SHOT 2016: LMT Shows Off New Rifle System, “Compressed” AR, Lightweight Barrel, Laser
Jon Stokes 01.26.16
LMT doesn’t typically announce a ton of new products at SHOT, but the company significantly upped its game this year with a raft of major announcements. I’ll go through them in reverse order of personal excitement.
LMT’s new Modular Advanced Rifle System (MARS) had been well previewed before SHOT, thanks to the New Zealand military’s purchase of the system. But I got the chance to handle it at the SHOT booth.
The main selling point for this system seems to be that everything on the lower is ambidextrous: mag release, bolt release, safety selector switch, and charging handle. Not being a lefty myself, this has limited appeal to me, but if you’re a lefty who’s been dying to go LMT, then that sound you just heard was the heavens opening. I also am given to understand that even for rightys who are in a bind (maybe their right hand is occupied or unavailable) these ambi features are great. Not being an operator, I’ll have to take someone else’s word for it.
The new lower also features a flared mag well.
You can see some hands-on video from TFB with the new system, here.
I’m not seeing anything here that would make me rush out and upgrade any of my existing LMT guns, but if I were buying new this is something I’d look at.
One of the big advantages of the AK platform is the folding stock. In fact, if you’re a follower of a certain popular Argentinian survivalist, then you know that he’s real big on folding stocks for CQB. The AR will always have its buffer tube, but LMT is taking some of the pain out of that with a new stock and upper design that lets you pare down the overall weapon length to the absolute bare minimum.
The rifle that the company sells to showcase this is the “Compressor”, an AR with a 10.5″ barrel that’s only 24.5″ overall length. LMT was able to cut down on the length by introducing a modified stock, a shortened extension tube, a brand new buffer assembly, and a weight for the bolt carrier.
If you don’t want to buy the $2,300 MSRP rifle — and wow that is some sticker shock, though it’ll probably street for under $2K is my guess — you can pick up a kit with the components that will let you use the shortened stock on any regular AR for $455.
Of course, $455 is also a hefty MSRP, especially given that this PDW kit isn’t the only one in town. Troy sells a nice one, as does LWRC, and both are way cheaper.
Still, when you gotta have LMT, you gotta have LMT, and I have three (and a half) of their guns, so I’m guilty as charged.
Again, if you want to see James from TFB and an LMT rep walk you through the new system, video below:
Lighter Weight .308 Barrel
My LMT LM8MRP is a hefty 10.3 pounds unloaded, and this is literally the only reason I ever get jealous of SCAR 17 owners, given that their gun is a full 2 pounds lighter.
LMT has released a new lighter weight barrel that shaves 0.68 pounds off of the .308 barrel. The ligher barrel is an option for all new guns and is backwards compatible with existing guns.
It’s not going to get me into SCAR territory, but every half pound helps.
LMT Laser Sight
Oh yes, now we get to the good stuff, and by “good stuff” I mean stuff I’m likely to shell out for this year.
I’ve always wanted a laser sight for my rifle, but decent ones are well over a grand. LMT has now introduced a really small one that will retail in a lower-wattage civilian flavor for about $700. The LMT Precision Aimed Laser (PAL) is good out to 400M in its military incarnation, and 100M in its civilian version. It features an IR and a visible light beam (green, I think). It has five brightness settings, and is waterproof to 30M.
LMT claims that this new sight has the “cleanest, tightest laser beam on the market”, and LMT’s Matt Pruitt stressed the tightness of the beam again and again to me when he showed it off.
I’m sold, so put me down for one of these. Look for a review here on AllOutdoor.