Announced via Soldier Systems earlier today, MagPul has debuted its new open-source M-LOK rail attachment system, the next generation of the MOE slot system. Unlike other systems and true to MagPul’s heritage, the M-LOK system is designed to be used with either metal or polymer systems.
Aimed squarely at KeyMod, I would estimate that it will be quickly picked up by the OEM community. Since it uses straight cuts, it will cost significantly less machine time to produce compatible rail systems. Secondly, with less material required, I can see systems being lighter. Geissele Automatics is already on board with their upcoming MK8 rails.
In MagPul’s own words from the M-LOK FAQ:
Q: Why the M-LOK system and not another existing open source system such as KeyMod?
A: In our experience, KeyMod is not a suitable mounting system for polymer products,
because a conical nut is used to secure the accessory in place. On plastic materials, the
conical mating surfaces of KeyMod will either promote cracking or loosening due to creep
and deformation of the material.
In addition, KeyMod’s undercut also requires the use of specialized cutters for CNC
operations or complex injection mold designs. As a result of the KeyMod design, the QC
process becomes significant with high volume manufacturing, resulting in increased time
and cost when compared to manufacturing the M-LOK system
You can bet I will go hands-on at NRA later this week!