How Does a Holographic Sight Work? [With Explainer Video]

A holographic sight is really useful equipment for your guns, especially for handguns. A holographic sight lets you have more accurate shots. Actually, having a holographic sight gets you better accuracy, but you can do better if you know how a holographic sight works.

The more you know about it, the better shot you’ll be able to make! In this guide, we’re going to discuss the working mechanism of a holographic sight.

What is a Holographic Sight?

A holographic sight is mainly a non-magnifying gun-sight. It allows you to look through optical window glass. The optical window creates holographic reticle image superimposed at a distance on the field of view and allows you to see. The holographic image of the sight is illuminated by a laser diode.

A holographic sight keeps the reticle positioned on an exact area of your target. If you move the shift your gun, the reticle also moves but it stays aimed to the point.

Actually, the holographic sight creates an alternative image of your target and keeps it in front of you so that you can take a better shot.

How Does a Holographic Sight Work?

To understand the work method of a holographic sight properly, you have to understand 2 main parts- the basic fundamentals and the work method of a holographic sight. Let’s start without wasting time-

  1. Know the Basic Fundamentals:

holographic sight

A holographic sight works with some basic fundamentals, such as Magnification, FOV (Field of View), Reticle, Co-witnessing and Zeroing. To know the working process of a holographic sight, you have to understand the parts and their roles completely. Each part has a different role and altogether, they make the holographic sight work.

The magnification of the holographic sight helps the user to shoot hundreds of yard by magnifying the visual factor. The holographic sight assumes the target to appear closer. But at the same time, it keeps the aiming circle with the same size so that you can get a better and wide view of the target. The magnification of sight only magnifies the view of your target.

As like as magnification, the FOV (Field of View) also helps to get a better view. FOV is actually the width of the image that the sight represents. The holographic sights that come with a reticle, will be superimposed by on your habitual (FOV) field of view. Generally, your target is covered by the laser image so that you can get the enhanced accuracy in less time, automatically.

At this time, all the electronic sights are maintained at zero. This “zero” functionality helps you to make more accurate shots and easy targeting. Additionally, the sights also have calibrated in Minute of Angle (MOA), windage and separate elevation adjustments. These features help to reduce your targeting time and increase accuracy. Technological advancements have contributed to the sights and made the sights more compact and affordable.

  1. The Work Method:

The main working method of a holographic sight is to create a reconstructed image of the view you’re about to see. It lets you see unreal images compared to the conventional scopes. The image you see is a projection of the reticle picture, not the main sight actually. We can relate it with a camera.

A camera records scenes and later, it shows us the video. As like as a camera, the holographic sight reconstructs the light waves of an object and shows us. The wave patterns that a holographic sight shows are the reflected view of the object or target point. The window of the sight shows us the picture and helps us to get the targeted point easily.

When a holographic sight is manufactured, a laser transmission hologram of a reticle image is placed in the sight. It comes with recorded three-dimensional (3D) space onto holographic film. This recorded image is a part of the optical viewing window of the sight. The sight has a built-in laser diode.

And in use, the recorded hologram is being illuminated by the collimated light of that built-in laser diode. The sight can also be adjusted simply by pivoting or tilting the holographic grating. You can adjust the sight in need of your range and windage.

A holographic sight comes with a holography grating that disperses the laser light by an equal amount to compensate for any change due to the temperature in the laser wavelength of the sight. But in the other direction, the holographic sight is not “parallax-free” as the hologram forms the aiming reticle as like as the reflector sight.

It lets you have an aim-point that can be moved with the eye position. This mechanism is for providing better visibility and fast and more accurate aiming than what a red dot sight can offer.

The sight comes with a holographic image that is set at a finite distance with parallax due to eye movement. Additionally, the optical window diminishes it to zero at close range (around 100 yards usually).

As you know, the reticle of a holographic sight is a transmission hologram which is illuminated by the laser shining through the hologram, the sight presents a reconstructed image of the target. The optical window of a holographic sight looks like a piece of clear glass with an illuminated reticle in the middle of the sight.

There is an aiming dot on the optical window. The aiming reticle can be as infinitely small dot size and it’s given by the acuity of the user’s eye. The holographic sights run on batteries. They have limited power. The laser diode of the holographic sight has complex driving electronics and that’s why it uses more power than a standard LED-based sight of equivalent brightness.

It reduces the amount of run time of a holographic sight on a single set of batteries. Here is an explainer video on how EOTech holographic sights work.


Though a holographic sight is tiny equipment, it really has a complex mechanism. Yes, complex, but not so hard to use. Hope, you now know how a holographic sight works. We also hope that you’ll now able to use the sight more conveniently and make better shots.

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