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Are Quad Rails Obsolete

author
Carole Stephens
• Monday, 16 November, 2020
• 8 min read

Large, Daniel Defense, Yankee Hill and Machine, Knights Armament and Midwest Industries all fought for rail supremacy and military contracts. The quad rail was not perfect, but it was the best available option at a time of great transition and change in the world of firearms.

(Source: www.ar15.com)

Contents

The modern quad rail that we are used to seeing started its life in 1995 when the design was sent to the Pica tinny Arsenal for a lengthy test and evaluation period and would later come to be known as Mil-STD 1913. The Late 1990s was an amazing time for gun owners, it was the first time that red dot style optics could be purchased on a working men wage and people began to use their AR-15’s as the Barbie doll of the gun world, all via the Pica tinny style quad rail.

Top: Key Mod from BCM Middle: Hassle M Alok Bottom: Large Tactical Quad Awhile quad rails were revolutionary in 1995 things were not to remain so as the rails hit the shooting market and military units across the globe. The problem with a lot of rails is that some people will try to attach every gadget known to man to them and fill all the space with “needed” gear.

This percentage of the shooting world just can’t say no to the latest gizmo to let dangle from their gun, and quickly a 7lb AR15 turned into an 11 lb AR15 full of add-ons. My personal issue with my Large quad rail doesn’t have anything to do with the quality of the material, the fit or finish, it's the basic design works on my hands about as well as a cheese grater.

Even with gloves trying to manipulate and do drills with my quad rail that requires my hands to slide just rips them to pieces. I will say that before anyone calls out the mob and breaks out the Frankenstein style witch hunt, EITHER design is better than the quad rail systems of old.

The Key Mod and the Milk are similar but different in some ways but still share some common traits with their predecessor the quad rail. Both of the replacement systems offer the user a great deal of choice whether or not to install rail sections on selected areas of the tube.

fal fn handguard mount optics quad rifle tactical rails system picatinny vector hunting gun accessories tac
(Source: www.aliexpress.com)

Large, Daniel Defense, Yankee Hill and Machine, Knights Armament and Midwest Industries all fought for rail supremacy and military contracts. The quad rail was not perfect, but it was the best available option at a time of great transition and change in the world of firearms.

The modern quad rail that we are used to seeing started its life in 1995 when the design was sent to the Pica tinny Arsenal for a lengthy test and evaluation period and would later come to be known as Mil-STD 1913. The Late 1990s was an amazing time for gun owners, it was the first time that red dot style optics could be purchased on a working men wage and people began to use their AR-15’s as the Barbie doll of the gun world, all via the Pica tinny style quad rail.

Top: Key Mod from BCM Middle: Hassle M Alok Bottom: Large Tactical Quad Awhile quad rails were revolutionary in 1995 things were not to remain so as the rails hit the shooting market and military units across the globe. The problem with a lot of rails is that some people will try to attach every gadget known to man to them and fill all the space with “needed” gear.

This percentage of the shooting world just can’t say no to the latest gizmo to let dangle from their gun, and quickly a 7lb AR15 turned into an 11 lb AR15 full of add-ons. My personal issue with my Large quad rail doesn’t have anything to do with the quality of the material, the fit or finish, it's the basic design works on my hands about as well as a cheese grater.

Even with gloves trying to manipulate and do drills with my quad rail that requires my hands to slide just rips them to pieces. I will say that before anyone calls out the mob and breaks out the Frankenstein style witch hunt, EITHER design is better than the quad rail systems of old.

rail quad rifle length ar15 float slotted handguard rails handguards upper forends parts
(Source: rouschsports.com)

The Key Mod and the Milk are similar but different in some ways but still share some common traits with their predecessor the quad rail. Both of the replacement systems offer the user a great deal of choice whether or not to install rail sections on selected areas of the tube.

Joined Oct 2006 Posts 5597 EE Offline Please, call me Worthier is definitely something perverse about two men who carry guns 24/7 being so happy that others are giving theirs up.

Joined Oct 2006 Posts 5598 EE Offline Double Tap Please, call me Worthier is definitely something perverse about two men who carry guns 24/7 being so happy that others are giving theirs up.

Originally Posted By sinlessorrow:Originally Posted By born2lose76:FORT BRAGG, N.C. –– U.S. Army Special Forces Soldiers from U.S. Army Special Operations Command (Airborne) conduct close-quarters battle drills at a range for CAPEX 2011 participants. A capabilities exercise, or CAPEX, demonstrates Army Special Operations Forces’ diverse capabilities, uniqueness and importance to national security to key civilians and organizations with a desired end state of garnering enduring support from the command's invited guests.

No play at all... and I use the 6 o'clock for the forward grip, the 3 o'clock for a laser, and the 9 o'clock for my light, 12 o'clock is my flip-up sights and my optic is mounted on my receiver rail. I don't like the idea of a removable rail... My gun is in and out of my patrol car every day, and I need something reliable and solid, that doesn't need tightening...... it's too important to risk, it being loose one day...

rail picatinny svd dragunov quad rails bottom aluminum accessories telescopic grip pistol tube weapon systems r1 drg xrs barrel mounted
(Source: www.masadagear.com)

I'm a big fan of tube customizable, truly, since each of my last builds has had a Troy TAC or Daniel Defense MFR on it. Quads won't be obsolete simply because LET, Colt, Aero, and Mega do monolithic uppers.

If LET made a customizable like Mega but with QC barrel capability it would be perfect for someone like me who shoots multiple calibers from the AR. Ever notice the sound of a gun being charged is the universal language of dominance? God bless America.

Joined Oct 2006 Posts 5602 EE Offline Originally Posted By Tracks:I'm a big fan of tube customizable, truly, since each of my last builds has had a Troy TAC or Daniel Defense MFR on it.

Quads won't be obsolete simply because LET, Colt, Aero, and Mega do monolithic uppers. If LET made a customizable like Mega but with QC barrel capability it would be perfect for someone like me who shoots multiple calibers from the AR.

Too may part to lose with bolt on rails on a tube forearm. Please, call me Worthier is definitely something perverse about two men who carry guns 24/7 being so happy that others are giving theirs up.

rail quad slim cim handguard previous american
(Source: americanweaponscomponents.com)

Outside of military, and perhaps police use, are there still good reasons to choose quad rails over the 'Brazilian' 'tube' style hand guards? I was browsing through a build thread on ARRCO and there are tons of guys with As built in 2014 still using quads.

Kinda surprised by this, as I'd have figured anyone doing a new build would go with a tube rail (unless maybe they had a spare quad lying around). I wouldn't say they're obsolete, but people are finding if they don't have a requirement for numerous add-ons they're not necessary.

New, AKS don't have them because the users are either too broke to afford add-ons or too slow to figure out how to use them while operating the rifle Stick Board policy mandates I state that I shoot for BCM.

I'm sure it's been mentioned, but the introduction of Key mod, ML OK or other minimalist type systems have not rendered the MIL-STD-1913 quad rails obsolete, not useable, irrelevant, etc. Last I checked quad rails still work and I'd wager a large percentage of folks still run them despite them not being the flavor-of-the-month on the intranets.

One of my favorite set-ups still sports a MAC URL II and I have no plans to ever change it out unless something catastrophic happens to it. Attachment 47571 Just added a Troy Charlie Battle rail to my Colt 6920 today.

rail quad drop ar remove step installation ring tool handguard removal monstrum plastic delta tactical hand guard using
(Source: monstrumtactical.com)

C co 1/30th Infantry Regiment 3rd Brigade 3rd Infantry Division 2002-2006 OF 1 and 3 IraqGunz: No dude is going to get shot in the chest at 300 yards and look down and say “What is that, a 3 MOA group?” Frankly, the death of the fixed Front Sight Post for modern hand guard compatibility has me worried more than the death or non-death of the quad ... there just aren't a lot of “Extended Carbine Length” hand guards, no matter what accessory mount you favor, that extend past the gas block like a CASE but still have a slot for the FSB while still being short enough for use on 10.5"-11.5" builds anymore.

Because Liberals block freeways, burn cities, throw Molotov cocktails, loot, turn over cop cars, and think this behavior is Socially Acceptable. --unknown, meted by user “KeepnitReel” at Northwest Firearms Joe Biden is not, nor will he EVER be, my President.

Frankly, the death of the fixed Front Sight Post for modern hand guard compatibility has me worried more than the death or non-death of the quad ... there just aren't a lot of “Extended Carbine Length” hand guards, no matter what accessory mount you favor, that extend past the gas block like a CASE but still have a slot for the FSB while still being short enough for use on 10.5"-11.5" builds anymore. Thanks--pricier than I'd like and not as flexible as a CASE, but it's an option to put on the Alternates List.

OTOH, if any further Gremlins are built *I'm* not going to be the one footing the bill or doing the sourcing and building... well, maybe ONE more, but if it happens the GF was specific about “like mine but a right-handed version.” Because Liberals block freeways, burn cities, throw Molotov cocktails, loot, turn over cop cars, and think this behavior is Socially Acceptable.

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Sources
1 www.greyhoundstudbook.co.uk - http://www.greyhoundstudbook.co.uk/greyhound-stud-book/
2 www.facebook.com - https://www.facebook.com/studbookuk
3 www.abebooks.co.uk - https://www.abebooks.co.uk/book-search/title/the-greyhound-stud-book/