With the announcement of the Holosun A.E.M.S. or the Advanced Enclosed Micro Sight, we reached out to Steve “Yeti” Fisher of Sentinel Concepts, who has been using the new LED optic for several months. Fisher is our go-to source to learn about upcoming optics, and we wanted to get his first, but certainly not final, impressions of the new optic, learn about some of the features, and what firearms he feels the optic would be suited for.
Q: Steve, thanks for your time. Can you talk about how you were approached to test out the Holosun A.E.M.S.?
Steve “Yeti” Fisher – Sentinel Concepts – I have tested optics for Holosun in the past, and they reached out to me about this one. They told me they had a new optic designed for carbines, SBRs, and pistol caliber guns. They asked me to run it and then give them my thoughts on it. It was a pretty straightforward request, and I’ve now had the optic since June.
Q: Your round count on the Holosun A.E.M.S. is around 600 right now?
Steve “Yeti” Fisher – Sentinel Concepts – Today, I just topped 700 rounds.
Q: What are the sort of things you’re looking for when you test an optic like this?
Steve “Yeti” Fisher – Sentinel Concepts – Until I hit around the 2,000 or 3,000 round mark, I really don’t hold much confidence in any optic, or anything for that matter. During testing, I am looking for dot quality/size, clarity of the glass, edge-to-edge quality, and any bluish tint. It’s all the little things that I tend to look for.
Mount interface is something else I look at. Will it accept current mounts that are on the market? This will not. That said, a few companies are jumping on board. I know Reptilia has one coming out that they just released a few pictures of.
The Reptilia mount looks promising and is at a 1.93 height. We’re also looking at a lower mount for shotguns and some of the pistol caliber guns like Zenith MP5 clones, CZ, B+T.
As far as other things I am looking at…“will it hold zero?,” obviously. I also want to know if the optic will hold zero between reticle changes. Is there any appreciable impact shift with the lens covers this optic comes with closed or open? I also want to know how the optic is going to work with night vision goggles.
Q: Can you walk us through your preliminary impressions of the Holosun A.E.M.S. so far?
Steve “Yeti” Fisher – Sentinel Concepts – Let’s start with the mount. The Holosun A.E.M.S. mount is pretty straightforward. But, like most factory mounts, it does leave me wanting. I wonder if it will hold up to several drop tests, being smashed into door frames, etc., all the things that people will ask about and look at, whether it is true to them or not.
But, looking at it, I’d say, “it’s ok.” It’s a way to start off the process, but it’s not ultimately the mounting system I would decide upon for my personal use.
Moving on, the adjustment buttons on the Holosun A.E.M.S. are positive. They are pronounced enough to get ahold of them with gloves or fingers, but they are not overly protruding to where I would be worried about them bumping and shifting settings.
The adjusters are crisp, and they hold pretty positive so far. 9mm brass or 5.56 brass will work on them.
The glass is clear. No tint or hue is noticeable that I see. Edge-to-edge clarity is pretty good on it, considering its likely price point.
Q: Users with astigmatism might be curious how this optic is performing so far for you…
Steve “Yeti” Fisher – Sentinel Concepts – With me having slight astigmatism, generally, I’ll see a comet, squiggle, or blur in some of the other LED optics that are out there. However, I have not noticed it as much as I have with some other manufacturers. I don’t know if that is a combination of their glass and emitters… It’s still slightly noticeable but just not as pronounced as with other optics.
Q: Can you speak on dot and what kind of battery life we’re looking at?
Steve “Yeti” Fisher – Sentinel Concepts – The Holosun A.E.M.S. dot is a great practical size at around 2 MOA. Like other recent Holosun optics, It has an option for a dot, a hollow circle, or the dot-circle much like an EOtech. In switching between these different reticles, I have not experienced any loss of zero. I’d also note that the A.E.M.S. will be available in either red or green.
It does have a shake-awake feature, but that’s not something I care about either way, and that’s not a feature for me. Battery life, as reported to me, is solid. It has a solar feature on it, and I will conservatively say the battery life is 60,000 hours, but I have heard rumors of upwards of 100,000 based on the use of solar and the battery.
Q: Do you have an impression on build quality, or is it too soon to tell?
Steve “Yeti” Fisher – Sentinel Concepts – So far, I have not seen anything that leads me to think there will be an issue with the quality of the optic. But, obviously, every company puts out something at some point that has something wrong with it. That’s just the nature of that beast, but I feel right now, at the 700-round mark, that it’s a pretty solid optic.
Q: Is this an optic that you’d consider vs. an Aimpoint T2 or an EOtech? Where would you personally use an optic like this?
Time will tell soon. Honestly, I see the Holosun A.E.M.S as something that could be a very reasonable option in price point for anyone looking for an optic for their carbine or someone out there that is a first-time optic buyer.
Q: Can you share that price point?
Steve “Yeti” Fisher – Sentinel Concepts – There is some stuff floating around on the internet that makes me suspect that it could be around $350 for the red and about $400 for the green. That’s an estimate only and nothing that I’ve heard in any way officially.
Q: Can you comment on the night vision capability of the Holosun A.E.M.S.?
Steve “Yeti” Fisher – Sentinel Concepts – My experience is limited so far. I’ve only used it once with goggles, and I plan to use it more with them in the next few days. Obviously, the current mount height being a little bit lower is not that great for shooting it passively with goggles. That said, I look forward to testing further.
Q: What’s the story with the lens covers?
Steve “Yeti” Fisher – Sentinel Concepts – The Holosun A.E.M.S enclosed, sealed unit, but it also comes with lens covers. For many people, that’s not a big issue, and they don’t care about lens covers one way or another. Overall, I’m 50/50 on lens covers. I could use them or not. I don’t mind them for storage, transport, really dusty/dirty environments, or rain when I am on the range, but I’m not actually teaching.
The next thing I want to do is get out and test to see if there will be a fogging issue between the lens and the lens cover. I also don’t know if they are sacrificial enough to take UTM or sim rounds. So I need to find that out, too, as that could be a concern for some people.
I have not had a problem with them coming loose and flipping down in testing and shooting the gun. So, they’re pretty solid. The covers click positive with locking tabs, and with rapid strings of fire, there does not seem to be an issue with them bouncing loose.
Q: Thanks for your time, Steve…we look forward to touching base again in a few weeks for a further updated impression of the Holosun A.E.M.S.
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