When Strike Industries got into the game in 2011, they had a lot of ideas they wanted to bring to the market. They looked at where the market was and believed they could make a better part. One of those parts is their Enhanced Ultimate Dust Cover, shortened to UDC-E. And it is proof that they can build a better mousetrap.
Installing an AR dust cover sucks. There are a lot of upgrades out there to make it suck less, most of them involve thickening the port door rod at the front of the receiver. That's nice if you are installing the cover when you build the upper, as you'll need to insert it before you install the delta ring or barrel nut.
Once you figure out how to get the port door rod into the upper (it can be done with a standard rod, some bending, and a lot of patience. And cussing), you have to finagle the ridiculous spring in as you add the door. Don't forget the infuriatingly small C-clamp that holds it all together. You'd hate to see all your hard work (and cussing) go to waste as it flies apart at the range.
SI does away with all that nonsense with their UDC-E. It is an impressive yet simple piece. It uses a captured port door rod with a spring-loaded section that is also captured at the rear end of the cover. Simply press that end of the rod into the dust cover, line up the other end with the corresponding tab on the trigger, rotate the spring up and pop it into place. You can press the rod in from the far end, but SI has kindly included a cut-out window to allow you to press the rod in more easily. You can do it with a small tool or bullet tip.
It sounds complicated, but it is insanely easy to do. They even modify the spring so that it is easier to properly orient it with the cover. You can remove and and install the SI dust cover dozens of times on a fully built upper in the time it takes to install a standard dust cover on a stripped upper. It is literally that easy.
All well and good, you say, but how does it work? I'm only going to be installing it once, right? The answer to the second question is "maybe." The answer to the first question is "amazing."
The standard mil-spec dust cover works alright. If it's bent by being struck or pulled on, it works a lot worse. I've never seen one fail, but I've seen a few of them on their way. Rust, abuse, wear.... it's not a pretty part, or one that wears well.
SI makes them pretty, and wear very well. Since polymer doesn't rust... no worries there. It's a distinctive looking part, it's lighter than the mil-spec part it replaces, and installs like a dream. If you're building an upper, or just want to improve the looks of your gun, check out the Strike Industries UDC-E.
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