The Midwest Industries LightWeight M-LOK rail is an excellent hanguard choice for your AR-15. This rail system is easy to install, provides you multiple M-LOK accessory mounting slots, and have a ton of convenient features.
The main, standout feature of this MI AR-15 rail is that it is extremely light in weight for a 15” rail. This 15” AR-15 handguard weighs in at just 9.3 ounces, and that weight includes the barrel nut. Midwest Industries was able to accomplish this impressive weight reduction by being innovative. One of the aspects that help with the weight reduction was the M-LOK accessory mounting system. The M-LOK system is a negative space mounting system. This means that the M-LOK slots require the removal of material as opposed to adding more material, which is what was necessary with the older picatinny style rails. The M-LOK mounting slots are available at the 3, 6, and 9 o'clock positions on the rail. Between the full length M-LOK sections MI has also included some lightening cuts. These cuts reduce the amount of material on the handguard but, do so in a way that minimizes loss in rigidity. This ensures that you rail system remains extremely stiff and durable. In addition to these other weight saving design features, Midwest has also incorporated a design that not many others have tried. The 12 o'clock section of most rail systems is left as a full length picatinny rail. However, seeing room for improvement, Midwest industries went against the rest of the crowd. The 12 o'clock section of this handguard does have two small sections of picatinny railing, however, most of the railing has been removed and M-LOK slots have been milled into the handguard instead. This is where the MI rail saves a lot of weight when compared to their competitors. By removing a substantial amount of the picatinny railing, they were able to remove a lot of the weight. However, while a lot of the picatinny railing has been removed, little to no loss in functionality is compromised. The rear of the 12 o'clock rail section has a small section of picatinny railing. This railing can be used to mount an overhanging optic. Additionally, a small section of picatinny railing is also available at the very front of the 12 o'clock rail section. This front section is an excellent platform if you would like to mount a Flip-Up Front sight or or aiming device, such as a laser designator.
The MI LighWeight M-LOK rail was designed to give you a free floating barrel. What this means is that the rail only contact the rifle at the barrel nut and receiver. None of the handguard will interact with the gas block or barrel. This is what is known as free floating, as the barrel does not have contact with other components. This is an important consideration for accuracy. When the barrel contacts another object, this can negatively affect the barrel harmonics. If the barrel is not free floating and has outside contact, this can interfere with the consistancy and has the potential to degrade accuracy. Since the MI rail system is a free floating design, this allows you to maximize the accuracy potential of your AR-15.
This M-LOK rail system is designed to be installed on standard AR-15 mil-spec upper receivers. Due to the low profile of the rail system, it is not designed to be used with gas piston AR-15 rifles. This rail system was designed for and intended to be used by direct impingement AR-15 carbines. Also, please not that this rail must be used in conjunction with a low profile gas block.
The MI M-LOK 15” rail has a lot of great features that make this rail very convenient to use. For instance, the rail system has 4 integrated QD sling cup mounts. These mounts are located on the left and right side of the rail both on the front a rear portion of the side rails. These QD cups are compatible with QD sling swivels. The QD sling cups are anti-rotational. This prevents you sling be becoming tangled.
This AR-15 rail system is very comfortable to hold and handle. This is in part due to the attention to detail displayed by MI. The rail has been fully dehorned. This makes for a smooth, non-abrasive gripping surface that won't bite into your hand like quad rails would often do.
The MI rail system comes with its own proprietary barrel nut and barrel nut wrench. The included barrel nut replaces you factory AR-15 barrel nut and serves as the mounting anchor for your MI handguard. Installation is relatively simple, however, some gunsmithing may be required for proper fitment.
The MI rail system was made for hard use. With this in mind, the main construction material used for this AR-15 handguard was aluminum. The MI M-LOK rail is precision machined from 6061-T6 aluminum. This is a high strength aluminum that is regularly used in the aerospace industry due to its high strength and low weight. The aluminum has also been anodized. This helps to increase the rails resistance to both wear, as well as corrosion.
Frequently Asked Questions
What comes with the Midwest Industries 15" M-LOK LightWeight AR-15 Handguard (MI-LWM-15)?
The package includes, the rail, a proprietary barrel nut and barrel nut wrench, as well as a single 5-slot M-LOK polymer Picatinny rail section.
Will a gas piston fit in this rail system?
Midwest Industries advertises that this rail will not work with gas piston conversions and will only work on direct impingement AR-15 rifles.
Is this compatible with a 300 blackout barrel?
Yes, the rail system will work with a 300 blackout barreled AR-15.
Will this rail system fit on a .308 AR-15/AR-10/SR-25?
No, this handguard will not fit on a .308 caliber rifle.
Will this fit on an AR-15 with a rifle length gas system and a A-frame front sight gas block (A2 style front sight)?
No, this handguard is designed to be used in conjunction with a low profile gas block
Is this handguard free floating?
Yes, the handguard is free-floating.
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