AR15.Com Archives
 Looking for good, inexpensive, free float handguard with rails
nagant  [Member]
9/9/2009 2:30:34 PM EST
I just got my ar-15 not too long ago and I wanted to start adding to it. Can anyone one suggest a good, inexpensive, four rail, free float, handguard for a 16" barrel? I plan on adding a flashlight so I am also looking for any combos that include a flashlight and mount, either on the rails or attached to a vertical grip.
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bigkracka  [Team Member]
9/9/2009 2:52:03 PM EST
You want good, or you want cheap?
GAZ32  [Team Member]
9/9/2009 2:56:09 PM EST
I would suggest check the EE for a used YHM one. Sometimes you can pick them up for fairly cheap.
87GN  [Team Member]
9/9/2009 3:02:29 PM EST
16" barrel with what gas system?

What is your budget (for everything, rail, flashlight, mount etc)?
slowmethinks  [Team Member]
9/9/2009 3:41:07 PM EST
If you wanna keep it simple and cheap, yet reliable, i recommend Midwest Industries. I have one for my 16' Stag.

You dont have to remove the FSB to instal the carbine length one. Nor do you have to remove your barrel nut. If you want a longer rail, you can remove and replace your FSB with a low pro gas block.

http://www.bravocompanyusa.com/Midwest-Industries-MCTAR-20-p/mctar-20.htm
dirtbikesandguns  [Member]
9/9/2009 4:15:19 PM EST
YHM...........best for the $$
gee223  [Member]
9/9/2009 4:18:47 PM EST
I actually am fairly happy with my.......... UTG.

It is durable, it is strong, it was dirt cheap ($70), and I am as embarrassed to admit it as riding a moped (I don't!). But I have banged on it with a 3# dead blow hammer and it took it. I have used it with a grip and light just fine. As far as the guys who say it might fail when you need it- its not a pro gun! Its a hobby/garden/HD gun that if ever used to save my ass, it would probably only be once. The chances of it just breaking are slim, and much slimmer when SHTF is in progress. As far as that goes, a rag can serve as a hand guard if need be.

I should also mention that its ugly, heavy, and ChiCom shit! But I get a pass on the last one because I ONLY buy vehicles, new or used from the big three (unlike many with American Quadrails and who will begin flaming me shortly). I also am suffering from paycutitis, and this is the reason I settled for the Ugly Turn Gun rail, until the DD lite is doable (going with rifle length and chopped FSB).

Ok, let the burn begin!
CTbuilder1  [Team Member]
9/9/2009 4:57:44 PM EST
Do you want to add to it just to add to it, or do you actually have a need for a rail? A lot of people here have gone through all the stages of add ons and spent a lot of money figuring out what is actually worth having. If you want a flashlight, there is no need for a free float rail. Just screw a piece of rail section on your plastic hand guards or get a FSB mount. That way you are keeping the gun light instead of your wallet.

Have you shot with a VFG before? I like them as a backstop but they are not 100% necessary. If you have to have one and add a light then I would go the rail mount. But I would do some shooting first to see if you really need it or just think you have to have it because of pictures of everyone else's guns.
87GN  [Team Member]
9/9/2009 5:27:24 PM EST
Originally Posted By gee223:
I should also mention that its ugly, heavy, and ChiCom shit! But I get a pass on the last one because I ONLY buy vehicles, new or used from the big three (unlike many with American Quadrails and who will begin flaming me shortly). I also am suffering from paycutitis, and this is the reason I settled for the Ugly Turn Gun rail, until the DD lite is doable (going with rifle length and chopped FSB).

Ok, let the burn begin!


2 Mustangs and a Jeep here. I've found Chinese "tactical" products to be pure trash. Oh, and I just bought a NIB KAC RAS (rail only, no VFG or panels) for $80 on the EE.



As CTbuilder1 said, you don't really need a rail.





CTbuilder1  [Team Member]
9/9/2009 5:31:12 PM EST
I was hoping you would post those pics, 87GN. Those are some nice, functionally sound rifles. Are those MI FSB mounts?
nagant  [Member]
9/9/2009 7:04:57 PM EST
Being on a tight budget it maybe easier to go with the small rail attachments at this point. So what would you suggest for a good light and mount combo? I want something for HD in case the SHTF and I have to go investigate a bump in the night.
MountainMan2  [Member]
9/10/2009 5:01:27 AM EST
Originally Posted By dirtbikesandguns:
YHM...........best for the $$






DIDO!
GearHead_1  [Member]
9/10/2009 1:32:43 PM EST

Originally Posted By gee223:
It is durable, it is strong, it was dirt cheap ($70), and I am as embarrassed to admit it as riding a moped (I don't!). But I have banged on it with a 3# dead blow hammer and it took it.


Just out of curiosity, why would you be banging on your quad rail (regardless of manufacturer) with a 3 lb. hammer?
87GN  [Team Member]
9/10/2009 2:12:38 PM EST
Originally Posted By CTbuilder1:
I was hoping you would post those pics, 87GN. Those are some nice, functionally sound rifles. Are those MI FSB mounts?


The bottom one is, the top is actualy a more expensive setup, Vltor folding front sight/gas block "fixed" in place with a Vltor offset flashlight mount holding a G2 LED.


gee223  [Member]
9/10/2009 4:28:08 PM EST
Originally Posted By GearHead_1:

Originally Posted By gee223:
It is durable, it is strong, it was dirt cheap ($70), and I am asembarrassed to admit it as riding a moped (I don't!). But I have bangedon it with a 3# dead blow hammer and it took it.


Just out of curiosity, why would you be banging on your quad rail (regardless of manufacturer) with a 3 lb. hammer?


Its supposed to be crap, I wanted to see where it would break first. Better now than when I need it, plus I didn't pitch the stock hand guards/barrel nut anyway. I think utg rails are better than people give them credit for, but definatly not to spec. I actually would have bought a YHM 2pc if they were in front of me, but this was all they had and I did want free floating. Plus my wife instantly begins PMS when I get gun stuff in the mail.

I am almost leaning towards a YHM rifle length for the upcoming upgrade. Wanted DD, but I can't decide.

ETA- Dead blow hammer is different than a hammer, not that it matters much.
GearHead_1  [Member]
9/10/2009 5:07:16 PM EST

Originally Posted By gee223:
Originally Posted By GearHead_1:

Originally Posted By gee223:
It is durable, it is strong, it was dirt cheap ($70), and I am asembarrassed to admit it as riding a moped (I don't!). But I have bangedon it with a 3# dead blow hammer and it took it.


Just out of curiosity, why would you be banging on your quad rail (regardless of manufacturer) with a 3 lb. hammer?


Its supposed to be crap, I wanted to see where it would break first. Better now than when I need it, plus I didn't pitch the stock hand guards/barrel nut anyway. I think utg rails are better than people give them credit for, but definatly not to spec. I actually would have bought a YHM 2pc if they were in front of me, but this was all they had and I did want free floating. Plus my wife instantly begins PMS when I get gun stuff in the mail.

I am almost leaning towards a YHM rifle length for the upcoming upgrade. Wanted DD, but I can't decide.

ETA- Dead blow hammer is different than a hammer, not that it matters much.
I wasn't calling you out here but I'm not sure what you are saying. A dead blow hammer eliminates rebound, delivers more power, face can be anything from plastic or brass to steel, they typically have a nylon handle, are hollow and usually filled with shot. The design would not mean you would be hitting the rail with any less force in fact probably more. I appreciate the fact that you like your rail and commend your desire to know it is worthy. That said, anything you bang on has just that much life left in it. I don't see the need to beat on a piece that will remain on your rifle, hence my original question. I know that I could easily destroy any piece on my rifle with a dead blow hammer.

arnut33  [Member]
9/10/2009 5:32:35 PM EST
mayguns.com had them couple days ago when I checked last time.
JaxChris  [Member]
9/10/2009 5:52:36 PM EST
Goto "Brightflashlights" in the Industry Section and pick out which YHM rail system you like best. That is your best bet for a new part at a great price. Kevin's prices for YHM rails (and even DD rails) include shipping and beat 99.9% of everyone elses prices on the same price - and those other guys will charge you shipping on top. =)
gee223  [Member]
9/10/2009 6:47:07 PM EST
Originally Posted By GearHead_1:


I wasn't calling you out here but I'm not sure what you are saying. A dead blow hammer eliminates rebound, delivers more power, face can be anything from plastic or brass to steel, they typically have a nylon handle, are hollow and usually filled with shot. The design would not mean you would be hitting the rail with any less force in fact probably more. I appreciate the fact that you like your rail and commend your desire to know it is worthy. That said, anything you bang on has just that much life left in it. I don't see the need to beat on a piece that will remain on your rifle, hence my original question. I know that I could easily destroy any piece on my rifle with a dead blow hammer.


I didn't assume you were. The DB hammer was plastic. I didn't realize they were available in steel/brass, or I would have specified. I had a 3lb sledge (Thor's mighty hammer) too, but I would have had to put those ugly UTG rail covers on for that, and I try not to abuse my equipment THAT much. I tried to tweak it by hand by grabbing the barrel and squeezing the HG towards it, it didn't move much. My rifle length OLY will flex to the barrel. Then I saw the black $5 harbor freight dead nuts hammer just staring at me. I knew then I just had to do it or live with regret for the rest of my life. I didn't truly beat the hell out of it, maybe 2 or 3 times as hard as required for a tough roll pin. I figured that would be more than the force it would take even if I dropped it or had to land on it hard. If I really wanted to, I could break it, but that has a slight effect on what I can get on fleabay for it.

Kiznelly  [Member]
9/20/2009 4:36:08 PM EST
I had a UTG rail on my rifle. I bought it in 2006 and sold the whole rifle in 2008, guy I sold it to went to EOD school and left it with me. I used it as a HD weapon for a year. I tried to break the $8 VFG as well as the UTG rail quite a few times. I never succeeded, but it is un-Godly heavy...
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