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Posted: 1/18/2021 10:51:58 AM EST
I'm completing an 80% lower build, and am wondering how important handguard length is. I've decided on a 16" barrel and an M-Lok handguard, but BCM offers a choice between a 13" handguard and a 15" handguard for 16" barrels.

What advantages/disadvantages do the 13"/15" lengths offer?
Link Posted: 1/18/2021 11:07:39 AM EST
15" - more rail space for activities, at the expense of additional weight
13" - less rail space for activities, with the benefit of less weight

There's also a component of aesthetics, some people like one look over the other.

Depending on the gas system length you may gain further benefit of protecting the gas block from impact, but on a 16" gun you're most likely going with mid-length or carbine gas, so both would cover the gas block.
Link Posted: 1/18/2021 11:41:11 AM EST
Agree with the other post. Personally I’d go with the 15” rail for the slight additional weight.

This is just what I personally would do, as I don’t care for the barrel sticking out more from the rail. Everyone has their own preferences though.
Link Posted: 1/18/2021 11:43:04 AM EST
I have one 16" with a 15" rail and i am going to shorten it as soon as I get a chance.  I do not like the look and do not need the rail space.
Link Posted: 1/18/2021 2:36:49 PM EST
Link Posted: 1/18/2021 4:26:03 PM EST
I'd go 13.
Link Posted: 1/18/2021 6:10:42 PM EST
Longer sight radius with a longer rail, if you're using irons.

Other than that, it's pure personal preference.
Link Posted: 1/18/2021 6:24:01 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ApocalypseMao:
Longer sight radius with a longer rail, if you're using irons.

Other than that, it's pure personal preference.
View Quote


If you are resting the barrel on a rooftop or log or something similar, you need as much rail as possible. Also, the longer rail will cover more of a hot barrel preventing hands and clothes from touching it. More real estate too. The only downside is weight which from a 13" to 15" is maybe 2 oz.
Link Posted: 1/18/2021 6:42:21 PM EST
A 15” rail on a 16” barrel is about as long as you can go. You’ll have about 1/8” and a muzzle device sticking out the end.

I like more rail on my shorties because they generally wear a suppressor, and less rail on my longer guns (14.5+). Don’t forget about placement of lights and other accessories too. With a really long rail, even a scout light could end up getting fogged by muzzle flash.
Link Posted: 1/18/2021 7:05:32 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/18/2021 9:19:22 PM EST by s4s4u]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ApocalypseMao:
Longer sight radius with a longer rail, if you're using irons.

Other than that, it's pure personal preference.
View Quote


If irons are your primary you are better served with an A2 FSB in the rifle position even if it means going dissy.  You will have POI shift with irons on a long rail when resting.  If irons are BUIS only it really doesn't make a whole lotta difference as you will likely never use them in anger anyway, and if you do it will likely not be a long distance encounter so sight radius is less of a factor.
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