By my standards it was too dark to shoot. By the guide’s rules it was time to engage the target. It was dark(ening) quickly and raining. Not a downpour mind you, but one of those nasty cold drizzle rains. For traditional 1-inch tube optics it would have been frustrating to keep the glass clear long enough for a shot.
Of course, my rain gear was back at the lodge. But after all we were just cruising the ranch property looking for targets of opportunity, primarily hogs. We drove into a new area high up on a ridge. We parked out of sight of a deer food plot down the hill. We quietly exited the van, and eased over for a look see.
With the wind and blowing spit, I could not hear a thing, but my guide did. Then I peered around a cedar tree down the ridge into the green field at the bottom. Four-footed bodies were milling around. The guide whispered “See that pig with the white collar?” Sure enough there was a porker out there in the 150-200 pound class that wore a white center stripe that looked like it had on a scarf.
I got down on one knee and looked through the Smith and Wesson MP15-PC rifle’s sight, a holograph EoTech with a 3x magnifier. I could see the pig but could not put together the site picture. Then it donned on me… I had not pressed the ON button. One press of that button and I had the same view as some of America’s finest, but in my case, the target was armed only with teeth, protected by it’s own internal body armor.
The EoTech’s red reticle glowed like a search beacon. I had to tone it down a notch or two. All this sounds like a long time in the written word, but all told it was probably a couple minutes and I was admittedly slow about it. The guide asked if I was ready and I was. He was watching with binoculars to eyeball the shot.
At the bark of the .300 Whisper muzzle exit, there was heard a decidedly hard thump downrange. Even the other guy riding in the van came out at the shot saying he heard it as well. The guide similarly recorded the shot as a hit. He saw the hog bow up then bolt out of the plot. Twenty to thirty other pigs scattered like a busted covey of quail.
I’d love to say we found the hog in short order, but we never did. We looked for over an hour then, and two hours the next day. Nothing. So I cannot brag on the shot or prove the .300 Whisper via the S&W AR did its job. But we all think it did.
A couple hundred yards from the green plot a lake just above it flowed out into a thick drainage wedged with reeds, water, knee deep mud and some of the most nasty junk I have ever seen. The guide mentioned having lost game in there before. We could not even walk through it. But we found no sign so that story has no final ending. Alas it also has no photo of me with the hammered hog. Next time….
Illuminated by the EoTech Technology
This was my first field trial with the EoTech sight, though I had a brand new one in the box on my gun shelf at home. I had yet to deploy it, but having done my due diligence research, I was possum grinning pleased with the purchase. That was further confirmed once I used the actual product on the hunt in Oklahoma for deer and pigs.
Do I know the sight works? Well, I did not recover the hog, but I took the largest white-tailed buck of my 41 year hunting career with this sight on another S&W MP-15 in .223 at 100 yards. One shot, one kill. This was without the magnifier.
The EoTech sight use comes natural. I mean by that with both eyes open, it is so easy and quick to acquire the target it is almost funny. Also the lighted reticle does not fill the entire “screen” of the sight so you have real time vision of some peripheral space on both sides of the lighted circular aiming point.
This allows extra data to assess with groupings of animals like hogs. You can swing on the herd to pick out whichever target you choose to engage. I consider this minor feature a big plus that a traditional scope does not always permit.
The EoTech sight also has a built-in brightness rheostat of sorts that you punch up or down via a handy button switch on the rear of the sight. This allows the shooter/hunter to adjust the brightness of the reticle that is ideal for the situation. With my eyeglasses and old eyes, it seems the optimum brightness is too much. The edges flair out fuzzy when I do this. I trust that is my own eyesight playing tricks on me.
When I punch down the illumination a bit, the reticle edges are more clearly defined and sharp. Also, the amount of brightness does not blind out the target. At lower settings, at least in my practice so far, it superimposes it’s holographic site on the target.If you have yet to try out an EoTech sight, then I highly recommend it. They are easily attachable to the top rail of flat top AR rifle, or pretty much anything with a Picatinny rail. Add on one of their 3x magnifiers and you have an excellent tactical hog hunting set up.
SHWAT™ tactical hunters can peruse the EoTech web site at www.eotech-inc.com to check out all their products, but I am currently using their Model 512 and the 3x Magnifier. The 512 is like all EoTech electronic sights in that it was designed for CQB (close quarters battle) or as I see it, CQC or close quarters combat with hogs.
The 512 is EoTech’s most popular model of HWS (Holographic Weapons Systems) sights. Note that EoTech does not call these devices “sights”. That is my old school terminology. They call them “tactical optics”. The primary adjectives used by EoTech to describe the 512 are speed and versatility.
I like the 512 because it uses AA batteries, either lithium or alkaline. The Reticle is a 65 MOA circle with a 1 MOA aiming dot. It comes with an aluminum hood assembly and knobbed, tool-less mounting bolt. This tactical optic interfaces with a 1-inch Picatinny, Mil-Std-1913 rail or a Weaver rail. Suggested retail is from $439. On line shopping will yield a better price from a variety of sources. You can find all the high tech specs on their web site for the detailed oriented hog popper.
I highly recommend you look into the GG&G mount for this EoTech optic. It is a quick detach configuration with an over engineered pull handle that is 110% solid as a rock when locked up, but easy to take off to use BUIS open sights in a pinch.
EoTech Magnifiers may not always be necessary, but a darn nice accessory especially for less than perfect eyesight. The magnifier greatly increases target acquisition and improved accuracy on medium range targets.
The magnifiers come mounted on a flip release mount that allows the user to switch quickly from CQC format to medium range targeting or back and forth. A flip of the mount latch allows the whole device to swing away from the top of the rifle. This is sweet.
According to EoTech, “the unique holographic technology allows the center dot to remain 1 MOA in size, while the angular size of the target is magnified. Zero is maintained in the HWS and not in the magnifier. You never lose zero, no matter if you are targeting through the magnifier or only through the HWS.” Furthermore, the magnifier provides elevation and azimuth adjustment to allow the reticle to be centered in the field of view of the magnifier. If you try one of these, you will want one.
SHWAT™ hunters love the tactical approach to hog hunting. That’s what SHWAT™ is all about. What better application to hog hunting than the use of tactical optics? In my mind, EoTech is leading the pack in this technology.