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Everything You Need to Know About M-LOK

Posted by Alice Jones Webb on Aug 6th 2019

Everything You Need to Know About M-LOK

What is M-Lok?

M-Lok (short for Modular Lock) is a mounting system that allows you to attach accessories- like an optic, laser, flashlight, or bipod - to a negative space mounting point. In basic terms, M-Lok allows you to mount just about anything to your rail system without having to remove the rail. And, you can mount it EXACTLY where you need it.

Currently, M-Lok is competing with KeyMod (an open sourced system developed by a partnership between VLTOR and Noveske) to replace the Picatinny rail.

When compared to the Picatinny rail (the current gold-standard mounting system), The M-Lok rail is simpler, more lightweight, and extremely versatile. The main problem with the Picatinny rail is it can add excessive weight and bulk. This can negatively affect shooting, especially since that extra weight tends to build up on the fore end of your rifle.

Free Licensing by Magpul

Although developed and patented by Magpul, the M-lok system is a free-license design. This means that, although M-Lok is free for other companies to use, companies must first obtain a free license from Magpul to manufacture M-Lok products. Free licensing is great for the consumer, because it ensures consistency and compatibility between all M-Lok products, no matter the manufacturer.

Benefits of the M-Lok Rail System

There are many benefits of using an M-Lok rail over other rails systems. Here are just a few.

  • M-Lok allows you to mount a small rail or accessory directly to your rifle’s hand guard. This eliminates the need for a large and heavy Picatinny rail that runs the length of your weapon.
  • Unlike the rough, cheese-grater feel of a Picatinny rail, the M-lok has a smoother feel and is much easier on your hands, clothing, and the inside of your rifle case.
  • M-Lok works great with non-metal mount surfaces, making them a great option for use with polymer accessories.
  • When mounting an accessory with the M-Lok system, you don’t need access to the backside of your rail. This means you can quickly and easily add or remove accessories.
  • M-LOK compatible accessories can be mounted at either end of the system’s elongated slots, allowing for easy placement customization.
  • Accessories can be mounted either forward or rear-facing.
  • The M-Lok system does not need to be installed in a specific direction to function properly.
  • Designed to endure heavy and repetitive recoil, M-Lok accessories feature recoil mitigation lugs with full recoil lug support in all 4 axes of movement. This structure prevents shifting due to rough handling or recoil, preserving the stability of your mounted accessories and shooting accuracy.

Military Seal of Approval

After thorough testing of several rail systems at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Dahlgren, Virginia, the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) selected M-Lok to use in its weapons program.

USSOCOM testers declared, “Overall, test and evaluation demonstrated that the M-LOK modular rail system surpassed the performance results achieved by other modular rail systems.”

Among the systems tested, M-Lock had the smallest deviation in point of aim shift and outperformed the competition in both durability and load tolerance.

M-Lok Explained

The M-Lok rail system features elongated slots similar to Magpul’s MOE slots. Compared to MOE slots, M-Lok slots are larger, more durable, and have squared sides.

Accessories are mounted directly to the front face of the slots using a cammed T-nut. There is no need to access the rear side of the rail for mounting. The T-nuts are strong and self-aligning, making them durable and easy to use.

To install:

  1. Adjust the space between the T-nut and the accessory to match the width of the mounting surface.
  2. Line up the T-nuts and insert them into the slots.
  3. Turn the screw ¼ to ½ turn for each T-nut for proper engagement.
  4. Tighten until secure.

There is no need for shooters who loved Magpul’s MOE system to fret. To facilitate an easy system transition, Magpul has developed an adapter plate that allows M-LOK accessories to fit MOE slots and vice versa. This small adaptation opens the M-LOK system up to millions of accessories already available for the MOE system.

At Monstrum we have designed custom M-Lok Handguards and Accessories to fit your needs.

Monstrum Tactical M-LOK Free Float Handguard