Iron Eagle Tactical: Ruger SR-22 Rails Review
Recently I got a Ruger SR-22 Rifle to review and I was pleased to see that Ruger was offering a tactical version of their accurate and reliable 10/22 rifle. You can see the review by going to this link. The one key item that this rifle was lacking was rails on the hand guard. When I started looking for rails, I found two sources that provide these custom rails specifically for the SR-22. One source was from Ruger and the other was Iron Eagle Tactical. After taking a quick look at the Iron Eagle products, it was clear to me that Iron Eagle is serious about providing custom high quality products for the SR-22. I got in touch with the owner of Iron Eagle and we thoroughly discussed the products his company offers. During the course of our conversation, it became clear that Iron Eagle is offering products that are the result of feedback from the guys out on the front lines. The owner also seemed passionate about the quality of his products and the customer service his company provides. At the end of the call, I was extremely excited about receiving his products to accessorize my Ruger SR-22 rifle.
Some of the key features of the Iron Eagle Tactical Rails are as follows.
This new E-Tac Rail System has three critical features that are different from the traditional Picatinny rail. The first feature is that the slots are not square slots, but instead have a 1/8" full radius on the bottom. This feature is supposed to provide more strength to the rail and reduce any free play of accessories in the slot. Being a mechanical engineer, I can clearly understand that the shape does increase the strength of the rail. The second feature is the bottom of the rails have a channel which is perfect for running wires of various laser and light accessory switches. The third feature is something Iron Eagle calls the Combat Draft System, which are slots that are cut crosswise in the bottom of the rail to allow more airflow to the hand guard and rail to allow increased cooling capability. You can read more about the E-Tac system by going to the Iron Eagle Tactical website.
The three photos below are of the Model 106c (Short Lower Rail) which show the shape of the slots, the wire channel, and crosswise slot for cooling. Personally, I think the rounded bottom slots give the rail an upgraded look from the traditional square slots in addition to the functional enhancement.
When you go the Iron Eagle Tactical website and start looking at rails for the SR-22 rifle, the website may seem a little confusing at first. Essentially, you can purchase the products as individual rails or as two separate kits. For me, the confusion was when I wanted the tall top rail which was not included in any kit.
In this review, I cover each of the individual rails, discuss the contents of each kit, and show the rails installed on my rifle.
Model 106b - Side/Top Rails
Three of the Model 106b Side/Top Rails come in each one of the kits. This rail can be used on the sides or top of the hand guard. If you remove the swivel stud, the rail could also be installed on the bottom of the hand guard. When you order a set of rails, they will come in a bubble wrapped envelope and inside they are wrapped and labeled as shown below. Not fancy, but they are in great condition when they arrive and that is the important thing. One of the Model 106b rails sells for $47.50.
The rails have an odd pattern of holes as well as one slot. This configuration allows the rail to be installed on either the sides or the top of the rifle. One thing that Ruger did on the hand guard was they put a 5 hole pattern based on a 1.75" spacing on the top and a 4 hole pattern based on a 2.00" hole spacing on the sides and bottom of the hand guard.
The photo below shows these rails installed on the top and sides of the hand guard. The top rail is flipped around compared to the side rails so that the holes in the rail line up properly with the holes in the hand guard. Clicking on a photo brings up a high resolution photo.
This rail measures 9.00" in length (mid length hand guard) and weighed in at 2.1 ounces each.
Model 106a - Full Bottom Rail
This rail is the same as the previous rails except it has an extra slot to allow it to go around the swivel stud. The swivel stud on the Ruger SR-22 fastens the barrel support block to the hand guard. If you want to keep the support block and still have a full rail, you have to keep the swivel stud which requires the slot. Length and weight of this full bottom rail were the same as the previous rail, 9.00" and 2.1 ounces. This rail sells for $47.50.
This photo shows the full bottom rail installed on the hand guard. The swivel stud protrudes slightly (0.035") above the rail surface, but I was still able to install a flashlight over this area. You can also see that two of the holes are not used.
Model 106c - Short Bottom Rail
If you took the Model 106a or 106b (top/side or full bottom rails) and cut it down to 5.80", you end up with the Short Bottom Rail. The hole pattern in this rail also allows for it to be installed on the sides or top if desired. This rail sells for $37.50.
This rail measured 5.80" and weighed in at 1.4 ounces.
The photo below shows the Short Bottom Rail installed on the hand guard. The rear most hole is not used for fastening the rail.
This next photo shows the Model 106b Side and Top Rails along with the Model 106c Short Bottom Rail and a Shooter Ridge swivel stud mounted bipod.
Model 103a - Top Rail
This rail is specifically designed at a height equal to the top rail on the receiver of the rifle. Iron Eagle Tactical actually made two versions of this rail, Models 103a and 103b. Model 103a is longer and protrudes forward 1.25" past the end of the hand guard. Model 103b is intended to stop flush with the end of the hand guard. The photos below show Model 103a (the longer rail). These rails sell for $59.95.
This rail measured 11.63" and weighed in at 3.85 ounces.
The photo below shows my Ruger SR-22 rifle with Model 103a Top Rail, two Model 106b Side Rails, and the Model 106a Bottom Rail with a UTG Tactical OP-1 Bipod.
Model 101 & 102 - Kits
Iron Eagle Tactical has two kits of rails. Each kit contains three of the Model 106b Side/Top Rails and either one Model 106a Full Bottom Rail (Kit Model 101) or one Model 106c Short Bottom Rail (Kit Model 102). Each of these kits of rails sells for $179.00 each, which saves you either $11 or $1 compared to purchasing the rails separately. If you are wanting the top rail shown above, I would recommend purchasing the rails separately.
At this point I have been studying these rails for about a week and have formed a very fond opinion of Iron Eagle's products. I'm pleased with the way the rails fit on my rifle. Each rail dropped in place and I could easily get all the screws installed. The top rail aligned nicely with the rail mounted on the receiver. The finish of the rails closely matched that of the hand guard and Nordic components of the SR-22 rifle. The radius bottom slots have an attractive look. The surface of the rails is free of tooling marks and has a smooth even surface. The only thing that may be of concern for some people will be the price, but these are clearly quality rails and I believe at this time they are being manufactured in smaller batches, which is directly affects price. If you are interested in rails for your Ruger SR-22 rifle I highly recommend you checking out the Iron Eagle Tactical products. Iron Eagle also manufactures Brush Guards and Flash Suppressors which I will cover in a future review.
One thing I can say for sure, is that the Iron Eagle Tactical Rails produce an attractive configuration for your rifle. Eventually I plan to acquire a holographic site, iron backup sights, and hopefully a night vision attachment for this rail configuration.
The photo below shows other possibilities that exist for the Ruger SR-22 Rifle using some of the other Iron Eagle Tactical components such as a Combat Brush Guard and Talon (Flash Hider) along with a few other accessories (Shooters Ridge Bipod, Barska Green Laser, UTG Swatforce Tactical 200 Lumens Flashlight, UTG Foldable Foregrip, Black Dog Machine 50 Round Drum Magazine, NcStar 3-12x50E Scope, Mako AR15 Butt Stock). And yes, I can actually see over/around the laser with my scope.