by David Crane
Dark Parts has just released their first product–a set of "rubberized" non-slip rail covers/panels that will fit on any mil-spec 1913 picatinny rail system designed for the M4/M4A1 Carbine, including the KAC(Knight’s Armament) RAS, FF RAS, and RAS II, and A.R.M.S. S.I.R. systems. Even better, unlike KAC(Knight’s Armament) rail covers, Dark Parts is in the process of producing rail covers/panels that will fit out-of-spec (i.e. out-of-mil-spec) Knight’s Armament rail systems, which sometimes happens during a production run. So, all of you people with out-of-spec Knight’s Armament or A.R.M.S. S.I.R. rail systems, you will now be able to obtain rail covers that will actually fit them.
By the way, when we say "rubberized", that’s really a misnomer.
According to Dark Parts owner Dave Luke, the coating is actually an advanced "grippy" polymer material, not rubber. According to the company, the proprietary coating can handle very high…
heat without burning, much higher than any infantry soldier will ever see in any kind of adverse condition, not including an actual fire, in which case the point would be moot anyway. In addition to the non-slip polymer material, the new rail covers also incorporate an interesting raised pattern that appears to be a form of stippling for even more "gripability"(I know, that’s probably not a real word.). This recurring "stippling" pattern actually looks like some kind of weird alien symbol. You’ll have to view it for yourself to see what I’m talking about.
Getting back to a relevant point, initial reviews of the rail covers appear to be very positive. According to the company, Dark Parts rail covers/panels are already in use with a number of U.S. military Spec-Ops operators in the Middle East, and those that are currently using them in the field have requested that more be sent ASAP for the rest of their teams (Needless to say, this is a very good sign). Specifically, these military operators seem to appreciate the aforementioned "gripability" advantage that the polymer-coated rail covers provide.
The only negative comments DefRev has heard so far is that some people find them a little too thick for their tastes, due to the slightly larger grip circumferance created by the non-slip polymer coating. We believe Dark Parts plans to offer a slightly thinner version in the future as an option, although we don’t yet have confirmation. The only other negative we’ve heard is that the Dark Parts rail covers don’t currently incorporate any venting holes (or is it "ventilation" holes?).
DefRev has spoken to Dark Parts about this last issue, and Dave Luke, owner of Dark Parts, has said he is going to address it quickly. So, ventilation holes are coming. We just don’t know at this point whether Dark Parts will be offering a separate version with the holes, or if all Dark Parts rail covers will come with holes in the future.
DefRev does plan to T&E these Dark Parts rail covers as soon as possible. Once we do, we’ll provide a complete report, along with pics.
Click here to see some cool pics of the Dark Parts rail covers and get more info about them on an AR15.com thread.
You can read another AR15.com thread for even more pics and info about Dark Parts rail covers by clicking on this link.
If you would like to purchase a set of Dark Parts rail covers, Excalibur Arms, Inc. out of Palm City, Florida carries them. They can be reached by phone at 772-285-2353, or via email at Excaliburarms@sr-25.com. From what DefRev understands, they are an authorized Dark Parts dealer.