Motor City Armament unveiled their Illiad and Odyssey monolithic uppers at SHOT Show 2023. They have a new take on AR-15 modularity, especially with their Odyssey monolithic upper.
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Motor City Armament’s Illiad is a modular monolithic upper. That almost sounds like an oxymoron but when you see what they have achieved it makes sense. The Illiad rail is sort of like a skin for the upper receiver which is painted red below.
The Illiad upper receiver attaches to any standard AR lower and the Illiad rail looks like it slides over the upper. There are two screw holes on both sides near the rear of the rail that index with the threaded holes in the upper. There you bolt the rail to the upper.
While the Illiad is interesting, it is Motor City Armament’s Odyssey monolithic upper that is most intriguing. Take a look at the image above. The Illiad and Odyssey monolithic rails look very similar. Even the respective receivers look similar. Yet there is a subtle difference between the two. The Odyssey monolithic rail has the front takedown hole and a slot where the two screw holes are on the Illiad rail. This allows the Odyssey monolithic rail to be attached to the lower and you can hot swap the entire “core” which is the Odyssey upper receiver, bolt, charging handle and barrel assembly. Your optic and any other rail-mounted accessories stay.
Watch their YouTube video below. You can see how easy it is to swap cores in the Odyssey monolithic upper. You tilt open the Odyssey monolithic upper and pull the entire Odyssey core out. Then hot swap a new caliber core into the rail.
I am curious how well these hold zero as you need some space so the upper receiver can slide in and out easily. In the images above, it looks like they painted or Cerakoted the upper core red which you can see through the skeletonized upper receiver. They only offer the upper receivers in black and I wonder if there is room to Cerakote the upper and have it still fit the rail?
The Illiad is a bit cheaper than the Odyssey monolithic upper. Illiad rails are $219-$279, depending on the length, while the Illiad upper receiver is $199. The Odyssey monolithic upper receiver is $249 and the monolithic rails are $269-$329.
For more information check out their website.