View Full Version : Rainier Arms Evolution Rail 12"

17 April 2012, 02:46
I'll preface this review by stating before I used this particular rail, I wasn't a fan of tubular rails. I felt that the rail panels limit how many accessories you can attach to your gun and where as most of them have small rail panels. If you want to change your setup and have to move the rail panels, it can be a pain in the ass. I also wasn't sold how sturdy rail panels were vs. rails already machined into the rail. Tubular handguards also seemed too fimsy in my opinion. I included some pictures, but if you want good pictures, you've come to the wrong place. That's what Stickman and Triple Bravo are for!

I came into Rainier Arms originally wanting to purchase an AAC 762SDN6, but was introduced to the their newest rail, the Evolution Free Float Rail. Amazing how one gets side tracked at a gunshop right? The rail is made by Samson. Their logo is marked on one side, with the Rainier logo is on the other. The rail comes in different lengths: 12" 11" 9" and 7". I went with the 12". The 12" rail actually measures out to 12.37" with a diameter of 1.56". John tells me this will fit most suppressors inside of the housing. I could only confirm my AAC M4-1000 did fit, but mounting a suppressor inside of the rail wasn't something that interests me.

When I handled the rail, I could definitely tell this was lighter than what I was used to using. It's 11.0oz. It's made from 6061 T6 aluminum, and uses no special tools to install. It comes with a 2" and 4" rail panel as well as a QD socket for your slings. The 12" retails for $179.99. The price point is attractive, as I'm used to paying $250 - $300 for DD or Centurion Rails.

Normally, I wouldn't purchase one of these type of rails on my own, but decided to take it for a whirl after John at Rainier Arms, convinced me to try one out. I was also talked into a matched Mega Billet Upper/Lower, after buying a RA gas block and DD 14.5 middy barrel, I was ready to put it all together at home. I also added the following to complete my rifle:

Fail Zero M16 BCG
AAC 18T Blackout
Surefire M300a w/ SR07
Magpul MOE+, AFG, MBUS
Burris MTAC 1-4x24 on ADM Mount.

The rail has anti-rotational tabs, and installation was not a problem. The included heat sinks go over the barrel nut, and the rail slides over the sinks. Two allen head screws are then tightened at the bottom. This doesn't seem as secure as some other designs, but so far it wasn't shown any signs of loosening. Not using any proprietary tools and stock barrel nut is always a big plus however.


This gun is strictly a range toy / loaner at this point. I wanted a gun I could beat up at the range and not feel bad about shooting lots of rounds suppressed through if I happen to forget to clean it for a day or two or a month. After the gun was put together, I was immediately impressed by how much lighter it seemed because the of the rail. Over the last 2 weeks, I took this particular gun to the range twice, shooting a total of 560 rounds, 500 of them being suppressed, with an AAC M4-1000. During that time, I was impressed with the rail overall. I expected the feel a lot more heat, but it was never uncomfortable. I also liked how easy my hands were able to grab the front of the rail and around the AFG. It was very comfortable to shoot with.


Comparison to the RA-X11 Rails


Would I purchase another Rainier Evo Rail? Possibly depending on what I was building and what it was to be used for. If you plan to put anything more than a VFG and light on your rails you'll be short on rail panels, so this may not be the rail for you. This rail definitely changed my opinons of tubular rails. I still don't think I'd use one for duty use, but there are some definite advantages.The price is right, it's light and an overall good value.