI model in 5.56mm (of course).
What differentiates the EXPS2 from the XPS2 is the quick-detach mounting system it employs. This allows quick removal and re-mounting of the unit with as little fuss as possible.
The mounting process is very simple. Just forward of the quick-detach lever is a locking button. Press it inward and simultaneously open the locking lever. Place the EXPS2 on the Picatinny rail so that the cross post under the unit seats into the groove on the rail closest to where you wish to mount the unit. Once done, push the EXPS2 forward as far as possible and then close the quick-detach lever. If the unit’s fit is too tight or loose, open the lever and make the appropriate adjustment to the adjustment nut for a secure fit. That’s it. Zero the rifle and you are done.
EOTech EXPS2 Green Range Performance
I won’t lie; the EXPS2 add a bit more weight than your standard, consumer-grade reflex optic. It tips the scales at around 11.2 ounces. But as far as I’m concerned, to get that wide field of view along with the highly visible reticle (even during daylight hours), the slight compromise is well worth the price of admission.
I always appreciated the transition speeds from to short to long distances with EOTech’s reticle system. I also liked the company’s approach with the HUD-like holographic system, but the green version puts it over the top for me—especially where tracking at speed is concerned.
My experience shooting with it in Montana and here at home has been terrific.
Moving from one target to the other is much easier and faster, and it requires less effort to “focus” on the reticle than the red version requires. I’ve experienced no issues with drift and the quick-detach mounting system has stayed absolutely rock solid. Simply put, it is easier for me to shoot well quickly while using the green reticle.
More Than Good Enough
It was recently announced that L-3 Communications — EOTech’s parent company — was awarded a $23.6 million contract from U.S. Special Operations Command. So, if it’s good enough for them … well, you know.
With what I’m seeing with this new HWS, I can understand the confidence in the platform. It’s certainly a step up from some products I already own and it’s most definitely staying here with me. I’ll be writing a check for it this afternoon.
If you’re in the market for a top-shelf reflex optic system that not only performs well, but might help you perform even better, the new EOTech EXPS2 Green may be just what you need.
With the design changes and new enhancements, EOTech’s equipment is better than ever. Like the EOTech 512, the EXPS2 Green is another great option. Considering the rugged build, waterproof sealing, open field of view and fast target acquisition provided by the high-visibility reticle, it’s a combination that’s tough to beat.
EOTech EXPS2 Green Specs
- Magnification: 1X
- Reticle: 68MOA Circle w/ 1MOA Dot
- Eye Relief: Unlimited
- Color: Black
- Mount: 1-inch Weaver or Picatinny
- Length: 3.8 inches
- Width: 2.3 inches
- Height: 2.9 inches
- Fog Resistant: Purged/Nitrogen Filled
- Water Resistance: Submersible to 33 feet
- Adjustment Increments: .5 MOA
- Adjustment Range: 40 MOA
- Battery: CR123A or 123A
- Battery Life: 600 hours at setting 12
- Brightness Settings: 20
- Auto Shut-Down: 8 hours/4 hours (Programmable)
- Field of View at 100 yards: 30 yards (3-inch eye relief)
- MSRP: $699