There's no doubt if you own a firearm and a have access to the internet you've at least heard of Primary Arms' affordable optics and innovative reticle designs. Lucid Optics on the other hand is not as widely known. In magazine articles and videos we've used the Lucid Optics M7 quite a bit. We hadn't handled one of the Primary Arms red dots in several years and so decided to try out the SLX MD-25.
The two are both in the affordable (around $200), but respectable price range and offer their own advantages over one another. This article is meant to be a side by side comparison to help you choose which is best for you. Deep shopping (we linked) can find the two priced within $5 of each other!
They're Both red dot optics with 25mm objective (the side that faces the target) lenses, and both feature reticles a little smarter than a standard dot.
The Primary Arms ACSS reticle center point is 2MOA (roughly 2" at 100 yards) with drop compensation that can be used following the included manual as a guide assuming you have the same bullet weight and barrel length stated. The outer ring serves to grab your attention or to gauge shotgun patterning (again assuming barrel length and load are the same). The drop compensation might be useful if you're also using a magnifier to enlarge the picture, but when used with the naked eye the dots have little value.
The Lucid Optics Reticle has a center point of 4MOA with a halo and lines directing to the target. Those angled lines help draw the eye in, like looking down a straight road to a silhouette. No drop compensation, and magnified the center dot may be too big for your target. When used without a magnifier, at distances you don't expect drop, the M7 reticle is quicker to pick up.
Where They're not similar is in size and weight. Does this matter to you? If you're in the "ounces are pounds, pounds are pain" crowd then the Lucid Optics M7 is significantly (percentage wise) lighter. I'd like to think that 2oz is not going to weigh me down too much, but have also experienced shaving an ounce or two off of a gun make a big difference.
The farther the weight is from you the more leverage it has on you and heavier it can make a rifle feel. Swapping gas block and muzzle device on an AR from steel to titanium can make a big difference in how quickly the rifle points. How does this apply to these dots? If you'll be mounting them forward, such as on a railed AK gas tube cover it be significant. On a Stribog or AR not as much.
Are They "Daylight Bright" is a question no one can answer fairly. Your eyes and the ambient lighting conditions where and when you shoot is likely different than mine. What I can say is that both the Primary Arms MD-25 and the Lucid Optics M7 pay homage to Spinal Tap with brightness knobs that go to 11 (one brighter than ten, right?). The Primary Arms MD-25 offers two night vision settings while the Lucid Optics M7 does not. The brightness adjustment knob on the Primary Arms is very stiff and offers little feedback to confirm you've mad an adjustment, the good news is it also boasts a 50,000hour battery life (at unknown setting), so leaving it on might not hurt. To contrast the Lucid Optics M7 only promises 1,000 hours of run time from the same CR2032 battery. Brightness adjustment on the M7 has definitive tactile and audible clicks at each adjustment point, but can only go up from 0 (can not go down from zero to 11) while the Primary Arms can turn either direction.
Looking at those two numbers side by side would lead one to believe that the Primary Arms has significantly more battery life than the Lucid Optics, but we don't know at what setting those ratings are. As always, bring spare batteries.
So which one? If looking for weight savings and use on targets at a distance you're not worried about bullet drop with the Lucid Optics M7 is the way to go. If you don't mind a couple extra ounces, and are willing to add more ounces and mass with a magnifier the Primary Arms MD-25 is the way to go.
What do you use? Let us know in the comment section which red dots you've had good or bad experiences with.