The Holosun EPS Carry is currently the smallest enclosed emitter reflex sight on the market. Like the Holosun 407-K and 507-K before it, the EPS Carry also makes use of the “slimline” Holosun-K footprint. The EPS Carry along with the slightly larger EPS stand out amongst enclosed emitter reflex sights due to the fact that they were designed with a lower deck height. This means that EPS series optics sit slightly lower than “normal” when mounted. Depending on the gun and the milling cut, the EPS series may sit low enough that standard height iron sights are able to be used. While this review is solely about the smaller EPS Carry, I do want to bring up the standard sized EPS one more time, because I think this bears mentioning and can avoid some confusion. Both the bigger EPS and the smaller EPS Carry use the exact same Holosun-K footprint in spite of their size differences. Holosun actually includes a thin Trijicon RMR-footprint adapter plate with the standard EPS so that it can be directly fastened to any Trijicon RMR footprint surface. In a similar vein, Holosun also includes a similar plate for the EPS Carry, but this one fits the Shield RMS-c footprint, which is more or less the “standard” when it comes to any of the slimline guns regardless of make and model (well, currently in 2023 it is). In fact, when I installed the EPS Carry on the Taurus GX4XL, I used this conveniently-included plate as Taurus cuts the GX4 series for the Shield RMS-c.
HOLOSUN EPS OVERVIEW
The EPS Carry can be had with red or green LEDs and an MRS (multi reticle system), fixed 2 MOA or 6 MOA dots. The unit that Big Tex Ordnance kindly loaned me is the MRS version, which has three different options: a 32 MOA ring + 2 MOA center dot, an empty 32 MOA ring or a plain 2 MOA center dot. I think that the combination reticle works very well on a micro-dot that’s paired with a smaller, less precise pistol, and it’s something I want to keep exploring further. The EPS Carry ships in pretty much the same foam padded small plastic case that all Holosun reflex sights include along with the complimentary T10 Torx combination tool that’s useful for adjusting windage and elevation and dealing with T10 screws in a pinch. It’s always a good idea to properly torque all hardware down to recommended specifications for reliability with slide mounted reflex sights. And like with most other Holosun pistol dots, the battery tray can be conveniently accessed from the right side of the unit. The EPS Carry uses a single CR-1620 battery which has an estimated 50,000 hour battery life. The EPS Carry has 12 different brightness levels: 2 for night-vision and 10 for daytime use. Tiny buttons are located on the left side of the unit’s external 7075-T6 aluminum housing, and like any other Holosun optic, on/off, reticle changes, locking and brightness adjustments function in the exact same way. The “roof” of this particular EPS Carry has a row of solar cells, and Holosun makes use of their Solar Failsafe function (not all EPS Carry models have the Solar Failsafe feature). The Solar Failsafe system is designed to power the reticle by gathering ambient light if the battery is dead. Lastly, like many other popular Holosun sights, the EPS Carry also includes Holosun’s Shake-Awake technology.
WHY ENCLOSED EMITTERS MATTER
All reflex sights big or small, work on a simple principle. They have an LED emitter which projects a beam at a coated lens (typically the coating gives off a bluish tint). This bluish tint allows all light to pass through, except specifically for the light projected by the emitter. The tint “catches” the beam and makes it reflects back to the human eye. That reflection serves as an aiming point. The majority of slide mounted reflex sights have a single lens with an emitter at the rear of the unit. For recreational or competitive shooting, these designs are fine. However open emitter sights run the risk of catching everything from water, dirt, mud, lint, snow or any other element which block or disrupt the projection towards the lens. An enclosed emitter reflex sight mitigates that risk by having the emitter inside a “box” with a front and rear lens that seals off the LED array from any external elements. For obvious reasons, such a design is preferable for duty-use, personal protection or other serious tasks. This is partially why the EPS Carry itself received so much fanfare during its initial launch. As the smallest closed emitter reflex sight currently available, it has much to offer to anyone serious about carrying with a dot.
SHOOTING WITH THE EPS CARRY
My experience with the Holosun EPS Carry (to date) has specifically been tied to shooting with the 9mm Taurus GX4XL. Having now sent rounds downrange through a multitude of pistol mounted reflex sights including other Holosun models, the Trijicon SRO and Steiner MPS, there was nothing negative that stood out to me about the EPS Carry. Even though this sight is the smallest one I’ve ever shot with, my experience was not interrupted or altered. If anything, having the EPS Carry enhanced my experience with the Taurus GX4XL, which as a sub-compact 9mm is more challenging to shoot than, say, my beloved CZ Shadow 2 or the full-size Walther PDP.
Though I hesitate to call this an issue, I noticed a tiny amount of distortion when not looking directly square into the middle of the window. If the shooter’s eyes perceive the reticle towards the top or bottom edge of the window, the 32 MOA ring will change shape and appear more like an oval. The central 2 MOA dot is not affected. Again, this is benign and Holosun does build these with aspheric lenses to help mitigate distortion. After all, we are talking about the smallest fully enclosed emitter sight on the market. Besides this negligible and slight distortion, the sight works as intended and shooting through it is no different than shooting a standard size slide mounted reflex sight. Ever since I got my hands on the EPS Carry and the Taurus GX4XL, I started imagining how nifty it would be to have a sight of this size on a full-size carry gun, like a Glock 19 or my Glock 45. Not only is the emitter enclosed and protected from the elements but the concealed carrier benefits from having a shooting aid that is very compact and doesn’t get in the way. After all, if it’s cool on the GX4XL, a Glock 48 or a Sig P365XL, why not a 19? Just because the EPS Carry was designed around slimilines doesn’t mean it needs to stay there.
For those interested in a direct comparison between the EPS and EPS Carry, here is a quick and dirty link I found.