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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.

The solar panel ensures power with or without a battery. (Travis Pike for TTAG)

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.

The bigg buttons make controlling the AEMS easy (Travis Pike for TTAG)

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 lens covers are replaceable and considered disposable (Travis Pike for TTAG)

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.

Spitting Lead

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 optic’s large window and slightly unconventional height took some practice to get used to (Travis Pike for TTAG)

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 big field of view and unobstructive design make engagements easy (Travis Pike for TTAG)

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
MSRP: $470.58

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.


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    • Is this an actual concern? I have taken apart two holosun optics and god knows how many other chi-com ones. Is there something I should be looking for?

        • LoL 🤣

          The AEMS does not have GPS tracking or a video recorder.

          Over 80% of the electronics people have were made in China (at least in part), they just don’t know it. It might be stamped “Made in USA” but its a pretty good bet its got parts and components inside that are made in China, even firearms optics.

          To qualify for a ‘Made in USA’ or ‘Made in America’ label, a product must be “all or virtually all” manufactured in America. Products bearing this label should have little to no overseas content. But, its not considered “overseas content” if it was imported by a U.S. supplier and re-branded with a U.S. company branding or its given a different character and use (this is considered a ‘significant transformation’) to arrive at a “distinct unique” product.

          Products displaying an ‘Assembled in the USA’ label will contain a higher percentage of imported components but will be physically assembled in America.

          For products labeled/advertised with ‘Made in USA’ or ‘Made in America’ or ‘Assembled in the USA’ – they can contain foreign made parts and components if the parts and components undergo significant transformation on American soil (e.g. assembled into a final product) and produce a distinct product that is unique to the assembling company (e.g. U.S. company Widgets Inc. puts it all together to form a firearms optic that is unique to Widgets Inc. and not to a foreign made product).

          A “substantial transformation” occurs when an imported article emerges from processing as a new and different article, with a new name, character and use. For example; An LED module mass manufactured in China for the general electronics market (and in reality is used in almost every red dot sight made in the USA) that may be used in a red dot sight is imported from China, rebranded with a new name (e.g. ‘precision LED’ or a company name), and given a use that changes its character from general electronics to a specific product use (e.g. the red dot sight) in a product manufactured by a U.S. company and labeled/advertised ‘Made in USA’ is considered ‘Made in USA’ even though all or most of the parts and components originated in China. This also applies to claims of “all parts (or materials) were made in the U.S.”

          Almost 100% of firearms optics labeled/advertised as ‘Made in USA’ or ‘Made in America’ are, in a parts and components level context, actually made overseas (mostly parts and components that originated in China).

  1. No problem with the price or where it’s made. Although I do prefer an open mount and back up iron sights. While a red dot or simple non magnified optical sight makes it easier for old eyes to acquire a target, solid iron sights are what I learned to shoot with all those years ago. We still used iron back when I was in the Army. With scopes, optical sights, and night sights being used for more specialized work.

      • I wonder if Cabellas has one on display. I wear glasses so I have to see the optics in person to make sure they don’t ghost. I have a Vortex UH1 that my buddy says looks like a mailbox but I love it. Very fast acquisition and sharp reticle. This AEMS looks interesting.

        • People who type in all caps all the time have a mental health condition dealing with narcissism and suppressed feelings and feelings of insecurity. They are one step away from, usually, becoming violent towards themselves or others. Its their expression of yelling or screaming (which is also how its interpreted) to help vent potentially violent urges or frustrations that they are the way they are.

      • I cut NTexas some slack, he’s old and probably cant see what he types without the caps, that and being in the polish artillery. It was his job to stand by the barrel and make sure the shells was coming out.

  2. I read the comments just to see how many posts there would be before the inevitable “China” comments.

    Not even one, it was there at the very top.

  3. This doesn’t seem to be any different than any of their other enclosed red dot sites
    Holosun makes a great product.
    This particular one is a little more expensive than their other models.
    I will certainly love my holosun sun 510’s!

    I do wish they would make some with other reticles, other than a circle th other than a circle dot, like a cross or a cross inside of a circle

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  9. First, a safety note: this will only work correctly with a Glock Gen3-5. The Picatinny slot in the dust cover is one of the retention points, and a tab fits there to secure the pistol. The gun would only stay in place due to the butt block if no pic rail were in place. Trigger guard over old, and rubber boot over the slide. Those three may be enough, but they are not the total of 4 designed points. Since your weak hand is literally in front of your mouth as you shoot, we strongly recommend that you use all available hold.

    Second,9mm 124 Grain FMJ Magtech the POI changes at the MCK are atrocious. Change ammo, switch mags, look into the distance for a couple of seconds, and the next 3-5 group jumps 4-6″ in a random direction at 15 yards. I noticed that the MCK is susceptible to a lot of flex in all axes; twist the gun a little, move, and do so in any direction you apply pressure. It’s only a 1/8 “-1/4” movement on the edge of the gun… but that translates to whole inches of POI change within a few yards. I tried using a bench to isolate the gun to the chassis, but the madness continued.

    I had high hopes of selling my MPX and a few other PCCs and using the MCK in those roles…nope. MCs for sale.

    It is a range toy, nothing more. It was a fun range toy, very light and fun to move that clamp into the lock position. But trying to zero out a red dot at 15 meters was the epitome of frustration.

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