Guest post by Lindsey Bertomen. Read the full review on

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I tested the Crosman Modular Adaptive Rifle 177 (MAR 177), an AR-15 upper designed to mate with a lower for service rifle competition training. For readers wondering about the job of product tester/writer, shooting stuff like this is always the best part of the day.

The MAR 177 was designed to mimic the form factor, weight and feel of the AR-15/M16 upper. Shooters can run pellets to the target through a match-quality Lothar Walther barrel, with everything but the recoil impulse and noise.

Historically, military units have relied on the actual equipment to insure soldier readiness and efficacy. TADSS (Training Aids, Devices, Simulators and Simulations) materials are training augmentation, but highly effective, especially with materials that competently simulate the real thing. The MAR 177 is easily one of the best AR-15 style clones on the market today.

I thought it would take much longer to fill the reservoir than it did. OK, why would a trainer prefer this product over a sub caliber trainer like a .22 LR conversion? The cost to operate is likely cheaper over time, compared to a .22 LR and astronomically cheaper than using M855. But, besides cost, what else?

It’s quieter. I can’t emphasize this enough. When hearing protection is taken out of the equation, the stress level can be reduced.

It requires reduced range distances for the same training successes. If the range requires less real estate, it can increase training time (reduced transportation time) and even put a range close to unit quarters where soldiers can shoot for recreation.

Additionally, this is the tool that can be used to show dependents “what we do at work”, which could potentially be a Unit Morale activity.

All right, everyone gets it: This product is just plain fun.

Read the full review on