What is the difference between Holosun 508t and 509t?

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Red dots on pistols is the new trend in shooting. You get confused with the plethora of optics that are there in the market. 

Here, I have brought you a comparison guide between the two popular options from Holosun: the 508t and the 509t.

I am obsessed with the Holosun optics and have tried and tested most of them. And this comparison has come from my experience with these optics and a lot of research. 

The main difference between the Holosun 508t and 509t is that the 508t is an open reflex sight, while 509t has an enclosed emitter. I have also mentioned all other differences in detail. 

After reading this comparison, you’ll know the similarities and differences between these two optics and hopefully will be able to decide which one you need. 

So, let’s begin.

What To Expect?

In the below article, I will compare the following features of the Holosun 508t and 509t. 

  1. Durability and Reliability 
  2. Size and Weight 
  3. Reticle 
  4. Battery Life 
  5. Battery Features 
  6. Brightness 
  7. Footprint 
  8. Price

I will also announce the winner of all these categories and, in the end, the overall winner. 

Holosun 509t vs 508t: Specifications

508t vs 509t: Features 

Below is the comparison of all the features of the 509t vs. 508t. 

1. Durability and Reliability 

Durability is the most important factor when your life is dependent on an optic. 

When you hear Holosun, you know you get durable and reliable optics. 

Both the 508t and 509t are Holosun products, so we can’t doubt their durability, and we know that these optics will not betray us if we rely upon them. 

Titanium Housing

The “T” in 508t and 509t stands for Titanium. These optics are made better and more durable than the previous Aluminum ones, such as the 507c. What’s best about Titanium as an optic housing material is that it is not just rugged but also lightweight. And it has higher corrosion resistance. So, with the Titanium housing on both 508t and 509t, you know you have a super-strong red dot.

Recessed Turrets 

The other thing that makes these two optics durable is that once you set the windage/elevation settings on your optic, nothing messes them. It is possible because the windage/elevation adjustment turrets in these optics are recessed in the optic’s body. So, if you bump your optic into a wall or drop it, your settings will remain intact. 


Another feature that makes any optic durable and reliable is its waterproof rating. The Holosun 508t and 509t are similar in this category as you can submerge them in 1 meter of water for 30 minutes. It means that water will not destroy your optic. 

Durability Test 

I have completed 2000 rounds with both these optics, and I have not faced any problem with the zero. But for a more intense test, I would take reference from Aaron Cowan from Sage Dynamics. 

He tested the 508t and 509t with the following methods:

  • 500 round burndown
  • Single-handed manipulations 
  • Four shoulder height drop tests.

The 500-round burndown is a test to see if the extra heat that the burndown will generate creates any problem with these two optics. The 508t and 509t survived the 500 burndowns, and there were no issues with the reticle. 

The single-handed manipulations also did not affect the optics’ lens. The glass in both these optics is recessed, so when you rack it against things for one-handed manipulation, the glass doesn’t get affected. So, the recessed glass prevents the lens from breaking during the one-handed manipulations of the 508t and the 509t. 

The last and most intense test was the shoulder height drop test. As the result of this drop test, both optics had a little crack on the glass, something not bothersome. But, both optics maintained zero at 25 yards. 

So, as a result of these rigorous testing, we can say that both optics are durable and reliable. So, if you have this question, whether you can trust the 508t and the 509t in a situation where your life depends on the optic, then the answer is YES. 

I would not hesitate to put one of these on my self-defense gun. 

Open vs. Closed Emitter 

The 508t is an open reflex sight. The one problem with this design is that it is exposed to dust and debris. So, any particle entering the lens can block the emitter from projecting the reticle on the screen. This problem is solved by a closed emitter design of the 509t. 

When I say closed emitter, I mean that two lenses cover the reticle on this optic. This way, no dust or other particles can enter and block the reticle. 

So, fog or debris will not mess with your reticle. 

Winner: 509t 

Both 508t and 509t are extremely durable optics. Both the optics have Titanium housing that makes them super strong and reliable. Also, the durability test had similar results. But, I would make the 509t the winner in this category because its reticle is more protected.

2. Size and Weight 


As you can see in the above chart, the 508t and 509t are similar in their width and mostly similar in their length. The difference between the two optics is in height and weight. 

The 509t is taller than the 508t. A tall red dot design is not something shooters prefer on their handguns. Although the height difference between the two optics is not big, the 508t still has the advantage. 

When it comes to the weight, the difference is not considerable. The 508t is more than 0.28 ounces heavier than the 509t. 

Winner: 508t

The winner in this category is the 508t because it is less in height than the 509t. 

3. Reticle 

Both the optics have Holosun’s remarkable Multiple Reticle System; this system gives the shooter 3 reticle options. The first one is a 2 moa dot. The 2 moa dot is great for precise shooting at longer ranges. It is what most advanced shooters would pick. 

The second reticle option these red dots have is a 32 moa circle. This circle option is great for up-close shooting. Like in a defensive situation where the target is in front of you, you need speed and not precision; the circle reticle option allows you to pick up the dot quickly. 

The third reticle option is the combination of both. This option also gives faster target acquisition. 

The 32 moa circle or the circle-dot combination is the best option for newer shooters. I have seen so many new shooters struggling with the dot; the circle option or the combination option makes it easy for them to pick the dot and hence shortens their learning curve.  

Ultimately, I would say the preferences of a shooter decide the reticle option they choose. But having all these options for your reticle is a bonus. 

Winner: None

We don’t have a winner in this category as Holosun 508t and 509t have similar reticle options. 

4. Battery Life 

It would not be wrong to say that an optic is as good as its battery life. Your optic needs good battery life, so it does not betray you on the field. 

I have had many red dots that die on the range, making the day at the range a waste. And especially when it comes to a serious defensive situation, this is not something you can afford. So, having a good battery life is a must. 

The 508t has a battery life of 100,000 hours at medium settings, which means you get uninterrupted battery life for 10 years. 

On the other hand, the 509t has a battery life of 50,000 hours, meaning 5 years of continuous runtime. 

This run time can vary depending on the brightness settings you put your optic on. But with this battery life, you know that your optic will not betray you at the range. 

Winner: 508t

The 508t has double battery life compared to the 509t. So, it’s our winner in this category. 

5. Battery Features 

Holosun doesn’t just give you amazing battery life but also gives you a lot of amazing battery-related features. 

The Shake Awake 

The Shake Awake is a popular feature of the Holosun optics. It turns the optic off as soon as you stop using it, preventing battery wastage. As soon as it senses any movement, it turns on the optic. 

I love this feature because I forget to turn my red dot off once I use it. 

Like most other Holosun red dots, the 508t and 509t also have the Shake Awake. 

Solar Panel 

Yet another remarkable feature of the Holosun red dots is the Solar Panel. What this Solar Panel does is it takes the sun’s energy to illuminate the reticle. It does two things for you:

  • It provides a backup option for illuminating your reticle if your battery dies. 
  • You can also use the Solar Panel to save your battery. 

A backup like a Solar Panel is something all companies should include in their optics. It makes the optic much more reliable. 

Fortunately, both the 508t and 509t have a Solar Panel. 

Battery Compartment 

With all other similar battery features, this is the feature where the 508t and 509t contrast. The 508t has its battery compartment underneath the optic, while the 509t has a side battery tray.

With the 508t, you need to remove the gun’s optic to change your battery. Then you have to reinstall and also re-zero it. And, if your battery dies at the range, your day is ruined. 

The 509t, on the other hand, saves you from all this hassle. It has a side battery tray with which you can change your optic’s battery without removing it from the gun. 

Winner: 509t

The winner in this category is the Holosun 509t. Both the 508t and 509t have the Shake Awake and the Solar Panel, but the side battery tray of the 509t makes it much more convenient for the user. 

6. Brightness 

When it comes to the brightness settings, you can tell that Holosun made these optics keeping the user’s convenience in mind. The 508t and 509t give 12 brightness settings; 10 for daylight and 2 for the night. 

These optics will fit your needs if you want to shoot on a bright sunny day, dimmer evening light, or complete dark. 

I do a lot of night shooting, so I greatly appreciate the night vision settings. 

Winner: None 

This category has no winner because the 508t and 509t have similar brightness settings. 

7. Footprint 

The 508t and 509t are different regarding the footprint. The 508t has an RMR footprint. 

The RMR footprint is the industry’s standard footprint. So, finding already milled slides and adapter plates for the 508t is very easy. 

On the other hand, the 509 has a proprietary footprint, so its mounting takes a lot more work than the 508t. 

Winner: 508t 

The clear winner in this category is the 508t because it has a more popular RMR footprint than the 509t footprint. 

8. Price

For someone on a tight budget, price is the only deciding factor for buying an optic.  Although all Holosun optics come in the affordable category of optics, here, the 508t is 55 to 60 dollars less expensive than the 509t. So, anyone whose priority is price will go for 508t and save some dollars.  

Winner: 508t 

508t is the clear winner in this category because it is 55-60 dollars less expensive than the 509t. 

509t vs. 508t: Overall Winner

It is tough to choose the winner between the two optics here. But if we consider the design and durability, I would declare the 509t the overall winner. 

The enclosed emitter of the 509t protects the reticle from the effect of dust, debris, and fog. Another great thing about the 509t is the side battery tray; this battery tray saves you from the hassle of removing the optic from your gun, re-mounting, and re-zeroing it. 

My Pick 

Finally, I would pick the 509t over the 508t. I prefer the enclosed emitter over the open reflex style and love the side battery tray. I am honestly not much bothered about the height and weight of the 509t. 

By doing this, I am not dissing the 508t in any way. If you are on a tight budget, get yourself a Holosun 508t.

Holosun 508t vs Holosun 509t – Comparison Videos

Final Thoughts 

The Holosun 508t and 509t are reliable red dot sights. And picking one over the other is a matter of choice. 

Both optics have Titanium housing, recessed turrets, and recessed lenses. But the 508t has an open emitter, whereas the 509t has an enclosed emitter. 

The 509t is taller and heavier than the 508t. 

Both the optics include the Multiple Reticle System. You get a 2 moa dot, a 32 moa circle, and a dot-circle combination with both these optics. 

Regarding battery life, the 508t has a run time of 100,000 hours, and the 509t stands at 50,000 hours. 

Both 508t and 509t have the Shake Awake and Solar Panel, but the 509t has a side battery tray missing in the 508t. 

Both 508t and 509t have 12 brightness settings.

The footprint is one striking difference between the 508t and the 509t. The 508t has an RMR footprint, and the 509t has a proprietary footprint. 

Lastly, the 508t is 55-60 dollars less expensive than the 509t. 


Does Holosun 508T have the same footprint as RMR?

Yes. The Holosun 508t does have an RMR footprint. As RMR is the industry’s standard footprint, it’s easy to find already milled slides and adapter plates for it. 

How good is the Holosun 509T?

The Holosun 509t is an extremely durable optic. It has an enclosed emitter that protects the reticle. It further has Titanium housing, recessed turrets, and glass. Another amazing feature of the 509t is that it gives 3 reticle options: a 2 moa dot, a 32 moa circle, and a combination of both. It has an amazing battery life of 50,000 hours with the Shake Awake, Solar Panel, and the side battery tray. One thing that can be bothersome for shooters is that it has a proprietary footprint and mounting that needs work. 

What is the Holosun 508T?

Holosun 508t is an open reflex red dot sight. The “T” in the 508t represents its Titanium construction. It has an amazing battery life of 100,000 hours and an RMR footprint. 

Does the Holosun 509T have Shake Awake?

Yes. The Holosun 509t does have a Shake Awake. 

What is the difference between Holosun 507c and 508t?

The main difference between the Holosun 507c and 508t is the housing material. The 507c uses Aluminum for its construction, while the 508t uses Titanium. So, Titanium being stronger than Aluminum, the 508t is more durable than the 507c. Another important difference is in the weight and size of the two optics. The 507c is taller than 508t, and the 508t is heavier than 507c. 

What footprint does the Holosun 509T use?

The 509t uses a proprietary footprint.

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Hannah Anderson is a gun enthusiast. She developed a knack for guns and ammunition when as a teenager she started accompanying her grandfather to his hunting ventures. Now, she shares her passion and immense knowledge on the subject with the readers.

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