Holographic Weapon Sights in Sporting Use

Clay pigeon explodingWhen it first debuted in 1996, the Bushnell Holosight was the one of the first sights of its kind to hit the market. Unlike tube based red dot sights such as those made by Tasco and Aimpoint, this radically new holographic sight did not rely on the use of a reflected reticle projected in a tube.

The Holosight’s reticle instead recorded its reticle in the form of a hologram in the viewing window. Because this image is set at a measured distance the sight is parallax free at 100 yards and the reticle moves with the shooter’s eye position.

The Holosight was originally intended for use on hunting rifles and shotguns and it performed well in this role. The earliest promotional videos of the Holosight showed them being used successfully in sporting clays and skeet shooting tournaments as well as on big game at ranges within 400 yards.

C-More Serendipity

C-More Serendipity

However, the relatively lightweight construction and low profile made it ideal to mount on handguns. At the same time, a similar sight made by C-MORE known as the Serendipity SD came on the market. It was more compact than the Bushnell offering, but did not offer the varying degrees of brightness or minute click adjustments found on the Bushnell Holosight.

The C-MORE Serendipity sight was used by World IPSC Champions Todd Jarrett and Matt McLearn. Their use and endorsement of the sight lead to legions of IPSC shooters and amateur shooters following in their footsteps. In a similar vein master shooter Jerry Barnhart won the U.S. National Championship in 1996 using a Bushnell Holosight and the 1997 Bianchi Cup was won by Bruce Piatt using the same sight.

When these results were posted in national shooting publications such as American Handgunner and Guns, all bets were off. Flat top AR-15 type rifles were growing in popularity at this time, and without the ubiquitous “carrying handle” they simply begged to have optics mounted on them. For traditional AR-15s that still featured the handle, C-MORE made a unique version that mounted to a carrying handle, and the unlimited eye relief over the hand guard proved just as fast with regard to target acquisition as a sight with less eye relief.

Shooters used these holographic weapon sights on AR-15 rifles and shotguns in three-gun competition with great success and have been doing so for close to two decades. The ability to keep both eyes open while shooting as opposed to focusing through a sight’s tube allows the shooter to see the target that he is engaging as well as the next one down the line.

Over time the sights have evolved quickly, becoming smaller and more rugged like such as the offerings by Trijicon and EOTech. Some of the sights have become so small that they can be mounted in the rear dovetail of most handgun slides.

Although consumer holographic sights are relative newcomers to the world of sport shooting, their numerous advantages over alternative sighting options have made them a standard piece of equipment for thousands of shooting enthusiasts across the globe. As the technology advances, we can only expect that holographic sights will become better, less expensive, and easier to use.

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