Either for hunting, sporting purposes, or target shooting, looking through a magnifier scope gives us not only a closer look at our target but also it gives us more accuracy. Aiming via a dot reticle scope alone is not enough in some use cases. Typical magnifiers in the market have magnification that ranges from 1x to 3x which is enough for most shooters’ needs.
In this article, we are going to look through the scopes of two respectable companies – the HM3X from HOLOSUN and Micro from Vortex Optics. These are two very reliable 3x magnifiers that you can add to your arsenal while not adding more weight to your guns. We will compare their similarities and differences, list their strengths and weaknesses in the pros and cons section, and draw out our conclusions in the final verdict.
HOLOSUN HM3X vs Vortex Optics Micro – Similarities
All specifications and features of the HOLOSUN HM3X and Vortex Optics Micro are in a side by side chart.
Vortex Optics Micro
|Material and Finish||Anodized Aluminum||Machined Aluminum|
|Eye Relief||2.75 inches||2.64 inches|
|Magnification Type||Fixed Magnification||Fixed Magnification|
|Length||3.9 inches||2.9 inches|
|Weight||11.6 oz.||9.55 oz|
|Linear Field of View||37 ft at 100 yds||38.2 feet at 100 yds|
|Angular Field of View||7 Degrees||7.28 Degrees|
|Water Resistance||Yes, IP67 Certification||Yes|
|Included Accessories||QD Mount and Spacer||Rubber lens cover, lens cloth, 3mm Hex tool, lower 1/3 co-witness shim|
|Price||Check Price on Amazon||Check Price on Amazon|
As you already know, both the HOLOSUN HM3X and Vortex Optics Micro are magnifier scopes with 3 times magnification. They have slightly deviated eye relief and fields of view which will be discussed in their ‘difference’ section. They have fixed magnifications so you cannot adjust their zooming capabilities. Even though it is very minimal, the parallax effect is present in both scopes. You will get used to it in no time, however.
Build and Finish
Both 3x magnifier scopes are built out of aluminum so you know that both are sturdy and lightweight at the same time. Although both are arguably lightweight, there is still a weight difference between these scopes. But they are considered lightweight, nonetheless. Moreover, both have a quick detach/disconnect mount with a snug fit. The HM3X and Micro have flip-out design mechanism so you can change from no magnification to 3x magnification on the fly. Since both are ambidextrous, both flip-out mechanism can be reversed for left-handed people.
Water-resistance or any kind of resistance important especially when hunting out in the open while snowing or drizzling. Fortunately for both scopes, they have water resistance. However, the HM3X only has the IP67 certification. Nevertheless, both scopes can handle water splashes. Aside from that, both are suitable to use even in tough weather conditions due to their weather and fog resistance. On top of all that, due to their sturdy construction, both scopes are also shockproof.
HOLOSUN HM3X vs Vortex Optics Micro – Differences
Length and Weight
How much a scope weighs is an important number since it affects your shooting performance and the overall experience. Its length is partially related to how much a scope weighs.
The HOLOSUN HM3X has a significantly longer body. Consequently, it added significant weight to it. The HM3X sits at 3.9 inches in length and 11.6 oz. in weight.
Vortex Optics Micro
Vortex Optics called it ‘Micro’ because it is indeed a micro-size with only 2.9 inches in length. It also has a considerably lower weight at only 9.55 oz. which most shooters prefer. Due to its shorter length and light body, the Vortex Optics Micro wins this category.
The Winner Is- Vortex Optics Micro
Eye relief is the comfortable distance between the rear-end of the scope and your eye in which you can see clearly. This number is very important since it can affect how comfortable you can use your guns.
The HOLOSUN HM3X has slightly longer eye relief at 2.75 inches. Therefore, you can aim more comfortably with HM3X. Moreover, this longer eye relief translates to a more natural shooting position. At the end of the day, it boils down to your preference regarding eye relief.
Vortex Optics Micro
The Vortex Optics Micro has a shorter eye relief of 2.64 inches. Due to this, there is a possibility of eye contact. This can be particularly hazardous due to the recoil of your gun. Having 2.64 inches of eye relief is still far enough to raise some issues. However, one thing that a shorter eye relief falls short on is having less surrounding awareness especially when only a single eye was used.
The Winner Is- It’s A Tie
Field of View
The field of view of a magnifier scope refers to how much area you can see while looking through it. Let’s see how they fare.
The HM3X has an inferior field of view, overall. Upon looking at the scope, only 37 feet wide can be seen through it at a 100-yard distance. This can be attributed to its lower angular field of view at only 7 degrees. Although this is the case, the glass used by HOLOSUN in the HM3X is excellent, especially at this price point.
Vortex Optics Micro
When looking through the Vortex Optics Micro, you will notice how large the silhouette is. This is because all of its construction is rigid. While the Vortex Optics Micro has a shorter and lighter body, it has a wider field of view compared with the HM3X. With its marginally larger 7.28 degrees angular field of view, you can see 38.2 feet wide at a 100-yard distance. On top of that, the image is sharp, clear, and bright.
The Winner Is- Vortex Optics Micro
Pros and Cons
The pros and cons of the HOLOSUN HM3X and the Vortex Optics Micro will help us to determine which is the better option.
- HOLOSUN used an excellent glass that produced a clear image.
- Both magnifier scopes have great quick detach mount with flip action.
- With the great performance of the HOLOSUN HM3X, it is unbeatable for the price.
- It has slightly longer eye relief.
- Although the flip mechanism is great, its hinge is not that robust and may flip out accidentally.
Vortex Optics Micro
- The Vortex Optics Micro is preferred by most because it is shorter and more compact than the HM3X.
- It is aluminum construction, and a shorter frame gives it a lighter body.
- You can see more with the Micro due to its wider field of view.
- Expectedly, it is more expensive due to its better specs in every aspect.
The Final Verdict:
Vortex Micro 3x Magnifier vs Holosun Magifier
If you are looking for a 3x magnifier scope that will supplement your dot reticle scope, both the HOLOSUN HM3X and Vortex Optics Micro are great for that. The Vortex Micro is better in every category you throw at it, but it is expectedly more expensive. If you want the best out of your money, I recommend picking up the HOLOSUN HM3X instead.
A Real Shooter Reviews a Holosun Magnifier
George P – Harrisburg, PA
Before I start getting into the specifics just admire what you’re looking at because once I flip this magnifier down everything’s going to change. This magnifier is the holosun hm3x sent by Alex Purlow. He sent this as well as the holosun 503g with the acss reticle, both use red dot sights.
Now that the magnifier is down, we can zoom in a little bit and you are going to see right off the bat that this thing is sharp clear and beautiful. Everything about this magnifier I’m gonna say right now is absolutely worth its price tag. The first thing we’re going to focus on is this power transformer roughly 30 yards away. With the magnifier out you can clearly see that it is nice and sharp once you bring the magnifier back over. Look at how clear everything looks with the red dot sights.. Yes, at the very very top the cables get a little bit out of focus but really that’s a super nitpick. I feel in this case primarily because of how close we are but once we go up top you can see there’s very little distortion when we go across those cables. If there was any sort of fish eyeing you would see those cables start to droop. Also, keep in mind 30 yards is so close you’ll probably never need to use a magnifier. However, if it is needed for whatever reason you can and it’s going to be sharp as well.
Everything beyond that tree line is probably 250 yards. The barn door is roughly 400 yards away and those power transformers in the back are about 800 yards away. Due to a corrupt video file this was taken a week after that video. We’re still looking through the hmx 3x but what we’re about to do is look through the vortex micro 3x sent in by Scott Fischer several weeks earlier. Now, take note of how the viewport is to what it is now despite the fact these eye reliefs are fairly similar the viewport through the micro 3x is much smaller. plus you see a lot more of the body of the micro 3x as opposed to the hmx 3x from holosun. I was not expecting this because there’s a discrepancy between these two going back to the hm3x. Look at how much better the image looks! It’s actually a little bit brighter. I feel the colors might be a little bit better than it is on the vortex. This hmx 3x is only two hundred dollars more than the micro 3x 300. I don’t care who you are, a hundred dollars is a lot of money.
So now we’re looking at the hm3x again through the 503. When you want to see more of that go watch the 503g review, but now we’re going to switch over to the 512. The reason for this is that I want you to see what the magnifier looks like through different style optics. This being a very large window similar to something you would see from eotech i want to see if there’s any problems. None whatsoever! The image through it is beautiful, with a slight blue tint, but that’s due to the 512. Also note that the dot in the middle is not again a dot, it’s oblong proving once and for all that the 512 is at fault now.
Switching on over to the strike fire 2. Take note of how small the viewport is and where the red dot is located: up and slightly off center. Once we flip the magnifier down like you’re about to see it’s freaking gorgeous! So the height difference between the strikefire and this magnifier are slightly different when you get behind it like this. It doesn’t really matter. There’s roughly a 3/16ths of an inch height difference between how the strike fire 2 is mounted and the atrium 3x. Its excellent optics are perfect but more on that good news later.
Sticking with the strikefire 2 i’m going to give you an idea of what the box looks like. Sadly, one of the videos that I had shown you previously cannot be found, and that magnifier has already been sent back to Alex. You’ll notice that there’s a slight parallax shift, and the red dot does do a little bit of dancing. Honestly, that is nothing out of the ordinary. That was with the red dot mounted as close to the magnifier as possible. Now there’s about a two inch gap in between it. Yes, we can see a little bit of the top of the red dot but that’s because the height difference between the two three sixteenths is a lot especially when you get really far out,but shifting it side to side no issues whatsoever. If the red dot was the same height as the magnifier this would be a non-issue entirely. Excellent performance here.
We are again with the holosun red dot sight mounted close back to the magnifier. It is evening now and it looks great. This is as good as it’s going to get as far as me filming in these conditions. This is low light, the sun has already gone down, only a couple hours of daylight left. You can clearly see that this thing is still bright and very usable. From there we’re going to go to a known distance again 50 yards. My home away from home again! We’re going to start by looking through the 503g acs. If you want to see more on that go check because I go really in depth on both that optic and this magnifier. You will see a lot more of those two specific combinations. This is what Alex had sent in and together they work out phenomenally well. The picture is perfect! It is sharp, just look at that concrete wall. You are looking about 15 yards away and it is sharp and focused even that close in. It really boggles my mind that magnifiers can do this, and yet other optics such as lpvos struggle a little bit.
Switching it over to the holosun red dot sight now with its durable aluminum housing and flip to side mount and you’ll notice the blue tint right away. Again that’s an attribute of the 512, but other than that I have no complaints whatsoever. Coming up right now is the strike fire 2. Take a look real good through this small port. See how much of the wall you can see and the paper target, and a tiny section of that wall. Once I flip the magnifier over nothing has changed except adding the magnifier. What’s gonna happen blows my freaking mind! Look at how much more of the wall you can see and look at that, you are able to see two paper targets not just one. This magnifier works so damn good that it actually gives you better viewing through a red dot than you would normally see.
That’s incredibly cool and all for 200 bucks! Now, I know what you’re all thinking. Yes, that’s fantastic, but how does the windage and elevation track? Well I sped the section up because it’s boring as watching grass grow. You should make note of the fact that it tracks perfectly fine. All we are doing now is adjusting the windage and elevation. The nice thing about having a magnifier is you don’t need to have very precise mechanisms for your windage and elevation for adjustments. All you are trying to do is get the red dot in the middle, or in this case the acss reticle as perfectly as you can on the center of the magnifier. Now when the reticle goes all the way up, the bottom of the magnifier is going to get dark. What you’re seeing there is actually the body of the red dot itself, so you have a ton of adjustability here and still be able to use it in case for whatever reason you wanted to shift it more to one side or up and down. You know you have that flexibility with this magnifier.
Now how does it handle really bright illumination? The 512 gets stupid bright and as you can see it handles it pretty well. You can still see clearly through it even when we pull it to the side. Here’s something that you might not have thought about. Someone actually asked me in the comments section about my last magnifier. Can you use a magnifier with a prism? Well, this is my two cents on that. Actually, yes you can. It is kind of weird to see that. I don’t know why you would do that but if you’re questioning it, yes you can.
Also, one thing about adjusting the elevation and windage on this magnifier. It’s extremely difficult so do it as a last resort. You can use the little tool that they include, but get a screwdriver… it makes your life a lot easier.
Let’s get to my final thoughts. So this holosun hm3x was sent in by my friend Julian. He sent this in with the 503. If you haven’t seen that review check it out. Actually, I will leave it that right there because that’s gonna bring up a good point. This thing for two hundred dollars is outstanding. The mount isn’t as nice as the vortexes but you know what, it works well enough. It’s got a pretty cool tool for your adjuster for your elevation and your windage, but keep in mind these are very very tight and this is going to hurt your fingers a lot if you have to make huge adjustments with the matte black finish flip. So I am going to put that right back there and use that only for emergencies which hopefully would never come about. For just 200 bucks you’re getting generous eye relief, crystal clear glass, and a decent mount. It just works, this thing is a no-brainer.
I have some other reviews coming in for two Primary Arms magnifiers, both of them 3x’s with an adjustable diopter ring and absolute co witness. I will say right now as a bit of a sneak peek go with this one if you want to get your hands on a real budget friendly magnifier. This thing again for 200 bucks is truly hard to beat. It has all the features that you want and it comes ready to go right out of the box. The one thing I will say is that it does not have a thin enough spacer with this setup to line up perfectly with this. You can see how much lower it is right there and with the spacer it sits too high. So that’s the one flaw I could find. Despite the fact that these don’t line up properly, this still works perfectly fine. The image behind that red dot is very sharp and clear edge to edge. The center is perfect, as are the colors and resolution. Everything about this is well worth its price tag, so if you want to get into a lower to mid tier priced magnifier I think this is a really good choice.
A huge thank you to Patreon provider Alex for sending this in for review. I am so happy that I finally got to get my hands on another magnifier with generous eye relief and crystal clear glass that I really liked. The only caveat I had with the micro 3x was the generous eye relief was really short. This seems to be a little more forgiving as it has a little bit more distance behind it with the desired focus and it is less expensive as well. What else could you really want?
|holosun red dot sight||durable aluminum housing|
|flip to side mount||red dot optic|
|adjustable diopter ring||absolute co witness|
|quick detach mount||matte black finish flip|
HOLOSUN HM3X vs Vortex Optics Micro