LMT Defense Begins Rifle Deliveries to the Estonian Defense Force


    LMT has confirmed the beginning of rifle deliveries to Estonia. Last summer Estonia selected LMT’s 5.56x45mm MARS and 7.62x51mm MARS-H as their new service rifles. The MARS-L has been procured in 12 and 14.3in barrel lengths. It also appears that LMT’s M203 40mm underbarrel grenade launcher has been procured.

    LMT have shared a graphic showing the various rifles procured by the Estonian Defense Forces:

    Estonian Defense Force LMT rifles (LMT)

    Estonian Defense Force at the range with LMT rifles (LMT)

    We covered the Estonian rifle contract in detail when we caught up with LMT back in January at SHOT Show.

    Estonian 5.56 demo

    Estonian soldier firing an LMT rifle from prone during a demo held during the Estonian military’s evaluations (Siim Lõvi / ERR)

    Here’s LMT’s full statement about the Estonian contract:

    LMT Defense, America’s premier weapons manufacturer, is pleased to announce that it has begun delivering weapon systems and providing new equipment training (NET) to the Estonian Defense Force (EDF).  A unique MARS-H 7.62 caliber rifle with a piston operating system was developed for this contract.  This new variant, in the 7.62 family of rifles, utilizes LMT’s patented Monolith Rail Platform (MRP).  LMT Defense plans to offer the 7.62 piston operated rifles and components.

    The contract award was announced in May 2019 LMT Announcement. The rifles are the LMT Modular Ambidextrous Rifle System (MARS) family of rifles (5.56 and 7.62) – Developed in 2014 and delivered, under contract, to New Zealand Defense Force. The MARS weapon platform is a true ambidextrous system – including: bolt catch, bolt release, safety selector, magazine release, and charging handle.  Additionally, the EDF purchased 40mm grenade launchers.

    These EDF rifles include a single position piston setting, a bayonet lug, and a European-style trigger that allows the operator to put the rifle in the safe position when the hammer is un-cocked.  Furthermore, shot counters have been installed into a new LMT ergonomic grip.  

    More About LMT

    For over 40 years, Lewis Machine and Tool (LMT) has been a pioneer in the firearms industry. LMT is known for inventing, engineering, and manufacturing premium firearms, OEM parts, and related items in the heartland of the United States. LMT focuses on system accuracy, reliability, and products that will exceed the abuse of combat. Professionals choose LMT “because failure is NOT an option!” For more information visit LMT

    Matthew Moss


    TheFirearmBlog.com – Managing Editor
    OvertDefense.com – Managing Editor

    Matt is a British historian specialising in small arms development and military history. He has written several books and for a variety of publications in both the US and UK. He also runs Historical Firearms, a blog that explores the history, development and use of firearms. Matt is also co-founder of The Armourer’s Bench, a video series on historically significant small arms.

    Here on TFB he covers product and current military small arms news.

    Reach Matt at: [email protected]