Holosun EPS Carry Review
January 18th, 2023
7 minute read
The Hellcat is a formidable carry pistol that provides a compact carry option with exceptional performance. And since Springfield released the Hellcat OSP (Optical Sight Pistol) version along with the standard, its optics options have expanded quite a bit.
One of my favorite features has always been the iron sights that come standard on the pistol. The tritium/luminescent U-Dot sight picture makes the perfect daytime and nighttime set of irons for fast target acquisition.
But, as good as irons can be, as technology has advanced, the use of red dot pistol optics has gained in popularity. This could be because of the ability to gain fast target acquisition, having an illuminated sight, or even the moderately low cost compared to similar optics in the past. None of these are specific to the Hellcat, but a general statement for all pistols used in defensive applications.
No matter what the reason for wanting to explore and use red dot pistol mounted optics, there is no denying their ability to assist aiming. When defending oneself and others, milliseconds matter.
Topping It Off
Today, we are considering two Holosun micro red dots released in 2022 — the EPS and EPS Carry. Since then, it’s been requested in many gun shops across the country. There is a lot to like about these optics. Holosun has developed a reputation for good quality in their products, and the EPS and EPS Carry are no different.
The EPS family, which stands for “Enclosed Pistol Sight”, come from the factory with a host of features. Each model offers several different options. While standard shake awake features, 50k hour battery life, parallax free objective glass and other various features come standard on all, one of Holosun’s claim-to-fame offerings is the optional solar back-up.
General features of the line include CNC-machined 7075 aluminum housings, Shake Awake Technology with last setting recall, CR1620 battery offering up to 50,000 hours of continuous use, multi-coated lenses, IPX8 water and dust resistance, aspherical glass lenses, and good window sizes (0.90 x 0.63 on the larger EPS, and 0.77 x 0.58 on the smaller EPS Carry). Weight of the EPS is 1.4 oz., and the EPS Carry comes in at 1.23 oz.
Holosun EPS Carry Mounting Options
C&H Precision Weapons has been in the firearms industry for quite some time, with a focus on slide milling and optics mounting plates. Some of their biggest clients has been various federal law enforcement agencies. Currently, they have a large lineup of optics mounting plates that work with most of the big names in pistol-mounted optics.
There is no standard plate that comes with the EPS lineup that will fit directly to the Hellcat. Holosun has partnered with C&H Precision to offer a plate marrying these two powerhouses. A kit can be purchased directly from C&H that provides the plate, screws and red Loctite or alternative. FixIT sticks and torque limiters are recommended. Overall, installing the EPS Carry on the Hellcat using C&H Precision plates is straightforward and as simple as possible.
Off and On the Pistol
There is a difference between the EPS, and EPS Carry. Holosun sent one of each for photos and examination. The EPS we received did not have the solar backup system and featured a simple 6 MOA dot. The EPS Carry did have the solar backup and a 2 MOA dot with a 32 MOA circle. All options are available on both platforms. Side by side, the EPS is slightly larger than the Carry in overall width and height. While not a drastic difference on paper, it can make a difference on a micro-compact pistol.
The Hellcat is known for being one of the smallest micro-compact pistols with a larger-than-average capacity. Due to the overall size, the EPS Carry was mounted to the Hellcat OSP. Dimensionally, the EPS Carry is 1.09” wide and the EPS is 1.19” wide, while the Hellcat is reported to be exactly 1” wide. No matter which optic was chosen, it would protrude over the side of the rounded slide edge slightly.
When mounted, a full view of the iron sights was still possible. The EPS Carry had slight wings that helped to line up the iron sights while protecting the elevation adjustment knob. This was something missing from the EPS which offered a flat surface, despite the deck being the same height. For intended use on a Hellcat, I would lean toward the EPS Carry, and save the EPS for a larger pistol.
Drop Testing the Holosun EPS
7075 T6 aluminum makes up the overall housing on both models. They’re robust and lightweight without looking like a set of “birth control” glasses from the military. Despite the look, the real test represents how they perform after a drop.
No optic is designed for excessive drops. They will all fail at some point. So, the most realistic option for a drop test would be the most probable type of fall for a concealed carry pistol — from waist height to shoulder height. As the Hellcat itself has been well-tested for drops and falls, it deserves an optic that can match that.
Taking the EPS Carry, the sight was adjusted out to 25 yards while being mounted and matched to the factory irons for co-witness. Firing two magazines seemed enough for the first accuracy test. The upcoming goal wasn’t to be as accurate as possible, but to see if the reticle will drift after a fall.
From the Waist: I dropped the chamber-empty Hellcat OSP three times from waist high onto a hard — but not abrasive — surface. Physically, it appeared nothing was wrong with the optic, even cosmetically. The reticle did not move.
From the Chest: Moving to chest height, the pistol was again dropped three times onto compacted dirt at the range. No reticle movement was witnessed when firing. It appeared as if the housing was even tougher than advertised.
From the Shoulder: The final tests came from shoulder height. With an outstretched arm, the Hellcat was dropped onto a tiled floor three times, leaving some small dings and a few compacted pieces of rubber in the optic. I test-fired the pistol and noted no reticle movement. Next, the pistol was dropped on the compacted gravel roadway leading to the range from this height. The exterior of the optic had some impacts, with slightly marred rubber pieces. There was no intentional attempt to hit any specific area. The entire test also caused some cosmetic damage to my personal Hellcat.
After the shoulder height tests, the optic didn’t appear to have any issues with reticle movement. While no longer as pretty or “new,” the reticle didn’t move and the buttons were still fully operational with the glass intact. Anodized coatings are great, but not impact-proof.
Concealing the Hellcat and Holosun RDS
With a 1.09” width, it’s not hard to see why this is a perfect choice for concealed carry pistols. This minimal protrusion over the slide of the Hellcat is so small it’s barely noticeable. When tucked away in an IWB holster designed for an optic, the pistol was comfortable with little to no noticeable difference. However, not all holsters used were able to secure the Hellcat with the optic attached. Some of these were just too narrow to even adapt that extra .09 inches of width over the slide.
When looking for a holster for any pistols with mounted optics, it’s best to find one with an open top adaptable for any width pistol optic.
EPS Carry Review — Conclusion
Both the EPS and EPS Carry are excellent pistol optics. The size, durability, and price are the perfect trifecta. When utilizing the EPS Carry, I found that it is not only exceptionally well built for the size, but the options available and solar back-up make it extremely appealing. To me, an adaptive solar back-up takes the worry out regarding the battery performance.
For me, the real stand-out feature with Holosun is the solar back-up. Ranging from an MSRP of $389 to $506, these Holosuns break the mold. For the Hellcat, an additional adaptor plate from C&H Precision Weapons also adds $50 MSRP. Overall, I think this makes for the perfect conceal carry combo.
Editor’s Note: Please be sure to check out The Armory Life Forum, where you can comment about our daily articles, as well as just talk guns and gear. Click the “Go To Forum Thread” link below to jump in and discuss this article and much more!