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.
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.