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New AR upper - question

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Rittmeister, Dec 5, 2018.

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  1. Rittmeister

    Rittmeister Member

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    I'm getting ready to purchase a new upper for range and HD use. I've settled on the specs I want but for one thing - what style for the handguard. I plan to buy from BCM either way. I want to mount a small foregrip, sling swivel, and a light of some kind.

    I am struggling with keymod vs mlok for the rail. I have researched quite a bit and what I see seems to indicate that mlok is stronger (and was chosen by the military for this reason) but that keymod can be easier to live with - i.e. quicker/simpler to attach and remove accessories when necessary and in general less finicky. Not sure if this is accurate hence my questions here.

    I'm looking for users' experience. I could go either way. I don't think I care about the aesthetics of one over the other, and while I do have a small amount of experience with keymod accessories I don't really own enough of them right now to make a financial difference if I were to decide to go with mlok. I'm also not sure I "need" the strength of the mlok system as I doubt I'll be putting the rifle through anything that's likely to cause trouble, but one never knows.

    Any input gratefully received; I hope to purchase very soon. Thanks!
     
  2. adcoch1

    adcoch1 Member

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    mlok is much stronger, but pratically speaking it may not matter to you. There are tons of options for accessories either way, but the direct mount mlok stuff, while more expensive sometimes, is usually better thought out and has less snag points. I have most of my accessories as picatinny mount stuff on short rail segments, whether it is keymod or mlok mounted, so to me it is a toss up. I have run into some crappy mlok accessories, mostly the tabs aren't thick enough to keep a foregrip from rotating a tiny bit. So if you like name brand accessories anyway, go mlok. Otherwise go keymod and save a ton of cash for a slightly inferior system.
     
  3. IndianaBoy

    IndianaBoy Member

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    I have various flashlight mounts and QD sling attachment points attached via keymod. A Harris bipod adapter as well. I've never had anything come lose and I use my stuff reasonably hard. I don't abuse it, but I treat it like a tool. It is easy to attach keymod stuff. I have never used Mlok so I can't say anything about it really. I don't doubt the testing that was done. From my perspective I think keymod is 'strong enough'. Mlok is stronger according to the testing.

    I have no plans to switch. In fact I bought more keymod stuff recently and plan to add at least one more that will also be keymod to allow flexibility with all my accessories.
     
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  4. Skylerbone

    Skylerbone Member

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    My takeaway from ARs is that no matter how sufficient something is there will always be revisions. One nice thing about MLOK is that it was developed by Magpul and is freely licensed so it’s not likely to go anywhere soon. The flip side of not having to pay royalties is that anyone can make accessories be they good or bad.
     
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  5. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    I’ve found Key-mod to be the better system, however, the proliferance of m-lok is impossible to ignore. I also do hate the appearance of Key-mod.

    One of the biggest advantages for m-lok is the popularity. A mistake a guy can make is to install m-lok pic rails on the slots, and use picatinny accessories. It adds cost, weight, and bulk. Find gear which is directly m-lok compatible whenever possible.
     
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  6. Rittmeister

    Rittmeister Member

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    Thanks for all input so far. I probably should have mentioned that BCM offers both a key mod and an mlok upper in the configuration I desire, at an identical price point. I won't save money by going in either direction, so the decision really is down to either looks or ease of use I suppose.

    I would love to hear others' experience.
     
  7. Theohazard

    Theohazard Member

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    Mlok all the way. I switched over two years ago and I’m never going back. Here’s why:

    1. Mlok is stronger. I’ve seen people pop keymod attachments off their handguards during barrier drills. And sometimes I’ve even seen the parts come loose through normal shooting. Haven’t seen that yet with Mlok.

    2. Mlok is reversible. You can flip Mlok attachments around; they’ll fit either way. Keymod won’t.

    3. Mlok is more popular. You’ll have an easier time finding attachments.

    4. I find Mlok easier to install, but that might just be because I’ve installed a lot more Mlok attachments than I have keymod. Regardless, both are pretty darn easy.

    I also think Mlok looks better, but I didn’t include that because it’s obviously subjective. And as for the people who say Mlok is difficult to install, that’s because they’re not doing it right. The trick is to tighten the nut all the way down before you put the attachment in the slot and attempt to lock it down. Once it’s inserted in the handguard slot, loosten the screw by 1/4 turn at a time. After each 1/4 turn loosening it, you then turn it slightly clockwise just enough to see if the nut is loosened enough to rotate it the 1/4 clockwise turn needed to lock it down.

    The problem people have is that they loosen the nut too much and then it just spins freely; the key is to loosen it just enough that it rotates the 1/4 turn needed to allow it to lock down. (And I promise you that it’s a heck of a lot simpler to actually do than I’m explaining here; I’m not very good at simple explanations.)
     
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  8. boom boom
    • Contributing Member

    boom boom Moderator Staff Member

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    I have both mlok and keylock, flip a coin and go with that which supports the stuff you want directly instead of adding a rail as varminterror said. A lot of folks that are seriously into tac training want a heavier and stronger handguard.

    What might make more of difference long run is how thick and rough the handguard is. I prefer thinner which makes finding suitable gas block a bit more difficult while others with larger hands may prefer bigger. Personally, for my use, I find the foregrips less than useful except of accessory mounting, but then again I learned on traditional rifles. On the one that I have which is an older rifle, it has a light/laser combo plus a pressure activated trigger switch. The angled stuff looks to be a bit better for me but overall I prefer a simple hand stop instead to keep my fingers from getting toasted. Simpler, lighter, and less snag points is what I go for while others mileage may vary.

    The original purpose for the foregrips were to allow users to fight muzzle rise and allow better control when firing full auto-or rapid fire. On the AR, some originally used the front of the receiver for this purpose which tends to get hot and a few other issues and foregrips are also an attachment point for accessories and pressure switches. Can protect your hands a bit from the heat as well. Some think it looks cool.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018
  9. MistWolf

    MistWolf Member

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    "MLok" is a fancy word for "a brilliantly marketed standardized slot". I like the Mlok because it's a simple slot. I can mount stuff to it using nuts & bolts found at the hardware store, or the dedicated hardware which is simple, solid and easy to install.
     
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  10. Coal Dragger

    Coal Dragger Member

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    MLok, I have both and prefer MLok.

    Uncle Sam agrees and has specified MLok for upgrade programs for the M4 going forward.

    There will be better availability of MLok stuff.
     
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