Downsizing isn’t just for empty-nesters these days. It seems that just about every semiautomatic sporting rifle now has a .22 rimfire clone. Even rather esoteric rifles like SCARs, SiGs, and HK’s have their downmarket rimfire cousins, and rimfire AR clones are too numerous to count. Why? They’re lots of fun and much cheaper to shoot than their 5.56 big brothers. For the price of 2,000 rounds of bulk 5.56 for your AR, you can buy 2,000 rounds of .22 AND a .22 AR clone to shoot them through . . .

Given the popularity of these ‘tactical’ (God, I’m starting to hate that word) .22 sporting rifles, I’ve wondered which major optics manufacturer would step into the breach with a lower-priced and presumably lower-featured line of .22-specific ‘combat’-style optics.

Eotech has made this leap of faith into the rimfire market with their XPS2-RF holographic sight.

At a real-world price of $369, the Eotech XPS2-RF’s about a Benjamin cheaper than a standard Eotech XPS-2. (Click here to read my review of the similar XPS-3.)  The two models are externally similar and have very similar operating specifications, but the rimfire version lacks the shockproofing and the armor plating that make other Eotechs nearly indestructible.

I’m cool with that, I suppose, since .22 rifles should certainly never be used or depended upon under the brutal combat conditions that military M4s have to survive every day.

But there’s one design feature I can’t quite get down with: it uses an integral .22 dovetail mount, and it’s not compatible with Weaver or Picatinny rail mounts.  This prevents Cheap Bastards like me from buying a .22 Eotech and slapping on a real AR (and you know we would) and prevents the XPS2-RF from eating into the market share of pricier, beefier Eotechs.

Here’s the problem: quarantining the XPS2-RF in a small part of the ‘rimfire-only’ market segment will kill it.

If you can’t put this Eotech on your Colt .22 AR or the like, what good is it? It’s way too expensive to mount on a cheap semi-auto like a Mossberg or a Marlin, and it’s too inaccurate to mount on an expensive bolt-action tackdriver like an Anschutz or a CZ.  Even if you had the money, I don’t see why you’d put one of these on a 10/.22 when you could use a ‘real’ (rail-mount) Eotech instead.

The .22 dovetail scope mount is going the way of the Betamax and the 3.5″ floppy disk drive, because it’s obsolete and basically sucks. Dovetail mounts are notoriously flimsy; drop your rifle and the scope rings are liable to tear right off the receiver. They also can’t handle any kind of recoil without sliding forward.

Why Eotech would market a sophisticated holographic sight with such an obsolete mount is a mystery to me. It’s probably the best .22 scope you’ll never use.

21 Responses to Gear Review: Eotech XPS2-RF

  1. “Why Eotech would market a sophisticated holographic sight with such an obsolete mount is a mystery to me.”

    Why anyone would mount a $369 holographic sight on a $200 rifle is a mystery to me.

    • Exactly. I have a hard time justifying placing optics on my rifles that cost more than I paid for them. Someday I may review an optic that changes my tune, but until then my $100 Barska(s) will work just fine.

      • I respectfully disagree. My approach is that your optic should cost more than your rifle, unless your rifle costs over a grand, in which case you start experiencing some degree of deminishing return for your money. To some extent, scopes are like cars or wine, … you don’t fully appreciate the pricier stuff until your have experienced it. As for Barska (sp?), geez, don’t get me started.

    • Reminds me of the guy I met who had a WASR-10 (from when they were even cheaper), fitted with a nice MARPAT synthetic stock and an EOTECH.

    • “Why anyone would mount a $369 holographic sight on a $200 rifle is a mystery to me.”

      1) Introducing newbies to the shooting world.
      2) Making shooting .22s more interesting to teenagers who are used to such sights in their games and expect them on real world firearms.

      Firearms equipped with such sights make the shooting experience more enjoyable (easier to use) rewarding (newbies will usually be much more accurate and precise when using a holographic sight) and be able to shoot faster with greater accuracy. This combination of ease of use, practical accuracy, and the “WOW” factor make these firearms extremely enjoyable to shoot, this encourages newbies and teenagers to continue into the shooting world.

      I love taking newbies as well as nieces and nephews shooting, because of that love I have a Bushnell Holosight with a 2X magnifier mounted on a Ruger 10-22 with a Christie “SuperStock”. I also have another Bushnell Holosight / 2X magnifier mounted on a Beretta Neos .22 handgun that has the carbine conversion kit installed*. I also frequently loan out the Beretta Neos Carbine to the wifes/girlfriends of other range users who cannot understand why their wife/girlfriend does not enjoy shooting their .44 Mag,.357 sub or Beretta 92.

      NukemJim

      *The Beretta Neos carbine has earned the moniker of “The Slut” because “Man, woman or anything in between it does not matter, everybody is guaranteed a good time”

  2. Who in their right mind would exclude the S&W 15-22, one of the largest selling .22’s, from using their scope? Talk about short sighted! (Pardon the pun, but it’s early and I need coffee….) Somehow I sense an after-market adapter opportunity here.

  3. It’s too bad the Aimpoint PRO is now restricted. For $30 more you can (or used to be able to) get a real red dot that would work equally well on a .223 or .22 AR.

  4. Ralphie, Ryan….

    The .22 AR market is one of the hottest and will continue as long as .22 ammo is cheap.

    When outfitting a .22 platform, the monetary value of the accessories aren’t typically related to the overall price of the base gun. Instead, these .22 aficionados see the bigger picture: a well accessorized rifle at a fraction of the cost of one of it’s .223 big brothers using the cheapest ammo on the planet. So, as Joe Dirt says, “you win twice, brother!”

  5. I wish I could care … I really do. I love the sight picture of an EOTech HOLOsight. Problem is … Mine keep dying on me. And not because I abuse them in the field or at the range. They fail on me while in storage. I’m not buying them anymore, and I cringe whenever I see my fellow Marines using them. They just aren’t reliable.

    And then there’s the cost. A hard enough pill to swallow on a reliable sight dedicated to rimfire use, but impossible to swallow for an EOTech. (Sorry EOTech.)

  6. You guys are all missing the boat on this… I called EOTech to just see what the deal is with this sight. The truth is, it is the same XPS optic component used in all of their sights including the EXPS which is being used by the Navy Seals. The sight was not “cheapened” it was reduced in cost because the hood was omitted and there is less machining on the base. The sight will withstand all the recoil (according to EOTech) you can dish out, it is just that the 3/8 dovetail mount is limited to performing properly on the weapons it was designed for. (that is why 3/8 dovetails are not on 30.06, they will slide!) It also eliminates the need to stack up adapters to weaver rails that raise mechanical offset and affect cheek weld.
    SO… I am an old guy and I have trouble seeing the iron sights, but I like to hunt, plink and speed shoot. I own a classic Remington Speedmaster I have had since I was a boy and now thanks to EOTech I am 14 yrs old again!!!
    Getting people shooting high quality 22 wooden stock rifles, getting kids involved in shooting instead of video games are all great things. Remember, this is a sporting sight, if you are a tactical 22 fan with a Picatinny equiped gun, go buy a regular Eotech. I think Eotech did the right thing by developing a high quality sight that “fits” the intened rifle platform providing a correct cheek weld. After all, there are over 30 million 22 rifles already fielded out there… many of these (I have several) are most worthy of a high qualtiy optic. Bravo to EOTech for thinking outside of the tactical market!!!

  7. This is just the ticket for my 9422M.
    Mounting a dovetail/picatinny adapter would raise the sight higher than I would like, and the iron sights were not precise enough for my old eyes at 100 yds.

    Niche market? Yes. But this application fits the niche.

    • Great find Faust Gerard, that should allow a lot of 22LR tact rifle owners use this sight. And, currently DVOR.com has it on sale for $315 for 48 hrs, add coupon 10off to save on shipping cost.

    • The adapters you link at amazon do not work with the Eotech XPS2-RF. I tried. I love my Eotechs and wanted one without the armor so I thought I would try what you are talking about. No good.

      Basically the grooved Eotech will not attach to these bases because the shoulder for the 1913 is too high to work with the way the L3 integrated base is designed. Maybe GG&G will end up with something that works…

      Good Luck

  8. I used an amazon adapter. two come with the order. i used a disc sander and beveled the top of the base oposite the mounting screw and the RF sights fits perfect. I now use it on my MP 15-22 and it is awesome. The slight increase in height drop the irons into the lower 1/4. better than my regular 512!!

  9. I bought one of these for my Feinwerkbau 124 air rifle. It can handle the punishment of the air gun’s typical double recoil which has torn two RWS scopes apart. There is a certain cool factor and fun associated with red dot sights. At air rifle effective distances I do not really need magnification. Yet, if EOTECH had an offering for one I would probably make the purchase. I have a SW 15-22 Performance Center rifle and while I have several Nikon Monarch Scopes I could put on it, I chose to go with an EXPS-0 with a G33 magnifier. It does bother me that at 100 yards I am not wringing out all the accuracy the gun is capable of but the I plink a lot with this rifle. The same holds true of my Colt Competition Pro 18. I have a Monarch M 223 for it but usually keep an EXPS-2 with G33 magnifier on it also. I keep the scopes for these rifles in Burris AR PEPR QD mounts So I can quickly switch back and forth as the shooting demands. The point of impact change is tiny. I was also crazy enough to put an EXPS-0 on my SW 15 22 P because the large sight picture enables rapid follow up shots on the next bowling pin at the club matches. There are rifles that absolutely demand scopes like my Coopers which are capable of one hole groups. I also keep a Leupold Tactical Scope on my SW AR 300 Whisper for home defense because who wants to fuss with hitting a switch if someone is shooting at the house from some distance away. This gun also sports a LaserMax green laser with remote switch for instant targeting at close or long range. I guess it is just nice to have options!

  10. I swapped some old 7.62×25 ammo for one.(300 rds I think) I put it on my .22 Benjamin Discovery PCP.(pre-charged pnumatic pellet gun) 863 fps w/ 14.3 gr pellet. Holy crap this optic is awsome! The Disco was a tack driver with a peep, now it’s a gnat sniper. Fantastic optic.

  11. Most respectfully i helped engineer this sight at EOTech. The intent of the product is to be the first high quality “red dot” type optic for 22 rimfires. The 3/8 tip off base eliminates the use of adaptors which increases mechanical offset at the closer ranges rimfires are used at. A prime example would be a Marlin Golden 39A that you enjoyed shooting as a youth you can now have a high quality red dot that matches the quality of the rifle. Others as well such as the Remington Speedmaster etc etc. Agreed, not for your inexpensive big box rifles, but for that specific rifle you love, but does not have a red dot solution. If you love your tactical 22 Ar style rifle and use it, why not buy a 512 anyway as you will certainly get your money out of the use of the sight and firearm? The EOTech xps2-RF is not for everyone, but if you have that high quality plinker in your safe and are itching for putting a red dot on top, there is now finally a niche’ product that matches the quality of your rifle with USA craftsmanship.

    • hi , how high does it sit off the receiver ? will the cheek weld be adversely affected with a cz 512 22lr wooden stock iron sights ?

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