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Written by CASES4CASES:

I don’t know about you, but with the plethora of Modern Sporting Rifle components and accessories available to today’s consumers (I’ll now proceed to reference RF’s recent reference of Stendhal syndrome) I get really excited when I find two products from different manufacturers that work extremely well together. Right now I’m feeling that excitement with this great match, and it’s terrific . . .

As part of one of my current builds which heavily features 2A Armament and Rainier Arms, I have been searching for a great 1913 rail section and small handstop combination that will work for both a 15” and 12” BL-Rail. The 1913 section needed to be as short as possible (4 slots is a short as you can go for Keymod rails) while supporting a B&T Industries Atlas Bi-Pod. The handstop needed to be small and lightweight and not limit the ability of the bi-pod to fold rearwards around it.

I quickly landed on the Odin Works Keymod B1 Handstop. It is just the right size, lightweight, features a slick skeletonized design, and the fit/finish are very respectable. I’ve used this handstop in the past and after evaluating new handstops available on the market, I decided to stick with what has been working very well for me.

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Finding a 1913 rail section wasn’t as easy and I didn’t expect it to be so. I started with a Vltor CASV Rail Section, which I had on-hand. However, it being a 5-slot section I quickly became opposed to the unbalanced look with the mounted bipod, but more so the extra, unneeded material. I then ordered a Noveske 4-Slot KeyMod M1913 Rail Section as well as a UTG PRO 4-Slot Keymod Picatinny Rail Section. However, while they were in-transit I stumbled upon the Fortis KeyMod Aluminum Rails while at a local shop.

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The Fortis rail was intriguing to me because of its uniquely tapered ends, alleviating those (sometimes) sharp 90-degree CNC cuts at the ends of traditional 1913 rail sections. The trade-off, of course, is overall length. It also has a different aesthetic – one that I think works well to better blend the rail section into its host rail. Additionally, it features an innovative Keymod lock-up system that all but hides the allen key screw heads while also allowing the user to easily remove the internal parts for cleaning/repair.

I mounted the Odin B1 Handstop and Fortis 4-Slot Rail Section onto the 2A Armament 15” BL-Rail, followed by the Atlas Bi-pod. I immediately noticed how well the contours complimented each other and seemed to make all pieces become one while creating a comfortable “C” shaped cup. My original thought was to cut off the muzzle end of the rail section; thereby having a tapered end and a flat end. But for now I like both ends tapered.

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The bi-pod test, you ask? (I know you didn’t really ask, thanks for humoring me.) It passes nicely!

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But back to that all-important feeling of excitement…

It didn’t happen until I wrapped my hand around the rail and pressed back on the handstop for the first time. It was as perfect a fit as I’ve ever felt. If this is starting to sound sexual – just let it happen. It felt that good.

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The spacing of the two accessories, combined with the complimenting contours, allows for a perfect 2-finger by 2-finger lock-up on the rail. For my hands, it’s slightly loose barehanded and just right with OR Suppressor Gloves on.

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Some may think getting this excited about a combination of accessories is a bit much. And, sure, something better will more than likely come along soon. But for now this combination is about as good as I’ve found for a Keymod rail and I’m darn happy to have found it.

Odin Works Keymod B1 Handstop

Specifications:

Materials: Aluminum
Dimensions: 2.38″ (L) x 0.90″ (W) x 1.15″ (H)
Weight: 1.185 oz / 33.59 gm
MSRP: $49.00

Ratings:

Quality (Fit & Finish): * * * * *
On-par with other Odin Works products, this unit is very well made. It fits into the Keymod system seamlessly and without slop. The finish is outstanding and I appreciate that the logo is small and relatively hidden. One detail that I think Odin went an extra step with is the texturing they built into the unit while CNCing it. It is a relatively subdued but adds value.

Ergonomics: * * * *
The shape is well-engineered for a 2×2 finger placement. The angle of the unit is very comfortable. Its low profile design provides enough material to maintain a solid grip without overdoing it. For folks with larger hands, this may not work for you. I have medium-large hands and it is a perfect fit for me.

Aesthetics: * * * *
I find this unit to be very pleasing to the eye. This is due to the design, including skeletonizing, and the finish. I’ve also found the angles to be complimentary to many angles on the MSR platform.  I would like to see the unit slightly skinnier to match the newer Keymod rails – right now it hangs off to the sides of the rails I’ve tried it on.

Ease of Installation: * * * * *
Installation is extremely easy. The unit fits snugly and locks-up using a single hex key screw. Two additional raised buttons keep it from rotating.

Overall: * * * * *
The Odin Works B1 Handstop is a great unit if you’re looking for a quality, lightweight, small handstop at a decent price. This is currently my go-to handstop. However, I do have a few qualms and areas where it could be improved. Odin represents the weight of the unit as 1.15 oz. However, the three I’ve weighed on a certified scale came in at 1.17 oz, 1.179 oz, and 1.185 oz. That’s roughly .5 grams. Not a big enough deal to steer someone away, but misrepresented, nonetheless. Finally, I think a shorter hex screw could replace the current one – there is noticeable excess screw poking up towards my barrel.

Fortis Aluminum Rail – 4 Slot

Specifications:

Materials: Aircraft Grade 6061-T6 Aluminum
Length: 2.3”
Weight: 0.64 oz / 18.4 gm
MSRP: $23.95

Ratings:

Ergonomics: * * * * *
One doesn’t typically associate ergonomics with a 1913 rail section. However, Fortis has stepped-up their game and now it is truly a rating category for this product. And, needless to say, Fortis hit a homerun with this design. It creates an inviting space for your finger which is extremely comfortable to push against. No more sharp corners.

Quality (Fit & Finish): * * * * *
Fortis maintains a superb mil-spec Type III Hard Coat Anodized finish that looks great. The unit fits snugly into the Keymod holes without slop. Mounting hardware is great quality.

Aesthetics: * * * * *
As with Ergonomics, I never thought of Aesthetics as a major rating category for 1913 rail sections. However, Fortis has created a unit that incorporates sleek lines and curves. The unit is very pleasing to look at and to put your hands on. And with a bi-pod mounted over it, the curves help meld the unit into its host rail.

Ease of Installation: * * * * *
Installation is very easy. There are two very small holes in the unit that expose the hex key holes on the screw heads. This helps guide the hex key into the hole and also helps hide the screw heads. The design also allows for full and easy removal of the locking screws for cleaning and replacement, if needed.

Overall: * * * * *
After nearly running the gambit of standard 4-slot 1913 rail sections, the Fortis Aluminum Rail was a breath of fresh air. It incorporates the ergonomics missing from standard models while keeping a relatively light weight through the use of some skeletonizing. I can’t think of many ways Fortis could improve this relatively simple unit, except to maybe introduce a model that has a flat end facing forward and a tapered end facing rearwards.

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12 Responses to Gear Review: Odin Works KeyMod Handstop & Fortis Aluminum Rail Section

    • Rifles don’t typically come with bipods. Also, basically every MSR comes with a handguard that is specifically designed to bolt accessories to. That’s the whole purpose of KeyMod or M-Lok or Picatinny rails, etc etc. Bolting a grip or a bipod or a light or whatever to a rail isn’t considered deviating from “factory OEM” really. You may as well consider putting an optic or sights on top of a rifle to be non-factory “modifications.” But then you’d be running around with a gun that has no sights. You really won’t find an AR with these things already attached to it from the factory. People wouldn’t pay for it, either, since they want to use their preferred light and their preferred forward grip, bipod, bag rider, scope, red dot, coffee maker, etc…

  1. I had a similar objectives on my recent AR Build. I chose the UTG PRO AR15 15″ SuperSlim Free Float KeyLock Handguard, which came with two KeyLock rails. I also purchased a Keymod bipod / sling swivel stud to which I attached the bipod, and a Bravo Company BCM KeyLock Kinesthetic Angled Grip (KAG). One of the KeyLock rails was used to mount a sling swivel stud to the side of the handguard for a sling, since my Caldwell bipod does not have an additional attachment point for a sling swivel. The BCM KAG is similar to the Odin Works Keymod B1 Handstop in that it is small and lightweight, and it would allow the bipod legs to fold rearward around it, if that were desired. Without the bipod, it provides a quick reference point to establish a grip on the foreend.

    BTW, I haven’t seen a bipod installed so that the legs fold rearwards, as this would interfere with the grip on the forend, with the bipod folded. That being said, no reason not to, if you can work around that limitation.

    • The Atlas there can fold forwards or rearwards and lock at 45* angles leaning forwards or backwards, too, in addition to locking vertically. Most bipods only fold one way and you couldn’t install them so they fold rearwards since they often don’t lock in the vertical position and they’d fold on you when you go to shoot. Most shooters will load up their bipods by leaning into the rifle and pressing forwards on the bipod (assuming friction or an object is stopping it from sliding forwards) in order to create extra stability, so most bipods are designed with a hard stop that doesn’t allow the legs to go past vertical rearwards and necessitates that they only fold forwards. I know Tyler has mentioned cracking a couple of bipods by loading them up too much haha. I definitely lean into mine whenever possible, but can’t say I’ve broken any 😛

    • I knew someone would call-out the rear-folded bi-pod! And it’s a fair observation. Here’s my approach…

      If I’m shooting unsuppressed from a non-prone/non-bench rest position (alluding that the bi-pod is not in use) and I fold the bi-pod forward, it will extend well past the muzzle. For that specific scenario I wanted the option to fold it rearwards without impendence from the handstop. The photos are a bit misleading in terms of the amount of space between the end of the bi-pod and the muzzle. It shows a 15” rail on a 14.5” barrel with pinned brake because my 12” rail hadn’t arrived yet. So the uppers with this handstop/bi-pod set up will be 16” barrel w/ 15” handguard and a 14.5” barrel w/ 12” handguard. This leaves me enough room to control the rifle with my support hand placed against the front of the rearward-folded bi-pod.

      However, as Jeremy mentioned, there are many options due to the features of the bi-pod. I can grip both legs of the folded bi-pod. I can bring one leg down 90 or 45 degrees and grab onto that. I could even compromise and fold them both 45 degrees back and still be able grip the rail in the “cup.”

      Now, if I suppress this platform the legs will be folded forward and not extend past the can. Then I’ll have full access to the rail.

  2. I hate the look of KeyMod rails. Those key holes look like a whole bunch of stuff is missing / unfinished. M-LOK slots are just slots.

    M-LOK FTW.

  3. Rearward hand stops:
    One of those things that operators think they need until their hands need to slide back on the handguard for awkward positions

    • Forward hand stops/grips.

      A lot of actual Operators use similar hand stops (the B5 Systems Grip Stop being a popular one) to brace the gun against objects. Also popular in 3-Gun competition for the same purpose. For the purpose of actually putting your hand on it, the most important thing it does is breed consistency. Put your support hand on your rifle in exactly the same place the same way every time and you’re going to shoot better.

        • They’re called forward vertical grips or forward angled grips or forward hand stops or whatever the case may be, because they go on the front of your gun. The pistol grip is the primary grip, and it’s behind it. These are all forward grips. This part of the name has nothing to do with whether they’re stopping your hand from moving forwards or rearwards.

          That said, the ones referred to as a “hand stop” are generally designed to stop your hand at a specific point, yes, from going further forwards. This Odin unit can provide that function via its vertical rear wall. However, it’s also designed to be gripped as CASES4CASES demonstrated in the review, and in this use it provides a firm purchase to pull the rifle rearwards into your shoulder. You could still pull forwards on it, though, if that’s your preference. In that case it still provides an ergonomic angle on the bottom of the handguard and provides an index point so you’re grabbing it in the same place every single time. That’s one of the most important aspects of all of these things; consistency.

          But, I think overall you’re putting too much stock in these things’ ability to “prevent” your hand from moving. You aren’t strapped or bolted to the dang thing. If you want to slide your hand back so it’s closer to (or on) the magazine well, you can. If you want to grab your bipod and use it like a VFG, you can. You have control over your fingers. You don’t have to hold the grip thing. You can let go of it if you choose. You can choose not to grab it in the first place. It’s an additional option. All of the other options still remain available to you.

  4. Really? you f@#%ing douchebag you’re going to bitch about the handstop weighing one half gram more than than advertised?

    Fuck you. You’re a god damn idiot

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