For several years now the Aimpoint Micro T-1 red dot sight (RDS) has been the stick by which all micro red dot sights have been measured. It will likely remain as such for years to come. The only problem with this optic is the price tag, weighing in at just under $700 shipped with a good (LaRue) QD mount. For the defensively minded among us this is a small price to pay when outfitting a firearm upon which may one day depend our very lives. For those of us who just need a decent RDS for punching paper at the range, it's a bit overkill.
There have been countless affordable competitors to the T1 including the Vortex SPARC and the Primary Arms Microdot. These are both excellent alternatives for the budget minded. Today, however, we will take a look at the newest challenger to the throne. The Holosun H403.
Enter the Holosun
Holosun Technologies has been manufacturing the red dot sights people buy from Primary Arms for some time. Headquartered in Sunrise, Florida they have recently decided to start manufacturing and selling optics of their own. The H403 Micro Red Dot Sight that we will be reviewing today seems to be a direct competitor to the Primary Arms Microdot (and Aimpoint T1).
It boasts some pretty serious features. It claims 50,000 hours of battery life just like the T1. It has an 8 hour automatic shutoff to save your butt when you throw it in the safe without shutting it off. It also has an automatic on so when you pick the rifle up the sight turns itself on. As far as I can tell this is based on a sensor detecting vibration or movement (accelerometer), rather than an optical sensor like some seem to believe. Of the 12 brightness settings (again like the T1) the first 3 are night vision compatible.
The adjustments are similar to the T1 in that you flip the turret caps over and use them as a sort of wrench to turn the adjustment knobs. The retail packaging includes two mounts. One low profile mount and one high profile mount. The high profile mount offers lower 1/3 co-witness with AR-15 iron sights.
All of this is available for a retail price of $170. Wow.
Form and Function?
The H403 looks strikingly similar to the Aimpoint T1. Similar shape and dimensions, similar internals and turrets, even the emitter placement inside the tube is the same. The logo on the left side is sharp but the tactically minded might not like the logo's bright white, sharp contrast as opposed to the subdued logo on the Aimpoint. It looks good save for one minor gripe. There is a billboard-sized QR code on the right side in pure white. Gaudy.
The push button controls feel very positive but have a strange, soft rubber texture that seems to attract dust. The turrets have positive clicks and the optic appears to maintain zero without fail. The Holosun's turret adjustment slot is a single, straight slot that could by engaged by a flathead screwdriver or just about anything flat in a pinch. The Aimpoint requires the two-prong key which could be problematic if you lose the caps.
The dot is as crisp as can be expected from an LED emitter. I mounted the optic behind my Aimpoint on my rifle and positioned the dot (offset) so that I could see the dots from both optics at the same time (side by side). When on similar brightness settings the two dots were indistinguishable, even deforming in the exact same manner when looking directly at them. The lenses on the Holosun have the same mild blue tint that you find on the Aimpoint.
At the range the H403 performed as expected. Perfectly. The dot is finely focused and easy to acquire. Like I said previously I cannot tell a difference between the dots on the Holosun and Aimpoint which is a big plus for such an affordable optic where fuzziness is often a problem.
400 rounds down range with the optic have revealed no flaws of any kind. We'll see how it holds up over a few thousand.
So is it worth it?
Yes. This is, in my opinion, one of the best budget red dot sights on the market currently. I currently have an Aimpoint T1, Aimpoint PRO, Buriss Fastfire III, Vortex SPARC, EOTech XPS2-2, and a Primary Arms Microdot in addition to this Holosun optic. I would use it in place of any of them.
Buy with confidence, the Holosun H403 is an outstanding value in the reflex sight market.