The Picatinny quad rail is one of the most recognizable and adaptable M4 components. Many functional firearms curiosities have been born from the quad rail. This past September at Rainier Arms’ inaugural Northwest Shooting Sports Expo I was introduced to a company that has leveled-up the retro rail for the gaming industry, and the firearms world has been quick to take notice as well.
GAEMS (Gaming and Entertainment Mobile Systems) has turned the free-floating quad rail on its head to create a system that stands-up and mounts computer screens, mobile devices, and other items.
Attachments included with each stand allow you to mount a wide variety of items to the Picatinny rails. Things like computer screens, small televisions, tablets, webcams, Xbox Kinect, and mobile phones all attach at any spot on any side of the rail. There is also an attachment for hanging headsets and other cords. A variety of attachments other than those that ship with each stand will be available for purchase sometime during the second quarter of this year.
The smaller Satellite Stand includes a versatile Tablet Clamp in place of the VESA mount. The Tablet Clamp is well-made, sturdy, and dependable. Its rubberized, spring-tensioned “hands” grip items from 7 1/2″ to 11″ wide, holding them firmly throughout the 360 degrees of rotation and 30 degrees of tilt adjustment in all directions. The tension key for the ball joint even resembles a QD sling swivel.
Regardless of the differences in rail height, base, and included attachments, the components of the stands and attachments are interchangeable. However, they are sold separately so let’s look at what specifically comes with each stand.
The GAEMS Weighted Stand is the heavy lifter of the duo. Its 19.5 inch tall picatinny quad rail has plenty of room for small and large items and can support monitors up to 24 inches and 14 pounds by way of a 6.45 pound, relatively thin, base. Four large rubber feet keep the supporting surface from suffering scratches.
• VESA mount & ball joint (Rotates 30 degrees in all directions)
• Horizontal rail
• Spring clamp
• AR Handle
The Weighted Stand has served me well as a mate to the extra screen for my corporate tablet, while also providing a home for my mobile phone to securely charge.
An abundance of positive attributes aside, I was disappointed by the small assortment of included accessories. Specifically, the absence of a Steady Handle accessory to hang a headsets and manage cords is notable.
Secondly, the advertised “cord management” aspect of the rail system, where cords can theoretically be managed within the rail, seemed only to work with half of the cords I tried. Many cords would not feed through the small cutouts.
The GAEMS Weighted Stand has an MSRP of $249.99. While you can find free float quad rails for under $100, the additional components of the stand system provide value worth the cost.
The GAEMS Satellite Stand is a scaled-down, 3.55 pound, highly-portable sibling of the Weighted Stand. Its 15 inch picatinny rail supports monitors up to 15 inches and 4 pounds.
The stand utilizes four angled feet that slope down from the bottom of the rail. These feet have protective rubber bottoms, add a maximum of 1 5/8 inches to the overall height, and can be adjusted up the rail several notches.
The Satellite Stand comes with three accessories:
• M-155 spring clamp
• Tablet clamp & ball joint
• Steady handle
I found the Satellite Stand to be very adaptable and generally useful due to its smaller size, minimal weight, and adjustable tablet mount. The A2 Carrying Handle from the Weighted Stand quickly found a permanent home on the Satellite Stand and eventually the Horizontal Rail did, too.
Two specific areas could be improved. First, the legs could be mounted to the bottom of the rail instead of the rail itself, creating more usable space on the rail and possibly eliminating the sharp corners of the mounting brackets while giving the stand the ability to rotate.
Secondly, the absence of an A2 Carrying Handle was a let-down. I knew it wasn’t going to come with one, but I found the Steady Handle to be lacking as a carrying handle.
The GAEMS Satellite Stand is listed at $229.99 MSRP.
Confident in both stands for their strictly-intended purposes, I began to explore other ways to put them to use. After testing out a few ideas I came across one that really added value for me at the range.
Like most outdoor ranges, the one I frequent requires a cease fire before anyone can attend to their targets. When I shoot a group downrange I usually have to wait five to ten minutes or more to go check my target stand, swap paper, and measure my groups. To reduce wait time I attached a digital imaging spotting scope and tablet to the Satellite Stand.
When I shoot a group downrange I bring the target into view on the spotting scope screen, take a photo of the group, send it over to the tablet and into a program like OnTarget Precision Calculator to calculate my group size. The stand keeps everything together, allows quick adjustment of the equipment, and even holds my phone and cords. It’s completely geeky and fantastically efficient, especially if you are not willing to wait for a cease fire.
There’s no doubt, the GAEMS stands are slick systems that incorporate a neat firearm component. The aluminum rails and anodize are of good quality and the attachments are versatile and work very well. The price may seem a bit high, however, I believe it is fair given the quality of the stand and the attachments, which really make this product come alive.
So whether you want a cool-looking stand for your computer monitor or a highly versatile and durable piece of equipment for creative uses, these stands allow the user to continually find new ways to find value in the product.
I will continue to use the stands I have (both at home and at the range) and plan to buy a few more attachments, such as the M-155/Camera Mount and a second Steady Handle, once they become available.
Specifications: GAEMS Weighted Stand
Price as reviewed: $249.99
Ratings (out of five stars):
Design: * * * *
The Weighted Stand is a clever idea backed by both form and function, but function is clearly the primary objective. With the Picatinny rail as its backbone the options for configuration are almost limitless. It has a clean profile; however it falls short in terms of cord management. The thumbscrews and poky edges of the mounting brackets can become bothersome.
Quality: * * * *
The fit and finish of the components of the Weighted Stand are solid for its intended purpose. However, some of the mounting brackets were an uneven fit to the rail. The hardware is dependable and the correct length, but not super-high quality. The anodize finish is right there with most MSR rails.
Accessories: * * * *
The fact that additional accessories are not available is frustrating. Primarily because the accessories work so well and are very versatile. I believe GAEMS missed the mark by not including a Steady Handle to hang headsets on. The accessories the stand does come with are very useful and sturdy.
Overall: * * * *
The GAEMS Weighted Stand is a really neat, functional piece of equipment. It is durable, dependable, and looks cool. The most valuable feature of the stand is its incorporation of the quad rail, combined with purpose-built, yet versatile, attachments.
Specifications: GAEMS Satellite Stand
Price as reviewed: $229.99
Ratings (out of five stars):
Design: * * * * 1/2
The Satellite Stand earns a half-star over it sibling because of the adjustable legs and greater versatility due to size.
Quality: * * * *
The level of quality was consistent across both models of stands.
Accessories: * * * * 1/2
While both models missed the mark with attachments in one way or another, the Satellite Stand does come with an attachment that can be used to carry the stand as well as hang items from.
Overall: * * * * 1/2
GAEMS’ Satellite Stand is a very compact, versatile, and good-looking stand. It holds up at home and out on the range. The absence of an A2 Carrying Handle and lackluster cord management capabilities were the most notable disappointments.