Magpul has launched a new attachment system at the NRA annual meeting.
I first learned of it from Soldier Systems. Link to source here.
So it seems KeyMod now has some competition. Here is a little history of each:
Picatinny Rail has been around for quite some time. Also known as MIL-STD-1913. Picatinny is often but not accurately interchanged with Weaver rail. Picatinny rails are attached to using Weaver style mounts, but the Picatinny adopted a slightly different standard that is adhered to due to the MIL-STD use. The only difference I know of between Weaver and Picatinny are the slot width is smaller on Weaver, and the spacing between slots is not standardized. Many mounts however, are designed to work with either rail type.
KeyMod was developed by VLTOR, first released by Noveske, and named by Eric Kincel. The name having come from Key for the shape of the attachment point, and Mod to reflect the trend at VLTOR of naming accessories using Mod for Modular. It was then released to public domain for use by the industry. Since becoming a public standard that any manufacturer can use without licensing, many manufactures have started adopting the KeyMod standard. I have a couple rifles that use this platform on the handguard rather than the bulky Picatinny rails.
M-LOK, the contender. Magpul has just announced the M-Lok is being released to public domain. It addresses the negatives of Picatinny in similar fashion to KeyMod. They both reduce weight, bulk, and the cheese grater effect some sharply machined rails have on hands. However Magpul took it a few steps further in simplicity. M-Lock requires less effort in machining, and also less tooling. Theoretically reducing costs. Per the Magpul PDF attached to this article, also allowing use with polymer manufacturing where KeyMod is implied to have disadvantages.
My thoughts are simple. All will work, all will allow attachment of all the things people desire to add to their weapons system. I believe what it will boil down to is cost and availability. There will be that crowd that always jumps on every trend first, while cost may not be worth it to me. So far what I see most Average Joe’s doing with KeyMod, is using it to attach Picatinny rails where they want to attach an accessory.
All of my accessories are designed for Picatinny Rail, and I see no reason to go and replace all my goodies because it is the hot new thing. As more accessories are made to use KeyMod and M-LOK I may start acquiring them, but for me to maintain compatibility between all of my accessories, and all of my platforms, 1913 Picatinny is the only common factor, and I can add 1913 in varying lengths, angles, and colors to KeyMod or M-LOK platforms.
Adding 1913 rail as needed allows me flexibility, weight savings, slimmer grip area, and nothing tearing flesh from my hands. I see this being the route 99% take for years to come. I can’t justify the cost of throwing out free floats and accessories I have hoarded through the years, just to have the newest platform. I seem to focus on practicality, and interchangeability is higher priority than tacticool for me.
Authored By Halon330
Notes and FAQ from Magpul: M-LOK_Release_FAQs
Details on Magpul Site
Remember, I'm not crazy, just extremely sincere!