Lucid L7 Scope Review
At the 2016 SHOT Show, there were lots of nice scopes on hand from US Optics, Nightforce, Vortex and all the usual players. But, one excellent scope that was surprisingly overlooked by many was the Lucid L7. Lucid, a Riverton, Wyoming based company, has been around since 2009. They design their products in the US and manufacturing is done overseas to stay competitive. The new L7 is a true 1-6×24 scope with their impressive P7 reticle.
The P7 etched glass reticle is one of the better designs that I’ve worked with in the last few years. It is simple enough to not be distracting or get in the way of actual shooting, but it has enough detail to provide the shooter with options. The measurements are based on the MOA system and not just calibrated to one specific load, barrel length and altitude combination. This is an advantage, since one P7 can work with any realistic combination of factors. There is a 1/4 MOA center dot for precise aiming, in the middle of a 4 MOA circle, when faster shots are needed. The horizontal crosshair is made out of spaced bars and dots for estimating windage. The vertical bar is made up of segments and dots spaced every 8 MOA for elevation holds. With a bit of range time, a shooter can easily work up a chart for a specific load and gun combination at various distances. Using software, like STRELOK for smart phones, can help with ballistics. We had excellent results running the L7 scope at 1x and using the 4MOA circle for fast acquisition shots at close range, and then switching to the center dot as our 6x aim point at longer distances. The real world usability of the P7 reticle design is certainly one of the selling points of this scope.
The elevation and windage knobs on the Lucid L7 have raised rubber panels for grip and are 0.5 MOA per click. The knob movement is very smooth with clear clicks that can be both felt and heard. The adjustments are repeatable, based on our “ten clicks over, ten clicks under” test. One thing worth noting is that these are locking knobs. This protects the shooter from accidental changes, due to bumping the scope into a tree or barricade. In order to make adjustments, the knobs have to be pulled straight out from the scope body. When pressed back down, they will not turn and protect the current adjustment settings. The zero can also be reset after adjusting the scope using the included hex wrench. As for durability, the Lucid L7 uses a one piece tube and is rated as waterproof, fogproof and shockproof up to .458 SOCOM.
The battery compartment opens easily with a quarter or screwdriver. It is sealed with an 0-ring and comes from the factory with greased threads, which is an appreciated touch. Do be aware that the L7 does not ship with a battery and that we were not able to find anything in the box or on Lucid’s website that specified what size battery to use. Jason, from Lucid, let us know that they are working on a manual for the L7 which will resolve this issue. Fortunately, after eyeballing the compartment, we correctly guessed that the scope runs on the common CR2032 coin cell, which we had on hand.
With the magnification turned all the way down, the Lucid L7 is a true 1x scope, as shown above. This is not true for all of the one powers on the market. Often the 1x is actually somewhere in the range of 1.1 to 1.4. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but a true 1x scope will let a user more easily shoot with both eyes open, giving them the maximum view of their surroundings. This let us keep, in our example above, not just the gate in view, but also most of the ground between it and our position.
By zooming in to 3x, shown above, we can clearly see the field of view trade-off between low and no magnification. Changing magnification on the L7 is easy with the zoom lever that can be screwed into the magnification ring. It is also worth noting that this scope uses a second focal plane setup, so the reticle stays the same size, no matter how much or little zoom is used.
At 6x we still have clear optics, even in evening light, as shown above. We can easily differentiate the yellow rope tied around the fence and the individual nubs on the left supporting fence post. In comparing the glass on the L7 to other scopes, there is no discernible difference between Lucid’s optic and my favorite Nikon. The image is very clear, edge to edge and provides the user with plenty of detail.
The illuminated reticle has eleven different brightness settings ranging from barely noticeable to bright enough for daytime use. We tested the scope in both evening and dusk conditions, as shown above at the brightest setting, when the illumination would be most useful. Even when turned all the way up, the blue remained crisp and did not fuzz the edges of the reticle, also leaving the 1/4 MOA center dot clearly visible. The illumination not only serves to keep the center of the reticle clear against multiple backgrounds, but we also found that it helped to draw the eye to the point of aim, potentially speeding up action shots.
Lucid’s L7 is a fantastic all around scope. In our testing on the AR platform with an emergency preparedness type rifle in mind, we found that it was an almost perfect setup. It gives the user an optical advantage that can be used in a variety of different situations, with little notice. The true 1x magnification paired with the 4 MOA circle on the reticle is an excellent combination for quick, close in shots. Spinning the zoom up to 3x or 6x helps with both distant target identification and shooting, using the 1/4 MOA center dot. This style of scope is certainly gaining in popularity for these very reasons. What the Lucid L7 adds to the mix is one of the best reticle designs around, along with a full feature set, at a price that is very competitive.
If you are looking to pick up an L7 as part of a new AR project, then check out our Easy AR15 Build guide for some tips that will save you time and frustration.
If you are wanting to improve the accuracy of your current AR, then see why we liked the KE Arms DMR trigger.
Also, take a look at our free Online Survival Skills Training, which is one of our most popular pages.