The AEMS – Holosun’s Micro Red Dot

Red dots, red dots, red dots, who doesn’t love a good red dot sight? A reflex sight makes close-quarters shooting easy, instinctive, and most importantly fast.

As of 2021, you certainly have plenty of choices in red dots at this point. Holosun aims to offer you one more in the form of the AEMS. The Advanced Enclosed Micro Sight is a long gun red dot designed to be as efficient as possible.

The AEMS sits in that micro red dot category where you see optics like the Aimpoint T1/T2 but offers a much more efficient design in terms of window size. The AEMS uses a squared lens instead of a round lens, and the window is 1.1 x .87 inches in size. This big window is a bit of a shock for an optic that is only 2.2 inches long, 1.4 inches wide, and 2.59 inches tall.

The height is actually impressive. Most optics that tall only offer an absolute co-witness with AR height sights, but Holosun found a way to keep the optic low and the screen free from a blocked absolute co-witness view. Currently, the mount is proprietary and is only available at one height. That is a downside, but Holosun plans to offer various height mounts for the AEMS. Aftermarket companies are also seeking to introduce mounts of various heights.

Why the AEMS?

Besides the size efficiency, the optic is featured filled. Holosun has led the charge in innovating optics and filling them with features. The AEMS comes with a solar panel on top of the optic that acts as an awesome backup to your standard battery. The panel can power the optic extremely well, and even on overcast days, it tends to work very well.

The AEMS also comes with a multi reticle system that provides a 2 MOA dot, a 65 MOA circle, and a combination of the 2 MOA dot and 65 MOA circle. I used the latter reticle almost exclusively. It seems to catch my eye very well and provides a multi-use reticle for range finding, holdover, and mechanical offset.

We also get full night vision compatibility with the AEMS, and the big square optic is easier to use with night vision. The shake awake technology allows the optic to automatically shut off when it fails to sense movement. Then, as soon as you pick your gun up, the optic springs to life. You can adjust the time it takes for the shake awake to kick in and consult your manual to do so.

And We’re Live

Zeroing the AEMS is fairly simple with the .5 MOA adjustments. These quasi-broad adjustments make it easy to ‘dial’ it in and get your rounds hitting right where you want them. After a quick zero on my JP5 9mm PCC, I was hitting targets from 7 to 100 yards with ease.

At 7 yards, I could use the bottom of the 65 MOA circle to land shots perfectly at close ranges. The bottom of the dot compensated for mechanical offset without issue and made it easy to ensure my super close range shots were accurate and precise.

Moving back to 100 yards with a 9mm the range should provide some challenge. However, the big reticle makes it easy to compensate for ballistic drop. I know that as long as I place the dot at head height, the bottom of the stadia sits roughly on the stomach area of man-sized targets. I used a steel IPSC target to test my theory and landed ding after ding at 100 yards, with the rounds dropping into the chest of the target.

The view through the AEMS is crystal clear. There is a very slight blue tint, but not much. The AEMS comes with two lens covers that are transparent and ultimately disposable. Holosun offers replacements. I found both of these lenses superbly clear and never bothered to pop them down for shooting. They offer outstanding protection and are a great feature.

The reticles all appear crisp and easy to see. They don’t blur or starburst. When moving rapidly from target to target, I can clearly see the reticle without any blurring or disruption. That’s great for shot tracking and provides an excellent means to follow the reticle between multiple targets.

Aiming the AEMS

The Holosun AEMS provides a very capable little red dot that’s highly efficient for its size. The Window is impressive and provides a clear view with a crisp reticle. Holosun has finally departed from random numbers for their optics, and the AEMS was a great one to do it with. The AEMS works well for rifles, shotguns, and PCCs. I hope Holosun keeps its promise of providing new mounts, which will make this a very capable and multi-use red dot optic for a variety of weapons.

Travis Pike
Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine gunner who served with 2nd Bn 2nd Marines for 5 years. He deployed in 2009 to Afghanistan and again in 2011 with the 22nd MEU(SOC) during a record setting 11 months at sea. He’s trained with the Romanian Army, the Spanish Marines, the Emirate Marines and the Afghan National Army. He serves as an NRA certified pistol instructor and teaches concealed carry classes.