If you’re looking to hang some bling from your M4 clone, you’ve already noticed that its stock carbine-length handguards aren’t exactly bristling with M1913 rail space. You could go with a hand-milled titanium free-floated quad-rail by Daniel Defense or Troy Industries, but what if you’re only tricking out a rimfire range toy or a knockabout truck gun?

The NCStar handguard rails are solid lumps of aluminum that bolt into your stock handguard halves and give you exactly six inches of M1913 rail space each. They weigh 2.2 ounces each, and screw into special washers that perfectly fill the handguard cooling holes. Their slightly angled shape (see photo) compensates for the slight taper of M4 handguards; guaranteeing that your lights or lasers will be parallel to the rifle barrel.  When mounted on the top handguard, the top rail is level with the receiver rail on a flattop A4 carbine.

The NCStar rails mount firmly enough for accessories like grips or lights or bipods, but most 2-piece AR handguards aren’t steady enough for scopes or red dots. Those need to mount on the receiver rail itself, or on more sturdy handguards than mine.

So many gadgets, so little time…

You can mount the NCStar receiver rails on the top or the bottom handguard or both (not pictured: the little top rail section is from another gadget I’m testing). They only cost $9 for two, plus shipping.  No disrespect to Troy Industries, but I’m not sure they’ll sell you a single Allen screw for that.

I know that the name ‘NCStar’ doesn’t carry very much cachet, but these are solid lumps of aluminum that won’t break, bend or wear out. If you want some cheap rail space for your M4, you can’t go wrong for nine bucks.

Five stars.

12 Responses to Gear Review: NCStar Handguard Rails

  1. I would think the only thing that could go wrong is the screws & washers/nuts. How did they look in terms of strength/resistance to stripping? Can you replace them with items from the hardware store?

    For that price I assume it is imported from our number one trading “partner” in Asia?

    • It uses 4mm (i think) Allen screws, and they’re bigger than the screws on a $60 Warn scope mount. They include lock-washers, which I should have mentioned, and you can also Loctite them. If these mounts come off your gun, they’re taking the handguards with them.

  2. Was just checking out Cheaper Than Dirt last night, looking for a inexpensive tac rail for my Colt AR 22. They have a UTG carbine rail (two piece, w/four screws) that mounts right on the ring just like the original for $59.99 + shipping. They also have a longer version that goes past the front sights for about $10.00 more (I think). They even have a how to video.

  3. I have them, no problems, cost $10, they keep water out and resulting steam clouds from hot barrel, VFG on bottom. Work as advertised

  4. Saw this little review the same day I took my new AR out to the range and realized a vertical foregrip would be beneficial and I’d need rails. Thanks!

  5. I have looked on NCstars web site and have even called their tech support and they have no idea what rail this is. Do you have the item name or even better a part number?

    • I have the exact same rail,but I got it at Academy. It came two in a pack.I think I paid 5- 10 dollars. The package says (Tactical Performance). Also says sold exclusively at Academy Sports. I also got another rail that goes on the polymer handguard it came with a US M 4 looking grip at a gun show it was $15 for both. It’s actually thinner,and doesn’t tapper like the others.

  6. I have a NCStar carbine length 4 sided 2 piece quad rail on my m-4 Spikes tact. Upper. It’s as solid as the day is long. 27.00 from Amazon. Fit perfectly.East to install. It’s wide, good for big hands, and the nuts and bolts are good quality. You can’t go wrong with this hand rail. 5 stars.

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