Tag Archives: Optics

Lucid L5 rifle Scope. Part 1.

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Lucid had sent me one of their new L5 rifle scopes to test out some time ago and I’ve not been able to really get to it.   Now is the time.  The L5 was never meant to be a Combat Optic.  It wasn’t designed for use on an AR-15.  You can see, it’s a bit large for this task.  The L5 is more suited for a long range hunting or target rifle.  It would look natural on a Remington Sendero or the like.   I could see this on an AR-10 as well.  But it’s a lot of scope for the light weight AR-15 here.  But that’s fine.  This AR-15 brings a lot of consistency and accuracy that will let me test the Scope, and not the Gun.  That’s important here.   But you can see, this isn’t making for a real workable configuration for me… It needs something else.  You see, this L5 is a 6-24 power optic.  Sometimes 6X is too much.

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The 45 Degree offset is built into the Daniel Defense tube. All it takes is moving the add-on rail sections, and presto. Right over the bore as you want them. The MBUIS lay flat enough that they do not get in the way, and pop up when needed.  Simple enough. 
I tell you what though – I’d never have considered putting this sort of set up on my rifle… But I gotta face it… with my eyes now… I really do need a magnified optic.  I need something a bit more suited to an AR-15 with magnification… I prefer a 4 power I think.  Lucid is said to be working on just that.   But this is to test the L5 Scope.  

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In the mean time, the L5 will be getting a full evaluation.    Here’s my initial impression:
Let me start off by saying that I can be an optics snob.  I’m not easily impressed and normally any scope under $1200 doesn’t impress me.  There are some exceptions to that… and the L5 is one of them.  

What you are looking for in Glass is Clarity.  Optical Clarity is primary.  Second to that Brightness.  And Third is Color.  Some may argue that, but this is my considered opinion.  I sold high dollar optics along with guns for many years and I learned to see the differences.  The L5 has the clarity.  It has the brightness.  While it transfers color very well, it’s not a Swarovski.  But you are not paying Swarovski dollars either.  It does however, have better “CBC” than other scopes of this type, and ones that cost a whole lot more.  Between this L5 and one that costs almost double – I’d take the L5 in a heartbeat.  That’s the thing about Lucid… if you want something better, you gotta pay double.  Tangibly better – you gotta pay a lot more.  I’ll go ahead and say it – I like this scope a lot better than a Nikon Monarch or a Burris or anything from Bushnell.  Millett or the like, need not apply.

The side parallax focus goes all the way down to 15 yards.   You could put this on a heavy barrel rimfire rifle.   Huh… Maybe I should try it out on my .17 HMR Savage.  (The most accurate rifle I’ve ever had)

Lets talk about that for a second – Parallax in a rifle scope is where your target and your reticle are in two different focal planes.   This comes across as one of the two being out of focus.  The result is that the reticle can swim or move around on the target… making for a less precise shot.  To get the most precision out of your scope, and put that round right where you want it, the Parallax must be focused.  The reticle and target need to be focused sharp together.  Parallax comes into play typically in high power scopes, 12 power or above… which is why most 4-12 or 3-9 scopes don’t have a manually adjustable Parallax.   They are factory focused at about 150 yards.  Rimfire scopes between 35 to 50 yards.  We’re used to seeing the Parallax focus out on the Objective bell.  The L5 has it on a third turret, which has become the standard place for Parallax adjustment.  This makes any adjustment precise and easy to make… without having to come out of your shooting position to do it.   Rule of thumb, set the focus to the range you are shooting.   If you are shooting at 100 yards, set it to 100 yards, and then fine tune it.

The L5 scope is constructed very well.   Very solid, so much so that it reminds me of some very premium optics.  A rifle scope is a precision optical instrument… the internals are always delicate no matter who makes them… so they need to be protected.  A solid built scope like this goes a long way to help that.  The tube body is 30mm, which is ideal and the objective lens is a fat 50mm.  If you want a 50mm Obj, you really need to go 30mm in the tube.  Too many scopes are out there with a 1″ tube, and that’s just too skinny and you don’t get the light.  30/50 is ideal.  I can’t stress that enough.  Some companies are putting out larger, which is a fine, but then you are forced to get very expensive specialized rings and your mounting options become limited.  Pretty much everyone making Rings these days makes a 30mm option.  It’s a common size.  Commonality has it’s advantages.  Going to a 32mm or something like that… you start to loose advantage over cost and flexibility.   The Turrets are tight, but the clicks are distinct and counting 5 up or 4 right – not a problem.  I’m not going to name any other brands, but one brand that has a scope similar to this… the clicks were indistinct and made such adjustments vague.  

Now here’s what I like about the L5 scope.  The L5 Reticle:

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I like a fine crosshair.  This allows for actual precision shooting.  The reticle through the scope is clear and distinct.  It’s not an illuminated reticle… but most are not.  And for most people, illumination is not needed.  I am no Operator anymore and I will not act like one.  I am old and busted and enjoy large breakfasts and comforts that go with that… so I don’t want an illuminated reticle in a precision scope.  Again, this is a precision scope, not a combat scope.   This scope is designed to get me out to long range, and make a good kill-zone shot quickly.   Take a look at that reticle.  It’s quite simple.  To make it even more simple,  this reticle is programed into the STRELOK calculator… an App for you Smart Phone.   I’ve been a fan of the STRELOK calculator for some time.  I used it to zero a .50 BMG and it got me on target with 1 shot.  Second shot confirmed it.  Done.  

I can’t wait to get this out and start putting a whole lotta rounds down range with this.

Again – Anyone wanting a Lucid optic, use the coupon code MyLucidDeal at checkout.

SIDE NOTE:  The Lucid HD7 that I had on this rifle is now on my Son’s AR-15.  He is quite happy about that.  I am afraid that I may not be able to get my HD7 back once this testing is all complete.

Edited:  Edited to correct my comment about Color.

Discount Code for LUCID OPTICS

As you guys know, I’m a fan of LUCID optics.   I have used several LUCID HD7 Red Dot sights, and have found them to be fantastic “bang for the buck”.  Actually they are more than that.  They really do blow everything else out of the water that’s in their price range… and in fact, to get something better than an HD7, you seriously have to spend double the money.  And then you have to ask yourself why you bothered to spend the extra cash.

Now, the HD7 is built for use on AR’s or other Flat Top rifles. Say you want to use a Red Dot on an AK or a Shotgun or M1A Scout or something… you need a shorter red dot. LUCID has you covered with the M7 optic that allows you to mount it nice and low where you need it. I’ve shot an AK with the M7 on it and it worked great… But I do not have one. Yet. I’ll get one soon and I plan on using it on one of my 870.

LUCID also has a couple very nice rifle scopes. I have an L5 and I love it.  I’ve not done any videos of it… but let’s just say that this scope is wicked good.   I really like it.  And I’m jaded and picky when it comes to rifle scopes.   The Lucid L5 passed my expectations by far for the price point.    I do plan on doing some videos on the L5 after we finish our relocation.

Now here’s something very cool.  LUCID has given me a Coupon Code for a Discount to give out.  I’ll give it to you now.  “MyLucidDeal” is the code… use it at Check Out and then let me know you ordered it.  

Pride and Fowler Scopes.

Pride and Fowler Scopes.

PFI has sent us a couple rifle scopes.   Looking through the PFI RR800-1 – right next to the Zeiss 3.5-10 Conquest… Brighter? The Zeiss is a little bit brighter.  I’ll give it that, but not by much.

This is the Zeiss.  1 inch tube, second focal plain etched reticle.  It’s a good scope and it works very well.  Clear? The PFI unit is just as clear. Crisp sharp contrast… this is great glass.  It uses a 30MM tube which allows for a naturally sharp image because you are not bending the light as much to force it through the smaller tube.  

I tried to take the photos as carefully as possible to make the images look as close to each other as I could.  You will notice that on the same power settings, the PFI does bring the target in closer.  If you zero the Zeiss at one power setting, and then change the power setting, the ballistic marks are going to mean different things.  This is the problem with ballistic reticles in scopes that use a second focal plain reticle.  You have to either use them at the max setting or at a factory specified… usually 10 power if it isn’t at max.   The First Focal Plain reticle, or “FFP” is a big advantage for the PFI over the Zeiss.


Notice the reticle zooms as the scope zooms. 

This allows the reticle to maintain proper relation to the target and allows the ballistic plex to be used regardless of power setting.  HUGE advantage in the field, I can’t stress this enough.  You could be overwatching a field of fire and you need to look at something that is close up, or you need a wider field of view… so you back the power down.  Or you need to zoom in to something to get a closer look, so you crank the power up… Well, the PFI scope is accurate whereever you have it.

Now I also noticed something… as I mentioned before… see the 3.5-10 Zeiss is no advantage over the PFI’s 3-9. Because when I set them both to 4 power, I had to bring the Zeiss almost up to 5 power to get it to magnify at the same level as the PFI. So really they are about the same level regardless of what the dial is indicating. 

The Zeiss had a better eye relief by about a half inch – but this is not a problem considering these are mostly going on .308s and the like… not .300 Win Mags. Recoil isn’t going to cause the scope to kiss you… because there just isn’t enough of it.  PFI is working on a Magnum scope for magnum velocities and trajectories… but it isn’t out yet.  Soon.

Now the biggest difference… The PFI is $595. The Zeiss is $725. That $130 difference… I really don’t see 130 dollars worth of difference to get the Zeiss here. Especially since the Zeiss’s reticle can only be used properly at full magnification.  Being completely objective – The PFI wins. And I’m saying that even though I’m a huge- HUGE Zeiss fan. This is not what I was expecting. 

Now, you guys know I had to buy a whole new rifle because I liked this PFI scope so much.    I picked a Remington 700 XCR Compact Tactical rifle in .308.   Not only did I buy that rifle just for this scope, but I took this combination to LRI, for some advanced training.  You can read about that here.  To sum it up, the PFI system is a true winner, and I’m completely sold on it.

Now that I am a dealer, it is my pleasure to offer these outstanding scopes to you guys.

 

New Lucids

Lucid sent me two new optics to review. The first is the Third generation of the HD7 red dot.  This one in Flat Dark Earth.
Initial impression is good.  I love the original HD7, and I am seeing an improvement in the Gen 3.
The new other optic is the new L5 rifle scope.  This is the 6.5-20X50, with a 30mm tube, side parallax focus, and a nice ballistic drop/hold over reticle.  Again, initial impression is positive.  I like the L5 reticle and am a huge fan of hold over reticles anyway.  So I’m digging this scope so far.  Clarity and Brightness seem on point.
I’m looking forward to testing both of these optics on top of Crusader built guns.

 

EDIT:  GEN 3 HD7, not 2.

A Zeiss scope for the Cheater

Don’t get me wrong… when it comes to shooting, I’m all about Cheating.  I’ll take any advantage I can.

Such as this… The Zeiss Diarange rifle scope.  It may not be cheap… but it’s like an FPS Cheat Code for real life.

It’s got a very solid mounting system, one like none other I’ve seen before… The adapters connect to any Pic or Weaver rail, which is fine…. easily adjustable to fit any length action.  All good.

They slide in the groove under the scope body and can be turned around for optimal fitting as the shooter desires.

It has a built in laser rangefinder, 999 yards, hence the name… and combines that with the excellent Rapid-Z reticle system.  This is an awesome combination.  The only thing it can’t do is dope the wind for you.  The glass is typically Zeiss quality… meaning it’s about as good as it gets.  Eye relief, clarity, brightness, strength of the glass and action.  It’s a great scope.  The readout is clear and bright.

If there is anything wrong with the scope, it’s the price.  It’s Tony Stark Level.  But man… if you have the means… this is it.  A good customer of ours came in and ordered this.  Its not something we would have normally stocked.  It’s that expensive.  This is in a town where the rich guys will buy a teenager with a new license a Lotus Exige and their daughters trips to Paris for a Back to School Shopping Spree. But this is still one of those “If you want it, we’ll get it for you” things.

Scopes Fail

I’ve seen scope failures from every scope maker.  Zeiss, Swarovski, Leupold, Trijicon, Huskama, Nikon… Everyone.
A Rifle Scope is a precision instrument mounted on something that recoils and gets knocked around.  Every scope, no matter what, will eventually fail.
That’s just a fact.  Death and Taxes. 
So just because someone on the internet bitches and moans about their brand x scope failing, doesn’t mean you should turn up your nose at a brand x scope.  These things happen.  What you don’t know though, is if the scope was abused, improperly mounted, or an inappropriate selection for the rifle. 
Recoil, Temperature, Age, Impact… all of these things will destroy a scope. It’s just a matter of time. No one makes the perfect scope.
The mark of a good scope maker is how they back up their scopes.  Also, the shope you got it from, how helpful are they when you bring it in.  
At where I work, we do everything.  Customer doesn’t have to worry about it. 
Nikon, Bushnell, Swarovski, Trijicon, Burris, Vortex… These guys are the best in dealing with repairs, and repair or replace without question.  So if you are Leary on optics, these guys are the best bets.

Meopta Optics

There is a fairly new line of optics out.  If by fairly new you mean 80 years in the industry and people have still never heard of them.

This is a set of Meopta 10×42 HD Binos sitting next to a set of Swarovski  SLC 10×42′s.  The Meoptas are retailing for $999.99 and the Swarovski’s for 1500 bucks MORE money.  Looking through both sets, I really can’t see any difference.  Maybe the SLC’s are just oh so very slightly better.  But really I can’t see any difference at all.  Certainly not any difference I’d pay 1500 bucks more.  The Meoptas are a No Brainer Buy.  The best comparo would be to the Zeiss Conquest 10×42 which also retails for 999.99.  The Meopta is pretty much a dead ringer but I like the Meopta better in that it required less movement of the focus knob to get something far away and something farther beyond that to get into focus.  Almost no movement at all to get from Far to Further, if you know what I mean.   Considering that Meopta makes the Zeiss Conquest rifle scopes – I found this to be no surprise.  I don’t know if they are making the Binos for Zeiss or not, but they do build the scopes.  So if you’ve never heard of Meopta, you’ve probably looked through some before if not own some.  Meopta also makes a lot of other optical products for other countries.  Even other industries.  The Periscopes for Subs, Prisms for other optics companies the periscope prisms for the M1A Battle Tank, the windows in the Space Shuttle that have to take High Temp and sudden deep cooling… So they are a very technically advanced optics company.  They make everything in house, unlike some optics companies which sub-contract and dont actually manufacture anything.  (Vortex)
Looking through a Meopta Rifle Scope is like looking through any comparable Zeiss Conquest, but generally for about 200 bucks less.

I also like the fact that they throw in an iPhone Adapter for Digiscoping… taking pictures through your spotting scope.  It’s easy and it works.  Put the phone in the adapter, then putt out the scope’s Eye Cup and put the Adapter/Phone to the Spotting Scope.  Crystal Clear.

Remember how I have said that if I am going to spend my own money on Optics its going to be on Nikon or Zeiss… Throw a 3rd option in there for me.  I’m really digging the Meopta HD Binos and their rifle scopes.

Crusader & Lucid, one scary accurate combination

Crusader Weaponry has teamed up with Lucid to provide a very good optical gunsight for our rifles.  When I first tested the Lucid HD7, it impressed the hell out of me.  It was clear, solid, and did everything I wanted an optic to do.  In fact, it did better than I had hoped.  I put it on a number of guns, trying to break it.  Including a 12 gauge with slugs.  It held up.  As far as accuracy goes, it actually improved my accuracy with my own M4.



We recommend the Lucid for the best bang for the buck solution for all our 5.56mm rifles. When you order your Bones, Partisan, Templar, or your own custom configuration, ask for the Lucid to come with the gun as a package.

Weaver

All the new scopes and Binos I’ve been seeing from Weaver has really been impressing me.  Their quality for the prices they are offered at Retail… Very impressive.  ATK has done very well to make Weaver a serious optics brand again.

Kudos!

I can say that Weaver has a couple good scopes and a Bino that I would love to own… hell I’d even be willing to spend my own money on them.