Review: Midwest Industries MP5 M-LOK Handguard

Zenith Z5RS with MI Handguard and SB Tactical brace, now factory options Photo credit Jack Clemons

I’m not sure what kind of space age super food the folks at Midwest Industries are pumping their mad scientist engineering department with… but keep that up. They’ve been going gangbusters on product design and bringing to market a smorgasbord of upgrade options for a multitude or weapons platforms.

One such platform, very relevant to my interests and recent acquisitions, is the MP5. I acquired the Zenith/MKE Z5RS pictured above back in April and Midwest Industries has brought the MP5, MP5k, HK93, and HK91 along on their accessory upgrade tidal wave.

The Z5RS is the traditional MP5 layout and Midwest’s MI-MP5M fits the bill to take the stock plastic shell handguard away and add a modern equipment interface. M-LOK recently proved the most resilient of the new negative space handguard accessory systems when pitted against it’s rival Keymod and both compared to the traditional 1913 Picatinny.

Zenith is offering the Z5’s with Midwest’s Rails as stock models with their SB Rail series too. You can get the very same firearm I modded together from a stock Z5RS straight off the shelf now.

The MI Handguard itself is 4.8 oz of 6061 hardcoat anodized aluminum. 1.6″ wide it sits slightly wider than the receiver of the Z5. It gives plenty of space and ventilation around the barrel and adds 15 full and 5 half M-LOK slots for mounting. The “dimpling” recesses on the corners of the M-LOK space add a bit more contour for your hands and a visual distinction I like.

2 anti rotation QD points are machined into the rail near the receiver and if paired with MI’s Tactical Sling Adapter allow a 2-Point to be run comfortably. Personally I run a single point sling but may explore this option later.

QD points

It slides right into place where the original plastic handguard was, a slim aluminum shelf mates up with the receiver and then a locking collar braces it from the front.

A single hex head solid cross bolt replaces the push pin. The two smaller hex screws can be loosened to angle the collar a bit for fitting.

All in all Midwest Industries continues to produce excellent upgrade options and these MP5 handguards are no exception and I’m excited to see the partnership with Zenith. But if you don’t grab a factory model you can still add it in about 5 minutes to your own to add lights, lasers, grips, or GoPro’s to your hearts desire.

So if you need it, head out to your local MI Stocking retail location or drop one to yourself from Midwest Industries directly!

Now off to play with their SCAR handguard… pay no mind to my gleeful cackling.

Keith Finch
Keith is the former Editor-in-Chief of GAT Marketing Agency, Inc. He got told there was a mountain of other things that needed doing, so he does those now and writes here when he can. A USMC Infantry Veteran and Small Arms and Artillery Technician, Keith covers the evolving training and technology from across the shooting industry. Teaching since 2009, he covers local concealed carry courses, intermediate and advanced rifle courses, handgun, red dot handgun, bullpups, AKs, and home defense courses for civilians, military client requests, and law enforcement client requests.