The requirement to attach accessories to a weapon’s platform began in the 1970s and expanded into the SOPMOD program that was finalized in the 1990s. The thought was to provide shooters the ability to add a wide range of equipment to a variety of weapon systems depending on the mission. Designed specifically around the RIS and the M4 carbine, the SOPMOD program provided root to the accessory attachment capabilities to rifles along with other carbines.
Today, almost every carbine or AR-10 or AR-15 rifle is either outfitted from the factory or can be easily modified to accept a variety of accessories, using either the M-LOK attachment system or Picatinny rails. Let’s see why the M-LOK Rail system is so popular today:
1. A Wide
Range of Accessories:
There are endless options in the market when it comes to weapon accessories. Manufacturers of accessories prefer the M-LOK system for its adaptability, cost savings, and weight savings.
Instead of an outward-facing rail, the M-LOK rail system utilizes a slot to attach accessories. An M-LOK mount utilizes 2 or more internal levers, which are incorporated into the slot and tightened with a hex wrench for a secure and proper mounting.
When you add equipment to the front end of a carbine or rifle, you also add weight to it. The lighter a hand guard or forend is, the lesser amount of force is needed to hold the weapon in place. Generally, M-LOK rail systems weigh much less than the Picatinny rails as they do not have the additional mass of external rails.
The M-LOK rail system doesn’t use an external rail for attachment and doesn’t need clearance to attach devices and features a small outer diameter. On the other hand, their Picatinny counterparts require larger outer diameters and feature a quad rail (sides, top, and bottom).
The M-LOK attachment system offers shooters a smooth profile for excellent hand placement on handguards, without the need for external rail attachments. With the Picatinny attachment system, shooters are forced to add guards or rail covers to smooth out the profile of the forend.
Old rail systems require more machining time and more raw material to manufacture than an M-LOK hand guard system. The M-LOK system is a series of measured slots at its core that only require the precise removal of material. On the other hand, old rail systems are designed with external attachment faces that go through several machining maneuvers, which increases the time it takes to produce a single rail.
The M-LOK attachment system has become the industry standard for forend accessory attachments. Producers have the freedom to build and design devices using the M-LOK standard, knowing that they’ll have a universal fit across all the M-LOK handguards.
By offering a secure and solid platform for accessory attachments, avoiding additional manufacturing costs, eliminating unnecessary bulk, and reducing weight, the M-LOK system is a perfect pick for modular firearm handguards. Now that you know the advantages of the M-LOK Rail system, you will be confident while making decisions when deciding to invest in a forend system for their AR-15 rifle.