Godd*mn we've really come full circle haven't we? From Carry Handle Gang of the '90s and early 2000s, to low mounted optics of the late 2000s and the 2010s, all the way back to raising our optics back up again on giraffe mounts. And these mounting solutions have been... divisive to say the least. So what's the deal? What does the extra height get you, and is it worth it?
What is the Unity FAST Riser?
We're talking about the EOTech riser specifically today, but the Unity FAST Risers is a whole family of mounts supporting the posture of a more upright head position while shooting a shouldered weapon. There is a FAST Riser for every popular (quality) optic, and a corresponding magnifier mount as well. The "FAST" in FAST Riser refers to how much quicker sight acquisition can be with a natural head position by raising the optic centerline to 2.26", especially when wearing a gas mask or night vision goggles. And of course, it's made by Unity, so you know it's going to be quality.
How well does the FAST Riser Work?
Pretty f*cking well. As always, we review gear through the purview of how it performs for night vision specific applications. Over the past few years Passive Aiming has become much more popular as night vision has become more popular, and the reality of giving away your position by firing a laser out has become more real. However, if you've ever passively aimed with an optic at an absolute or lower 1/3rds cowitness, you know it kinda sucks. It's possible, but you generally have to be holding the rifle too high for a great shoulder purchase, with your head hunched down.
For us, and everyone we've interacted with who has used the FAST Riser, this product is the solution to that. It pushes the optic higher which allows you to comfortably bring it to your eyeline while keeping your eyes forward, not tilting your head down and looking up through your eyebrows (which you can't do with night vision).
It works so well that reps between daytime shooting a night vision shooting are identical. We don't notice any delay on the shot timer getting a sight picture acquired under night vision, it's functionally the same. It's as FAST as they advertise.
FAST Riser Durability
I didn't think this would need to be addressed, but at an event someone commented that it's "just another failure point" for a rifle. Let's be clear here, it's solid 7075 aluminum with a steel clamp mount. If you manage to kill this mount, you also probably killed yourself. We'll put "I told you so" on your headstone.
FAST Riser Downsides
There's really only three that we can think of, and none are major:
- Weight: You are going to be adding 2.8oz of weight to your rifle. More weight is always a downside, but this is so little that it really doesn't matter (in our opinions).
- Cost: You'll have to buy a new magnifier mount as well, but if you can afford NODs, you can probably afford a new magnifier mount.
- Holds: A taller mount can make holds a little wonky, especially up close, but just run a ballistics calculator, practice, and don't suck.
Is the Unity FAST Riser Worth it?
We think so, but we also do a lot of shooting under night vision. We recognize that a heads up shooting position can be advantageous to those who don't shoot under NODs as well, but we aren't that high speed. And if we're not under NODs, we're usually shooting with an LPVO anyhow.
If you shoot under night vision often, and you like to aim passively, we definitely recommend the Unity FAST Riser. For $100, to value:cost ratio is absolutely there in the capability improvement it gives you, and being able to train with a rifle that presents the same in day as it does at night is invaluable as well. Consistency is key.
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