Friday Night Lights: Wilcox BOSS Xe – Laser Aiming Device + Red Dot

SHOT Show 2023 has come and gone. Now it is back to our regularly scheduled programming. More night vision-related content in the evening every Friday. This week’s Friday Night Lights showcases the Wilcox BOSS Xe. A massive thank you to Gretna Gun Works and specifically Ryan Murphy for letting me borrow one of their BOSS Xe to play with.

Lasers And Optics @ TFB:

Wilcox BOSS Xe Is a Red Dot MFAL

Boss Xe on LMT

The Wilcox BOSS Xe is a red dot with an integrated multi-function aiming laser (MFAL).

The top hood section is your typical red dot. But the Wilcox BOSS Xe has built-in fixed backup iron sights. You can see them in the image below. They are not adjustable though. What is more important is what is happening underneath the red dot. See the row of three blue-tinted lenses and the fourth lens below that and in the middle? Those are the MFAL aspect. This is an IR/VIS laser with VCSEL and LED IR illuminators, all in one aiming device.

Usually, to achieve something like this, you would need to mount a red dot on top of your laser or have some convoluted mount option like the GBRS Hydra. Or just run a standard setup where your MFAL is at the end of your gun and you run any red dot/optic you prefer.

The red dot and laser are slaved to each other so when you zero them it is just one adjustment. There is a lot going on with buttons and options for the BOSS Xe. The first notable feature is the Trajectory Switch. It is the small throw lever to the left of the elevation adjustment dial.

On the left side of the BOSS Xe is the mode selection knob. Somewhat like a PEQ-15, it has an off position at 9 o’clock. Rotating down one enters a sub-menu and the next modes are for VIS Aiming Low and Aiming High power levels. Rotating clockwise past 9 o’clock goes into IR modes. There is a safety screw at 3 o’clock that blocks the knob from selecting the full-power laser options.

BOSS Xe Trajectory Switching

As mentioned above, the BOSS Xe has a lever to switch “trajectory”. This is for zeroing two different bullets. So for example .300BLK, you zero the BOSS Xe to your gun shooting a supersonic load of your choice. Then you throw the lever down and zero the smaller adjustment dial on the lever to match your subsonic load. I tested this with my friend’s SIG Rattler in .300BLK.

I zeroed the BOSS Xe to my friend’s red dot which was set for 100 yards. Then I tried to zero the trajectory switch elevation and ran out of elevation. I had to use the bottom of the segmented circle as my aiming point to get the 220 gr subsonic loads. See the video below.

I did not find the switching lever to be all that useful. I had zeroed the BOSS Xe to my HK SP5 and thought maybe the subsonic 9mm and supersonic 9mm would need a trajectory switch. They did not. HRF Concepts told me he likes to use the BOSS Xe trajectory switch for close and far zero of the same caliber. He sets the regular zero for 100 yards and the throw lever for a closer range of 25 yards for his .300BLK.

BOSS Xe Remote Switch

The BOSS Xe has a three-button remote switch. The first button is for the bottom illuminator which is all flood LED for illuminating a room. The middle button activates whatever mode you are set to on the mode selection knob. The last button is for low-power IR aiming laser and room illuminator.

Image from Wilcox BOSS Xe manual

So if you have the mode selection knob set to IR Dual High and press the middle button, you will get the full power 36mW VCSEL IR illuminator and IR pointer. But pushing the third button will override and give you low power 0.7mW IR aiming laser and IR room illuminator. Wilcox also has a dual lead remote switch that has a SureFire plug for activating a light. The first button then controls the light rather than the room illuminator.

The remote tape switch has a 90º plug that inserts into the rear of the BOSS Xe. I feel like you are wasting a good 3-4 inches of cable just to reach the rear of the optic.

Another minor concern is that the remote cable could interfere with a magnifier. Luckily, the Unity Tactical FAST magnifier mount seems to protect the cable a bit.

Folding the magnifier out of the way clears the plug and the release lever somewhat shields the cable.

If you notice, the remote switch is mounted at a 45º angle. It comes with a metal mount that has these hooks that grab onto Picatinny. You can see it in the photo above. See the ramped arms, just below the remote switch? Below I mounted the switch to my KAC MP5 handguard. I would have preferred mounting on top of the Picatinny rather than between them at an angle.


Due to the charging handle, I could not run the remote switch on the left side of my KAC handguard. So I inverted it and ran it underneath at 4 o’clock. I was able to run the plug between the cocking tube and the barrel.

When I was testing out the BOSS Xe, I noticed the room illuminator sits really close to the top rail of a gun. And on an MP5, the front sight is in the way. But look at the photo below. The room illuminator casts a shadow of the front sight. I was curious if this could work as an aiming solution for close-range targets. The problem is the shadow will change size depending on how close or far the target is. If I used the shadow of the front sight, it would be off and I have no way of zeroing this. I confirmed it with the aiming laser and you can see it could possibly work. The hole for the front sight roll pin could possibly work as a hold over bore aiming point for extreme close-range shooting. But alas it was not close.

Here is a video where I ran the BOSS Xe on my HK SP5 in a local night match. You can see in some of the runs I used the room illuminator and you can see the projected shadow of my front sight. At the same time, the top of my SP5 is lit up from the IR illuminator splashing all over it.

BOSS Xe Issues

The BOSS Xe has some idiosyncrasies that are a bit odd. The first one is the cant indicator. The reticle has a segmented circle. When you tilt the optic, the side of the reticle will blink. So if you roll the optic over to the right, the right side of the segmented circle reticle will blink. The same if you roll over to the left.

At first, you think “oh that is neat”. But when you actually use it it seems silly. This is a red dot most likely used on a short .300BLK firearm. The cant indicator is more for precision shooting long-range. Not something you will be doing with a short .300BLK gun with the BOSS Xe.

Another odd quirk is the VCSEL IR illuminator. It has a very narrow divergence. See the screenshot below.

The IR illuminator is very narrow with no spill whatsoever. It is great for the surgical application of light. Like if you want to throw light through a window without it spilling all over the outside of the window. But it is not great for basic situational awareness. No spill makes it tough to see what is outside of the tight hot spot.

Another oddity with the BOSS Xe is the reticle. There is a slight reflection that is a bit annoying,

Final Thoughts On The BOSS Xe

I want to like the BOSS Xe but it has some issues. Like the Dual Lead remote switch. While it can activate a flashlight I would like VIS override as an option but as far as I can tell, it does not exist. You could set the mode selector to VIS Aim High so the middle button activates the VIS laser but you cannot simultaneously activate it and the flashlight unless you press both buttons at the same time. Less than ideal. The fact that the flood IR room illuminator sits just above your receiver means your gun will light up every time you use it. It will cause a little bit of automating and auto brightness control for your helmet-mounted night vision goggles. Then there is the issue with the trajectory switch. It sounds like a great idea but it did not work that well for me. Maybe your experience is better than mine. Then there is the price. The Wilcox BOSS Xe retails for $4,500. That is a lot. No way around it. I feel I would be better off with a regular red dot on a Wilcox RAID Xe or other weapon-mounted MFAL.

I am nitpicking to find fault with the BOSS Xe. It is a laser with a built-in red dot. This could solve problems for some people. I could see the Wilcox BOSS being used on certain guns that do not have much room for traditional accessories. Like using it on my HK SP5. I could see someone using it on a B&T TP9 or a P90. But mounting the remote switch becomes problematic. I want to see an M-LOK compatible mount and a mount that attaches the tape switch directly onto a Picatinny rail. I would have liked it if I could have the tape switch at 12 o’clock on a handguard.

Thanks to Ryan of Gretna Gun Works for letting me borrow their BOSS Xe. If the BOSS Xe is something that could solve a problem for you, then give them a shout.

This post was originally published on this site