New Keymod Hanguard From BHI for AR-15 and AK

BHI Tactical Firearms debuted their new handguard at SHOT Show today. The improvements on the old handguard (see AK pistol photo at bottom of this post) is a full length top rail and a slimmer profile with Keymod compatible accessory attachment points. This handguard will be sold with thier BHI-15 rifles and will soon be available for their AK line.

BHI SB-15-3


BHI SB-15-4

BHI M92 AK Pistol with old style handguard.

This year SHOT Show is all about less rails instead of the rail excesses we saw in past years. Keymod is everywhere. It makes sense, why have heavy bulky quad rails you are not using.


Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Cymond

    I love the feel, look, and light weight of slick handguards (with modular rails added as needed), but what is the big deal with keymod?? When keymod came out, I saw a lot of discussion about how accessories could just attach directly to the keymod slots instead of attaching to picatinny rails, but so far, there are very few accessories for keymod handguards, except of course Impact Weapon Components, which already produced all of the same accessories for the previous generation of slick handguards like the Troy Alpha rail & Apex Gatorgrip. So far, the #1 keymod accessory seems to be picatinny rail sections!

    • wartzilla

      That’s kinda how it has to start, you know.

      • Cymond

        I know, but it just strikes me that there are more KeyMod handguards on the market than there are things to mount on them. The industry only seems to be supporting one half of the system. And KeyMod was released, what, 2 years ago?

        • José Pulido

          Keymod hasn’t been around that long at all. There are very few handrails out there, despite it seeming like new ones are coming out frequently. Picatinny-covered rails came out decades ago now, and honestly speaking there’s enough accessories available, but it’s not that much, especially considering the M4 was adopted in the early 90s. There was a time where the only grip you could practically get for your picatinny rail was from KAC.

          It’s supply and demand. The market isn’t a hive mind in the choices it makes. Nobody is getting paid royalties for the keymod system. People are mostly 100% OK with buying the handguard, since keymod rails are generally lighter than any other variety of rails(already a selling point,) and at this rate, it’s pretty much inevitable that there will be ubiquitous accessories for them. Not everyone is buying the rails for a specific concept.

          They’re a much safer investment than proprietary rails ever were, so obviously people are going to buy them.

          BCM claims they will be making a grip that mounts directly to keymod rails this year, there are already a couple of ergonomics options, and there’s a maybe a couple of options for mounting lights without using anything but keymod and rings. The only things I’ve yet to see and hope to see, are modified mounting systems for things like DBALs that skip the picatinny.

          • Cymond

            A quick search revealed these companies make KeyMod handguards, and these are only the companies offering them for the AR platform. There’s a few more for the AK.

            Midwest Industries
            Strike Industries
            B5 Systems
            Mega Arms
            Head Down
            Fortis Mfg
            Primary Weapon System
            Bravo Company

            Yes, KeyMod has a lot of potential, but so far development has been lopsided. Hopefully the industry will start supporting it with more accessories. The promise of KeyMod was quick, easy accessory mounting, but so far there are very few things to mount.

            And yes, it’s lighter weight, which is one of the things that confuses me. I was specifically looking at the Midwest Industries free-float Gen 2 the other day when I saw they have a new KeyMod handguard. Their KeyMod version has exactly the same stats for length & diameter but is about 1 ounce lighter. I don’t quite understand what MI did to their KeyMod rail to shave off that extra ounce that they couldn’t do to their standard rail. Also, their KeyMod handguard costs about $20 more and only comes with 1 accessory rail section instead of 3 (and additional sections cost more, too). The Strike Industries Mega-Fins handguard is also much lighter than competing designs that use round or oblong holes instead of key-shaped holes.

            It’s just that after 2 years, KeyMod hasn’t really lived up to all the hype.

          • José Pulido

            Did the picatinny rail completely fail to live up the “hype” in 1996?

            Keyholes are generally going to make it easier to take slightly more metal off of the handguard, and they probably did a slightly better job on the latter.

            It’s only been 2 years, and when it first came out, Noveske(which is practically a skip, a hop, and a jump from being a custom shop with their stringent quality control and manufacturing times) was the only producer. For the longest time, supply was limited, and they were the only ones doing ANYTHING for the system. It’s actually a pretty recent development that other rail systems have been available. Many of those systems don’t even have rail covers, they’re just designed to fit the Noveske produced versions.

            BCM and KAC talked about it for the longest time, but they were way late to the party.

            You don’t see very many accessories for Keymod, because believe it or not, not that many people have it. I only ever saw it once last year at a range.

            You aren’t going to be seeing very many accessories for keymod as fast as you’d like, because people don’t really want the direct-attach accessories that badly(even the few people who have them.)

            Most people don’t feel that horrible running their lights offset from the top rail as they’ve been doing for a good while, and even picatinny mounts have gotten pretty light.

            It’ll take a while to catch on because it isn’t something people NEED. If you look on HSP’s sight, their thorntail light mounts aren’t sold out. This could either be a great thing, since it could mean they have fantastic production times, or a bad thing, since it could mean they just aren’t selling well. They do look lighter than picatinny/proxy light mounts.

            Light mounts, verticle grips(hopefully soon,) handstops/panels, and what else could you want? The only thing I’d want is a lighter/closer attachment of a DBAL to the side, but I’m not sure how sturdy or popular that would be when mounting on top works great. In 3 more years, people will be building joke guns with 6 sights, 4 grips, and 3 lights just like they’ve been doing with pic rails. Just give it time.

  • Boner Stallone

    That looks an awful lot like a MI rail on the AK pistol.

  • Mahmoud Fouad

    The ak hand guard:

    Did they steal my idea? should i sue them for some cash?