Back in Episode 136 of the Podcast, we discussed the Odin Works O2 Lite handrail. I was intrigued by it, so I contacted Odin Works to get one in for review. They responded quickly and sent me a 12.5" KeyMod O2 Lite rail. Odin Works makes a vast assortment of AR related products for you to choose from.
The first thing I noticed about the O2 Lite handrail is how lightweight it really is. When I took it out of the box, it was really noticeable. It weighs in at 8.1 ounces complete with the barrel nut system. Odin did a really nice job of reducing the weight by putting in tons of scallop cuts on the forend. These cuts are kind of hex shaped, with some of them being elongated. I would guess the name "O2" comes from the cut outs looking like an Oxygen molecular drawing. And, of course, it free floats the barrel. If one were to hit the edge of one of these cutouts, you might be able to bend it down. It wouldn't bend far enough to cause any functionality problems, just cosmetic ones.
Now I'll get on to some of the technical specs. The O2 rail is made from 6005-T6 aluminum that is then anodized black. Since they sent me the 12.5" rail, that is how long it is. It has an outside diameter of 1.8" wide and 2.16" high. The reason for it being taller is because it has a small rail section built into the top of the handrail, but only at the front and back. So I would call it a hybrid rail. The top, between the 2 rail sections, does not have any way to mount a rail section between the front and back rails. The inside diameter comes in at 1.6", so plenty of room. Along with the O2 having KeyMod slots along the 3,6, and 9 O'clock positions (MLok is an option also), there are QD attachment points, at the front and rear, at 3 and 9 O'clock. A 5 slot KeyMod picatinny rail also comes with the forend. It is not mounted, so one can use it as necessary. Of course, any Keymod accessory should work also.
Mounting the handguard is really pretty easy. If you know anything about removing AR barrels, you shouldn't have any problems. Basically, remove the old barrel nut, gas tube, and gas block. Then, screw on Odin's forend adapter. align gas tube hole, insert gas tube alignment pin (supplied), put Vibra-Tite (reusable threadlocker) on barrel nut threads, screw on barrel nut, and tighten to 40-50 ft-lbs with a 1-1/4" crowfoot wrench. Odin Works sells a crowfoot wrench, I would recommend getting one with your order. Reinstall the gas tube and gas block. Slide on O2 Lite handrail, tighten on with 6 screws and supplied allen wrench. You now can go put some rounds down range.
Immediately after installing the O2 Lite forend, I could tell a weight difference. I think this is probably my new favorite handguard. It is comfortable to hold on to. The looks are fantastic. It is really light. And it comes in various lengths. Odin Works did a fine job creating this piece of engineering! If you are looking for anything AR related, go visit Odin Works, I doubt you will be disappointed.
Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points
Claim to Fame:
Lightweight KeyMod FreeFloat handguard for AR 15 rifles
Those wanting a very light handguard
FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):
Free Floats barrel
8.1 ounces complete
1.6" Inside Diameter
Built in QD attachment points
KeyMod attachment points at 3,6, & 9 O'Clock positions
Short built in rails at front and rear
What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?
9.5", 15.5", and available in MLok also.
What others are saying?:
Ken on Odinworks.com: 5/5 stars
These are a GREAT product. I use to use the Carbon Fiber ones I could get but after getting this one I am going to use them on all by rifles from now on. They feel great and the COOL fact is good also. All that aside they function well and are very lite which make them perfect for a carry rifle especially for hog hunting or any hunting for that matter. Great product you all have. Thanks and thanks for your fast shipping too.
Anonymous on Odinworks.com: 5/5 stars
This rail is incredible. The rail itself is simply too light to believe. The thin cardboard packaging weighs more than the rail itself. Installation was a snap and everything went together perfectly.
Link to other reviews:
None found on the Googles
MSRP = $200
Retail = $199.99 @ BMC-Tactical
I need it now! Availability:
Top Rail Sections
Includes Allen Wrench
Includes gas tube alignment pin
Made in U.S.A.
Only Available in Black
Easily damaged cut outs (If hit just right)
No mention of needing a semi special wrench for the barrel nut (My AR armorers tool didn't work)