Rail choices...

frijolero817

Member
May 17, 2009
161
16
Fort Worth
I could use some help choosing rails to put on my midlength rra ar-15. I've been looking at free floating and non-ff all brands, and could use some input from someone who has used them. I've looked at everything from the UTG drop in; as it got some decent reviews on CTD's website to Troy's drop in rails for the non-free float. Then on the free floating side, I've looked at the Daniel defense Omega rail and the Larue 9.0. Any opinions from those who have used and possibly abused them? Any help is appreciated. Price range that I'm looking at is 0-300 bucks.
 

TomCat0197

New Member
May 28, 2008
34
6
Converse
I've used LaRue handguards and Midwest Industries Free Float handguards. It really boils down to personal preference and how much work you want to do to install them. I first bought the Midwest Industries rail and thought it was a great piece of gear. It locks up pretty solid but it's got a fairly large diameter which may or may not be comfortable if you aren't using a vertical grip. The LaRue is considerably slimmer and is not going anywhere if it's installed properly.

If you have a fixed front sight, plan on having to remove that and your flash hider to install the LaRue. For something 2 piece like the Midwest Industries, you'll have to either pull the barrel, or use the WECSOG method and dremel off the delta ring.

I've seen the Omega Rail in person but never handled them on a weapon. I've considered one simply because it would be so easy to install.

Both the Omega and the LaRue offer QD Sling Swivel sockets, something the Midwest Rails I have don't. You could always buy an adapter, but that's an additional expense which narrows any price gap between it and the Omega or LaRue.

For drop-in rails, I don't think you could go wrong with the ones from Troy. They make quality gear. Something else to consider would be the MOE handguards from Magpul. You can put rails only where you need them, which might matter if you only plan to mount a light. Rails aren't very comfortable for long without covers. I've seen the off brand drop in rails like UTG, but for the price CTD wants, you're almost into a free float handguard from Yankee Hill Machine, which would be a great low-cost free float.

That's my , anyways.
 

frijolero817

Member
May 17, 2009
161
16
Fort Worth
Yea, I like the Larue alot too, Baboon I have their flip up rear sight, and their LT 129 Mount for my aimpoint comp m3. I actually did order some MOE handguards, and quickly found out that I have a midlength carbine! I'm kinda wondering if the accuracy is noticeably better with the free float rails, or if I should spend less on some drop in handguards.
 

navyguy

TGT Addict
Oct 22, 2008
2,987
38
DFW Keller
If you're looking for inexpensive YHM is reasonable quality and easy to install. Theirs are a little bigger around and are not T marked if that is important to you. I went that direction on my CAR, and have been happy with the set up. Here is a picture without the XTM rail guards I've since added.

AR-OPM.gif
 

SIG_Fiend

Administrator
TGT Supporter
Admin
Feb 21, 2008
7,128
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Austin, TX
Honestly, if it were me I would just save up a bit longer and do it right the first time with a DD Omega rail. Those are 2 piece, but they're still free floating and are very easy to install without having to remove the front sight gas block. If you don't mind removing the gas block, there is a bunch of other great rails out there from Larue, Daniel Defense, Troy, etc. Honestly, I would stay away from the cheap stuff, but that's just me. ;)
 

frijolero817

Member
May 17, 2009
161
16
Fort Worth
You know Sig, I have been eyeballing those DD Omega rails for a couple of days and reading about them and I think you might be right. Let me ask you what you think about free float vs. drop in, worth the money or not? By the way, you also steered me in a good direction a month ago with the magpul stuff, so I may have to listen again.
 

SIG_Fiend

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Feb 21, 2008
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Austin, TX
Free float is nice I think. Maybe it's just me but, I like the FF forends because they lock up tight, generally won't apply any torque to the barrel, and just overall provide a rock solid platform for mounting stuff. If you've ever dealt with worn or poor fitting standard AR forends, they can wobble quite a bit which just annoys the heck out of me. Now imagine that wobble amplified by having a vertical foregrip, maybe a side mounted flashlight, etc etc.

The DD Omega is one of the nicer ones considering it's a "drop in", but is free floating because of the unique method of bolting the rear through the barrel/castle nut. There may be one or two others that are 2 piece, drop in, and free floating but, I can't think of them off hand. The other nice thing about the Omega, compared to many of the others, is that it makes the upper rail uniform with the receiver. So if you have an A3/A4 type upper receiver then you'll have sort of "solid" upper rail platform out to the gas block. This can be beneficial with certain optics setups, like say if you were using a EOTech, Aimpoint, or other red dot in addition to a magnifier and maybe the receiver itself doesn't have enough real estate for both then the Omega gives you that extra room without having to worry about zero shifting. One other nice thing about the Omega is it has a smaller overall diameter compared to some of the other railed forends out there.
 

Texas1911

TGT Addict
May 29, 2017
10,623
38
Austin, TX
I really see no major benefit to free floating the hand guards on 90% of the ARs out there. If you are building a rifle for marksmanship, it would be applicable, but otherwise it seems like alot of hassle for very little gain, especially when a non-FF hand guard takes all of 30 seconds to install.
 
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