Scope Review: Lucid HD7 Sight

We all know there are dozens of red dot sights out there from cheap Chinese copies to high end ACOGs. We have very few that combine quality with what many would consider a reasonable price. This is where the Lucid HD7 fits in.

I first ran into the Lucid HD7 my pure accident. One of our writers needed the little brother of the HD7 the M7. I noticed the HD7 on the same page and it caught my eye looking similar to an ACOG. After I read the narrative on the sight I decided this was a sight worth reviewing and passing along to the readers for consideration.

The HD7 is a product of the Lucid company which started business in 2009. The HD7 has a considerable number of features for an optic costing $249 from Lucid and online for approximately $200 or slightly over.

LUCID Red Dot Sights

The HD7 operates with one triple A battery housed in a waterproof compartment at the front of the sight. Run time on this one small battery is 1000 hours. It has an automatic shut-off after two hours. The controls are on the left side. They include an on/off switch, which is activated by holding the button down for a second or two. Turning it off the button is held down for four seconds. Two buttons are beside the on/off. Each has an arrow showing an up and a down arrow. This of course controls the brightness of the sight. This overrides the automatic brightness/dimming feature. The automatic sensor is on top of the sight and constantly adjusts the brightness of the reticle.

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Brightness Adjustment Sensor behind the turret

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The reticle is a departure from most sights of the type having a selection of four reticles the user chooses from. There is a thumb wheel on the left upper side that is turned and cycles through the reticles, which are red. The user can choose between a small two MOA dot, a dot inside the donut, a “T” reticle with stadia lines for distance estimation. The last also has stadia lines with an inverted “V” (chevron) at the top. Turning the knob clockwise or counter clockwise cycles through these reticles.

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HD7 (GEN III) SPECIFICATIONS:
• Cast Aluminum Frame
• Chemical Rubber Armor
• Lower 1/3 Co-Witness
• 13mm Mounting Nuts
• Reversible Mounting Pins
• Reticles based on a (2MOA) dot
• Weight: 13oz
• Waterproof & Fogproof
• Shockproof (.458 SOCOM)
• Auto Brightness Sensor
• Auto Shut Off (2 hour)
• 7 Brightness Levels
• Battery: 1, AAA (Not Included)
• Easy Access, Leashed Battery Cap
• Capped1/2 MOA Adjustments
• Parallax Free
• 34mm Objective Lens
• 20mm Ocular Lens
• FOV: 35ft @ 100yds
• 1x Unlimited Eye Relief
• Picatinny Rail Mount Built-In
• Available 2x Magnifier
• Available QD Mounting Kit
• Available Kill Flash filter
• Available Leashed Turret Caps
• Limited Lifetime Warranty
MSRP: $249

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The HD7 is a rugged sight no doubt about it. The first version of the sight had the same overall build and features but a weakness was found. Now this weakness in all likelihood would never cause a problem in regular use but the company owner was just not satisfied with any weakness.During testing the first HD7 was given to some airborne troops for a real test I sure never heard of from any other optics company.The soldiers were jumping with a full combat load under the canopy of the standard T-10 parachute which is not steerable. Well not much anyway. Everyone jumped with an HD7 mounted on the issued M4. Out of the six that jumped with these sights one had the top turret knocked off. That particular soldier made a bad PLF(parachute landing fall) and landed on the rifle and sight.

I won’t go into all of the testing done but suffice it to say many were tested to destruction. As you may have noted from the listed specs this sight is waterproof not just water resistent. I probably shouldn’t have but I had a five gallon bucket filled with water and left the HD7 in the bucket of water overnight. I took it out the next day before going to the range and dried it off with a towel. In short there was no water evident inside the sight and it functioned perfectly. As you can see this next gen has lower turrets which require the user to remove the caps for adjustment and use a small screwdriver or coin to adjust it for windage and elevation.

Lucid makes a 2x magnifier which screws into the rear of the sight. I opted for the new 2x through 5x variable power magnifier which is mounted separately in a 30mm ring.

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The only thing about this setup that I didn’t care for was the magnifier. Now I’m picky and admit it but I never got used to the magnifier. The higher the power setting the larger the reticle until at 5x it just took up more field of view than I was comfortable with.Looking through the magnifier and sight the image wasn’t as clear as I felt it should be. After testing the two together I feel if you want a magnified image buy an optic with that capability built in.

As far as the HD7 I like it very much. With the options of the four reticles and very clear and crisp glass it’s hard to beat especially at less than $249. One additional attribute is the reticle stays bright no matter what kind of light you happen to be in. I never once had to use the manual brightness settings. I found that using the dot in a circle reticle worked well close up. I switched to the reticle with the chevron at one hundred yards and further out to the two hundred yard marker.That ability is a definite plus.

I believe anyone who tries the HD7 Gen III will be very happy with it’s performance and ruggedness not to mention what you get for that price.All Lucid optics have a limited lifetime warranty. It really does fill a niche most others don’t.

Lucid LLC Website



Phil White

Retired police officer with 30 years of service. Firearms instructor and SRU team member. I still instruct with local agencies. My daily carry pistol is the tried and true 1911. I’m the Associate Editor and moderator at TFB. I really enjoy answering readers questions and comments. We can all learn from each other about our favorite hobby!


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  • DrewN

    That’s a pretty nice feature set for the price. A definite step up from the Primary Arms for not that much more dosh. Looks a little bulky but not 2 or 3 times the price bulky.

    • That’s exactly what I thought the first time I saw it. It doesn’t disappoint. I should have included they have a limited lifetime warranty.

  • KestrelBike

    Nice review for a company I’ve never heard of before, the optics seems like a very good value. I’d like to see one in person and check it out. Thanks!

  • Darrell

    I just got one, haven’t used it yet. One thing that’s never said during reviews: the emitter is quite visible on the left side of the tube’s inner diameter, obstructing the view a bit. Lucid told me this is normal, and is not an issue during use.

    • True I never even paid attention to it.

      • MattW

        Me either, I mentioned the ghosting in my above comments but it really isn’t an issue. Doesn’t interfere with sight picture for me.

  • Michael

    Limited warranty…rather buy a sparc by vortex or spend more for eotech/aimpoint

    would have like to hear more on the testing

    • MattW

      Limited lifetime warranty. And the sparc and eotechs aren’t really comparing apples to apples in my opinion. And comparing the Aimpoint to the HD7 is relevant, but in the same way that comparing a BMW M5 and a Chevy Impala. Same basic size and many similar features – but completely different price category. If you can afford an Aimpoint – get one. If I didn’t have a choice like the HD7, I wouldn’t own a red dot right now.

      • michael

        respectfully, I may have missed what your intent and sure what are you talking about. I can get an aimpoint pro for less than 100 more than the hd7. For 100, why on earth would you buy this vs an aimpoint.

        The sparc is cheaper and has lifetime warranty.

        • It’s a question of what you like. Multiple reticles and an actual retail closer to $179 if you shop around.
          The automatic brightness sensor is more of a plus than I thought it would be. It adapts quickly also.

        • MattW

          My point is that comparing the HD7 and even the low end Aimpoint PRO are comparing a Ford to a Cadillac. Street value on the HD7 is $190. The street value on the least expensive aimpoint (Aimpoint PRO) is $420. That is a $230 difference (121% more expensive), which is quite significant to some people, me included.

          Additionally the HD7 is water proof while the PRO is water resistent to 45m. The HD7 has a changeable reticle, the PRO is fixed. And another factor is that the HD7 takes 1 AAA battery while the PRO takes the more expensive Li-ion batteries. Is the Aimpoint PRO a great optic? No doubt. Is the HD7 a really great value for the money? Definitely.

          Also, the SPARC is also a good optic but is more comparable to the Lucid M7, which is cheaper than the HD7. And both have lifetime warranties its not really an advantage to the SPARC.

          • michael

            gotcha…makes sense now but I thought the lucids were only limited lifetime.

    • David Fiorito

      I have a Sparc, two eotechs, an aimpoint, and the first gen HD7. The HD7 is my second favorite behind the aimpoint patrol sight. That thing is tough.

    • Limited lifetime warranty—limited to the original owner. I don’t know what else to say about the testing. I believe one was putting it in a paint shaker. If I remember correctly it survived. Many others though where intentionally tested until destroyed to get an idea of just how far they would go being abused.

  • bigbear78

    Do the reticals disappear if the battery dies

    • MattW

      Yes, electronic reticle. If you are concerned about relying on it in a self defense or SHTF situation, backup irons are a must.

      • bigbear78

        I always have irons 2 years ago my red dot died right as a buck walked out irons worked just fine just wish they made this scope in 4x would be perfect for my fal

    • Yes they do—-

  • Mike

    I have an original model HD7 (no caps on the turrets) and I love it

  • MattW

    I’ve had my HD7 Gen III for about a month now. And even though I haven’t put it in a bucket of water or jumped out of a plane with it, I’m very satisfied with its design, features, and durability for the price point. I get some ghosting of the electronics in certain bright daytime or indoor lighting situations, but it isn’t severe and doesn’t obstruct the reticle. Overall a great sight for the money.

  • allannon

    I’ve been happy with my Primary Arms sights (3, one each on my AR, 10/22, and used to have one on my mkiii that I gave to dad for his favorite .22), and this sounds quite in the same vein.

    I like that there are low-priced options for hobbiests without dipping to Barska and the like. I don’t have a need for a $1,200 optic on my $1,300 rifle…however much I might want one. 😉 Vortex, Primary Arms, and apparently Lucid all seem to be valid options.

  • Great write-up, Phil!

  • Doopington

    Is there any way we could get pics down at the reticle from your camera? Just to see how glass quality is.

    • That really doesn’t give you an accurate representation of the glass since the camera lens changes the colors and usually doesn’t take a crisp picture looking down the tube. I can show you a reticle though.

    • Reticles The camera throws off the colors. The reticles are red and brighter than the camera shows.

  • Raoul O’Shaugnessy

    “(Q) Where are the LUCID products made?
    (A) All of our products are designed
    and engineered right here in Riverton Wyoming. … we have them assembled in
    Asia.”

    And thats where you lost me.

    • The owner and staff have many years of experience in the optics industry and they did design all the optics they sell.
      Some of the parts are made in China. That doesn’t make it cheap since they are made to Lucid specs and the owner is over there a good deal checking on them.
      I don’t know if most people know it but China makes about 90% of the optical glass used in all applications.
      China makes the cheap knock offs but this sure isn’t one of them. I hope that answers your questions.

      • Big Daddy

        If I could I would buy everything only made in the USA. But that is impossible these days, it’s a global market. As long as I know people from the USA are involved and working as part of the process I am happy to buy that product. Any country that manufactures has levels of quality as does the company itself. If it meets spec it’s good to go.

  • Big Daddy

    I will never ever be in combat, I do not need the BMW/Mercedes/Ferrari of optics like the aimpoint or the ACOG.
    This looks like a very good alternative. The issue is simple, does it work, is it easy to use and does the battery have some life and not have to be changed often. It seems to fit the criteria for the more than even casual shooter. It would be different if I bet my life on it, if that were the case it would not be about money at all, it would be totally based on performance.
    Thank you for the write up this looks like what I am looking for. The idea of buying optics that cost as much as the rifle is questionable considering I am just a casual shooter. I’d rather spend the money on ammo to become more proficient with the gun. If my life depended on it that would be a different story, it doesn’t and I doubt it ever will.

    • You’re very welcome— I hope it will fill the bill for you.Of course the price is lower than $249. I’ve seen them for $179.

      • Big Daddy

        This is exactly what I am looking for. I will be purchasing a DDM4V5 sometime within the next few months and I could see this on top of it. I just don’t need an ACOG or even a Aimpoint Pro which was what I ended up deciding on until I saw this. It’s going to be a range warrior and not much else. I mean do I really need a $1000 optic? To impress somebody? I bet I get more attention with this, with people asking how much and saying wow that is what I am looking for. The cost of these optics are too much if you have numerous rifles and shotguns. For the cost of an ACOG I can pretty much buy almost a years supply of ammo for that gun or another gun.

        • I agree while ACOGs are nice I can’t justify it for my uses. I have one but only because someone offered me one for doing some work for them a few years ago.
          I bet you do get more attention from this one especially after you show them the multiple reticles and auto illumination sensor.

    • Love xps-2

      The truth is optics should be more affordable regardless if purchased by a target shooter or professional. Aimpoints are made in a socialist country hence the price. And if no civilian can afford an ACOG they at least know the military will pay whatever trijicon asks for it’s true for EOTech also.

  • Aaron E

    Great review Phil. I recently purchased a Bushnell TRS-32 for an AR-15 and have enjoyed it, despite a larger (5 MOA) dot than some more expensive sights. However, I’m looking to outfit another rifle, and the HD7 looks to offer a lot for only a little bit more in cost. I really like the fact that it uses very common and cheap AAA batteries, instead of the much more expensive CR-132 or watch-type batteries. A 1000 hours of power on the cheap is a whole lot of shooting.

    • Thanks Aaron! That was a big plus for me as well. Buy a large pack of Duracell AAA’s and you’re good for years for what $6 or $8 bucks.
      I’m still debating whether to buy it or return it. Like I don’t have enough sights as it is:-)

  • IXLR8

    Get the 2X screw on magnifier, you will like it… a lot. Chances are you will know when you will need it and it attaching or removing it is only a few twists away. I found that an ACOG cover works very well on it for storage in the safe. It is rugged enough not to need it, but I have a lot of railed rifles, and they seem to scuff up almost everything.
    I have the gen 2 and it has never left me wanting more…

  • jpcmt

    Dang…I was all excited and ready to buy one but realized it’s a 1x optic..not magnified. I thought it would be a 4x like the Acog it appears to look like. I’ll stick to my microdots for 1x. I do like the optional reticles and design!

  • Russ

    Really good news! I don’t put my life on the line nor shoot three gun so my desire to own anything more expensive than a Bushnell has been trumped by my desire to buy more firearms. One ACOG=Damn nice rifle.

  • Lance

    Never hated Chinese copies and original scopes buyer should study whats real and whats airsoft before buying. They make VERY good ACOG clones for a much cheaper price.

  • Thomas Gomez

    Awesome article amigo. Excellent photography. That M7 I am testing is holding super well. Lucid makes a really good product…and they have some really cool stuff in the pipeline…

    • Thank you Thomas! I was wondering how the M7 was working out for you on the article you’re working on. Good to hear it’s as tough as the HD7 and working well.
      Yep Jason mentioned other products coming. I didn’t ask specifics though 🙂 He sure is hands on. Did you know he worked for Leupold before going out on his own?

      • Jason Wilson

        I worked for Brunton…not Leupold…

        • Kivaari

          Jason, I read over 100 positive reviews of the HD7. So, I bought one. Before it arrived, I ended up going back to an EOTech. My choice was based on past use of the XPS. The HD7 was still on a UPS truck when I did that. After it showed up, I was and am impressed. The EOTech will stay on my M4. BIG BUT, the HD7 is so nice I need to gather money to buy a rifle to put under it. You did a nice job on the sight. Good luck with sales.

  • Missouri Cop

    Great review – I’ve had an HD7 Gen III on my AR-15 patrol rifle for almost a year, and couldn’t be happier with it. It’d be nice to have someone discuss the inverted chevron reticle. I’ve used mine, but haven’t noted any real advantage over the single dot. Of course, most of my shooting is within fifty yards; perhaps the chevron reticle is more helpful at longer ranges.

    • I tried them all at various distances and at least for the chevron does work better at distance. The dot in a circle does well close up out to about 100yards. Thanks!

    • Mario Alberto Flores

      It has to do with judging distance. The chevron is has a known height and width. By noting how big a person appears in the reticle you can more or less determine the range to target.

    • Mario Alberto Flores

      It has to do with range estimate. The chevron is a known height and width. By noting the size the target appears within the reticle you can more or less determine the range to the target. Ex: a person takes up the full width of reticle at 100 yards. If you see the target is half the width of the reticle then you can make a range guess.

    • John

      What type of Patrol rifle is it mounted on? I have a Bushy select fire M4 fixed carry handle. Eotech 512 won’t work not enough elevation with adapter its too high and only a touch of front sight viewable. Not sure when my upper receiver upgrade is coming so I need an alternative until then…

  • Thomas Duensing

    Nice review, thank you. I bought one of these and you can’t go wrong for the price. Also, it has a 1/3 co-witness with standard iron sights. The optic is rugged and well built. The auto-brightness works perfectly.

    • Thanks Thomas and I agree the sensor works extremely well. The 1/3 co-witness works well. I sure haven’t been that nice to this one and it keeps rolling along.

  • Nadnerbus

    How much accuracy testing did you get a chance to do between the different reticles? I have seen in the past with a different (very crappy) multi-reticle sight where the point of impact changed depending on which reticle was selected.

    • I used them all at varying distances and never did notice a change of POI. It was just easier for me to use the ranging Chevron at longer distances since it has the stadia lines to compensate for distance.

  • Nicks87

    I will be checking one of these out for sure. Thanks Phil, for the review and giving some of us more frugal TFB readers something to get excited about. I really, really like the fact that it runs on 1 AAA. It’s a very common battery so I can stock up on AAAs and use them for the TV remotes, flash-lights, the kid’s toys, Etc, as well as the optic.

    • Nicks you are very welcome! I’m in the same boat as the majority of us. A high priced $800 + sight is out of the question. The AAA batteries are a big + for me. Those C123 batteries aren’t cheap while the triple A’s are. Like I told one reader buy a large pack of Duracells and you’re good for years! That does save a good bit over time especially with the run time you get on one battery. That and I like the auto sensor which keeps the reticle perfectly adjusted.
      I decided to keep this one for my own use.

      • DiverEngrSL17K

        Hello, Phil :

        Thanks for the excellent review. The Lucid has all the features and durability of high-end equivalents, plus extras such as the optional reticles, and all at a pretty amazing price point. The screw-in 2x magnifier is another great feature since it saves rail space and keeps the integrated unit more compact. What’s not to like?

        One question, though — will the company still be offering the earlier model without the turret caps? Under most circumstances, the instantaneous ease of adjustment may still be a user-friendly advantage versus having to uncap the knob and use a coin or screwdriver.

  • Fred Johnson

    I really like the looks of this Lucid HD7. I like having a choice in reticles, but I wonder if it would make a more robust sight by having a particular fixed reticle for a different sight model. Name it HD7-chevron, HD7-circle/dot, etc. Of course, this may change price points and make ordering by the seller a bit harder to predict. So, that is probably a moot point in value optics. 🙂

    I also wonder if the Chinese optics in some brands are getting QC like some of the well made electronics we use daily, like name brand computers, smart phones, etc.? I would imagine so.

  • Boots

    Nice. I like options, especially if I can save a little cash. I’ll start looking for one. Thanks.

  • Sam Green

    I bought an HD-7 to kick it’s tires a while back and for the money it may just be the best bang for the buck, especially if you can get one for a lot lower than the MSRP, I got mine for roughly 40% off.
    Now the variable multiplier IMHO is just awful. I wouldn’t recommend the 2-5x to anyone. It truly sucked because the Lucid HD-7 has really good clarity and the 2-5 multiplier defeated the attributes of the HD-7’s crisp optics. To be fair, variable multipliers generally all suffer this fate.
    The 2x isn’t awful. But it’s a pain in the butt to have to screw it in and out on the fly.
    The only con is I would have liked the ability to over-ride the auto off sensor, and it would have been nice if it was made in the USA, but I understand this is to keep the manufacturing costs low. After playing with it for a few months, I went back to my tried and true Eotech and Leupolds, but I did enjoy the HD-7 & Lucid customer support is also very good.

  • MattInTheCouv

    feel free to send me royalties if you implement this idea and your sales skyrocket…

    the light sensor should be on the front of the optic and face towards the target. after all, the current lighting conditions where the shooter is standing mean nothing if they are drastically different than those at the target. the most common example is shooting from a dark hide/blind at a bright target

  • Hopsaregood

    Phil, thanks for the review. I had read about the Gen 1 and liked it but not enough to lay out the money. I will for this Gen 3.

  • SPECTRE R&D

    There seems to be some discussion if the HD7 Gen III is actually waterproof. Various videos are posted of it passing and failing basic submersion test ( submersion in bowls – but how you can drop a rifle in a cereal bowl we do not know) or pouring water over it.

    I decided to actually dunk it deep enough that would simulate similar conditions in real life (getting out of a boat or crossing a creek). http://youtu.be/X3uNXNS-DX0

    Hope this helps those looking for good water resistant options and LUCID make a better unit that is 100% Waterproof (which really does not exist).