, now part of L-3 Communications Inc., introduced the world’s first holographic sight to the commercial market in 1996. In 1999, EOTech introduced its first military and law enforcement model.
The HOLOgraphic Weapon Sight (HWS) was designed to provide the operator with greatly improved shooting performance by achieving a more rapid reticle to target acquisition, unrestricted peripheral vision and highly accurate shot placement. The new Extreme XPS (EXPS), a derivative of the popular XPS that was launched in 2009, is the latest HWS from L-3 EOTech. XPS stands for Cross Power Source, i.e., the transversely mounted CR123 lithium battery. The EXPS has three additional features: left side button positioning; a new adjustable, single quick-release throw-lever system; and a 7mm raised base.
The average battery life of the EXPS at brightness level 12 is about 500 hours. This is three times the battery life of the N cell HWS at the same setting. The reticle retains constant brightness throughout the operational life of the batteries. If the battery is low, the reticle blinks for a few seconds at startup.
The EXPS is presently offered in only one model, the night vision capable EXPS3. The EXPS mounts to any 1-inch Picatinny (MIL-STD-1913) rail with proprietary integral mounting platforms. A variety of mounting platforms are supported, including mounts for the MP5, UMP, M16/AR15, M4 and Ruger Mini-14, as well as Remington, Benelli, and Mossberg tactical shotguns.
The Heads Up Display (HUD) is constructed of a hardened, three-layer, shatterproof laminate glass. Additional protection for the HUD is provided by a roll-bar type hood. The optical cavity is sealed and enclosed with a state-of-the art aerospace composite, providing waterproof and fog-proof operation.
In holography, all of the information required to reconstruct the reticle image is recorded everywhere in the HUD display window. If the window is obstructed by mud, snow, rain, etc., or even if the laminated window is shattered, the HWS remains fully operational, with point of aim/impact being maintained. This is not possible with any other optic.
The EXPS differs from the XPS in that the buttons are mounted on the left side instead of the rear of the sight. Left side button positioning was first introduced on the L-3 EOTech 556. This is much better positioning if magnification or NV will be employed, or any other equipment that takes up vital rail space.
There are 20 normal brightness settings, which are easily scrolled through using up and down arrow controls. The sight automatically returns to the default setting of “12” anytime it is turned on. The reticles can easily be seen against light targets in desert, tundra or snow-covered environments as well as in extreme low-light conditions without washing out the target scene. The EXPS3 has 10 additional NV settings, providing maximum flexibility to the operator when employed in tandem with NV. The EXPS3 features a NV switch that allows the operator to instantly drop the reticle’s brightness to the NV setting, eliminating any halo effect or blooming of the NVD.
The EXPS is available in one of two reticle options: 0-65 MOA circle with 1 MOA aiming dot, and 2-65 MOA circle with two 1 MOA aiming dots. The latter reticle is calibrated for the M4 carbine but compatible with any weapon platform and usable with or without magnification. The two 1 MOA aiming dots are calibrated for standard military 5.56mm ammo at 0-300 meters and 500 meters respectively.
The EXPS is everything that you have come to expect from a HWS. The EXPS gives you all of the capabilities of the HWS, but in a more compact size that doesn’t sacrifice battery life. The EXPS improves upon the XPS, making a superb design even better. It may be well be the ultimate optic for CQB. Eugene Nielsen provides investigative and tactical consulting services and is a former officer. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.