Dytac has been all about the rails lately, flooding the market with all sorts of SMR variants in all sorts of colors and lengths. To say they got mixed reviews is a bit of an understatement, with most praising their affordability but decrying the build quality, softness of the metals, and overly sharp edges.
I kept all this in mind when Dytac released their long awaited RAHG replica, or the”REM rail” (REM standing for Remington, the manufacturers of the rail, and not the band) as they call it. With Dytac being the only ones in the RAHG replica game (for now), and wanting to give my TM HK416 a bit of an update externally, I decided to take the plunge. Installation and first impressions are after the break.
The rail came in a nicely packaged box, along with its proprietary barrel nut (I wasn’t expecting this, as I had thought it would slip over the existing barrel nut), barrel shims (which were a nice surprise), and package of picatinny rail sections. It’s nice of Dytac to include the rail sections instead of selling them separately.
First step of installation: as with the Dytac Geissele replica rails, you need to remove the front sling points on the 416 gas block, which is no big loss as I don’t recall seeing a single picture of anyone actually using those things. I used a mini hacksaw and did a pretty piss poor job of it, but I do plan on going back and smoothing it out later on.
Afterwards you can remove the gas block itself, via two push pins and a grub screw on the bottom of it. You should also remove the mock gas piston system now as well – for what it’s worth, it’s nice to see that TM actually went through the trouble of replicating the gas piston and pusher rod. It’s paying off now, since it can easily been seen through the installed RAHG and to not have one there would look odd. Props, TM.
The next step is to install the proprietary barrel nut, but of course you’ll need to remove the OEM one… which proved to be a bit of a challenge considering how tightly TM screwed it on. Thankfully I was able to enlist the help of good buddy and teammate Jules to help me crank the thing off using a crescent wrench and some brute force, although I think it could be better accomplished with an AR armorer’s wrench that can hook into the holes on the barrel nut. I didn’t mind using the crescent wrench and butchering the OEM barrel nut as I don’t see myself using it again, but if you want to keep it neat, I’d suggest using the proper tools. The barrel nut is CCW, so you need to turn counter clockwise (looking down the barrel) when cranking it off.
Above you can see the proprietary barrel nut installed, along with the gas piston system, OEM barrel nut, and gas block.
Once the proprietary barrel nut is on and the gas block and gas piston system have been reinstalled, installing the rail is as simple as slipping it over the barrel nut and tightening it down using the cross pin and a grub screw at the 6 o’clock position. Slipping the rail over the barrel nut is a very tight squeeze and involved having to hammer the rail down into position with a mallet, which is good for the stability of the rail, I suppose. It’ll be pretty difficult to take it off if I need to, though, since I won’t have a surface to hammer down on to get it off the barrel nut.
And above is the installed rail.
First impressions, first on quality of the build: it’s solid, but not amazing. The finish isn’t scratch resistant or anything, and I’ve already managed to put a few nicks on the end of it by hammering it down with a mallet during the installation (which, I know, isn’t exactly treating it nicely, but it was still disconcerting to see that I had put a few small nicks and dents into the metal). While the finish isn’t great, the rail itself does feel relatively solid and stable, especially considering how much material is cut out of it due to Remington’s design. The edges are nicely machined but not razor sharp, as I heard some of Dytac’s SMR replicas were.
There is some slight wobble to the rail – very slight, but still noticeable. You can notice it most by looking at the top of the rail where the small protrusion tabs into the receiver, just like the OEM rail. I’m going to try shimming that area for a tighter fit which will hopefully help with the wobble. Again, it’s very, very slight and you probably won’t notice it unless you purposefully twist the rail, but it’s still there and worth noting. Nothing, however, that can’t be fixed.
How does the rail feel on the gun? Pretty good. The slimness of it is noticeable immediately, and grabbing the rail in a thumb break or even C-clamp is no longer as difficult as it was with the bulky OEM rail. I haven’t weighed the rails as I don’t have a scale sensitive enough, but it does feel a little lighter than it used to with the OEM rail. It’s not a huge difference, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the OEM rail was only slightly heavier, but it’s still a noticeable.
Overall I’m happy with the rail. It gives the 416 a needed update more in line with modern firearms standards, making it lightly lighter while improving ergonomics. The installation needed some elbow grease but was nothing too difficult (as long as you’re careful getting the barrel nut off and don’t crack your receiver doing so). The build quality is not perfect but more than does the job for airsoft purposes. I’ll be sure to update this post once I’ve gamed it and had a chance to see both how it feels in the wild and how the build quality holds up.
Overall, this gets 5 SEAL teams out of 6. 🙂