I chose the Troy Alpha series of rails for my next purchase due to the fact that the lack of a gas tube channel in the Madbull Troy TRX 13″ Battlerail I used to own drove me crazy. I did like that rail very much though, as I was reminded while installing a Madbull TRX onto a customer’s KWA LM4 PTR.
This was purchased from vet-owned and operated Pantel Tactical (sticker price on the Troy VTAC 13″ Alpha FDE of $199.00 USD).
The Alpha rails replaced the previous Extreme models, as Troy has now updated the attachment method. The proprietary barrel nut is no longer required. The new Alpha Battlerails slip over standard AR-15 barrel nuts (most, but not all… as per my research online), and utilize 3 bolts attached to 3 clamps to lock the rail to the barrel nut. To me, this initially meant that I could buy it and decide later if I wanted to use it on my WE M4 GBBR (Metric), Systema PTW (Imperial), or perhaps even transfer it onto a real AR-15 later. The 3 bolts & clamps means that Troy was able to do away with the 2 bolt design that used to tighten the tube around the proprietary barrel nut on the Extremes, which could potentially result in those 2 bolts getting stripped.
I chose the VTAC model this time around as I’ve seen plenty DIY modifications of Magpul MVG’s being bolted through the slotted cooling holes (as well as a plethora of other accessories being directly attached through the cooling slots). The TRX round holes are much less flexible, in my experience.
FDE is harder to find. Let alone VTAC in FDE. Let alone VTAC in FDE in 13″. Hence why I couldn’t say no when I noticed this at Pantel Tactical while down in the States last week… Josh Pantel (owner) ended up giving me a deal primarily because this one was missing 2 of the 3 bolt-on rail sections; I didn’t mind since I don’t intend to be using any of them anyway. Pantel is a great place to shop and talk, as Josh certainly knows his stuff – he’s got something like 16 years of service in the US Military under his belt.
Mocked up, this is what my WE M4A1 OB GBBR build looked like. I had not yet cranked down fully on the bolts – however, I noticed afterwards that when I do snug these up the rail does push away from my upper receiver, creating a slight gap. I’ve read a post by TheReptileHouse saying that he found a similar problem when using different barrel nuts to install a Troy Alpha onto a PTW… though this doesn’t bother me, since this gap allows my receiver to shotgun open without any binding.
I really, really like it. Money well spent.