EOTech, a division of L3 Technologies, is one of the world leaders for red dot, or reflex weapons sights. The BlueSheepDog Crew has already completed an article on the EOTech 518, and now it is time to look at the new [easyazon_link identifier=”B00OKIKROW” locale=”US” tag=”bluesheecom-20″]EOTech 558[/easyazon_link], night vision compatible holographic weapon sight (HWS).
The EOTech 558 can be viewed as a mission-specific upgrade to the similar model 518. Virtually identical in size, shape, and function, the [easyazon_link identifier=”B00OKIKROW” locale=”US” tag=”bluesheecom-20″]EOTech 558[/easyazon_link] adds the night vision capability, along with a more durable water resistance of the sight body. Both sights use [easyazon_link identifier=”B00009V2QX” locale=”US” tag=”bluesheecom-20″]AA batteries[/easyazon_link] and offer the popular [easyazon_link identifier=”B00SWJIXEQ” locale=”US” tag=”bluesheecom-20″]QD release lever[/easyazon_link].
The [easyazon_link identifier=”B00OKIKROW” locale=”US” tag=”bluesheecom-20″]EOTech 558[/easyazon_link] is compatible with all Generation I – III night vision devices. With a lot of evil taking place in the hours of darkness, law enforcement officers require the best features on their weapon sights to be able to more adequately and safely engage hostile threats. Though night vision optics are very expensive, the addition of at least a few into the Patrol unit and SWAT Team should be seriously considered by medium and large-sized police departments.
The 558 mount uses a QD lever that is both adjustable and locking, yet still offers instant removal. The 558 is designed to attach to standard [easyazon_link identifier=”B00LGK5TNG” locale=”US” tag=”bluesheecom-20″]M1913 Picatinny rails[/easyazon_link] or [easyazon_link identifier=”B000N8MYO4″ locale=”US” tag=”bluesheecom-20″]Weaver mounts[/easyazon_link]. The QD lever locks the sight onto the rail, but quickly detaches as well.
Brightness control buttons are located on the side of the sight body for easy access with the off-hand by right-handed shooters. They are large enough to manipulate with gloved hands as well. Turning the [easyazon_link identifier=”B00OKIKROW” locale=”US” tag=”bluesheecom-20″]EOTech 558[/easyazon_link] on simply requires the shooter to begin pressing the “up” arrow button to the desired level, with the “down” arrow button for adjustments as lighting changes. To turn the 558 off the shooter presses both the “up” and “down” arrow buttons at the same time, like other EOTech sights.
The [easyazon_link identifier=”B00U05VCLG” locale=”US” tag=”bluesheecom-20″]EOTech 558[/easyazon_link] has (20) daytime lighting settings, and an additional (10) night-vision settings. The holographic sight is designed to remain at the full brightness level during the duration of on time, and will not fade as the batteries lose power, instead abruptly turning off. The sight will temporarily blink when turning on as the 558 conducts a battery check, but any continued blinking likely indicates the batteries are about to die (see below for Author’s experiences).
Their location also makes the 558 ideal for use with EOTech switch-to-side magnifiers (like the [easyazon_link identifier=”B008CXKX7M” locale=”US” tag=”bluesheecom-20″]G33[/easyazon_link]). The 65 MOA aiming circle is ideal for reflex shooting in Close Quarters engagements, and the (1) MOA aiming dot provides the ability of precision shots out to 300 yards. The optical surfaces of the 558 are treated with an anti-reflective coating that will block a target from seeing the holographic red dot or any night vision enhancement glare.
The drop-in replacement [easyazon_link identifier=”B00NEOBV0C” locale=”US” tag=”bluesheecom-20″]Laser Battery Caps[/easyazon_link] (LBC and LBC2) are designed to work with this model as well, increasing aiming capabilities and speed to target all day and night long if desired. The LBC retails for $285.00, while the LBC2 (with two lasers) retails for $429.00.
EOTech 558.A65 Specifications
- Length – 5.5″ (140mm)
- Width – 2.2″ (56mm)
- Height – 2.8″ (71mm)
- Weight – 13.3oz (377 g)
- Window Dimensions – 1.20″ x 0.85″
- Weapon Mount – 1.0” Weaver or MIL-STD-1913 rail; Quick-Detach (QD) lever
- Brightness Settings – (20) daylight – true HUD display; (10) night vision
- Sight Configuration – 65 MOA ring with 1 MOA dot; includes quadrant hash marks
- Adjustment Range – 40+/- MOA elevation and windage; 0.5 MOA per click (1/2″ @ 100 yards)
- Power Source – (2) AA batteries (1.5V); Supports lithium, alkaline, or rechargeable
- Battery Life – Lithium: 1,000 hours at setting 12; Alkaline: 600 hours at setting 12
- Auto Shut-Off – (8) hours after “up” button used to turn on; (4) hours if “down” button used
- Laser Radiation – Class II laser product – 0.08 mW, 650 nm (protected by hood)
- Water Resistant – Submersible to 33 ft. (10 m) depth
- Color – Non-reflective black
- MSRP – $629.00.
Author’s Experience with EOTech Sights
My SWAT Team started using EOTech 512’s about 8-9 years ago. The fast targeting ability of the EOTech holographic sight has proven itself many times; as well as, the aiming dot for longer range targets. During our annual Advanced SWAT course we perform the U.S. Army rifle qualification in the IVAN course out to 300 yards. Almost every team member could hit the 300-yard target with proper hold over adjustments.
Over time we did experience some issues with the battery connections and battery jostling during firing – especially during rapid fire. The jostling would cause a disconnect of the battery and connection resulting in the sight turning itself off. That is annoying on the range, but can be catastrophic on a mission. Keep that in mind if considering in-line battery reflex sights!
Based on that experience we switched to the EOTech 551 using the N-cell batteries. Unfortunately, these batteries are expensive, and we have found their durability to be very lacking – definitely not the “200 hours” advertised by EOTech. It is not uncommon to have to change batteries every two months or so, with routine use on the range and during missions. At around $2-3.00 per pair that can quickly add up to hundreds of dollars per year for a 16-member SWAT Team.
In fact, the Model 551 is now discontinued, and I strongly believe it was due to the unreliability of the expensive N-cell batteries. EOTech has offered to take the 551’s back in exchange for newer sights plus a little extra cash.
We are currently evaluating reflex sights for another complete change-out. The 518 and 558 switching to AA batteries is a welcome sign, as the batteries are cheaper and look to have a much longer life. It also appears from reviews that EOTech has fixed any issues with the inline AA battery design becoming disengaged during use causing an unwanted shut down.
Overall I have enjoyed using EOTech sights, and I have been very pleased with their accuracy and quick sighting picture. With positive reviews on the new AA battery designs I think EOTech is still a very viable option when outfitting a patrol or SWAT Team rifle.