The only thing our minions agree on is that they don’t agree. Mad Duo
We’ve recently run a few reviews on M-LOK accessories, and this has given some the impression we’re “M-LOK people”. This is not entirely true; the reality is, our minions rarely agree on anything. A few like M-LOK, others KeyMod, and at least one is trying to be cool by saying he’s ‘bi’ (not that there’s anything wrong with that…). Our main editor (Reeder) still uses all Picatinny rail systems, and Hernandez is so old he thinks that A2 handguards are “the latest thing”.
There are discussions on the internet that have run to hundreds of pages, debating the pros and cons of each system. It’s the current gun nerd version of Ford versus Chevy (or Star Trek versus Star Wars, for the virgins reading this).
Several years ago, lightweight rail-less handguards for ARs (such as the Troy TRX rail) became incredibly popular for a myriad of reasons. Soon enough, about every major manufacturer of AR furniture had their own version, built to a variety of specifications and usually accepting only their own proprietary attachments.
Some other companies made their way into the market by offering different sling, light, and grip attachments for the ever-growing number of forends. KeyMod, and later M-LOK, was born out of this turmoil. As of right now those two reign supreme, hence the Ford/Chevy comparison.
Here’s the Reader’s Digest of what they have in common:
Open/Free license (for the purposes of this discussion the difference between the two doesn’t matter)
Easy to attach accessories externally (those that use the Troy TRX rails can tell you the joys of putting a backing nut halfway down a small diameter tube, only to find that they placed their VFG one slot too far back).
Both have companies worth a shit behind them.
Let’s get real for a minute. People are passionately arguing about what system is best for attaching lights and grips. Lights and grips. Sure, KeyMod has worked its way into some special DoD units and M-LOK will work with new MOE forends–but neither excels at mounting optics or sights. As such neither will ever completely replace the Picatinny rail. Regardless of relative weight and bulk, Picatinny is our only current universal standard.
We’re talking about two systems with major players behind them–and a slew of furniture and accessory manufacturers that are more than happy to sell you both It’s not like this is a fight between NC Star and US Optics, or Knights Armament and UTG. A firearms market where you can go to any well-stocked shop with a couple grand in your pocket and walk out with any one of a dozen carbines, can easily support and sustain more than one attachment method.
Which one should you buy? We don’t know—do you like tits or do you like ass? So long as you’re not into bestiality it’s hard to go wrong. The pragmatic way to go about it is to find a forend you like from a quality manufacturer (of either system) and just go shoot the shit out of your rifle.
Or just be a gun hipster and only use PCAP.
Mad Duo, Breach-Bang & CLEAR!
Emergency: Activate firefly, deploy green (or brown) star cluster, get your wank sock out of your ruck and stand by ’til we come get you.