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The military’s Individual Carbine Competition may have foundered, but the rifles designed for that replacement program are slowly trickling onto the market. The latest gun to enter civilian distribution is the MARS-L rifle from Lewis Machine Tool. The concept behind the rifle is that every feature is mirrored almost exactly on both sides of the gun, making operation both fast and easy. Not only is there a magazine release of some sort, but the placement and the surrounding guard is identical. Which makes it a ton of fun to fire on the range . . .


The real benefit of the mirrored controls is that it removes the need for a lot of the gimmicky levers that people throw on their gun. Instead of needing an extra part to lock the bolt back with your trigger finger you can do it directly on the right side bolt catch lever. Releasing the bolt is just as easy, too.

I had the pleasure of firing the gun at Media Day, and I liked everything about it. The controls were functional, the trigger was crisp and clean, and the gun ran beautifully. The best part: this lower works with any upper receiver. No special cuts or changes needed — it’s a drop in replacement.

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    • I doubt it… it looks like it would require an upper which has a custom brass deflector on it which almost looks to be about half height or missing it all together.

      • Did you not read the part that says, “The best part: this lower works with any upper receiver. No special cuts or changes needed — it’s a drop in replacement?”

  1. Fixing a non-problem. Good thing we don’t still use bolt guns otherwise somebody would put two on the rifle. Whatever happened to the end user working/training around the problem? Like me, a lefthanded shooter. In the Navy then Army with practice I was able use the .45,M14, M16 with no problems just as quickly as the right handers.

    • Who said it was a problem, its a matter of convenience and performance for those interested. Sounds like the military programmed you to make do with what they offered because they didn’t think you were valuable enough to spend a few bucks on an ambi’s or lefty’s so you could perform to your maximum potential. Don’t tell me its so you can pick up any m4 and roll with it, how many times have you had to do that and how bad would it have hurt you if you had gone from a lefty to right in a pinch? My guess is that with all these ambi friendly guns being put to market that either lots of guys are switching stances while in dynamic environments or the lefties are finally getting recognized as the %10 market share they own. Either way, LMT is answering the call by consumers and govt agencies for ambi friendly controls. Maybe all those professionals and competitors who, I’m guessing, send a lot more rounds down range than you do these days, have convinced the manufacturers ambi is worth while, or LMT is making ridiculous and unnecessary changes for problems that don’t exist because they are such a trendy company. Tough guys make do and that leads to stagnation, smart guys push the envelope and bring about industry wide changes. I’d rather be smart than tough any day. Take care old timer.

  2. I see ONE selling on Gunbroker. For $7500-and it hasn’t hit a reserve. Is LMT really that good? Have fun in Vegas guys…

    • They are absolutely not that good. But it’s new and made by a good manufacturer, and plenty of people have plenty of disposable income.

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