ERGO Z Float Rail Review

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*[ This guest post was written by Timothy Yan ]*

Falcon Industries’ ERGO Z Float Rail series has a unique 2-piece design that it can be installed without taking the barrel off. This handguard is great for those AR owners that don’t own any gunsmith tool and those that have an AR with permanently attached muzzle device.

To install the ERGO Z Float Rail, the Delta ring assembly needs to be removed. The simple way to do so is by cutting the ring and spring off carefully with a small rotary cutter or a hacksaw. I recommend wrapping the surrounding areas with duct taps to protect them from any slip of the cutter. Of course, if you have the proper gunsmith tools to take apart the barrel assembly, the Z Rail can be install like any typical free float handguard.

The ERGO handguard mounts on to the stock barrel nut and uses six long bolts to lock it in place. The two halves are lock together by two short tapped screws in the front and two in the back. There are cut grooves on rear of both the handguard pieces that fit on the stock barrel nut’s teeth for the proper alignment.

The new 10” extended carbine-length Z Rail M-4 “Over Shoot” model features an open-top front section to fit the A2 front sight or a rail gas block. The standard 7” model mounts flush against the front sight base. The ERGO Z Float Rail is compatible with Adams Arms and most other AR gas piston systems.

Steve Hine from Falcon Industries had informed me that they are releasing updated versions of the Z Rail handguard. The new versions have additional lightening cuts on the inner surfaces. The locking mechanism had also been simplified by eliminating the steel locking plates. The six side locking bolts are now using threaded inserts that are built into the two halve pieces. The total weight will be few ounces lighter on the new versions.

**Size**: 7-inch carbine length and 10-inch Extended Carbine Length
**Type**: Quad-rail, 2-piece design
**Weight**: 13.2 oz and 15 oz
**Construction**: CNC aircraft-grade aluminum
**Inside Diameter**: 1.15”
**Continuous Top Rail**: Yes
**Anti-Rotational Mechanism**: locks onto the stock barrel nut
**QD Sling Swivel Socket**: No
**Finishing**: Smooth Black hard coat anodized finish
**Blunted machining edges**: Yes
**Removable for maintenance**: Yes

Price: $170 and $190 MSRP, 3 low-profile ERGO rail covers included.

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Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • Mike

    How wide is it compared to a Daniel Defense Omega?

    • Bill

      A note – the Omega (I have one) does not require the delta ring to be cut but it’s substantially more expensive than this Ergo rail.

      Agree that width is a consideration as the Omega is thin but weight is a consideration for me. DD 7″ Omega is under 8 oz. vs the 13.2 for Ergo.

      I like that 3 ladder rail covers are included (they’re also included with the Omega). Price point is right @ retail of $170-$190 for a brand name quad rail. Street price should be lower. A credit to Ergo in these new systems especially when the industry seems to be going tubular rails.

      • 18D

        Tubular forends are absolutely the way to go for most applications. I’ve been running a VTAC/JP forend for years now and the ergonomics are outstanding! The only quad rail I use is the DD RISII which is the slimmest quad rail I have ever used, and since it comes in 12.5in and 9.5in, it fulfills any use I might have. The Omega rail is great, but its kind of a “bargain” rail from DD. The OmegaX and Lite Rails are both a step up from the standard Omega.

        DD RISII, VTAC/JP, and Troy TRX VTAC are the best rails on the market. I wouldn’t use anything else on a fighting rifle.

      • W
      • Other Steve

        18D: I gotta disagree on the RISII, I hated mine. It was huge and heavy, and it turns out I didn’t like the older style attachment that is gone now on the newer DD rails (big side screws).

        I’m even selling my DD OmegaX 9″ because I’m just never going to need that much rail on an SBR.

        I really can’t imagine any reason other than to look cool that I’d get a quad rail ever again.

        Side note, I physically shutter when I think of holding an AR with one of those BS super wide YHM round quad rails… ugh, so bad!

      • 18D

        @W- Hell yes! Thanks for the link and thanks for the info on the other thread. That Noveske VTAC rifle is exactly how I run my AR’s. High quality 16in barrel with a long round forend is perfect for my shooting style and my needs. I might just buy that very model from Noveske. It would be perfect for 3 gun competition and the high round count I will probably subject it to. If it can shoot 1 MOA like you said, then that will be plenty accurate for fast paced competition where 500yds is the max range most stages would be likely to have. Thanks again, you pretty much read my mind!

        @Other Steve- I agree with you on pretty much everything you said. I don’t understand why anyone would want a quad rail when all it does is add weight and bulk. My go to rifles all have round free float tubes with either a full length top rail built in or completely slick with accessories only in the places I need them. However, I do like the DD RISII. Of course I’m a little bias. I spent a great deal of time with that rail system on my M4A1 overseas and its the slimmest quad rail I’ve ever used. But, I only use the RISII on my 14.5 barrel M4 and 10.3in barrel MK18 copies. I wanted to build the two guns I had when I was in the military. I do shoot them quite a bit bit they’re not my first choice for really anything I do in the civilian world. Lightweight free float forends like the JP/VTAC are truly the best choice in my opinion for damn near everything.

      • W

        18, take it for what it is, but in my honest opinion, that would be the finest rifle for a 3-gun competition. That rifle i linked is incredibly practical, rugged, and stupid accurate for a combat weapon. In a practical sense, a combat rifle capable of achieving 1 MOA or less is a blatant overachiever.

        Perhaps I am bias. My Noveske is this same exact rifle because I too fell in love with round free float tubes after first hearing about the AMU’s praise for them. I was skeptical, though I dropped quad rails like a bad habit after participating in several speed shoots and close quarters marksmanship. Oh, if you’re like me, and are interested in attaching a flashlight and IR laser, there’s the JP tactical rail kits to accommodate you (mine will fit a AN/PEQ15). Round free float tubes are comfortable, lightweight, easy to clean, and more practical for private firearms owners than quad rails.

    • Other Steve

      Since the Omega is not free float, the question is, how does this compare to the omegaX?

      I have a 9″ OmegaX, from he pictures at least it seems like it has a superior mounting system compared to this model. I also like the transition from the receiver better on the DD, this one looks big and blocky.

      QD swivels in the DD are nice too.

      • Bill

        Omega is a free float rail according to DD and having one myself, I can see that it’s free floated.

        https://danieldefense.com/rail-systems/omega-rail.html

        “The Omega Rail ™ is the ONLY free float rail system that accommodates individual operator installations requiring ZERO modification to the host weapon!”

        Back to Ergo – the price point is a good one, especially for a free floated quad rail.

      • Other Steve

        Yep my mistake. It’s their EZ rail I was thinking of. However, I still would not consider Omega attaching to the delta ring to be the epitome of “free float”. More like free-er float.

        But really does it matter? Who even wants a quad rail now? As the other thread goes on about, quad rails are pretty much over with.

    • Timothy Yan

      The width is 1.91 inch or 48mm on both the Ergo rails.

      • Other Steve

        Same as the OmegaX which I find pleasant. But as above, I’m personally done with quad rails.

  • Lance

    Looks awesome too bad it cover the bayonet lug. But like most rail covers its the weight and width that concerns me some the cheap NC Stars are way too heavy and wide to use practically. I went to a el-cheapo CAA quad rail that’s polymer and was glad to it was far lighter than the metal ones.

    • Other Steve

      You are using a (and admitting to owning a) CAA polymer quad rail? And you’re concerned about not having access to the bayonet lug?

      Wtf?

      • W

        I think one shouldn’t be overly concerned with covering their bayonet lug or not having one for that manner :)

        I personally believe bayonets are still useful, even in the 21st century, and the fact that the army no longer trains in their use is abysmal to say the least. Hand-to-hand combat, with and without a bayonet, is an essential infantry discipline.

    • Lance

      Now Now Other Steve NO Course words! I know you hate them but they work just fine with me and there light weight and are small diameter so easy to grip.

  • jdun

    It weight a lot but for $150 it’s pretty good for the money.

    • Other Steve

      If it weights a lot it isn’t worth anything to me. I’ve been there and done that with heavy rails, quad rails, and combinations of the two.

      I sold my DD RIS II because it was too heavy. I’m selling my DD OmegaX because it’s too raily.

      I’d be extremely unhappy with a heavy quad rail. Compared to this, I’d pay more for a Magpul MOE. Much better form and function, just as many options for accessories.

      • jdun1911

        I personally think Magpul MOE Handguard is a downgrade from the standard furniture. The only MOE rifle line I like are their pistol grips.

      • Bill

        You’re suggesting going from a free float Omega X and going to a non-free float Magpul MOE cover for grip?

  • Other Steve

    As 18D said.

    Quad rails were cool for awhile and one of my AR’s has a DD OmegaX (that I’m selling), but anyone that’s ever held used one will tell you they suck to hold without adding extra covers (weight) to them. It’s dumb.

    Who really needs space for buis, laser, light, angle mounted mrds, foregrip, bipod, and sling adapter ALL at the same time? F that.

    IMO the only acceptable list comes something like

    M4 style factory tube halves
    Magpul MOE
    NON-ROUND / thin modular rail (KAC URX III is really nice)
    Mega Monolithic modular v2 / LaRue OBR style

    And pretty much nothing else. In fact, I would take the Magpul MOE before almost ANY quad rail.

    • Ian

      You should get your hands on a Wilson Combat TRIM then. They’re very comfortable and their attachment mounting system is the best on the market.

      • Other Steve

        I refuse to pay the Wilson Premium. They’ve tried to pass of $1/rnd subsonic 9mm. The 7.62×40 Won’t Take is an out right joke compared to 300blk. And their 1911 parts are too pricey for what they are.

        That said, the TRIM rail does look good, and the price is actually fine (for Wilson). I like the machining quite a bit. Not a huge fan of the giant barrel nut/attachment method at first glance.

    • charles222

      Quad rails are far from stupid for people who actually use rifles for a living. I just wrapped up my fourth deployment and here is the evolution of my setup over those:

      Deployment 1 (Afghanistan, 2003-2004): M68, PAQ-4 aiming light.

      Deployment 2: (Iraq, 2005-2006) M68, PAQ-4 aiming light, Surefire light with rail grabber, foregrip.

      Deployment 3: (Iraq, 2006-2007) M68, PAQ-4 aiming light, Surefire, foregrip, bipod. Then I switched my 68 and PAQ-4 for an ACOG and a PEQ-15.

      Deployment 4: ACOG, PEQ-15, AFG, tac light.

      I used all of this stuff practically every time I left the wire.

      YES YOU NEED ALL FOUR RAILS. You can’t switch equipment on and off the rail system. They’re not a bear to handle, either.

      • W

        I <3 the PEQ15 :)

        Im more of a EOtech guy…

      • 18D

        @charles222- I spent 9 yrs in the Army and the majority of that time was in SF. I used the standard KAC M4 RAS, the DD RISII, and the PRI free float tube. Out of all those the PRI (MK12 MOD0 T2) was the most comfortable to shoot. Quad rails should be dead right now but the military and LEO communities continue to keep them alive.

        NO YOU DON’T NEED A QUAD RAIL. The point we’ve all been trying to make is that you can mount everything you mentioned on a free float tube just as well as a quad rail. When all is said and done, you’ll have a gun that is lighter and much easier to shoot.

      • Obama’12

        You ant never been in the military. if you have i spit on you. military=murderers. out law guns!!!! no one needs them, just a bunch of red necks thinking a zombie is real. what a joke you gun owners are. Obama will ban them soon.

  • http://www.geeknik.com/ geeknik

    Not a bad option for folks that like that front A2 sight or can’t remove it for whatever reason. I removed the front A2 sight from my barrel, installed a low profile gas block and then put on a YHM Spectre Length Diamond Forearm. Looks pretty slick on my Spike’s M4LE. =)

    • W

      I have never had difficulty removing the A2 sight, even with heavily used rifles. Needless to say, once low profile gas blocks hit the market, I have never turned back. I haven’t had A2 sights on my personal AR15 since I bought my first AR15 copy (from Colt) in the 1990s. I think technology has evolved enough to where they have been made essentially obsolete.

      • Timothy Yan

        The 14.5″ barrel w/ pinned muzzle device and some models for restricted states, on those the muzzle device is welded on. You can’t take out the frontsight base, the Delta ring and the barrel nut unless you cut off the muzzle device. Then have to re-weld it afterward. It’s a major gunsmithing job.

      • W

        Oh ok…haha I forgot about the muzzle devise being welded on! as you can tell, my experience with these firearms is very, very limited (thank god or whatever makes you sane). I appreciate the clarity :)

  • snmp

    You could found same stuff in other brand like Leapers/UTG very near for the 7-inch carbine length (same at NCStar & AIM Sport inc …)

    • Timothy Yan

      DO NOT use airsoft junk on you AR.

    • Lance

      That depends. Some are or where made for real guns but where banned for importation by court of other scope maker. NcStar had a awesome ACOG copy of a TA-01 NSN and was going to sell it for $250. Trijicon found this out hand had tantrum since they want to rip people off selling a $500 scope for $1200 dollars and forced NcStar to not import them. The scopes are good just no tritium. so be careful of what optics you use but read up on them.

    • W

      Im going to go with wat Timothy said, leave the airsoft junk to the airsofters. What really pisses me off is these chinese companies making direct copies to high quality Ar15 products; the best example is Larue scope mounts (which are glaringly easy to spot in person but not online).

      I prefer to spend 800-1,200 for a ACOG because they are made in the United States. People’s attitudes about “cheaper is better” is the reason why globalism has been so devastating. The Chinese can stay on their side and ill stay on mine, im not buying any more of their stuff that im not already forced to buy.

      • 18D

        If you want junk accessories that will fail on you when you need them most, then by all means go buy that NCStar crap.

        Seriously, this stuff pisses me off to no end. What pisses me off even more is the guy who owns the gun store, the one that’s always preaching about self defense, that promotes and sells this junk on their guns. They wanna talk about buying this gun or that gun because the only person that will save you in a time of need is you and yet they try to sell you crap that will get you killed in more ways than one. This is absolute bullshit! I would never in a million years suggest to one of my students to go buy NCStar.

        The mission drives the gear train. Buy high quality accessories. There is no compromise in the real world!

  • farmboy7.62

    Looks like a nice rail. Great article. Nice pictures!

  • Timothy Yan

    Folks please stop comparing the Ergo Z to something that’s 2-3 times the price. The machine work and finish quality on the Ergo Z is as good as the best rail system. The six bolt mounting system is an overkill, they could had just used 2 bolts for it. It’s a heavy duty rail system.

  • Ung Lee

    I have this, the extended version on my 16″ carbine. It works GREAT. Rock solid and easy to install. I went the hack-saw way about the delta ring and pulled everything else off with a pair of plyers. In any case, the only reason that I purchased this product was because of the price. I wasn’t going to buy a cheap free-float rail and just stick with my two piece non free float rail until I saw this online. It is totally worth the money and is overbuilt in terms of strength. It also fits perfectly around the Adams Arms piston kit which I have on my rifle.