The battle between KeyMod and M-LOK
By Jacki Billings
Will KeyMod suffer the same fate to M-LOK as Betamax did to VHS in the 80s? (Graphic: Jacki Billings)
Much like VHS tapes overtook Betamax rendering the platform obsolete, a similar head-to-head match brews in the arena of rifle accessory rails. While Picatinny rails have existed for years on the AR-15 platform, the mounting system is often bulky and heavy. Seeking to alleviate excess bulk, two contenders emerged offering handguards that allow accessories to attach directly to the handguard without the need for additional rails; thus, the epic battle of KeyMod vs M-LOK was waged.
KeyMod and M-LOK both offer a direct attachment method that permits lasers, lights, bi-pods and other accessories to hard mount to a negative space mounting point, however, the two options differ slightly in the means of attachment.
KeyMod utilizes keyhole shapes to mount rifle accessories to the handguard. (Photo: Bravo Company)
KeyMod rails consist of rows of keyhole shapes that allow KeyMod-compatible accessories to mount into place on the handguard. To attach an accessory, users line up the lugs on the part with the round part of the keyhole then slide it forward and tighten the screws.
The result of a partnership between VLTOR and Noveske, the open-source KeyMod design