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NEW!! Midwest Industries KeyMod Panel Covers

Posted on April 2nd, 2014 by ar15news

Midwest Industries is one of the companies that has been really branching out of late. At one point they were best known for their nice AR-15 rail systems. Now they make rails for .308 rifles, KeyMod hand guards, have their own billet receivers and even offer complete rifles too. Just the other day they came out with another new product which is their new KeyMod Panel Covers. 

The new KeyMod Panel Covers use mechanical fasteners to attach to the handguard which makes them extremely secure. These will be sold in kits that come with 3 covers (a 3 slot, 4 slot and 5 slot). The 3 slot covers are available in both the standard flat style or with a built-in Handstop. 

Midwest Industries KeyMod Panel Covers 1

Midwest Industries KeyMod Panel Covers 1

Midwest Industries KeyMod Panel Covers 1

These covers when placed on the MI-SSK handguard which has an outside diameter of 1.5” only increases it to 1.760” with the panels installed. The three panels with all flats weigh in at .8oz and will retail for $22.50. The three panel kit with the hand stop panel weighs in at .9oz and will retail for $24.95. Available for purchase soon at

You can also follow Midwest Industries on Facebook.

New!! 16.5″ Solo LITE KeyMod Handguard from SLR Rifleworks

Posted on April 2nd, 2014 by ar15news

There are tons of AR-15 hand guards on the market. The newest, most popular version would be KeyMod rails with their unique style of mounting accessories and slim/lightweight style. With the most common style of AR-15 features a 16″ barrel, you will typically find most rails in lengths anywhere from 7″ all the way out to 15″. However, there are plenty of with AR’s that have 18″+ barrels on them. For those of you looking for a longer rail option, SLR Rifleworks has a new 16.5″ version of their Solo LITE KeyMod rail that looks awesome. 

SLR Rifleworks 16.5 Solo LITE Rail 1

-  16.5″ Billet Version
-  1.3″ ID
-  Lightweight Design 12.5oz w/hardware
-  Super slim profile
-  KeyMod mounts utilize all KeyMod accessories
-  SLR’s QMod – All KeyMod mounting holes double as QD Mounts
-  Hardcoat Anodize
-  New clamp system fully shrouds clamp hardware
-  7075 Billet barrel nut
-  Barrel nut can be loosened with gas tube in place
-  Grade 8 Fasteners
-  Stainless Locking Plate
-  Proven anti-rotation and anti slip system
-  No Special Tools Need for Barrel Nut
-  Continuous top rail design
-  Mil-Spec 1913 Mounting rails
-  Mega Compatible available upon request

SLR Rifleworks 16.5 Solo LITE Rail 1

SLR Rifleworks 16.5 Solo LITE Rail 1

I do not personally own any SLR Rifleworks rails but I did shoot some photos for them a while back and they are really great feeling rails. The rifle shown above has a 16″ barrel and a Kuuma Comp from Balistic Advantage. I think this would be cool to see on an 18″ or 20″ barreled AR. The craziest part is that this whole 16.5″ rail only weighs 12.5 ounces including the barrel nut and hardware. Another cool feature is the SLR QMod that makes each KeyMod slot double as a QD Sling Mount. That means there are 51 different possible spots to attach your QD Sling. These 16.5″ rails are being anodized as we speak and will be available for purchase soon. Head on over to and check them out for yourself.

VooDoo Innovations 5.45×39 AR Upper Build / Review

Posted on March 23rd, 2014 by ar15news

Whether you train with an AR-15 or just shoot a lot you know how expensive it can be. Ammo costs have skyrocketed in recent years and what we would normally consider affordable ammo is either non-existent or double the price of what it used to be. This is what got me to really start looking for a more affordable and readily available ammunition option. I wanted something that would feel and shoot similar to my normal 5.56×45 AR-15′s and the answer was Russian surplus 5.45×39 ammo. It can be found just about anywhere for roughly half of what it would cost to buy 5.56 and it shoots very similar to a 5.56 upper. Now I just needed to figure out what parts I needed to build my upper. 

As it usually happens, great minds are thinking alike :) and the guys at VooDoo Innovations (Sister company to Adams Arms) were getting ready to introduce a 5.45×39 Conversion Kit that included everything you would need to convert an existing AR-15 upper over to 5.45×39 but it also would make for a great kit to build a new upper with. I had originally just written an article and shared the info with you guys but when they found out I was interested in building an upper myself they offered to let me review one which of course made my day.

The 5.45×39 Conversion Kit from VooDoo Innovations is offered in both Carbine and Mid Length versions. I have to admit I had no idea what to expect when building this upper. Quite a few people told me that 5.45×39 is hard to get to cycle correctly, has hard primers, dirty ammo, etc. I decided standard with AR’s which is a carbine length gas system and then adjust things as needed from there. The kit showed up with a 16″ Melonite coated Carbine Length barrel, a Melonite coated 5.45×39 bolt, a Melonite coated A2 flash hider, one 5.45×39 ASC Stainless Steel magazine and a High Power Hammer Spring to ensure ignition even with harder primers. 

620 VooDoo Innovations 5.45x39 Upper Build 1

If you’re looking to build a 5.45×39 upper you’re going to hear a lot about how corrosive it is. You can either clean your rifle a lot or get parts that are designed to deal with it. As I mentioned, the barrel, flash hider and bolt are all Melonite coated which is perfect for the corrosive Russian 5.45×39 surplus ammo. The Melonite coating is on the inside and out of the barrel and which gives it awesome protection against corrosion and extreme durability. The deep black coating looks really great too.

620 VooDoo Innovations 5.45x39 Upper Build 1

It just so happened that at the same time I received a box of goodies from my friends at Geissele Automatics. In it was a new SMR MK5 KeyMod rail, Super Gas Block and an SD-3G trigger (more on the trigger in a few). I knew immediately that I was going to put the SMR MK5 rail and gas block on this upper and got it all assembled. I added a few of my favorite KeyMod accessories which are the QD Sling Mount and Handstop pictured below from Impact Weapons Components

620 VooDoo Innovations 5.45x39 Upper Build 1

620 VooDoo Innovations 5.45x39 Upper Build 1

For this build I went with what receivers I had on hand which was a forged upper from IS Fifteen and an AERO Precision Ambi forged mil spec lower. This particular lower is actually my favorite forged lower because it has the PDQ Lever installed and works great. Because I didn’t have a matched forged receiver set the fit was pretty tight. I installed a set of Battle Arms Development EPS (Enhanced Pin Set) pins and it made it much easier to push the pins in and out to separate the receivers. As you can see I decided to go with the Geissele SD-3G trigger. I was tempted to use a standard mil spec trigger with the High Power Hammer Spring instead of the SD-3G but I really wanted to try what I would normally do to an AR first and adjust things later. This ended up being a great decision.

620 VooDoo Innovations 5.45x39 Upper Build 1

At this point the rifle was done. I had added a Trijicon SRS red dot, some Troy BUIS, Rainer Arms RAPTOR charging handle, etc. I had purchased 1,080 rounds of 5.45×39 from AIM Surplus for $170 plus shipping. I still hadn’t shot it so the next step was to hit the range and do some function testing, nail down any issues and make any necessary changes…or so I thought.

620 VooDoo Innovations 5.45x39 Upper Build 1

620 VooDoo Innovations 5.45x39 Upper Build 1

I ended up taking the completed 5.45×39 rifle out to the range in 19 degree weather with some crazy blowing snow. If you’re gonna test something why not take it to the extreme, right!? After an initial inspection verifying that everything seemed to be installed correctly and functioning right it was time to shoot it. The main things I was keeping an eye out for were feeding issues, ejection issues, light primer strikes and making sure the bolt held open on an empty mag.

To start I put 2 rounds of 5.45×39 in the supplied mag, inserted it into the magwell and fired away. The first round fed into the upper very smooth. I pulled the trigger on the Geissele SD-3G and sure enough, BANG! First round fired properly. I check to see that the round had ejected properly, which it did and was laying on the ground to my right. I pulled the trigger again and just as it did the first time it sent a round down range with a great sounding crack! Remember I had only loaded 2 rounds so a quick twist of the rifle to my left and I can see that the bolt has definitely held open on the empty mag. (FYI, unlike what some people told me, 5.45×39 does not work in a PMAG unless its modified)

Right now I was pretty happy! I decided to load up a full mag and have at it. After a bit of sighting in we set a 6″x6″ steel plate about 75 yards down range and went medieval on it. Trigger pull after trigger pull, in extreme cold conditions, it continued to perform flawlessly. We were able to repeatedly blast that 6″x6″ plate with ease from a standing position. The Geissele SD-3G trigger had absolutely no issue igniting those hard Russian primers.

620 VooDoo Innovations 5.45x39 Upper Build 1

Surprisingly, this upper is quickly becoming one of my favorites. I simply can’t say enough good things about it. So far I have put over 300 rounds through this upper and have not experienced a single Failure To Feed, Failure To Eject, Light Primer Strike or any malfunction of any kind. I didn’t have to make a single adjustment to the upper after assembly. I’m very happy with the quality of the components and it’s proven to be very accurate. On my next trip to the range I’ll get some bench shooting in and grab some data on grouping at 100 yards, etc. If you’re on the fence about building a 5.45×39 upper or just looking for a more affordable option for the range, don’t hesitate. This 5.45×39 Conversion Kit from VooDoo Innovations is something I would recommend all day long. Quick thanks to VooDoo Innovations for making an awesome product and letting me get my hands on it.

I wanted to make it easy on you so below is a list of links to purchase the items I used in this build.

First and Foremost
VooDoo Innovations 5.45×39 Conversion Kits and Parts
5.45×39 Ammunition at AIM Surplus (big shipment coming in this week so get on the email list)

Additional Components
Geissele Automatics SMR Rails, Triggers and Gas Blocks
Impact Weapons Components KeyMod accessories. (Use code “ar15news” to save 5%)
Battle Arms Development EPS pin set and Safety Selector
Rainier Arms Raptor charging handle
AERO Precision Ambi Forged Lower
IS Fifteen Forged Upper
Trijicon SRS Red Dot
Magpul Stock and Grip
Phase 5 Weapon Systems Trigger Guard

NEW!! BCM KMR KeyMod Handguard – Now Available

Posted on March 4th, 2014 by ar15news

We’ve posted about the awesome new BCM (Bravo Company Manufacturing) KMR KeyMod handguard in the past and I know a lot of you have been waiting patiently for them to become available for purchase. Aside from the given quality you’ve come to expect from BCM, one of the things I really like about this rail is that it offers KeyMod slots at all of the 45 degree angles too not just at 3, 6 and 9 o’clock. Today our friends over at Soldier Systems Daily helped launch the release of the KMR for purchase as a standalone product for BCM and we figured we’d help spread the word.

They released both a 10″ and 13″ length today. I’m sure many of you are already thinking you want a different length than just 10″ or 13″ which is to be expected. I’ve not heard whether or not they will offer additional lengths but I would be willing to be their will be as production continues. Take a look at the awesome pictures below that feature some awesome KeyMod components from Impact Weapons Components as well as some of our favorite lights from INFORCE

620 BCM KMR KeyMod Rail 5

620 BCM KMR KeyMod Rail 5

620 BCM KMR KeyMod Rail 5

The Bravo Company Manufacturing KMR (KeyMod Rail)

Manufactured from an exclusive blended aluminum and magnesium alloy, it weighs 30-40% less than aluminum with the same strength properties. Also featuring a proprietary patent pending mounting, indexing and lock up system that mitigates 12:00 rail movement under heat generated from the barrel nut.

Handguard alone weighs 4.1oz for 10″ and 5.5oz for 13″!

Mounting hardware weighs only 2.2oz, for a total of 6.3oz and 7.7oz respectively.

The KMR’s propriety finish was originally developed for the Aerospace industry. It is a plasma deposition process which creates a stabilized ceramic-like surface coating with superior wear and scratch resistance when compared to anodize or even hard chrome. The stabilized nature of the coating means it has a higher corrosion resistance as well, due to the lack of ‘pores’ in the surface.

The KeyMod™ interface system was developed by Eric Kincel (now the Director of BCMs’ product development team) to work in parallel with the current picatinny system. In many applications it will advance modularity past the current 1913 rail system.

The BCM KMR also allows for a larger range of modularity offering 4 different offset mounting positions between traditional 3,6,9, and 12:00 positions.

In the most basic of applications the KeyMod™ system allows for universal modularity between various manufacturers of accessories, and accessory rails. A big win for the trigger puller. As the industry advances the modular accessories will mount directly to the KeyMod™ instead of picatinny, allowing for a lighter, cleaner, and less bulky weapon system.

BCM KMR 10″ available here:

BCM KMR 13″ available here:

BCM KMR Complete Uppers available here:

Initial Review – ALG Defense EMR and SCB

Posted on February 10th, 2014 by ar15news

Awhile back I received a box of goodies from ALG Defense. Sine then I’ve been playing around with the new EMR (Ergonomic Modular Rail) from ALG Defense along with their new SCB (Single Chamber Brake) and have been happy with the results so far. Their whole idea with the EMR is to offer a budget conscious, super lightweight free floating rail without compromising strength and the SCB is a nice cost effective Brake/Comp.

The EMR does not feature a 12 o’clock top rail but instead comes with small rail sections so you can add a light, front BUIS, etc. In most cases I like to have a set of backup iron sights but I decided to just go with a red dot and no BUIS or Lights to cut down on weight. The EMR mounts to a fairly large yet lightweight barrel nut that gives it a very solid mount, much better than what you normally expect from other “lightweight” options. 

ALG Defense EMR and SCB 1

The SCB, as the name suggests, features a single chamber with side ports and a single top port that offers a nice mix of muzzle rise compensation as well as some recoil reduction. Because of its small size it is also pretty lightweight itself.  

ALG Defense EMR and SCB 1

There are two other things I could have done to save an ounce or two which would be to go with a lightweight (pencil profile) barrel and drop the optics and go with just a set of Magpul MBUS but I liked this setup. This AR-15, including a standard profile 5.56 barrel, a full auto BCG and Aimpoint T-1 with mount weighed in at just 6lb. 10oz.

ALG Defense EMR and SCB 1

I don’t have a whole ton of rounds through this setup as it’s been so stinking cold but what I have done with it has been great. Personally, I think this would make for a great 3-Gun setup. Its very comfortable and fun to shoot. This rail starts at just $135 so no more sacrificing quality for lightweight or low cost. One thing I did mention to one of the guys at ALG Defense is that some users might want at least an option for a screw on full length rail section at 12 o’clock and that maybe a KeyMod option would be nice too but that was just my input. I’m sure if there is enough demand anything is possible. Look for a more long term review of the ALG Defense EMR and SCB down the road.

You can purchase the EMR and SCB now at

Geissele SMR MK4 On Sale!! – You Won’t Find A Better Deal

Posted on January 31st, 2014 by ar15news

The Geissle SMR line of rails are absolutely awesome. I have a few now and a couple more on order. The only complaint I hear is that some people can’t afford them. Well, here’s your chance to save big time. Our friends at Weapon Outfitters are having an awesome closeout deal on the awesome Geissele SMR MK4 rail. Geissele has decided to only produce the SMR MK4 with KeyMod from here on out so the standard SMR MK4 is no more. This is a very rare chance to get a top of the line rail system for your AR while saving about $100 off retail. They have a few versions of the SMR MK4 rail available starting with a Black 9.5″ rail for just $250. If you want a 13″ just add $20, if you want the Flat Dark Earth color add another $20. You have to create an account over at Weapon Outfitters first to see the special pricing. Then go to to get your fill of Geissele SMR MK4 awesomeness.   

620 Geissele SMR MK4 rails 3

620 Geissele SMR MK4 rails 4



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