View Full Version : Daniel Defense Omega Rail Review

25 August 2007, 10:52
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Daniel Defense (DD) is located in Savannah, GA, and was founded in 2000 by Marty Daniel, with a goal to develop and manufacturer high quality weapon components for the Military, Law Enforcement, and Civilian shooting community.

Daniel Defense began with an assortment of items, but quickly became known for their DD M4 rail. The carbine rail is known for being the lightest rail on the market. With its aluminum barrel nut, it is lighter than the plastic handguards it replaces. The DD 12.0 M4 series rail was the first rail into production, and is a 12" rifle length rail, designed as an upgrade for the M16/ AR15 series rifle. The DD 12.0 M4 rail was selected by the US Army Marksmanship Unit (AMU) for their Dedicated Marksman Rifle (DMR) Program, and is serving in the GWOT.

The next major step forward for Daniel Defense came when the Special Operations Peculiar Modification (SOPMOD) Rail Interface System (RIS) II program came open. While developing their unique bolt up system which locks the upper receiver to the rail, the Daniel Defense team also devised their AR10 Lite rail, and AR15 Lite rail system in addition to their SOPMOD RIS II proposal. The SOPMOD RIS II trials were conducted, and eventually were narrowed to three high quality rails (DD, ARMS, and KAC), but the DD variant won out in the competition.

Not resting on the success of their Military issue rails through the DMR and RIS II programs, Daniel Defense continued development of additional in house programs. Some of these items are well known, such as their rail mounted sling mounts, single point sling mounts, flash light mounts and various upper receivers. Other items have remained in house in support of various upcoming proposals, projects, and emerging concepts for the MIL and LE market.

25 August 2007, 11:51
The Daniel Defense Omega rail was developed as a high quality, light weight, two piece Free Floating (FF) rail that would require no modification to the weapon.

The current market of rail systems is close to saturation in my opinion, and because of that, its nice to see something new and different. There are assorted styles, mounting methods, weights, prices, widths and configurations for shooters to choose from. The prospective buyer has never had more options available to them.

A Free Floating rail offers different enhancements depending on what you do with your weapon. To some people, the sole reason for a FF rail is the opportunity to gain enhanced accuracy due to FF rail eliminating outside pressure on the barrel. Other shooters are looking to forward mount optics similar to the scout rifle concept. Many people find that the farther out an optic is, the easier and quicker it is to engage the target. A forward mounted optic that is not used on a FF rail system will not reliably stay zeroed. Still other shooters are looking for a FF rail because it won't move, wiggle, or flex like their non-FF counterparts.

One of the more common requests that I hear with rails is that there not be a gap from the upper receiver to the start of the upper rail. The DD Omega rail incorporates this, which should put a smile on plenty of faces.

Another reoccurring theme is installation. While there are people who don't mind pulling the barrel nut off their weapon, there are a lot of people who are unable, or unwilling for a variety of reasons. Resale value, department issued weapon, or lack of comfort are all reasons to consider. The end decision is up to the owner, and only they are the ones who need to be satisfied with their reasoning. Installation is quick and easy with the Omega rail, and I can install it quicker than I can clean a Bolt Carrier Group.

Modifications and tools often increase the cost of projects, and this is perhaps the biggest complaint people have made to me. To buy an action block/ receiver block, barrel nut wrench, strap wrench or other dedicated wrenches are more than many people want to sink into a single project. Because of this, a dealer installation is an easy answer, but that increases the frustration and cost as well when the owner sends off an upper and hopes to get it back quickly and without any hassles from the mailing service of choice. The Omega rail is not only easy to install, but it can be installed with a flathead screw driver and the allenwrench that comes along with the rail.

25 August 2007, 13:24
Upon receiving the Omega Rail, the first things I noticed were how clean the lines looked, and how slim it appeared for a two piece rail. The finish is a deep matte black, and inspection shows no sharp edges, corners, or burrs. The upper and lower sections fit together like the proverbial glove, but without being a forced or tight fit. There are 4 flat head screws included to attach the upper and lower rail together, and these come with a beveled nylon insert. The screws mount into their respective positions through helicoils installed into the aluminum rails.

Installation of the rail is little more than installing a set of handguards. The top and bottom piece are installed in the same basic manner of traditional handguards, with the exception that a groove in the rail mounts over the teeth of the barrel nut. The four screws (two on each side) are used to lock the rails together, and then the allen head screws are tightened down to lock the rail into place. A full guide to installation with a pictorial review can be found here LINK TO DD OMEGA RAIL GUIDE (http://www.weaponevolution.com/forum/showthread.php?t=65).

25 August 2007, 13:35
The Omega rail installed on the weapon stands out in two areas. First, its very light weight, which is something that Daniel Defense is well known for with their rail series. Secondly, the rail is very slim. For shooters that prefer a more narrow and oval feel to their handguards, this is something which is going to make them very happy. For shooters who rely on a Vertical Fore Grip (VFG), the slim profile may become important if you use a cruiser mounted lock inside a patrol car. Many of the rails that are on the market are not compatible with the assorted AR15 cruiser mounts. I know that I use an older mount in my patrol car, and it will not allow for many rails, and even with my other DD rails I make sure that I donít use thick rail covers. Iíve found that other officers rails will not lock into my mount properly, which relegates their weapon to the trunk of their cruiser as their only other option. Granted, this is not an issue with every mount and rail combination, but its worth considering for patrol officers or people who use a rack for their weapons.

25 August 2007, 14:20
While mounted to a training upper, I locked assorted VFGs, lights, optics, and mounts into each side of the rails. There were no issues, and all items locked in tightly with the exception of an old TD grip which I had previously hogged out to make fit on another rail. I certainly canít blame the Omega rail or the TD grip for my previous alterations.

Lockup of the rail remained absolute the entire time I grabbed, yanked, and pulled in every direction of the VFG. This isnít a shock, especially when you consider that a Free Floating rail is supposed to be stable.

The final questions tend to all lead down to the same areas. How much does it cost, and is it worth it. The answer to whether its worth it or not depends on what you plan to do with your weapon, and thatís an issue that only you can work out. At the time of this writing, suggested retail will be under $250. For this level of quality, and given that I see no other rail currently on the market that is able to duplicate its drop in / no-modification Free Float abilities, this ranks up high as equipment I would recommend to my friends, family, and fellow officers.

26 August 2007, 18:55
Weaponevolution.com also has a guide that walks users through the installation process, and includes more pictures. That can be found in the Resource Center under guides, or you can go to the direct link below.