Primary Arms’ Holosun 507C-X2 Pistol Red Dot Sight Is A Game-Changer

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A couple weeks ago, Primary Arms sent me a Holosun 507C-X2 red dot sight, but with a unique DNA twist you can only get from Primary Arms. Instead of the usual red dot, circle, or red dot inside a circle, Holosun sights usually come with, Primary Arms sells them with an exclusive ACSS Vulcan reticle. Instead of a dot, the PA-upgraded Holosun displays a 10 MOA tall chevron in the middle of a huge 240 MOA circle.

A screenshot from the Primary Arms Holosun 507C-X2 w/ ACSS Vulcan manual.

Because the circle is so large, it doesn’t appear on the optic’s glass at all when you’ve got the pistol extended to shoot. When your eye is in the “eye box”, the circle is invisible. If you’ve practiced your presentations the way you should with pistol-mounted red dot sights and you’ve gotten to the point where you consistently see the dot or chevron every time, you’ll almost never see the circle.

But, we don’t live in an ideal world where you’ll always be able to get a perfect stance, grip, and alignment as you do on the range. You might have to shoot from an unusual position with distractions, injuries, and other complications that make for an imperfect alignment and not seeing the dot.

When that happens, you’ll need to start the process of searching for your dot, refocusing on iron sights, or using your thumb to conjure up the magic dot again. But, with the ACSS Vulcan reticle, you won’t have to do that.

Another screenshot from the manual.

When your alignment is off, the Vulcan reticle’s outer ring will show up on the screen. The human brain is very good at processing circles and filling in the blanks, so you naturally know what way you need to adjust to get your reticle back, based on the curvature of the portion of the circle that’s in your display.

Without having to think about it, you’ll be back on the chevron and ready to quickly make a shot.

In my testing, including dry fire practice until my arms hurt several times, as well as a couple hundred live fire rounds on the range, the circle-and-chevron system works as advertised. Any time I didn’t get the chevron on the glass, my brain automatically corrected and got me back to the dot with minimal delay.

The only word of caution I’d give to anyone making this their first red dot is that you don’t want to rely on the circle. It’s a great tool for getting it right faster in difficult situations, but you don’t want to draw, see the edge of the circle, and correct every time you shoot.

Like any pistol RDS, you need to train to make the reticle show up in the glass without relying on the circle.

You never know when you might encounter a dilophosaur out in the desert (or, a movie poster with one that someone else left up after shooting). Sadly, it’s difficult to get a good shot of the reticle on a phone camera. But, I’m confident I’d fare better than Dennis Nedry with this setup!

But Can It Handle 10mm?

I’ve become a devotee of 10mm this year. I used to be a big fan of .40 S&W, even after most of the rest of the defensive shooting world moved on and re-embraced some old Austro-German pistol round. Instead, I’ve gone the other way and went for the full centimeter.

Yes, .40 S&W has a reputation for beating up pistols, especially frames originally designed for 9mm. And 10mm is just a really spicy .40. So, hanging the Holosun on a gun chambered in 10mm is an endurance test for a red dot sight.

Ten millimeter is hardly the suitcase nuke stuffed into brass that some people think it is, but if the optic can hang out on my 10mm M&P without trouble, it can probably handle just about any pistol slide you’ll mount it on.

The optic mounted on my M&P 10mm slide, including some messy witness marks I made with a paint pen.

I am happy to report that with proper mounting (degreasing, thread locker, witness marks as described here), the  Holosun HS507C-X2 has gone the first couple hundred rounds with no problems whatsoever. I’ll follow up in future posts to see how the Primary Arms Holosun does as it gets more rounds down range.

Pinpoint Accuracy, Even Beyond Point Blank

When I zeroed the optic, I was surprised at what an advantage the chevron is over a red dot. Instead of having a 3+ MOA dot on the glass, you can zero the gun to the tip of the chevron. That means you’re actually able to zero down to a smaller point, making for a more precise zero.

Using a rested position at ten yards, I was able to have nearly all shots touching my aim point on cardboard.

With a zero at 10 yards and shooting full-power 10mm 180gr Gold Dots (from manufacturers like Underwood and Fenix, or handloads), the maximum point-blank range of the gun on a three-inch target goes out to around 80 yards. But with knowledge of the trajectory and knowing that the chevron is 10 MOA tall, you can use it to quickly estimate holdovers for 100+ yards (or 200 to 300 yards with rifle calibers).

Primary Arms gives several suggested zeros for popular pistol and rifle calibers, but you can cook up your own recipes with a ballistics calculator.

Using this system, I was able to score hits on a 4″ steel target at 100 yards from a kneeling position, but need to work on this more using paper targets to tune things in further. Hits out to 150 yards on a man-sized target aren’t unrealistic at all if you have solid fundamentals.

For now, so far so good with the Holosun 507C-X2 riding on a 10mm handgun. And the ACSS reticle is a big plus.

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