As a longtime hunter and one who has subjected his gear to extreme weather and abuse, I can confidently say that bad optics—those that are scratch prone, hazy, difficult to mount, or easy to knock loose—can be a much larger detriment than an advantage in the field. That said, the EOTech 552 has earned a special place in my kit for not having any of those issues. In fact, I had trouble finding a single problem with this optic.
My first trip out with the EOTech 552 was a cold one. Typical of Minnesotan winters, with the bright sun shining at midday, it was a balmy 17 degrees out. The EOTech didn’t care, showing no change in function, reliability, or clarity. One look through or at this optic tells you it was designed with military and police use in mind—the sight’s aluminum housing is robust, and even with less-than-gentle handling, I never managed to knock anything loose. Though it’s marketed as waterproof to 30 feet, I’ve yet to go swimming (intentionally) with any of my guns. Besides, this wasn’t meant to be a torture test—I just wanted to use it like an average shooter would.
Ease of use:
Unlike other red dot sights (and even other EOTech optics), the EOTech 552 runs on two AA batteries, which means running out of juice requires only a quick trip to the junk drawer rather than a special trip to the home center. With 600 hours of runtime on ordinary Alkaline batteries and an adjustable auto-off function, it’s unlikely you’ll burn through batteries quickly, but when you must change them out, the process is a quick one: Simply pull a lever, dump the old ones, and drop in a new pair. Another major plus: The knobbed, tool-less mounting bolt (left) makes mounting the EOTech 552 and taking it off a speedy affair. Even after taking the sight off the rifle and reinstalling it multiple times, it always returned to exact zero, sliding right into place on the AR’s Picatinny rail.
The EOTech 552 comes with an anti-glare coating on the glass, and it works. It works well. You get a clear, wide-open field of view that makes punching holes in a paper plate at 150 yards look like child’s play, and lightning-quick target acquisition. Unlike other red dot sights I’ve shot with, the EOTech’s reticle is big, bold, and dead center. Can’t see it as well as you’d like? It’s got brightness adjustments just a push button away.
At $500+, the EOTech 552 is not a bargain brand optic. If you’re one of the folks who got your AR prior to the craze, spending nearly as much on an optic as you did a stock rifle may be hard to swallow. Let me assure you: It’s worth it. In fact, I’d argue that it’s relatively inexpensive for the quality you’re receiving.
Featured image courtesy of EOTech.