Review: Meprolight MOR combo Tri-Powered Reflex sight and Laser Designator

MOR_03

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) were one of the first militaries to understand the importance of an optic equipped rifle for every infantryman. The standard reflex sight of the IDF is the Meprolight M21, but a select few in each unit are issued a specialized reflex sight with a built-in laser designator. The first in this new class of sights was the MARS (Multi-purpose Aiming Reflex Sight). The MARS integrated an AA battery-powered red reflex sight, dual laser designators and a tethered pressure switch for activation in a single unit.

A small number of MARS sights were acquired by the US military during the early days of the War on Terrorism and the US Marines used it in the furious close-quarter fights during the Battle of Fallujah. However, the MARS sight was quickly withdrawn from US service due to some severe design drawbacks. The MARS has a ruggedly built cast aluminum housing but this makes it a bit heavy at almost 16 ounces. The field of view is narrow for a reflex sight due to its smallish 25mm objective lens. The biggest complaint against the MARS was the short 200-hour battery life. Backup iron sight were out of the question since the MARS is too tall to allow for a proper co-witness.

 

Mepro_MOR_7

The IDF isn’t happy with the MARS either, but they have retained it in service since it’s the only commonly available weapon mounted laser designator they have in inventory. I have been told that IDF is not buying any new MARS sights and their last order was many years ago. Meprolight was tasked by the IDF to develop a replacement for the MARS. In 2010, Meprolight released the Mepro MOR and it quickly became the favorite weapon sight of the IDF Special Forces.

 

Mepro_MOR_2

The Meporlight MOR features a 3 MOA dot which is on the large size with Aimpoint offering 2 MOA dots and EOTech offering 1 MOA dots. The 30mm objective lens on MOR offers a similar field of view as most of the reflex sights on the market. The lens uses a greenish coating like the M21 but the lens seems to be a bit brighter on the MOR.

 

Mepro_MOR_3

The Meprolight MOR mounts to any 1913 style picatinny rail by way of its dual QD levers. On my AR-15, the MOR has a lower sight height than the MARS but it’s still too tall for an effective co-witness with the iron sights. The tops of the iron sights are barely above bottom of the lens. The Mako Group told me that the IDF is not concerned with using backup iron sight with the MOR since it offers redundancy from its dual reflex sights and lasers.

 

Mepro_MOR_4

As indicated on the title, the Mepro MOR has a tri-powered illumination by fiber-optic, tritium and battery powered. It’s not the first optic to use tri-power. A better-known reflex sight that has a similar tri-power illumination is the Trijicon TX30 TriPower. The Trijicon is known to have similar drawbacks of of the MARS, namely a short battery life. It also suffers from dim tritium and light leak through its fiber optic collector when battery illumination is in use. Even Trijicon is admitting that the TriPower is not a successful product.

Internally, the Meporlight MOR is actually made up by two reflex sights stacking one in front of another, The front one is fiber-optic and tritium powered. Right behind that is the battery powered reflex sight. The use of dual AA batteries is for combat redundancy, since the Mepro MOR will function with just single AA battery. Even if the last battery die, there’s still the fiber-optic and tritium illumination.

 

Mepro_MOR_6

The tethered pressure switch for laser activation can be mounted to the handguard of an AR15 but is designed to fit inside the Tavor’s handguard. The Tavor’s handguard features a special button cutout for concealment of the tether cable and allows for flush mounting the switch on the left side of the front handguard. The tether pressure switch is user replaceable and the different length versions are available.

 

Mepro_MOR_5

Don’t try this with any of your laser. An very unique feature of the Mepro MOR is that it uses a single internal zeroing mechanism for both reflex sights and the laser designator, which eliminates the need to zero each component independently. The same two AA batteries power both the sight and the laser for thousands of hours.

 

Mepro_MOR_1

The Mepro MOR on the new X95 bullpup. If you have an IDF version of the U.S. Tavor, you can check with the Mako Group to see if they can supply you with the special mount to adapt it to your rifle. Weight in at 15.8 ounces the Mepro MOR is hardly any lighter than the MARS sight that it suppose to replace.

 

Mepro_MOR_8

The Mepro MOR with visible red laser is priced at $1200 and the dual red and IR laser model is $1600. The price is high but what you’re getting is two reflex sights and a laser designator all in one unit with triple redundancy. All three aiming systems are also all sync to a single impact point. Comparing to the ridiculously overpriced American-made $1000 Trijicon SRS and the $1200 Leupold LCO, the combat proven Meprolight MOR seems to be a bargain with twice the optics plus a laser too.

The Mako Group, the US importer of the Mepro MOR, is restricted to only allow the dual laser model for LE and military sales only. However, the restriction doesn’t applies to Mako’s reseller such as 7.62 Precsion and there’s a small additional discount on top of that too.



Writer and gear editor with articles published in major gun publications. A five year combat veteran of the US Marine Corps, Tim is also part of Point & Shoot Media Works, a producer of photography, video and web media for the firearms and shooting sport industry. Tim’s direct contact: Tyan.TFB -at- gmail.com


Advertisement

  • BattleshipGrey

    Interesting use of a replacement watch strap to hold down the pressure switch. I happen to have the same strap on my watch :).

    Thanks for the review. I’ve seen these sights in some MAKO promotional ads, but didn’t really know anything about them. Now I know they’re WAY out of my price range.

  • My understanding is that the optic has a different electronics path running to each AA battery. This gives it even more redundancy than just single battery operation, since it can even suffer an internal failure and still possibly keep running.

    I am vaguely surprised that Mepro hasn’t put together a non-laser version for sale in the US market at ~$600-$700 street. I think it would be immensely popular with the ARFCOM crowd and the like.

    • mig1nc

      I think that’s the role that the Mepro Tru-Dot RDS is supposed to fill. Folks seem to be liking them at the sub-$400 mark.

    • iksnilol

      So the batteries are connected in parallell and not in series? I am surpised that isn’t done more.

      • MR

        It depends on the voltage requirements. Wired in series, each battery adds more voltage, if wired in parallel the voltage remains the same.

        • iksnilol

          I know that, it just surprised me. Then again I prefer wiring in parallel so it might just be bias.

  • gunhead

    Isn’t “laser designator” kind of a misnomer if it can’t paint targets for airstrikes? Or is the term more general than I thought?

    • Pete

      IR laser designators are used with NVGs/NODs to aim without trying to get a sight picture through your NODs, so yes, the term is more general than that.

  • mig1nc

    I think the weight comparison is actually favorable for the MOR. If you look at the weight of an Aimpoint plus the weight of a CVL the MOR is actually a couple of ounces lighter.

  • Joe Schmoe

    Hey Timothy,

    Just a few comments and corrections.

    1)- The Mepro Mor was released well before 2010, I’ve seen in it in the IDF around the 2008 period.

    2)- It’s a very, very niche sight. It’s too expensive for a general purpose replacement for the MARS. That job is still under competition. You usually see it on battalion commanders or some elite units.

    3)- The co-sighting with the MARS is somewhat problematic, but from what I remember we still do that, we just use pretty tall ARMS backup sights; I could be wrong from memory. In any case, they are always tied to the weapon, and if they fail they can literally be thrown off the rail (though still tied to the firearm) and let the backup sights have a clear view

    4)- The MARS sight (at least in the IDF) doesn’t have dual lasers, it comes in two versions. One version with a daytime red laser, and another with a nighttime IR laser.

    5)- I can attest to the horrible battery life of the MARS and the headaches it causes. On the other hand, it’s still the clearest red dot I’ve ever seen and the laser works pretty well (the laser is also zeroed with the sight).

  • avconsumer2

    Whoa. Bit rich for my blood.

  • Tim Pearce

    200-hour battery life is short? O.o

    • Timothy G. Yan

      Aimpoint has 80,000 battery life from 1x AA battery.

      • Tim Pearce

        On the night vision settings, sure. On a setting bright enough to use with the naked eye? I’d have to call that marketting BS if they’re trying to claim that.

  • nirvana

    the best equipment Uncle Sam’s money can buy

  • 624A24

    As an infantryman (not IDF) who have never seen combat, I was issued a rifle with 1.5x non-illum scope, fixed crude back up irons and laser device, Ive never found lasers useful in any situation I faced. Also, no amount of redundancy can save an optic’s lenses, which often gets buggered up by conscripts.

    • CommonSense23

      So you never did any night training?

      • 624A24

        We mostly trained for jungle and urban dawn/dusk fighting, and theres at least some light, and night movement, so any fighting after dark was at close quarters, less than 50m. Except when firing down a road of course, but our FN MAGs had thermals (which were bulky heavy and somewhat unreliable) to control the road. We usually just kept both eyes open and tried our best to shoot accurately in the dark – we place so much importance at being hard to target, the only time we used lasers was for night live firings.

        You guys will never understand what optics abuse really is until you see conscripts handle rifles… its mindboggering.

        • CommonSense23

          I have a pretty good idea.

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Laser designator or laser sight?

  • 624A24

    Clearly you Israelis have the better ideas, I mean for all the learning my country was supposed to have done from you guys, some things must have been missed out.

    Our official training emphasizes lasers as an aiming aid first, and for calling out second, neither of which we put into practice. Hilariously our calling-out usually sounds like “f***! Third floor second window left! *sounds of excitement* There! There!!”

    Ive handled the MARS sight and EOTech on the railed versions of our rifle on a few occasions (unfortunately they were only used as exhibition pieces!), my impression of the MARS was that while it was nifty and cool, its hard for guys not used to red dot sights to pick up and center the reticle quickly.

  • G0rdon_Fr33man

    Lasers are just toys for civilians.

  • noob

    Interesting – I wonder how this compares in terms of usability with the MSE AQC-1?

  • noob

    Does the separate optical paths for the battery reticle and the fiber optic reticle prevent light leakage through the optical fiber when the battery powered reticle is on?

    • Timothy G. Yan

      There’s no light leak. The battery powered reticle projects on top of the fiber-tritium illuminated reticle.

  • The Brigadier

    Good point Joe. A drawback is that the bad guys can also see the laser. A better solution is to have units with the only the MOA targeting system for the troops and the commanders with a MOA and a laser system for target identification. That would lower the costs for the tactical units and it would also give the company a lower cost MOA dot unit for civilian sales. EOtech products look pretty reasonable in comparison to the Mepro MOR.