I recently felt a hankering for something simple, cheap, and slick to slap onto a 14.5″ Systema PTW upper that I had the majority of the components for…
Picked this one up from Weapon Outfitters last time I stopped by. Got the last Flat Dark Earth model in 13″ they had on hand – a demo item used in a photo shoot (possibly this one). Minor scuffs aside…
Note that the Flat Dark Earth colour is actually Cerakote’d onto the rail. This finish isn’t particularly hardy (see installation notes below), and looks like it will probably wear more quickly than more traditional finishes. Truth be told, having this rail refinished later is a likely option.
On first glance, it does remind me of a certain Noveske Keymod rail out there… though they are all start to look the same as the Keymod rails get on the thinner side of the market.
Nothing to keep the rail from rotating, but as Roy from Weapon Outfitters put it, it shouldn’t matter anyway, presuming that the barrel nut is torqued on as it should be. This comes from his experience from selling these (and other slick rails).
Proprietary barrel nut, but it does not require a proprietary wrench for installation. Crow’s foot will do the trick here, but as it turns out, I didn’t have a wrench large enough on hand. (The scuff marks you may see on the rear half of the rail are a result of clamping the whole rail assembly into a vice and torquing the upper on – not the correct way of doing things, but good enough for airsoft.)
From there, 6 screws (Torx driver not included) hold the rail onto barrel nut. Nice and easy. The complete installation instructions are detailed better as included in the box.
Weight-wise, it is light (12.1 oz with barrel nut and screws, to be exact). Not as light as the Noveske NSR, but pretty darn close. Speaking of comparisons to that rail again, the profile of this rail feels a hair wider – this probably has something to do with the more angular shape of the PTX FFSSR Keymod rail. (Upon further research, the Parallax Keymod rail has a 1.52″ outer diameter – slighter wider than the Noveske NSR at 1.48″.)
Despite initial reservations about how comfortable I would find this rail to be, this octagonal shape has grown on me.
Includes Parallax 5-slot Keymod rail section in matching finish. Features integrated limited rotation QD studs (feel a little tighter than most, perhaps it’s the Cerakote?), though I did notice that these can cause a swivel to be obstructed from it’s normal range of motion by one of the bolts, if orientated horizontally. The slots are advertised to be compatible with Magpul MOE accessories, though I haven’t tried this for myself yet.
Packaging itself is unremarkable, but it does come with easy to follow installation instructions (with pictures!) and enough shims to get the timing right – 3 thin ones to be exact.
Of interesting note is that there are holes drilled and tapped into the top rail at regular intervals… not sure what they are there for.
I’m still not sold on the whole Keymod thing, but I do think this is a good option for a slim, slick, “real steel” rail at this lower price point. That being said, I’m still working out what to even put on this upper.