By David Crane
david (at) defensereview (dot) com
May 9, 2016
Last updated on 5/09/16.
We here at DefenseReview (DR) particularly enjoy following and reporting on the latest and greatest technology trends in tactical AR (AR-15) rifle/carbine/SBR (Short Barreled Rifle)/PDW (Personal Defense Weapon) tech/hardware, so we simply HAD to give some textual love to the new lithium-aluminum-alloy Enlightened modular tactical handguards/rail systems (from 7.0″ to 16.5″) being made by V Seven (V7) Weapon Systems out of Grants Pass Oregon, AKA Noveske Rifleworks country. Appropriately enough, V Seven is run by one Joel Allen, who used to work for Noveske as “lead tech” (one of his many titles), and is just as exacting about metallurgy and quality of manufacture as John (Noveske) was.
DR recently received a 13.5″ (13.5-inch) V7 Enlightened KeyMod Handguard for T&E and review, and while we haven’t yet done so, we’re very impressed with it upon handling and examining it. The rail looks straight as an arrow, is extremely well finished, and appears to be as well-made overall as any tactical AR accessory component we’ve ever encountered. The copper-based 2099 lithium-aluminum-alloy material from Alcoa makes the Enlightened KeyMod Handguard roughly the same strength as 7075 T6 aircraft-grade aluminum, which means it’s roughly twice as strong as the 6061 aluminum rails made by most other manufacturers. Oh, and here’s the kicker: 2099 litheum-aluminum alloy is approximately 9% lighter than 7075 T6 aluminum! AND, it’s also more rigid and corrosion resistant. How about that?
Allen calls 2099 lithium-aluminum alloy “magical”, due to its rather amazing strength-to-weight ratio, rigidity, hardness, and corrosion-resistance. “It’s really the most advanced aluminum on the planet [for AR handguards],” Allen says.
For all you M-LOK lovers, V Seven Weapon Systems also has Enlightened M-LOK Tactical Handguards/Rails of various lengths in the works, and they’re being anodized as I write this. DR hopes to get a 13.5″ variant at some point, so we have both (KeyMod and M-LOK) in house. Just like the Enightened KeyMod Handguard, the Enlightened M-LOK Handguard will come with a Grade 5 titanium barrel nut that’s IonBond coated.
V7 Weapon Systems is also developing 2055 lithium-aluminum alloy AR upper and lower receivers, which are around 33% stronger than 7075 T6 aluminum. A tactical AR carbine or SBR made with V7 2055 litheum-aluminum upper and lower receivers and a 2099 litheum-aluminum modular handguard will be pretty tough (if not impossible) to beat, in terms of metallurgy. It’ll be pretty badass.
V7 is definitely a company to watch.
Company Contact Info:
Alcoa Global Center
390 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10022
Alcoa Corporate Center
201 Isabella Street
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All embedded DefenseReview.com (DR) photos (that we shot) were shot with an Apple iPhone 6s Plus smartphone still/video camera. Some of the above photos were provided by V Seven Weapon Systems.
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