RS Troy Industries VTAC Alpha Rail, 9"

Reviews on parts for the PTW platform.

Re: RS Troy Industries VTAC Alpha Rail, 9"

Postby bobafett on Sun Aug 05, 2012 10:09 am

Rich,

That's a superb review buddy, the rail looks amazing on the PTW...... :)

I'm impressed that you use a workmate in place of a vice, I guess all one needs is a strong way to grip the PTW whilst the correct torque is applied. That brings me onto my next question. Where did your procure all the tools from as I want to get a set myself. Namely the upper body clam shell unit and the barrel nut wrench head? Will the barrel nut wrench head allow me to take off the stock systema delta ring nut too or will I need another tool?

I've seen adverts for an armourer's wrench at various places (Gurader do one) and was wondering if that would be sufficient or would I need the one you have pictured?

Is the torque wrench a particular Halford's model or will anyone do?

Oops, just read Midway UK... lol

Thanks

Shiv
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Re: RS Troy Industries VTAC Alpha Rail, 9"

Postby The Reptile House on Sun Aug 05, 2012 10:27 am

So kind - cheers Shiv :) I'm a complete amateur, so I figured if I can do it, anyone can - which is why I documented the simple part of the install. I've had lots of help from the experts on here along the way.

Using the Workmate is a bit of a cheat and I don't recommend it, but I don't have easy access to a vice nor room for one at home. It's OK for getting barrel nuts on, but it's still pretty hard removing them.

Yes - as you read, the AR specific tools are from Midway UK, but also check out Brownells in the US. They ship most tools to the UK (and quite a few RS parts) and the prices are excellent - even including VAT etc.

The wrench head I used here doesn't have a cut out (it slips over the barrel) so it makes it a little difficult to time the barrel nut. Having said that, it's got a much more positive grip than other barrel nut tools I've used, so removing a barrel nut would be a lot easier...and yes, you can use it on the Systema barrel nut. It actually fits better on that than the DPMS one I used.

I've got the Guarder wrench and I don't recommend it, because it doesn't allow you to measure torque. It's also a pig for getting the barrel nut off as it lacks sufficient leverage and tends to slip off the nut if you're not careful.

The torque wrench is from Halfords' Professional range. Just look for the one that does 30ft lbs as a minimum.
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Re: RS Troy Industries VTAC Alpha Rail, 9"

Postby bobafett on Sun Aug 05, 2012 4:53 pm

Rich

Brownell's are also doing a AR-15/M16/AR-10® BARREL NUT WRENCH, stock number 714-000-007WB. Will that nut wrench fit onto the systema barrel nut? I've found the upper receiver clam block and lower receiver block on sale there for $57.49...Plus it's likely i'll need the Daniel Defense wrench too for my RS DD lite rail...

cheers
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Re: RS Troy Industries VTAC Alpha Rail, 9"

Postby The Reptile House on Sun Aug 05, 2012 6:59 pm

Yeah dude - that's the wrench I have :)
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Re: RS Troy Industries VTAC Alpha Rail, 9"

Postby The Reptile House on Thu Aug 09, 2012 9:20 pm

OK, so I left this at the point where I was whining to my mate Tent that life wasn't fair and that Troy Industries had ruined my future ;)

Tent took the rail away, sorted the clearance and claimed to have 'enjoyed' doing it. For someone like me, who believes DIY means Don't Involve Yourself, I find this difficult to understand - but I'm extremely greatful for the mod. So many, many thanks, Tent :D

I'll be posting this back to Mindz_i very soon, so after re-thread locking the retaining bolts, I declare this project complete.

You can see that not only does the upper and lower now fit together, but there is plenty of clearance to hinge the receiver:

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Here's the detail of the mod. The secret ingredient isn't marker pen, it's black nail varnish...

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Re: RS Troy Industries VTAC Alpha Rail, 9"

Postby Mindz_i on Sat Aug 18, 2012 11:00 am

Thanks to The Reptile House and Tent for sorting this, in time for my event.

The modification is excellent, and in person is less noticeable than in the picture. It looks like it's meant to be that way to start with.

Impressions are good. The Reptile House has been trying to talk me into switching to tubes, and I'm glad he has. It feels very different to the DD MK18 RIS 2 (Socom Gear) that was on there before, mainly in diameter but also in weight. I look forward to putting it through its paces - probably with a different optic.

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Re: RS Troy Industries VTAC Alpha Rail, 9"

Postby The Reptile House on Sat Aug 18, 2012 12:23 pm

Looking forward to hearing your post battle report, on how the gat handles with the tube :)
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Re: RS Troy Industries VTAC Alpha Rail, 9"

Postby V.A.K on Thu Aug 30, 2012 6:18 pm

Mindz I see your another one TRH has converted to the cult of the Tube ;) I'm his newest initiate to the cult.... I mean club. Also I'm interested to hear how it handled and how it felt from long periods of use?
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Re: RS Troy Industries VTAC Alpha Rail, 9"

Postby Mindz_i on Fri Aug 31, 2012 2:55 pm

The tube worked well. I played with the VTAC equipped SCK for the two days of the recent NAE, and was happy with all aspects of handling.

For me, the primary aim of switching to a tube was to decrease weight. I rarely use a flashlight these days and there's not really much else I need to mount, so it seemed to be a logical choice to switch to something lighter and more streamlined (from a Socom Gear DD MK18 RIS 2). My first choice was actually the Midwest Industries One-piece 9" hand guard, but after being unable to source one at a reasonable cost I ended up with the Troy, and to be honest I'm now glad it went that way.

The first thing that's apparent is the diameter of the fore grip. The Reptile House had given me a solid primer on tube diameters, and the fact you could go too slim. Compared to a normal RIS with covers it feels substantially slimmer in grip. I've got relatively small hands, but I can still get a solid grip right around the tube (like gripping a bat). In practise this meant there was a lot more of grip to grab, which was useful when firing whilst prone, or shooting in odd positions to get around heavy vegetation.

I ended up switching the Hurricane 553 for my EOTech 512. On the rather slimmed down tube the 553 felt rather bulky , but in practise this was probably only an aesthetic consideration.

Weight on the SCK with a low-profile gas block was good. Initially I was a little surprised it didn't feel super-light up front, but after using it in game for a while the impact of the tube became a lot more noticeable. Carrying the SCK one-handed, whilst crawling etc, was much easier and less fatiguing. A big plus.

Shooting with the tube I tended to grip it at the very front with my thumb either on top of or alongside the folded foresight. I mention this, as oddly I've always gripped guns without vert grips by the magwell. I'm not sure if the extra length of the tube, versus a 7", changes the dynamic, or it's something else.

As well as the tube performed, I did find myself missing an index point on the grip. This may be because I've gotten used to playing with a vertical grip over the years, but when bringing the gun into the shoulder from a low position I found it didn't feel as natural as my vert grip equipped CQBR. I think part of the issue is that I tend to use the vert grip to rest on the bottom of my palm, taking the weight of the rifle when not shooting. From there I can pivot it straight into my shoulder. With the tube, I was gripping it in a different way each time. It's not a huge issue, and will probably change with time, but I'm going to pick up one of the IWC handstops to try and sort it.

All in all though I'm very happy. Thanks again to The Reptile House and Tent for sorting this.

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Last edited by Mindz_i on Fri Aug 31, 2012 4:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: RS Troy Industries VTAC Alpha Rail, 9"

Postby The Reptile House on Fri Aug 31, 2012 3:41 pm

Awesome feedback, Mindz.

I suppose if you must get a hand stop, direct mount is more in keeping with the aesthetic ;)
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Re: RS Troy Industries VTAC Alpha Rail, 9"

Postby Mrck on Fri Aug 31, 2012 8:13 pm

I was at NAE, wish i'd come and seen you, it looks sweet :)
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Re: RS Troy Industries VTAC Alpha Rail, 9"

Postby bigtent on Fri Aug 31, 2012 11:56 pm

Thats cool Mindz glad your happy with my dremel work...
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