Holosun has been making waves in the optics industry. The company went from producing simple red dots to producing affordable, but surprisingly durable mini red dots like the 507C and 509T and the class-leading 507K.
Their latest optic is the AEMS, representing a break from the standard Holosun optic. The AEMS represents not only a new naming convention for Holsoun, but really shows they can innovate.
Design and Features of the AEMS
AEMS standards for Advanced Enclosed Micro Sight, and that’s an apt description (other than maybe ‘micro’ which, to me, is reserved for pistol-sized sights. The AEMS is most certainly a long gun sight. The main body is square-shaped with a reasonably large window for such a small optic.
The window is 1.1 inches x .87 inches. Not bad for an optic that’s relatively short and small. It weighs only 5.5 ounces with mount and is 2.2 inches long, 1.4 inches wide, and 2.59 inches tall. The real benefit to the AEMS is the fact you get an optic that’s roughly the size of an Aimpoint micro optic with a near-EOTECH-sized window.
Holosun traditionally relied on Trijicon and Aimpoint for mount footprints. With the AEMS, they released a proprietary footprint with a lower 1/3rd witness mount. Holosun has mentioned releasing lower and higher mounts, but we haven’t seen them just yet.
Like a lot of Holosun’s products, the AEMS has a number of excellent features. Shake awake helps preserve battery life by shutting down when the optic isn’t in use. The top of the optic wears a solar panel to work as a battery backup. The AEMS comes equipped with removable, disposable lens covers that are transparent and add an extra layer of protection for your optic.
Reticles, Power, and Brightness
The AEMS also gives you the choice of three reticles. Shooters can choose between a 2 MOA dot, a 32 MOA circle, and a combination of the dot and circle. I’m a dot and circle man myself. There are eight daylight settings and four-night vision settings. The optic can get quite bright and is perfectly suitable for bright, daylight environments.
A locking side battery door holds the CR2032 that powers the optic, and it lasts for 50,000 hours. The solar panel is powerful enough to power the optic without a battery. I didn’t put the battery in immediately and tried the optic in various environments with just the solar panel powering it.
Indoor lights are powerful enough to keep the optic running, as is most overcast outdoor situations. In a situation where black clouds very clearly blotted out the sun, the optic would work, but the reticle would do the low battery blink thing.
Two big buttons make it easy to adjust the brightness level, and they’re impossible to miss. I’d much rather have a button than a spinning dial to make these adjustments. Those two big buttons represent all the controls you have with the AEMS.
The buttons allow you to adjust the brightness, turn the optic on and off, lock the brightness setting, change from manual to automatic brightness adjustment, change reticles, and surely something else I’m forgetting.
Much like Johnny Cash, the AEMS has been everywhere, man. That means I’ve put it on shotguns, rifles, and subguns. It’s been on the M&P 12, the CMMG Four Six, my AR-15, my Aero EPC, and more. That’s a lot of guns with different recoil impulses, and that’s also a lot of zeroes. Yet, the AEMS has never tapped out.
The flushed, recessed turrets have held up even though it’s been zeroed over and over. The AEMS held zero even though the wide variety of recoil impulses. The optic always comes on and works without complaint.
The view through the AEMS is quite clear. We get a slight blue tint, and other than that, it’s an immaculate image, even with the lens covers in place. The clarity is excellent, and I have no complaints. The reticle also appears crisp and clear. Each reticle looks excellent.
The height of the sight is a little weird. Part of the magic is opening up the window and adding that into the height of the optic itself. I would look high for a few reps when I shouldered the weapon. It took a few practice reps to get the natural view through the lens down and routine, especially when mounted on ARs.
The thin design of the AEMS provides an unobstructed view with a two-eyed open approach. Seeing your target prior to aiming and transitioning between targets is quick and easy. The 65 MOA circle also makes it easy to compensate for height over bore, and I use the bottom stadia to aim within seven yards.
The AEMS provides a clear, vivid sight picture, with a handy reticle selection. At almost $500, the AEMS is relatively expensive compared to other Holosun optics, so it might be a tough sell for some. The features and specs make this a unique optic a fair bit unlike anything else on the market.
Specifications: Holosun AEMS Micro Red Dot Sight
Length: 2.2 inches
Width: 1.4 inches
Height: 2.59 inches
Weight (No Mount): 3.9 ounces
Weight (With Mount): 5.5 ounces
Ratings (out of five stars):
Clarity: * * * * *
The glass is clear, the lens covers are clear, and the reticles are crisp. There isn’t much not to like about the AEMS.
Ergonomics * * * *
It’s pretty small, light weight, and easy to use. The buttons are large and easy to press with good feedback. My main complaint is that the height of the window was a little odd at first.
Reliability * * * * *
The AEMS has been tossed on numerous weapons through numerous recoil impulses, and it’s been dropped, rain on, and more, and it keeps working.
Overall * * * * ½
The AEMS is a very solid optic from a brand I generally associate with budget-friendliness. This new sight is not so budget-friendly, though. That might turn some off, but I think you’ll have a hard time finding an optic with similar specs and features regardless of the cost.