Lucid M7 Micro Dot Optic + 2-5 Magnifier On ADM Swing Out Base – Long Term Review

If you haven’t seen the Preview Review of the Lucid M7, check it out, as it has all of the basic specs and some initial impressions of the optics. As […]

Lucid M7 Lucid 2-5x magnifier Lucid 2x magnifierIf you haven’t seen the Preview Review of the Lucid M7, check it out, as it has all of the basic specs and some initial impressions of the optics. As with that preview, here is what we will cover:

Rather than rehash the preview, lets dig in to what else we learned about the Lucid M7 and the Lucid 2-5x Magnifier  by using it on a wide range of rifles in a variety of situations.

UniqueARs_GibbsArms_Lucid_Optics_Newtown_Firearms_Bear_Creek_Arsenal_JeffSo, what do we think of the Lucid M-7?

Overall I have really enjoyed the Lucid M7 micro dot optic itself, although I struggled to find the right role for this sort of optic. When I have used it in appropriate situations the Lucid M7 red dot sight has worked very well. I have had zero issues with reliability or durability and none were reported by any of the other testers that have used this optic. The M7 has been easy to adjust zero as we have moved it from rifle to rifle (… to rifle… to rifle…etc) and has held zero in every case. The Lucid M-7 appears to be of similar quality to several more expensive optics, making it a reasonable alternative. However, it is not what I would call a “budget” optic. The Lucid M7 micro dot optic has been used by at least 7 different testers and is sometimes forgotten about in post shooting debriefs. For a mid-range optic, this is a big compliment… we test gear with a critical eye. If our reviewers consistently have nothing to gripe about, then that product must be doing something right.

UniqueARs_GibbsArms_Lucid_Optics_Newtown_Firearms_Bear_Creek_Arsenal_Bob_shooting_rear_zoomBright idea?

This is not the first red dot that I have used, but it is the first that has a photosensor to control the intensity of the red dot brightness. Prior to trying the Lucid M7 I thought this would be the feature that I liked the most. It certainly looks like the coolest feature “on paper”. In practice I found that the automatic brightness adjustment always worked, but I wasn’t always happy with the brightness level. Usually I wanted the dot to be just a bit brighter. It would be great if there was some way to set a baseline brightness that the optic would use to adjust brighter or dimmer and maintain the same intensity level relative to the baseline. That said, I generally like the automatic brightness adjustment and hope to see this become a much more pervasive feature in this product class.

UniqueARs GibbzArms Lucid Optics M7 Newtown Firearms Bear Creek Arsenal R&J_FirearmsWhen not to use the Lucid M-7 micro dot sight

This is what I struggled with the most. We get soooo many guns passing through the Gear Report lab for testing that we are always swapping optics from one rifle to the next. While we know that each type of optic has a specific purpose and intended use it can be hard to resist the temptation to always grab the optic that is next in the review queue, even if it might not be the best fit for the type of shooting that will be done that day. I fell victim to this a few times early on, as I was sufficiently excited to use the Lucid M-7 that I tried to force fit it into a few reviews where a dedicated magnified optic would have been a better choice. I REALLY wanted the screw-on magnifier or quick disconnect swing-out magnifier to work so well that the Lucid M7 + magnifier would be a viable alternative to a typical magnified scope. What I found in practice was that the field of view is already rather constrained on a micro dot sight. Adding magnification meant giving up more field of view than I wanted in many cases. And eye relief is tight. Really tight. So, some of my initial experiences with the Lucid M-7 weren’t that good. Don’t try to use your red dot for longer distances where you would naturally want a magnified optic and expect the same result.

10-UniqueARs_GibbsArms_Lucid_Optics_Newtown_Firearms_Bear_Creek_Arsenal (3)… And then it “clicked”!

I had used the Lucid M-7 several times and was frustrated that I had yet to find a setup where it really “felt natural”. Then a new .300 AAC Blackout 16″ rifle upper arrived and I took it to the range to test some subsonic ammo that I had loaded. Something about that setup made the Lucid M7 micro dot optic shine. It just felt “right” as I shot the .300 BLK at 10-25 yards. Once I had dialed in the right situation to use the Lucid M7, and gave up on using the screw on or swing-in magnifiers, my feelings about the Lucid M7 Micro Dot sight went from frustration to confident and happy.

How did we test the Lucid M-7 optic and Results?

By shooting with it. A lot. We have installed the M7 Micro Dot sight on at least 10 different rifles including ARs chambered in .22lr, .223/5.56, and .308, a .30-30 lever gun and even on multiple 12 Ga shotguns. In some cases we were shooting in the 10-25 yard range, which I consider to be ideal for this sort of unmagnified optic. In others, we tried to push the Lucid M7 red dot further by adding the screw-on magnifier or the swing our 2-5x magnifier. In all cases, here is what we evaluated and what we found:

  • 60-JP_Enterprises_GibbzArms_ohuhu_pro_mag_Bear_Creek_Arsenal_Vortex_Lucid (2)Ease of installation
    • We chose to use the Lucid M7 Micro Dot sight with the M7 Micro Dot Riser mount ($39 MSRP) to bring it to the correct height to add the Lucid 2-5x Magnifier on the ADM QD Swing Out mount. However, installation is basically the same whether installed with or without the mount…
      1. Loosen the allen screw to open the mount clamp and slide the M7 sight to the desired position on the picatinny rail.
      2. Tighten the allen screw.
    • It would have been nice to have QD mount on the M7, like the American Defense Manufacturing QD Auto Lock Mount (ADM SM-01 Swing off Mount) that is on the Lucid 2-5x magnifier for a tool free install. However, the single allen screw is pretty easy and we never experienced any loosening, even after LOTS of shooting.
  • Ease of adjusting zero on the sight
    • The elevation and windage adjustments on the Lucid M-7 are intuitive and proved reliable.
    • Jeff_shoot_wmd10_Lucid_M7_hyskore_bench

      Lucid M7 Micro Dot on the WMD Guns WMD10 AR10

      Each adjustment turret has a tethered cap that must be removed to access the turret for adjustment. The weak point on the otherwise rather durable M7 micro dot is the tether. Ergonomically it is in the way when trying to screw on/off the caps, and ours if fraying/failing on all 3 turrets (elevation, windage, battery).

    • The turrets have coin shaped slots which implies they have to be adjusted with the aid of a screwdriver, penny, or similar. However, I found that they turn easily enough that my fingernail is sufficient to make adjustments. We REALLY like optics that do NOT require tools for installation or adjustment. While the M7 looked like it would require a tool for POA adjustment, it did not.
  • How well the Lucid M7 Micro Dot held zero over time
    • In all of our testing no POA/POI shifts were reported. We shot with this optic a LOT and never had to re-zero it on the same installation.
  • How well/poorly we shot with it
    • When used as an unmagnified optic at close ranges (10-50 yards), all testers reported acceptable Minute Of Man performance.
  • JJ shoot wmd10 Lucid M7 fireball

    JJ shooting the WMD Guns WMD10 with Lucid M7

    How fast/slowly we were able to get on targets

    • This is the primary advantage of a 2-eyes-open type of sighting device. When used appropriately the shooter can acquire and put rounds on the target much quicker than aligning front and rear iron sights or getting on target with the smaller field of view and one-eye-open method of a magnified optic. While we didn’t collect data on shooting the same course of fire with each different sighting method, all testers agreed that the simplicity of the single red dot targeting device made this much easier and more natural.
  • Durability
    • I hate to admit it, but I’m the one who keeps up with most of the products that we test at Gear Report and I don’t wear white gloves when handling any of it. I have been known, on more than one occasion to toss a red dot optic from the storage closet to the tester at the installation bench, to toss the whole rifle, optics included, in the back of the Luxury Battlewagon, and knock over rifles that are leaning against a wall, bench, log etc. And that is all stuff that happens when the guns are NOT being used. In the field I can be a bit clumsy and bump into things or lose my balance. We also made a point to shoot the Lucid M7 Micro Dot with a variety of guns, some of which provide a stout recoil impulse. In all cases the Lucid M-7 functioned flawlessly. The only durability issue at all is with the little wire turret and battery cap retainer, which is fraying at both ends and won’t stay on the battery cap at all any more.
  • 39-UniqueARs_GibbzArms_Lucid_Optics_Newtown_Firearms_Bear_Creek_Arsenal_R&J_Firearms (40)Battery life
    • We have had the Lucid M-7 red dot sight for about 6 months and are on our second AAA battery. I suspect that the auto brightness and 2 hour auto shut off go a long way towards extending battery life.
  • General fitness for use in the specific mode we were testing
    • As noted above, I had a big problem resisting the urge to force fit the M7 red dot into all types of shooting, even when it wasn’t the right choice. Hard to blame the tool for underperforming when the tool wasn’t being used correctly. When I backed off of insisting to use the magnifiers, I was very pleased with the performance of the Lucid M7 Micro Red Dot.
  • Value
    • At $229 MSRP the Lucid M-7 Micro Dot is not a “cheap” sight (although less via Amazon). However, it appears designed to complete with heavy duty optics from the likes of Aimpoint, which start at over $500. While Lucid doesn’t have the long, battle tested history of the more expensive Aimpoints, it is likely a good compromise for those that need something more durable and dependable than a $39 TacFire RD003 Mini Micro Red Dot

The Lucid Magnifiers:

  • Lucid M7 with Lucid 2-5x magnifier on ADM swing out mount

    Lucid M7 with Lucid 2-5x magnifier on ADM swing out mount – magnifier to side

    Lucid M7 with Lucid 2-5x magnifier on ADM swing out mount - magnifier deployed

    Lucid M7 with Lucid 2-5x magnifier on ADM swing out mount – magnifier deployed

    Lucid 2-5x Magnifier on Swing To Side mount

    • Of the four products in this review this is the one that I was most excited about. I had never used a magnifier + red dot sight combination before and was itching to see if it worked in real life as well as my son uses this combination in Call of Duty. Sadly, as you might expect, it didn’t work anywhere nearly as smoothly in real life.
    • While Lucid advertises 4″ eye relief, I measured a touch under 2.5″ eye relief. This optic is rather sensitive in terms of distance from the optic and alignment to the centerline of the optic. This caused me problems as I learned to adjust to using the swing-out magnifier. What I often found myself wanting to do was use just the red dot for general target acquisition, then swing in the magnifier to fine tune my aim point. Obviously, head position, cheek weld, eyes open (one vs both) are different in each mode, so I think I complicated things unnecessarily. When I opted to only use the swing out magnifier by itself things went much more smoothly. However, with a
      Lucid M7 with Lucid 2-5x magnifier on ADM swing out mount - magnifier deployed 2

      Lucid M7 with Lucid 2-5x magnifier on ADM swing out mount – magnifier deployed – side view

      variety of magnified optics also in the test queue I didn’t do as much shooting with the magnifier after I “figured it out” as I would have like. As I sit here at my desk looking out the window through the swing out magnifier I really want to test this further and see if I really am any wiser and able to use the magnifier more effectively.

    • I am unable to get full field of view at less than about 3.2x magnification. However, the 2x magnification level isn’t that useful anyway.
    • The magnifier makes the crisp dot of the Lucid M-7 Micro Dot appear blurry and stretched out.
    • With the ADM QD mount, weighs 13.75 oz
    •  At $229 MSRP this is not a “budget” magnifier, but not “expensive” by comparison to other similar magnifiers either. Most casual shooters aren’t likely to drop this sort of coin on “toy”, which positions the Lucid M2-5x magnifier as more of an entry level magnifier for professional use, IMHO. Although, when used appropriately, I think that the casual shooter can get very good value from adding the Ludic magnifier to their red dot instead of adding a separate magnified scope to their range bag.
  • UniqueARs GibbzArms Lucid Optics M7 Newtown Firearms Bear Creek Arsenal R&J_Firearms - with Lucid 2x magnifierLucid 2x Magnifier for the M7 Micro Dot

    • Advertised as 2-7″ eye relief. While this is true (actually more than 7″) I find that if I am further than 1″ the sight picture seems too small. I had to be very careful using the Lucid 2x Magnifier with any gun that had significant recoil, because I found myself creeping closer and closer to the lense, sometimes bumping it before I realised how close I was.
    • With a mere 2x magnification I struggled to find the right time to use it. 2x is hardly enough to stretch out any distance, especially with the small sight picture, but it is enough magnification that it sometimes messed with me when trying to uses it in traditional both-eyes-open red dot mode.
    • While likely useful in specific situations, the Lucid 2x Magnifier spend more than it’s fair share of time rolling around in the bottom of the range bag and very little actually attached to the M7 red dot.
    • Installation is easy when there is no pressure. However, the fine threads that attach the Lucid 2x magnifier to the M7 or Lucid HD7 optic proved challenging for me when in a simulated high stress situation.
    • At $49 MSRP, it might not be a bad idea to add one if you are ordering, as it can be useful. However, I’m not sure I’d call that a “no brainer” add on. Really depends on how you plan to use it.
  • American Defense Manufacturing QD Auto Lock Mount (ADM SM-01 Swing off Mount)

    American Defense Manufacturing QD Auto Lock Mount (ADM SM-01 Swing off Mount)

    American Defense Manufacturing QD Auto Lock Mount (swing to side mount)

    • Ok, not an magnifier, but critical to the Lucid 2-5 Magnifier’s operation. This is one slick piece of kit.
    • Installation is simple:
      • loosen 2 allen screws to allow the Lucid 2-5x Magnifier to be inserted, do not tighten yet.
      • unlock the QD lever to spread the picatinny rail clamp
      • slide the mount into position on the picatinny rail and lock in place via QD lever
      • slide the Lucid Magnifier forward or aft so that the front just touches the rear of the Lucid M7 Micro Dot
    • Changing the Lucid 2-5x Magnifier from deployed to stand-by is as simple as pushing the rear of the magnifier to the side so it will swing into position.
    • Once in position we had no issues with the magnifier accidentally swinging. The ADM QD mount held steady even when we were rather rough with the gun.

 
Overall

Gear Score
Gearswww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
The Lucid M7 Micro Dot Sight has proven to be durable and reliable, the 2 most critical optic attributes. The auto brightness adjustment is a nice extra feature not found on most other micro dots in this price range.

Gear Score
Gearswww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
The Lucid 2-5x magnifier works well when used appropriately, but would benefit from a broader eye relief range. Still, a solid magnifier
Gear Score
Gearswww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
The Lucid 2x screw in magnifier works and is very simple to use. Short eye relief will be a problem if mounted on a rifle that kicks.

Gear Score
Gearswww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
American Defense Manufacturing QD Auto Lock Mount is a solid, if a bit bulky, option for mounting a magnifier and works well with the riser mounted Lucid M7

 

About Jeff

Jeff is the Editor in Chief of Gear Report and a National Shooting Sports Foundation Media member. He reports on the outdoor industry, reviews gear for camping, hiking, shooting, hunting, paddling, backpacking and other active pursuits. A USAF veteran, Jeff earned a MBA in Marketing and Health Services. He specializes in consultative selling and internet marketing. As the VP of BD & Marketing, Jeff provides sales and marketing leadership to MGECOM, Inc. and helps http://MGECOM.com acquire new clients in need of solutions for online merchants in need of Affiliate Marketing program management. Jeff founded and manages Cress Sales & Marketing LLC, offering online sales and marketing consulting and services to online merchants and service providers.