Holosun 510C Review (Hands On & Range Tested Red Dot Sight)


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The Holosun 510C is a Target Tamer’s tried-and-tested red dot sight.

With many touted features that sound too good to be true, I was obligated to buy it and test out the claims.

With a fail-safe solar panel, quick detach mount, multiple reticles, and impressively long battery life, it may just earn a permanent spot on my AR.

I examine each of these features of the Holosun 510C in my review and video below.

Quick Overview...

What I Like: Dual power source

What I Don’t Like: Astigmatism

Best Uses: CQB, Mid-Range, Long-Range, Tactical, Law-Enforcement, Hunting, Heavy Recoil Resistance, Interchangeable Reticles, Fail-Safe Power,

  • Magnification: 1x
  • Coatings: MC
  • Eye Relief: Unlimited
  • Reticle: Interchangeable
  • Adjustments: 0.5 MOA
  • Battery Life: 20,000-50,000 hours
  • Dimensions: 3.3 x 1.68 x 1.78”/5 oz
  • Mount: Quick release single lever

My Verdict: In total, the Holosun 510C is not done justice by its low price point but that may be the reason for its high-ranking popularity. With multiple features that prove to improve usability and effectiveness in various engagements, the Holosun red dot is a close to perfect sight for all.

Who is the Holosun 510C Reflex Red Dot Sight Best Suited to?

side on view of Holosun HS510C red dot sight

The Holosun HS510C reflex red dot is an ideal sight for anyone who wants one. It’s perfect for the AR-15 or any other MSR platform you wish to mount it to. The Holosun 510C could very well be the best red dot sight for an AR-15.

While $300 seems to be an expensive price point for many, it’s performance, features, and quality actually makes it an affordable option. How? It’s up there with red dots twice its price, and so, it’s an affordable and worthy alternative to those like the Vortex AMG-UH1 Gen II.

How Does the Holosun 510C Reflex Red Dot Sight Perform?

YouTube video

Click the play symbol on the video above to watch the full video review!

It almost seems like an understatement simply to say that the Holosun 510C performs. It’s a multi-featured, high-quality, and easy-to-use reflex red dot sight that is accurate, holds zero, and will last forever.

I’m not exaggerating on its long-lasting estimated life as it has a dual power source and impressive build quality that has been tested and tortured to the max by owners who have shared their tests online.

The 510C supposedly comes “pre-zeroed.” Now, saying something is pre-zeroed from the manufacturer is deceptive. Holosun does say that it will need some minor adjustments, but all scopes and sights need to be zeroed by the shooter regardless. This isn’t a big deal if you expect this from the get-go.

The 510C has three interchangeable reticles: 2 MOA dot and 65 MOA ring, 2 MOA dot, and 65 MOA ring.  Each can be used for various types of engagements, but I think it would be nice to see additional variations in future redesigns for added versatility.

Overall, there’s not a lot I can complain about. The Holosun 510C offers much more in the way of value and performance than any nit-picky shortcomings it may have. Compared to most similarly priced red dot sights, the 510C really could be the one that does it all.

Features & Benefits

Dual Power Source

solar panel on Holosun HS510C red dot sight

I love the fail-safe solar panel and manual modes which are undoubtedly one of the best features of the Holosun reflex sight. You may have a preference on which mode you prefer to use the majority of the time. It’s still nice to know that you can run your red dot even if your loaded CR2032 battery runs dead.

Auto mode is the default mode of the 510C which means it’s drawing power from the integrated solar panel. Brightness is not manually adjustable in this mode as the reticle will be automatically adjusted according to ambient light conditions.

If you want to move into manual mode to access the 11 brightness settings that includes two night vision compatible intensities, hold down the + sign for three seconds.

Thanks to simple technology of reflex sights, you have long-lasting battery life of 50,000 hours with the 2 MOA dot and 20,000 hours with the 2 MOA dot and 65 MOA ring reticle.

Shake Awake

Most red dots have a version of a Shake Awake feature, or at least I think they should. It means you should never have to turn your red dot sight off manually.

The 510C has four Shake Awake timers: 10 mins, 1 hour, 12 hours, and disable. This also helps to conserve battery life if you’re in manual mode. You can disable Shake Awake so that the reticle never disappears from the sight.

If you want to manually turn off your red dot sight if it’s going into storage or just because, simultaneously hold down the + and – signs for 10 seconds to shut it down. The short of it is, it works.

Build Quality

YouTube video

If you’ve done any research on the 510C, you’ll know how tough this little red dot truly is. If it can be shot by a 12-gauge shotgun and not only hold build integrity but zero retention, that speaks for itself and I can attest to this too after testing it out at the range.

Holosun made the chassis out of aluminum and the frame from a titanium alloy.  It feels super tough and I was surprised by how lightweight it is. The red dot has been finished in a Micro Arc Oxidation layer to help protect it from the elements, rust, and all the nasties that try to age your sight. 

Quick Detach Mount

quick detach mount on Holosun HS510C

The Holosun 510C comes with a quick detach mount that I love. It’s a single cam clamp lever that attaches well and holds secure to Picatinny rails. Seriously, I don't think it could be easier to use and is perfect if you switch out your sights regularly like I do.

The cam clamp can be adjusted to make it fit tighter or looser to the rail by adjusting the torx socket on the side of the mount under the + and – buttons that activate and adjust the reticle.

It’s simple to use, has a high-quality feel to it, and there should be zero concerns about its ability to hold during repeated recoil.

Red Dot Ease of Use

A really good reason for red dot popularity is the ease of use. This is ever true of the 510C even though it’s heavily multi-featured. Whether you’re a beginner or a long-time user of red dot sights, the 510C is very operator friendly.

Worth pointing out is the fact that all the controls and the battery compartment are located on the sides. Since there are no controls on the rear, save for the elevation adjustments on the top, you can easily use a magnifier behind it without blocking off access to buttons.

Limitations

Astigmatism

Astigmatism is unique to the user, but it’s also true that reflex sights tend to make astigmatism issues more obvious. I happened to be one that experienced mild dot anomalies with the 510C.

We have done a great guide on Astigmatism and red dot sights that would be worth a read if you also have issues with it.

To be fair, the Holosun reticle is very sharp and crisp. Because of the reticle quality and the anomaly was only double dots, I could make it work, so it’s not a deal breaker for me.

It’s highly recommended that you test out any reflex sight before you buy and that goes for the 510C too.

Looking through glass on Holosun HS510C red dot sight

Popular Questions

Is the Holosun 510C a Holographic Sight?

The Holosun 510C is not a holographic sight. It is a reflex sight that uses an LED to provide an aiming point. It has a reticle that is often seen in holographic sights. With long-lasting battery life and dual power, it's something that alternative reflex and holographic sights must compete with.

Is the Holosun 510C Night Vision Compatible?

On average, most quality red dot sights are night vision compatible, and this includes the Holosun 510C. The dimmest two brightness settings are safe to use with a night vision device. The red dot sight must be in Manual Mode to acquire the compatible intensity settings.

Is the Holosun 510C Parallax Free?

As a general rule, red dot sights are mostly parallax free. The Holosun 510C is “parallax free” but minor inconsistencies can be experienced. True holographic sights have the best parallax free experiences than any other red dot sight type.

Is there a Green Dot in the Holosun Red Dot Sight?

The Holosun 510C comes in either red or green illumination. They do not have interchangeable reticle colors. You must purchase either the red illumination model or the green illumination model depending on your preferences.

What Firearms will the Holosun Reflex Sight Fit?

As long as you have a Picatinny rail on your firearm, the Holosun 510C red dot sight will mount. While ideal for the AR-15 rifle, it can fit to AR pistols, shotguns, and more with a full-size 1913 Picatinny rail.

Conclusion

Most people are on the fence about buying the Holosun 510C if they’re partial to holographic sights from the get-go.

It’s worth acknowledging that they’re two different technologies and must be treated so.

While the 510C is not a holographic sight, it’s a darn good reflex sight. With value and proven performance on its side, it’s a hotshot red dot for all AR-15 shooters and is a keeper for me.

Further Reading

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