Scope Review: Lucid M7 Sight

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Shooters are constantly looking for a red dot sight that: costs under $200; can be mounted on rifles, carbines and shotguns; weighs several ounces; is parallax free; is compatible with all night vision devices; is submersible to 80 feet; and that runs for 50,000 hours. Like unicorns, werewolves, wendigos, and mermaids such a sight is a mythical beast and simply does not exist for $200. Sights with such features usually start around $400 to $500 and have the word “Aimpoint” or “Eotech” written somewhere on the optic.  If you don’t think you need the absolute rugged reliability of an Aimpoint or an Eotech, then there are several cheaper options on the market that may suit your needs. One such option is the Lucid M7 red dot sight.

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Lucid M7 mounted on my “franken-Ar-15”. At 4.6 ounces, the Lucid M7 is lite weight and very compact.

Lucid, based out of Riverton, Wyoming was started in 2009 by Jason Wilson, formerly of Brunton Optics. Lucid engineers and designs red dot scopes, rifle scopes, and magnifiers. They also design accessories, such as scope mounts and kill flashes. Though the products are designed in Wyoming, Lucid optics are manufactured in Asia. Lucid’s first product was the Lucid HD7, the bigger brother of the Lucid M7.

Key features of the Lucid M7 include:

  • Weight of 4.6 ounces
  • Battery Life: 1000 hours on highest setting
  • Battery Life: 5000 hours with Auto Brightness enabled.
  • 21mm Objective and Ocular Lens
  • Built in rail mount that attaches to a MIL-STD 1913/Picatinny rail
  • The Optic is made of 6061 hard anodized aluminum
  • Water and Fog proof
  • Tested for ruggedness on a .458 SOCOM rifle. (This was done by Lucid. I tested ruggedness on a 30-06 rifle)
  • Reticle: 2MOA Dot within a 25 MOA circle
  • Auto Shut off after 2 hours of inactivity
  • Parallax Free
  • 7 levels of brightness
  • Lucid M7 runs on 1, AAA battery
  • Auto brightness sensor
  • ½ MOA Adjustments
  • Capped and Leashed Turrets
  • Available 2x Magnifier
  • Available 1/3 Rail Riser
  • Limited Lifetime Warrant
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Lucid M7 utilized as an offset/back up sight. The Lucid M7 is mounted using a Haley Strategic Thorntail Offset mount.

Testing the Lucid M7 was interesting. I have an astigmatism and I never know how my eyes are going to perceive a red dot, or an illuminated reticle.  For example, my Bushnell TRS-25 looks like a red vertical line. My brother’s Aimpoint looks like a tiny cluster of grapes. Eotechs are clear. The first time I looked through the Lucid M7, the 2 MOA dot appeared fuzzy, and there was a “ghost image” of the 25 MOA outer circle. Rotating the sight and looking at it through a digital camera confirmed that there was nothing wrong with the glass or the reticle, and that my eyes were to blame.  Interestingly enough I recently had the opportunity to shoot a rifle equipped with Lucid’s awesome HD7 and found the reticles clear and crisp with no ghosting or distortion.

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Size comparison between Lucid M7 and the Bushnell TRS-25. Note the auto brightness sensor.

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Is the Lucid M7 too big to use as an offset / back up sight? It certainly adds some weight. I personally would not run this setup if I was going to be covering a lot of distance.

When I first pick up a “budget” optic, I have three primary questions.  Is the reticle going to be bright enough for daytime use? Will the battery last several hundred hours? Will the sight stand up to the rigors of aggressive training and field use? The Lucid M7 is as bright as an Aimpoint, and I believe that it has a battery life that will allow a user to get some serious training in before having to swap batteries. For several weeks prior to actually mounting the Lucid M7 on a firearm, the sight was turned on first thing in the morning and tossed in my bag prior to going to work. The sight would stay on my desk, turned on to max intensity and I would give it a shake roughly every hour to disable the auto shut off. The sight would stay on from the moment I went to work till just before I went to bed. I did this for 3 weeks and logged over 250 + hours with the Lucid M7. After 250+ hours the reticle had not diminished in intensity.

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Power and intensity buttons of the Lucid M7. The “Achilles heel” of the optic.

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The Lucid M7 runs on 1 AAA battery. Very cheap to run and very convenient. Lucid recommends 8 in/lbs of torque on the screws found on the Lucid M7 and the riser.

One unique feature that the Lucid M7 has is the ability to automatically adjust to existing light and either dial down or increase reticle intensity. This is handy due to the fact that reticle brightness is controlled by a small pad like an Eotech sight and not with a rheostat as found on an Aimpoint sight. In testing the Lucid M7 I came to appreciate this feature – without it, dialing down the intensity with gloves on would be tricky. As previously mentioned the reticle on the Lucid M7 is very bright and when transitioning to a low light area I found it necessary to dial down intensity due to the fact that the 25 MOA circle was inhibiting a good sight picture and obscuring the target. When the auto brightness feature is turned on,the intensity is automatically dialed down. Another benefit of the auto brightness feature is that users can expect a battery life of about 5000 hours.

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My range bag and common equipment used for testing. The Eberelstock X3 LoDrag can easily carry rifle, optics, magazines, IR and white light, ear and eye protection. Problems with the Lucid M7 first appeared when using the Eberelstock pack.

During testing I discovered what, I believe, is a major problem with the Lucid M7. My primary method for carrying my Ar-15 to the range or the ranch is with an Eberelstock X3 LoDrag pack. Since the Eberelstock pack utilizes a rifle scabbard, the Lucid M7’s power and intensity buttons were constantly being engaged. Due to the constant pressure from the pack, I believe the circuitry became ‘confused’ when these buttons were held down. After this happened I could not get the sight to turn on, let alone function reliably. In some cases, removing the battery for an unspecified amount of time allowed the sight to come back on. As soon as reticle intensity was adjusted, however, the sight would shut off. In testing I found that the battery had to be left out of the unit until all the electrical energy dissipated from the sight. Swapping new batteries did not help. Prior to shipping the sight back to Lucid I was able to get the sight to turn on and it appeared to function normally. (The sight sat in it’s case without a battery for about 2 weeks) Holding down the power and intensity buttons, I was able to repeat the problem. Due to this issue, it was next to impossible to log serious training time with the sight.

I brought up the issue with Lucid… I was told they were aware of the issue and that I should not carry my Ar-15 using the Eberelstock pack…(?!) What if a police officer was using a Lucid M7 equipped patrol carbine, and the rifle was in a soft case in the officer’s trunk? If the officer was in a high speed pursuit, in the course of pursuit a piece of gear could shift onto the officer’s rifle case and engage the buttons on the sight. That officer would have an issue should he or she deploy their rifle only to find that the sight is not functioning properly. This circumstance would be especially detrimental at night or in a low light scenario when a red dot sight is a force multiplier. Several weeks ago I was at the range shooting with a fellow TFB writer, Tom R. Tom R was testing a rifle equipped with the Lucid HD7. After Tom R was done testing I held down all the buttons on the Lucid HD7 to see if I could replicate the issue I had with the Lucid M7. The Lucid HD7 scoffed at my attempts to confuse its circuitry and continued to function 100%.

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When the Lucid M7 worked, it easily handled the recoil from a Winchester Model 70 chambered in 30-06. A bolt action rifle equipped with a red dot makes for a deadly instrument when hunting boar and feral pigs.

Prior to mounting the Lucid M7 on my Ar-15, the sight was mounted on a Winchester Model 70 chambered in 30-06. After laser bore sighting the Lucid M7, I fired 20 rounds from the prone position at 50 yards. All shots were within 2 inches which leads me to believe that the Lucid M7 can handle some pretty substantial recoil. Switching the Lucid M7 to my Ar-15, I was only able to fire several magazines worth of ammunition. I ran several El Presidente drills using the Lucid M7. With the 25 MOA circle I was able to get on target a little bit faster then normal, and my timer consistently read sub 10 second runs.

Just needs a sling

Final Thoughts.

The Lucid M7 has a lot of potential but I don’t think it is ready for heavy duty use yet. It is interesting to note that the Lucid HD7 is currently on it’s third generation. If they haven’t already, I have no doubt that Lucid is working to correct the deficiencies of the Lucid M7. In the mean time I would look strongly at the Lucid HD7… or save an extra $200 and buy an Aimpoint PRO. I recently got the chance to spend several hours on the range with the Lucid HD7 and I was extremely impressed.

Thank you Lucid for providing The Firearm Blog with a test sample. Phil White’s review of the Lucid HD7 can be found here.

Do you have any experience with Lucid optics? Thoughts, comments, bad jokes and humor are welcome in the comments below.

Louis Awerbuck

Louis Awerbuck. January 27th, 1948 – June 24th, 2014. Rest is peace Louis. Information concerning his life and his written work can be found here.



Thomas Gomez

Thomas Gomez currently resides in the mountains of central New Mexico. He has an M.B.A, an Ar-15/M16/M4 armorer certification from Specialized Armament Warehouse as well as a Glock armorer certification. Aside from writing for The Firearm Blog he works as a Clinical Analyst for a large Hospital. He spends his free time farming, ranching, hiking, fly-fishing and hunting in the beautiful forests and prairies of New Mexico. He can be reached at LOADTHATBIPOD@gmail.com


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  • Pseudodeus

    Great review. Good to see lower price options. I have an EOTech and I like it a lot but in the end I probably didn’t need to spend the money on it. One objection: I’m not sure when everyone talking about optics agreed to repeat the fallacy that these optics can be parallax free, but the author is on board. Aimpoints are not parallax free. My EOTech is not paralax free. It’s not possible to create and image that eliminates parallax at all ranges. The image on my EOTech was supposedly recorded at 100 yds, so in theory it has no parallax at 100 yds. At all other ranges there is non-zero parallax. What do these companies actually mean when they say that?

    • Commonsense23

      What they are trying to say is that you don’t need the same cheek weld for everyshot, just put the red dot on target and it hits. Compared to older optics where that wasn’t true. Eotechs are suppose to be parallax free past 22 yards if I remember right. At closer ranges it is almost not a factor. You are right saying no optic can truly be parallax free, but eotechs and aimports come close enough to the point most people will never know they aren’t.

      • I think my EoTech is like 25 yards so we’re in the same ballpark. Parallax free is a wish more than a fact but it’s getting better.

        • Pseudodeus

          I guess part of my gripe is that it doesn’t seem to me that it CAN get any better. At least with holography, you should have exactly the amount of shift in the reticle as you would if there were a real reticle-shaped object in front of your optic at the distance the image was recorded. Maybe they should advertise minimum possible parallax?

        • Ethan

          Agreed. Under 25 yards the difference Parallax makes is practically negligible anyways – even a 2MOA Parallax distortion would only create a 0.5″ shift in impact at that range (if my math is right). Optics have indeed come a long way.

    • Thomas Gomez

      Hello Sir.

      I believe you are correct in your assessment. If memory serves I noticed a slight distortion concerning the reticle when i aggressively adjusted my cheek weld. Due to the issue with the sight I was not able to test parallax/shift when shooting. The sight probably does have minor parallax issues.

      In regards to your Aimpoint comment…I believe I heard Larry Vickers state that Aimpoints are not parallax free and that one should try to keep the dot in the “middle of the sight” when shooting.

      Thank you for contributing to the conversation. I hope this finds you well.

  • LCON

    I looks like a cross between the Aimpoint Micro T series and a older model of Comp2 before they flipped the battery compartment form the 2 O’clock to the 4

  • allannon

    There seem to be quite a few good, budget brands these days.

    Aimpoints and Eotechs are great sights, but most of us can use the $300 price difference more than the $300 worth of durability. 😉

  • DiverEngrSL17K

    Thomas, I think you did a very good job with this evaluation. It is well-written, comprehensive, practical ( in terms of applicability for everyday users ) and has a lot of substance, constructive criticism included. Definitely one of the best such equipment assessments I have seen to date on TFB. Lucid is fortunate to be privy to your field testing and feedback for product improvement purposes. They make excellent, functional, cost-effective sights and deserve this level of support.

    • Thank you sir:-) My HD7 is still as solid as it was on day one. You certainly get a good value for the money. I wish we had more companies like Lucid that admit they have some things to work on and you know they will.

    • Thomas Gomez

      Hello DiverEngrSL17K.

      Thank you for the feedback! Do you own any Lucid products?

      Sorry for the late response…I was out in the woods for the weekend and away from an internet connection. Hope this finds you well!

      • DiverEngrSL17K

        Hi, Thomas :

        Thanks very much for the reply — being in the wilderness away from the Internet and the trappings of civilization is a wonderful thing, is it not?

        I don’t personally own any Lucid products ( as yet ), but I have some familiarity with them as a friend of mine has an HD7 and an M7, and we often try each others’ set-ups in order to learn more and to broaden our horizons. Of the two, I prefer the full-sized HD7 for it’s ruggedness, reliability and pure functionality in spite of higher weight ( which I find perfectly acceptable ) although I will also say that the M7 has it’s own niche and works very well in applications requiring a lightweight and compact but reliable red-dot platform. As many have pointed out, the Lucid sights are extremely cost-effective and give tremendous value for the money.

        Echelon and a few others have pointed out the excellent results they have had with Primary Arms and other similar sights, and rightly so. Although I usually use MSE AQC, Meprolight or EO Tech sights on my primary rifles, I have also tried various Sightmark and Aimshot red-dot sights with very good results. Some models will work flawlessly under the most difficult conditions, while others do not perform as well. For the cheaper sights, one has to be willing to try out, and experiment with, an assortment of sights to sort out the ones that really work. This means spending a lot of time and some money to thoroughly evaluate these sights to find the ones that are worth purchasing and keeping. Those who do not have the time or the inclination to do this will spend more money up front in exchange for known consistency by purchasing a product with a widely-accepted reputation for quality.

  • MattInTheCouv

    i know i can just go to the website and probably see it there, but a reticle picture seems necessary here.

  • chris

    Great write up… articles like this is what drives companies to create better parts. CG

    • Thomas Gomez

      Thank you Sir!

  • Blake

    “Shooters are constantly looking for a red dot sight that: costs under $200; can be mounted on rifles, carbines and shotguns; weighs several ounces; is parallax free; is compatible with all night vision devices; is submersible to 80 feet; and that runs for 50,000 hours.”

    Very well put indeed.

    To boot, I’ll take 5k hours & don’t care about night vision…

    • Thomas Gomez

      The fact that Lucid optics utilize a AAA battery is a great feature.

      Thanks for the comment!

  • Chijen

    Glad to see this comment board on TFB is not full of optics snobs. Seriously, nothing more annoying on gun boards than optics snobs (and I own like 4 Trij, 5 Aims, & 2 Eot). The Chinese made optics like this Lucid & PA & Vortex have their place, if only too keep the big boys competitive (noticed some massive sales on Trijicons lately??). Just keep in mind that cost of ownership may actually be lower for the premium brands if you ever plan to upgrade or change optics due to higher resale value.

    A Trijicon/Aimpoint/Eotech bought at a good sale price will probably retain 80% of its value after 3 to 4 years. This is something the Chinese optics can’t match. Another, is if you plan to use a magnifier. The higher quality lead free glass makes a noticeable difference using a magnifier. If you don’t care about those things, the Chinese optics can be great. I have a $50 RMR knockoff that is beautifully made and rock solid.

  • IXLR8

    I noticed that you did not test the screw on 2x adapter. I find that it is a valuable piece of my HD7. Sometimes the extra magnification makes all of the difference. I assume that the Killflash is available for this optic as well.
    I prefer the 2x adapter because it solidly mounts to the optic and is always concentric. The flip-away magnifiers do not reliably line up for me, and the 3x magnification is a little too much.
    I look forward to trying the M7 myself. Grat writeup!

    • Thomas Gomez

      Hello Sir.

      I was not provided the 2x adapter for testing. What generation of HD7 do you have? Any issues to date?

  • Random FFL

    I was excited about this sight until I came to the part of your review about the buttons and issues with being in a bag/pack. This is a major issue for a lot of users. If Lucid doesn’t fix this problem then I will never own this site, which is the same reason I don’t own a Vortex SPARC.

    • Havok

      Vortex has fixed that issue with the SPARC. The redesigned it so that the Up and Down buttons now control On and Off as well. They also removed the pretty much useless NV button.

  • John

    i think you should also write up a review of the TRS-25. They’ve been getting cheaper and cheaper (I’ve seen them go for as low as 60$) which is absurd seeing as it competes favorably against RDSes in the $200 range.

    http://www.thebangswitch.com/budget-red-dot-sight-comparison-part-2/

    • Thomas Gomez

      Hello John.

      I am currently using the Bushnell TRS-25 for all of my testing. I wish the sight was a tad brighter. The factory riser is garbage but overall the sight has worked incredibly well. I am bough the sight in January and intend to run it the rest of the year then conduct a full review.

      Hope this finds you well!

  • CHOMP

    5,000, //////// 50,000 hrs whose counting? (me) R.I.P Lewis! Thanks for the great shotgun classes in the 90’s. Great guy this one. Nice review on the sight also

  • echelon

    I can’t get my Primary Arms sight to fail. It just works and works…and it was $100. I run it hard too. Maybe not this hard but…

    http://www.tacticalsandwich.com/?p=78

    • Thomas Gomez

      Great information! Thanks for the link. From what you have observed…how long do the batteries usually last? Is the sight bright enough for daytime use?

      • echelon

        I’ve been running on the same battery now for hundreds of hours. I don’t believe PA claims that it will run for 55,000 hours or anything.

        It’s more than bright enough for daytime use. I also have the Bushnell TRS-25 and in full sunlight I can’t see that dot even on the highest setting. This little PA dot completely blows the Bushnell out of the water IMO.

        I should also mention that for the $100 you also get the riser mount as well. Some people say it’s garbage but I haven’t had any issues with it and it locks and unlocks fine and always retains zero upon remounting it.

        I like the Lucid HD7 but it’s so big and heavy. I really wish that sight was more of an ACOG style scope rather than a red dot…but then again PA also makes an awesome 4x ACOG style scope that is also super impressive and hard to beat for the money so…

  • Bubba

    Well Patriots….keep supporting these products made by slave labor in Red China. Look around you….how many of your friends, family and neighbors work a family-sustaining wage job in manufacturing ? Oh, “none” you say ? That’s because at least half of you work for some form of government. You get your nice taxpayer funded paycheck and you don’t care what the private sector consists of. In the meantime your beloved federal politicians have sent our manufacturing to the Red Chinese, the Indians, the Pakistanis, and a host of other nations where the common man, or serf, can’t own a firearm that uses the Red Chinese Lucid.

    The Lucid product and every product imported should be hit with a tariff of 100%. Then if you still think it’s so great buy it. In the meantime, folks in the USA are out of work, thanks to the mentality I see expressed here.

    So, bring on your justifying remarks for supporting slave labor, foreign produced products. It won’t matter much. Simply because the country is lost, we have no borders, and we import everything we consume. Like the third world nation we’ve become.

    Most of you are simply fools.

  • Don’t buy Chinese crap

    “What if a police officer was using a Lucid M7 equipped patrol carbine, and the rifle was in a soft case in the officer’s trunk? ” which is EXACTLY why you don’t buy CHEAP CRAP for gear that could either help you win a fight or a be a severe handicap. C’mon. Don’t be a cheap ass. Save up $20 a week for 10 weeks and you’ve closed the price gap between this piece of crap and an aimpoint pro.

    • rjackparis

      Sounds like you’re justifying.

      Further seems the issue has been fixed.

      All products go through teething.