Holosun 503gu Review: Is it Solid?

Holosun 503gu Review: Is it Solid?

The Holosun 503gu is a budget-friendly red dot option for those who want the best bang for their buck. It offers ridiculous battery life, multiple build options for any type of optic you need, and they have proven to be tough. Very tough. When you get the optic at this price point, I think it’s one of the best budget optics you can get. Let’s explore the Holosun 503gu:

Top down view before it got muddy. Also, the turret cap hit a rock hard. Nothing happened other than exposed metal. Optic functions perfectly.

Top-down view before it got muddy. Also, the turret cap hit a rock hard. Nothing happened other than exposed metal. Optic functions perfectly.

General Thoughts:

The finish and overall quality of this optic are nice… well was nice before I abused it. The abuse that it has taken has been more than what the durability test was. It has held up very well since purchase. The dot itself can be more noticeably blurry if you have the brightness too high for the environment you’re shooting in, but this is an expected problem with all red dots. The turret caps and battery cap are smooth to get off and put on. The caps aren’t tethered so don’t lose them. The turrets require a little effort to adjust with the caps and they’re very tactile as you can feel the clicks and hear them very easily which I appreciate. In the box, Holosun includes a cleaning cloth, lens covers as well as a high mount and low mount. They also include a battery, Torx key and instruction manual. The glass is very clear and there is no noticeable tint. 


This model is equipped with motion-activated technology that has not failed me yet, but you can also disable that feature if you don’t like it. They have red dot and green dot options as well as just a dot or a circle dot Eotech-ish reticle. Then they have so many options to configure the body of the optic and each modification is model number followed by a letter. My favorite is the protected turrets as noted by the U in the model. They raised the body of the optic around the turret caps to protect them from almost any fall damage which has come in handy. The Holosun optics also have marked turret caps to remind you which way to turn for adjustments. They’re both marked up/r clockwise and the caps have a little slot to put in the turret, so they also act as your adjustment tool. This optic, as well as any of their micro-dots if not all of their rifle optics, offer a 50k hour battery life. Having that on top of an auto on/off will give you many years of battery life. 

Durability Test:

Holosun after being thrown into the ground

Holosun after being thrown into the ground. A LOT.

For the durability test on this optic, I have put about 750-1000 rounds through this optic which has been mounted on an ultimate on my PSAK GEN 3. It has gotten nice and hot and has maintained zero the whole time. For the most part, this gun and optic have just been abused. It’s an AK and I treat it like it’s a POS. I toss it, I throw it around, I drop it, I don’t care what happens to it. It has taken many rides in a truck bed up logging roads under and on top of gear getting banged around. The Holosun still held zero. I was bored the last time I went shooting, so since the weather drastically changed from the last time I shot it, I wanted to check the zero. it was still dead on with my 36 yard zero. Since I was bored, I THREW my rifle and noted the front sight took most of the impact, so I threw it again and dragged it out if the bushes. I threw it off the small hill onto the road. Picked it up and threw it on the optic specifically. Tested zero, it didn’t move. Threw it a few more times and there was no noticeable shift. Just to make sure that was the case, I shot it out to 300 yards with zero issues. I trust this optic. Holosun 503gu Elite. 

Circle dot reticle option

Circle dot reticle option

2 MOA dot option

2 MOA dot option

Personal testimony

Having used this optic for the last year exclusively on my AK, I can say that it has never lost its zero, never not turned on with the motion-activated technology, and has not failed me in any way. It has been dropped, and it frequently bounces around in my car or the back of a truck, falls over, and takes the recoil of the 7.62 AK on an ultimak gas tube very well. The Holosun 503gu Elite is my first Optic from Holosun, but it will not be my last. Between all the features and designs anyone can want and at a price point, anyone can afford. It’s no wonder why they are so popular. 

Would I recommend it? Absolutely. I trust it completely

This optic just looks good on the AK!

This optic just looks good on the AK!

Disclaimer: New Rifleman LLC has had no contact with HOLOSUN and no financial relationship with Holosun. If you are interested in purchasing a 503gu please stop by Brownells and purchase one through this link. We will get a small commission from Brownells if you do which we will use to pay our authors, blog bills, and webmaster. Thanks. Your humble guide – Lothaen OUT!

Written by D.S.


  1. Mark H · May 7, 2020

    Well then, I’d say this was an abusive article lol. I suppose “I” (if I were WANTING to buy ‘Chinese’) would be more apt to “trust” a NEW model of the 503gu…THAT one, not so much. Yeah, it’s held up quite well, and ready to ‘give out’ ANY day now.

    • D.S. · May 10, 2020

      While I normally would agree that ‘Chinese’ is a bad thing, it 100% depends on the product. I would be willing to bet that however you commented on this post about my optic being ready to ‘give out’ any day now, was made in China. Be it a computer or smart phone. I used to think that anything made in China was junk. But once I took a step back and remembered all of the electronics that China makes, I decided that I should just get over myself and buy whatever works.

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