NcSTAR MLOK Rail Covers Review: Fine Chinesium

Disclamer: The NcSTAR M-LOK Rail Covers were purchased at the cost of the author

The merits of rail covers on guns with MLOK or Keymod rails are well known by now. They provide a better grip on the gun and protect from heat from firing, but most importantly, they look cool. The rail covers are usually simple to install and remove too so that accessories can be mounted in their place. What if you took the performance, elegance, and simplicity of other rail covers, and threw them in the trash? Well, you'd end up with the NcSTAR MLOK rail covers.

What Are The NcSTAR MLOK Rail Covers?

The NC Star MLOK rail covers are just that; MLOK rail covers put out by the budget-oriented NC Star, specifically under their VISM line. They are a two-piece, rubber construction design. Each individual rail cover insert covers one half (1/2) MLOK rail sections, and 18 rail covers are included in each pack. So each pack of these rail covers will cover 9 full MLOK rail sections.

The design of these rail covers is "interesting", but more complex than what it needs to be. Each individual rail cover has a male and female side and hinges in the middle.

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On the underside of the rail cover, there is a standard press fit side, and a ledge side, that locks the tabs in place. This is a little overly complex, but the rail covers are firmly on the gun when attached.

These sit a little taller from the gun than the BCM Rail Covers, and a little shorter than the Railscales HTPs. They also come in a myriad of colors, just like the competitors.

Are The NcSTAR MLOK Rail Covers Good?

Getting right down to brass tacks, do these protect your hands from the rail and heat, and do they help grip the gun better? The rubber rail covers do help to prevent heat transfer from the rail to you, and they do provide a better grip than nothing. Despite them working, the NcSTAR rail covers are not good.

Starting with the materials and design, these rail covers are just too damn complex. They are a two-piece design (three if you include the pin that binds both halves together), and the rubber used is not of great quality. The pattern on the rail covers is a little aggressive, but not enough to really feel tactile. With dry hands, I found these to be slicker than what I would prefer.

NcStar Rail Cover Pivot Pin
Circled in the above photo is the pin that holds the two halves of the rail cover together.

Installing The NcSTAR MLOK Rail Covers

The installation and removal of these are also convoluted. Installing is more straightforward, but taking these off of the gun is a chore. Once installed, these are fairly tight on the gun, and the only way that I found to remove them was by prying with a flat head screwdriver. Yeah, not a fan of that.

Value is an important issue. These are flat-out a bad value, despite being under the budget-oriented NcSTAR brand. For the price of entry, these rail covers fill less MLOK sections than the cheaper, better performing BCM rail covers. They are harder to install and uninstall than the BCM counterparts, yet they feel much lower quality. I hate to draw a comparison, but it was the only thing in my mind during the testing process.

NcSTAR M-LOK Railcover Review Title Slide

Lastly, and most certainly not least, these are ugly. If it were final call at the bar, and these rail covers were the only ones still around, I would gladly go home with a slick rail instead of with these.

Would I Recommend The NcSTAR MLOK Rail Covers?

No. Don't buy these. The previously reviewed BCM rail overs cost less, cover more rail, and work better. The Railscales HTP look much better, perform better, and are much better constructed. These NcSTAR MLOK rail covers are maybe a little better than nothing covering the rail, but they lag far behind the competition. They are a terrible value, and shouldn't be on your gun.

Comparison shot of the NcSTAR, BCM, and Railscales M-LOK railcovers.
Given the options, please, please make the right choice.

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About Paul Whaley 196 Articles
Paul Whaley is a guy with an interest in practical and defensive pistol shooting techniques with an eye for quality gear. He has received training from Holistic Solutions Group, John Johnston of Citizens Defense Research, Darryl Bolke, Cecil Birch, and Chuck Haggard. When not trying to become a better shooter, he can be found enjoying a Resident Evil game or listening to Warren Zevon.

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