KeyMod Handguard from ARES Defense

Richard Johnson
by Richard Johnson
ARES Defense

ARES Defense Systems issued an press release announcing that the company is now selling a KeyMod handguard for the Mission Configurable Rifle (MCR.) The handguards are made of machined aluminum and have a black anodized finish. No word yet on pricing or availability.

ARES Defense

From ARES Defense Systems:

ARES Defense Releases KeyMod Handguard for its MCR

MELBOURNE, Fla. ­ ARES Defense Systems, the country’s leading manufacturer of innovative, mission-configurable firearms, parts and accessories announces the immediate release and availability of KeyMod handguards for its patented MCR® weapons system.

Extruded from US-produced, aircraft quality aluminum alloys and machined to exacting tolerances, ARES’ new KeyMod style handguard provides customers with more options for customizing their premium MCR® rifle line, including mag-fed and belt-fed upper receiver assemblies.

ARES’ MCR® – Mission Configurable Rifle; an 8.5 lb weapon featuring gas piston operation, a 3-second quick change barrel system and the capability to feed from both linked ammunition belts and standard box magazines at operator discretion continues to evolve. “The MCR® has always been made available with a co-planer MIL-STD 1913 rail handguard, but as a premier rifle manufacturer we strive to meet customer expectations and not everyone wants a quad 1913 rail on their rifle anymore”, says Geoffrey Herring, President-CEO of ARES Defense. “Our new KeyMod style handguard answers that call so that shooters can position accessories exactly where they want them on the MCR®.”

As ARES Defense premier semi-auto rifle offering for the commercial marketplace, the ARES-15 MCR® vastly improves upon the standard AR15/M4 by offering exceptional flexibility with its dual-feed capability and quick-change barrel. This flexibility, combined with other unique features, allows users to instantly customize the MCR® without tools for virtually any use.

First in its class and setting it apart from other small arms systems, the standard magazine-fed ARES-15 MCR® is upgradeable to a dual-feed design with the simple installation of the optional Belt Feed Conversion Kit. The ARES-15 MCR® quick-change barrel allows users to configure the MCR® in seconds without the aid of tools and is available in 12″ (NFA Rules Apply) and 16″ inch lengths. Furthermore, the ARES-15 MCR® features gas-piston operation that provides greater reliability in extreme conditions, and is cleaner, cooler and more reliable in adverse conditions than the legacy direct-gas system.

The unique design of the MCR® also allows customers to upgrade their existing rifles by simply substituting an ARES supplied MCR® upper receiver assembly in place of the legacy upper, which are rearward compatible to the earliest AR15’s from the 1960’s.

Caliber- 5.56 X 45 mm NATO
Weight- 7.45 lbs (3.38 kg) Lightest Configuration
OAL- 32.25″ (819 mm) with 16.25 Bbl
Barrel- 16.25″ (413 mm) Quick Change & 12.5″ (318 mm)
Rifling- 1:7″ (1: 178 mm) RHT | 1 :9″ (1 :229mm) RHT Optional
Feed Devices–4179 STANAG Magazines or M27 Linked Ammunition
Rate of Fire: 625-800 RPM
Operation- Short Stroke, Gas Piston
100% Made in the U.S.A.
About ARES Defense

Since its founding in 1997, ARES Defense Systems has focused on the development of military small arms and accessories of unique versatility, innovation and exceptional quality for military, law enforcement and commercial customers. Engineered and manufactured with the highest quality American-made materials, ARES products are produced on state-of-the-art CNC machining centers in an ultra modern facility by a highly skilled workforce.

Headquartered on the USA’s Space Coast, ARES’ intense dedication to mission critical innovation has resulted in numerous patented advancements resulting in lighter, stronger, better performing weapons and accessories for the operator. To learn more about ARES Defense Systems visit Follow ARES Defense on Facebook at and on Twitter @ARESDefense.

Richard Johnson
Richard Johnson

An advocate of gun proliferation zones, Richard is a long time shooter, former cop and internet entrepreneur. Among the many places he calls home is

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2 of 11 comments
  • Beju Beju on Jul 21, 2015

    I've always wanted a handguard to make my AR look more like the USS Sulaco...

  • Devil_Doc Devil_Doc on Jul 23, 2015

    Sooo.. A hand guard for vaporware? Kel Tec should release a hand guard for the RFB..