Why Earl Uses A Glock

I receive many inquires about the Glock that I run for courses. Questions range from what modifications I've made and why I chose a Glock.

I was a die hard Sig fan because it was my duty gun for many years in the form of the 226 and the 229 in 9mm and .40 respectively. I
often ran my Sig in both IDPA and IPSC competitions but I always had a nagging fear that it would break and I would have a hard time
getting parts. I have broken many Sig parts during intense training sessions where thousands of rounds were fired and, sadly, I no longer
have an armourer's shop to wrench my guns immediately!

Glocks are great guns but I initially wasn't fond of them due to the grip angle being very different from the Sig or 1911. The angle is very
ergonomic, much like the Luger but takes some training to get used. For many shooters, the grip angle transmits to pointing the gun high
and shooting high. This is easily solved through training but there are also parts that can assist with this and I'll explain below.

I run a Gen 3 that I found used on CGN but when it showed up, it was pretty much brand new! I bought it because Glocks are reliable, parts
are available everywhere, they rarely break and many of my clients run them. I also went with a Gen 3 because I was hearing the Gen 4
horror stories that abounded at that time.

Internet hype has stated that the initial Gen 4's were unreliable because of an improper recoil spring weight and this led to problems
(Note: some of you folks know more about this problem than I do so if you have insight, please contact me and give me more info). Problems
were also being reported with Glock 22's that they would malfunction with lights mounted to them due to frame flex caused by the .40 cal
round. It also seems to be sorted out now. I run my G17 with lights (Inforce APl or Surefire x300 Ultra) almost all the time and I haven't had
a single malfunction in the 2000 rounds I've put through it since I bought it. I've run the pistol in various environments and weather conditions
from extreme cold to heavy rain to sun, sand, dust and dog fur! (Tetley sheds a lot!)

Many guys like the Gen 4 due to the interchangeable grip and, while I like the idea, you are only going to switch to the grip that properly fits
you and leave it. It is a great feature for police services and military units where the gun is personal issue and only used by one person.

My Glock is set up with what I find to be the best package for my needs. While they do run pretty good right out of the box, I tweaked mine a
bit with factory OEM parts internally, sights and a Grip Force grip adapter.

The Grip Force bolts on the rear of the grip and provides a wider beavertail to avoid slide cuts. I grip Glocks so high that the slide rails used to
cut me. The Grip Force also changes the angle to make it more like a 1911 or Sig but makes the grip fatter.

I run a grip plug in the rear grip gap in order to keep dust and crop out of the grip housing and I find it also slightly assists in reloading. It also
looks a bit better and the key to being a good shooter is to always look cool!

I also put in an extended factory mag release because I have shorter fingers and I was having issues with positive engagement of the factory
release. I tried out the Vickers mag release but was still running into the short finger problem and could not positively engage the mag release.
I haven't run into issues with extended release in either my concealment of duty holsters. My G19 now sports the Vickers mag release and it
works great due to the slightly increased length. Eventually, I'll mount a Grip Force adaptor on my 19 and I'll switch to an extended mag release
at that time.

For sights, I have a Meprolight .185 height tritium front because it has both a tritium vial and a white outline around the tritium vial that makes
picking the sights up faster for me in both daylight and lowlight situations. My rear sight is an Ameriglo black sight with no tritium vials or dots.
This combination served me well in the past and is preferred by many other instructors and operators.

Internally, I run a factory "-" disconnector. It's the 3.5 lbs one and I have the NY 1 8 lbs trigger turn spring (olive coloured) because this provides
a firm but positive 5.5 lbs trigger pull and a positive, crisp reset.

Don't mess with recoil spring assemblies or aftermarket barrels! There really is no need.

For those who are interested, Tac TV has a great video that features Larry Vickers, Ken Hackathorn and Dave Harrington. Check it out for good insights.

Hope this helps.

Earl

NEA 15 Rifle.pdf NEA 15 Rifle.pdf
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The NEA 15 Rifle: The other Canuck AR

In recent months, many Canadian firearms enthusiasts and shooters have been waiting and watching for a new black rifle offering from a new Canadian company and we finally got one.

North Eastern Arms (NEA) is an extension of North Eastern Aerospace, a company that specializes in high quality, extreme performance aircraft parts. NEA was founded in 2008 in response to a demand for high quality firearm components and they claim to offer improved versatility and construction. In the last couple of years, they have embarked on the design, development and production of increasingly innovative and unique firearms parts and products and they have become a company that Canadian firearms enthusiasts should watch. Jeff Hussey, the CEO of NEA and his military and law enforcement sales officer, Dave McFaul have been instrumental in rolling out a Canadian made AR that has the Canadian shooting public talking.

In early 2011, the folks at NEA announced that they would be producing a new AR 15 based platform that they felt would offer unique features and designs that would directly compete with the US AR15 market. As readers are well aware, we were teased for months as we saw product information, prototypes and promises of well-made and competitively priced AR parts and platforms popping out of the offices of NEA. We saw pics and vids but we weren’t receiving any product. Some of us were to the point where we were ready to give up on NEA. Sure, they had great ideas, but could they deliver? We were subjected to delays and what many felt were excuses, some of us got to attend product demos for more teasing and frustration then, almost overnight, deliveries of these platforms began to occur.

About a month ago, I was asked by Jeff Hussey and Dave McFaul of NEA if I would shoot an NEA rifle at an IDPA three gun match that was being held in Kingston, Ontario. Many of you who know me, know that I instruct police, military and civilian shooters in the deployment of various firearms platforms. Many folks also know that I love the AR platform due to its versatility, reliability, ease of use and the myriad of options that are available for these rifles. I’m also quite particular about the guns I shoot and I do not like to shoot untried or unreliable platforms. I also do not like to shoot a match with a gun that I have never shot before. With some trepidation, I agreed to shoot the NEA 15 for the carbine components of this match.

The carbine that I shot that day was a box stock rifle not unlike the gun in the pictures accompanying this article. It sported a standard 14.5 inch barrel, an Aimpoint H-1 on a medium mount, a regular A2 pistol grip, a regular M-4 six position stock and a Cadex fore-grip. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder but when first I examined the rifle I was struck by its utter ugliness!!! This thing is so ugly it’s gorgeous! I love angular lines and this thing has them! In the gun game, aesthetics are everything.... come on, admit it, you’ve bought a gun based on how it looked... we all have!

The upper receiver has a squared housing for the forward assist and has flats on both sides. Nothing appears rounded. The lower has an integral trigger guard that is beefy and is cut liberally enough that the trigger can easily be accessed and manipulated while wearing gloves. “X” patterned cuts have been machined onto the front of the magwell housing and the lines of the magwell are also quite angular and crisp. The fire control markings are of the “x”ed out bullet/single bullet design so familiar to those who love the H&K markings. The fence around the magazine release is a raised squared fence in a semi-circular design.

The fore-end rail on the NEA is kinda cool too! There are full rails top and bottom but there are only partial rails of about 2” long at the front of the rail. These short front rails have been machined to accommodate a push-button sling swivel, although I like the look of this set up, if you use a side mounted light, you’ll lose the function of the sling swivel socket and vice versa. If you prefer to mount your swivel forward then you’ll end up with your light at the six or twelve o’clock position. While this isn’t of much concern to the Canadian civilian shooter, it could be an issue for the law enforcement or military user who has need for a sling, a light and possibly a laser. If you ask me, the configuration isn’t much better than the CF issue tri-rail and could be remedied by extending these rails back by two or three inches. The rail itself secures to the upper by way of four mounting screws at the rear and on opposite sides of the rail where it meets with the receiver. At the time of this writing, I had not yet ripped the rail off the gun to see how it fully secures but it felt solid with no play and it is a surprisingly light package.

The lack of weight on this gun had me concerned with regards to how it would function under recoil. While the .223/5.56 mm round is not known for being a heavy recoiling round, many of you know that it does have slight muzzle rise and a fast, snappy recoil impulse. I was concerned that follow up shots would be slightly slower than my heavy barreled 11.5 inch barreled carbine. I was in for a surprise!

During the course of the match, I was only able to fire about 40 rounds through this gun but I will say that the thing shot like a laser! It pointed well, was not very heavy and I was able to get my support hand very far forward on the fore-end which aided in my stability and accuracy. Recoil was straight back and light. Not knowing what to expect from this carbine, I started the first stage with three very controlled rounds in order to get the feel of the rifle. After the recoil of the second round, I realized that the dot was staying on my point of aim during the recoil impulse and wasn’t lifting at all. I gave a quick little grin and picked up the pace of my shooting. I found that I could bang off accurate, tight shots very quickly and with impressive accuracy. The gun pointed quickly and swung naturally. I will say that the angular magwell slowed my magazine changes very slightly but this is something that I know can be overcome with practice.

So that’s it, right? Wrong! Obviously forty rounds does not a test make! Jeff recently sent a rifle to me to test, abuse and pick apart. He and Dave have asked me to be very candid in my criticism of this rifle and I have agreed to be.

She arrived this week...

I was pleasantly surprised with this rifle!! Jeff informed me that due to the number of orders they had been processing he threw together a rifle using some of the blemished receivers and rails. I told him that I didn’t really care about how she looked. Based upon my wishes, Jeff provided me with a 14.5 inch rifle much like the one I shot at the match. The only differences between the two guns were the installation of an NEA hybrid muzzle brake and Troy flip up battle sights. She sports NEA’s twelve inch rail, an A2 pistol grip and M4 six position stock. The rifle is the same as any other customer would get except for the use of scratched and blemished parts. Blemishes don’t scare me, I’m more concerned with a gun’s ability to shoot accurately and reliably, I scratch them up and sometimes paint them so cosmetics aren’t an issue for me.

Upon removing the rifle from the box, I found it to be really gritty and tight. For a new rifle this isn’t uncommon so I tore it down, examined it for fit, finish and tightness and lubed it. The only quickly discernible issue that I noticed was that the castle nut hadn’t been tightened down or staked so, out came the stock wrench and the punch. Since I couldn’t get to the range until the weekend, I did a bunch of dry fire practice to get used to the feel and balance of the gun and to work the action and parts. Even though I spent a couple of hours a night doing this it did not appear to loosen up very much.

Out at the range, I found the gun to be very pointable and user friendly, then again, it’s an AR platform so, why wouldn’t it be? Over the course of a lazy afternoon I put about 200 rounds through the gun. It shot well with only one FTF (fail to feed) and upon examining the ejection port and magazine, I determined the FTF to be magazine related.

Initially, I went to the 25 metre range and I sighted in the irons. I will admit that the Troy flip up sights were a bear to sight in. Initially, they were shooting almost a foot low so I had to make front sight adjustments. I also found that they were shooting almost a foot to the left! In order to correct this, the rear sight ended up being adjusted almost completely to the right but I finally got it on target and found I was satisfied with the accuracy of the sights. I have no idea why the rear sight had to be so far over to the right and suspect that the rail could be slightly out of spec but, I’m not overly concerned. I’ve never been in a situation where I’ve had to switch from an optic to irons and I highly doubt I would have time to make adjustments to the irons on the fly so it isn’t a big deal. Now that I’ve said that, I bet the gun gods of above will test my iron sight skills by killing one of my optics on a course or in the middle of a match. (Note: I asked Dave McFaul why the sights were so far right and he confirmed that I had received a rail that was from an out of spec pile and that new rifles being sent to customers are getting new and in spec rails!).

Speaking of the rail, I showed this gun to a couple of my shooting buddies, one of whom is a very experienced and knowledgeable infantry senior NCO. He was concerned that the rail was out of spec as well and informed me that he was concerned that it wouldn’t take certain quick detach mounts. Fearing this, I played with some configurations of quick detach mounts from ARMS and Larue... they worked!!
I was asked by one of our Canadian companies if I would test and evaluate a Lucid Optic that they provided to me. So, in preparation for an up-coming course that I’m teaching I mounted and sighted in the Lucid HD7 red dot optic. I’ll be writing a short separate article about it after I’ve had more time on it but while I didn’t find this particular optic to be something I would normally run, it worked well and I managed to print a few groups of about 2 to 2.5 MOA at 100 yards with it.

So here’s what sucked...


The springs in this gun are brutal! This thing must have a 20 lbs trigger pull! I'm not weak but my finger was killing me by the end of the session. First thing I did when I got home was rip out the hammer spring and put in a spare that I had. It isn't perfect but it’s definitely softer and I’ll be changing it out once I get a competition one from JP Enterprises. For those military or law enforcement folks who might be running military ammunition with extremely hard primers, I wouldn’t suggest switching out springs unless you’ve tested the lots of ammunition to ensure consistent ignition of the primer. That being said, I’ve run a JP spring in my 11.5 inch training AR, I’ve run approximately 6000 rounds of various makes both commercial and military and I haven’t had a single failure to ignite. So, Brownell’s here I come for a reduced power hammer and trigger spring I'll swap 'em out. With the irons and my eyes, the best I managed was a few 2 moa groups and a couple of threes.... and then I noticed that the groups started to open up... and not just slightly. In fact, I fired 5 rounds and could not figure out why there wasn’t a single hit on a 5’ by 2.5’ target at 100 metres. Something had gone wrong with the gun... after some cursing and a few tears, I gave her a quick once over.... the comp had shot loose! The comp hadn't been torqued down...so, after a quick fix on the tail gate of the truck, we were back in business and she shot a couple more 2 MOA groups!

There was a learning point here and I almost missed it! Whenever you buy a new gun, regardless of the manufacturer, make sure that you give it a thorough examination prior to shooting. Yes, I had checked the barrel for obstructions, examined the action for fit and checked the pins, safety function, trigger reset and fit of upper to lower but I had failed to examine the compensator to ensure it was snugged down tightly on the crush washer. Lesson learned and lesson passed on!

I’ve already passed this info onto Jeff and Dave and I was assured that they would up their quality control prior to shipping.
I’m still running this gun and I’m still documenting her strengths and weaknesses in order to provide a fair evaluation to NEA and to you folks who are both lovers and haters of NEA.

Moving forward

I like it! Looking at her angular lines and flat features, I’ve determined that this gun is ugly! Sure she’s an AR like any other but with those cuts and her flat grey colour she’s nasty looking and I like nasty looking carbines.

Like many of you, I like to customize my AR’s and so she is now wearing a Mapgul MOE stock in Dark Earth, a Tango Down Battle Grip in flat dark earth, an InForce WML in white light/IR, a Troy stubby vertical fore-grip and a Vickers sling. I also threw in a BCM charging handle. These are all items that I personally prefer. I still have the Lucid on her for the other test but I will be setting this one up for my Larue mounted Aimpoint H-1.

I know that many folks are watching NEA and hoping that they fall on their face. I have also read that many people think they’ve had to wait too long or that there currently isn’t enough of a user-base to determine if these guns are going to be lemons or not. The shooting public can be a brutal group with strong opinions and a wealth of technical knowledge and rightly so, I don’t like spending my money on junk either.
Based on my observations of this rifle and my conversations with Jeff, Dave and others, I believe that NEA is willing to listen to their customers and address any concerns that we may have. It appears that almost all of the kinks have been massaged out of this platform and NEA has a viable, inexpensive black rifle that is here to stay.

For those of you who are looking for a good quality, low-priced AR that is Canadian made and reliable, buy an NEA.... or to quote Barney “Buy two or your.....” well, you guys and gals know what he says. I’ll be keeping mine.

Earl Green 

Lucid HD 7.pdf Lucid HD 7.pdf
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The Lucid HD-7

Back in October of 2011, Simon Beeson of S&J Hardware contacted me and asked if I was willing to conduct a review of the Lucid HD-7 illuminated reticule red-dot optic. So, in conjunction with my initial test of the NEA carbine, I agreed to test the optic.

Upon receipt of the scope I gave it a thorough once over and initially determined that I was indifferent to it. I’m a die-hard Aimpoint fan who started out his shooting/optic career as a die-hard Eotech fan I even tested the Eotech and supported the purchase of a large batch of them for an ERT team... until my Eotech let me down! I loved my Eotech, I think it has a very useful and cool reticule pattern consisting of a centre dot surrounded by a circle with cross hairs at the 12, 3, 6 and 9 o’clock positions. I found that when using my Eotech mounted on an AR, I could very quickly and easily figure out height-over bore for CQB or competitions and I have used one with great success during deer hunting sessions. My initial Eotech suffered from spring compression issues that were easily remedied but I also found that, while it was great on my AR, it suffered from reticule bounce on my M14 so I sold it to another AR fan and not a single complaint arose! I then got hooked on the Aimpoint series of optics and I’ve shot every offering that Aimpoint has put out in the market from the very early red dots through to the Comp M4 and the PRO. I have found that I have one complaint and that is that I don’t like the limited field of view some smaller diameter tubes and I love short optic tubes like the T-1 and H-1. So, did this affect my views regarding the HD-7? You bet!!! Does the longer tube limit this optic? Nope!

Features

An initial examination of the scope reveals that it is an all black, rubber coated optic, made in China but distributed by Lucid LLC of Riverton Wyoming. The HD-7 was developed by a couple of US competition shooters based on the experience that they gained in 3-gun competition. They strove to design an optic that was rugged, versatile and inexpensive and it appears that they have been successful. I’ve found that many shooters are scared off by optics that are made in China and equate them to the various Airsoft knock-offs that have proliferated the market however, this time, they might be surprised.

So, about the optic... like I stated above, it’s a red dot scope that looks a bit like an ACOG but the resemblance ends at the looks. It runs on a single AAA battery that slides into a screw-cap covered compartment that is situated on the front of the optic. According to the manufacturers and designers, the battery is supposed to last for upwards of 1000 hours and they report that it could possibly last as long as 5000. I like this feature because you can get AAA batteries almost anywhere and they are cheap! If I was running one on my competition gun or on a SWAT gun, I’d swap in a fresh battery before every match or before every call. According to the instructions, the optic will shut itself off after 2 hours. While I didn’t test this feature, I’m not a big fan of auto-shut off. I’ve learned that if you don’t remember to hit the "On" switch every hour or so, the optic will be off when you need it most (like when you have a deer right under your stand!).

Internally, the reticule is a multiple pattern red dot with zero magnification. There are four settings to the reticule: cross hair, circle with cross hair, circle with a centre dot and a two MOA dot (minute of angle = 1 inch at 100 yards). Selection of the reticule is accomplished via a knob on the left side of the optic that indicates that selected dot. On the left side of the optic there are push buttons for the on/off switch, and two arrow marked buttons for the brightness of the dot. The designers of this optic really put a lot of thought into power settings and the use of this optic in various environments. I found the wide range of adjustments to be perfect for conditions that ranged from bright sunny day use to low-light/night use. For those who wish to use this optic with night vision, there is no NVG/IR setting.

Other Features

They built in a photo-cell on the top of the optic that activates when the on/off switch is pressed until the reticule briefly dims, this indicates that the optic is in the auto-brightness mode. Depending on the amount of ambient light available, the dot with brighten or dim on its own when this setting is activated. I used this feature during a range session on a day where the conditions were sunny with cloudy periods. Whenever the sun came out, I noticed that the dot or reticule would automatically brighten then the dot would dampen down when the cloud cover kicked in! Very cool! What I didn’t like about this setting is that the brightness/dimness switches are disabled when the photo-cell is active. When I tested the optic indoors I found that when I moved from a lit room to a very dark room, the red dot would dim to the point where the dot was almost invisible. When I hit my weapon light, the red dot disappeared completely! Now, most shooters would never be using this type of optic for low-light CQB or room clearing but the LEO or military shooter needs to be mindful to not run the photo-cell setting during situations where the potential exists for entering darkened locations.

The exterior covering of the optic is of a hard rubber that gives the scope a matte appearance and thus dampens any reflection from the body of the optic. The rubber covering supposedly guarantees that the optic is 100% waterproof and fogproof and, from the look of how the turrets and switches are set up, I believe it. Unfortunately, I didn’t use the scope while playing Navy SEAL in the bath tub so I can’t speak to this feature.

The optic has a built-in mount that will bolt to either a weaver or picatinny rail and tightens down via the use of two hex head bolts on the right side of the mount. This mount is integral to the body of the scope and cannot be swapped out, a feature that some users may not desire. I found that the integral mount does not hinder this optic when bolted on top of my flat-top AR. On my flat-tops, the reticule was an inch and three quarters over the rail and, when I took my normal cheek weld on the stock, the dot was perfectly centred in the scope. Now, many of you might be saying, "So what? A red dot optic is supposed to be free of parallax and when you can see the dot that is where the bullet will impact"... well Sparky, you’re partially right. I’ve never noticed much parallax in many of the red-dot optics I’ve used (and I’ve used a lot of them!) but I have noticed that in order to obtain consistent accuracy, you need a consistent cheek weld so that the dot is in the same place in the lens every time. For many of us, that is why we use a nose-to-charging handle cheek weld so that we end up in the same spot every time we mount the rifle. The Lucid is set up so that I was able to shoulder the rifle in my usual stance, hit my usual cheek weld and the dot was dead centre in the lens!

I also gave the scope a whirl with my back-up sights and I noticed that with my GG&G flip-up rear and fixed front I was getting a lower third co-witness. I switched the optic over to my NEA carbine and popped the folding Troy Battle sights up and… guess what? Same thing, a lower third co-witness!

Now about that on/off switch! It is covered by the rubber in order to maintain waterproofing and requires a firm push to activate. It has 3 or 4 settings.... notice my lack of decisiveness here? I just could not figure the damn thing out without memorizing the instructions and I’m a guy so.... you know, we don’t need no stinking instructions! Here’s why I found it complicated: one push turns the optic on, a second activates the battery only, another makes the red dot flash and activates the photo-cell, another push and hold for 3 seconds or one hour (whichever comes first), turns the optic off. This single switch performs four functions and the flashing of the red dot indicates that a certain function has been accessed but I just could never remember which flash did what. I am sure that if this was your primary optic that you mounted on multiple guns, it would be possible to figure it all out.

Shooting It!

Ok, enough of the yada yada... how does this thing shoot?

In my initial test of this optic, I mounted it on a 14.5 inch NEA carbine and shot it with XM193 ball ammunition and some 55 gr. MFS that I had on hand. Initially, I fired from the bench at 25 yard targets in order to sight in. Sighting in was quick and easy due to the windage and elevation turrets that are easily manipulated on this scope. The turrets do not require the removal of covers or the use of screw

drivers, dimes, special tools or some other silly method of adjustment. The turrets have shallow thumb knurls on them and have markings from 0 to 5 with five stadia marks between each numbered interval. According to the instructions that come with the scope, adjustments are half MOA and they were right. Movement of the knobs provided positive, firm click adjustments that I felt are very positive and I would have no fear of them being bumped or moved inadvertently.

So, once I was all dialled in at 25, I found that I had zero issues making hits on a one inch patch at 25 yards. At 25 yards, I played with the cross hair reticule, the circle/ dot and the fine 2 MOA red dot. I noticed that there was no shift in point of impact from one reticule to the next!

At 100 yards, I managed 3" groups that I am sure I could tighten up if I used a magnifier. At 100 I used the dot alone and the circle with centre dot while shooting these groups. I was actually impressed! I know many of you are thinking that 3" at 100 isn’t that impressive but I managed these groups using a non-magnified optic on a gun that had a 14 lbs trigger at the time!

On my next range session, I was testing various 55 gr. handloads, I also wanted to test this optic on a different gun and I wanted to check out its versatility in speed shooting. I mounted it to my 11.5 inch Bushmaster AR, a gun that was built when Bushmaster was actually involved in quality control and I have shot about 8000 rounds through it. This gun is set up like an issued CQB gun that I once had.

After sighting the dot in, I decided to fire from 15 and 25 yards standing, I would shoulder the carbine, fire, switch reticules, shoulder to same POA (point of aim) and fire again. I went through about 40 rounds in this fashion and found that I could consistently put rounds on top of one another or in very close proximity (within less than an inch) to one another using the red dot, the cross hair and the circle dot. Negatively, I found that I did not have much consistency with the circle and outer cross hairs. The circle and outer cross hairs do not have a centre point that would indicate where the round might impact. I found that the black patch I was shooting at would kind of float around in the circle and thus, the bullet impact would also float. While this floating was only about 2 inches to the left or right at 25 yards, it was disconcerting for me because I like fast precision when using a red dot. I also found that with this reticule it was hard to distinguish height-over-bore for CQB.

I also fired some snap shots and controlled pairs on an IPSC classic A zone and a business card sized target at 15 and 25 yards. I found that the 2 MOA red dot and the circle/dot were awesome for fast and accurate primary and follow up shots! In this fashion, I managed to shoot a 2" by 2"group of 30 rounds that I am convinced had to do with the small 2 MOA dot!

After my range session, I gave some thought to the utility of circle/outer cross hair reticule pattern and I believe that it would be my "go to" pattern on my turkey shotgun! It is very similar to the shot gun scope reticules that are popular on turkey guns! Place Tom’s head in the circle, press trigger, turkey dinner! This reticule would be perfect for the shotgunner using bird shot or buck shot and after a couple of range sessions, it would be easy to figure out how much of a pattern you would have in the kill zone at various distances based upon using the size of the target in the circle to predict distance. Unfortunately, I don’t presently have a railed shotgun or I would have tested this theory but I’m sure it would work!

I also found that I wasn’t fond of the normal cross hair pattern. I chalk this up to two things: firstly, I prefer red dots on carbines, second, the red cross hair was super bright and looked huge in the scope! This pattern would be great for accurate fire in a magnified optic and may work well with a magnifier but I had no use for it in a non-magnified optic, your mileage may vary.

So, with the availability of four different aiming patterns contained in one optic the question needs to be asked: "Why would you be switching reticule patterns in the middle of a match or hunting session?" I know I wouldn’t. I’d find my favourite reticule that best suits my needs on a particular platform and stick with it. If I was going to own one of these (and I might!), I would most likely be switching it onto different guns for different hunting seasons, sighting in before the hunt and sticking with the reticule I felt provided me with the most confidence. I doubt I will be running one on my teaching or competition guns because I prefer consistent platforms for those purposes.

So, would I recommend the Lucid HD-7? For the hunter, competitor or plinker who is looking for a good quality, versatile, inexpensive red-dot that has multiple features I certainly do recommend this optic. For the LEO or military user, I would be more inclined to go with a combat-tested optic until more information is available regarding the Lucid but that is just me.

The price point on the Lucid is great for the average Canadian shooter, about $279.00 from S&J and there is the availability of an affordable X3 magnifier that, when compared to the price of an Aimpoint or Eotech magnifier is highly competitive. Unfortunately, I was unable to test the magnifier this time but the optic got a good work out and I think I see one mounted to a couple of my guns in the future!

Earl Green