Saturday, June 25, 2016

Hi-Lux Micro Max-b-Dot Red Dot Review

Hi-Lux Micro Max-b-Dot Red Dot Review
Note the 5% off Optics Planet discount below

It used to be that you had to spend the price of your gun just to get a quality red dot that would endure the abuse dished out in the field. Today we are fortunate that new manufacturing technologies and materials have advanced to the point that a decent red dot can be had for under $100 and a great high quality red dot such as this Hi-Lux model are just over $200.

Just after the initial release my then new Hi-Lux Micro Max-d-Dot Red Dot sight was mounted on a basic AR15 pistol build and it was later moved to my Sig MPX 9mm pistol. Over a year later and approximately 8000 rounds later of .223 and later 9mm, the Hi-Lux Micro Max-d-Dot Red Dot has performed amazingly well, still holds zero and I am still on the first factory included battery. From my perspective it is one of the top values for a high quality red dot sight, so much so that I ordered another one from Optics Planet who had it featured on sale with free shipping at the time.

To be up front, I am a Brand Ambassador for Optics Planet, however I could have ordered anything from them and I chose to buy the same optic again. This should speak volumes about how I feel about the quality and features of the Hi-Lux Micro Max-d-Dot Red Dot sight. Because you are reading this, feel free to use code "MAJOR5" for 5% off your entire order of anything you might want to purchase.

This time the Red Dot was mounted on a very special Aero Precision M4E1 custom AR15 pistol build.  The build has it all - AP M4E1 integrated handguard mount, a unique cool and functional upper design, a ambi-lower, KNS anti-rotate pins, Ballistic Advantage match barrel, HiperFire EDT2 trigger, and Phase 4 Tactical buffer tube, BCG, Charging Handle, and FatMan Brake. It is a heck of tricked out build that needed a great red dot and the Hi-Lux is the perfect choice offering a lot of features, great optical clarity and a crisp red dot.

The Hi-Lux Micro Max-b-Dot red dot is typical high quality that you would see on all Leatherwood Hi-Lux optics. The red dot design is robust and designed to take a lot of abuse. Once upon a time, only Aimpoint could boast about a 50K+ hour run time, but now this $220 red dot can deliver that same long run-time.

The Hi-Lux Micro Max-b-Dot red dot also features a tint-less tube which in turn provides an extreme amount of clarity and enhanced low light vision. It is one of the few Red Dot sights which gives the shooter clear glass versus a dark sunglasses tint.. From a form factor the sight is completely cross compatible with all Aimpoint T-1 mounts which are available everywhere. If you have a favorite Aimpoint T1 mount it will work with the Hi-Lux. A couple of my favorites mounts are the Sampson QR T-1 QD mount and American Defense Manufacturing - ADM T1 Micro QD Mount. Hi-Lux offers its own $35 co-witness riser which is hard to pass up for the price and is the mount I ordered for this build.

The Hi-Lux Micro-Max is extremely compact 2.5” length and comes with flip-up lens covers, screw on/off kill flash filter, and spare CR2032 battery compartment in the battery cover. Of note, with the added kill flash filter and lens covers installed it does add a bit of bulk over an Aimpoint T1 or similar Primary Arms Micro Dot but not any significant weight. I think most people will appreciate the snap and screw on features unless they really need to strip all the addons off for some reason.

My initial Hi-Lux Micro Max-b-Dot red dot held zero perfectly through more than a few bumps bangs and scrapes and thousands of rounds of 9mm and 5.56 Nato. I did have some initial concern that the extremely light weight Hi-Lux Riser might not hold up well to side hits due to the I-beam steel design, however I have never had an issue and it is far stronger than it looks.

Instead of the typical rotary setting switch, Hi-Lux decided on using push-button operation instead which provides click ON, hold for OFF, and click up/down to cycle through the twelve dot power settings.

The Hi-Lux Micro Max-b-Dot red dot one of my favorite red dot sights. It functions perfectly, delivers excellent clarity, and the plenty of daylight to low-light dot brightness settings. I will not likely be in a situation where I need a Kill Flash attachment, however the lens covers work extremely well. Owning a safe full of red dot sights, my experience is that they get dirty quick and the flip up covers really help assure the glass is clean and bright when I need to shoot.

This is a very cool build and has been a ton of fun which means it gets shot a lot. Again, the Hi-Lux Micro Max-b-Dot red dot has held up perfectly just as the initial sight did. Overall this is one

The Micro Max b-Dot collimator reflex red dot sight provides quick target acquisition, unlimited versatility, and an outstanding six year battery life in a compact package.

Successfully thermal cycled from -85° F to +185° F without failure on an Alexander Arms 338 Lapua Magnum Ulfberht.

- Power 1X
- Object lens 20
- Exit Pupil Range N/A
- EYE Relief Unlimited
- Length 2.5”
- Short Reticle Dot
- Elevation Adjustment 1/2 (MOA)
- 2 MOA Dot Size, With Mount, Flip-Up Lens Covers, Anti-Reflection Device
- FOV 42'
- Coating Fully Multi-Coated
- Multi-Coated Lenses
- All exterior air-glass lenses are treated with DiamondTuff14™ to ensure optimal light transmission for more visibility in low light situations.
- Niitrogen Gas Purged
- All scopes are purged with nitrogen gas to ensure they remain fogproof for wide range of temperatures.
- Waterproof - The Tac Dot sight is waterproof for use in any weather conditions.
- LED Bright Dot Technology
- Red dot is clearly visible even in daytime light conditions.
- Outstanding Battery Life
- Expected battery life of 55,000 hours at medium brightness settings.
- Digital Brightness Adjustment - 12 adjustable +/- brightness settings
- Automatic Shutoff Timer
- Scope turns off after one hour of inactivity. This timer is programmable and can be reset to the shooter’s liking.

Hi-Lux Leatherwood -
I am a Optics Planet Brand Ambassador - Use code "MAJOR5" for 5% off your entire order

Phase 5 Tactical - -

Available from Optics Planet
Hi-Lux Micro-Max B-Dot Sight:
Hi-Lux Micro-Max B-Dot Riser:
Hi-Lux Leatherwood at OpticsPlanet:

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Lucid L7 1-6x24 Rifle Scope Review

Lucid L7 1-6x24 Rifle Scope Review

Lucid is a newer brand which grew almost overnight with its immensely popular and affordable HD7 red dot sights. Thought the company is most know for the incredibly durable $180 HD7 red dot, Lucid also began offering a broad line of magnified optics as well including the spectacularly well built L5 4-16x scope tested previously. Lucid recently released the L7 1-6x24 illuminated optic which I have to note at a $450 MSRP is one hell of an optic.

Without question, the hottest optic segment is the 1-4 and 1-6 magnification range of optics and Lucid just introduced its L7 1-6 Optic to answer demands from its fans. It has become “the” prefered optic for most three gunners and also becoming extensively used with hunters, the military, and LEO markets as well. 

The popularity of this magnification range of optics is simply because of its extreme versatility and practicality for fast shots and enough magnification to get the job done with older eyes or when the distances increase.

Like the previous Lucid optics I have reviewed, the L7 1-6x24 is extremely well made with quality on par with the top end Nikon, Burris, and Bushnell optics, but at a price that makes it more attractive than the comparable more expensive optics from the big three. The 30mm tube adds durability and improves light transmission for the optic. The L7 delivers clarity delivers a 92% light transmission rate which is extremely impressive considering its price. As expected on this tier of optic the scope is nitrogen purged, waterproof, multicoated optics, and shockproof rated to .458 Socom. Another feature that sets the Lucid P7 apart from other optics is that the reticle is etched on the glass versus a more failure prone wire based reticle - this adds a huge amount of shock resistance to the optic.

According to Lucid, they had the manufacturing capabilities and technologies to deliver a 1-4 or 1-6 optic a lot sooner than 2016, however they wanted to take their time to get the design right. It is important to note that Lucid is not a “Me Too” manufacturer. Jason Wilson, Founding CEO of Lucid noted “We are really not in business to go head to head with everyone else’s offerings, we did not make ‘just another red dot’ with the HD7 and people loved it. We did not make ‘just another 4-16 optic’ with the L5 line and in this case we are not offering just another ‘1-6 spec Mil-Dot 3Gun optic that looks, feels, and has the same features as everyone else’ - we took our time over a few years to develop the L7. 

As an example Mil-Dot scopes are all the rage right now, however very few people know how to use them appropriately, effectively, or quickly. Our designs are based on inch-based MOA reticle and turret designs which make it very easy for both the amature and professional to quickly calculate and adjust for each shot based on a lifetime of working with Inches and feet. It makes it faster and easier for almost any shooter.”

The extra time Lucid used for development is noticed with a lot of the features.  The eye relief is pretty generous which makes shouldering and firing the gun quick without having the perfect cheek weld. The 1X magnification is truly magnification-free which means that it is not a 1.1 or 1.2 or 1.3 magnification that kinda works as a fast shooting red dot. According to Lucid the L7 is actually delivers a 1.0x clear and unmagnified setting. This is a pretty significant feat considering the L7 delivers a 6x 1-6 magnification range without being a $1000 scope.

The Lucid L7 1-6x24 features an included quick throw lever for the folks that want to rip from 1-6 right freaking now. Many other manufacturers are charging extra for this add on lever. I will admit that BDC reticles are getting ridiculously cluttered in a compromise to please the CQB, tactical, 3Gun, hunting, and precision shooters. Lucid has done an outstanding job making their reticle clean with simple integrated wind hold overs, small 8MOA spaced BDC hash marks, and an open circle dot design which allows is visible enough for fast shots, but fine enough for precision shots. On 6x magnification, the MOA based reticle can be read just like a measuring tape with 1MOA representing 1”. For those that want to use a ballistics app on their phone, the L7 Lucid reticle is already on the wildly popular and affordable ballistic STRELOK app.

The illumination is well thought out as well. People often think they need the entirety of the reticle illuminated, however the reality is that turns into a freaking crazy distracting Christmas tree as the light dims. Instead Lucid illuminates the circle dot, left, right and top hashes around the dot In their “cool Lucid blue”. This provides extremely usable all conditions illumination as the lights dim without delivering a distraction for the shooter.

The Lucid L7 turrets deliver 60 MOA of adjustment on all sides of optical center. Lucid obviously did their homework to understand and resolve the common gripes with turrets on low power scopes which inherently take a lot of knocks and bangs during the intended use mounted to AR15s. The turrets are easily re-zeroed and features a lift, adjust, and press down to lock in position design which work beautifully.

I personally love first focal plane reticles, however a noticeable shortcoming is when fast based BDC shots at longer distances and the reticle BDC is already maxed out. Second focal plane optics have the option to zoom out to accommodate a longer shot via the BDC hashes without adjusting the turrets. Lucid used the later second focal plane design to provide this flexibility that many target and long range shooters utilize.

In order to really get a good comparison of the L7 to a similar and much more expensive optic, my San Tan Tactical Ultimate AR15 build was used.  This build features the best of the best I could find including a San Tan Tactical billet receiver set, lots of cool upgrades from Battle Arms Development, Geissele, XLR, a Hart precision match barrel, and a top and Burris XTR-II FFP optic.

The Lucid L7 1-6x24 was mounted in a quick disconnect ADM - American Defense Manufacturing QD Recon mount which I will admit is the freaking best QD optics mount available anywhere - really, it is awesome and returns to zero every time. The L7 was also mounted to my ridden hard and left wet Barnes Precision Machine BPM-15 which is a tack-driver in its own right. I enjoyed the L7 so much it may remain as a QD option with my Eotech on this heavily used rifle.

The Lucid L7 is a hell of an optic, it is crisp and very clear, has an amazing light transmission which is really noticeable as dusk hits and the the reticle is clean, fast and useable. The price is above the fray at a MSRP of $449, however for the price it represents a value that it hard to find in optics over $1000. I have been training myself on Mil-Dot reticles for the last couple years and there is a learning curve. It was refreshing to just pick up a rifle and be able to shoot the damn thing with no more thought that how many inches I need to hold over. I found the reticle really easy to use on shots from one yard all the way out to 600-yards. At night the illumination was usable with plenty of settings for even blackout lighting situations.  Again I find myself very impressed with what Lucid is delivering in the L7 1-6x24 scope - another very well thought out optic that is very affordable and not just another me too optic.

Construction Magnification
Objective Lens  24mm
Ocular Lens Diameter  34mm
Length  10.75"
Mounting Length  6 "
Weight  20.4oz
Tube Diameter  30mm
Construction Material - One Piece Aluminum (6063)
Color & Finish 1x-6x - MATTE BLACK
Waterproof YES (Nitrogen Purged)
Fogproof  YES (submersible)
Shockproof  YES (.458 SOCOM)
Lens Coating  FBMC Multi Coated
Light Transmission  92%
Ocular Focus  YES
Parallax Adjustment  YES (side)
Parallax  100yd fixed
Eye Relief  4" to 3.75"
Exit Pupil   15mm to 4mm
Field of View  1x 56ft -6x, 20ft @ 100yds
Diopter Compensation  (-2.5 to +3)
Reticle Type  P7 Etched Glass
Turret Click Value  1/2MOA
Windage Adj, Range 60MOA (Either side of center)
Elevation Adj. Range  60MOA (Either side of center)
Lockable Turrets  YES
Re-Zeroable Turrets  YES
Limited Lifetime
MSRP $449

Lucid -

American Defense Manufacturing -
Barnes Precision Machine -