Remember that feeling when you get a new pair of shoes? Or when you see that 60’s Lada with new rims? Well that’s that special place where I’m at right now.


The ever so gracious people at HERA Arms blessed me with a new front. In 2015 at IWA they graciously donated me an IRS 15″ Keymod… Now if you missed that review click here to read it 

There are many similarities between the two fronts… They are basically the same, but there are a few differences.

Okay so one is Keymod and the other M-Lok, duh! And the lenght is different as well so weight won’t compared either – what else is there then? Well let’s run the basics over first

Made out of high-quality aluminium, CNC milled and hard coated anodized for added strength – this combo simply just works. My 15″ might not get the same treatment like with Live rounds, but it’s been through the same ordeal as my side chick… dumping, throwing, tossing, losing, using and abusing the hell out of it and it still holds up nicely. Only beef I have had with my 15″ Keymod was the hex screws shows signs of rust or corrosion – something HERA Arms were aware of and have since replaced the screws with a different material or coating… they fixed it, ok

Total diameter of the IRS Keymod is ~38.24mm – With medium size hands and what can only be descripted as piano ready fingers this handguard is a pleasure to hold (wait there is more freudian references incoming). The thickness of the front is more or less the same as the Keymod version – ~2mm.

The sleek design combined with the aluminum construct makes this a great front to both hold and manipulate the rifle. The light weight and feel of the handguard is a pure pleasure.

hera_arms_irs_mlok_12_7Insert Freudian reference here _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 

Just like the Keymod version, the M-Lok supports all kinds of accessories already on the market. M-Lok and Keymod are what the young kids want these days, so finding the right accessories shouldn’t be a problem.  With M-Lok installing new rails and mounts is easy and requires no special tool to install.


All IRS models have the same proprietary barrel nut – so replacing the Keymod with the M-Lok was easy. The IRS series is installed via a clamp system and is very effective. Even with the handguard being a free float front, the clamp system is study. One of my concerns with the IRS handguards was the use of a clamp system to keep it in place, but after a long time using it, it has proven to work just fine. The 3 screws at the bottom of the handguard secures the front is tighten around the barrel nut. The anti-turn screws at the 3 and 9 o’clock prevents turning during hard use.

The IRS M-Lok like the Keymod is a tight fit when it comes to the inner diameter ~34.30mm. Adding anything like a suppressor can be a challenge.  There are suppressors that fit in it, including HERA Arms own suppressor – so be sure to go check out their stuff at


If I was a rapper, my hit nr. 1 song would be about how pimp my German engineered car was… Since I’m not a rapper it would have to be about my German engineered IRS hanguard. The markings on it just screams ‘pimp’ – not sure Germans would appreciate that kind of description though.

I did manage to install a Noveske KX3 muzzle flash (Airsoft). I wouldn’t say it fits like a glove, but installing it was a tight fit. As you can see in the image above, this truly was an old Lada getting some new rims.


Just like the Keymod version, the M-Lok version does not disappoint what so ever. Again there are pro’s and cons all depending on how you’re built and what your budget is. But coming in around 160 dollars retail – this handguard gives you a lot more bang for your buck.

Now the main difference I felt handling the M-Lok version compared to the Keymod version – the feel! The Keymod version could give off a little ‘cut’ feeling due to the Keymod slots having a sharp edge. Now the M-Lok seems more smooth with the M-Lok slots, giving it a better feel when holding it. Now this isn’t an issue when wearing gloves, but that skin to aluminum feel is oh so good sometimes.