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FOG HORN 2014

Twobirds Flying Publication



Copyright 2014, Twobirds Flying Publication. All Rights Reserved.



OTIS Technology MSRS Rail System

By: Sal Palma

OTIS Technology has earned a global reputation for their weapon cleaning systems. The company is the
premier supplier of cleaning accessories to all branches of the United States Armed Forces and their
global partners.
OTIS introduced its first rail system for the AR platform, the Turned Rail System or TRS, at SHOT SHOW
2010. The TRS rail was unique in that it was machined using a patented process that machines all
critical alignment surfaces on a single rotating axis. The end result is a very accurate system. The product
shipped with its own barrel nut and a concentric locking ring that kept the rail from rotating. I had an
OTIS Technology MSRS Rail System

Copyright 2014, Towbirds Flying Publication. All Rights Reserved.
opportunity to review it shortly after it started shipping and was impressed by OTISs first shot in this
very competitive space.
This year, at SHOT SHOW 2014, OTIS Technology announced a two-piece free float rail system marketed
as the Modern Sporting Rail System or MSRS. The MSRS is designed to Mil-Spec standards specifically for
the U.S. military. The new rail replaces the carbine length polymer handguards with a free-float Mil-Spec
quad rail that uses the weapons existing barrel nut. MSRS opened the door to increased mounting
options for our servicemen and women.
Having seen firsthand what the company did with the TRS, I was anxious to get some hands-on with
the new MSRS and OTIS was kind enough to make that possible for us.
For this review, I decided to use the MSRS on a new build as opposed to retrofitting an AR15/M4 with
polymer hand guards. It was a practical decision centered on the fact that I had none in the office to
retrofit. So, I ordered parts with hopes they would arrive in time for the scheduled review date yes I
schedule reviews. Well, silly me, Im still sitting here waiting for a barrel with no end in sight, so Im
moving ahead with the review and beg the readers indulgence.
The MSRS is a carbine length rail system. Its installation is straightforward with the most complex step in
the process being the removal of the Delta ring, spring and retention clip if youre upgrading from
carbine length polymer handguards.
There are two approaches you can take depending on your personal preference, and/or skills. First,
using a Dremel tool and a cutting wheel cut the Delta ring on two sides. Make the cuts on opposite sides
of the ring being careful not to cut into any part of the barrel nut. Once cut, split the ring apart and take
it off. Next, cut the spring and retaining clip, these will break apart with a pair of pliers.
Your second option is to remove the barrel nut and barrel then you can slide the Delta ring assembly off
the barrel. My suggestion is that you exercise the first option and cut the delta ring assembly, and be
done with it. Theres a greater than 50% chance youll never use those parts again. With a new build,
your life is much easier.


OTIS Technology MSRS Rail System

Copyright 2014, Towbirds Flying Publication. All Rights Reserved.
The MSRS ships with 8 fasteners, 4 will be used to secure the upper half of the rail and the clamp to the
existing barrel nut and the others will secure the two halves of the rail together; youll also need a
torque driver. OTIS recommends that you tighten the clamping fasteners to 40 inch pounds.
The rail system is carbine length and just south of 7 inches in length, so it accommodates most any gas
block arrangement that you have to work with. The top half has a very roomy gas tube channel and
youll have no problems; even with some of the more esoteric gas tube designs. Installation is very
simple as follows.


Youre going to begin your installation by placing the clamping strap over the barrel nut as shown in the
picture above. OTIS made the strap so that it keys to the top rail half so its impossible to orient the
clamp incorrectly.


OTIS Technology MSRS Rail System

Copyright 2014, Towbirds Flying Publication. All Rights Reserved.
Next youll want to install the top half of the MSRS so that the clamp seats into the cut out provided as
I mentioned earlier, it is keyed so theres nothing to go wrong. OTIS recommends that you install the
rear fasteners first followed by the remaining two. Once the rail system is aligned with the receivers rail
top, tighten and torque the four fasteners. Start by tightening and torqueing the rear fasteners first to
40 inch-pounds then proceed to tighten and torque the remaining 2 fasteners to the same spec of 40
inch-pounds. Theres probably no need to use a thread locker on these fasteners, but operating
temperatures in the barrel nut area can get pretty hot so using Blue Loctite would not be inappropriate
in my opinion. Its always better to err on the side of caution.



Your final step is to install the lower half and fasten the two sections together using four small hex bolts
provided. Once again using a little dab of Blue Loctite is not an excess.


OTIS Technology MSRS Rail System

Copyright 2014, Towbirds Flying Publication. All Rights Reserved.
If youve done everything correctly,
and the entire process is about as
sailor proof as anyone could make it,
you should be sitting at your
workbench or table consumed by
admiration. The finished product looks
more like a monolithic upper receiver
than any of the two piece rail systems
Ive seen. OTIS has done a superb job
height, width, all of the dimension are
simply perfect in this mans eyes.
A concern that surfaces whenever
discussing a system that clamps on, is
how stable will the rail be after the
area that you are clamping to, in this
case the barrel nut, heats up. To
answer that question, I placed the
completed assembly in the oven and raised its temperature to 300F. Once at temperature I will remove
the assembly and twist on the rail to ensure that metal expansion did not create a stability problem.
Integrity now compels me to share what I call a reviewers moment with you because it was truly
hilarious!



When I first ran the heat test, I did not have the barrel nut tightened down why would I, my barrel did
not arrive in time for the review. So, I sat down, confirmed that my methodology was reasonable, and
began heating the assembly up to 300F. At temperature, I pulled it out of the oven and applied
torqueing pressure to the rail. Damn, the rail started turning. Wow Nelly! Whats this, said I? So, I
wasted no time and sat down to craft an e-mail letting OTIS know there was a problem. No more than
30 seconds after I hit the Send key, I realized that what was turning on me was the barrel nut itself.
OTIS Technology MSRS Rail System

Copyright 2014, Towbirds Flying Publication. All Rights Reserved.
Talk about feeling like a dummy. So, I formally extend my apologies to OTIS for this reviewers moment.
They are great group of people, and gracious to the nth degree but Im sure theyre all still laughing.
Moving right along, I tightened down the barrel nut, not to the 30 foot-pound spec because there was
no barrel to torque against but sufficiently to ensure that it would not spin on me again. I then reheated
the assembly and tested the MSRS for stability, which it passed with flying colors.

Theres a lot to like about the MSRS that can be reduced to a one word statement QUALITY; with all of
its obvious and subliminal nuances that define a Tier-1 product. The rails fit and finish is simply
outstanding, and itll get your AR looking closer to a monolithic rail than anything else Ive run across. Of
course, the fact that it is a two piece system machined from 6061-T6 aircraft grade aluminum is highly
desirable but its the overall implementation that tells the story, and the OTIS Technology MSRS has it all
together. Whether retrofitting your carbine length polymer handguards, or doing a new build the OTIS
MSRS will provide you with an outstanding rail system, a lifetime warranty all at an M.S.R.P. of $239.99.
You cannot go wrong and I encourage you to give the MSRS a serious look.

-SP


For additional details visit OTIS Technology

http://www.otistec.com/pc_product_detail.asp?key=55AAD436D5274857BEA3B7DCABC4850C

System Dimension
Overall length- 6.986
Outside width- 2.1
Outside height- 2.3
Inside width- 1.25 (this is the smallest point on the inside of the lower half)
Inside height- 1.98
Weight- .592 LBS