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Holographic Vs Reflex Sights: Which One You Should Pick

holographic vs reflex sights
Written by Dan Goldsmith
Last Update: August 11, 2023

When it comes to choosing a sight for your firearm, you have several options available. Two of the most popular are holographic and reflex sights, both of which offer distinct advantages and disadvantages. Holographic sights provide a clear image with an illuminated reticle while reflex sights use LED technology to project a dot onto the target.

Both types of sights also come in different sizes and configurations depending on your needs. So how do you know which one is right for you? This debate isn’t something new, but people are still searching for the answer.

In this article, we’ll provide an in-depth “Holographic Vs Reflex Sights” comparison so that you can make an informed decision when selecting the best sight for your gun.

We’ll cover their features, pros and cons, as well as some tips to help you choose the right type of sight for your shooting style. By understanding these two types of optics better, you can pick out the perfect sighting system for yourself or someone else!

Without getting distracted any further, let’s dive deep into finding the truth in the “Holographic Vs Reflex sight debate” once and for all.

Introduction to Holographic Sights

Holographic sights are known as Holographic Weapon Sights and Holographic Diffraction Sights. The objective of using them is the same as those of a reflex sight.

However, there are some technical differences. None of the holographic and reflex sights are termed as laser sights.

This site is made for two basic concepts, such as Synthetic Radar and Holography (photography without lenses).

Furthermore, the holographic sights use a reticle picture that is fixed in between the glass layers.

The small and rectangular field of view will allow you to shoot more accurately all the time.

How Does a Reflex Sight Work

Reflex sights work on mirror-like lenses with an aiming point that allows you to see the red dot in the back reflection.

With this feature, this sight is also known as an exposed reflex sight with a distinct look.

One of the biggest advantages of reflex sight is that you can place your head anywhere because of the lack of eye relief.

While using the weapon, you can keep your eyes open which makes it easy to regain the target.

Moreover, using reflex sights can be fruitful in different types of weapons for home defense, hunting, and any kind of general shooting.

Holographic Vs Reflex Sights: Key Differences


The main difference between holographic and reflex sights is in the way that they project images. A holographic sight uses a laser diode to create a 3-dimensional image with an illuminated reticle, while a reflex sight utilizes LED technology to project a red dot onto the target.

Aside from that, both types of sights are versatile in terms of the range of options available, including different sizes and configurations.

When it comes to the overall functionality, holographic sights tend to be a bit more accurate and easier to use than reflex sights. This is because they offer a clear image with an illuminated reticle, providing a distinct aiming point.

On the other hand, reflex sights provide a less accurate image and require more practice to become proficient in using them.

Magnification Power

Holographic sight designs usually have a magnification of 1X, which means that they offer no magnification power. On the other hand, premium reflex sights typically feature a magnification between 1-4X. So, it’s possible to get a reflex sight with 3X magnification, but not a holographic sight.

This difference in magnification power can be beneficial depending on your needs and shooting style. For instance, if you need to shoot targets that are further away, a higher magnification power may be necessary and reflex sights are ideal for this.

Field of View (FoV)

The field of view (FOV) is another important feature to consider when choosing between holographic and reflex sights. Holographic sights tend to have a wider FOV than reflex sights, making them better suited for quick target acquisition and tracking.

On the other hand, reflex sights typically have a narrower FOV, which makes them better for precision shooting over a longer distance. That’s why reflex sights work better as hunting scopes.


The reticle of a holographic sight is typically more complex and can be adjusted easily to provide you with better accuracy. On the other hand, reflex sights usually have a basic reticle that can’t be adjusted as easily.

Moreover, the reticles of the reflex sights create more colors. Unlike the holographic sight, they also have the option to adjust to any shape reticle available, making them more versatile than holographic sights.

In holographic sight, the laser and mirror diodes work jointly and impose the holographic reticle on the window of the shooter.

Zeroing and Co-Witnessing

Zeroing is the process of adjusting a sight’s reticle to align with the point of impact. Holographic sights are much easier to zero than reflex sights, making them more suitable for beginners.

In terms of co-witnessing, both types of sights can be used together with iron or flip-up sights if you want. This is beneficial for shooters who prefer to have a backup sighting system in case their main sight fails.


Finally, one of the biggest differences between holographic and reflex sights comes down to price. Holographic sights tend to be more expensive than reflex sights due to the complexity of their technology.

They also consume more battery power, requiring frequent battery replacement. However, this does not necessarily mean that they are superior when it comes to performance.

Pros and Cons

Holographic sights are generally more accurate and easier to use than reflex sights, but they are also typically more expensive. On the other hand, reflex sights provide a less accurate image and require more practice to become proficient in using them, but they tend to be cheaper than holographic sights. Let’s have a look at the Pros and Cons of each sight.

Reflex Sight Pros

  • Affordable price
  • Multiple magnification options
  • Easy to use

Reflex Sight Cons

  • Less accurate image
  • Requires more practice

Holographic Sight Pros

  • More accurate image
  • Easier to use
  • Faster target acquisition

Holographic Sight Cons

  • Shorter battery life
  • Bigger and bulkier

Which One Should You Choose Between Reflex Sight Vs Holographic?

At the end of the day, it all comes down to what you prefer and what suits your needs. Both holographic and reflex sights have their own advantages and disadvantages.

Holographic sight works like a charm when you are shooting targets that are closer. However, if you plan to shoot targets farther away, reflex sight is the way to go.

Therefore, it is important to understand the basic differences between holographic and reflex sights before making your final decision.

And with that, we’ve reached the end of today’s topic. We’ve tried to point out the key differences between a holographic sight and a reflex sight in this “Holographic Vs Reflex Sights” comparison.

Hopefully, this article has given you enough insight into these two types of optics so that you can make an informed choice. Good luck!

No matter what type of sighting system you choose, always remember to practice regularly and stay safe on the range. Happy shooting!


1. What kind of batteries do holographic use?

Ans. Holographic sights tend to use AA, AAA, or CR123 batteries. Units with CR123 batteries get the highest voltages. They also give you the brightest reticles with the longest battery life.

2. Do reflex sights have magnification?

Ans. Reflex optics don’t come with magnification but they perform better than rifle scopes at a close range in different ways.

3. How far can I shoot with a reflex sight?

Ans. Reflex sights work at a distance of 100-150 meters for short to medium operations. They are also suitable for Close Quarter Battle.

4. Are holographic sights better for astigmatism?

Ans. Holographic sights are well-known for being a better option for people with astigmatism. They use a complicated reticle that has a big circle and a small dot, or a few variations.

Those reticles often seem quite clear and easy to use by astigmatism patients.

About the author

Dan Goldsmith

Hi, this is Dan. We all know firearms are dangerous, but only when one doesn’t know how to use and care for them. I have 30+ years of experience with different types of guns and for the last 10 years, I have taught numerous people how to hold and shoot a gun while staying safe and keeping the surroundings unharmed.

My neighbors are some of my biggest admirers who enjoy talking to me about their guns, firearms safety and maintenance.

Whenever I am able to catch a moment of free time, you will find me enjoying my family or heading to the range on my motorcycle. I have enjoyed shooting sports ever since my dad introduced them to me as a child.

I like to think of myself as an outdoorsman who lives his life to the fullest. I hope you will benefit from my efforts to create valuable resources on this website. Happy reading!

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