Holosun has been a role lately. They’ve been providing extremely high-quality red dot sights at relatively low prices. They’ve never really done anything super original or innovative. They kind of just do what works and sell it at a lower price. However, their latest optic, the Holosun AEMS, shows that they can be quite creative. The AEMS, or Advanced Enclosed Micro Sight, breaks the hold of not just Holosun optics but optics in general.


What’s New About the AEMS?

The AEMS is a compact red dot made for long guns in the same vein as optics like the Aimpoint Micro series. It’s well suited for use on carbines, rifles, shotguns, and even submachine guns. It’s superbly small and lightweight at less than four ounces. Holosun has made compact optics in the past, but this one takes the cake.

The AEMS is smaller and lighter than most compact optics but maximizes your viewing window. The use of a square window over a round tube allows the optic to maximize its window footprint while minimizing the size footprint. Efficiency is the name of the game here, and the AEMS maximizes efficiency.

Holosun AEMS red-dot sight
(Courtesy of author)

Unlike other optics, the AEMS isn’t named with a number, and this will apparently be the future of Holosun optics. I’m happy about that because the numbers are way too hard to remember.

The Holosun AEMS utilizes a new mount that is proprietary and designed to be AR-height. Currently, it’s the only mount available, but Holosun has promised more.

The AEMS packs a lot of features that Holosun fans have come to adore. This includes the solar panel mounted to the top of the optic. When it detects enough light, the optic will automatically switch to solar power and preserve your battery. It will last up to 50,000 hours on a single CR2032 battery.

Holosun AEMS red-dot sight solar panel
Holosun AEMS red-dot sight solar panel. (Courtesy of author)

You also get three reticles and can choose between a 2 MOA dot, a 65 MOA circle, and a combination of the dot and circle. I prefer the dot and circle and find it to be the easiest to see. It’s also the handiest and the most useful for a variety of weapons.


At the Range

The Holosun AEMS provides a very clear set of lenses topped with a very clear set of lens covers. These lens covers are user-replaceable and can be easily removed and swapped. They also pop up and down with ease. I shot with the lenses closed the entire time because I didn’t notice a big enough clarity difference to warrant dropping them. They provide an awesome degree of protection.

Holosun AEMS reticle
Holosun AEMS reticle. (Courtesy of author)

The reticles appear incredibly clear, very crisp, and easy to see. The circle and dot provide a big easy-to-see and easy-to-track reticle. I can keep an eye on the big red ring throughout every recoil impulse. This allows me to get the AEMS right back where I need it between shots. The same goes for rapid transitions between targets. The big reticle makes it easy to track targets.

The AEMS reticle also acts as a compensation tool for height over bore and mechanical offset. I can use the bottom stadia of the reticle to compensate for height over bore at super close ranges. This ensures my rounds aren’t appearing to hit low, and I can precisely place them where needed.

aiming through reticle
(Courtesy of author)

The AEMS proved to be quite reliable regardless of the gun I utilized. I used shotguns, rifles, and PCCs and the AEMS never failed, flickered, or gave me any doubts. I even removed the battery and ran the optic on pure solar power, and it worked at every brightness level without issue. Even when the sky was gray the solar worked. Hell, it rained on me while I shot, and the AEMS didn’t care.


Yay or Nay?

If you need a compact long gun sight, the AEMS will be tough to beat. It’s superbly light, provides a massive field of view with an unobstructed design. The reticles rock, as does the solar power. The AEMS is also reliable and well-suited for combative shooting. The downside is mainly the proprietary mounting system. While Holosun might promise new mounts, I’m always skeptical until it’s in my hand.

Yet, if your gun needs an AR-height sight, the AEMS offers a very efficient option that’s small, light, and clear. What say you? Does the AEMS tickle your fancy? Let us know in the comments below.