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Eotech MPO II: A New Holographic Weapon Sight System
The MPO II™ is a new product from the folks at L-3 EOTech®. This patrol-oriented optic is basically a combination of the EXPS3™ HWS® (Holographic Weapon Sight) and the G23, a fixed 3X magnifier introduced to compliment the EXPS3.
The HWS is a state of-the-art optical sighting system, employing holographic sighting technology for small to medium caliber weaponry and launching-type platforms. This technology is used in the production of advanced, heads-up display in attack fighter aircraft for targeting, gauge reading, weapon system verification, etc. However, EOTech has miniaturized the system into a compact, rugged package for use on small arms and other weapon platforms.
Most law enforcement personnel have seen or used EOTech Weapon Sight Systems, and many agencies have issued their special operations / SWAT sub guns, tactical carbines and assault rifles equipped with an EOTech sighting system. The MPO II can enhance their shooting skills.
In 1996, EOTech introduced its holographic sighting technology to increase target accuracy and speed of target acquisition for sport shooting and hunting applications. The EOTech Holographic Weapon Sight (HWS) uses patented technology to provide the user a parallax-free (parallax is a displacement of a scope’s sight picture) sighting device that is nearly indestructible. It removes some of the complexities from targeting, and allows the aiming process to become almost instinctive and reflexive.
In 2001, EOTech introduced its military and law enforcement HWS. Since then, the HWS is used by US Special Operations Command (SOCOM), FBI, DEA, State Department, US Border Patrol, Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE), NYPD, LAPD, Texas Highway Patrol and many international special operations forces. In 2003, EOTech was acquired by L-3 Communications.
MPO II – The Components
The MPO II consists of two parts: the EXPS3, advertised as the ultimate Holographic Weapon Sight, and the G23 magnifier. The MPO II reduces the overall length of the system by over two inches. And while it still offers the ballistic reticle and side operating buttons, it
now offers quick release levers on both of the HWS components.
For the infantryman, target ranges can vary in ever changing battlefield conditions. The MPO II provides a solution to engaging threats in CQB situations, quickly transitioning to a 500m targeting or surveillance situation and then transitioning quickly back to a 25m room clearing exercise. Much the same can be said of police tactical situations, which can take place in urban, rural, industrial, or waterborne environments as well as anything beyond and between.
Instant transition is achieved through a Flip-to-Side (FTS) mount that offers a simple, quick disconnect. For example, the G23 magnifier is mounted between the operator and the EXPS3 holographic sight and it should not have to be removed for close work. Instead, it instantly flips to the side, out of the way, with the tap of the thumb. The durable, night vision-compatible system also offers wide field optical performance with superior light transmission for visibility in extreme low light conditions.
The EXPS3 HWS This is a lightweight, non-magnifying, optical sight designed for close quarter battle. Non-magnifying means the sight provides a 1X sight picture. It allows for very fast target acquisition and engagement at short ranges while providing aiming capability out to 300 meters, equal to or better than iron sights.
The major advantage of the HWS is its extremely rapid reticle-on-target acquisition. As quickly as the target is identified, the holographic reticle is superimposed over it. Operators maintain their peripheral view as they place the holographic reticle on target without shifting focus for fast and accurate shot placement. In engagement, keeping both eyes open is a must.
There are advantages to the holographic system. The sight picture displays all of the information required to reconstruct the reticle image recorded in the heads-up display window. If mud, snow, rain, etc. obstruct the window, the HWS remains fully operational and the point of aim/impact is maintained.
Even if the front window is shattered, the HWS stays fully functional and zero is maintained; as long as the operator can see through any portion of the window, the entire reticle pattern is visible on target, and the operator can still engage. HWS employs a true heads-up display that eliminates blind spots, constricted vision, or the tunnel vision associated with tubed sights.
All user controls are flush to the HWS’s streamlined housing, with no protruding knobs, battery compartments or mounting rings to block the shooter’s vision of the target area. Instant identification is achieved by maximizing the operator’s peripheral vision and ultimately gaining greater control over the engagement zone, thereby allowing maximum situational awareness.
The HWS’s 30 brightness settings ensure the holographic reticle can be instantly viewed in all types of lighting environments, cluttered backgrounds, and target colors, giving the operator the flexibility to adjust for optimal conditions in today’s changing tactical environments.
All electronic controls are via pushbutton switches located on the left side of the unit housing. These can be used to turn the sight on and adjust the brightness level up or down using the 20 daytime brightness settings provide a dynamic range of 146,000:1 from the lowest to the highest setting. The sight runs its own self diagnostic when turned on and the reticle will pulse if the sight has 20% or less of its full battery life left.
Battery life on the EXPS3 is listed at 600 hours. This means that when the reticle starts to pulse, you still have 120 hours of run time remaining so you should never get caught off guard. Additionally, the HWS has an auto shutdown feature where it will automatically shut itself off after four or eight hours, based on which pushbutton control was used to turn it on.
The EXPS3 is configured with a new ballistic matching reticle image for the M4 carbine. The battle-tested circle/dot reticle is offered, along with a series of 1 MOA aiming dots that are vertically aligned and calibrated specifically for the ballistic drop of .223 caliber ammunition. The reticle provides four aiming dots for target distances of 0-300m, 400m, 500m, and 600m. The use of a magnifier is strongly recommended.
The EXPS3 is compatible with Gen I to Gen III+ Night Vision Devices, and features click mechanisms on the right-hand side of the sight for elevation and windage adjustments.
Specifics and features: 1) Single transverse 123 battery to reduce sight length; 2) Ballistic reticle specific to .223 caliber munitions; 3) Compatible with Gen I-III+ Night Vision Systems (tandem operation); 4) Shortened base only requires at most 2 3/4 inch of rail space; 5) Battery cap and latch are eliminated and replaced with a simple O-ring, tethered cap; better sealing is achieved 6) Average battery life at brightness level 12 is roughly 600 hours and; 7) Side buttons, NV compatible with an adjustable, locking, quick detach lever for easy attachment and removal.
The G23 Magnifier
The L-3 EOTech HWS product line has two different heights above the rail based on user preference. For this reason, the magnifier does not come preassembled to the mount. It is user configurable based upon the specific HWS it will be mounted behind.
The magnifier system can be configured to flip to the left or the right based on shooting preference. Typically, right-handed shooters prefer the mount to flip to the left, and left-handed shooters to the right. Certain commercial variants may not be compatible with magnifier’s side-to-side mount.
In operation, the G23 Magnifier is designed to be used behind the HWS, and can be either flipped away or operated in the locked position. Once the magnifier is properly installed, it may be necessary to re-zero the sight. This is due to the shooter’s ability to see the target and Point of Impact (POI) more accurately than without the magnifier. Re-zeroing the sight will prevent a perceived shift in POI when going from no magnification to magnification.
Maintenance of the magnifier is limited to cleaning the outside of the optic and cleaning the lenses by first blowing away any dirt and dust. Fingerprints and lubricants can be wiped off with lens tissue or a soft cotton cloth which is moistened with lens cleaning fluid or glass cleaner--never with a dry cloth or paper towel. The magnifier should never be disassembled because the optical cavity is purged, nitrogen filled, and sealed to achieve fog-proof performance.
Field Evaluation of the MPO II
Detective Sean Kennedy with the Pasco County, Florida, Sheriff’s Office is a SWAT team member, firearms instructor, and has competed at the SWAT Round-Up International. His evaluation consisted of a total of 60 rounds fired at 50 yards, 25 yards, and 15 yards. The MPO II was mounted on the rail of his agency-issued Heckler and Koch 416. H&K considers its 416 a major product improvement over M4/M16-type carbines.
Det. Kennedy said that combining the 3X magnifier with the GXPS3 solved the problems of medium range precision targeting and target identification. The sighting system very much increased shooter accuracy. He reported he felt like he was hammering bullets, one on top of the other. Of five shots at 15 yards, he put four bullets in the same hole.
As to the use of the quick release throw lever system, it was very good and worked out well. He was also able to make rapid transition for Close Quarter Battle (CQB) engagements. Obtaining a target was quick, and the system was brighter than older EOTech sights. It was the ultimate CQB optic. The MPO II has an MSRP of $1,069.
Jim Weiss is a retired lieutenant from the Brook Park, Ohio, Police Department and a frequent contributor to LAW and ORDER. Mickey Davis is a California-based writer and author.
Published in Tactical Response, Jan/Feb 2012
Rating : Not Yet Rated
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