I firmly believe in that it is worth buying quality, and for anything your life might depend on, spending the little extra to get something better.
But in this case, I was assembling an AR15 upper that is purely a toy, not a fighting gun. So I thought it might be interesting to try a few parts of no name brand questionably quality to save a few bucks. One part I needed was a gas block. This one was cheap, at $15.95. The MK12 style gas block it is patterned after runs about $70 from Badger, $75 from Daniel Defense, and $58.95 from VLTOR.
Their website shows this image, a clear copy of the VLTOR gas block. I was always curious why VLTOR would put extra cuts in the gas block like that. It seemed like just some unnecessary machining that would increase time and cost to make. Looking at the Monstrum website image, those grooves look like they are from a casting, not machined like the VLTOR gas block. So I was expected was a really cheap cast gas block.
Monstrum shipped my order quickly, and I received it via the U.S. Post Office.
The package was torn, but that probably isn’t Monstrum’s fault. But it could have been packed better.
Inside this package was the two items I ordered from Monstrum. I’ll review the other some other time.
The gas block came in a zip lock bag, with an Allen wrench for the set screws, and not one, but TWO gas tube roll pins.
Now that was impressive. Somehow they knew that I always manage to drop the first gas tube roll pin I install, and that is why I have a bin full of them now (good to have extras). They also included an Allen wrench, which is a nice.
Note that the gas block I received does not have those lighting cuts pictured on Monstrum’s website.
I had expected a crudely cast gas block. Now this might have still been cast, but it appears instead to have been machined. This appears to be a better product than what was advertised.
Now, not all barrels that are suppose to be 0.750 inches in diameter are, and not all gas blocks fit the same. I’ve had some that fit very loosely, and others that had to be hammered on or pressed on. I didn’t bother to measure the internal diameter of this gas block, but it was a snug fit with the cheap barrel on this upper. But not to terribly snug as to require any sort of excessive force to install.
Installation was straight forward, and the gas block works as it is suppose to.
On the one hand, I want to praise them for sending me a nice product at a good price, and commend them for the TWO gas tube roll pins. On the other hand, they didn’t send me the product they were advertising.
Now I am not going to recommend this product for any sort of fighting gun. I have no idea how consistent Monstrum’s products are. It is almost certain that they are importing the parts from China. Who knows how good they are batch to batch, or if any attention is paid to the little details, like the quality of the set screws.
Still, it works, was better than expected, and was cheap.