Which is of more standard? Keymod or M-Lok

Do you criticize Magpul for ruining the attachment market or do you praise them for giving Keymod a fair challenge? Either way, what really matters is the consumer’s opinion. The question that needs be answered is “is their room for both of them”

Let me take you down history lane to fully understand what I am talking about. Sometime in 2012, Vltor a weapon design company came up with open source attachment system for their accessories. This innovative approach was aimed at fixing accessories to hand guard. The beauty of the system was that it cost absolutely nothing and any person could use it
By 2014, Magpul followed suit and came up with its own open source attachment system. Dubbed M-Lok, this accessory was to revolutionize industry standards. Though Vltor and Magpul systems were strikingly similar, there are however some differences in their rail equation. In Keymod attachment system, keyholes are inserted to allow accessories to be easily slot in, and then fixed in place with a screw.

Comparing Keymod of Vltor and Magpul

As earlier said, keyholes are used in keymod systems to fix accessories steady unto a rail. In the case of M-lok, a rectangular cut out is used to fix accessories unto a rail. The rectangular cut outs are primarily used to mount hardware.

Consumer preference

The chief aim of these systems is redefine railing systems in the industry, and reduce the complex nature of producing railing systems. But what consumers need to know is which of the two systems will outlast each other.

Personally, I don’t think the systems will be defined based on their technicality. Cost is going to be the main differentiating factor of the two systems. In the words of Magpul, M-lok costs less to manufacture when compared with others. Good enough, M-Lok can be used on plastic hand guards as, thus stimulating mass production that will deter the importation of substandard products from China. Magpul also envisions a widespread use of their railing system.

I think this was where Vltor fell short. They failed to see how consumers will react to their rail technology. Of late, steam have been observed coming from vehicle engines with Keymod on them. Initially, car companies were hesitant in integrating Keymods to their design, but now vehicles are now leaving production lines with these accessories. The confusion now is which of the accessory is to be chosen; Keymod or M-lok. From the look of things, it appears M-lok will be way ahead of Keymod in the market. Magpul in a press statement said an adapter plate will need to be installed for accessories bought before the introduction of M-lok

Does it mean Keymod will be abandoned?

As a matter of fact, that is impossible. Keymod will still remain in the market for years to come. This is because a good number of manufacturers have integrated Keymod systems in their designs with millions spent already. Giant brands in the industry that have released Keymods in their design include Noveske, Bravo Co, Vltor, and Knights Armament etc. Riffles produced by these companies are set to redefine industry standards. I don’t see these companies showing substantial support for Keymod. In the end, I see demand for Keymod accessories dropping down considerably.

One way Keymod will survive this down turn is to go military contracts. That is one way Keymod consumer confidence will be invigorated.

In terms of technological features, which is better?

This is the less likely thing consumer will be looking for in the two systems. We can only get to know the technological strength of these systems when they become widely used. The chances of consumer using these devices to the point of failure are quite low. Until then, I wrap it up on durability.


I stand to be corrected on my opinions forKeymod and M-lok. In my view, I envisage Magpul accessories having an upper hand in the market. The standard of their products is really high, added that they are also cheaper. It is for this reason I see them overtaking Keymod systems.

Caveat: It is easy for me to be seen propagator for Magpul because of my opinion. There is no element of truth in this. I buy KeyMod products and the only Magpul product in my possession is a Pmag.