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awndray
09-30-2015, 07:16 AM
Over the past few weeks, three separate issues have come to our attention regarding EOTech’s line of Holographic Weapon Sights (HWS). While we initially thought they weren’t related as they came up one by one, we realized they were all connected once we had looked into all three. Consequently, we believe they should be presented together, along with the source documentation.

Safety Of Use Message Issued
Although it’s the last one we uncovered, we’ll begin with the most glaring piece of information. On 14 September, the SOF Weapons Program Management Office at NSWC Crane released a Safety of Use Message regarding issues with EOTech’s Enhanced Combat Optical Sights (ECOS), which is how they refer to HWS. This certainly caught our attention as the PMO is responsible for USSOCOM weapons. That message ultimately serves as the linchpin, tying together the other two issues we’ll soon address.This critical bit of information would have been a stand-alone article, but it added credence to the others and offered coherence to some otherwise inexplicable issues. It also allowed us to concentrate on the facts presented in the various documentation. We will introduce the other issues after you get a chance to read the SOUM, which was obtained by Soldier Systems Daily. The Message has no date-time-group but was transmitted via official email traffic to SOF units on 14 September, 2015 and there are no markings limiting distribution.

http://soldiersystems.net/blog1/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Screenshot-64-440x307.png (http://soldiersystems.net/blog1/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Final-SAFETY-OF-USE-MESSAGE-14-September-2015-Copy.pdf)
Click to view .pdf

While there is a great deal of information in the SOUM, two glaring issues stick out. The first is the reliability of the HWS in extreme temperatures, referred to as “Thermal Drift”. The PMO has noted a +/- 4 MOA shift at -40 Deg F and 122 Deg F. Second, is the concern over the claim by EOTech that their HWS are parallax free which was the subject of a previous Safety of Use Message from the same office issued 16 March, 2015. In this case they noted between 4 and 6 MOA parallax error depending on temperature conditions. Despite the PMO working with EOTech to rectify the issues, they still have not been resolved.

EOTech Updates User Manuals
EOTech seems to have officially backed off their previous claims regarding operational temperature ranges as well as parallax free attributes. Upon investigation, we noted that EOTech had changed the public specs for their HWS. Specifically, they published new manuals in June, 2015 which are available from the individual product listing pages on their website (http://www.eotechinc.com/). Normally, this wouldn’t be that big of an issue by itself, but taken in conjunction with the other two pieces of information and what was removed from the manuals, it becomes so.

For example, they no longer claim that the Optics are “Parallax free”. They’ve also eliminated the temperature range from the manuals which is a pretty important factor for military operations. In the updated manuals, EOTech didn’t alert users to issues at extreme temperatures. Instead, they deleted references to operational temperature range altogether. Interestingly, both of these issues are addressed in the PMO’s Safety of Use Message we referenced earlier.

Although not addressed in this SOUM by the PMO, we also noticed in the latest versions (June 2015) of the user manuals that each click of sight adjustment is now “Approx. 0.5 MOA” rather than the more reassuring “0.5 MOA” cited in older manuals.Here are some examples of old and new user manuals:

EXPS3 User Manual January 2011

http://soldiersystems.net/blog1/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/EXPS3-January-2011-1-140x140.jpg (http://soldiersystems.net/blog1/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/EXPS3-January-2011-1-e1443573819198.jpg)http://soldiersystems.net/blog1/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/EXPS3-January-2011-2-140x140.jpg (http://soldiersystems.net/blog1/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/EXPS3-January-2011-2-e1443573828468.jpg)

EXPS3 User Manual June 2015

http://soldiersystems.net/blog1/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/EXPS3-June-2015-1-140x140.jpg (http://soldiersystems.net/blog1/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/EXPS3-June-2015-1-e1443573865822.jpg)http://soldiersystems.net/blog1/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/EXPS3-June-2015-2-140x140.jpg (http://soldiersystems.net/blog1/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/EXPS3-June-2015-2-e1443573874923.jpg)

L3 Communications SEC Filing
The last issue we’ll address is actually the first one that came to our attention. In L3 Communications’ most recent 10-Q SEC Quarterly filing of early August for Q2, they mention issues with the HWS. This is a document prepared by EOTech’s parent company L3 Communications, advising their investors of any issues, good or bad, which might affect their investment. While companies obviously put on a public face, SEC filings have weight because they are legal submissions to the government. They must be accurate, regardless of the news.

L3 mentions recognizing “an aggregate liability of $26 million in anticipation of a settlement related to a product specification matter regarding a holographic weapon sight product in the Warrior Systems sector of the Electronic Systems segment.” As we are unaware of any pending civil suits regarding the HWS, the question remains as to whom EOTech might owe such a large sum of money. We must point out that the government has acknowledged issues with the HWS in at least two SOUM from the SOF Weapons PMO. We’d also like to mention that the Quarterly filing talks of possible consequences if the company is implicated in wrongdoing regarding government contracts.
(http://soldiersystems.net/blog1/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/IMG_7846.png)
The SEC filing goes on to state that while, “The Company does not currently anticipate that any of these investigations will have a material adverse effect, individually or in the aggregate, on its consolidated financial position, results of operations or cash flows. However, under U.S. Government regulations, an indictment of the Company by a federal grand jury, or an administrative finding against the Company as to its present responsibility to be a U.S. Government contractor or subcontractor, could result in the Company being suspended for a period of time from eligibility for awards of new government contracts or task orders or in a loss of export privileges. A conviction, or an administrative finding against the Company that satisfies the requisite level of seriousness, could result in debarment from contracting with the federal government for a specified term.” They also recognize that, “Foreign government contracts generally include comparable provisions relating to terminations for convenience or default, as well as other procurement clauses relevant to the foreign government.” This can be pretty serious stuff.The SEC Quarterly filing can be found here (http://services.corporate-ir.net/SEC/Document.Service?id=P3VybD1hSFIwY0RvdkwyRndhUzUwWl c1cmQybDZZWEprTG1OdmJTOWtiM2R1Ykc5aFpDNXdhSEEvWVdO MGFXOXVQVkJFUmlacGNHRm5aVDB4TURReE5EQTVOQ1p6ZFdKem FXUTlOVGM9JnR5cGU9MiZmbj1MM0NvbW11bmljYXRpb25zSG9s ZGluZ3NJbmMucGRm).

Putting It All Together
As you can see, the three pieces of information certainly seem related when presented together. In the same quarter, EOTech changed their HWS user manuals and acknowledged in an SEC filing, “aggregate liability of $26 million in anticipation of a settlement related to a product specification matter regarding a holographic weapon sight product…” In the next quarter, USSOCOM issues a Safety Of Use Message that addresses the very information removed from the HWS user manuals.

Data Was Right There In The Open
The documentation was readily available prior to its publication here, to anyone who knew where to look. While EOTech has made no public statements so far, regarding the issues with the performance of their family of HWS, they certainly haven’t hidden them either. To the contrary, we wouldn’t have discovered the issues so easily if they’d tried to hide them. They’ve published new versions of their user manuals and made them available to the public, as well as making an SEC filing which is public record and acknowledges there is an issue afoot. While it would be nice to see EOTech publicly acknowledge the issue, it would be interesting to find out how long they’ve known about it. Regardless, the only thing that remains up in the air, is whether L3 Communications will be required to pay that $26 million, to whom they would pay it, and if there will be any additional stipulations.

Let’s Hope They Fix It
In closing, we suggest that both commercial and military users of EOTech HWS read the SOUM, since EOTech has still not specifically addressed its customers regarding the issues. We hope that they do soon and offer a solution to rectify these issues.
http://soldiersystems.net/2015/09/30/something-is-amiss-at-l3-warrior-systems-eotech/

Doug_M
09-30-2015, 07:21 AM
Just in time for Trijicon's MRO ( https://www.trijicon.com/na_en/products/product1.php?id=MRO ) which is said to be more like an EOTech due to its large field of view rather than an Aimpoint Micro.

RobertMcC
09-30-2015, 07:22 AM
No rifle or weapon will shoot the same in -40 as +50.

Maple Leaf Pilgrim
09-30-2015, 10:31 AM
No rifle or weapon will shoot the same in -40 as +50.

Not to mention how the ammo performs in the same temperature range.

-S.

RobertMcC
09-30-2015, 10:40 AM
Not to mention how the ammo performs in the same temperature range.

-S.

Seems like yes the optic POI will shift +/- 4MOA. But even if the optic was perfect. Too many other factors like you said how the ammo performs.

Maple Leaf Pilgrim
10-01-2015, 12:27 PM
Seems like yes the optic POI will shift +/- 4MOA. But even if the optic was perfect. Too many other factors like you said how the ammo performs.

Agreed, although I have heard that there is minor variances in optics as temperature changes due to contraction/expansion of material, a 4MOA POI shift does seem a bit extreme. One has to wonder what exactly is going on in the sighting unit. If anybody has a better idea of the technical specifications of the units it might give us a better understanding as to what's going on in there.

-S.

Booletsnotreactwell
10-03-2015, 10:48 AM
Thread merge.

CaperJim
10-03-2015, 11:00 AM
http://www.gunownersofcanada.ca/showthread.php?26139-USSOCOM-Issues-Safety-of-Use-Message-for-EOTech-Enhanced-Combat-Optical-Sights

Edenchef
10-03-2015, 11:08 AM
Question? How did these sights manage to get through military qualification/field trials without these problems showing up? Somehow, I think this issue is much, much bigger than just not meeting published specs/manuals?

Booletsnotreactwell
10-03-2015, 01:49 PM
Question? How did these sights manage to get through military qualification/field trials without these problems showing up? Somehow, I think this issue is much, much bigger than just not meeting published specs/manuals?

Just like most mass produced items you can't test everything, it's cost prohibitive. Batch testing is the norm in all but the utmost top tier boutique products. The military is known to put out "the impossible specification" at times, and just like Volkswagen Diesel sometimes you just can't meet whatever is needed with your company's technology so you have to cheat. I don't know too much about Holographic sights but they use a different technology than traditional red dots, at the time red dots first started coming out holo technology was just starting. On paper the technology has more potential than red dots, red dots have pretty much hit the limit but holo sights have not evolved to maximum potential yet. Holo sights are battle proven but they also have a slightly worse track record than comparable red dots of those years.

Another angle, one we will never know is sometimes military contracts are about the lowest bidder, maybe Aimpoint was asking too much or couldn't deliver exactly what was needed so EOTech comes in and promises unicorns. That exact same scenario plays out in every other industry.

Booletsnotreactwell
10-03-2015, 01:59 PM
Agreed, although I have heard that there is minor variances in optics as temperature changes due to contraction/expansion of material, a 4MOA POI shift does seem a bit extreme. One has to wonder what exactly is going on in the sighting unit. If anybody has a better idea of the technical specifications of the units it might give us a better understanding as to what's going on in there.

-S.

I don't know much about holographic sights I do know more than the average person about lasers which are the core of the holographic sight design. Lasers are inherently more fragile than the comparable LED technology used in red dot sights. Laser diodes are A LOT more sensitive to temperature variations, some wavelengths of light (what you see as colors) don't have diodes (bulb of that color in laymans terms) so they require the appropriate crystals and have infrared light pumped through it. These crystals are fragile and are especially vulnerable to temperature variances, in fact they can't really have their rated output until they warm up to operating temperature which depending on outside ambient temperatures may never happen. I would almost assume that EOTech sights use red lasers so they don't require crystals (diode pumped solid state frequency) and rule that theory out but with lasers and holograms there are a million and one things happening vs a red dot which is basically a red light shinning on a lens of glass at a particular angle.


Just in time for Trijicon's MRO ( https://www.trijicon.com/na_en/products/product1.php?id=MRO ) which is said to be more like an EOTech due to its large field of view rather than an Aimpoint Micro.

It's not really comparable, they might seem that way because to the end user as all these types of sights are basically magic looking glasses with red reticles but Holographic sights are A LOT different than red dots. If tomorrow all the kinks were worked out with Holo sights they would blow the doors off any red dots, I thought the technology was there but it appears it might not be. So yea in that sense red dots are a good alternative now, but Trijicon isn't really "competing" if you ask me, it's a different product that just happens to have similar end results (when it works).


Seems like yes the optic POI will shift +/- 4MOA. But even if the optic was perfect. Too many other factors like you said how the ammo performs.


The main issue is possibly permanent thermal shift which means the zero doesn't return even when ambient temperatures do. Scenario, you leave your rifle in your car on a hot summer day, it gets to 120 inside the trunk (very possible), now when you use the gun it's 3-4 MOA off, that's a pretty substantial difference and problem if it is true.

Steveo9mm
10-03-2015, 02:50 PM
EOTech sights shit the bed [TFB]

Reread #3

http://www.gunownersofcanada.ca/showthread.php?760-GOC-Site-Rules-amp-Policy

Gaidheal
10-03-2015, 02:57 PM
Question? How did these sights manage to get through military qualification/field trials without these problems showing up? Somehow, I think this issue is much, much bigger than just not meeting published specs/manuals?

Maybe they're made by VW?

SteelCap
10-04-2015, 05:09 AM
No rifle or weapon will shoot the same in -40 as +50.

True but rifle nor ammo make no claim about its operating conditions?

awndray
02-22-2016, 12:05 PM
As seen on Facebook:


Back in early December of 2015, I heard about the US government suing Eotech for fraud. Well, I decided to contact Eotech about the issue and they told me to send back my Eotech sight for a full refund. Today, 22/02/2016, I got that refund. I didn't have to send them a receipt of the purchase price. The Eotech crew are very honourable people and if you decide to send yours back you WILL get your refund, just be patient as it took me 2 months to get mine.

https://scontent-ord1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpa1/t31.0-8/12778753_813742098754065_415369314803710047_o.jpg

Here is the case:

http://soldiersystems.net/2015/11/24/us-government-sues-l3-communications-for-fraud-involving-eotech-sights/
https://www.facebook.com/marcnfa/posts/813743775420564

bettercallsaul
02-22-2016, 12:47 PM
Not the optic I'd want in a Canadian winter.

TDC
02-22-2016, 04:42 PM
Old news. Cheques have been received as far as back as 10 days ago. Dump your garbage optics folks and start again..

TDC

blacksmithden
02-22-2016, 04:46 PM
I can tell you this from personal experience. A 20 degree temperature change and corresponding air density change can make a huge difference in impact points.....I love sighting in my scope DURING a match...NOT. Live and learn.

RangeBob
02-22-2016, 09:15 PM
Andray & Blacksmithden, or anyone

So what are you using instead of Eotech?
(e.g. Aimpoint Comp M4S, Elcan SpecterOS3.4x )

The latest Eotech's they're talking about 1 to 5MOA.
The Aimpoint Comp M4S advertises as 2MOA, Aimpoint Micro H-1 as 4 MOA.


Will the HWS hold zero as temperature changes?

EOTech’s sights experience a point of impact shift away from the point of aim when the sight is exposed to a temperature different from the temperature at which the sight was zeroed. After zeroing the sight at or near ambient temperature (73°F), the zero position will shift during operating temperature changes. The sight has the potential to shift approximately +/- 5 Minutes of Angle (“MOA”) at -40°F and 122°F. Due to thermal drift, the sight may not return to zero. The sights have the potential of approximately a +/- 2 MOA zero shift upon return to ambient (73°F) after being exposed to any temperature between -40°F and 122°F.

This shift results from natural thermal expansion or contraction that is present in various materials as they are heated or cooled, and is greater the more extreme the temperature change. For example, when a sight is zeroed at 70˚ F then acclimated to 50˚ F, less shift will occur. On the other hand, if zeroed at 70˚ F, then acclimated to 0˚ F, more shift occurs. The shift may not be significant to shooters who use their sights at close-quarters ranges. For instance, 5 MOA is a shift of 1.25 inches at 25 yards, and is 5 inches at 100 yards. It also is worth noting that thermal effects are evidenced to varying degrees in common optics, as well as in rifle barrels and ammunition as the environmental conditions change. In all events, to achieve optimum accuracy, the sight zero should be verified whenever the sight is exposed to marked temperature changes, and the sight should be re-zeroed as necessary. For more information on this issue, please click here.

Does the HWS have parallax?

All optics experience varying degrees of parallax depending on use and operating conditions. Parallax is an apparent change in the point of aim resulting from a change in the position of the shooter. EOTech’s sights have little parallax when the reticle is in the center of the viewing window, which is the optimum sighting position and also is the correct place for zeroing the sight. On the other hand, if the user is looking through the sight at the outer edge of the sight window – an off-axis view – the parallax error might be up to 4±3 MOA (or a total of 14 MOA across the viewing window) at 71˚ F (for a sight properly zeroed). In other words, parallax can increase as the user’s view approaches the edge of the EOTech viewing window. To put this possible amount of off-axis error into perspective, 7 MOA equates to 1.75 inches at 25 yards or 7 inches at 100 yards. Viewing through the center of the window achieves the least parallax error. Parallax may increase as temperature changes from 71˚ F. At operating temperature extremes of -40˚ F or 122˚ F, there may be an additional 4 MOA of parallax. For more information on this issue, please click here.

http://www.eotechinc.com/hws-service-and-support/faq

bettercallsaul
02-23-2016, 08:50 AM
On the plus side, anyone who's into 3-gun or even Airsoft might be able to get some discount optics. I wouldn't trust Eotech for serious applications anymore, but for fun & games they should still be just fine.

TDC
02-23-2016, 06:15 PM
Andray & Blacksmithden, or anyone

So what are you using instead of Eotech?
(e.g. Aimpoint Comp M4S, Elcan SpecterOS3.4x )

The latest Eotech's they're talking about 1 to 5MOA.
The Aimpoint Comp M4S advertises as 2MOA, Aimpoint Micro H-1 as 4 MOA.

Have a look over here eotechlawsuit.com. They have all the information regarding the failures and the court documents from the US Gov vs L3/EOTech lawsuit. The shift that Eotech admits to in your link is what they want you to focus on, which they admit to as between 2-6 MOA, not five. What they don't want to talk about is how the sight is not sealed from the elements and reticle fade or failure is common. They also don't want you to know about the failure to return to zero after the optic has experienced "thermal drift" can be as much as 2 MOA. Nor do they want you to know that the parallax error can be as much as 4 MOA, and that has nothing to do with temps. That is all about head position and reticle position within the viewing screen. So Add that up, 6 moa for "thermal drift", another 2 MOA for failure to return to zero, plus the possibility of a 4 MOA parallax error from reticle position. I come up with a worst case scenario of 12 MOA, and that's if the reticle hasn't faded or disappeared.

By all means, let me drop $800 for a sight that doesn't work as advertised with known defects dating back to 2006. The answer is Aimpoint and has been for decades. Parallax is an issue with all optics, but EOTech marketed theirs as "parallax free" which is a lie. I'm sure you'll see POI shift with other reddot type optics, but thus far none have proven to be as bad as EOTech.

TDC

RangeBob
02-23-2016, 07:36 PM
and that's if the reticle hasn't faded or disappeared.
I haven't heard of reticle fading problems, at least none not related to battery life or extreme sunlight.

Several people still swear by their Eotechs, for non-professional use.


admit to as between 2-6 MOA, not five

The 6MOA error seemed to be for the older models, whereas the 5MOA seemed to be Eotech's position on their models manufactured after 2014.

There's this from elsewhere:


There is another thread that explains the issues, but to answer your questions:

It affects all the sights, including the latest ones. There does not appear to be a fix for the issues at this time, and given that the issues are a result of the technology, unless there is a major advance in holographic laser technology, or L3/Eotech change to a different technology, there is unlikely to be a fix.

It is also a mistaken belief that it only occurs at temperature extremes, as shifts of 2 to 6 MOA due to thermal drift can occur within the given temperature range, and paralax error up to 12 MOA at 0C and 20 MOA at -15C can occur.

What does it mean for someone who only takes their gun to the range? You may have to re-zero it whenever you go to the range. If you hunt with the sight, it could result in a missed shot, or a wounded animal.

Whether you can live with that is up to you. You currently have the option to return the sight to the manufacturer for a full refund plus $15 shipping.

Some people are returning their sights, because they have experienced issues, some because they no longer work, some because they can get more for the sight than they paid for it, some because they want to try something different, and some because they believe that the company committed an inexcusable act by knowingly selling faulty sights to people who put their lives on the line for their country and fellow citizens.

TDC
02-24-2016, 05:19 AM
I haven't heard of reticle fading problems, at least none not related to battery life or extreme sunlight.

Several people still swear by their Eotechs, for non-professional use.



The 6MOA error seemed to be for the older models, whereas the 5MOA seemed to be Eotech's position on their models manufactured after 2014.

There's this from elsewhere:

Just because you haven't seen the issues listed above does not mean they aren't happening. Anyone foolish enough to keep a high dollar optic that DOES NOT WORK as indicated my the MANUFACTURER is fair game for open mockery. EOTech/L3 is offering a full refund to everyone with one of their POS products. You'd have to be a fool not to cash in and start again with a clean slate and a full wallet.

Dig around online and have a look at the goat roping show that has been going on for nearly 8 months now. EOTech's largest distributor told them to get stuffed late last year as they apparently had not had communications form EOTech since April of 2015. LE departments are wising up and dumping them by the truck load. EOTech apparently is receiving two plus USPS truckloads per day of returns. The EOTech lawsuit site is very clear in describing the issues and what EOTech knew about for nearly a decade but failed to disclose or fix. Selling optics to LE and MIL who's lives are at stake while knowing your optics do not perform as advertised is some shallow sh*t. I for one will never buy another EOTech product on that fact alone.

TDC

Fanta
08-29-2017, 01:48 PM
Are there any optics that don't (actually) have these issues under such extreme temperatures?

mtlgun
08-29-2017, 06:07 PM
Supposedly the new EO has solved all of this. The only legacy issue is that it's still in the 600 hour range for batteries compared to 2k+ for most of the others. That said it has the biggest and brightest dot on the market so you have to pick your trade off.

shootemup604
08-29-2017, 10:52 PM
Are there any optics that don't (actually) have these issues under such extreme temperatures?

Non-holographic optics for one.

Fanta
08-30-2017, 06:11 AM
Non-holographic optics for one.

So basically anyone purchasing a holographic optic can expect this behavior?