Ruger Precision Rifle hand guard

Best M-LOK Rails

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Adding accessories to your firearm is a fun way to upgrade them. However, you want the accessories to be securely fastened to your firearm — no rattling, no falling, and no misalignments. Luckily, Magpul developed M-LOK rails to solve this problem.

Quad rails and Picatinny rails were the go-to items for installing firearms accessories. Both have served many gun owners for years. However, it has its drawbacks. First, a Picatinny rail can add weight to your firearm. Additionally, it gives the user a bulky and rough feel on their hands. The drawbacks led to the development of the KeyMod and M-LOK rail systems. So, instead of utilizing the Picatinny and Weaver mounts, both based their design using a slot system. Therefore, giving a smoother function and more mounting options.

If you’re looking for an M-LOK rail, then you’re on the right page. Here’s a list of the best M-LOK rails today

Quick Summary M-Lok Rails

Magpul M-LOK Polymer Rail - 7 Slots
  • Has an ideal length for firearms
  • Made of durable and lightweight polymer
  • Made in the U.S.
  • Fits only compatible handguards
$13 Shop NowClick to read my review
Magpul M-LOK Polymer Rail - 5 Slots
  • Includes all hardware for attachment
  • Can work well with aluminum or polymer materials
  • Has five5 usable slots for mounting accessories
  • Only attaches to compatible handguards
$9 Shop NowClick to read my review
Aim Sports 9-Slot Picatinny M-LOK Rail
  • Made of MIL-Spec hardware
  • Has 9 slots for mounting accessories
  • Lightweight and durable
  • May not fit shorter firearms
$13 Shop NowClick to read my review
Timber Creek 9-Slot Picatinny M-LOK Rail
  • Made of MIL-Spec hardware
  • Lightweight and durable
  • Includes hardware needed for installation
  • A bit expensive for an accessory rail
$23 Shop NowClick to read my review
Magpul M-LOK Rail 11-Slot Picatinny Rail
  • Has 11 slots for mounting accessories
  • Has beveled ends and corners
  • Made of proprietary polymer
  • Might be too long to use for other rifles
$15 Shop NowClick to read my review
Midwest Industries M-LOK 3-Slots Picatinny Rail
  • Made of 6061 aluminum with hardcoat anodized finish
  • Can fit smaller accessories perfectly
  • Can accommodate 1913 Picatinny spec rail-mounted accessories
  • Can only fit small accessories
$15 Shop NowClick to read my review

I like using the M-LOK for mounting my firearms. It’s easy to use and keeps my accessories secure. Additionally, my firearms don’t feel bulky as the M-LOK rails help mitigate the unwanted weight from other systems. Plus, I don’t get the “cheese grater” feel I get with quad rails when handling my firearms. Most of my handguards also come equipped with the M-LOK. But if my firearm doesn’t come with one, I often opt for an M-LOK rail or adapter.

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What Is the M-LOK?

The M-LOK, short for Modular Lock, is a patented firearm rail interface system by the company Magpul Industries. The M-LOK rail allows the attachment of accessories with its mounting point design, enabling the user to have a lighter and slimmer handguard while equipped with accessories. It also works with both metal and polymer parts.

M-LOK is a free-licensed system. However, it is not open-sourced. Therefore, manufacturers must get a license from Magpul before producing products using their standards. The licensing of the M-LOK is a way for Magpul to ensure that M-LOK products are made to their specifications and quality.

M-LOK vs. KeyMod

Like other brands out there that offer different products for the same functions, M-LOK also has a competitor, KeyMod. M-LOK and KeyMod are the two popular rail systems available today. While both have the same purposes, they also have distinct differences. Let’s delve into each of them or you to understand their similarities, differences, advantages, and disadvantages.

KeyMod

M-LOK’s competitor, KeyMod also manufactures rail systems. The company is a collaboration between VLTOR Weapon Systems and Noveske Rifleworks that was released in 2012.

Best M-LOK Rails KeyMod
Image source: Special Ops Tactical

The main difference between the KeyMod and M-LOK is their design. KeyMod consists of rows with old-fashioned keyhole shapes, allowing KeyMod-compatible accessories to mount on the rail or handguard.

The company has an open-design designation that allows other companies to produce rails using the KeyMod design without paying royalties or application for a license.

M-LOK

Best M-LOK Rail M-LOK
Image source: LWRCI

The M-LOK design ditches the keyhole shape slots and utilizes T-shaped and narrow, bidirectional rectangular attachments instead. The M-LOK was made because some Magpul accessories aren’t compatible with the KeyMod system. Hence, Magpul decided to create its own modular system to fit its accessories.

Although it was released 2 years later than KeyMod in 2014. The M-LOK design prides itself on being the most popular rail system, ahead of KeyMod. Additionally, M-LOK is also successful in the military and commercially.

Evidence of this is that NSWC Crane recommended the M-LOK rail system to the USSOCOM. In addition, they stated that M-LOK systems maintain the securement of accessories and sustain less damage from impact forces, compared to other modular systems.

The 6 Best M-LOK Rails

Magpul M-LOK Polymer Rail – 7 Slots

First on our list is an affordable and versatile M-LOK compatible rail by Magpul. You can attach this rail to compatible handguards and forends. With its seven slots, you can mount almost as many accessories as you like. This M-LOK rail has a total length of 3.3 inches, which is an ideal length for most firearms.

Proudly made in the United States, this Magpul 7-slot polymer rail is rugged and built of reinforced polymer. Furthermore, it wears the properties you want for an accessory rail — lightweight and durable.

Pros
  • Affordable price
  • Has an ideal length for firearms
  • Made of durable and lightweight polymer
  • Made in the U.S.
Cons
  • Fits only compatible handguards

Magpul M-LOK Polymer Rail – 5 Slots

This accessory rail is 2.5 inches long and has five usable slots. It also works well with either an aluminum or polymer handguard or forend.

Additionally, it includes all hardware you need for attaching it directly to the M-LOK slots. Because it’s from the popular Magpul brand, you can guarantee that you can mount your accessories securely using this rail.

Pros
  • Includes all hardware for attachment
  • Can work well with aluminum or polymer materials
  • Has five5 usable slots for mounting accessories
Cons
  • Only attaches to compatible handguards

Aim Sports Picatinny M-LOK Rail System – 9 Slots

Next is an accessory rail made by Aim Sports. They manufacture this 9-slot rail using 6061 T6 aluminum, adding durability. In addition, Aim Sports outfitted this rail with a 1913 MIL-Spec hardware with a black anodized finish.

You can also easily attach this rail to your handguards and forends as it includes the steel hardware you need. Despite the steel material, the accessory rail remains lightweight. Plus, you can easily fit your favorite accessories in it.

Pros
  • Made of MIL-Spec hardware
  • Has 9 slots for mounting accessories
  • Lightweight and durable
  • Includes hardware needed for installation
Cons
  • May not fit shorter firearms

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Timber Creek Outdoors Picatinny M-LOK Black Rail – 9 Slots

Timber Creek is a brand known for providing hunting and shooting sports accessories. The company’s famous products are AR accessories, which are made of high-quality, sturdy materials, backed with a lifetime warranty. Of course, the same quality is shared with their M-LOK accessory rails.

Compatible with any M-LOK system, this 9-slot accessory rail made of computer numerical control (CNC)-machined aluminum can create space for mounting your favorite rifle accessories. Furthermore, it’s lightweight and comes with MIL-Spec hardware. In addition, it has that sleek, black finish to complement your firearm.

Pros
  • Made of MIL-Spec hardware
  • Has nine slots for mounting accessories
  • Lightweight and durable
  • Includes hardware needed for installation
  • Sleek, black finish
Cons
  • A bit expensive for an accessory rail

M-LOK Rail Picatinny Black Polymer – 11 Slots

This one’s an excellent option for accessories lovers and is ideal for longer rifles. Why? It has 11 slots for mounting your favorite accessories. Additionally, this M-LOK rail enables the attachment of 1913 Picatinny-compatible accessories.

This rail comes with beveled ends and corners to prevent snagging. It is also built of proprietary injection-molded polymer, making it lightweight and durable. Like most M-LOK rails, it also includes the hardware needed to install it on your handguard. It is made in the U.S. It’s cost-effective, and it’s easy to install. Moreover, it holds your accessories sturdy in place, as expected from a Magpul brand.

Pros
  • Affordable price
  • Holds accessories securely in place
  • Has 11 slots for mounting accessories
  • Has beveled ends and corners
  • Made of proprietary polymer
  • Lightweight and durable
Cons
  • Might be too long to use for other rifles

Midwest Industries Picatinny M-LOK Aluminum Rail – 3 Slots

Last on our list is a rail from Midwest Industries. It has three slots where you can mount your accessories and it’s made of 6061 aluminum with a hard coat anodized finish. It’s a rail meant for small accessories use and is made of top-quality specs material.

Additionally, you can also attach 1913 Picatinny spec rail-mounted accessories like vertical grips and lights on this rail. It also includes all hardware accessories for installation and a lifetime warranty.

Pros
  • Made of 6061 aluminum with hardcoat anodized finish
  • Can fit smaller accessories perfectly
  • Can accommodate 1913 Picatinny spec rail-mounted accessories
  • Affordable price
  • Includes hardware needed for installation
Cons
  • Can only fit small accessories

Conclusion

Adding an accessory to your firearm isn’t necessary. However, if you want to add scopes and other accessories to add comfort and improve your shooting accuracy, then go for an M-LOK rail.

If you want a whole package, you can also opt for an M-LOK handguard. For a more secure shooting session, we recommend getting an M-LOK foregrip. Choose the best-suited M-LOK rail that matches your rifle’s needs. It’s best to check the length of your rifles and determine the types of accessories you want to add to decide which rail is the best for you.

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