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Benelli M4 - Strike Hayle Rail Review


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I received the pair of rails I ordered to check out. Immediately I noted that the unit is nicer to hold on to than it looks in pictures. There aren’t a bunch of jagged edges on it. It’s far better and thinner than say a Surefire M80. The factory OEM handguards weigh in at 5 ounces, where as this rail weighs in at 6.65 ounces. Not bad for being 6065 aluminum. The OEM handguards are more ergonomic than this rail, but it isn’t terrible - It’s tolerable unlike the M80.


What I don’t like:

The set screws are a terrible design. Whoever designed it should hang their head in shame as a designer and really be ashamed of themselves. Without using the set screws, the rail will wiggle significantly more than anyone would be comfortable with. Naturally if you use them, you no longer have a tool free disassembly. I tried to set them lightly but it didn’t seem to work for retaining the handguard.


They could have solved this relatively easily by designing a replacement rear handguard retainer that held the rail in place. I did not use the front two set screws, since it is solid with just the rear set. The set screws are tiny and steel. They aren’t the nicer style that have a polymer tip to minimize marking.


These kind of rails are a pain in that you end up scuffing up your barrel during installation. It doesn’t slide on easily, you have to work it back and forth to slide up over the piston assembly on the barrel.


There are fitting issues if using this rail in combination with either an Ava Tactical or IWC light/sling mount. The tailcap will hit the rail and you will need to modify the rail for clearance. Or, stick strictly with a MLOK in-line Mount attached to be rail itself. I used a small cutting wheel to gain the clearance needed with an IWC light mount. I used the IWC since it offered a little more clearance and provided QD sling mounts. Had I used the Ava Tactical Mount, I’d need a MLOK QD socket since I’m mounting the light on the ejection port side of the firearm.


I dont have my new Taps switch in yet to test fit it to the rail to see if it’s worth the trouble and limitations.


I wish they had made some some kind of textured panels for the handguard to increase traction. I know I can use some over the Mlok points.


I’ll take some pictures later.

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It does capture at the front and rear like the OEM handguard, but there is so much play at the rear handguard retainer that there is a lot of movement unless the set screws are used. With that much movement, during recoil, it would likely mar something up pretty badly.


At this point, I'm not sure if I'll be keeping them.

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Because I don't have one in my hands and therefore can't make any definitive assessment of how the thing fits, I'll ask this question;


Could they not have made the thing so that it would be securely attached to the gun, captured exactly the same way as the OEM hand guards are captured, and by that, eliminate the need to rely on little screws to keep it secure??

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There are some ways that they could have went to avoid set screws. The set screw direction is the laziest cheapest method and appears to have been an afterthought when they realized it didn’t lock up tight. These extrusions are cut to length and then some final machining is then performed to the rail.


The easiest method would be for them to supply a handguard retainer that was compressible. Rely more on the tension applied from the magazine cap instead of lateral retention from the stamped steel handguard retainer.

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I’ve seen these 1st hand at a shop in STL. Personally, I have no use for this rail. It provides nothing that I don’t get from the factory hand guards. I would even want/have to add covers to the MLOK rail. A light would be farther back than other options, creating even more shadow. I don’t run a vertical grip on a full size shotgun. I simply see no benefit other than a lighter wallet.

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  • 2 years later...

As you say lighter and, with the slim profile, to use a made up word; unbulkiness of them is very hard to compete against.

Concerning modifications with anything, I'm a person who always weighs aesthetic qualities with functionality. If something works well to my needs but looks like hell, I'll usually ditch the idea completely.

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

I ordered the Briley 8” MLOK forend from Dissident Arms.  Will update here with a picture at some point.  No idea when it will ship though.  I’m new to the m4 world and have been lurking here like crazy for several months now consuming all your opinions.  I already got on the list for a Carrier comp mag tube lol.  

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