The 518 model is a recent addition to the EOTech holographic weapon sight (HWS) family, and it shares many features with EOTech’s EXPS series. This is our EOtech 518 review.

First introduced in Las Vegas, during SHOT show 2015, the HWS Eotech 518 piqued the interest of many shooters and enthusiasts. It is a slick and slim package, which features a 65 minute of angle (MOA) reticle with a 1 MOA red dot.

SHOT las vegas
SHOT las vegas

With this model, the function buttons – which regulate operation and brightness – have been moved to the side. This was done in order to A) improve the speed and ease of button manipulation, B) facilitate the 518’s compatibility with other accessories, such as the EOTech magnifier, and C) to reduce the overall amount of rail space used by the optic.

Specs of the Eotech 518

So, this thing has many advantages. Let’s see some of the HWS 518’s technical specifications:

  • Magnification – 1x
    Eotech reticle
    Eotech reticle
  • Dimensions – L 5.6 x W 2.2 x H 2.9 inches
  • Weight – 13.8 oz.
  • Eye relief – unlimited
  • Power source – 2 AA batteries (lithium, alkaline, or rechargeable)
  • Battery Life –
  • Lithium: approximately 1,000 continuous hours at room temperature
  • Alkaline: approximately 600 continuous hours at room temperature
  • 20 brightness settings (daytime)
  • Submersible to a 10-foot depth
  • Mounts onto MIL-STD-1913 (picatinny) rail or 1-inch weaver rail
  • Quick-release lever


The HWS 518 runs on 2 AA batteries, and lithium is probably the best way to go. It guarantees the longest life for the optic, especially if used with lower brightness settings and at normal temperatures. What is good to know is that when the batteries are done, they are done. The optic shuts off. You won’t get to a point where the reticle is flashing on and off, while it struggles for power. The reticle is either there, or it ain’t.

NOTE: the reticle does flash on and off sometimes, as part of the start-up procedure. If the reticle is blinking when you turn on the device, it is time to change (or recharge) the batteries.

One way in which the 518 is different from many other HWS models, is that it is compatible with EOTech’s drop-in laser battery cap (LBC) series. The LBC is yet another recent addition to EOTech’s line, and it is also a product which was received with a lot enthusiasm.

This model is designed for engaging close to mid-range targets. The coatings on the lenses, and the brightly-lit reticle, allow you to acquire your target quickly and easily. No reflection, no distortion, and no other issue to take your mind and eyes off of the target. This model was engineered with two-eyes-open shooting in mind, so be sure to take full advantage of this optic by using it the way it is meant to be used.

Eotech 518 Maintenance

This unit is built to last. The housing is made of a sturdy aluminum, and the design allows you to move through any kind of terrain. The sight will not get caught on or in anything. It is easy to mount, easy to configure, and easy to use.

Like other EOTech models, the 518 also has an automatic shutdown feature, which helps to control use and conserve battery. If the device is turned on using the UP button, it will cause the sight to shut down 8 hours after the most recent push of any control button. Activating the device using the DOWN button, however, will cause the sight to automatically shut off after 4 hours.

Eotech Sight
Eotech Sight

The windage and elevations adjustors can be manipulated with the help of a screwdriver or a coin. It is suggested that the windage and elevation be adjusted only after the sight has been mounted. If properly mounted, the elevation and windage should be close to the factory mechanical zero.

The 518 requires no special maintenance, other than the occasional battery-replacement, dusting of the protective hood, or cleaning of the sight’s lenses. Keeping the lenses clean is very important, but you need to know what to use, in order to avoid causing any harm to the glass and its coating.

To clean the lenses, use a water-based cleaner on a lens tissue or soft cloth. Make sure to apply lens cleaning fluid or glass cleaner to the cloth, before beginning to clean the lens. Never clean the glass with a paper towel or dry cloth of any kind, since it can seriously scratch the lens, or cause other damage. Should the hood of the sight require cleaning, do it with a soft cloth.

Furthermore, do not attempt to lubricate or oil your sight (not even with grade A, organic, berry-flavored lube). All of the moving parts of the 518 have been permanently lubricated at the factory, so no more moistening is required at any time.

The only thing which the user should add a single drop of oil to – only when needed – is the quick-release lever. This should be done if the lever is producing an audible noise when being used.

Eotech Review Summary

The HWS 518 is made in the U.S.A, and it comes with a limited 2-year warranty on defects in materials and workmanship. The warranty is valid as of the purchase date, so a proof of purchase is required for receiving customer service. EOTech will either replace or repair the sight, depending on the issue.

The manufacturer suggested retail price for this unit is $539, but it is also available for under $500, in different places online and offline.


The only complaint which is sometimes heard, regarding this model, is the question of battery life. This has got to be one of the most subjective complaints there are. Invariably, different people will have different experiences, because of the many differences in conditions – of power source, of temperature, and of brightness settings. Just because the sight didn’t bode well with someone, doesn’t mean that it is no good.

The 518 is convenient and accessible. It is one of the best daytime sights out there, and it’s got EOTech’s history of proven success to back it up. When you use this optic, you are getting all of the advantages which come with EOTech’s EXPS series. Plus, it has a very common power source (AA batteries), and the option of using magnifiers, as well as the new laser battery cap series.

Enhancing your shooting experience – whether you are a civilian, military, or law-enforcement – is what EOTech is all about. The 518 is just another example of why companies like EOTech are setting the standards for optics manufacturers worldwide.

Nate M.

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