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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,

Tny
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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