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Benelli M4 - Agency Arms Rail Review


StrangerDanger
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I finally got my hands on one of these Agency Arms rails to take a look at in person. One of the benefits of bringing in a lot of peoples builds is I get to check out all the new accessories without having to pay the price of admission.

I've used a lot of Agency Arms components in other firearms, so I was hopeful for this rail to be one that was actually a win for a change. The rail itself is well made, it does have some significant set backs that aren't entirely Agency's fault, but more along the lines of working around the Benelli M4's ARGO system without making the rail too big.

I'm not a huge fan of the need to disassemble the rail in order to access the ARGO system. This renders the gas system inaccessible in the field unless they happen to have brought a torx bit with them. Basically if something needs screws, this is an armorer level job now and not meant to be messed with in the field.

Most of the MLOK sockets are unusable. Many of the sockets ride so close to the ARGO system that mounted items do not have the clearance to cam lock. I fixed this with a few railscales panels by profiling the cam lock and screw with a concave grinder shape. Thinning the cam permitted the cam to rotate and not make contact with the ARGO system. Still a pain in the ass.

The rail was not removable with several of the railscales in place. The rail would hang up on the cam locks. So the end user would have to remove several of these panels or other devices mounted in order to remove the rail to service the ARGO system.

Ergonomics are better than the Strike Industries or the Surefire M80 rails. Ergonomics sucks compared to the OEM handguard however. Even with premium rail covers like G10 railscales, the OEM wins hands down.

With any rail, you're paying a weight penalty by equipping one. One must consider what benefits you're receiving by adding the part. With the step back in ergonomics and weight penalty you're facing, personally I would recommend using an IWC weapon light mount for your sling and weapon light needs. Placing sling mounts on your handguard is a step back in ergonomics since they tend to interfere with your hand placement. On this build we will be adding an IWC front sling/light mount as well to use the sling mount.

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If you have Trypophobia, you probably hate this.

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Reprofiled cam lock.

 

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Look at all that clearance to the ARGO plug!

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No thanks,wouldn't want that mess hanging on my m4.reminds me of that tom hanks movie big,where he's messing with the new toys,saying i don't get it.does it turn into something else. it;s  no fun..

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Thanks for the review.

I have one of the AA handguards and I'm quite pleased with with it. 

The filling of all the slots with Railscales imo seems over-the-top and not an aestheically pleasing option for me.

I have utilized the top rail for a TRex light bar extension to put my modlite further forward to minimize light shadow with the barrel and muzzle, mounted on the right side for top of shoulder placement for cqb situations.

I will install a few railscales and a Carve handstop/index.

I'm currently looking for solution to the loss of the QD option after losing the IWC mount with Agency Arms handguard.

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Agree with IWC light mount being the best option. I have a Briley hand guard on one of my Benelli’s. It is really simple to remove and install (slide it over mag tube, then slide barrel through top of hand guard, attach barrel nut - no tools needed to install or remove). It is also tight and does not rotate. It really is a great design. The only things mounted on mine are a stage saver, QD sling mount, and offset light. The hand guard is wide and accessories don’t interfere with the ARGO system. It might be the best forend on the market for the M4. Problem is - it weighs almost 10 oz without accessories! It makes the gun very front heavy. I have a factory 7 rd steel mag, was thinking of trying Briley’s carbon fiber tube, but not sure if that will make much difference. My other Benelli (go to) has the IWC mount with Surefire 300c light. I also have 200 shells through that gun since mounting the IWC - no loosening at all with blue loctite. This really seems to be the way to go!

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7 hours ago, StrangerDanger said:

I'm not a huge fan of the need to disassemble the rail in order to access the ARGO system. This renders the gas system inaccessible in the field unless they happen to have brought a torx bit with them.

I have never been a fan of the "torx" head for anything! Just another gimmick to force people to purchase a set of wrenches for screw heads the "Allen" head

already had covered. As for the surefire M80, I like it, two thumbs up.

My 2cents.........................

IMG_1979.JPG

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Wtf lol. Wow that's overkill on the scales. I agree if all you want is grip from the AA, just get OEM stippled. That to me kills any reason to have AA be not adding functionality with the mlok.

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I'm messing with the AA rail and minimal rail scales attached. Discovered the interference with the ARGO system (i thought shorter screws would be the answer but no). I kept the IWC mount by turning the upper piece around. It seems to be clamped on securely with no issue after a range trip shooting buck and slugs. I'm not totally sold on this set up.... A work in progress.

 

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Yep, can see where the screw is kissing the ARGO system. You can make it work if you shave the thickness of the MLOK cam down which is pretty easy to do with a grit sander or various other tools. You'll end up grinding down the screw at the same time for the clearance.

I'd swap back and forth between the OEM handguard and the rail to see which one you like better.

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So, part of my thinking (or should I say fantasy) of trying the AA hand guard has been around the percieved possibility of mounting my scout light farther forward and running a tape or Unity switch. 

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It seems like it would be about the same position as the IWC mount? The Briley 13" rail would definitely move it farther forward.

 

Noted another pain in the ass thing about the AA hanguard. If you use a magazine tube that has a +2 or the fake extension, the rail will not slide off the end of the magazine tube unless you unscrew the extension and slide them off together. The handguard gets stuck on the lip of the extension when trying to slide over it.  So you're going to have to wrestle with the magazine spring or remove the spring retainer first in order to get the firearm apart for basic maintenance.

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