Review - EOTECH Magnifier G33
History of EOTECH
In 1972 the Environmental Research Institute of Michigan (ERIM) was created from military and environmental research. Fast forward to 1995, EOTECH was created by ERIM, its' purpose was to apply holographic technology to firearms sights. Over the decades, EOTECH has garnered support from across the globe from the Military, LEA (Law Enforcement Agencies) and Civilians (competition shooters and home defence). EOTECH sells and prides itself on optics that deliver unparalleled speed, accuracy and reliability.
For more info - visit EOTech website.
EOTECH is a familiar name to those that utilise weapons sights. It's a name synonymous with quality, battle tested equipment and is used globally by elite forces, and their customer base is built upon a strong reputation and strong track record. EOTECH have primarily focussed on military and LEA applications of their products and there are now a number of available models (covered in detail below).
So why EOTECH and why now? The operators within SEAL Team use an EOTECH on the majority of their weapons systems and in particular they use the EXPS3-0 variant due to;
A) night vision compatibility - the team have on numerous occasions used the EXPS3-0 in a night time environment and again the dual use provides the team, double the benefits for no extra rail space cost or additional equipment requiring to be carried or afixed such as a NV sight.
B) only have a requirement for one dot reticle - as the team operate at general close quarters (sub 200 yards / 182 metres) no need for 2+ dot reticles for longer distances which keeps sight picture clearer.
C) in use by personnel of USSOCOM (U.S. Special Operations Command) - this therefore solidifies its place on the show in use by SEAL Team as a real steel item.
In addition to the EXPS3-0 in Season 1, the team did utilise the EOTECH Magnifier G33 although this disappeared fairly quickly due to the fact that the team were working generally with short engagement distances (point B above) therefore there was no further requirement for the G33.
EOTech HWS Models
EOTECH currently produces 4 variants of the Magnifier. The main differences between the models are;
Magnification - 3x - 5x
Eye relief - 55.8mm - 67mm
Field of view - 4.4° - 7.5°
Country of origin - China vs USA
The below chart is the latest line of Magnifiers available.
All of the Magnifiers feature key characteristics that are consistent across any of the Magnifier models. EOTECH again provide a simplistic infographic relating to important parts.
Herein lies the product description from the website;
Chosen and trusted by tip-of-the-spear U.S Armed Forces, our battle-tested G33™ Magnifier mounts directly behind an EOTECH Holographic Weapon Sight (HWS). Delivers fast transitioning from 3X to 1X, tool-free vertical and horizontal adjustments, larger field-of-view, and an adjustable diopter for improved, precise focusing. When used with HWS Models 518, 558, and EXPS (with side-button interface), the user can easily operate the sight even with the magnifier engaged.
Included in the box:
Switch To Side (STS) mount
Product registration card
Fixed Magnification - 3X
Length/Width/Height - 3.9”x 2.2"x 3.3" (99 x 55.9 x 83.9 mm)
Eye Relief - 2.2” (55.8 mm)
Field of View - 7.3°
Sealing - Fog resistant internal optics
Country of Origin - Assembled in USA
Warranty - EOTECH guarantees every product to be free from manufacturing defects in material and workmanship under normal use for a period of ten (10) years from the manufacturer’s date or customer’s proof of purchase. See EOTECH's Prestige Warranty details for more information.
The G33 arrived in a plastic hard case enveloped in a card exterior. The case measures 9 x 16 x 19 cm (H x W x L) and weighs 576g in total (193g case + 28g card sleeve + 220g G33 + 84g STS Mount + 19g 7mm riser & 4x screws + 32g ancillaries). The card exterior was printed with all of the model technical specifications and information on it. The top sported the EOTECH logo and sight information. The rear contained further technical information with the front and rear of the card detailing the product in general.
Removing the card exterior, the sight was packaged within a black tough plastic case to protect the sight. The top of the box has a raised EOTECH logo which is the only exterior detail. The case is opened as shown in the second image below by pulling the ridged tabs on the left and right outwards releasing the locking mechanism. Of note is that 1 or 2 padlocks can be afixed through the holes next to the tabs again adding another layer of security / deterrence. The left and right side of the box both have stickers attached; one detailing the product model, barcode and base information, the sticker on the other side reminds users that the item is only exported from the US under specific usage rules.
This case is a standard one used by EOTECH in which the majority of their products are shipped as when it comes to size, the interior with the packing foam can comfortably accommodate the smaller or larger magnifiers and ancillaries.
The plastic interior is basic, containing removable foam and is split in two; base tray and upper cover. The interior base tray is designed to enable it to house a multitude of EOTECH products with the foam specifically cut for the G33 magnifier. The foam in the base allows the G33 to be fitted, and provides 3x additional spaces. Parts included within the box are;
STS Mount (QD lever)
4x screws (2x 15mm, 2x 8mm)
Behind the removable foam of the upper cover are 3 cards; operators instruction card, warranty card, disclaimer and an EOTECH sticker. An electronic version of the instruction manual can be found here - G33 Product Manual (PDF).
G33 exterior in detail
The individual parts that make up the G33 are manufactured using high grade materials with the main body of the G33 manufactured using high grade metal which is protected and encased within a rubberised outer sleeve. The sleeve is designed to prevent damage to the glass interior and also provide a non-slip surface which the operator can hold onto when flipping the magnifier into the engaged / disengaged position.
H / W (rear sight window) 3cm
H / W (front sight window) 2.7cm
The G33 weighs a total of 220g
In it's entirety the sight can be broken down into 3 parts; outer sleeve, main body and lenses. The exterior of the G33 is simple with the rubberised outer sleeve bearing the EOTECH name on both the left and right hand side. Two holes (1 on top, 1 on right hand side) allow the 2 adjustment dials (vertical on top and horizontal on the right) to be accessible. The sleeve is contoured at the rear providing horizontal ridges that the user can grip onto in either wet conditions or when wearing gloves to provide purchase when flipping the magnifier. The main body again is simple with the product scannable barcode laser engraved onto the front left hand side and the underside housing the two screw holes for attaching the G33 to the STS. The lens apertures are manufactured from toughened glass with the interior of the sight sealed and filled with nitrogen to prevent fogging and condensation build up.
On the underside of the Magnifier behind the STS mounting plate as shown in the ninth image below, there are 2 screws which aid in identifying the product as genuine, with 1 of the screws enabling the functionality of a nitrogen purge.
The exterior of the G33 in short is plain and unassuming, designed for ease of use in a multitude of environments.
STS exterior in detail
The STS is manufactured using high grade anodized metal and has 2 primary functions; provide a secure attachment position for the G33 onto the rifle and to enable the user to flip the magnifier into the engaged or disengaged position. Simplistically it can be broken into three parts; connection plate, QD lever (inc. spring, lever and button) and the STS main body. The STS is also ambidextrous in that it give the user a choice for the magnifier to either be flipped to the left or right.
Height 3cm (folded) - 5.4cm (flipped)
The STS weighs a total of 84g
STS disengaged (open)
In this position the magnifier would be flipped to either the left or right hand side. Of note is that the connection plate is tough to flip into either position without the G33 magnifier attached and whilst stiff it does ensure that the product does not feel like it'll wear down or loosen over time.
STS engaged (closed)
In this position the G33 magnifier is engaged and held in position by the STS. Without the magnifier attached the connection plate does not move or wobble.
The QD function enables the STS to be quickly attached and unattached from the rifle. The STS as mentioned can be fitted to the left or right side. The QD lever is held locked in place by a small grooved button that must be pressed in prior to pulling the QD lever outwards and forwards. Doing this will disengage the locking mechanism and allow the STS to be removed.
The riser is a small piece of metal with the simple function of enabling the magnifier to be used with QD variants of the Holographic Weapon Sight (HWS). Any HWS fitted with a QD lever is raised an additional 7mm due to the HWS being seated on top of the QD mechanism. The riser is designed to add 7mm height to the STS when in the engaged position ensuring that the magnifier when in the engaged position sits correctly behind the HWS. If using the magnifier without a QD variant of the HWS, the riser is not needed.
The Riser weighs a total of 19g
Installing the G33 magnifier onto the STS
To install the G33 magnifier onto the STS you will require; G33, STS, 2x 15mm screws, a + screwdriver and riser.
The underside of the riser can be seen to have a central ridge and when looking at the STS it can be seen where the two slot together as shown in the second image. Once slotted together you can insert the screws through the STS connection plate and riser. As shown in the sixth image below, in this configuration, the magnifier will flip to the right hand side. In the seventh image the magnifier will flip to the left hand side. Holding the G33 in position against the riser you can screw the two parts together. It's advised to tighten until hand tight and provide an extra 1/4 turn. When fully tightened the G33 should not wobble or move at all.
STS disengaged (open)
As shown in the images below, the magnifier was configured to flip to the right hand side. When fixed together both components feel solidly connected and when moving into the engaged (closed) position it continues to feel solid. As expected, the weight of the system pulls to the right hand side which may slightly affect the weapons weight.
STS engaged (closed)
In the engaged position the magnifier will seat correctly behind the HWS. When in this position the weight will be central to the rifle.
G33 & STS Combined Measurements
Without 7mm riser
The G33 and STS together weigh a total of 304g (+21g if riser & 2x screws are used)
Operating the STS
To use the STS, the operator takes a firm grip of the rubberised outer cover and pulls either to the left or right hand side to disengage the magnifier.
To engage the magnifier, the operator again grips the outer cover and pushes it towards the rifle.
Fitting the G33 & STS to a rifle
The G33 magnifier is simple to install onto the rifle rail and can be fitted using the STS to a 1" Weaver rail or MIL-STD-1913 rail. In the images below I have used the G33 coupled with a replica EOTECH HWS. Once installed and the STS QD lever is engaged and then tightened, the G33 feels entirely secure and does not wobble or cause any concern especially regarding disengaging.
Maintenance of the G33 or indeed any sight is critically important to ensure it's serviceable, functioning and free of defects, especially if deploying to a hostile environment. EOTECH advise the following for maintenance of the XPS3;
Cleaning is limited to exterior of sight
Fingerprints and lubricants can be removed using a lens cloth or soft cotton cloth
Never clean lens with dry cloth or paper towel
Exterior can be wiped using water based cleaner such as; glass cleaner, ammonia or soap and water
If sight becomes wet or submerged, remove excess water droplets and allow to dry naturally
Thoughts and opinion
Weapon sights by themselves provide an advantage to the operator. Combined with magnifiers, Night Vision or Thermal scopes they can critically enhance the operators ability to identify and neutralise threats before they can become a major threat. Magnifiers fit a market and demand is always present for them.
The G33 Magnifier is in a box exactly what is required for any magnifier and certainly sets a standard amongst the market. Being lightweight, made of very few parts and being tried and tested puts this above a lot of other magnifiers that will likely break, shatter or shy away from a rough experience. As stated on the G33 product page on EOTECHs website, this is 'the only magnifier approved and under contract with USSOCOM' showing how trusted and proven they are. If a magnifier is required, I certainly advise to look at the G33 or one of the other EOTECH magnifier variants as though pricey will not fail you when you need them most.
Combined with the EXPS3-0 HWS it provides an edge and effectively enables magnification change at the simple push of the optic. The ability to choose from 4 magnifier variants manufactured by EOTECH is a bonus, however the G33 fits what I required to compliment the continued progress towards a screen accurate SEAL Team loadout.
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I am not paid for my blogs by the manufacturers or companies that I purchase my items from. I am not offered freebies to promote a product. These blogs are purely written from my own experience in truth to help advise and inform others who may wish to purchase the items or understand more about them. If I am sent a freebie to review this will be stated at the beginning to make you aware.