As I mentioned in my review of the Geissele MK8 hand guard, M-LOK is a natural progression from the likes of Picatinny and KeyMod. Advertised as having all the stability and strength of Picatinny with the no snag, low profile appeal of KeyMod, it seems to be a truly transformational standard. And because it was created, marketed, and disseminated by the big brains over at Magpul, it got market recognition that competing standards would have had to claw tooth and nail for. The problem with creating a new standard is that common accessories need to be created. Luckily, Magpul covered that as well . . .
When I opened the box with the aforementioned MK8 rail, I quickly realized that I didn’t have a single M-LOK compatible accessory. This presented an obvious problem as I needed to confidently say that the MK8 rail was compatible with M-LOK for my review. So I had a chatted with our guy at Magpul (who’s now just down the road), and he sent over a grab bag of accessories for me to stick to the rail and test out.
M-LOK Cantilever Polymer Rail/Light Mount – Overall Rating * * * * *
Magpul offers this mount in two flavors, aluminum and polymer. You can have it in any color you want as long as it’s black. I happened to receive the polymer version which is just fine and dandy as it was light, strong, and functional. It also costs a few bucks less than the aluminum model. Magpul lists MSRP at $17.95, but a quick Google search shows our friends at Primary Arms selling same unit for $15.99. Once I got it installed (a separate article), I found a Picatinny based Streamlight to snap in place.
The cantilever mount is likely unnecessary for anyone running a light without a large bell on it like the one above. But for those that do, this accessory allows you to space the light further back before the hand guard contacts the lens bell. This is especially helpful in scenarios where the rail and the barrel are nearly the same length. That situation normally means placing your expensive light right next to a muzzle device of some sort that will beat up your light. There’s a specific use case for this sort of thing, but if you need it, Magpul has it. And it works like a charm.
M-LOK MVG Vertical Grip – Overall Rating * * * * *
I’m a bit of a Johnny Come Lately to the whole vertical foregrip grip thing. Truth is, I never really tried one out. Once I had a bag of different varieties, I quickly realized why they’re so popular and Magpul’s MVG is no exception. It attaches to the rail flush thanks to the M-LOK interface and provides enough vertical real estate for a solid four-finger grip. Three if you have monster hands.
The shape seems to be slightly oblong, a nod to ergonomics. It is scalloped to a bit smaller diameter towards the rail end in a move I assume is for those who take a full grip on the piece vs. the handstop method I am demonstrating above. In the field and on the range, the MVG fills the hand nicely and provides a great barrier stop as well as a solid point of contact for the support hand. Magpul offers the MVG in four colors with a MSRP of $22.95. Midway offers it for $21.81.
M-LOK AFG Angled Fore Grip – Overall Rating * * * * *
The next step in accessory evolution after the vertical grip was the angled grip for those who are fully committed to the overhand clamp grip commonly known as “The Costa Grip.” If you count yourself in that camp, you’re probably already familiar with Magpul’s AFG. They’ve been producing it for years with a Pictanny attachment system. Additionally, BATFE has ruled that installing one on an AR style pistol is AOK. At least until they change their mind without notice or due process.
Out and about, the AFG provides a natural place for the hand to rest in the overhand C-clamp grip. If you’ve committed to shooting a rifle like that, this grip will certainly help index your hand to the same place each time. It isn’t my particular cup of tea, but I can recognize a well made accessory and a different approach to shooting guns. It comes in the same four colors as the MVG with a MSRP of $26.95. $24.99 from Primary Arms.
M-LOK QD Sling Mount – Overall Rating * * * * *
Last on the list is Magpul’s QD Sling Mount. Made of aluminum, it fills an entire M-LOK slot and attaches with two screws. Magpul says it should cost $19.95, but you can find it on MidwayUSA for about a buck less. Once installed, I stabbed it with several QD swivels I had hanging out in my shop, and it held tight to every single one. No matter how I bounced the gun around, I couldn’t break anything loose. It is an unobtrusive and strong little bugger with the ability to put a QD spot anywhere you want.
I have my opinions on M-LOK. Expect an article at some point discussing the relative merits of Picatinny, KeyMod, and M-LOK. Spoiler alert: I don’t really like Magpul’s new standard. However, I won’t let that cloud my judgement on their accessories. It’s a bit disappointing to write what some will likely call a puff piece in the comments. I’d hoped to finally find the chink in Magpul’s armor. I dreamed of writing a one star review on something they make, but the fact is Magpul makes really solid, affordable accessories. I can’t help but give them five stars across the board for what I see as really well made and functional bits that can be stuck all over your M-LOK rail of choice.