Special Ops Tactical 12.6″ Quad Rail

I’m hard on my equipment. In fact, I abuse it in ways that most would consider to be bordering on criminal. I regularly shoot hundreds of corrosive rounds out of my AR-15 without even thinking of cleaning it. I stick pistols in the freezer and even in the oven. I throw guns into puddles. I kick my weapons when they don’t work, and sometimes even when they do. When a charging handle is stuck, I place the stock on the ground, put my boot on the charging handle, and give it a stomp.

Some folks don’t need a particularly solid AR-15 rail for their safe queens. I need something that can take a beating, which is what made me look at the Special Ops Tactical 12.6″ rail system.

My carbine after I dropped it and dragged it through a muddy gravel parking lot.

The SOT rail mounts via a proprietary barrel nut, installed with a 1 and 1/16 box end wrench. The rail comes with three shims for use with the barrel nut if it does not line up just right. The rail attaches to the barrel nut via 8 small screws and is rock solid. There are two anti-rotation tabs that extend onto the sides of the upper receiver and keep the rail in one place.

In fact, the rail is so sturdy that it survived some rather brutal treatment. The rough handling was more than the Troy front sight could take, though that only rattled loose. As a side note, there was no real permanent damage to the Troy sight, apart from some bent edges. With the proper application of Loctite, it resumed its role as my trusted back-up iron sight.

The only damage to the SOT rail from the drop-and-drag was some minor cosmetic scuffing. All the rail sections remained functional. The QD rotation sockets are fine, all 8 of them. That’s one of the interesting and useful features of the SOT rail. You can place your sling stud in the rear, middle or front of the handguard. It gives the user a host of options, and is something I appreciate.

Now for the disadvantages of the SOT rail. It’s not the lightest handguard, weighing in at roughly a pound. Neither is it suitable for use with reflex suppressors on shorter barrels, as the inside diameter is just over an inch and a quarter, which means that suppressors will not fit underneath the handguard. Finally, it’s not the cheapest accessory either. The flip side is that the quality isn’t cheap, costing $279.

Solid pieces of kit. The SOT is right at home with the Trijicon SRS and the SIG P226

So not the lightest or the easiest on your wallet, but capable of taking damage and shrugging it off with ease. I have torqued and wrenched the handguard around with my bare hands, or tried to. It won’t budge, thanks to the locking screws and the anti-rotation tabs. I’ve given up. As I said before, the SOT rail isn’t for a safe queen; it’s for a working rifle. It’s a solid piece of equipment you can rely on. I do.

By Allen Cosby/53GR Images

The following two tabs change content below.
53GR is an avid shooter, hiker and tinkerer. Introduced to guns at an early age, the hobby became a passion in his early twenties. After two years in Iraq as a contractor for a defense company, he developed an unhealthy addiction to military surplus gear. Though he's currently in treatment, the prognosis is that the condition is chronic.

Latest posts by 53gr (see all)


2 Responses to Special Ops Tactical 12.6″ Quad Rail

  1. joshua schmidt says:

    Just got one of these uppers. I love it but I cleaned it once and the black coating came off the 8 small screws securing the rail. Did this happen to yours as well?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *