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.