KeyMod Sucks – Now With More Proof!

KeyMod sucks and now there is proof thanks to the folks over at NSWC-Crane. In this episode of TFBTV, Patrick breaks down the recently released data compiled during tests performed at Crane at the request of USSOCOM that proves that MLOK is superior to KeyMod in just about every measurable way once and for all.

You can read the full post over at Soldier Systems here.

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Transcript ….
[coming soon]

Patrick R

Patrick is a Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog and TFBTV Host. He likes guns and has liked shooting guns for as long as he can remember. You can follow Patrick on Instagram @tfbpatrick, Facebook, or contact him by email at

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


  • Yes we get it, you like mlok.

  • Threethreeight
  • Form Factor

    “KeyMod is dead, and i have killed it” ver2.0 _Patrick R. Nietsche_ 09.05.2017

    Great video 👍.

  • MadMonkey

    In before the KEYMOD IS BETTER BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT I HAVE hordes arrive.

    • Jared Vynn

      Weaver Rail Master Race!!!

    • roguetechie

      Especially now that “HKEY” is a thing…

    • USMC03Vet

      Those people don’t even exist.

      • Cymond

        But it seems there’s quite a few quadrail fanatics.

      • MadMonkey

        Hi, welcome to the internet, I can tell you’re new here.

  • Henry C

    Key-Mod vs. MLOK
    Dicks vs. Bricks

    Shout out to Crane for giving the world proof!

  • BravoSeven

    Those little rails used to attach accessories to MLOK and KeyMod… What are they called again? If only you could just use those by themselves and not have to fool around with KeyMod and MLOK. A whole rail made of those little thingys. That would be awesome.

    • Anonymoose

      Yeah, they make those. I just used one to put some fresh Parmesan on a bowl of rotini.

      • Major Tom

        *lewd intensifies*

      • Just use one of the many solutions of cover them.

        Although I am a direct mounting guy for weight reasons, I never understood the hate of full length rails because they were “cheese graters.”

        • Anonymoose

          The cheese grater part is mostly a joke, unless you’re out shooting it with bare hands for extended periods of time.

        • iksnilol

          Meh, makes no sense. Get a huge rail to mount rail covers on…. WHY NOT JUST GET A NORMAL HANDGUARD THEN!? SWEET BABY JESUS. I need some valium now.

          • Because I want free float, and I still need rails or attachments in certain sections.

          • iksnilol

            There are free float tubes.

            Then you just drill and tap a piece of rail in the certain sections for the certain doodads.

          • Been doing that for years, except I skip the rail and just use a direct mount.

            But I find nothing wrong with normal rails either.

          • Zack mars

            Or you could just get a keymod/mlok handguard.

          • iksnilol


  • QuadGMoto

    At least KeyMod is a lot lighter and nicer than quad pic rails!

    • BravoSeven

      If a quad rail is too heavy for you then you should up your game and start curling soup cans and try to pump those arms up lol

      • Form Factor

        Or just use Mlok and carry more rounds instead for fire superority…. idiot

        • BravoSeven

          Geez, lighten up guy. It was a joke. Some of you folks are a little too uptight.

          • Form Factor

            Oh sorry, im just far to used to such arguments. Guys saying Marines should “just” train more, even tough theyr knees often are done after years.

          • BravoSeven

            No problem. In the MLOK vs KeyMod debate, I still prefer a pic rail. Until more accessories are available to directly attach without use of a pic section I’ll hold tight with what I got.

          • Kurt Ingalls

            You da man. Bravo!!!!!!! LMAO!!!!!!! 🙂

        • valorius

          Composite quad rails are quite light.

      • valorius


      • Kurt Ingalls

        ROFLMAO!!!!!!….Ravioli cans, 16 oz.!!!!! 🙂

        • Major Tom

          Spaghetti-O’s in the uber big cans!

  • DanGoodShot

    Hey Pat, you realize you said your “going to swing from the Keymod chandalier and scream its name”, right?

    • Patrick R. – Senior Writer

      Yep. There should be a note. I didn’t notice till I got home that it was mixed up.

  • DanGoodShot

    Soooo, basically what you’re saying is… Picatinny rails are still a far superior system. Check.

    • Sonny

      No, triangle hand guards are for the real operators.

  • valorius

    I guess i’m old school, i still use picatinny rails.

    • Jared Vynn

      I just drill and tap as needed or use JB weld. /S

      • valorius

        If it’s stupid but it works, it’s not stupid 😀

      • mazkact

        Free float tube knurled. Drill & tap as needed to add only picatinny rails as needed, yep that is what I do. But, I am a Machinist.

        • Or just use direct attach mounts. Like I did with old Troy Alpha tubes, with the IWC mounts.

          TBH the only thing that keymod and mlok brought to the table for me was the ease of the initial setup. I rarely change anything once I have the initial setup stabilized.

          • Giolli Joker

            Direct mounting I get it.
            Removing rails to attach other rails… uhm…

          • SGT Fish

            direct mounting for m-lok is becoming more and more prevalent. theres already many options, with more coming. the only thing you wont find direct mount are optics, cuz pic rails are still superior for optics

          • You can get direct mount attachments for keymod, mlok, and tube mount pretty easily. It is a small but healthy industry that has been around for a few years now, at least since the Troy tubes popularized direct mounting. And virtually every company that sells direct mount attachment support all three.

            Which is why I never got the extreme fan boyism that popped out about mlok or keymod. As with exception of Magpul and BCM, most the companies support both.

    • E Wolfe

      And getting a small pic rail attached with KeyMod can be a PITA as the after-market accessory makers do not necessarily make their fasteners to speck. A slightly out of speck fastener makes a nightmare of a normal two minute job. Time for the Dremel to sort out their slop. I’ll take MLOK every time, in the future. Especially with the Crane tests showing that stuff can fall off the weapon under rough use, if attached with the KeyMod system to a KeyMod rail.

  • Bullphrog855

    Is anyone else as shocked about how much people care about this as I am?

    • Keymod vs mlok is just the latest 9 vs 45, or any of the other fanboy ladened debates that spin up in gun circles. People spend too much time debating guns, and not enough time shooting them.

      • Giolli Joker

        Debating is cheaper. 🙂

        • Yeah, but shooting is more fun.

    • nova3930

      Not really. Either one is more than adequate for anything a civilian is going to throw at it and probably even up to police use. Try to get people to realize that though is futile.

  • JD

    Finally, we’ve settled the argument. Keymod vs Mlok. Now can we finally move on to the next debate: Mlok vs 1913 Picatinny?

    • SGT Fish

      different uses, different purposes. that’s why we retain pic top rails for optics. pic is better for that. m-lok is better for lights, laser, grips, etc

  • 22winmag

    Will millions of range toys ever notice a difference?

    Probably not.

  • Jim B

    I have both. I like M-lok better because attachments are more plentiful and cheaper than those for Keymod.

  • James Young

    Is TFB’s crusade to bring the end of Keymod to make those of us with Keymod feel bad?

  • tazman66gt

    Have to wonder how much Magpul paid for this paper. Just like the SHOT show that they had people wandering around telling anyone who would listen that Key-mod was no longer going to be open source so everyone that used it would have to pay for the design, but “Magpul had something better coming out and it was free.”

    • Patrick R. – Senior Writer

      USSOCCOM paid for it.

    • port

      Mlok is free of charge, not an free open standard. Magpul controls it, they keep track of who is using it through their “free” licensing scheme, with the ludicrous claim that they need to make sure they get it right. In theory they could modify the ‘standard’ if they wanted to, or come up with a version 2 and start all over again. Manufacturers either sign and abide to their licensing agreement or else. Doesn’t sound like freedom to me, more like big government tactics…

  • Pete Sheppard

    And now we have to start watching out for attachment system snobbery. :p

  • InfidelCrusader

    I recently purchased my first AR with a keymod handguard. As of late I have become disillusioned with my quadrail AR and chose the keymod because I liked the slim profile and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. My first attempt to attach something with keymod did not go well. I tried attaching a QD sling mount to the handguard and found that two different brands of mounts would not work because the QD holes were just slightly off center from the keymod “keyholes” preventing the QD swivel from locking into the hole. I tried with two other friend’s identical rifles with the same unsatisfactory results. I was finally able to mount a sling by attaching a small pic rail and attaching a QD swivel mount to the rail. I am now reluctant to buy any more keymod attachments because of uncertainty that they will function properly when attached. Open source hardware sounds good on paper and theoretically means that everyone is manufacturing to the same specs but it can also mean that everyone is doing their own thing with no guarantee of compatibility.

    • izhmash

      Try the BCM KMSM.

      • InfidelCrusader

        That is the second one that I tried and it didn’t work.

  • David G

    Alex C. videos > Patrick R. videos


    • SGT Fish

      I disagree. I think Patrick has a better personality, especially since he has been showing it more lately. Also, Patrick isn’t a snobby rich kid that thinks only rich people should own fun guns and just gives up guns for another hobby. No commitment

      • Dan

        No patrick is a guy who tries to tell us what we should do because that’s what he does but offers no real logic to back his opinions. Alex gave up writing about firearms he didn’t give them up. Patrick is a Garden Gnome in search of a garden.

        • iksnilol

          Meh, #Reeves4President .

  • Pops

    My bed frame locks together using KeyMod and thing sure takes a poundin… my wife’s boyfriend swears by it!

  • iksnilol

    Did your dad beat you with industrial shelving, Patrick?

  • Anonymoose

    Reasons why Keymod is better:
    1.HK can make their own back-ass-wards proprietary version of it.
    2. it’s simply more A E S T H E T I C than Mlok.

    • plumber576

      A E S T H E T I C

    • iksnilol

      Aesthetic = Penis shaped


      • Anonymoose

        Precisely. Covering your gun in little negative-space dicks increases the size of your own.

    • Spike

      HK can make a backwards MLok if they want… No-ones ever gonna know though 😀

      • Anonymoose

        That’s the problem. Then they wouldn’t be able to draw attention to themselves.

  • ♠InvidiaAbsit(The800LbGorilla)

    I swing both ways…

  • ♠InvidiaAbsit(The800LbGorilla)

    I can tell the diversity training wasn’t effective in this crowd.

  • Dave Parks

    Hey, Patrick! Less video of your face and more video of the subject matter. Thanks much.

    P.S. Quad rail forever!

  • mazkact

    I don’t have a dog in this fight. I never felt the need to hang all sorts of crap on my hand guards. Sling stud,bi-pod mount………………………….ya thats about it for me. I was about to buy a Seekins precision flat bottom competition handuard but it only comes in keymod and if I get one I won’t be able to play with the cool kids ;(

    • Zack mars

      Not hanging crap all over your guns is kinda the point of MLOK and keymod

      If you want to go all tacticool, get a quad rail

  • Cymond

    “Now With More Proof!”

    I was expecting more proof, like, in addition to the NSWC-Crane testing which was covered by a text article a few days ago.

  • mazkact

    Freud might have something to say of those who see penile appendages in Keymod.

  • Treiz

    Mlok was worth the wait. Now we just need to get this 1913 nonsense phased out and well be on our way.

  • Carlos Velazquez
  • Connor Christensen

    I’m more surprised just how fragile these rails are. That didn’t seem like a lot of abuse but they all got messed up and that’s what your front sight is bolted to, a fragile piece of aluminum.

  • Jimmy Carter

    OK, I am a science teacher. I know better than most that any experiment can be designed to show anything that you want. (Its like the American Dairy association funding a study on the health benefits of dairy products) In my experience, M-lock is like VELCRO shoes. The M-Lock stuff falls off. (Its only anchoerd at the 360 and 180 degreee marks. The Key mod is round and holds at 3/4 of the way around. More contact area, greater holding strength. Stick that in your pipie and smoke it….

  • Sonny

    Good thing I’m not a soldier!

  • Sonny

    Buying any and all BCM KMR for $35. Ping me.

  • uisconfruzed

    My hands sweat a lot, the KeyMod allows them to breath 30% more= better grip.

  • Rogertc1

    Wow why so much thought into this?

  • Saint Stephen the Obvious

    So I should Patreon Patrick “the author” for providing a link to the real article?

    I don’t think so.