Sometimes I wonder if MLok and Keymod are a step backwards

Today I was messing with some of my Surefire weapon lights and started to write a review of a VFG. That got me back to a line of thought where I wonder if these newer attachments systems are a step backwards from the 1913 picatinny rail.

Now don’t get me wrong, the new modular handguards have many merits. But lets back track for a moment.

Back in the day we either didn’t mount stuff to our weapons, had to use proprietary mounts, or clamped stuff on. You can find pictures of hose clamps holding Maglites on M16s and MP5s. Special equipment like the AN/PEQ-2A IR Laser and the M203 sights had their own unique mounting systems.

When the 1913 Picatinny Rail showed up, we installed these heavy quad rails and started attaching everything to our firearms.

Now your standard screw on rail mount could hold its zero fairly well. Often with in a minute of angle, if the person installing it was consistent.

Then things got really nifty, we got all sorts of quick detach mounts that held their zero.
Now, you could have a red dot and a magnifed scope ready and zeroed for your long arm. You could mount stuff like lights, lasers, bipods, as you needed them.

But quad rails are large, heavy, and when poorly made can be sharp as a cheese grater. Keymod and MLok, along with their predecessors allowed for lighter, thiner, slicker firearms.

All good, right?

Now, we can remove and reattach something from MLOK and Keymod handguards, and still they will tend to hold their zero.

In military testing, they reported that KeyMod had an average shift of 4.9 MOA shift and M-LOK 1.3 MOA.

That is probably why we still see rail on the tops of uppers and we don’t see KeyMod or M-LOK scope mounts.

So, what point am I really trying to say? I’m saying that M-LOK and KeyMod are not really QD. That is a step backwards.

I keep a Harris BRMS bipod on an ADM mount. That way I can slap it on a rifle when I need it, and take it off when I don’t.

Some years back I bought a brand new Surefire Scout light, and I remember planning to put a QD mount on it so I could just move it from rifle to rifle with out having to buy another one.

So now I have guns with KeyMod and M-LOK. I have to buy little rail section so that I can put my Bipod on them. If I want to quickly be able to move a light, laser, or grip, I have to mount another rail section.

The step backwards with these new systems is the loss of quick disconnect. We can certainly live with out that, but it was very nice to have.

I’d love to see a replacement or upgrade to MLOK allowing us to quickly remove and reattach items with out loss of zero. Then I think we will have the best of both worlds.

Surefire Legacy Video

Surefire made a little ad for their 40th anniversary. I think it is pretty good.

My first Surefire was a 6P with a P60 Lamp. It put out 65 lumens for an hour. That was such a major upgrade over the large bulky maglights. Unfortunately I was also good as losing them. I lost 3 over in Iraq. When I first got mine stateside, I showed it to a fellow Marine and the next weekend we went to the base PX and he bought one. He was impressed with the durability of it, and to test it, he chucked it out of his moving car while he was driving. Fortunately the 6P was on and the sun was setting so the bright light was easy to fine. His 6P did have a pretty good case of road rash from that.

Our hard use and abuse of Surefire lights just ramped up from there and the Surefires just ate it up and asked for more.

The new Dual Fuel Surefire Scout Light

Image from

Just a quick comment. I picked one of these up. It is a weapon light that can run off 2 CR123 batteries or 1 rechargeable 18650 battery. It is amazingly bright. 1500 lumens. . . I wish I had one I could plug into the wall to use in my living room. It wasn’t that long ago that the 60 and 120 lumens Surefire lights were considered great.

I’ll talk about it more later when I have it mounted the way I want. I just wanted to say if you had been holding off or debating on getting one, it is worth it. Just make sure to shop around and get the best price. I paid $50 less than where I first saw them for sale.

Arisaka Defense Scout Light Body and Side Scout Mount

I was sort of caught off guard when Shawn posted about Arisaka Defense the other day as I had just ordered a couple of items from them.

What I got was their mini scout light body and a mlok side scout light mount.

Surefire came out with the Scout weapon light design, and now several other companies make interchangeable parts for them. I picked up the mini scout light body from Arisaka so I could use some extra pieces I had to piece together another mini scout light. This copy does not have the mounting holes for the stock Surefire rail mount claim, but it will work with most any aftermarket scout light mount.

Top is a the Arisaka body, the bottom a stock scout light body.

The mlok offset mount pulled a scout light in close to the hand guard and allows you to offset the light up or down.

You can see the scout light is much closer to hand guard when using the Arisaka mount over a stock mount and rail section.

These are the first things I have purchased from Arisaka Defense and I like them. I would caution to shop around also. I was going to buy a mount for my M620 scout light, but I found Arisaka offering for that was more expensive than the price of the HSP Thorntail, so I went with a Thorntail for the M620 light.

Other than that particular case, Arisaka Defense was slightly cheaper than other options I looked into. Their stuff is well made, and worth getting.