ARES Defense Systems officially announced that the company is now selling a KeyMod handguard for their Mission Configurable Rifle (MCR).

MELBOURNE, Fla. – ­ ARES Defense Systems, the country’s leading manufacturer of innovative, mission-configurable firearms, parts and accessories announces the immediate release and availability of KeyMod handguards for its patented MCR® weapons system.

Extruded from US-produced, aircraft quality aluminum alloys and machined to exacting tolerances, ARES’ new KeyMod style handguard provides customers with more options for customizing their premium MCR® rifle line, including mag-fed and belt-fed upper receiver assemblies.


ARES’ MCR® – Mission Configurable Rifle; an 8.5 lb weapon featuring gas piston operation, a 3-second quick change barrel system and the capability to feed from both linked ammunition belts and standard box magazines at operator discretion continues to evolve. “The MCR® has always been made available with a co-planer MIL-STD 1913 rail handguard, but as a premier rifle manufacturer we strive to meet customer expectations and not everyone wants a quad 1913 rail on their rifle anymore”, says Geoffrey Herring, President-CEO of ARES Defense. “Our new KeyMod style handguard answers that call so that shooters can position accessories exactly where they want them on the MCR®.”

As ARES Defense premier semi-auto rifle offering for the commercial marketplace, the ARES-15 MCR® vastly improves upon the standard AR15/M4 by offering exceptional flexibility with its dual-feed capability and quick-change barrel. This flexibility, combined with other unique features, allows users to instantly customize the MCR® without tools for virtually any use.


First in its class and setting it apart from other small arms systems, the standard magazine-fed ARES-15 MCR® is upgradeable to a dual-feed design with the simple installation of the optional Belt Feed Conversion Kit. The ARES-15 MCR® quick-change barrel allows users to configure the MCR® in seconds without the aid of tools and is available in 12″ (NFA Rules Apply) and 16″ inch lengths. Furthermore, the ARES-15 MCR® features gas-piston operation that provides greater reliability in extreme conditions, and is cleaner, cooler and more reliable in adverse conditions than the legacy direct-gas system.

The unique design of the MCR® also allows customers to upgrade their existing rifles by simply substituting an ARES supplied MCR® upper receiver assembly in place of the legacy upper, which are rearward compatible to the earliest AR15’s from the 1960’s.


  • Caliber – 5.56 X 45 mm NATO
  • Weight – 7.45 lbs (3.38 kg) Lightest Configuration OAL- 32.25″ (819 mm) with 16.25 Bbl
  • Barrel – 16.25″ (413 mm) Quick Change & 12.5″ (318 mm)
  • Rifling – 1:7″ (1: 178 mm) RHT | 1 :9″ (1 :229mm) RHT Optional
  • Feed Devices –4179 STANAG Magazines or M27 Linked Ammunition
  • Rate of Fire: 625-800 RPM
  • Operation – Short Stroke, Gas Piston 100%
  • Made in the U.S.A.

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