Holosun SCRS (Solar Charging Rifle Sight): An In-Depth Review

Have you heard of the SCRS-Solar Charging Rifle Sight? It’s one of Holosun’s newest optics and has excellent potential—not just because of the large window or the perching-style rail mount but because of its solar charging capabilities. Holosun has been making solar failsafe optics for some time now. Most, however, use solar energy to reduce the drain on the battery, not charge it. With the SCRS, you get an optic that runs on solar power and charges an internal battery for use when needed.

Holosun SCRS solar charging optic.
I mounted the Holosun SCRS on a 9mm AR-15 pistol. [Photo: Jason Mosher]
EOTech, Aimpoint, and Trijicon ruled the optics world for quite some time. And while they remain at the top of the food chain in the optics world, things have changed. Choices used to be the best or the knockoffs. This means you could spend some serious cash or waste a little money on a cheap optic. But just like the world of guns, optics saw a revolution in the industry, and we now have quality, budget-friendly optics. Companies like Vortex, Sig Sauer, Steiner, and Holosun have provided us with some great options.

The Holosun SCRS is specifically designed for rifles and other long gun applications. There are multiple mounting positions, but we’ll talk more about that shortly. At first glance, what I like about the SCRS is its size and shape. It has just a little bit of a Trijicon MRO look to it because of the shape of the body. But it’s the mounting bracket that gives it a unique look. Let’s check out the details of the SRCS and see if this could be the next optic for you.

Holosun SCRS-RD Specs:

  • Red Reticle: 2 MOA Dot
  • Three Operating Modes: Auto, Manual, and Lockout
  • Solar Panel & Rechargeable Internal Battery
  • 12 Brightness Settings: 8 DL and 4 NV compatible
  • Parallax Free & Unlimited Eye Relief
  • Holosun 509T Footprint (rifle use only)
  • 63-inch mount included
  • CNC Milled 7075-T6 Aluminum
  • IP67 Waterproof Rating

Is the Holosun SCRS-RD worth the price?

Over the years, Holosun has built a reputation for making quality optics at an affordable price. And by affordable, I mean compared to those top-tier optics mentioned above. You can easily find optics for under $50, but that’s a risky move to make. I wouldn’t place any of those in the “quality” range either. But I also don’t like judging the quality by price alone. So, what makes the Holosun SCRS a quality optic? What I look at is a combination of three things: reputation, specifications, and my own observations.

Holosun SCRS solar charging optic.
Out of the box, you get a mounting bracket, wrench, and sight tool. [Photo: Jason Mosher]
I won’t go into detail about Holosun’s reputation today because, as we all know, the Holosun name is synonymous with quality. A company’s reputation is a good place to start when judging a new product, but it doesn’t mean everything they make is automatically good quality. That’s why I will go to the specifications next and look at the details of the product itself. In this case, we will start with the housing of the SCRS. Holosun used 7075 T6 aluminum for the body of the optic.

Aluminum has become the gold standard for many optics, guns, lasers, and other items that need to be lightweight and durable. The surface has an anodized finish, and the glass is multi-coated. According to Holosun, the working temperature of the SCRS is -22 to 140 degrees. It has a submersion rating of IP67. I like to perform my own tests to see if a company’s claims are true. Here are the details from those tests.

Baking the Holosun SCRS

The first thing I like to do is place the optic on a cookie sheet and bake it in the oven. I set the temperature to the company’s rating, which, in this case, is 140 degrees. Once the oven reached 140 degrees, I left the SCRS in there for 20 minutes. Using gloves, I tried to place it back on the weapon to check its functionality and see if it held a zero. It passed this test with flying colors, as the auto brightness setting worked fine and held zero at 75 yards.

Freezing the SCRS at -22 Degrees

Next is the freezing test, so back off the gun and put it into the freezer for 4 hours. My freezer is set at -6 degrees, so I checked it periodically until it reached that temperature. The glass did fog up a little when it first hit the warm air in my house, but other than that, it was fine. Depending on where you live, freezing may not be an issue. I live in a place where it gets hot and cold, so I want to know if it will function below freezing.

Holosun SCRS solar charging optic.
I froze the SCRS red dot to -6 degrees for several hours. The glass had some fog on the outside, but it functioned correctly. [Photo: Jason Mosher]

Checking the IP67 Water Rating

Lastly, I checked the optic’s water rating, which is IP67. This means it should hold up to complete submersion at 1 meter for 30 minutes. For me, this is plenty of protection for an optic because I could drop it in the water but probably won’t take it for a swim. If you want to go full Commando and swim underwater with your optic, check out Aimpoint or ACOG. I placed the SCRS in a glass of water and left it for 30 minutes.

There were no visible signs of water in the optic, and I cycled through the settings to ensure it functioned properly. With all three tests completed, I placed it back on the 9mm AR-15 pistol and headed to the range again.

Operating the SCRS-RD

There are several features I look for on red dot sights, and the Holosun SCRS-RD has those features. One is the Shake Awake feature, and the other is the auto-brightness setting. With Shake Awake technology, the SCRS will switch to sleep mode after 10 minutes of no movement. At the slightest movement, it turns back on and resumes whatever setting you had it on before it went to sleep. You can also turn the optic off for storage by pressing the + and – buttons simultaneously.

Holosun SCRS solar charging optic.
Holosun SCRS solar charging optic.

The auto brightness setting is one of three available for the SCRS. The other two are manual and lockout modes. In auto brightness mode, the red dot adjusts automatically depending on the amount of light around the optic. In manual mode, you can adjust the brightness of the reticle by pressing the “+” or “-” buttons. There are 12 reticle intensity settings to choose from. Lock-out mode protects the optic from being changed by unintentionally pressing the buttons.

To change between these modes, press and hold the + button for three seconds. The reticle will blink once to let you know it has switched to the next setting. Again, hold the + button for three seconds to exit lock mode and move to auto mode. You can also adjust the sleep mode time from 10 minutes to 1 hour if desired. For this, press and hold the + button for 10 seconds, at which point the reticle will blink. One blink indicates it is set for 10 min, and two blinks indicate 1 hour. Press the + or – button to change settings. Once you are done, press both + and – at the same time to save the setting.

Solar Charging Battery

The solar design of the SCRS is one of the “big deal” features of the optic. Some folks are skeptical, and others are optimistic. I fall into that category of curious and intrigued. An obvious downside to an internal, rechargeable battery is that you can’t replace it if it goes dead. According to Holosun, the optic will run on solar power and charge the battery simultaneously with enough light. When there is insufficient light to power the optic, it will revert to battery storage.

Holosun SCRS solar charging optic.
The SCRS collects energy through the top of the optic and charges the battery. [Photo: Jason Mosher]
In theory, this means you’re fine as long as the optic is periodically exposed to sunlight. For night vision mode, Holosun lists the run time as 50,000 hours. For standard use, the battery run time is listed as “unlimited.” There is a question as to the internal battery life span, but that may not be something we know until the optic has been out long enough to see how well it holds up over time.

Great Price for a Compact Rifle Optic

From initial testing and usage, I like the SCRS red dot. I like the size of the optic, and I’m not against a rechargeable internal battery. The battery life will be my biggest question and something I will be watching for as I continue to use the optic. It comes with three mounting brackets for various options and a set of lens covers. It comes with a limited lifetime warranty, which is voided if used on a handgun.

It’s priced in the $300 range, making it a good deal for an optic that will run without maintenance. If the battery continues to hold a charge year down the road, this optic style may be a game changer. Based on what I’ve seen so far, I’m willing to give it a try, and I think it will be a winner.

Sheriff Jason Mosher is a law enforcement generalist instructor as well as a firearms and tactical weapons trainer. Jason graduated from the FBI-LEEDA (Law Enforcement Executive Development Association) and serves as a Sheriff for his day job. When he’s not working, he’s on the range, eating steak, or watching Yellowstone.

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