I recently had the chance to try some AR-15 furniture from Exos Defense, a Kentucky based molding company. Their TI-7 Buttstock and KWIKGUARD Rail Covers may not be well known, but they should be. If they do happen to look familiar to you, it because these used to be distributed through Tactical Intent and a number of other outlets.
KWIKGUARD Rail Covers
The KWIKGUARD Rail Covers are some of the best rail covers that I have used. They are slim, easy to install and uninstall, and they have the most aggressive texture of any rail covers I have tried.
The aggressive texture is provided by molded in, diamond pattern “checkering.” The points of the diamonds are fairly sharp – not in a painful way, but in a very grippy way. It is comfortable enough to use with bare hands and aggressive enough to work well with gloves. They got the texture right on these though I do wish they would just do away with the raised rib sections and just cover the KWIKGUARD with the checkering.
They are called KWIKGUARD Rail Covers because they just snap into place. You just position the cover right where you want it, hook one side on the rail, press down, and it snaps into place. A fairly stout tug at one of the corners will remove it. I like that they snap on so I don’t have to remove things like flashlight and sling mounts in order to slide them onto the rail.
These are available in 3 sizes that worked well for me. The 6 1/8” covers are good for covering a lot of a rail in large open spaces. The 3 5/8” covers are great for filling in on rails that already have something like a vertical grip or handstop mounted. The 1 7/8” covers are perfect for use in front of the vertical grip on my rails since I tend to run my grip out pretty far which doesn’t leave much space.
It is almost criminal that the TI-7 Buttstock is not better known. It combines several features that I really like in a buttstock.
The TI-7 features a rubber buttpad that, in my opinion is just about ideal. It has a slight toe in angle which allows it to make good contact with your shoulder. It curves forward at the bottom of the buttpad which makes it very easy to roll up into position from low or compressed ready. It is relatively tall which is nice if you like to shoot with a more heads up shooting position or you are stuck using only the toe of the stock because of armor.
Observant readers will notice the TI-7’s SOPMOD style battery storage tubes. The tubes are water-resistant by virtue of a thick O-ring in the cap. The caps lock into place via a small tab. The caps are designed to lift as you twist them which makes them easier to remove. They can be removed while the stock is installed but it is easy to just remove the stock.
I rarely keep anything in my stocks that have storage but I do like this style of stock for the cheekweld it offers. The broad, sloping sides of the TI-7 affords a strong cheek weld. This is a very comfortable stock.
The TI-7 Stock fit perfectly on every receiver extension I tried thanks to a simple and ingenious feature that lurks inside the receiver extension (buffer tube) channel of the stock. There are two polished stainless steel bumpers inside the stock that remind me of leaf springs. These bumpers keep tension on the receiver extension. The result is a stock that has zero rattle but slides easily. I don’t normally care about a little stock rattle and so dealing with an additional lever to remove the rattle isn’t really something that I like. The beauty of this system is that it requires nothing from me in order to keep the stock tight. It just works. It is the best tensioning system that I have seen to date on a buttstock.
Tactical Intent got the adjustment lever right as well. It is broad and well textured. They could afford to make the lever wide without it becoming a snag hazard because the wide cheek weld area shields it. It is completely shielded by the stock so it will take an intentional push of the lever to collapse it. Installation is easy too because the lever has enough travel that you can completely clear the pin out of the receiver extension channel by lifting the lever. Adjusting and removing the stock can be done with one hand.
This TI-7 has 3 different sling mounting options. There are two slots – one horizontal slot under the battery tubes and one diagonal slot on the brace of the stock. The option that I suspect most people will use is the ambidextrous QD sling swivel receptacle that is located at the rear of the stock.
This stock is a joy to use. It weighs 12 ounces. It fits the receiver extension with no rattle. It works well with armor. It rolls up into position from low or compressed ready with ease. It has a very comfortable cheek weld. It just works.
It is downright criminal that more people don’t know about this furniture. These were previously marketed under a number of different brands which may have lead to some of the obscurity but now Tactical Intent has founded Exos Defense as a unified brand under which to distribute their AR-15 products. I have found their KWIKGUARDS and TI-7 Buttstock to be durable, well designed, and very functional. They are both among the best products of their type that I have used. You have to check out Exos Defense and their full line of AR-15 gear.