TYR Tactical

UPDATED – Major International EOTech Distributor Ends Relationship

As you may recall, we recently published an article regarding L3 Communications’ EOTech sights. In that article we shared L3’s SEC filings, changes in their user manuals and a USSOCOM Safety of Use Message which mentions Point of Impact shifts in both the low and high temperature ranges of EOTech holographic sights issued to the government.

But apparently, issues surrounding the sights have been brewing since at least Spring. In a recent memorandum to customers obtained by SSD, distributor Elite Defense discloses that EOTech has not been delivering product since April of this year.  It’s our understanding that Elite Defense is the single largest distributor of EOTech sights with extensive international sales of the brand.  Even more interesting than the secession of deliveries, is that Elite Defense has chosen to terminate their long distributorship.  Unfortunately, it seems EOTech has not acknowledged this action, nor Elite Defense’s proposal to convert their customer base to direct sales with EOTech.  It’s like they’ve gone radio silent.   

Elite Defense Customer Letter EOTech

Click to view .pdf

When queried, Elite Defense offered no comment regarding the memorandum other than to ask where we obtained it. That, we’re keeping to ourselves.

UPDATE – We just received this message from Elite Defense:

When Elite Defense released the letter to our international customers on 11/3/15 (published by SSD 11/5/15), we had not received any formal contact from EOTech about the termination of the relationship or our proposed transition plan. However, on the afternoon of November 4, EOTech reached out to Elite Defense. Elite Defense and EOTech are now working together to develop a plan that will focus on what is most important: a smooth transition for our customers.

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46 Responses to “UPDATED – Major International EOTech Distributor Ends Relationship”

  1. Dev says:

    The plot thickens.

    What a mess. Good to see SSD on the forefront of this (and others).

  2. PT6 says:

    I never once considered mounting an eo on my home rifle. T-1/ T-2 platform all the way…

    • HSR47 says:

      It’s all about price and availability.

      Aimpoint sights (much of anything above the PRO at least) are largely expensive and unavailable.

      Eotech sights are everywhere, and they tend to be cheap enough to be a borderline impulse purchase.

      The sweet spot seems too be around $550-600 (or less) with a decent mount: if a good non-magnified optic can be had for about the same price as a new Glock, it won’t stay on the shelf for long. At closer to 700-800 with a decent mount, and practically zero retail availability (when you see them there they’re priced damned close to MSRP, which tends to put them closer to 750-900 with a decent mount), Aimpoint’s micro sights are simply priced above what the market wants to spend.

      • I wouldn’t call Aimpoint products “unavailable” since I know at least four sites that have the micro line stocked.

        • jim d says:

          Aimpoint just use a few dealers, where EO uses sporting goods distributors so everyone sees them on local gun store shelves.

      • contractor says:

        I have no idea what you’re talking about. I’ve spent personal money on Aimpoint micros as have other guys I know.

        • Agreed; never heard of Aimpoint products being ‘unavailable’ – that’s a new one on me. Perhaps it may have a price tag that is more than your willing to pay but I guess that depends on the intended use of the product (hobby or serious work) and, if your in harms way, the value of your life.

      • JF says:

        Sorry mate, no idea what you’re talking about in terms of “hard to find” or “zero retail availability”. And if $7-800+ is too expensive look at buying a used one maybe? You can find T1’s / H1’s on any number of gun forums used for $500-650 with everything from standard mounts to Larue’s.

      • Matt says:

        Expensive and unavailable? Get real. Take a minute and think about what you are actually getting! The clarity of the glass is un heard of, especially on the T2. The battery life is outrageous. It is as close to free energy that you can get. Personally, I’d spend twice the asking price for the Aimpoint. That’s how good they are.

      • PT6 says:

        Plot twist: got mine from La Rue for 649 with mount so kinda squashes that idea no?

      • Thomas says:

        Unavailable? Just get a PRO. Bomb, proof, shock proof and Murphy proof. I ditched my EOTechs years ago and went to the PRO because I like the wider field of view. EOTechs plain suck, hell my Bushnell TRS-25’s were more reliable then my EOTechs.

    • Matt says:

      To quote another’s view on the EO vs AP *debate*, it’s “not about best price, but best value.” Clearly Aimpoint is the best value, with more a more diverse line in size, features, and price range, significantly to unbelievably longer battery life, and far more rugged in design. Where EOTech is preferred it is simply for the reticule or for the larger view window. No one picks them for reliability, battery life, simplicity, or…apparently…holding zero and customer service. EO fans have been holding on to the product being used by “Delta/Seal/HRT” members as proof of it’s viability (and validation of their choice). But now that these units have identified faults that are not simply preference-driven, and begun moving away from the product, where does that leave their argument?

      I can say that the $100 or so difference between the first and only EOTech I bought and the Aimpoint I should have bought was eaten up quickly once I added a better thumbscrew and replaced N batteries every time I shot for two years. Eventually I saw the wisdom in the CompM2 and picked one up. I now have 2x T1s, 1x M2, 1x M3, and an M4s. They work and work, and work…and my Eotech rides on my M&P 15-22 for the kids to shoot.

      I do like the EO reticule, and the older I get, the more I wish for it, but Aimpoint is by far the best overall choice, value, and, IMO, cheapest to own over the life of the sight. Plus, they are not hard to find for sale new or used. However, if they are out of stock often, well, that’s a clue, too…it ain’t because Aimpoint’s not filling orders.

  3. SR says:

    butbutbutbut seeeeals?

  4. Daniel says:

    I have always been an Aimpoint fan, but what is going on here goes beyond brand loyalty. You would think a large company like EOTech would try to get out ahead of a problem like this, fix it, and then work on rebuilding customer trust, instead it looks like they have just rolled over and died. For a company to produce such a defective product and then sell it to our armed forces is just disgusting.

    What has Aimpoint been saying/doing in regards to all of this? Maybe they can score some kind of filler contract to the units who need new optics and build up some more good will?

    • SSD says:

      They’ve said nothing.

    • HSR47 says:

      Judging by their (lack of effective) response, I think it’s safe to assume that they either haven’t pinned down the root cause of the issue, or they don’t have a practical fix.

      If that’s the case, they’re screwed no matter what they do: remember what happened with the whole Springfield XDs recall? Pretty much anything L3 does at this point will piss people off, because they have a product that doesn’t live up to the specs they advertised and they don’t appear to have a way to solve the problem yet. Of all their options, “stop selling them, and focus on fixing the issue(s)” is probably the option that will piss off the fewest people in the long run–assuming they ever come out with a fix.

      • Bill says:

        L3 being a relatively large company with a strong tech background and heavily reliant on .gov business, I’m a little surprised they haven’t been more proactive.

  5. Rob Garrett says:

    It is my understanding that Aimpoint will not have any comment on this issue or the previous USSOCOM memo.

  6. AS says:

    My team had processed an order for about 20 before the SOUM came out. When asked about expected delivery, we were told they would not ship to us until the issues outlined in the SOUM were fixed.

  7. Todd says:

    Great reporting SSD!

  8. dudeabides says:

    Wow.

  9. TactiSkeptic says:

    This feels like a non-release. Grandstanding even.

    What was accomplished? The mention of goodwill by transitioning these customers to dealing with EOTech directly? EOTech is not capable of handling 1 customer at a time, that’s why they have distributors.

    Sounds like someone saw an opportunity to draw an audience for the driving of a coffin nail. And hey, make sure we mention our other brands and where our booth is at SHOT.

    Beware friends that are only as loyal as the tide.

    • Matt says:

      Sometimes the only way to get attention is to go public. A company like L3 is so big it has a tendency to not take stuff seriously until it cost them money.

    • DMF says:

      This was not a public release. This was sent out to Elite’s customers.

    • SSD says:

      No, they are distributor for multiple brands to the international community. They did the right thing here.

  10. ScottyC says:

    Thanks for keeping us in the loop SSD!!!

  11. Matt says:

    Thanks for the good reporting SSD. You are a grade a Clark Kent.

  12. Biff Blendon says:

    I scratched “Aimpoint” onto all of my EOTechs using a rusty nail. All is good now. Of course, I’m dyslexic, so it might say “OSKHfibtia”. I can’t tell.

    • Matt says:

      Now you just need to mount the EOTech backwards and you will be in with the cool kids at the airsoft tacticool alumni dinner that is coming up. A Costa impersonator is going to be there!

  13. Charlie Mac says:

    I wouldn’t necessarily call Elite Defense a “major” distributor.

    • Key word here is ‘International’ ; they do a lot of ITAR related overseas stuff- one of the biggest in that regard. Hence the title of the article referencing them as an International distributor.

      • BrettW says:

        Actually, Elite was EOTechs largest distributor. Aside from one or two domestic distributors they suprasses most of their domestic dealers and distributors sales combined.

        Thanks for playing Chrlie Mac.

  14. Kaos-1 says:

    My fathers “retired” hobby job is at a local gun store. He does it mostly for access to the FFL and dealer prices . Their distributors -RSR, Jerry’s, Accu-sport. They apparently wear the in the loop , they haven’t said shit. Eotech’s have just been “unavailable” or “out-of-stock”.

  15. jbgleason says:

    Eric,

    At the very real risk of coming off as an ass. I will say it anyway…

    Secession – generally used when a political entity pulls away. The secession of the South initiated the Civil War.

    Cessation – to cease. Even more interesting than the cessation of deliveries.

    Signed,

    Not a grammar nazi. Just trying to raise the level of discourse in our community since 1989. Hugs and kisses.

  16. Mongorooter says:

    Trijicon MRO $550 mount included 2 MOA reticle 5 year battery life.

    • Jeff S says:

      The MRO is going for under $400 w/o mount… A QD from Midwest Industries, American Defense, or Bobro is in the $85-120 range. Haven’t seen anything from LaRue thus far.

      Lots of great deals out there!

  17. DAN III says:

    I recently e-mailed them about a new magnifier. They responded within hours to my question. I hope for this American company they resolve any product issues for themselves, their employees and their customers.

  18. William Stolberg says:

    Disturbing info. Unfortunately I have two Eo’s, fortunately I also have a T2. Question…what percentage of bad guys were missed, jepardizing the mission or brothers, directly linked to these flaws? In the field, has this been a real failure or just an “out of spec” issue and disappointment?