Over the years, there has been a significant advancement in firearms. The traditional firearms had hollowed out bamboo shoots and used black ignited gunpowder as the propelling charges. Today modern firearms have gas-operated reloading systems. Various innovations have led to the manufacturing of safe and precise firearms. Modern firearms are more adaptable and have more customizable features. Hence whenever required, upgrading it with firearm parts is easy. All one requires is a compatible rail system. There are many rail systems for rifles available, and we shall look into one of the popular M lok handguard.

What is M Lok Handguard?

Modular Lock, often referred to as M-Lok, is an attachment or a mounting system developed by the Magpul group. The rail system allows you to add accessories to your firearms. The Marlin M-Lok handguards are designed to provide flexibility to add more accessories that increase the gun’s performance.

m lok handguard

It was designed as an improvisation to its predecessor MOE (Magpul Original Equipment) slot system. The MOE slot system had a major design flaw that proved detrimental to the accessory mounting. Although M-Lok is developed and patented by the Magpul group, it is a free license design. This indicates that other companies can manufacture M-Lok products after obtaining a free license from the Magpul group. Free licensing has worked in favor of consumers. It ensures compatibility between M-Lok products no matter who the manufacturer is. The M-Lok design works well with both metal and polymer parts.

The M-Lok Mounting Design:

The M-Lok has set in new mounting standards using metric dimensions. The M-Lok rail system looks like a long tube with cut-out sections along the entire length and all around the piece. M-Lok design has a slot system that provides a smooth surface and more mounting options. This offers shooters an elegant and streamlined rail to attach accessories to firearms. With M-Lok, you can add various accessories like sling mounts, grips, laser, flashlight exactly where you want. It does not add any excess weight to your firearm. As M-Lok is compatible with many different firearms, it is sought after by firearm owners.


M-Lok rail system allows you to create your unique firearm as per your needs and requirements. With the help of M-Lok, whenever a new accessory gets launched in the market, you can install it on your rifle. You can add a Marlin handguard for upgrading accessories to your firearm along with old accessories.

Before the launch of the M-Lok rail, in the old days, the Picatinny rail system was used on firearms. Picatinny rails have a rugged appearance, run through the length of your rifle, and are heavy after installation. In contrast to the Picatinny rail system, M-Lok rails are light in weight. So, it requires less effort to hold the firearm. It also has a smooth profile for better hand placement.

When it comes to mounting accessories, M-Lok rails are much better than other rail systems. The M-Lok rail system has large squared size durable slots. With so many slots, one can mount more accessories with a crammed T-nut to the front face of the slot. There is no need to access the rear side of the rail for mounting, like in the MOE system. So, it allows quick and easy addition and removal of accessories. Moreover, you can mount the accessories at both ends of elongated slots.

For M-Lok to function in a proper way, it is not necessary to install it in any specific direction. Magpul group has developed an adapter plate for easy system transition. This feature is beneficial for shooters who use rifles for hunting as well as for sport shooting. Thus, with an M-Lok rail system on your rifle, you can use it for two different activities.

Benefits of an M-Lok Over Other Rail Systems:

M-Lok has the edge over other rail systems due to its lightweight and adaptability and is much more successful than Picatinny rail. In comparison to Picatinny rail, M-Lok scores higher due to its design and versatility. 

The M-Lok rail system and key mode rail system are similar in terms of design and functions. Materials used for both the rail systems are of high quality and are lightweight.

As per the market trends, M-LOK is a preferred choice among consumers due to its price. The M-Lok system works better with polymer handguards. They are pocket-friendly and hence preferred over other rail systems.


Having an M-Lok rail system to a compatible firearm is a great addition. Several rifle accessories manufacturers provide M-Lok rail systems in the market. Before buying the M-Lok rail for your rifle, you must do some online and offline research. You may even visit a firearm store to seek advice and information on the M-Lok rail system. Compare all the features and benefits of the different M-Lok rail systems. This will help you to understand the configurations of M-Lok rails and select the right product.

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