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Posted: 1/6/2012 6:06:10 AM EDT
Hi All,
This is my first post here after extensive reading and research. Tons of great information!

I'm putting together my first AR-15. I have a Spikes Tactical complete lower with CTR stock. I've decided on a 16" middy lightweight barrel profile for my upper. The only decision I have left is a 9" quad rail with a front fixed sight post or a 12" quad rail with a folding front site. I will most likely go with a RDS in the future. The rifle will be strictly recreational use; plinking and occasional small game hunting. In the end I'd like a balanced, fun/easy to handle rifle. Future accessories may include a vertical grip and /or light. I'm leaning towards a Spike's SAR rail due to it's lightweight and ergonomics. I'm excited to complete the rifle to make some conclusions of my own and plan a future AR build but right now I'm leaning strictly on research and recommendation from you, the experts!

Help me out 9" or 12" hand guard?

Thanks in advance,

Link Posted: 1/6/2012 6:27:42 AM EDT
there are a lot of factors, IMHO, that will come into play.

are you a "reach" shooter? do you want to train to reach when you shoot?

you said you want a balanced rifle... does that mean neutral?

what FHer are you going to use?

whats the barrel contour?

what overall weight do you want? do you care?
Link Posted: 1/6/2012 6:30:37 AM EDT
I have a 16" carbine, and I changed out the FSP with a lo-pro gas block, and ran this Troy TRX Extreme 9" Rail and I love it, looks great and feels great. For my next build, I'm thinking of getting a 16" mid-length and running a 12" version of that same rail. I'm honestly not sure about how that's going to work out with the weight. I just know I want the extended sight radius and the ability to place my hand as far forward on the barrel as I can, plus it looks awesome!
Link Posted: 1/6/2012 6:56:01 AM EDT
I'm a novice shooter but planning on shooting the hell out of this rifle. So to answer the "reach" shooter question, no preference or experience so far.

Yes, hoping to avoid a front heavy rifle.

A2 FHer

Lightweight Barrel Profile

About 7 lbs +/- 1/2 lb.

Thanks for your help!

Link Posted: 1/6/2012 7:12:36 AM EDT
A light bbl with a light 12" railed handguard (use the weight of the DD Omega X as reference) and a Magpul CTR will balance just fine.

I've got a DD rifle set up like this, along with a Magpul AFG2 and Surefire M300A scout light and it's balanced.
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