USSOCOM Selects M-Lok For Weapon Programs


While we’ve heard rumors of a USSOCOM directed study by NSWC-Crane of weapon accessory attachment systems, we only recently came into possession of evidence of that study, conducted in 2016. We present to you the summary of the report, as it offers the most pertinent facts. However, we are not offering up the rest of the report, as it contains proprietary information regarding the Magpul M-Lok attachment as well as other, competing systems.


The summary states:


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-LOKTM modular rail system surpassed the performance results achieved by other modular rail systems. In repeatability testing, M-LOKTM 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-LOKTM 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-LOKTM 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-LOKTM attachment system. Even so, testing of the M-LOKTM 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-LOKTM modular rail system be utilized over the alternative systems tested. USSOCOM has chosen to incorporate the M-LOKTM modular rail system in acquisition efforts including the Suppressed Upper Receiver Group (SURG) and Advanced Sniper Rifle (ASR).

Of additional note, the US Army directed H&K to integrate an M-LOK rail (designed by Geissele) on the new Compact Semi-Automatic Sniper System rifle which is an indication of wider Dod adoption of M-Lok.


33 Responses to “USSOCOM Selects M-Lok For Weapon Programs”

  1. Robert Arends says:

    rip keymod

    • SSD says:

      KeyMod continues to sell commercially. While government contracts are great, the reality is that consumers purchase far more firearms and accessories than the government.

  2. Pete says:

    Great news!

    I am irrationally attached to MLOK for weapon accessories so this is the evidence I need to further my confirmation bias.

  3. Gerard says:

    Keymod may not be dead, but SOCOM sets a lot of trends. This may be a sign that the keymod/MLOK war is over. Someone lower the flag at Daniel Defense…

    • Geoff says:

      Even BCM is supposed to me releasing an MLOK variant of their KMR. Atleast according to the interwebs.

      • Zach Conant says:

        Yea, I have heard a few things showing the kmr is kinda weak, BUT many people use it and love it, i just think m-lok is for me. I am excited to see what the ‘mlr’ that bcm is gonna release is gonna be like.

    • Lcon says:

      Daniel defence doe have a M-lok rail so they are hedged on all bets.

    • Kango says:

      More like BCM, even Noveske offers Mlok.

  4. SecondGradeMath says:

    Man, I wish they had left all the Keymod data in the exec summary. Without the compare and contrast you just don’t get the full scope of how poorly Keymod performed.

    • Snake says:

      The report says M-LOK did three times better than the systems it was tested against.

      • SecondGradeMath says:

        I know, I’ve had it for months, and the previous version where the EXSUM highlighted Keymod’s failures as well as M-LOK’s success.

  5. SamHill says:

    FINALLY the war is settled. I am still very pleased with the rails on my BCM and DD though.

  6. AttackBlue1 says:

    Betamax vs. VHS.

    HDDVD vs. Blu-Ray.

    KeyMod vs. M-Lok.

    Well done MAGPUL team. “Kings to you, Mondego.”

  7. 4GW says:

    Dearly beloved. We are gathered here today….

  8. Disco says:

    When the bloody hell are HK going to sell the MLok rail commercially?

    • theDude says:

      You mean when will Geiselle sell the HK MLok rail?

      • PTMcCain says:

        I asked Bill Geissele, and as usual he was candid and helpful. The bottom line simply is that if/when the US Army wants their rails in a serious fashion and they ramp up into production for the military, they will be in a MUCH better position to release them for us mere civilians as well. My HKMR762 came with HK’s propietary rail system (HKLOK?)…not the old total picatinny. I like it and it works fine for my purposes, but it would be nice to have the Geissele rail for it that was shown off as part of the CSASS system.

        • Disco says:

          I see. That answers questions. I’d rather have this than a G28 rail. Meh I can wait

          • PTMcCain says:

            Yea, that HK G28 rail is the ugliest Picatinny rail I’ve ever seen. It’s like they got to the end of it and just said…”Just cut it off and don’t do anything further, nobody will care.” 🙂

    • SSD says:

      That’s a Geissele product.

  9. theDude says:

    Hey SSD, how can you say “we are not offering up the rest of the report, as it contains proprietary information regarding the Magpul M-Lok attachment as well as other, competing systems.”

    When the test summary says approved for public release, distribution unlimited. Does that mean there is another part to this that isn’t for public release or you guys don’t have it?

    • SSD says:

      I can say it because you get to see what they’ve decided is releasable to the public.

      The complete report is not.

  10. Craig says:

    I can certainly see the benefits to M-Lok but I’m not worried about the state of KeyMod. My KMR rails are some of my favorite. I don’t put many accessories on my rail so maybe it won’t effect me as much.

  11. Marcus says:

    Does this mean M-LOK will become a standard across rail Manufacturers (e.g. URX and Geissele) or will there be a contract for a singular company to produce them?

    • BillC says:


      M-LOK already is a standard. Anybody can already make M-LOK handguards. Its a free license. As long as the company uses and sticks to Magpul’s TDP.

      • Marcus says:

        Meant from a single supplier. Instead of multiple companies providing rails.

  12. REMF Tacticool says:

    It’s not looking so great for ‘HKey’.

  13. Jimmy Carter says:

    Well, the fact that M-LOK is a free license and Key-Mod was greedy about it is kind of like good winning over evil. So Nobody will want a Key-Mod license now anyway.