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Red dots come with a lot of advantages and they’re being used more frequently on carry guns. This rise in popularity means that you have a lot of options when it comes to pistol red dots and they’re getting better each year. One new red dot on the market is the Holosun EPS Carry. It’s designed for compact and subcompact handguns, but it’s also at home on a shotgun or carbine—especially in an offset mount.
I tested the EPS Carry over the last month on my Sig Sauer XMacro to see how it holds up to bad weather, hard knocks, and daily carry. After putting it through a series of tests, here are my thoughts on the EPS Carry.
Holosun EPS Carry Key Features and Specifications
- Weight: 1 ounce
- RMS Shield Footprint
- Battery: CR1620
- Max Battery Life: 5,000 hours
- Length: 1.62 inches
- Width: .95 inches
- Height: 1.07 inches
- Window Size: .58 x .77 inches
- Eight brightness settings and four night vision settings
- Dot Size: 2 moa, 6 moa, 2 moa dot with 32 moa ring
- Red or green reticles available
The Holosun EPS Carry mounts on guns with RMSc, Holosun K, Leupold DeltaPoint Pro, and Sig Sauer RomeoZero optic cuts or mounting plates. It comes with screws of various lengths (use the longest that will work) each with Blue Loctite already on them. Holosun recommends torquing the screws to 15 inch-pounds.
The battery door is located on the right side of the optic and is accessible without removing the red dot. Holosun says the battery life is 5,000 hours, which is about 200 days. It’s not the five-year battery life of the Holosun 507 K, but changing a battery once every six months is still pretty damn good.
Most micro red dots have a dot that’s projected onto a piece of glass, and the area between the source of light and the glass is open. The EPS Carry is a closed emitter, meaning the glass and projected light are enclosed. The advantage is that the enclosed emitter will have fewer issues in rain and dusty environments. In comparison, an open emitter can project a partial dot or many small dots if a water droplet or dust lands in the wrong spot. However, closed emitter optics have a shorter battery life—5,000 hours for the EPS versus 50,000 for the K.
The 6 moa dot on my EPS Carry is crisp and round. This is exactly how a dot should look, but many red dot sights come up short in this feature. The EPS Carry’s glass has a slight blue hue, which is common on red dots.
The brightness adjustment is located on the left side of the optic. This is great for right-handed shooters, but it could get bumped in the holster for lefties since the adjustments will end up on the outside.
The adjustments are tactile and easy to make on the fly. The upper end of the brightness is very bright, and the low end is only usable in pitch dark. But there’s plenty of room in the middle for a happy medium setting. I like a nice bright dot, but the EPS Carry displays a starburst effect if you have it set too bright for the ambient light. You’ll see the blown-out dot and then four streaks of light surrounding it like points on a compass. It’s usable, but it isn’t ideal.
Read Next: The Best Red Dot Sights
Testing the Holosun EPS Carry at the Range
Before I even mounted the EPS Carry I wanted to compare a closed emitter to an open emitter optic in bad weather.
During a winter rain storm, I placed the EPS Carry on my tailgate next to a Trijicon RMR. After five minutes, I picked them up and looked through them. The EPS Carry had a nice bright, crisp dot. A droplet of water destroyed the RMR’s typically crisp dot into a half-moon. I brought them in to dry off and I noticed the RMR fogged up and stayed fogged for a minute. The EPS Carry fogged slightly, but cleared in seconds.
I mounted the EPS Carry, using my Fix It Sticks to torque it to 15 inch-pounds. I then zeroed the red dot. The adjustments clicks aren user-friendly and audible. They aren’t Nightforce-scope good, but you can tell when you’ve made a click. The adjustment screws require you to use a small flathead or the included tool. My go-to tool for adjustments, a 9mm casing, won’t work.
I slammed the front of the EPS Carry into my tailgate ten times to rack the slide on my empty XMacro. Then I dropped the unloaded gun from chest height so that it landed, red dot down, onto a gravel road. I picked up the handgun, loaded it, and confirmed my zero at 25 yards. The only evidence of this round of battery was some slight character marks on the housing. It held zero and functioned great throughout the rest of my range session. After a few hundred rounds, I repeated the test, and once again it was unfazed.
This isn’t a torture test meant to see if I could break the EPS Carry or to see if it’s worthy of use in the apocalypse. It’s a test that gives me confidence that if the optic takes a hard hit, it will keep its zero and continue working.
Most red dot shooters agree that a larger window is better, but not everyone prefers carrying optics like the SRO, DeltaPoint Pro, and the Romeo3Max. The EPS Carry has a smaller window than those optics, but I found it easy to track my dot and present it on target.
From a supported position at 25 yards, I put the dot on the very left edge of the glass and shot a group. Then from the very top edge of the glass and shot group. I didn’t see any zero shift at that distance. However, I went through the trouble to see if there was any shift due to parallax at the optic’s outer edges.
Read Next: Sig Sauer P365 XMacro Review
What the Holosun EPS Carry Does Well
The Holosun EPS Carry is a reliable red dot that does all the things you would want a red dot to do. It has a bright, crisp dot. It’s easy to adjust, the battery is easy to change, and it holds up to abuse well.
In the world of RMSc footprint red dots, you don’t have many options for closed emitters, and that’s where I feel the EPS Carry shines. It will serve well as a concealed carry optic, but I think it’s also one of the best turkey red dots due to its weatherproof closed emitter, especially since popular shotguns like the Mossberg 500 Turkey come with an RMSc optic cut.
Where the Holosun EPS Carry Can Be Improved
The battery life and starburst effect could be improved. They aren’t deal breakers for me, but they’re factors that are certainly worth considering.
If you want an enclosed emitter optic for a RMSc footprint handgun or shotgun, the Holosun EPS Carry is the top optic to consider in that category. If we’re looking at the EPS Carry in terms of all the closed emitter red dots on the market, it’s certainly one of the best for the money. With an MSRP around $400 (street price is closer to $330), it’s $100 less than the Steiner MPS, and $200 less than the Aimpoint ACRO P-2.