MARS-Lc will begin shipping Summer of 2023. By purchasing this item, purchaser agrees to the lead time and Strictly Offensive Kit's no-refund policy. Please call before you order if you have questions: (214) 744-3589
Miniature Advanced Rangefinder System - Light commercial (MARS-Lc)
MARS-Lc brings precision weapon-mounted laser rangefinding capability to the user in an exceptionally small form factor. With an integrated ballistic computer, visible laser pointer, and Bluetooth interface to external peripherals, MARS-Lc delivers long-range performance in an affordable and lightweight form factor.
- Extremely compact and lightweight design minimizes impact on the host weapon system
- Standard, extended-range, and scan-mode operation allows for precision rangefinding and easy target discrimination
- Integrated Applied Ballistics solver enables user to rapidly determine holds
- Operates on a single CR123 battery
- OLED display and intuitive user interface
- MIL-STD-1913 rail interface; easy to mount and boresight to a wide variety of weapon systems
- Integrated Bluetooth interfaces to external devices such as Kestrel Weather Meters and/or external displays
- LRF ~1550nm, Class 1
- >1,500m on 10% reflective man-size target
- >2,000m on 30% reflective NATO target
- Weight < 6.9 oz WITH CR123 Battery
- Dimensions < 11 in^3
- Red Visible Pointer ~640nm, >3.5mW
- User Interfaces Three‐button user interface, rotary switch Wireless Interface 2 Way Bluetooth communication
- Ballistic Computer Applied Ballistics, Integrated Modes Multiple
- Mounting Interface MIL‐STD‐1913 Rail Grabber
- Power Single CR123 Battery
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Strictly Offensive Kit Product Review:
There are two models available: MARS-L & MARS-Lc.
MARS-L: MARS-L has AB, 3b visible red collimated laser. Because of the 3b component, this unit is restricted.
MARS-Lc: MARS-Lc has a 3R visible red collimated laser. It’s perfectly serviceable for collimating to a day scope which I easily performed on a 900 yard target that serves as my true north for testing purposes. It will reach much further if your heart desires.
Both the MARS-L and MARS-Lc are identical with the only exception being the 3b capability native to MARS-L and absent in MARS-Lc due to commercial regulation.
Size & Weight
The MARS-Lc is about the size of a business card from a length and width perspective. From a height perspective, it’s cleverly just tall enough for the display to clear taller turrets you might see from a ZCO, Tangent Theta, Hensoldt, Schmidt & Bender, and Leupold, as well as many others. It’s overall size is absolutely tiny while still maintaining full usability. MARS-Lc fits perfectly on a SPUHR rail, but is also compatible with other 12 o’clock rails such as the Badger COMM and EraTac solutions. I tested it first hand – it works. For clarity, MARS-Lc can also be oriented at the 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock positions should the end-user have a preference.
In practice, our WMLRFs always have a battery in them when in use, so I decided to weight it with the single CR123 that powers it. It came in at just 6.9 ounces… More on why this is important to me later.
LRF Module and Beam Divergence
MARS-L and MARS-Lc are powered by a 1550nm LRF Module which means it’s undetectable with night vision intensifier tubes such as NVGs. Because 1550nm is otherwise undetectable the laser can be super charged which tremendously improves ranging ability in the worst of conditions. Where other 905nm LRF Modules fail, the MARS-Lc succeeds – day, night, rain, fog, smoke, etc. If you need to know your range, MARS-Lc spits it out, plain and simple.
Envision reports that the MARS-L and MARS-Lc are rated for 1500 meter 10% reflective man sized targets. In our field testing during the day, it greatly exceeded these stated numbers. I tried to find in the field limitations which proved to be a massive disappointment to my ego. MARS-Lc wants to work whether you like it or not.
From a Beam Divergence perspective, the MARS-L and MARS-Lc have a <=1mRad spherical 1550nm LRF Module. This lends well to getting returns on intended targets rather than surrounding vegetation or obstacles. In the field, you will likely be ranging through tree lines, as an example, and MARS-Lc won’t let you down.
Many of us have come to love Applied Ballistics for their ballistic calculators. I’d say it’s the gold standard for the long range end users to the point that it vastly outweighs the competition in terms of in the field application. If you are already using a Kestrel 5700 Elite with Bluetooth, you can seamlessly send profiles to MARS-Lc in a matter of minute(s). MARS-Lc will accept up to 30 profiles, it will allow you to turn off aero-jump, Coriolis, etc., to mirror the way your Kestrel is setup or based on your shooting style.
In my testing, I loaded up 15 profiles or more inside of 60 seconds. No issues with Bluetooth dropping or any other interruptions. I promptly changed a few AB settings to match my Kestrel settings, and went to town ranging targets and cross referencing my Kestrel DOPE with that of which MARS-Lc was displaying. It was bang on, not just in testing, but in live fire too. Box checked; it works as designed.
Exterior Device Connectivity
Strictly Offensive Kit’s primary business is in the Night Vision and Thermal field, providing sights, clip-ons and scanners, as well as accessories. Being Clip-On advocates, many SOK customers inquire about the ability to overlay a disturbed reticle or HUD that will display in their device. MARS-Lc supports iBeam Rev. D at this time which primarily works with all of the more recently developed solutions driven by Military end-users. What this means is MARS-Lc won’t connect to OASYS products at this time, as example, because they use iBeam Rev. B. Don’t worry – Envision Tek is always expanding functionality and you expect it to come in later software updates. However, the product roadmap is already robust, so expect it to be a short wait until we see cabled integrations commonly available on the commercial market. It’s more of a not now rather than a not never deal. No ETAs yet, but it’s on the roadmap.
Mounting: MARS-Lc uses a single pic rail slot with one bolt that fits a socket, but also cleverly in the center will accept a Torqx key. It’s a pretty nice unexpected touch. The mount itself is rock solid; we did not experience any zero shift under recoil. That’s a hard requirement for my use case and I’d accept no less.
Battery: MARS-Lc runs off of a single CR123 and displays battery levels directly on the display. If you’re running low, it will be obvious it’s time to change the battery. While I can’t tell you exactly how many ranges I got off of a single battery, I can tell you that I use MARS-Lc almost daily and have only changed the battery once. It’s quite efficient given it’s powering an LRF Module, Onboard Computer, Display, Lasers, etc.
Display: MARS-Lc provides a nice square display that is configurable for brightness (including auto), additional feature layouts such as ToF, Cant, etc., and yet everything is still easily seen while deploying the weapon system. The display is also easily seen over even the tallest of turrets which I originally speculated based on its size, but clearly I was wrong.
Display Orientation: MARS-Lc, being a square display, will shift based on where you mount the device: Left, Top, Right. Being that it uses a square display, it simply shifts based on what setting you use. I prefer Top as its most useful to me right on top of my day optic.
Ranging or Ballistic Mode: End users can select if they want a ballistic solution or if they only want to see range. Admittedly, I really only care to see my ballistic solution, but if that’s not your use case, then you can setup it up to send a range only.
Units: Much like you would expect, MARS-Lc displays Mil/Moa, Meters/Yards, etc. If you have configured your Kestrel to work for you, you can configure the MARS-Lc to do the same.
Environment: I’m going to be brief here. Everything you need for a ballistic solution is onboard providing a live feed of data to insure DOPE accuracy. It’s all there.
Collimated Laser: MARS-Lc has an onboard 3R red visible laser. I use it to collimate the device to my reticle, either dead nuts on the cross hair or at the 5 Mil hash mark. There are different theories as to how to best set this up and that’s solely up to the end-user.
LRF Module Setting: MARS-Lc lets you configure the LRF to First, Best or Last. I prefer Best.
Range Gate: MARS-Lc will come pre-configured with a minimum and maximum range gate. Minimum is usually around the 12 yard line, while Maximum is just shy of 6,000 yards based on the unit we have in hand. There are lots of applications for range gating, and I feel that ELR shooters will tremendously benefit from this feature, as will folks that shoot heavy tree lines. For reference, ranging at night further expands ranging potential 2 or 3x beyond day time capability because there is far less interference.
DOPE Speed: MARS-Lc is near instantaneous at returning DOPE after firing the range button. Fast enough that it has already delivered a solution by the time I glance up to look at the display. This is excellent if you have multiple targets, need to quickly build a profile for your FOV, or have a moving target.
Scan Mode: MARS-Lc moves into scan mode by holding down the range button. It updates about every second which is really nice if you’re ranging a moving target.
Remote Trigger: MARS-Lc comes with a remote that cleverly hooks into the side of the device and is unintrusive to scope turrets. The cable can be routed to a convenient location allowing your trigger finger to manipulate the controls which are 3 buttons, the same 3 buttons on the unit. The controls can be inversed depending on how you setup the remote that way it’s always natural to the end-user what button they’re pushing. When you hit the ranging button, you get a quick but silent vibration to your finger that lets you know when MARS-Lc has completed the range and solution. Pretty dang cool and totally unexpected!
Let me level the playing field: I’m a self-proclaimed long range enthusiast who specializes in shooting steel on a square range, hunting big game in the Rockies, and more often than not hunting feral hogs and coyotes at night. From 20lb Accuracy Internationals to 8lb Titanium Carbon systems, I love it all. MARS-Lc is at home on every rig I’ve mounted it too. I knew MARS-Lc would perform well on a heavy precision rifle because that’s the primary target end-user Envision Tek designed it for; however, the real world application for me, a guy that likes to hunt, is at night and hunting game in terrain that humbles me every single year involving mountains and canyons. When I go out west, it’s not just a financial investment, it’s a massive time investment. MARS-Lc is a force multiplier for putting meat in the freezer and given that I’m only in the Rockies tracking game once a year, I’ll take every advantage I can get.
Long Range Hunting: This rig pictured is a LP Ti-Razor LA, 300WM Proof Carbon 20”, Manners Carbon Stock, Trigger Tech, SPUHR with Rail & S&B 320 US weighting in at 9.75lbs with the MARS-Lc. In my eyes, this application isn’t as traditional for WMLRFs since we primarily see them on heavy rifle systems, but I’m here to tell you that there’s no disputing how useful it is to get a shot off when you may be working with seconds before your target species has moved out of sight. Add in the complexity of canyons, angles, and range, it quickly becomes a mandatory tool if budget allows it.
Night Hunting: I previously mentioned that Strictly Offensive Kit’s product portfolio is primarily night vision and thermal related. The Achilles Heel of hunting at night at range, is knowing exactly how far something is. It’s deceiving and I’ve been fooled more than I care to share. MARS-Lc gives you the unparalleled advantage against your opposition, extending your affective range dramatically. My go-to bolt action night rig is an 11” 308W that’s transonic at 770 yards; it’s like shooting a really accurate 30-30. I’m a glutton for misery and need all the help I can get which MARS-Lc exceeds at.
Competition Rifles: MARS-Lc, among many other WMLRFs with AB, have been seen at recent competitions where majority of the leader board had this distinct advantage. I’m not a competition shooter so I won’t dive into the nuts-and-bolts of it, but I’ll speculate that it provides enough advantage that they’re becoming more mainstream.