Infantry: Learning to Accessorize


August 2, 2007: In the last decade, an increasing number of accessories have been developed for military rifles and machine-guns, and most of them would not have appeared were it not for the development of the "Picatinny Rail." This is a standard for a metal rail, with crosswise grooves, that make mounting accessories (scopes, lights, and so on) easy to do. Just snap them on, or tighten a few screws. The Picatinny Rail is a development of the Weaver Rail, which has been around since the 1930s. Items built to attach to a Weaver Rail can be attached to a Picatinny Rail, but not vice versa.

The war in Iraq and Afghanistan has created a demand for weapons accessories, and caused hundreds of new items to be invented for attachment to weapons via the Picatinny Rail. Such rails were originally found just on the top of the rifle (forward of the breach), but are now often found underneath the barrel as well, forward of the magazine. Here, for example, the Grip Pod device is mounted. This 11 ounce, $125 device provides a hand grip for better accuracy when firing from the hip. But the Grip Pod also contains a bi-pod, which is very useful when firing from the prone position. Several hundred thousand of these Grip Pods have been sold in the last few years, as have similar numbers of other useful gadgets that snap on to the rifle via the Picatinny Rail.

Most people have never heard of the Picatinny Rail, but anyone who handles an assault rifle or light machine-gun, knows all about them, and can't imagine going into combat using a rifle without rails.


Article Archive

Infantry: Current 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close