The AR-15 rifle is a very versatile system. Part of the versatility and ability to adapt is due to the many different AR-15 railed handguard that are available for the AR-15. This M-LOK railed handguard from Midwest Industries allows you to quickly and easily mount M-LOK compatible accessories to your rail system. This AR-15 handguard also has a lot of other features that make it very user friendly.
This standout feature of this AR-15 handguard system from MidWest Industries is its use of the M-LOK accessory mounting slots. The handguard features M-LOK slots on 4 sides, at the 12, 3, 6, & 9 o'clock positions. With the increasing availability and variety of M-LOK accessories, you will be able to outfit your AR-15 is any way imaginable.
The M-LOK system also has another benefit to it when compared to the older picatinny style railing. This benefit is that the newer M-LOK rails are much more comfortable ot hold in your hand. The picatinny quad rails of yesterday were affectionately known as cheese graters. This was because they were not particularly comfortable to hold and would often aggressively dig into your hand. While this did allow you to get a firm, slip resistant grip on the quad rail, it would often leave your hands feeling like hamburger after a day on the range. The negative space M-LOK slots make for a much smoother and Comfortable place to put your hand.
The overall theme of this M-LOK rail Is to keep things as light as possible. Weighing in at just 8.2 ounces, including the barrel nut, this is one of the lightest 12” rail systems available on the market. MidWest made several engineering innovations in order to accomplish this drastic reduction in weight. Helping to keep the weight down is the M-LOK accessory mounting slot system. The M-LOK system is a negative space mounting system. This allows you to remove material from the base object in order to create mounting space. This is in contrast to a picatinny rail, where you have to add material in order to mount an accessory. In addition to this, in between the full sections of M-LOK slots, MI has also included lightening cuts. This cuts are designed to decrease the weight of the system while maintaining the maximum mount of strength and rigidity.
One of the most unique designed features seen on this Midwest Lighweight M-LOK rail is the 12 o'clock rail section. This section features 2 small sections of picatinny railing, in addition to some more M-LOK slots. The rear section of picatinny railing gives you the perfect mounting position for a night vision device, or some additional rail space for mounting a forward optic. The picatinny railing at the front of the handguard gives you the ability to easily mount a front iron sight. The middle section of M-LOK slots helps to reduce the weight another few ounces when compared to comparable rails. The gas tube channel is also surrounded by lightening holes to help remove even more weight while minimally decreasing the rigidity of the system.
The MidWest 12” LW M-LOK rail is a real pleasure to shoot with. The handguard has several design features that make it extremely comfortable to handle. This also shows the attention to detail that Midwest Industries has for all of their products. The handguard is precision machined and after this it goes through a dehorning process so that all of the abrasive surfaces are smoother out for a more comfortable feel. The M-LOK slots also length themselves to being vastly more comfortable than the picatinny quad rails of yester-year. The handguard has an external diameter of 1.5”. This is relatively narrow for and AR-15 handguard. The slim profile of the handguard allows you to wrap more of your hand around the rail. This gives you a more firm and confident grip so that you can more aggressively manipulate your AR-15.
The Midwest M-LOK rail comes with all of the necessary hardware to install the rail system. This includes a proprietary barrel nut and a wrench adapter that fits the barrel nut. The mounting of this rail is rather simple and straight forward. The use of a low profile gas block is necessary is the gas block will need to be removed from the barrel is order to get the barrel nut into place. While this is a simple process, some gunsmithing may be required.
This rail system was designed to be able to put up with hard use. The rail system is precision machined from a high quality 6061 aluminum. This aluminum is known for it's light weight and high tensile strength, which is why it is regularly used in the aerospace industry. Although the rail system has a lot of material removed in order to save weight, it was done so in a precise fashion. The lightening cut made to the rail are done so in a way to minimally disturb the rigidity and strength of the system.
To further protection the aluminum, the aluminum has been finished with a hard coat anodizing. This anodizing helps to increase the corrosion and wear resistance. This helps to ensure a long service life.
The rail systems has integrated QD sling swivel cups. These QD cups allow you to quickly and easily attach your sling to your rifle. The QD cups are on the left and right side of the rail system, making them equally accessible for left or right handed shooters. Further, the QD cups are located at the forward and rear section of the handguard to give you flexibility in where you can mount your sling based of your requirements and preferences.
The M-LOK rail also comes standard with a 5-slot picatinny rail section. This rail section is made by Magpul and allows you to mount a small section of picatinny railing to your M-LOK slots. This gives you the ability to still use your picatinny accessories with your M-LOK rail.
This rail system was designed to leave the barrel free floating. This means that the handguard does not contact the barrel. This is important, as any contact with the barrel can disturb the harmonics, which can possibly lead to a degradation of accuracy.
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