Eric Kincel has given me the green light to officially release the information here on M4C, on behalf of Vltor Weapon Systems. Here is his statement to the shooting industry:
To the Firearm Industry and Shooting Public,
Introducing the Vltor KeyMod system.
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.
If I can help in any way with this project, please feel free to contact me.
Take care, I hope to hear from you soon.
Eric S. Kincel
Vltor Weapon Systems
The drawings below are in the public domain and are free to use. Note that these have been updated in October: Full .pdf file can be downloaded here. (right click and 'save link as')
Weight savings compared to existing VIS (KM prototypes shown):
Additional images of lower handguard:
Vltor will be offering the same four lengths as before (7, 9, 10 and 12-inch). Each VIS KM version averages a 6 ounce weight reduction over the original VIS system. Relevant to suppressor users, the internal dimension of the VIS KM is 1.400" (without the heat shield) and 1.125" with heat shield. The outside diameter is 1.725 inches. The total height (from the top of the Picatinny Rail to the bottom handguard) is 2.125".
Noveske will be getting the first quantity of VIS KMs, followed by the release to the general public, under the Vltor banner.
More information will follow as it's released.