Introducing the JL Billet NANO M-LOK rails for the AR-15 platform. Machined from a magnesium/aluminum blend and designed to be one of the lightest rails on the market. The marriage of magnesium, aluminum, and steel ensures that there is rigidity where needed to maximize the strength-to-weight ratio that the modern warrior demands. The JL Billet NANO product line is at least 25% lighter than other competitive ultralight rails on the market. When matched with the JL Billet reduced weight Skeletor upper/lower receiver set, it produces one of the most elite ultralight AR-15 builds available on the market today.
The 3 picatinny rails in front and rear allow you to mount iron sights, optics and any other accessories without additional rail sections. The Magpul M-Lok system allows users to customize the handguard with rail sections and direct mount accessories.
The ULA has a precision bore to fit the proprietary barrel nut which removes any unwanted play and ensures an exact fit! Installation requires a 1-1/8" Crows Foot wrench (not included) for the barrel nut; standard AR-15 barrel nut wrenches will not work with this handguard system. The handguard is secured to the barrel nut by 2 10/32 allen screws, stainless steel key seat lock, and anti-slip helicoils.
Material: Magnesium alloy handguard, 7075 aluminum barrel nut
Weight: 4.1 oz. | 5.8 oz. with mounting hardware
Mounting Type: Accepts M-Lok rail sections & accessories (2x sections included)
Coating: Black cerakote (optional)
Requires: 1-1/8" Crows Foot wrench and medium strength thread locker (not included)
Inner Diameter: 1.362"
Posted by Addison Hauge on 16th Feb 2021
Let me first preface this with my application which may be different from the design's original intent: Fighting gun vs. a competition gun or an ultra lightweight home defense build. I use my fire arms in frequent training classes and they get put through the wringer. I also run IR, so rigidity is important.
I get that ultra lightweight means giving up in some areas. These are going to flex more than say a Geissele SMR, but the SMR weighs 15oz for a 13.5" where this weighs 5.8 oz for a 15".
For my application, this is used to off-set the added weight of a Daniels Defense S2W 6.8 SPC II 16" Cold Hammer Forged Chrome Lined barrel that is 2.3 lbs. The combination of this ultra lightweight handguard and the DD S2W barrel is the same weight as a standard Gov Profile barrel using a heavier 6061 design like the Geissel SMR...but I'm getting a bull barreled upper that is an absolute nail driver!
That being said, I did find a very small shift in zero with my IR unit, and a tad bit of a wandering zero as well. The shift can be attributed to flexing of the handguard when heavily loaded, not a deal braker as there are work arounds. The wandering zero however is a no go issue and required some modification to resolve.
Most clamp style handguards tend to flex at the top, especially when the barrel gets hot (BCM has a good illustration of this). So in order to remedy that I drilled and form tapped several 10-32 screws radially around the handguard to lock it down as well as leaving in the original clamp and key mounting mechanism. This provides the most secure and stable mounting mechanism available. But does require indexing of the barrel nut using brownells barrel nut shims (which are only $5).
It would be nice if JL Billet offered a slightly beefed up version for more hard use applications. A 1/2oz of added weight wouldn't be much of an issue. It's a great product, but could be better. It can serve some specific roles like allowing the use of heavy barrels for a RECCE type rifle without making the rifle heavier than a typical upper like the Geissele URGI that was recently selected by SF. Best of both worlds!
All prices are in USD