As we all know very well, KeyMod is here to stay. Now an open source standard, just about every company out there is making a KeyMod system. While all of them are basically the same in terms of function, what tends to set different companies apart is the little things. One big point of contention for me is sharp edges on KeyMod holes. In this day and age there are several ways to make sure that the KeyMod holes are smooth and not going to cut the user, or ruin a pair of gloves. Soft edges can be done in milling or by media tumbling the rails once milled. Many say that KeyMod is sharp by the very nature of it. I refuse to believe this as truth. I personally know several companies that are making KeyMod that is “soft” to the touch.
One such company making a remarkably light weight, well made KeyMod rail system is ODIN Works. A small company out of Boise, ID with just a total of 12 employees they make high quality small batch products. Their product line includes barrels, forend rail systems, KeyMod accessories and magazine release button extenders. Other products are in the works, so keep an eye on their website for other product offerings.
Installation of the ODIN Works rail system was actually a very easy to do. Although the rifle I installed it on was not a delta ring style, so all I needed to do was spin off the old handguard and barrel nut. With a delta ring rifle you will need to remove the delta ring. There are several ways to do this, all of which can be found on YouTube. All I needed to do was spin on the new barrel nut, align it to the gas system and lock it down with a locking nut. The whole process was less than 15min with the proper tools like a vice and upper clamps and blocks. All of the hardware needed is included in the purchase of the rail, including an alignment rod for the gas tube port. Once everything is tight and the gas system is installed, the rail slides right down and attaches with 6 screws to the barrel nut. If all was done right, the top picatinny rail will form a monolithic rail across the top. You can screw the rail onto the barrel nut for further tuning then remove it again to tighten up the locking nut and then install the rail section again, making sure everything is tight.
One thing that I was really impressed with was the attachments that ODIN Works has made with the rail. Most impressive is the low profile bipod attachment. The K-Pod is less than ½” and attaches the bipod very close to the rail instead of a typical picatinny sling stud mount that can be almost 1” high. It is made for sling stud bipods like a Harris or clone thereof. Its a very sturdy, holds well and helps to keep the rifle as low as possible for prone and bench shooting. Not having to use a standard picatinny-to-sling stud adapter was a nice touch, and not having the extra 1-2″ that that can add in height made getting the rifle low very easy.
Another attachment that was well made and very well thought out was the flashlight mount. It is very low profile, and securely holds a 1” tube flashlight. The KeyMod nuts can be reversed to allow for mounting in the 1, 5, 7 and 11 o’clock positions. Fit is outstanding, and after trying it with several 1” flashlights they all locked up perfectly in the ring. At 1oz, with KeyMod nuts included it is the lightest flashlight mount I have found on the market.
Mine went onto a Remington R15 that I use for coyote hunting, and lightened the rifle up by just over 12oz. While not a whole lot of weight, it was enough that when I am in the field carrying the rifle all day I notice the reduction in weight. I ended up installing a predator light in the 1 o’clock position, which allows me to see over it from the prone position but still makes the flashlight rear button readily accessible.
Also available is picatinny sections for all your accessories that are based on the picatinny rail. Picatinny sections are available in both 13 and 5 slot sections. The 5 slot rail section is just .7oz with all the KeyMod nuts attached. The 13 slot section is just 1.4oz. Just like everything else made by ODIN Works, they are well made. If you were to need to make a complete rail, sections can be stacked in a seamless way to make a full rail.
The finish on all of the products is flawless phosphate black finish. Because I use my rifle for coyote hunting, I did end up painting the rail with Krylon camo paint. As a test I did remove the rail and cleaned a small area of the paint from the finish. I was able to get back to a pure black, flawless phosphate finish with just some paint thinner and brake cleaner.
ODIN Works has a real winner in the products that they are producing. Flawless finishing, impeccable machining and the weights they are getting are astonishingly light. With easy install, and all the parts needed for install plus a 5 slot picatinny rail section for the MSRP of $220 for the 12.5” rail, you are getting a real deal on them. If you are looking for KeyMod, going with an ODIN Works product will prove to be a real winner. The forends are also available in 9.5″ and 15.5″ for those in need of different lengths.
If you are interested in picking up an ODIN Works rail you can buy direct from them at http://www.odinworks.com or you can use their site to find a local dealer.