Lucid M7 Red Dot Sight

There are a lot of choice these days for affordable red dot sights which can make it difficult to pick one that suits your needs. In the past I’ve reviewed the LUCID HD7, Vortex SPARC, Vortex StrikeFire and Vortex Razor. I’ve also used, but not formally reviewed, the Bushnell TRS-25, FastFireII, and the Primary Arms Micro Dot. All of these sights come to market well below the price of competitive offerings from big name sight makers like Aimpoint and EOTech and offer a good value for the money.

LUCID M7 Controls

The push-button power and brightness controls are found on the left side of the sight housing.

LUCID introduced a new sight at SHOT Show 2013 called the M7 which is a micro-dot sight similar in size to an Aimpoint T-1 Micro or Vortex SPARC. While the market seems to be a bit saturated with similarly sized sights in the $200 price range, the M7 brings a couple of features to the table that set it apart from the SPARC. I’m comparing the M7 to the SPARC because the little Vortex optic has really impressed me with its value and durability.  I’ve betten the snot out of my SPARC and it has held up great, despite the dents and chips it now sports.

I picked up a M7 from our friends at 3Rivers Precision for $179 including shipping without the riser mount. MSRP on the sight is $229 however 3RP is offering a discount using the code “MACM7L” which will allow you to pick one up for the same price, which again includes shipping. If you would like the one with the riser mount for use on an AR15 or similar rifles, you can use the code “MACM7” for a price of $199. Before you ask, I don’t get any kick-backs from this promotion code or the sales of these sights. 3RP is a long time friend of MAC and will offer discount codes to our readers/viewers from time to time.

The M7 is right at 3″ in length and weighs just shy of 5oz. The body is made of cast aluminum and features an integrated 1913 mount. LUCID sells a riser that works in conjunction with the integrated mount to allow for a lower 1/3 co-witness with popular AR15 type back-up sights. Right out of the box the M7’s integrated mount sits too low to be used on an AR15 or similar type firearm without the riser. You can use any number of 3rd party risers (a Bushnell 1/2″ is pictured here) or you can purchase the $39 LUCID riser.

LUCID M7 light sensor

The sensor for automatically adjusting the reticle brightness is found on top of the sight, just in front of the elevation adjustment.

The sight is powered by a single AAA battery which resides in a o-ring sealed compartment on the top/right side of the housing. This is a perfect location for the battery compartment because it moves it away from potential heat sources like gas tubes and barrels. I’ve found in the past with sights like the EOTech 512 that heat from a gas tube (in this case an AK74) could cause the sight to shut down, or flicker, if the batteries got too hot. That won’t be a concern with the M7. The documentation on both the company website and in the documentation supplied with the sight doesn’t mention battery life. I will have to report back on the battery life once I deplete a battery or two. The sight will shut off automatically after 2 hours to conserve battery power.

The reticle is one of those features that sets the M7 apart from the competition. It resembles an EOTech reticle in that it has a 2MOA center dot surrounded by a 25MOA circle. The EOTech reticle is much finer of course with its 1MOA center dot, but overall the M7’s feels very similar to me. You can select from 7 brightness settings or you can let the sight auto-adjust for brightness. This is the second feature that sets the M7 apart from sights like the SPARC. With the first press of the power button the sight will enter into auto-brightness mode. A small light sensor on top of the sight measures local ambient light and adjusts the dot brightness accordingly. If you press the power button a second time, this will put you into manual brightness mode and now you can select one of the seven different settings that suit your needs using the touch pad on the left side of the housing. When you turn the sight off it will remember your manual settings for the next time you use the sight.

The sight is claimed to be “parallax free” but as with most sights in this category that means you will likely see up to 1″ of impact shift inside of 25 yards if you don’t center the dot in the sight body while shooting. To see this point of impact shift you would have to put the dot right at the edge of the field of view which most people won’t do. For regular use it’s safe to say you won’t see much of a POI shift if you don’t get the dot perfectly centered.

LUCID M7 on Kel-Tec KSG

The M7 looks right at home on the Kel-Tec KSG 12ga shotgun. It’s mounted via a Bushnell 1/2″ riser.

LUCID also claims the M7 is 100% shock proof and has been tested on .458 SOCOM rifles. We shall see, I’ve mounted my M7 to my Kel-Tec KSG 12ga shotgun. This lightweight bruiser will rattle the M7, or any sight, so it will be interesting to see how it holds up. I’ll talk about this more in my video review of the sight and/or the Kel-Tec KSG.

The M7 works with conventional 3x magnifiers such as those sold by LUCID, Aimpoint, EOTech, Vortex and others. It’s also able to accept a small 2x screw in magnifier (sold separately) which mounts to the ocular lens. I’ve found these to be mostly useless and don’t recommend them. However, if you want to use a conventional swing-away 3x magnifier, it will work fine with the M7. The sight is nitrogen filled so fogging of the lenses shouldn’t be an issue when going from one temperature extreme to another.

Adjustments to elevation and windage are accomplished by towers on the top and right side of the body. Each click of either elevation or windage is good for 1/2 MOA. There are faint clicks you must listen and feel for letting you know when you’ve made an adjustment, however there aren’t any tick marks to give you a visual que of your settings. Both adjustment towers and the battery compartment cap are leashed via a thin rubber covered wire to prevent their loss in the field.

In the box you will find a sparse manual (more of a spec sheet), an allen wrench for mounting your sight, a rubber lens cap, a lens cloth and of course the sight itself. The M7 is covered by LUCID’s limited lifetime warranty.

Overall I like the sight and think it’s a good value and will compete well in the marketplace. I’ll close with some Pros and Cons.

M7 Pros
Affordable
Lightweight
Uses AAA batteries
2MOA reticle with outer 25MOA circle
Auto-adjusting brightness
Solid build quality
Limited lifetime warranty

M7 Cons
Integrated mount - I would rather see a T1-Micro type mount
Push button power switch is easily turned on by accident however it uses common AAA's
No Quick Detach options available from factory
Automatically shuts off after 2 hours and lacks an automatic wake-up feature

MAC

MAC is an avid shooter, former MCSF Marine, NRA member, Oath Keeper and is commissioned as a Colonel by the Governor of Kentucky. Known for his videos on the Military Arms Channel, he also writes for The Bang Switch, for Shotgun News (Be Ready!) and freelances for Guns & Ammo. MAC has been a life long shooter who has an interest in all things that go "bang" but gravitates towards military type firearms.

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  • JunkfoodZombie

    I liked your review on the HD7. Looking forward to this one. Perhaps you could let us know they compare to one another and which you prefer.

    • http://www.military-arms.com MAC

      I need to spend some more time with the M7, but I can say my initial impressions are that I will prefer the M7. I like the smaller size and mounting options you don’t have with the HD7. For example, the HD7 wouldn’t work as well on the KSG as the M7.

      • tstrom15

        How many hours of battery life would be your estimate?

        • http://www.military-arms.com MAC

          I’ve read everything from 1,000 hours to 5,000 hours. Only time will tell.

  • http://www.facebook.com/patrickjamesdevine Patrick James Devine

    MAC, you’re making my choices narrowing down an optic harder, not easier! Ha…. But it really is good to know that there is a lot more quality and competition in the market today than even just a few years ago for dot sights, particularly of the “micro” size category.

    As an average shooter, who doesn’t tour the sandbox, run in national 3 gun competitions, or is able to shoot several thousand rounds a month, I really appreciate and trust your insight. You have a lot more experience with the various equipment out there, have better training, and you know what to look for. I highly trust your opinion, and you’re an invaluable resource to someone in my position. Thanks for passing along the skinny on the Lucid M7. Look forward to reading more!

    • JunkfoodZombie

      What he ^ said. :)

    • http://www.military-arms.com MAC

      Thank you, I’m glad you find my commentary useful. You’re right, there are a lot of options out there. If money isn’t a concern, go with the T1 Micro. If money is a concern and as you said, you’re not touring the sandbox, then there are some very good choices out there. The biggest detractor to a sight like this is the battery life typically. Always keep spare AAA’s on hand, which should be easy to do. It’s also a bit of a pain that the power switch is on the side of the sights’ body which means putting it in a gun case can accidentally turn the sight on. But again, keep a pack of triple A’s handy and you’ll never find yourself without power. The SPARC puts the touch switch in a slightly better position, it faces rearward. That makes it less likely to be activated, but not impossible — I’ve done it. Unlike the SPARC, the M7 uses those cheap and readily available AAA’s so it’s a trade off.

      Anyway, I’m rambling. More to come on the M7 in the near future.

  • Aries144

    This looks like a nice mid pricerange option. Thanks a lot for the review!

  • legersois

    I’d like to see it compared with the Vortex Sparc. Same price, same use. I got a Sparc that i like, but i’m looking for a 2nd red dot.

    • Erik Block

      Same man, i have my EOTech 517 and i love it but im looking for a little red dot for my 10-22 Takedown. For the price and the fact that it has an aluminum body is a plus.

    • http://www.military-arms.com MAC

      It’s very similar to the SPARC with the differences I pointed out in the article. See my comments above about the power switch differences and battery differences. The SPARC really has endured itself to me given the abuse mine has taken, but so far I’m thinking the M7 will give it a solid run for the money. I really like that the M7 uses AAA batteries.

  • Erik Block

    Interesting little sight. Looks like a combo between the T1 and the Sparc. I’m glad they made the body out of aluminum. The other Red Dots mentioned use Plastic and doesn’t seem to me at least as durable.

  • Mike

    Those cons…..they’ve talked me right out of it.

    • http://www.military-arms.com MAC

      It shares many of the same cons as other sights in the same category. The really nice thing about the M7 is that it uses AAA batteries which are cheap and abundant. If you want a sight for combat, this isn’t it. If you want a sight for range use and perhaps home protection, you could do far worse.

      • Jason Partridge

        MAC, what about the M7 as a possible SHTF optic? I know that ideally we would all have aimpoint micro’s, but the wife will remove parts of my anatomy I’d rather hang on to if I try for a micro right now!

        • http://www.military-arms.com MAC

          I’ll reserve judgement until I have some more time with it, However, if it holds up like the SPARC or HD7, yes I do think it would make a viable SHTF option on a budget.

  • Erik

    This Lucid representative said the M7 has a 5,000 hour battery life. That’s pretty impressive when compared to other sights in the same price range. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEyvYjCkFEc

    • http://www.military-arms.com MAC

      I’ve read reports of 1000 to 1200 hours. I’ll see as I plan to use it quite a bit.

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  • http://gravatar.com/bigtinz Hunter

    MAC, could you do a review of the Primary Arms Micro Dot?

    I’m thinking about purchasing this one: https://www.primaryarms.com/Special-Purchase-Microdot-with-Riser-MD-SP-p/md-sp.htm and I would love to hear what you think.

  • RedDawn

    I’m curious to see how it handles the KSG’s recoil. I just picked up an 870 Tactical for HD and would like to have a RDS mounted to it (have a T-1 on the AR, can’t spring for another Aimpoint at the moment). Keep up the good work!

  • legersois

    MAC, thank you for this review. I’ve seen your video about the Lucid HD7, and i want your opinion on “between the Bushnell Trophy 1x 32 Amber-Bright Rifle Scope and the HD7 (same look, same price), which one would you choose ? ”

    Thnks for your great channel.

    Best regards from France

  • http://www.hailstormza.com/www.hbasa.co.za Hailstorm

    We were the distributor in South Africa for Lucid on their HD7 but just could not get a reasonable solution to warranty issues and logistics after we had several HD7 units returned to us by end users.

  • LeftThumb

    I would read the M7 reviews on Amazon before purchasing. Also read Lucid’s own reply to the reviewer. I had the same issue as the reviewer and I spoke to Lucid directly about it and I found them very cynical about there being an issue with blurriness in the top half. Definitely not a “We’ll take care of it” attitude from Lucid. Thankfully I bought it from Three Rivers Precision. Three River’s service is outstanding. Three River’s is going to take a look at it and confirm if it’s abnormal.

  • Greg N.

    I have a Sparc and an H7 and really like them. The reason I don’t love them is the Sparc has an odd battery (not typical like a CR2032) and it IS possible to accidently bump it on and drain the battery. The H7 is larger than my preference, otherwise I like it. These issues may the M7 interesting to me.

  • Jason T

    What riser is on the H7 in the pictures with the AR, it looks shorter than the one Lucid offers, which is really high.

  • Josh

    Unfortunately the 3Rivers coupon code no longer works.

  • Mike

    Is the M7s glass as clear as the HD7s? I have read that the M7 has a blue tint to it, so does the HD7, but which has more tint or are they similar or the same??

  • https://www.facebook.com/Tiancum Joseph Harris

    I wish it wouldn’t have that push button off/on. I much prefer a knob.

  • seventhson

    Any updates since you starting running it?

  • oldjake

    Mine is on a Mossberg 930 JM Tactical. Really great sight for a shotgun. Lets me put a couple of hundred pellets on paper for turkey shoots. The only problem I have had besides the garbage cap tethers which I removed is that Energizer batteries have too small a bottom metal surface to work as set up. Duracells work great. The battery cap needs to have the spring messed with to get the metal to contact on batteries with small metal bases. I have some concerns about the durability of the threads in the battery compartment too. Should have used a steel sleeve as I imagine it won’t take much to cross thread the aluminum as they are. The circle dot never wavers even when rapid firing 00 loads. It is great to be able to direct aimed rapid fire with both eyes open. This sight is better than most of the other lower price sights. I think with no more than another $25 per unit spent on their end they could fix everything and have it stand shoulder to shoulder with the military grade stuff. This unit is very good but they can take it to the next level pretty easily in my opinion. And they should!