Picatinny rails are modular mounting rails which are mainly used for weapons.
The Picatinny mounting rails are based on the Weaver rails, which were partly used during the Second World War. These were improved in the 1980s by the company A.R.M.S. (Atlantic Research Marketing Systems). The name-giving company Picatinny Arsenals then standardised and developed this system further in the 90s.
This simple and reasonable solution for the assembly of various accessories became established at the end of the 90s. And it is still used today by the armed forces/authorities of various countries and can also be found in the civilian environment for sporting and hunting weapons.
These rails are often simply named differently. Here are some names that all mean the same thing:
- 21/22mm Rails (correct would be 21,2mm (widest position)
- MIL-STD-1913 (US-Norm)
- STANAG 2324 (Nato Norm)
In the meantime, this system has been revised with the STANAG 4694. The dimensions have been changed slightly. Picatinny accessories and Weaver accessories can still be mounted. However, this standard allows a higher accuracy of fit for both mouns and rails. These modified rails have already been used for example on the G28 of the German Armed Forces.
Picatinny rails in Airsoft
As with the real models, these standardized rails allow us to assemble a wide variety of accessories. And even though M-Lok and KeyMod can be found more often on Airsoft replicas, they often suffer from a problem. Not every manufacturer manufactures exactly matching, which sometimes leads to the fact that original accessories do not fit properly.
This also happens with Picatinny rails and especially with those made of polymer. But since the mountings are always above the rails and can simply be screwed tighter, it almost never happens that the accessories do not fit.
Even with pistols, Picatinny rails are increasingly being used instead of continuous mounts. This increases the possibilities to mount these accessories as well. Since we are not allowed to use lamps and lasers in Germany, we stay with dummies. Alternatively, we were also able to install a GunCam on the VP9 Tactical, which provided quite interesting material.