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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Here are some pics and info about the KAC M14 RAS that will hopefully clear up some questions people have.

I bought the RAS planning on using a standard scope with two scope rings, have the ability to mount an M68, use iron sights when the scope isn't attached, and be able to mount accessories on the side rails. The KAC product is good if you are planning on this. If you want to use an ACOG, have a continuous upper rail, or only use a forward mounted optic, this rail system isn't for you. Here is a picture from Knight's Armament of a M14 RAS with accessories installed:


The RAS is sold either as the front section only (P/N 22121-1) or with a stripper clip guide slot mounted rail section (P/N 22121). It will only attach to standard contour barrels. It may fit a medium or heavy barrel with a little gunsmithing. It will attach to any standard stock, even the heavy McMillan M1A. However, with a heavy stock, accessories may or may not be able to be attached to the side rails. The KAC M14 RAS is not compatible with LRB M25 receivers. In "Call Of Duty 4" and in a picture of a US soldier, the KAC RAS is used in conjunction with a standard scope mount. This is only possible with heavy modification and may make the mount less secure. According to the Knight's Armament webiste, it weighs 13 oz. If you add rail covers it will most likely add more weight. It retails for $400-$550. Make sure you get it from a reputable dealer because there are a lot of fakes out there. To see the basic rail set, go here:
http://www.knightarmco.com/mod_weapons_1.htm

It mounts on the rifle with a screw that mounts to a steel adapter that installs into the handguard clip slots, a screw in the receiver's scope mount hole, and a spring clip that holds the front down to the barrel under the front band (just like the M16/M4 RAS and RIS from KAC). The rear rail section has an adapter that is attached to the receiver with a roll pin and is adjustable for elevation with a torx screw. Here is a picture of where it mounts:

The front rail section is very secure, even though it doesn't look like it. A forward mounted optic or day/night laser would hold their zeros well. The rear scope guide section isn't as sturdy. The adapter piece that installs in the groove on the receiver is not a tight fit. I could "jiggle" the piece with a scope ring installed. A scope mounted to it would probably be "minute of man", but it was too loose for me. I designed a new adapter for the rear rail section and had a machinist make it. My designed part has much better tolerances than the KAC part and is secured by two set screws instead of a roll pin. I am able to adjust the rear scope rail left and right to adjust for zero. Here is a picture of the new adapter with the rail attached and mounted to the rifle:

I have seen many people with their scopes mounted to the rear rail section and never heard any complaints. Maybe my part was out of spec and others are a better fit, I don't know. You can still mount a traditional scope without the rear rail section if you purchase a cantilever scope mount and mount it facing to the rear.

I chose to use rail covers on mine to have a more user friendly grip. I don't like exposed rail sections on any of my rifles. There are clip slots half way down the RAS and at the end of the RAS to hold them in place. It only comes with 2 black 11 rib rail covers, but you can get more in various sizes for $3-$25 depending on size and color. If you want full size rail covers to cover the rear half of the RAS, you need to take out a Dremel and relieve some material on the underside of the panels. If you want to use Ergo rail covers of ladder rail covers, they will only work on the very front portion of the rail. Here are some pics of my RAS installed (still waiting on the rear rail section):


http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk148/pezboytate/Firearms/?action=view&current=HPIM2268.jpg
http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk148/pezboytate/Firearms/?action=view&current=HPIM2265.jpg

If you would like a .pdf with installation instructions and more pics of the RAS disassembled and assembled, PM me.
Also, If anyone else has a KAC M14 RAS and wants to post their experience with it, please do so.
Dustin
 

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Thats kinda neat looking for an equipment hanger. Not for me but I can see merit in it.
 

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That's a nice looking setup.

I've always liked the Knight RAS, but there way overpriced to me. There honestly worth about $150 at most. It's were there's room for more railed handguards still.
I'd love one that didn't have side rails since I wouldn't want to put pressure on the gas system and effect the barrel, but also one where the rail was only half way down on top from starting at the receiver. It would save weight and I wouldn't put anything that far forward myself for balance.
 

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This is how I ended up getting my SAGE Picatinney rail section to work correctly and align with the top cover, it may help with your rail section too.
The tiny set screw on the Sage Pica' section sucks, I popped the Allen head the first time I attempted to install it and to add insult to injury, the rail section did not align with the top cover.
I got the screw back out by using a Torx driver and promptly decided on a better solution.
I chose a Allen drive 6X32X1" cap screw and clearanced the Picatinney section to allow it to fit fully down into the screw hole,
Next I determined how many threads I needed to bottom the screw at the base of the dovetail and then turned down the majority of the threaded shank to .090" which allows a press fit in the dovetail roll pin through hole, I then cut 5/16" off the bottom of the screw shank to clearance for the bolt.
When installed in this manner the rail section will align with the top cover because the roll pin through hole is centered to the receiver and the rail section will not move due to stresses or hard impact.

The screws, original plug screw on left, modified cap screw on right.
These pictures depict all parts prior to final finishing.

This shows how the cap screw fits and the clearance for installing it.
The clearancing in no way affects the structure or integrity of the rail slot, a scope ring will still grip tight with no movement.

Proof is in the alignment.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
That's a nice looking setup.

I've always liked the Knight RAS, but there way overpriced to me. There honestly worth about $150 at most. It's were there's room for more railed handguards still.
I'd love one that didn't have side rails since I wouldn't want to put pressure on the gas system and effect the barrel, but also one where the rail was only half way down on top from starting at the receiver. It would save weight and I wouldn't put anything that far forward myself for balance.
I agree on the price, but I have a self control issue GI1 . The side rails don't touch anything on the barrel. It is basically free float except for two small nubs on the top of the barrel. It probably doesn't affect the barrel, and if it does it will be consistent. The Ultimak rail might be something you would like. I don't know how it mounts, but it is a top rail only and is a cheaper alternative.
Dustin
 

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Discussion Starter #7
This is how I ended up getting my SAGE Picatinney rail section to work correctly and align with the top cover, it may help with your rail section too.
The tiny set screw on the Sage Pica' section sucks, I popped the Allen head the first time I attempted to install it and to add insult to injury, the rail section did not align with the top cover.
I got the screw back out by using a Torx driver and promptly decided on a better solution.
Thanks for the illustration. What are you using in the scope rings to check the alignment? That is pretty much what I'm doing. The set screw mod would have worked, but the tolerances in the dovetails were to loose for it to work. I drew up a few different solutions for the machinist, so hopefully one of them will work. The difficulties were keeping the part small yet secure, and having to only use a small set screw in receiver's clip guide.
Dustin
 

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They are scope ring alignment bars.
They work the same as Lathe alignment bars or buttons.

I made mine but you can buy them from Brownells.HTH
 

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I think the RAS is a great piece of gear, but way too much $$$. For the same money, you are talking about getting into a complete chassis system (ie. Sage, Troy, Vltor, etc).
 

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I purchased a KA M14 RAS for a LRB build Ron Smith did in 04. An 18" M14 with a RAS is plenty heavy compared to the M4 I toted in the Middle East without going to yet heavier systems annotated here. My goal was a 762 launching system, limited weight gain, a red dot optic, a white light, and the option for a PEQ or visible laser. Ron Smith advised me there are better setups for a traditional optic. He is correct as usual. For me personally a red dot optic is good to at least 300 yds. I can use stripper clips if desired and if one uses the 2 or 3 series aimpoints and a six screw Badger ring the optic is intimately close to the rail. I have not tried the T-1 but it seems to be a likely match. No offense but when I see optics on M14s that require a chin weld my sentiment is to chuckle. Most were designed for AR use. The test and true value of a M14 RAS is not the opinion of the single user, I've only put a few thousand rds down range with mine installed, but in combat and with the guys using them out forward today.
Are they worth the dough...what does an op rod go for now days? The M14 is a hand built, hand fitted, old school forged machine. Many of the guys really like them, and so do the guys next to them. They require a skilled armorer to properly build if intended to be used as a real world battle rifle; i.e. lots of dough.
 

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They require a skilled armorer to properly build if intended to be used as a real world battle rifle; i.e. lots of dough.
Thank you for your service, and more importantly your safe return home!!
I disagree with you on this point concerning the M14. Even with an AR build, you aren't going to have guys putting them together in the field, and the upgraded Sage/EBR's really don't require battalion level refit or work. I really think that is a key for breathing new life into the M14 platform; the EBR chassis improves the accuracy (over the M4/M16), and with the collapsible stock, it has a lot more tactical applications.

I do respect, and very much enjoy the Knight's products. I think they are very well engineered built, however within the civilian context of our rifles, the price (to me) doesn't reflect the "value" of the RAS system. You could easily spend a little more and get a Sage or Troy complete tactical chassis system. (ie. ditching the traditional GI stock)
 

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The sole reason I modify SAGE stock and offer the information freely on the internet is to improve the system and make it more in field user friendly.

There is no reason to send a soldier into the field with a weapon he cannot field strip to its component parts and reassemble without resorting to a trip to the depot level repair center.

Granted this requires the operator to carry additional tools into the field but they aren't excessive in number or weight.

I can still clip strip rounds into the magazines using the seperate magazine loader included in every bandoleer of clipped ammunition.

The SAGE is a good system that can be made better and more field use friendly.

There is one BIG advantage the KAC-Ras offers, it fully encloses the exposed side of the operating rod.
 

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Allow me to clarify my post regarding the M14 RAS, dollars, and the thrust of my thoughts.
The M14 RAS is expensive. So is most every aspect of the rifle today if built for combat. The M14 RAS does allow for most of the gear desired today by modern combatants. Is it perfect...of course not. There are better systems for 1K shots and some don't give a rats about lights and such.
I wasn't referring to field maintenance, mods, or adaptations once in theater. I was referring to the footing and foundation of the build. Today M4/16s are assembled by "assemblers" at Colt and FN. Few of them are armorers as per the design. Simplicity is good in war. That is part of the reason the Soviets won in the mid 40s. The M14 is complex and should be hand fitted. Perhaps this is part of why we like them. But it requires a proper foundation provided by a shrinking number of qualified armorers. Virtually everything of value associated with them is pricy. Its a limited market even with military demand. We don't win wars with rifles anymore. Today, we win wars with armor, artillery, and air power. I'm with you...I want the best gear I can get my hands on. However, there is simply no way around that being pricy and it is especially true with the M14.
Pezboy's version of the modern M14 is virually identical to mine without the super-wam-a-dime paint. Looks great! I noticed it months ago. Had I only been able to return fire with something simlar it would have made my day with authority.
 

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I agree on the price, but I have a self control issue GI1 . The side rails don't touch anything on the barrel. It is basically free float except for two small nubs on the top of the barrel. It probably doesn't affect the barrel, and if it does it will be consistent. The Ultimak rail might be something you would like. I don't know how it mounts, but it is a top rail only and is a cheaper alternative.
Dustin

I don't want the side rails because using them will put pressure on the barrel through pulling on the handguard itself from the sling attachment that I don't prefer. I prefer to just attach my slings to a standard or Versa-Pod sling loop in traditional position since the stock is controlled well enough with a top of the buttstock positioned sling point like with the BlueForceGear adapters I use to keep it stable against the body when loose. Than the sling also goes to a natural position if you put pressure on it when you've got the rifle up and aiming it, so any pressure goes to the stock where it should be.

The side rails only add additional weight at that point, and I've no need for a light or laser on my M1A's. Some guys have other needs obviously, but than there are already railed handguards like the Knight RAS that serve those needs.

The Ultimak's don't completely start optics mounting at the receiver so your forced to have an optic more forward same as with an Amega Ranges handguard mount.
The market seems to have a gap with a good solid M14 handguard optics mount that is basically slim and trim for weight savings with just a solid strip of picattiny rail on top starting from the receiver only going half way down for the guys that just want to mount an optic there with the rest just more similar to a standard handguard in style just made out of aluminum. I don't know if that gives a good description of what I'm talking about, but I hope so.
There are a few products I've drawn out for the M14/M1A myself and have considered looking for an M14 enthusiast who's also an engineer or capable of expanding the idea's to an actual prototype/product, that would like to partner up on it.




DI5
 

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Discussion Starter #17
The VLTOR comes in a few different versions. Some extend all the way back to the stripper clip and some are from the receiver forward only. Some are only the top and side rails and some are the top side and bottom rails. It mounts differently than the KAC RAS, but they both utilize the receiver's scope mounting hole. The quad rail VLTOR is rather bulky and most likely heavier than the KAC RAS. The standard VLTOR and the KAC RAS are probably about the same weight. You can use the iron sights with both. The VLTOR is only sold through Springfield Armory, Inc.
Dustin
 
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