It was late September 2016, and I was again invited to visit I.O. Inc. in Palm Bay, Florida for their 3rd annual Writer’s Event. The event showcased I.O. Inc.’s upcoming products and touring their facility. As seen on the title image, one of those new I.O. products is their new Keymod AR-15 model.
Yes, I.O. Inc. is now offering an AR-15. In fact, they have been making AR-15s in low production volume for the past few years. Those included small contracts to government agencies and foreign users. The I.O. AR-15s that I seen before use a lot of Colt parts in them.
The new I.O. M215-KM15 model featuring a 16-inch barrel with a 15-inch Keymod free floating modular handguard. The barrel has a mid-length gas system with low-profile gas block. The Mil-Spec upper and lower receivers are forged 7075-T6 alloy and type III hard coat anodized. Standard M4 collapsible stock and A2 grip. The MSRP is around $750 for the black version, and extra $85 for the FDE Cerakoted color version.
I.O. Inc. will CNC the AR receivers in house from forged receiver blanks as well as making their own barrels. The AR barrel has a 1:8 twist rate for the best accuracy and it’s nitride finished in and out for durability. The newly made I.O. AR barrel will have the mid-length gas system and in the standard M4 profile, less the useless grenade launcher cut on the barrel. The only reason that the US military rifles have the 1:7 twist rate barrel is because that’s what needed for firing tracer ammo with its extra lengthy projectile.
De-milled surplus RPG-2 launcher. There’s a big hole cut on to the right side of the steel launcher tube and a metal rod welded inside as the de-mil process. It would make a nice wall-hanger for a gunroom. The price should be around $400 online and a little more with the full accessories kit.
I.O. Inc’s owner Uli Wiegand is holding a Beretta BM59. He said I.O. Inc. had gotten their hands on a a bunch of BM59 part kits and they are working on building the BM59 from those with US-made barrel and receiver.
The Beretta BM59 was developed from licensed built American M1 rifles from post-World War II stock. It’s basically the Italian’s take of the M14 concept by adding the magazine-feed and chambering in then new 7.62x51mm NATO caliber. The BM59 remained in Italian military service until it was replaced by the 5.56mm Beretta AR-70 and AR-70/90 rifle in the late 1970s.
Introduced at the event was the new Valkyrie .22LR mini revolver. It has a flip-out cylinder, replaceable grip panel and optional detachable laser designator. The Valkyrie will be available sometime in 2017 with a price of $299.
A working prototype of the Valkyrie mini revolver is built on a cool 3D printed titanium alloy frame. The production version will be using a casted aluminum alloy frame. The cylinder is machined stainless steel.
The Valkyrie mini revolver prototype in the manly hand of my buddy Todd. Being a single-action only pistol, the hammer needs to be cocked for every shot. Due to its miniature size, the Valkyrie’s hammer features an enlarged thumb pad.
Another interesting product released at the I.O. Inc. event is their new tactical bipod. It’s made oversea but it seems to be well make from all solid CNC aluminum alloy and both legs are locked in place with a locking-claw design. The MRSP is $110 but the street price will be under $100.
AK improvements from I.O. Inc.:
– Reduce barrel gas port size to that of the Polish AK blueprint
– Revised rivets in both the material it’s made from and the riveting procedures.
– Bolt CNC machined from 4140 billet steel
– New bolt carrier machining with added chamfer on the receiver rail contacts
– 15% stiffer recoil spring and recoil buffer made from better material
– Solid hard pinning of all barrel components. No more using roll pins.
– Quality control improved with MPI (Magnetic Particle Inspection) sampling.
– In house barrel manufacturing that will be every barrel drilled, buttoned and re-contoured on CNC equipment.
Full-auto with the I.O. AKs at the range session. Short and controllable burst like it should be. Neal in the first video is former US. Army.
A picture taken by the I.O. Inc. marketing director of yours truly in the process of taking the title image for this write-up. Yes, Jorge was using the very tactically uncool mag-well grip with the new I.O. AR-15. That gun’s hanguard was super hot from exposure under the Florida sun and we had also put some magazines through it already. A common problem with all those new slim handguards.
No more AK vs. AR talks; it was Mojito vs. Pina Colada afterward. Palm Bay is just a short drive from Melbourne, Florida. Nice view on the beach bar.