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Every experienced firearm user knows that all these fancy accessories do not hold on to a firearm with the help of a string and chewing gum. Even the almighty duct tape has nothing to do with accessory mounting. It doesn’t matter how precise your optics are, how bright your tactical light is, and how sharp your bayonets are - if you have nothing to attach them with, there is little use to them. This is what you need gun rails for.
Even though gun rails are more often associated with mounting optics, their functionality is not restricted to scopes and sights only. There are many other firearm accessories, including tactical lights, laser aiming modules, night vision devices, foregrips, bayonets, and bipods, that need to be attached to the firearm to perform their functions. Some accessories are exclusively compatible with only one rail type, while others can work with several. It is the information you need to know in advance, for it is highly frustrating to buy a pair of scope rings only to find out they don’t match your rail.
There are several types of gun rails. They all serve the same purpose but are different in several aspects. Some are more similar to each other, whereas others look very different. The main varieties of gun rails are:
Weaver-style rails are very common among firearm enjoyers and are probably only second to Picatinny ones. Weaver rails were the first to appear, so you can probably call them the original or initial rails. The placement of recoil slots in weaver rails is not fixed, which makes them not highly standardized. The number of slots may vary from two to six. The width of every groove is consistent, though - 0.18 inches.
These rails are enjoying the People’s Choice award, which they earned through a standardized design. A Picatinny rail has fixed slot width and center-to-center distance, 0.206in and 0.394in respectively. Picatinny slots can fit Weaver-style mounts as well since their slots are wider.
NATO Accessory Rail
NATO rails are metric standardized versions of Picatinny rails. The main changes for the NATO rail are the conversion to metric dimensioning, a tightening of certain tolerances, and a change to the preferred mounting contact surfaces for the attachments.
VLTOR has developed a rail that looks very different from the traditional ones. They are so-called “negative space” rails, which are actually very user-friendly. These rails have hollow slots that house optic mounts and other accessories.
M-LOK rails were developed by Magpul to compete with KeyMod rails. They feature the same negative space design for direct attachment of firearm accessories. Both KeyMod and M-LOK allow for a slimmer, lighter, and more fenestrated handguard.
Gritr Sports is proud to share our collection of accessory rails with you. Whether you look for a pistol accessory rail or a rail for your AR-15, you are sure to find it here.