Vltor has just released information and photos of their own implementation of the KeyMod system. The first iteration to hit the market was Noveske’s NSR handguard, but the Vltor VIS-KM brings the KeyWay system and Vltor’s polylithic upper technology together.
The big deal here is that Vltor is releasing the entire technical data package for the KeyMod and mounting accessories out into the wild. Letting KeyMod go open source is a bold and unselfish move that may vault the KeyMod to the forefront of accessory interface systems.
The information was first released over on M4Carbine.net earlier today with an open letter from Vltor’s General Maganer, Eric S. Kincel:
“The concept has been bouncing around in my mind (and the Vltor offices) for a few years now and it’s finally become reality. I first introduced the KeyMod Tech data package to friends in the community, starting with Noveske.”
“The design is nothing major or earth shattering, it’s just something I thought was needed for the industry. My goal is for the industry to make this system a standard; working in parallel with the Picatinny rail; not replacing it. I’m not taking credit for coming up with this “keyhole” design, because I found out a year and a half ago that Accuracy International was working on a similar program. Also, it’s hard to take credit for a design that’s been around for 100+ years, i.e. warehouse shelving, scaffolding, etc.. Plus, with close examination of the A.I. key slot design, there are a number of improvements that the KeyMod covered and improved upon.”
“The main difference is in the mounting and re-zeroing capabilities of the component. In addition, A.I.’s design was never taken into consideration for counter-recoil but recoil only.”
“With this official introduction, I’m releasing the prints (shown below) to the firearm industry, so fellow companies can develop their own rail systems/platforms utilizing the KeyMod configuration. I added a sample component print (4-inch rail section) showing the mating interface to the outside of the platform surface. I also included a picture of the accessory nut that interfaces/ indexes to the chamfered surface on the backside of the platform. Please note the nut has a counter bore, so the mating screw can be distorted at the tip. The thread distortion will stop the screw from backing out, making the accessory a self contained, self centering, “drop and slide” mounting component. As you can imagine, there are a number of companies that are already developing and/or manufacturing components that mount directly to the slots. For example, Noveske and I are making our own rail panels, to work with “our” platform requirements. Other items being developed are VFGs, handstops, bipods, light, sight and sling mounts. The possibilities are endless.”
“In all, I see this design as being a viable solution to limit the use of the aging “cheese grater” Picatinny Rail and/or multiple mounting points, which require threads, Helicoils and thread inserts. It is time to move on and I think the industry is ready for it.”
“With the amount of enthusiasm I’ve seen so far, I think there will be a lot of fresh ideas for both the rail system and accessory world. There’s more than enough market for all of us to benefit from this KeyMod system, which is why Vltor is releasing the Data Pack into the public domain. Any manufacturer is free to use the Data Package for manufacturing their own Keymod handguards or related mounting accessories without needing consent from Vltor.”