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EOTech XPS2: A Little Revision, Same Legacy

The XPS2 is a compact holographic tactical sight offered by EOTech, and its size makes it ideal for competitive, tactical, or defensive shooters.

Introduced in 2012, the XPS line of holographic weapon sights (HWS) was a progressive step forward by EOTech over its former 512 line. The XPS2 is a non-QD version of the EXPS model which remains part of the Department of Defense contract to military forces. Per the manufacturer, the HWS system “…is for the M4A1 carbine and CQBR in Close Quarters Battle” but is not limited to those applications.

The XPS2 comes in five different models based on functionality and weapon platform:

  • XPS2-0: 68 MOA ring w/1MOA dot reticle
  • XPS2-1: 1 MOA dot reticle
  • XPS2-2: 2-dot ballistic reticle
  • XPS2-300: 300 BLK 2-dot ballistic reticle
  • XPS2-0GREY: Gray exterior housing, 68 MOA ring w/1MOA dot reticle
  • XPS2-0GRN: Green exterior housing, 68 MOA ring w/1MOA dot reticle
  • XPS2-FN: FN Herstal less lethal reticle
  • XPS2-SAGE: Targeting and ranging reticle

reticle

In the XPS2-0 (featured) the 68 MOA outer ring enables for rapid target acquisition of threats within 7m and less, while the 1 MOA dot is intended for mid-to-close range targets. The XPS2 body measures 3.8” x 2.1” x 2.5” (97 x 54 x 64 mm) and has 20 levels of reticle illumination. The window dimensions are 1.2″ x .85″ and the front window material is 1/8” glass, while the rear window material is 3/16” laminate.

The XPS2 shares the same body-style as the XPS3, which is the model that offers night-vision compatibility. The XPS2 uses the standard 1” weaver or MIL-STD-1913 rail as a mounting platform. Using a 123-lithium power source, the XPS2 can run for approximately 1000 hours at a brightness setting of 12 at room temperature.

LitepathSpecifications for the XPS2-0

  • Magnification – 1x
  • Eye Relief: Unlimited
  • Powersave: Auto shut-off at 8 hours, programmable to 4. Auto battery-check (reticle flashes) indicator at start-up signals 2-5 hours battery life remaining
  • Fog-resistant and anti-reflection lens coating
  • Adjustment (per click): Approx. 0.5 MOA (1/2″ at 100 yds) when zeroing
  • Adjustment Range: +/-40 MOA travel
  • Water resistant to 10 ft. (3 m)

Product Evaluation Scores:

  • CostAverage (3/5): At a current cost of $555.00, the XPS2 and its variants can be found on any number of online second or third-hand retailers for less. It should be noted however, that there is a dearth of overseas counterfeits on the market and purchasing through retailers such as eBay runs the associated risk. Ensure that you buy through a vetted dealer. Otherwise, in terms of HWS optics the XPS2’s most direct competitors are the UH-1 Razor from Vortex ($649), the Leupold Carbine Optic ($909), and the Holosun 510 ($352). The price point of the XPS2 places it in the mid-price range of these optics and one that has built a longstanding legacy over years of service in Iraq, Yemen, and Afghanistan.
  • Comfort Good (4/5): With its large 1.2″ x .85″ window, the EOTech line has one of the largest fields of view on the market. The XPS2 allowed to easily identify the target while still maintaining situational awareness around the periphery. The larger 68 MOA reticle made lining up off the front/rear irons easier and quicker in that it was basically lining up matching circles. The 1 MOA dot allowed for easy focused shooting on smaller targets. The variable brightness of the green reticle on the XPS2 appeared bright and clear, but not as crisp as other red dot or HSW optics that have come out to market after the XPS was first introduced.
  • Durability – Excellent (5/5): Much like other EOTech HWS optics, the XPS2 has a protective aluminum shroud that covers the main housing and optic glass. This shroud is connected into the main body through a slotted groove and two, star hex bolts. Because of its size and prominence, the shroud did deflect a lot of incidental contact and received some surface marring. The demo model did arrive from the vendor a little loose, but was easily tightened. The optic glass was of similar thickness as other combat-style optics and ensured ejecting brass or other debris did not damage the surface. The XPS2 has an extensive history behind it for military applications, and wouldn’t have that lineage if its durability were in question. EOTech has taken great strides in its HWS quality control following the 2015 L3 lawsuit, sacrificing none of the XPS’s durability in the process. This is in large part why in 2019 it was awarded another contract to USSOCOM for further EOTech optics. Newer generation EOTech optics can be readily identified by the revised logo on the protective shroud.
  • Functionality Good (4/5): The XPS had rather straightforward functionality, with its adjustable brightness settings, and powersave function. The XPS2-0 (featured) did have some measurable range finding functionality built into the design of the 68/1 MOA reticle. That is consistent with its purpose of being a mid-to-close range optic. The XPS2-0 did not have any nightvision compatibility, but other models of the XPS do. The battery cap does have a cable-attached lanyard that prevents loss. The rubberized button back panel does protect the switch controls and allows for “scrolling” between brightness settings, but did not have any tactile feel when pressing. The most awkward function is the XPS necessitating a two-button press to power down the optic. It was nice that the XPS didn’t take up as much space on top of the AR rail as its previous 512 models, an improvement that is especially beneficial to SBRs.
  • Weight Good (4/5): At 9oz. (255g) the XPS is one of the lightest of electro-optics in its class, but not the heaviest (that distinction is reserved for Vortex’s UH-1 at 11.08oz.). Other optics, such as the Leupold Carbine Optic weigh 9.5oz. and are almost a third more expensive. In comparison, the Holosun 510 is 9.3oz. and less expensive, but does not have the large field of view or durability. Thus, there is a tradeoff in terms of weight and the XPS, whereas the XPS was near the upper range of weight, but had some of the largest gains in field of view comfort and robustness.

Overall Rating – Good (20/25)

Product Link: https://www.eotechinc.com/holographic-weapon-sights/model-xps2

IMG_2889I am reviewing this product as a courtesy to the manufacturer and via STL Shooting Enthusiasts, so that I can evaluate it and provide my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give positive reviews. All views are my own, and based off my personal experience with the product.

The views and opinions expressed on this website are solely those of the author. The views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the administrative staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

 

Snake Eater Tactical Simple Sling: It’s All In the Name

Introduced in mid-2017 as a lightweight and functional rifle sling, Snake Eater Tactical continues to produce its Simple Sling as a customizable mainstay to its overall tactical product line.

Made from a 1” wide nylon webbing, the Simple Sling uses an ITW Ladderlock buckle at the front end of the sling to allow for easy, one-handed adjustment.

The Simple Sling comes with several different mounting options to include; a QD swivel, HK snap hook, the Blue Force Gear Uloop, and a stitched webbing loop.

The rear of the sling comes with the standard plastic hardware to allow the material to be passed through any 1” sling mount or allow for additional mounting hardware to be added (not included).

The front end of the sling end in a “Z fold” that has reinforced stitching to ensure adjustments never exceed the hardware, and that there is always a minimum of five inches of tail to grab a hold of. The rear end is free-running, and allows the user to apply it to either through webbing slots or tri-glide buckles to form a loop for the buttstock or QD attachment.

Specifications:

  • Minimum Length: 6”
  • Maximum Length: 65”

The Simple Sling comes in seven unique colors to include; Multicam (featured), A-TACS, Wolf Grey and more.

Product Evaluation Scores:

  • CostExcellent (5/5): The listed cost for the Simple Sling runs between $29 and $42 based on hardware. This price reflects the balance between the nylon material of the sling, and the included minimalist hardware. The Simple Sling’s design is comparable to other mainstream slings currently offered by a number of vendors to include; the Operators Two Point Sling ($35.99) by First Spear, the Vickers Tactical Sling ($49.95) by Blue Force Gear, or the MS3 Gen2 ($47.45) by Magpul. Thus, at its base price the Simple Sling is perhaps one of the most inexpensive and affordable on the market while the inclusion of extras still keeps the cost modestly priced.
  • Comfort Good (4/5): Very lightweight and of average thickness for modern nylons, the Simple Sling added little weight to the overall rifle, even when wet. The solution-dyed mil-spec 17337 nylon weave pattern helped ensure durability, and still yielded good flexibility through the ladderlock hardware without binding or drag. As a minimalist sling there was no padding, yet the material was soft enough not to excessively chafe exposed skin.
  • Durability – Excellent (5/5): From a durability aspect the Simple Sling comprised of just that—a simple sling made from lightweight and flexible 17337 nylon. This type of nylon has been used for years in MOLLE webbing and has breaking strength of 1,200 pounds at 1” wide. Numerous adjustments to the overall length and position did not yield any frayed edges nor friction markings (typically associated to the hardware heating up to the point to physically melt the outermost layer). The heat-shrink tubing attached to the ladderlock buckle did not split nor stretch, and did a good job at adding a purchase point on which to grab for adjusting the overall sling.
  • Functionality Good (4/5): Functionally, it’s hard to get overly complicated on a minimalist sling design. And the Simple Sling took its adjustment design from the older Vickers Sling by Blue Force Gear and employed that simplicity with more modern materials and hardware. This allows the Simple Sling to deployment in mere seconds. Attaching/adjusting the provided front end connection point was easy, and the rear folded material allowed it to be directly mounted to a stock or have preferred hardware added (not included).
  • Weight Excellent (5/5): At just 53 grams (1.86 ounces) the overall weight of the Simple Sling was extremely light thanks to its principle 17337 nylon. There was no excess material or padding, and that kept the weight to a minimum. In comparison the Operators Two Point Sling (113 grams), the Vickers Tactical Sling (117 grams), or the MS3 Gen2 (225 grams) were all still well above the weight of the Simple Sling due to the thickness of the nylon and associated metal hardware. The Simple Sling’s light weight put it as one of the lightest minimalist slings on the market.

Overall Rating – Very Good (23/25)

Product Link: https://www.snakeeatertactical.com/product/the-simple-sling/

IMG_2889_Tackenberg

I am reviewing this product as a courtesy to the manufacturer and via STL Shooting Enthusiasts, so that I can evaluate it and provide my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give positive reviews. All views are my own, and based off my personal experience with the product.

The views and opinions expressed on this website are solely those of the author. The views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the administrative staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

Sentry Gun Care Products: Keep Things Running Smooth

Any firearm is only as good as its maintenance plan. SENTRY Products Group offers a variety of dry and liquid firearm cleaning products to help maintain not only top performance of your firearm, but preserve it against long-term wear.

IMG_8394

SENTRY Tuf-Cloth

The Tuf-Cloth™ Cleaner, Dry-Lubricant, Protectant (CDLP) is a 12”x12” cloth that is permeated with SENTRY’s micro-bonding dry lubricant that, when applied, is applied wet but leaves behind an oil-free coating as it dries that repels debris. Available in the Firearm and Knife industry for years, the Tuf-Cloth makes for ideal field maintenance where one may not have immediate access to a workable space or cleaning supplies. The lubricant is fit for all environmental conditions and finishes, to include wood or plastics. Because of its chemical composition and oil-free application, the lubricant won’t thin in extreme heat or, thicken in colder temperatures. The application from Tuf-Cloth prevents fingerprints, tarnishing, and metal dulling that accompanies environments with a higher moisture content. While CDLP is permeated in the Tuf-Cloth, it is also available in a number of alterative applications to include a pen or needle applicator, or spray bottle.

Product Link: https://hexmagstore.com/sentry-tuf-glide-cdlp-and-tuf-cloth/

SENTRY Hi-Slip

SENTRY Hi-Slip Is a blend of synthetic grease with pure molybdenum  . Hi-Slip maintains all the advantages of a grease in that it remains at the point of application and does not spread/migrate to other mechanical components. Hi-Slip will remain on surfaces between -65ºF to 650ºF. The grease application can lubricate all types of metal including stainless steel, blued metal, titanium and aluminum and will prevent overall galling. Hi-Slip comes in either a needle injector for precise applications or a 2-ounce jar.

Product Link: https://hexmagstore.com/sentry-hi-slip-grease/

SENTRY Smooth-Kote

Expanding on its CDLP line of maintenance products, SENTRY also has introduced a molybdenum dry lubricant & barrel treatment. Smooth-Kote™ is a liquid applicant that protects internal surfaces against friction, fouling, and wear. When applied, the liquid is fast drying and micro-bonds to metal for excellent lubrication from -65˚F to 650˚F. Smooth-Kote comes in either a needle injector for precise applications or a 2-ounce jar.’

Product Link: https://hexmagstore.com/sentry-smooth-kote-barrel-and-bore-treatment/

Product Evaluation Scores:

  • CostGood (4/5): The price for SENTRY’s cleaning products varies per application, per product. The Tuf-Cloth and Hi-Slip in their reviewed applicators both cost $9.99 per item, while the Smooth-Kote was $10.99. The market is awash in cleaning products for firearms, but researched customer reviews cover the use of SENTRY’s products for years, with multiple demonstrations of the CDLP application and moisture resistance over time. The Tuf-Cloth itself was shown to still have lubricant up to three years after being opened and still applicable. These all make SENTRY’s cleaning and lubricant line a very good option for shooters looking to alternatives over traditional oil-based cleaning products.
  • Durability – Good (4/5): As stated, the use of SENTRY’s CDLP and grease made for a variety of products with good extended application. The use of precise applicators minimized waste, and the resealable packaging ensured the maximum longevity of the product. While only used for a 30-day duration, the lubricant did provide a notable layer of protection against debris, however it only made for easy removal of carbon and other elements. Sand, dirt, and carbon still did accumulate (due to environment and ammo powder residue), but were easily wiped away with the Tuf-Cloth. The grease did as promised, and did not spread or migrate over high friction areas, and it maintained lubrication with only a single application throughout the review period. It is likely the only time reapplication would be needed, would be when a full strip cleaning is performed. The only negative noted was the Tuf-Glide and Smooth-Kote needle applicator did not come with a protective cap, such as the pen applicator, so its use will be limited to a workbench. If a protective cap were added, then it would be more feasible to include the applicators in range bags or packs.
  • Functionality Good (4/5): Without getting into the full chemistry involved, gauging the functionality of SENTRY’s cleaning products is difficult to establish apart from any other market product. The CDLP did perform as stated, and the grease maintained lubricant only in the applied areas. The weapons treated consistently performed well without failures, and were easily cleaned once treated despite using reloaded ammunition with heavy fouling. SENTRY could explain the whole “microbonding” element of its cleaning products in a more concise manner, but to the consumer it is less relevant to the ability of the CDLP to provide carbon control, friction protection, and moisture resistance. It should be noted that when using the Tuf-Cloth be sure to do so in a well-ventilated area as the fumes were somewhat strong. Take note some SENTRY cleaning products also recommend using protective gloves to avoid the effects of the chemicals on exposed skin.
  • Weight Average (3/5): The weights to each applicator is minimal at most, and limited to the volume of the item in question. The Tuf-Cloth (1 ounce), Hi-Slip needle injector (0.7 ounces), and Smooth-Kote needle applicator (0.7 ounces) were of good weight to add onto any cleaning bench. The Tuf-Cloth was best added to the range bag so as to facilitate immediate cleaning after use of the firearm. Because the aftermarket is so full of options, generally most cleaning solvents or applications are generally around 1-5 ounces depending on the quantity purchased.

Overall Rating* – Good (15/20)

IMG_2889I am reviewing this product as a courtesy to the manufacturer and via STL Shooting Enthusiasts, so that I can evaluate it and provide my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give positive reviews. All views are my own, and based off my personal experience with the product.

The views and opinions expressed on this website are solely those of the author. The views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the administrative staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

*For the purpose of this evaluation, the “Comfort” aspect of SENTRY’s CDLP and grease cleaning products was excluded as it is not an item that is neither worn nor directly bears on the user.

 

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