Mission to MARS
This year at SHOT, we got a chance to fire a few shots with and take a look at the internals of the MARS Rifle in its latest iteration. (From MARS, Inc., not to be confused with LMT’s MARS Modular Ambidextrous Rifle System)
The major redesign that has happened in the last year or so is a redesigned bolt carrier group and bolt head, with two retractable locking tabs that are similar to straight-pull bolt action rifles. Previous MARS prototypes like the “Mustang” used more of an AR style rotating bolt head. The designers have the goal of the MARS also being compatible with most AR triggers, though one can see the hammer bar is currently quite a bit longer.
The MARS is awaiting ATF approval, and is approximately 6 months away from being available. Their target MSRP is currently $3,000.
MARS Rifle @ TFB:
The recoil impulse of the latest design MARS chambered in .308 is still quite soft, even without the gas-assist of the original design. It really does remind me of early twentieth century long-recoil firearms, but with an even softer recoil impulse. The trigger was nice and crisp and the controls were easy to operate, though the prototype’s non-reciprocating charging handle was on the smaller side. By using the long-recoil system and the redesigned bolt head, the receiver and bolt does stay very cool and clean even after being shot quite a bit.
For more information on the MARS Rifle, keep tuned to TFB.