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There’s certainly no shortage of key mod handguards/rail systems on the AR-15 market these days, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for more. At only 9.2 oz for the 15″ version and some unknown amount less for the 12″ flavor, with clean looks to boot, I’m digging these new entries from HERA Arms and will attempt to get my hands on one for review (or send it to Tyler, TTAG’s rail system aficionado). Details from LAN World, HERA’s U.S. distributor, follow. . .


Brand New HERA ARMS Key Mod Rail Sytem

Add a German engineered Key Mod free float rail system to your AR-15!

  • 5 axis machined for perfect fit and finish
  • Fits all standard Mil spec uppers
  • Available in 12″ and 15″ lengths
  • Includes steel barrel nut
  • No special tools required
  • Super light weight 9.2 Oz. for the 15″
  • German quality
  • Excellent German Quality!
  • Click here for 12″ rail
  • $182.00 
  • Click here for 15″ rail
  • $193.00 

Phone: 801-878-4880

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  1. Looks good but they really need QD sockets built in.
    My Rainer Arms rail has those and it makes it much more functional.

    • Yeah but you can always add one yourself and in basically any location you prefer. That’s kind of the whole point of the key mod thing. There are lots of QD Socket key mod attachment deals, all of them for about $17. BCM makes a really nice one, but Noveske, Impact Weapons Components, and quite a few others have ’em. Strike Industries and others make keymod rail sections that include a QD socket (

      • Adding a QD socket to the rail is literally just a small hole drilled into the side of the rail. It’s such a small part of manufacturing but it prevents you from having to go buy a $17 keymod QD attachment point.

        The manufacturing required to drill the QD socket is so insignificant that it amazes me every metal rail doesn’t have it by default. These things are already CNC milled, so it doesn’t even require that much more time.

        • No yeah I get that. They could just as easily make the entire handguard nothing but QD sockets haha. The point is if you put a QD socket in then you’re forgoing a keymod hole (although some folks say the keymod holes work for some QD studs — hold it solid but don’t prevent rotation) and it might not be in the location you want. And you want one, not six of them just to cover the possible locations a buyer might want. Then maybe you want to put a keymod attachment there but you can’t because the QD socket is there instead. I would rather have a handguard covered entirely in keymod and then I can put what I want where I want. Or not. That’s the whole idea of keymod — you can configure it quickly and easily however you want. So if you start machining permanent fixtures like rails and QD sockets in locations that would otherwise be keymod then you’ve ruined that. …In the case of the HERA here I suppose they could have put QD sockets in a couple of the rectangular cutouts though and that wouldn’t subtract from keymod real estate… whatevs…

  2. This is sexy! Pretty much perfect for a guy like me who mounts only a single optic on the top rail …. and that’s it.

    I think I want a 15″ version for my next build. It would look great with an Aimpoint Pro, no?

  3. German engineered? And includes not only German quality, but also EXCELLENT German quality? Oh, I gotsta have this, STAT!

  4. I’ve been in the market for a good keymod or mlok tube for a while. This one looks pretty nifty. It seems slimmer than most I’ve seen, is it as slim as it appears in the pictures?

    Also, if anyone has advice on the length of a rail system, are there any downsides to putting a 15″ tube on a 16″ barreled rifle? Mostly my goal is to put a bipod as far forward as possible to help minimize the angular change in point of aim for any movements I make.

  5. Dammit!!!!

    Just spent a small fortune on a correctly profiled Mk12 barrel, Geissele DMR trigger, and a NXS 5.5×22. I was going to save a few pennies by running the rail I already have, and now I see this. 🙁

  6. Hm, I like the Excellent Germany Quality, but I’m not sold on the German quality. If they could make one with out that, I might be interested.

  7. Jeremy, any word on the inner/outer diameters of this rail? Would be interesting to see if you could recess a suppressor like a Mystic X under one.

    This rail looks like it has some potential to compete with the BCM and Noveske offerings, my only gripe is the way it mounts to the barrel nut. Any rail that clamps to the barrel nut via the bottom of the tube is just asking for failure, and while very common on cheap free float rails its weird to see one on a rail this expensive. When you tighten around the bottom of the barrel nut you are placing an enormous amount of stress on the top of the rail and in a direction that is less than optimal for it to handle structurally. This is bad enough when cold, but as the barrel and barrel nut heat up you are essentially pulling the rail apart along the top channel (its weakest point). Repeated hot cold cycles will cause the rail to loosen to a point that it cant be re tightened. This can only be exacerbated as rails become thinner and lighter.

    The BCM crossbolt is the strongest solution to this and doesn’t require the barrel nut to be timed and as far as strength and anti rotation is the best free float rail mounting solution next to the LaRue Stealth handguard which is significantly larger and heavier. Short of BCM and LaRue I would say the next best thing is the Noveske (or similar mfg’s) where the rail bolts into threaded holes in the barrel nut the only drawback here is that it has be very carefully timed or the top rail will be off center. Last among what I consider “acceptable” mounts would be the YHM type mounts where the rail actually threads on to the barrel nut and is secured by a counter threaded jam nut/ collar/ lock ring. These usually have to be timed for the gas tube, and then the locking ring can always work loose and cause the handguard to rotate on the barrel nut.

    Either way, looks like a cool rail, looking forward to the review in the future.

    • It appears large enough just from the photos (and since I run a Mystic under various handguards), but I’ll ask and see if I can find out actual specs.

      Remember, it’s German engineered so I’m sure they’ve taken all of the things you’ve mentioned into account 😉

      …I do like handguards where the barrel nut doesn’t have to be timed a specific way at all. That way you can tighten to a specific torque spec without being forced to leave it over or under the torque you want just to time it. Then yeah, it appears to be clamp-mounted to the barrel nut via the three bolts on the bottom. There are more photos & a little additional description on HERA’s global website:!irs-keymod/c1ksk

      • Yeah that’s disappointing about the clamp as it looks like an awesome rail otherwise. Digging the clean lines and honestly after putting two rifles together with a BCM KMR (13 and a 15) I don’t use the extra 45 degree offset keymod mounts at 2 -4 – 8 and 10 o-clock. I’m beginning to lean towards the designs like this and the Noveske NSR that just have horizontal vents milled into them.

  8. Thin is getting more and more in. This tube’s about .1″ away from just being a barrel wrap. That said, I built new rig off a Sharps/Spikes Hellbreaker lower, YHM upper, BCM bcg/handle and Green Mountain barrel. This is quality kit at a very, very reasonable price. Install is a snap and it dissipates the heat pretty darn well considering how close it hugs the barrel. And, you know, German quality or something like that.


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