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In this economy everyone’s looking to save a buck. For gun people this concept tends to manifest itself more prominently when it comes to accessories we strap on our toys. Optics tend to be the priciest of all and can subtract money from our bank accounts faster than Eric Holder can say, “I only learned of it a few weeks ago.” For those of us that don’t have the cash flow to go out and buy a $1400 ACOG or a $560 EoTech, the land of quality optics tends to be just out of reach. Because of this, the allure of cheaper alternatives becomes greater with the passing of every Magpul fanboy and his rifle at the range. Nick has shown us that cheap optics isn’t always synonymous with crappy optics, but it’s still hard to find something that can give you the features of an EoTech at the price point of a Bushnell. Or is it?

Lucid was started by Jason Wilson, a former Brunton Optics employee. Jason had he idea that a manufacturer could provide an innovative product with all of the features a shooter needed at an affordable price. Enter the Lucid HD7 Red Dot Sight. The HD7 boasts everything you’d find in a high end optic at an MSRP under three bills.

The ACOGesque HD7 is made of cast aluminum with ruby coated lenses. The frame is covered in a rubberized “armor” which give it admirable shock- and waterproof properties. Powered by a single triple-A battery located at the front of the optic, the HD7 claims a 1000 hour battery life with an auto shut off feature that kills the sight after 2 hours.

Your four crosshair choices can have their brightness toyed with manually or automatically by a tiny sensor that rides atop the unit. Adjustments of 1/2” MOA are made utilizing the large turrets and once you’re dialed in you should be parallax free in whatever direction you may (safely) choose to shoot.

Jason very kindly sent me an HD7 to try out on my M&P-15A. When I first got a hold of it I was impressed by its quality build. Holding the rubberized sight in your hand, you immediately feel that it’s a solid piece of equipment. Every dial and button reacted with a positive click when manipulated and felt far from flimsy. Even the battery compartment exudes ruggedness and the cap comes with a leash attached to the base of the optic, guaranteeing you’d have to try to lose it.

Aesthetically, it’s a good looking optic, too. It’s design and rubberized coating screams “tacticool,” but not to an extreme. The HD7 achieves a near perfect blend of tactical and practical that even the most die hard walnut and blued steel guys can appreciate.

As a man who enjoys “ugly” polymer guns, I honestly couldn’t care less how the damned thing looks as long as it performs. So I attached it to my top rail via the built in picatinny mount and leaned the rifle up against the garage wall while I packed up the car. 2 seconds later I heard a crash and found my rifle on the ground, optic side down. I picked it up, brushed off the dirt and looked for any damage. Nary a scratch was found on the HD7 and the ‘on’ button confirmed it was still functioning properly. Shockproof? Check.

At the range, sight-in was a breeze. I selected my preferred 2 MOA dot within a circle reticle and proceeded to get dead on target with just a few minor adjustments of the easy to use turrets. Flipping up my rear sight, I confirmed that the optic was co-witnessing beautifully with my iron sights, just as promised.

Parallax was non-existent and the optic was quick to get on target. Moving around and taking headshots at 25 yards was a breeze – so easy, in fact, that I found I was honestly shooting a little better with this sight than I did with an EoTech. At longer ranges, taking “precision” shots with one eye closed, I did notice that I could see the led emitter off to the left of my field of vision. While it was a tad bit distracting at first, I eventually learned to ignore it. At closer ranges with both eyes open I never once noticed it at all.

The reticle remained very easy to see throughout all types of outdoor lighting situations. The auto brightness function kept it at a perfect level whether the sun was blazing down on me or when the sky threatened rain. Following my initial test, I’ve run hundreds of 5.56 and .22lr through my AR with the HD7 on it without a single hiccup. The integrated mount has stayed strong without a hint of loosening and all the electronics have continued to run without a hint of trouble.

All in all, the Lucid is a phenomenal value and well worth saving up little extra for. With an MSRP of $250 and a real world price of about $200 you really can’t go wrong with an HD7. You get all the features you expect from a higher end optic at a price that won’t put too big a dent in your play money. My other sights have been collecting dust since the HD7 first graced my AR and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

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  1. I recently picked up a Vortex SPARC for about the same street price as the Lucid and it seems to be a comparable value. The SPARC includes spacers, so that the red dot can be either 1/3 or absolute co-witnessed plus a 2x magnifier is included. The SPARC is only a 20 mm lense, while the Lucid appears larger.

    Looks like there are two good value priced red dot optics available for consideration.

    • I too have the sparc. While not an aimpoint it is a very nice optic. I have made several great hits on steel silhouettes at 300yards that supprized me during competition while guys shooting High dollar 1-4x accupoints and the like were struggling.

  2. I picked one up over the summer and I love it. The auto brightness is awesome. I have removed it from a rifle, re-attached it, and it kept its zero. I hope they make one with a green dot some time soon.

  3. Saw the variable magnifier, mount, and optic in a package for $525. Will the whole shebang fit on a railed receiver, or do I need a railed forend, too?

    Nice review, btw. Nice to have options that won’t break me.

    • You might be able to squeeze it on if you didn’t have a rear sight. Personally I don’t like not havIng iron sights in case of some sort of failure, so I’d go with the railed fore end to be on the safe side.

  4. I think the internal functions as a holographic sight opposed to an LED RDS like aim point. Think Eo.

  5. Ryan – Any chance you got to try it with the screw in 2x magnifier? With a little magnification we might be approaching the poor man’s ACOG.

  6. I was just wondering what it would be like at night or low light on the lowest setting, is it to bright?

  7. Agree. Great review and awesome pictures. I wanted the Vortex Sparc but am leaning towards this more although it is a bit bigger. I see you tried both, any comment on which you think is better? I had emailed the founder of Lucid, Jason and he said they will coming out with a micro in the future. I hope he leaks out pics and info on it before I go and purchase a sight.

  8. Just purchased one for my new Taurus Ct9 can’t wait for it to get here so I can test it out. Is the 2x magnifier worth purchasing?

  9. Any follow up to this review? Are you still happy with it? Trying to decide between this new gen 3 model or the vortex sparc.

  10. The article helped me in a way. I was impressed enough to order an HD7 for my M4. Before it arrived I decided to go back to an EOTech XPS2-0. The pain comes now, as this sight is quite good, and I need to buy a new rifle to put under it. It’s well configured and appears quite strong. Now if they could come up with a version that has a reticle while the batteries are dead or off.

  11. “Now if they could come up with a version that has a reticle while the batteries are dead or off.”

    Don, that is what BUIS are for!

  12. I purchased a GEN III about a year ago. I discovered I had a stigmatism that I never new I had, so the reticle looked a little blurry. I purchased a 2 x magnifier that screws into the eye piece from optics planet ( that was a 6 month nightmare, NEVER gonna use them again). On my Colt 6920, I have been extremely pleased. Use rechargeable batteries. They work well and hold a charge forever. Also, Jason the owner, is a straight shooter. I called the company to talk to customer service, and he was who I spoke with. Nice guy!

    • You can alter a set of Butler Creeks scope caps in five minutes with a sharp knife or aviation snips. My main problem with this sight is blurry reticles someone above me mentioned. Got a get a new pair of specs before I can really put it thru its paces.

  13. Trying to work the bugs out of my HD7. Initial range test found the reticle was weak, and unviewable on white targets. Tried new Duracell battery, no change. Lucid sent me a flash kill to alleviate washout. Went to look at it after being stored for less than 2 months, Duracell copper top battery leaked badly at the negative terminal. Now unit is malfunctioning. Contacting lucid today to see what can be done. Will follow up, but I would hold off buying this product. Original low optic brightness can be alleviated by not screwing in battery cover. With cover all the way on, light dims and the on off dimmer fail to function. Never had a Duracell leak like this. Thinking short in the battery Cap area

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