Keymod: What’s the Big Deal?

If you don’t know, Keymod is a new-ish system for mounting accessories on rifles. Keymod was released in June 2011. After 2 years on the market, many companies are producing handguards with Keymod slots.

This is the 15-inch long Keymod rail from Strike Industries. Instead of a round tube, it is an angular collection of 7 flat sides.

This is the 15-inch long Keymod rail from Strike Industries. Instead of a round tube, it is an angular collection of 7 flat sides.

So what accessories do we have so far?

Excluding the products made by Impact Weapon Components (IWC), here’s what I found:

  • 1 qd sling mount
  • 1 flashlight mount
  • 2 handstops
  • 2 harris bipod adapter
  • several sets of panels (to cover the abrasive Keymod slots)
  • and LOTS of picatinny rail adapters

Frankly, I just don’t see anything special about the Keymod system. It seems that Keymod is just as dependent on bolt-on Picatinny rails as every other slick/modular rail. Yes, IWC makes several accessories for the Keymod system, but they already made the exact same accessories for other slick rails before Keymod was released.

Overall, Keymod appears to be only a slight improvement over the slick rails that came before it, yet it relies on flat surfaces instead of smooth rounded surfaces, and it looks very uncomfortable in the hands. I just don’t understand why everyone acts like Keymod is a big deal!

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About jurmond

'Jurmond' was the name of my first character in a homebrew D&D campaign. He was a gunslinger and tinker, creating and carrying strange weapons that belched fire and smoke. That was well over a decade ago but I still think of him whenever fiction and firearms collide, so it seems the perfect pen name for this project.
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One Response to Keymod: What’s the Big Deal?

  1. Jeremy says:

    I have the Midwest Industries 15 inch rail on a 16 inch carbine. I don’t find the handguard abrasive at all. It is as comfortable as their SS II model. If and when it becomes more popular it will consolidate all manufacturers handguards to use the same types of mounts. Seems a waste to put a rail on a handguard and then mount an item to that rail. Also you don’t have to worry about stripping out threads on some models that require screwing rails directly to the handguard. This is just the next step past picattiny rails in my opinion.

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