EOTech 518 Review (2022 Tell-All Report)

| Last Updated: June 27, 2021

EOTech is a brand of optics that’s reputation precedes it. The first thing that strikes your mind when you look at an EOTech optic is proven reliability. The second thing is complexity or maybe the price.

The brand has an extensive line of HW sights and this article will solely focus upon the EOTech 518. We’ll also make a quick comparison of this sight with a few others to give you a better idea. 

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • 68 MOA ring reticle with 1 or 2 red dot options
  • Fast target acquisition and quick detach mount
  • Side button functionality and 20 brightness settings
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EOTech 518.A65

Pros

  • 68 MOA ring reticle for ultra-quick acquisition
  • Very easy to use
  • Auto-Shutoff Feature

Cons

  • No NV compatibility
  • Eats up batteries 

EOTech 518 Specs

  • Eye Relief: Unlimited

  • Adjustment Options (Parallax, windage, elevation): W/E - 40 MOA (½ MOA clicks). Parallax free

  • Type of Reticle: 1 MOA one dot / two dot

  • Image of Reticle:

  • Magnification: 1x

  • Focal Plane: FFP

  • Objective Lens: 30 x 23 mm

  • Field of View: 90 feet at 100 yards

Pros

EOTech offers some very complex but utterly capable sights for civilian and military use. The 518 HWS (Holographic Weapon Sight) features a more complex dot projection system compared to normal scoped red dot sights. Plus, it has a few very considerable pros to offer. 

68 MOA Ring Reticle for Ultra-Quick Acquisition

Let’s take it as it is. The 518 HWS’ base design was to be a CQB tactical sight. Suitable for LE and military use. The sight comes with a 68 MOA ring reticle that encloses a 1 MOA red dot. Or maybe two if you want extra range and are planning to use a magnifier.

The 68 MOA ring means that you’ll never be missing a man-sized target within a range of 100 yards. If any part of the target can be seen through the ring, pull the trigger and you’ll record a hit. 

Another great feature if you’re using this sight with an EOTech magnifier is that the dot retains its 1 MOA size even when you zoom. Not covering the target like a red blob. 

Additionally, the dot and ring have been calibrated to .223 cal 62 grain loads with a muzzle velocity of 2900 fps. 

Very Easy to Use and Auto-Shutoff Feature

The 518 HWS features side-mounted buttons for adjusting the brightness of the reticle. Unlike the rear-mounted buttons on most EOTech HWS sights. The brightness can be adjusted on 20 different levels to suit daylight or dark shooting conditions. The adjustment buttons are located on the side and don’t interfere with the line of sight or mounted magnifiers. However, left-handed shooters may find it a bit annoying. 

The 518 HWS also comes with a quick detach mount for easy mounting/dismounting on the rail. Plus, it is a holographic sight so you don’t have to worry about the eyebox. 

The sight also features an auto-shutoff feature. That turns off the sight after 4 hours of inoperation if the lowering brightness button was used last. Or after 8 hours if the increasing brightness button was pushed last.  

Cons

The 518 HWS is an exceptional sight. But it still has a few limitations that can be classified as cons for wary buyers. Let’s look at where the sight falters. 

Eats up Batteries Life

The claimed battery life of this sight varied between 600 to 1000 hours of continuous use. But was improved to 2500 hours after the 2018 revision. That’s still way less than the industry standard of 50,000 hours offered by Aimpoints. However, one very important factor to be taken into consideration here is that this is a holographic sight. These sights use a more complex illumination system compared to basic red dot sights which make them guzzle battery power. 

Another con related to batteries is what makes the sight big in size. It uses two AA-size batteries that add weight and size to the sight. But eventually, everything comes at a cost. 

No NV Compatibility

The 518 HWS sight is not night vision compatible. Which can be a huge deterrent for an EOTech holographic sight. You can sure use it in the dark, but not with night vision devices. 

Best Uses for the EOTech 518

The EOTech 518 is a holographic sight with its best quality being Fast Target Acquisition. That probably says it all about the best and all possible uses of the sight. 

The ring reticle was designed to accurately hunt down four-legged hostile animals at close or short range. Hence, the first best use of the 518 sight is close-quarter battles. Especially tactical operations or home defense. 

Since the sight features very durable construction, you can mount it on rifles or shotguns to counter any attempts of armed burglaries. 

The next best use for the 518 is competition. Especially 3 gun matches where speed and accuracy is the key to winning. The large illuminated 68 MOA ring helps with quickly acquiring torso sized targets and hitting them with absolute accuracy. 

The final use for this sight is hunting gobblers and varmints. Or anything that can be hunted within 200 yards for that matter. There are no holdovers in the reticle, but the sight can still be adjusted for windage and elevation. Use it wisely and you’ll bag your game for the day. 

The sight is very easy to use if you properly understand the reticle’s functioning. Make sure to refer to the instruction manual for that. 

Is the EOTech 518 Compatible With Any Rifle? 

The EOTech 518 will work with any rifle with the appropriate mounting setup. However, tactical, sporting, and assault rifles are best suited for it. Alongwith bolt or semi-auto shotguns. The 518 is durable enough to withstand harsh recoil. Plus, there’s nothing much to disturb since it is an HW sight. 

This sight will work best with an AR-15 rifle since the reticle has already been calibrated to .223 loads and it is a versatile rifle that can be used for everything from hunting to tactical operations. 

What Do I Need to Know About Mounting the EOTech 518?

Mounting the HWS 518 is as simple as placing it onto the Picatinny/weaver rail and flipping the clamp lever on the other side. The eye relief is unlimited and allows both eyes open shooting, the parallax is not a concern and the aperture is large enough for easy use. 

The sight uses 1.5V AA batteries which are very easy to find and cheap to use. Although the sight needs two of them which increases the overall weight significantly. So make sure you are prepared for a scope’s weight with an HW sight. 

The sight is water submersible up to a depth of 10 feet or 3 meters. So puddles, lakes or rain aren’t a problem. It is also compatible with the EOTech drop-in laser battery caps, which is just a quick swap. 

What Makes the EOTech 518 Stand Out From the Competition?

The EOTech 518 is almost similar to other holographic sights in its product line. However, the 65 MOA ring reticle, two red dots, lightning quick target acquisition, and EOTech’s reliability is what separates it from the competition. Also, the 20 brightness settings for the reticle are something no other HWS manufacturer offers.

The battery life has also been significantly improved after the 2018 upgrade and it is by far one of the most reliable, reputed, and aptly priced holographic sights available. 

Comparison Overview 

The EOTech 512 belongs to a long range of products offered by the company. Several other models are as acclaimed as this sight. So it’d be wise to make a slight comparison between them.  

EOTech 512 vs 518

The EOTech 512 and 518 are almost the same in design, reticles, battery life, and performance. However, there are two major differences. The 512 has brightness controls mounted on the rear, whereas the 518 has them on the side. Secondly, the 512 is NV compatible and the 518 is not. 

EOTech 518 vs EXPS2

The EXP S2 is a more compact design compared to the 518. The EXP S2 uses a CR123 battery whereas the 518 uses two AA batteries. Both these sights have illumination controls on the side and are not compatible with night vision. The EXP S2 is more expensive than the 518. 

EOTech 518 vs 558

Both these models were launched in the same year, 2015. The major difference is that the 558 is NV compatible and the 518 is not. Plus, you pay an extra $100 for the NV feature with the 558 since both these sights have the same design. 

Conclusion 

The EOTech 518 is a holographic weapon sight with an unwavering eyebox, unlimited eye relief, and a sturdy body. The sight has a 68 MOA reticle for exceptionally quick target acquisition and it also comes with a two red dot reticle option for shooting over a range of 500 yards. It can be coupled with an EOTech magnifier and the size of the dot will remain constant. However, the sight is not night vision compatible. 

People Also Ask

Buying an EOTech sight is a serious investment. Since the quality of this optic speaks for itself and it is more likely to be in use with you at least for another 10 years. So, check out some in’s and out’s about 518 sights. 

What Kind of Warranty Does the EOTech 518 Come With?

The 518 is covered against all manufacturing and workmanship defects under normal use for a period of 10 years from the date of manufacture of the receipt of purchase. It is called the EOTech Prestige Warranty. However, for the last five of these ten years, you’ll have to pay a $79 bench fee. The warranty is transferable. 

How Much Does the EOTech 518 Weigh?

The EOTech 518 weighs 11.5 ounces or 325 grams or 0.71 pounds. That’s quite some weight for a red dot holographic sight. A major chunk of this weight is the two AA batteries that power up the sight. 

Can You Use EOTech 518 in Low Light?

Yes. In fact, the 518 works exceptionally well in low light or even dark conditions. The sight is not night vision compatible, but if you have some ambient light or a flashlight. You can use it under the worst lighting conditions. 

How Long Does the Battery Last on the EOTech 518?

With a recent upgrade made by EOTech in 2018, the battery on the alkaline 1.5V AA batteries on the sight last for about 2,500 hours. That’s about 300 days if you use the sight for about 8 hours daily. However, this figure may fluctuate slightly depending upon your brightness settings.



Ankit Kumar is an engineer turned writer who specializes in topics related to firearms, gun safety and weapon tech. His passion towards enrolling in the Army drifted his interest towards light and heavy firearms. He’s a qualified competitive air rifle shooter and an avid nature lover. His other areas of expertise include survival, prepping and firearms/ammo storage. When he’s not writing, he’s either learning a new skill, trekking or enjoying a long drive.