As the AR platform matures and lessons learned from combat troops and civilian shooters are incorporated into new designs, trends emerge and evolve. One such trend is the realization that quad-rail handguards are not an optimal choice for most shooters. For years, various styles of rail covers have been used to alleviate the issue, but more often than not they compound the problem of an over-sized and overweight handguard rather than solve it. The open source KeyMod specification, designed to provide a better grip while allowing for rails to be mounted where they need to be mounted, aims to give shooters the best of both worlds.

Midwest Industries, makers of a wide range of aftermarket handguards, rails, and accessories, is rolling out a new line of KeyMod products. The aluminum One Piece Free Float Handguard has a comfortable 1.5-inch diameter and a T-marked top rail. KeyMod slots on both sides and the bottom allow for the quick and easy mounting of rail sections for grips, lights, and other accessories. It comes with one rail piece; more can be added as necessary. It has five anti-rotation QD sockets and is available in three lengths: 10.5-inch carbine, 12-inch rifle, and 15-inch rifle. Two-piece drop-in rails are also available.