Not that it’s still news anywhere, but there is still a debate raging somewhere in some forum about whether or not Picatinny rails or M-LOK systems are better.
For the longest time, Pic rails were the standard. They’re still found on many rifles, handguns, shotguns, and even crossbows, and countless shooting accessories are compatible with them.
But then, M-LOK rail systems came along, and they (along with KeyMod systems) have been shaking up the status quo.
Some shooters have embraced these new systems with open arms while others are a bit more intransigent. So let’s take a look at some things that can actually be quantified.
No matter how you slice it, M-LOK systems weigh substantially less than Pic rail handguards. Not only are they low-profile, but they’re less bulky which cuts weight from the system.
If your rifle is front-heavy, switching the Pic handguard for an M-LOK system may improve handling and reduce fatigue.
On a similar note, M-LOK systems also have more open space and allow for better venting. This can potentially help with air circulation around the barrel, helping to keep it cool, which, during periods of intense fire, can improve accuracy.
While slotted Pic rail systems are perfectly fine for mounting accessories, there are a few advantages in the camp of the M-LOK system.
One is that the rail surface is smooth. As you may know, naked Pic rail slots have a habit of reaching out and tangling in cordage or gear, hanging up on brush or just sticking on your clothing.
You can cover the rail, but then what’s the point of having it?
Also, Pic rail slots have pretty sharp edges. They provide a great grip when you’re wearing gloves, but some shooters find them fairly uncomfortable.
M-LOK rail systems, by contrast, are smoother and don’t experience the same issues.
While Pic rails allow for a pretty fair degree of versatility with positioning, the truth is that the slots of M-LOK systems are much more versatile, flexible, and modular. That is, you can get much more precise positioning and placement with M-LOK slots than with Pic rails.
Now, it’s very easy to mount shooting accessories on a Pic rail, so it wouldn’t be fair to state that “ease of mounting” is an advantage of M-LOK systems. All we can say is that it’s not like it’s harder to mount an M-LOK accessory. So on that front, they’re basically equal.
The M-LOK system is newer and (some would say) technologically more advanced and modular than the Picatinny rail system.
Plus, the Picatinny system – Mil-std 1913, that is – has been around for over 25 years. It’s basically a dinosaur at this point, and the basic design (not the military standard) is even older.
So the M-LOK system, along with accessories that are compatible with it, must be much more expensive, right?
Wrong. Despite the fact that M-LOK systems are newer and arguably more advanced, they are actually more affordable than Pic rail systems and accessories.
The creators kept the design of the system open-source, making it easy to recreate and adjust, and keeping costs down for users around the world.
Where Can You Get Attachments and Accessories Compatible with M-LOK Rail Systems?
While we can’t tell you that M-LOK rail systems are better or worse than Pic rails, we can say that each has distinct advantages, and some of those of M-LOK systems can be found right here.
If you’re looking for M-LOK handguards, mounting systems, quad rails, or compatible accessories for your AR15 build’s upper receiver, visit MCS Gearup at MCSGearup.com.
They carry a wide range of different handguards and accessories, as well as Picatinny and M-LOK attachments and shooting accessories that are easy to install. Visit their website via the link above or get in touch with them at Sales@MCSGearup.com.