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Thread: Best-of AR-15 rails / What is Wedge Lock and why do I need it?

  1. #1

    Best-of AR-15 rails / What is Wedge Lock and why do I need it?

    I'm in the process of building an AR-15 pistol with a 12.5" barrel. It's my first AR I've owned in several years. Use will be recreational (otherwise I'd buy a pre-made gun/upper), with the caveats that I appreciate quality parts and that it's possible it might see an adventure camp carbine class or two. I'm looking at a rail length of between 10" and ~11.5".

    Use-wise:
    - It will have a front BUIS mounted
    - It will have a rifle light mounted probably at the 11 o'clock position
    - It will have a handstop of some sort mounted
    - It should be MLOK and reasonably lightweight (i.e. does not have to be the lightest rail on the market)
    - It will likely never see an IR laser and has no need to maintain zero with such a device
    - It will likely never be attached to anything or anybody falling out of an airplane

    First, the wedge lock stuff... what is it and why do I need it? Of the wedge lock offerings:

    - Hodge seems to be vaporware unless I want to pay the equipment exchange markup, but they offer two lengths in my range.
    - ZEV appears to have the older MEGA design with some material change, but not in a length I'd want.
    - SOLGW has a new offering and comes in a length I'd want, but I'd be going off reputation only as it's a new entrant to the market.

    All three offerings are stretching what I think is a reasonable price for an aluminum tube with some milling, but I am willing to pay that. Is there anything else I should consider?

    Of the non-wedge lock stuff... I like Geissele as a business and I think their $750 Super Duty guns are a great service to that community, but they unfortunately bracket my chosen length (9.5" and 13" offerings) unless I find a MK4 FBI rail.

    Blog post aside, for somebody who's been out of the AR game since ~2014 what are the best-of options?

  2. #2
    I've been really happy with my URX 4 rails. They came installed on the SR15 uppers I bought, and I'm not really one to change a lot of things out. I prefer to leave things stock, but even if I were putting together an upper from scratch I'd still look really hard at the URX 4.

    Very light weight, and relatively slim.

    ETA: Sorry I can't comment on the Wedgelock rails since I've never even seen one in person.
    Last edited by ChknLivrNWsky; 02-10-2019 at 10:59 PM.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssb View Post
    I'm in the process of building an AR-15 pistol with a 12.5" barrel. It's my first AR I've owned in several years. Use will be recreational (otherwise I'd buy a pre-made gun/upper), with the caveats that I appreciate quality parts and that it's possible it might see an adventure camp carbine class or two. I'm looking at a rail length of between 10" and ~11.5".

    Use-wise:
    - It will have a front BUIS mounted
    - It will have a rifle light mounted probably at the 11 o'clock position
    - It will have a handstop of some sort mounted
    - It should be MLOK and reasonably lightweight (i.e. does not have to be the lightest rail on the market)
    - It will likely never see an IR laser and has no need to maintain zero with such a device
    - It will likely never be attached to anything or anybody falling out of an airplane

    First, the wedge lock stuff... what is it and why do I need it? Of the wedge lock offerings:

    - Hodge seems to be vaporware unless I want to pay the equipment exchange markup, but they offer two lengths in my range.
    - ZEV appears to have the older MEGA design with some material change, but not in a length I'd want.
    - SOLGW has a new offering and comes in a length I'd want, but I'd be going off reputation only as it's a new entrant to the market.

    All three offerings are stretching what I think is a reasonable price for an aluminum tube with some milling, but I am willing to pay that. Is there anything else I should consider?

    Of the non-wedge lock stuff... I like Geissele as a business and I think their $750 Super Duty guns are a great service to that community, but they unfortunately bracket my chosen length (9.5" and 13" offerings) unless I find a MK4 FBI rail.

    Blog post aside, for somebody who's been out of the AR game since ~2014 what are the best-of options?
    All three, Hodge, Zev (Mega) and SOLGW are designed by Jim Hodge and made by ZEV (the former Mega). San Antonio is a relatively small town as far as the gun industry is concerned.

    My understanding is ZEV/Mega make the SOLGW receivers as well. It is likely they make the Hodge receivers as well, at least the Mod 1ís.

    Itís not magic but it is a slim, relatively lightweight rail with a very strong attachment method and minimal rail flex. The latter two are important for maintaining zero on things like front iron sights and more significantly lasers. If you run NODS and your IR laser is your primary sighting system maintaining zero / minimal flex is important. If not, then it is less important.

    The titanium barrel nut cuts weight and helps with heat issues. The rail also has an index pin as a back up to the anti rotation tabs like the Noveske NSR rails.

    What I personally like about the wedge lock rails is they have an ergonomic shape which feels good in the hand, particularly the subtle thumb groove on the 45 degree surface. To me this is what sets them apart from the good quality but blocky Geissele rails.

    BTW Jim Hodge believes 12.5Ē is as short a barrel as one should go for a properly functioning DI AR and it is the shortest length he makes,
    .
    My understanding is the Mega versions used to be 6061 Aluminum vs 7075 for the actual Hodges though I was told that changed and they are now all 7075.
    Last edited by HCM; 02-10-2019 at 11:21 PM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChknLivrNWsky View Post
    I've been really happy with my URX 4 rails. They came installed on the SR15 uppers I bought, and I'm not really one to change a lot of things out. I prefer to leave things stock, but even if I were putting together an upper from scratch I'd still look really hard at the URX 4.

    Very light weight, and relatively slim.

    ETA: Sorry I can't comment on the Wedgelock rails since I've never even seen one in person.
    Nothing wrong with the URX 4 but the wedge lock rail is noticeably slimmer than the URX 4.

  5. #5
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    I thought the 12.5 was more because you could use a mini suppressor on it while still being hearing safe, but not so with the 11.5. At least thats what Chuck said at one point. I do believe the SOLGW rail is supposed to be 7075.

  6. #6
    I absolutely adore my 13.625" Hodge wedge lock. If I could, I'd have one on every AR I own and ever will own. Word on the street, unfortunately, is that they're only going to get harder to find and that the P-Lock system is what you're more likely to find with Jim's stamp on it. I think it was mentioned on AR Build Junkie that he has another rail design in the works, but there's no further details on that yet.

    That said, Triarc Systems also has their own take on the wedge lock coming out too, called the Trilok rail. These differ from the Hodge/Zev/SOLGW offerings in that they have full length M-LOK slots on all 7 faces of the rail and include integral sling swivels. They're also available in 5 different lengths. https://triarcsystems.com/product/tr...ded-mlok-rail/
    Last edited by einherjarvalk; 02-11-2019 at 12:34 AM.

  7. #7
    Midwest Industry's new rails are extremely robust, lightweight, solid barrel nut/rail interface, and easy to instal (no timing). Arisaka light mounts are excellent for Surefire and Streamlight Scout style lights. Both companies stand behind their products.
    Last edited by Paul Blackburn; 02-11-2019 at 05:03 AM.

  8. #8
    I cheated and bought an assembled SOLGW M4-76 12.5" upper -- it made more sense than assembling one. So... I have a wedge lock rail coming.

    Thanks all for the input.

  9. #9


    I still think BCM's rail mounting method is the best I've seen.
    .
    -----------------------------------------
    ^^^ DAO dork ^^^

  10. #10
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    South Central Us
    Quote Originally Posted by OlongJohnson View Post


    I still think BCM's rail mounting method is the best I've seen.
    I'm a fan of the HODGE method. I do not know how everything else does, but I know the Hodge is a rock. I love the Wedge, but personally, I am a fan of the PLOK. I own both. The PLOK is not picky about accessories, while the Wedge is "Gonna be slim, work with me!" His new rail will be a cross between the two and should be pure money. The sexy thing about it, is they all use the same barrel nut, and Hodge gear sells for what it retails for as long as it's in 1 piece still, so you can try and flip until you find your Goldilocks.

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