Lucid Optics P8 Prism Optic.
The report covers:
- What is a prismatic optic?
- The proof
- Illuminated reticle
- Reticle size
- Scope ?
- Fixed power
- Mounting the P8
- It fits!
Today we start looking at the Lucid Optics P8 Prism Optic. Like me, you may want to know what a prismatic optic is. So let me give you two definitions.
What is a prismatic optic?
From the Pew Pew Tactical page on prismatic optics – “Long story short…they are fixed magnification optics that use a prism (whoa) instead of the two objective and ocular lenses of a traditional scope.”
I’m not sure what “(woah)” means in this definition, other than the writer is excited. I read the rest of his report and here is what I got. A prismatic optic is better for those with astigmatism than a dot sight. The writer called them red dot sights but since they come in a range of colors I’ll just call it a dot sight.
Maybe (woah) is a word that has descriptive meaning in optics — I don’t know. What I do know is, that definition didn’t tell me what a prismatic sight is.
So I went to the Recoil website and got this.
A product of the ’80s, the prism scope would fully blossom during the Global War on Terror. Initially designed as a way to fit the magnification of a traditional riflescope into a lighter, compact package, the designer of the original ACOG, Glyn Bindon, took inspiration from a pair of binoculars. Where the length of a traditional telescopic riflescope required the length of the tube to function, a prism scope could shorten the overall length by reflecting the image inside the body of the sight. With lenses at each end, and a prism in the middle to achieve the required distance between them via reflection, the optic style earned its name.
Well, BB knows what binoculars are and he knows that prismatic binocs are shorter than non-prismatic binocs of the same power. The prism is used to redirect the path of light inside the binocs so a longer light path can fit into a shorter package, exactly as described in the second description. Shorter is a good thing for optics on firearms.
Therefore BB assumes that a prismatic optic is shorter than a non-prismatic one, and that is what all the websites say.
Cooks say that the proof is in the pudding, which means taste the food and you will know if it’s good. That definition expands to most things — try them and you will see if they are good. So, I told you that I was at AirForce Airguns on Friday, two weeks ago and I picked up Ton Jones’ RAW MicroHunter to see how it felt when shouldered. To the detriment of my corporate wallet, he has a Lucid P8 sight mounted and the reticle was turned on. After looking through that sight I set the rifle down and immediately called Lucid Optics to purchase a P8 for myself. That would be the proof of the pudding, in this case.
Guys, I have praised Meopta scopes to the heavens and those who have bought them now do the same. I have praised Integrix scopes and we will soon be hearing from those who purchase them. Today I’m praising the Lucid Optics P8.
How does the eye condition known as astigmatism affect shooters who use dot sights? Well, I have astigmatism and seeing the following images from the AT3 Tactical website explained a lot.
This is what a dot looks like if you have astigmatism.
I see the “Starburst” image in dot sights. But when I first looked through the P8 sight everything was sharp. It was like putting on hearing aids for the first time — Wow! Is that the way things sound? Only in this case it was — Wow! Is that the way things look? That is why I bought this sight so quickly. I don’t buy sights to save money. I buy them to see what I’m shooting at.
Thanks to reader thedavemeister, we can see what it looks like to look through the P8 at a target 50 yards awa.
What the actual P8 reticle looks like.
According to Pew Pew Tactical you need to pay as much as $300 to get a good prismatic optic. Well, the P8 I now own and am testing costs twice that. Since I have never seen another prismatic rifle sight, I have no basis for comparison. I just know that once I looked through this one I bought it. I did the same thing with hearing aids, so take that with a grain of salt. I tend to buy stuff that works, if I can afford it.
The reticle is illuminated with a blue light and it’s an etched glass reticle. That means that only the reticle lights up — there is no blooming of light inside the scope. There are two buttons on top of the scope that adjust the level of illumination.
Thank you, Lucid Optics, for using a blue light. I am red/green colorblind like 14 percent of all males and blue is quite visible to my eyes.
The battery that powers the reticle is a triple A and Lucid recommends using a lithium battery. They say to expect up to 25,000 hours of battery life. The illumination shuts off automatically after 2 hours.
The illuminated portion of the reticle has specific elements that can be used for a variety of purposes like range estimation and holdover. The bottom portion of the reticle does not illuminate. It is not necessary to illuminate the reticle to see it or to use the sight. In that respect it’s more like a scope than a dot sight.
The P8 reticle is illuminated on top but it can be seen all the time without illumination.
I’m calling this a scope because it magnifies the target four times. But it also acts like a dot sight. I guess it is the best of both worlds. But it also means that this optic has an eye relief distance like a scope. In this case it’s 3 inches. A dot sight would have no eye relief, so when you mount the P8 that must be taken into consideration.
The exit pupil is 6mm, which in a scope is like looking through a large sewer pipe. It’s easy to see through the P8 and hard not to get it right.
Also the reticle remains crystal clear even when your eye isn’t at the right distance from the lens. The image gets smaller with a dark ring around it like it does on a quality scope, but you can still see the reticle and your target.
We have been discussing the benefits of fixed power scopes for several weeks. All prismatic optics are fixed power. The P8 is 4 power. Five power appears to be the maximum that’s possible with a prismatic. So this is a scope for hunting. Now, let’s see — do I have an airgun that’s made for hunting? Hmmm. Oh, right! I have the RAW MicroHunter. And, coincidentally that was the rifle I first saw this scope mounted on.
Mounting the P8
The MicroHunter comes with an 11mm dovetail scope base, so a UTG adaptor needs to be used.
The UTG Picatinny-to-11mm-adaptor makes the P8 work fine. There is only room for one of these but since I’m mounting to a PCP, no sweat!
The P8 comes with three different height mount risers. They are made to interface with Picatinny bases because this sight is made primarily for firearms. The highest mount riser is perfect for the MicroHunter. I’ll save the other two for when I mount the sight on different airguns.
The P8 comes with three mount risers. The highest was used, leaving the other two for future airguns.
Lucid Optics recommends tightening the screws on the base of the mount to no more than 22 inch-pounds. Once again we have an inch-pound torque spec! Do I really need to get one? Even if I do, I ain’t a-gonna for awhile. With the HW 50 I calibrated my finger to inch-pounds while fixing that stripped screw on the Rekord trigger. That calibration should last for the next year or so.
One strange thing was the two mount clamp screws were different sizes! One has a T15 head and the other a T10 head! I’ve never seen that before. Someone in assembly probably reached into the wrong box.
The P8 clamp screws on my sight have two different size heads! T10 on the left and T15 on the right.
The P8 fits the MicroHunter like it was made for it. I thought my eye would be too close to the eyepiece of the scope, but just cranking the MicroHunter buttplate out 3/4-inches made the eye relief perfect. It is as if someone actually thought the rifle through.
The Lucid P8 looks right on the AirForce MicroHunter. It may look high here but my sighting eye is in perfect alignment with the P8 eyepiece.
And guess what? The MicroHunter fits into its carrying case with the P8 mounted!
The P8 mounted on the Microhunter fits in the case like it was made for it. It wasn’t, but the fit is perfect.
We have another optic to consider. This one is for shorter distances, but also perfect for hunting. Or is it? We shall see.