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SOCOM Says M-LOK Rocks

The debate between M-LOK and KeyMod has been raging ever since the two first locked eyes. Recently RECOIL learned of some testing conducted by the Naval Surface Warfare Center for SOCOM regarding different modular handguard systems. M-LOK took home the cup with minimal shift during repeated installation, drop testing, and load failures. The long and short of it is this: USSOCOM has chosen M-LOK over all others to incorporate with their new projects such as the integrally suppressed upper (SURG) and the Advanced Sniper Rifle (ASR). We doubt this will be the end of this particular argument for many (after all, the Glock v 1911 rivalry rages to this very day), but it’s certainly a feather in the cap for M-LOK.

 

The summary from the report reads:

Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division (NSWC Crane) conducted testing for the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) to evaluate modular rail systems and provide a recommendation based on the performance characteristics of each system. Modular rail systems were evaluated for repeatability, endurance, rough handling, drop testing, and static failure load. Where possible, handguards manufactured in different modular rail systems, but otherwise identical, were used as a basis for a comparative analysis. All tested modular rail systems showed to be adequate for securing accessories during cyclic loading through endurance and rough handling testing.

However, distinct performance differences were observed from repeatability, drop test, and failure load analysis. Overall, test and evaluation demonstrated that the M-LOK™ modular rail system surpassed the performance results achieved by other modular rail systems. In repeatability testing, M-LOK™ allowed for the repeated installation of the same accessory rail in the same location on a handguard with an average point of aim (POA) shift of 1.3 MOA, as low as one quarter the average POA shift observed by other modular rail systems.

Drop test results demonstrated that M-LOK™ systems maintain securement of accessories to the handguard and sustain less damage from impact forces than some other modular rail systems. Failure load testing demonstrated that M-LOK™ systems support the highest load of all modular rail systems tested. In fact, the test equipment used to interface with 1913 accessory rails secured with the respective modular rail system across testing repeatedly failed prior to failure of the M-LOK™ attachment system.

Even so, testing of the M-LOK™ systems failed at loads as high as over three times the maximum failure load of some other modular rail systems. NSWC Crane recommended to USSOCOM that the M-LOK™ modular rail system be utilized over the alternative systems tested. USSOCOM has chosen to incorporate the M-LOK™ modular rail system in acquisition efforts including the Suppressed Upper Receiver Group (SURG) and Advanced Sniper Rifle (ASR).

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