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Posted: 9/16/2009 6:56:10 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/16/2009 6:57:34 PM EST by BrandonP]
So a little disclaimer. I haven't figured out yet how to properly take video through my NVD. It looks horribly grainy, and this camera usually shoots great video. Once I get that ironed out it'll be a little easier, but anyway...

On to the review. The unit ships in a hard plastic case with a hard closed cell rubbery-foam insert. It includes the unit itself, an elastic band for retaining the pressure switch (low quality IMO) and a manual written in poor English. On the up side, it is laminated so you could carry it to the range if you really wanted but everything on the unit itself is pretty idiotproof as is. As a quick aside, the poor English in the manual is a bit of a surprise. The unit, formerly produced by ITL of Israel, is now produced domestically by Fraser-Volpe out of Warminster PA.

Anyway, some pics. Nice carrying case.

So let's get to the unit itself...

On the left hand side of the unit (safety side) is the windage adjustment and brightness controls. It has 4 different intensity settings and an "off" setting. It's worth noting that this is a mechanical switch so it won't be sucking up battery life when it's off. You also see the port for the pressure switch. This is, to my knowledge, not removable. On the other hand, it's tough as nails. A gorilla would have a hard time ripping this thing off. If you leave the unit on without moving it for 5 minutes, it will enter a "standby" mode and will only be reactivated if you move it. It seems that it may continue to suck battery power, albeit slowly, in standby mode.

On the right side of the optic are the throw levers and battery compartment. The battery compartment clearly illustrates on the right side of the optic the correct orientation of the battery. It is powered by a single AA battery. The battery cap is also attached to the optic via retention cord so you don't have to worry about losing it. A note about those throw levers: they're quick disconnect, and it would seem like they should allow a return to zero but the manual doesn't state anything about this. In Hebrew, in the IDF's issued literature that goes with the ITL MARS sights, it clearly states "removing the optic may cause a shift in point of impact". The mechanism looks exactly the same on the Israeli and American optics which leads me to believe that this is NOT a return-to-zero integral mount. It's worth noting that the battery orientation illustration is tactile so you can feel it in the dark and it won't be rubbed off with heavy use.

Which brings us to the business end of the optic. You can see here the battery compartment, the laser window (offset, so the laser can get around the front sight post of an AR15), and the sensor for automatic brightness adjustment. The optic automatically adjusts the red dot to ambient light conditions at each level of intensity.

A view from the top allows us to see the elevation adjustment. The elevation and windage dials are recessed, so they shouldn't be turned by normal use, and can be adjusted with a 5.56 case.

A pic of the optic mounted. I should note, at this point, that the optic sits too high for a normal BUIS to cowitness or even be used while the optic is on the weapon. This is because it was originally designed for the Tavor, not the M16, and the Tavor BUIS sits much higher.

The red dot appears to be 2 MOA. the IR laser is at 850 nm =/- 20 nm, and is perfectly collimated. The battery life is a weak 200 hours, but since it runs on common non-lithium AAs, replacements should be cheap and easy to find. Pretty shitty battery life, but consider that it's powering a red dot and an IR laser.

The IR laser automatically zeroes to the POA of the red dot, meaning that it saves you a lot of hassle trying to find a range that allows you to shoot at night or zeroing indoors with a separate IR laser. Zero the red dot, verify POA and POI on the laser, and you're good to go.

The crappy video I promised is at this link:

Note: Turn off your speakers unless you like Drowning Pool. I had to put something on there to take out the chatter and that was the first thing that popped up on Youtube's list.


Anyway that about does it.

Link Posted: 9/20/2009 5:41:40 PM EST
I'm not sure what manual you recieved with your MARS-IR, but mine is marked "VERSION: 08.03" and is forty-four pages of plainly written english.
Link Posted: 9/20/2009 7:10:33 PM EST
Originally Posted By brazos609:
I'm not sure what manual you recieved with your MARS-IR, but mine is marked "VERSION: 08.03" and is forty-four pages of plainly written english.

My manual says revison "-", and is 24 pages (laminated).

I went to shoot it today. It was zeroed at 25m using an IDF MARS/Akilah/Litton/Elbit zeroing target. Zeroing it was a snap, and the IR laser matches perfectly the POA of the red dot at around 50m.

I did run into one little big though. While I was shooting, the forward throw lever worked itself loose. It wouldn't come undone entirely, but every couple magazines I'd notice that it'd opened up a little. I tried tightening it down and added some blue loctite. This should keep it from moving so freely.
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