I don’t know about you, but I don’t have an extra grand stuffed between my couch cushions to spend on an Aimpoint Comp M4. Like most Americans, I live on a budget that doesn’t allow for top-tier optics and I must be a bit more frugal with my Second Amendment money.
However, just because you can’t afford the fanciest red dots on the market doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice dependability, reliability, and accuracy. There are several good budget optics available to you at a fraction of the cost of some of the higher end brands, the trick is to find the good ones!
Luckily for you, you found this article and I’m going to share with you my experience shooting the SFT2 Tactical Hussar Red Dot. This red dot more than met my expectations and is a great value for the money.
In this review, I’ll compare the SFT2 Hussar Red Dot to another popular budget-friendly optic, the Holosun 503C. This way you’ll understand that not only is the Hussar Red Dot a great option, but one that can hang with some of the bigger names in the shooting industry.
But enough talk, let’s get to the review!
For full transparency, SFT2 Tactical provided me with their Hussar red dot for this review. The Holosun 503C I had purchased prior to this review with my own funds. Also, I wanted to extend a special thanks to Ammo.com for providing me with the bulk 5.56 ammo used for the shooting aspect of this review.
The test rifle for this review was an Armalite M15 with a 16” heavy barrel (1:7 twist). The upper receiver is equipped with a free float tube, Harris 1A2 bipod, and a Rock River Arms Tactical Muzzle Brake. The lower came installed with the Armalite two-stage match trigger.
Testing ammunition was Hornady BLACK 62 grain FMJ 5.56 NATO. Group testing was performed at 50 yards. All shots were taken from a bench to minimize muscle fatigue and truly test the capabilities of each optic as opposed to my mediocre shooting abilities.
Atmospheric conditions of the day of testing were overcast with light intermittent drizzle and temperatures around the lower 50’s. In other words, a typical Indiana fall day.
All optics were quickly zeroed to get us on target at the range. To conserve time and ammunition, we did not perform a perfect zero to the center of the target. However, I held point-of-aim at the center of the target for consistency.
Red Dot Review – SFT2 Tactical Hussar vs Holosun 503C
A red dot sight (RDS), or reflex sight as they are sometimes called, is essentially a beam of light from an LED that is reflected off an angled piece of glass. This creates what looks like a holographic image of a dot in the lens sight.
The RDS is incredibly popular, and it has been adapted to literally every weapons platform available. Rifles, shotguns, handguns, crossbows, you name it and there’s a red dot for it! They come in a wide variety of sizes and are excellent for training new shooters. Just put the red dot on the target and pull the trigger…It doesn’t get much simpler than that.
Now let’s take a look at how these two red dots stack up against each other!
When you look at these optics side-by-side, it’s easy to get them confused as they look a lot alike. Both the Holosun and SFT2 Tactical red dots utilize the popular Aimpoint Micro design and come factory installed on a riser that is set for a lower 1/3 co-witness with AR-15 iron sights. However, if you prefer a low mount, both the Holosun and SFT2 come with an additional low mount at no extra charge.
Both red dots are made from anodized aluminum and are extremely rugged. They have very clear glass, and I can’t really tell the difference between either in terms of clarity. The Hussar does have a slightly wider window diameter, measuring 22mm compared to 20 mm for the Holosun.
Both sights achieved the same submersion IP67 standard (1 meter for 30 minutes), shock-proof, and fog-proof. The Hussar did receive a slightly higher recoil rating of 1200 g’s compared to 1000 g’s for the Holsoun.
In terms of weight, both sights weighed exactly the same (4.5oz) with their high mounts despite Holosun advertising their sight weighing 3oz (clearly this is without the riser).
Bottom line: Both the Holosun and SFT2 are built well and can handle a lot more abuse than the average shooter will put them through.
Battery Life and Solar Option
Both sights use the same CR2032 which has become the standard for a RDS. You can find these batteries at any grocery store, pharmacy, or hardware store across North America. Both sights are rated for up to 50,000 hours of continuous use with one battery and have a solar backup option should your battery die.
However, one major difference between these two sights is battery installation. The SFT2 Hussar battery compartment is located on the right side of the sight housing, it’s extremely easy to access and does not require any tools (just unscrew the cap, plop the battery in, and screw the cap back on). The Holosun, on the other hand, uses a tray that requires a jeweler’s screwdriver to access.
It’s a major pain in the buttstock to change batteries on the Holosun and you could easily lose the tiny screws that hold the batter tray in place. Clearly Holosun has had some complaints about this issue, as they deemed it necessary to include an extra battery tray in the box with the sight.
I’d also like to add that SFT2 sent several extra batteries with their RDS, which is a really nice touch. Holosun did not include extra batteries and their battery came installed from the factory.
Both red dots have the option to run completely off solar power, further extending your battery life when shooting outside or in a well-lit area. Furthermore, both sights have a “shake awake” technology, where your sight will automatically turn off if it sits idle for several minutes. However, once you move the sight it will turn back on.
Bottom line: Changing batteries on the Hussar is extremely simple while the Holosun requires specialized tools. Both sights have similar battery life and solar capabilities should your battery fail (though SFT2 sent extra batteries to prevent this!)
Both sights have their turrets for adjusting point of impact on the top and right side of the sight body, this is pretty standard for the industry.
However, the two sights do differ in that Holosun uses capped turrets while the Hussar has exposed turrets.
For the Holosun, the turret cap acts as your adjustment tool by inverting it and placing the raised bar on top of the cap into the groove in the exposed turret. Furthermore, directions for adjustment are located inside the turret cap. One thing to note is that the turret caps are not tethered to the sight, so it is possible to lose them if they become loose during firing.
For the Hussar, you’ll need a tool to adjust your turrets, like a dime or the included Torx key that is also used to mount the sight to your Picatinny/Weaver rail. I would recommend against using your fingernail for sight adjustment as you’ll likely break it before you make it past one or two “clicks”.
Both sights had very positive tactile and audible clicks while making adjustments. One difference between the two sights is that the Holosun does offer finer adjustments at 0.5 MOA per click compared to 1 MOA per click for the Hussar red dot.
Bottom line: The Holosun offers finer windage and elevation adjustments but also uses turret caps that could easily become lost if dropped on the ground. The Hussar uses exposed turrets without caps so there’s nothing to lose.
Reticle Options and Illumination
Probably the most important aspect of an RDS is the reticle.
Both the Hussar and 503C offer the circle/cross with center dot reticle made popular by EoTech. Both sights also offer a singular dot sighting option but the Hussar comes with a third option, the circle/cross without a dot.
In terms of reticle size, the Holosun is considerably larger as it uses a 65 MOA circle and 2 MOA dot compared to a 40 MOA circle and 3 MOA dot for the Hussar (for comparison an EoTech uses a 68 MOA circle and 1 MOA dot).
Reticle size really comes down to personal preference. I honestly didn’t notice a lot of difference between the two sights while testing them at the range.
Both sights offer multiple illumination settings as well as two night vision (NV) settings so you can still use your RDS while in your nods. Sadly, I don’t have an NV setup to test these modes (and I’m guessing most readers don’t), but it’s nice to have that option should I ever strike it rich and be able to invest in a PVS-14.
For daytime settings, the Holosun has 10 different brightness settings while the Hussar red dot has 8. That being said, I had no issues finding a comfortable brightness setting for either sight.
Bottom line: The Holosun 503C has a larger reticle that might be easier for some shooters to use. Both optics have NV capabilities and more than enough brightness settings for any shooting situation.
Both sights had reasonable accuracy at 50 yards, with 10-shot groups ranging between 1.4” and 2.2” at the extreme spread. On average, the Hussar produced groups around 1.8” while the Holosun offered somewhat more variable accuracy as it shot the widest and tightest groups for the red dots.
Both red dots zeroed rather quickly and were on paper from the first shot. Tracking for both scopes seemed accurate for their advertised travel per click and neither RDS lost zero during firing.
Bottom line: Both the Holosun and SFT2 Hussar red dots are accurate and hold zero without issue. Both would be effective for self-defense, target practice, hunting or any SHTF situation.
Here’s what everyone really wants to know, right? Does the Hussar red dot sight really offer as much value (or more) as a Holosun 503C? Well, the answer is unquestionably, “Yes!”
At the time of writing, the MSRP for a Holosun 503 is $301.16 while the SFT2 Tactical Hussar Red Dot goes for $204.99. Using Common Core math, let’s just call it $100 (yes…I know it’s actually $96.17 before you flame me in the comments).
So, the big question is, does the Holosun offer you $100 more value? It’s hard for me to answer that question for every shooter.
For me, it doesn’t. I don’t see a huge difference in accuracy or features between these two red dots. Both hold zero well, are comfortable to shoot, and have more than enough battery life. I’m more than happy to save $100 and put it towards ammo or, if I may suggest, a flashlight for your battle rifle.
Bottom line: The Hussar red dot offers you great value for the money.
If you’re looking for a rugged, dependable red dot that is perfect for any hunting, self-defense, or disaster scenario that you don’t need to sell a kidney to afford, you simply cannot go wrong with the SFT2 Tactical Hussar Red Dot.
I found this optic to be extremely accurate and comparable to (or better than) the Holosun 503C in numerous categories. So if you’re in the market for a solid red dot for your battle rifle or hunting shotgun, make sure you add the SFT2 Tactical Hussar to your short list, I promise you won’t be disappointed!
Written by Chris Dwulet
Chris is the lead writer and editor for Ammo.com. He's an avid supporter of the Second Amendment, a former USPSA Production class shooter, and loves nothing more than spending time with his family or at his reloading bench.