Guns, Guns and More Guns!

Airsoft Rail Salient Arms AR-15

In the past couple months, Salient Arms International sold matched uppers and lowers. They were on sale for $350. I bought a set and in the past two weeks, built my poorman’s version of the Salient Tier 1 AR-15. For those not familiar with the Tier 1, here is a review.

SAI receiver

I used a spare Troy Carbine as a donor for most of the parts. Harvesting everything from the upper receiver from the BCG to the barrel and the gas block. At first I transplanted everything.

Salient Arms Panda

Troy SAI

But this is not the same as the Tier 1. The Tier 1 uses a LVOA rail from Warsport. Warsport does not sell their rail separately. So I went to airsoft for my solution. A Hong Kong based company makes a replica LVOA style rail called Wire Cutter Rail System. I originally bought one for my S&W M&P15-22.


Here it is after some rattle can paint. Note that Rustoleum Camo Army Green is nothing like Army Green. I was expecting something close to Foliage Green but that is not what I got.

15-22 b

After some range tests, the WCRS rail worked great on the .22LR 15-22. Now it was time to step up to a bigger caliber. So I got another one and installed it on my Salient Arms upper receiver.

15-22 a

Here is the result of that build. A real Salient Tier 1 uses a 14.5″ barrel with a rifle gas system. I am using my Troy 16″ mid length barrel. Which is why my VG6 Precision Gamma 556 muzzle brake extends past the rail system.

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I went out and test fired this setup and the rail held up great.

Now I know some of you will jump to bash the use of airsoft components on a real gun. While there are plenty of sub-par products out there and some of them can be unsafe, the difference in a handguard is not that significant. The barrel nut threaded on perfectly to my Salient upper receiver and the hand guard mounts to the steel barrel nut just like a real handguard. According to my friend at AngryGun, they use 6061 aluminum to make their handguards. Do I advocate using airsoft rails on real guns? Yes and no. It all depends on how well the rail was made. Many airsoft components are casted. Similar to MIM parts and they are not strong enough to withstand recoil of a real firearm.