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Posted: 12/21/2003 3:41:26 PM EDT
What the best handguard out there as far as quality and functionality?  I'm looking at replacing my M-4 handguards with one of these...

GG&G's Tactical Mod Free-Float Forearm looks pretty cool, and I like that I don't have to dissamble the barrel or the front site to install.

The SIR looks cool, but I heard it's heavy--and you have to remove the barrel.  Speaking of which, is this hard to do?

Then there's KA's RAS...but I don't know much about it.  I know I've seen them here on the boards, so it seems like a popular choice.

What do you guys think?
Link Posted: 12/21/2003 4:24:07 PM EDT
KAC RAS would be my choice, low profile when compared to the SIR

Then you have to ask, Free Floating RAS? RAS? RAS II?

[:D]

FF RAS requires removal of the barrel, IIRC, the others do not
Link Posted: 12/21/2003 4:59:55 PM EDT
You don't have to remove the barrel on any of the SIR's. The #50 is very light wt. for shure and you get to put rails where you want them and don't need any rail covers where your hand goes. Takes about ten minutes to put on the C models and about 15 mim for the M model.
Good shootin, Jack
Link Posted: 12/21/2003 5:12:39 PM EDT
Jack, did you stop and eat a meal while you were installing your SIRs [;)] It only took me 5 or 6 minutes with a flathead screwdriver being the only tool used. The SIR #50 is my favorite rail system, with the Daniel Defense FFRAS coming in second. I'm trying to pony up the cash for a LMT MRP, but... I've got a load of money dumped into another project right now.

-Cap'n
Link Posted: 12/21/2003 5:18:46 PM EDT
I like the whole line of Knight's RAS forends.  I have heard nothing but great things about them and I plan on getting a M5 RAS for my upcoming 20" A4 project.

But on the otherhand, the ARMS SIR series works great and is easy to install.

No matter which you choose, you won't be disappointed.
Link Posted: 12/21/2003 5:33:11 PM EDT
Capn

It was in total darkness.
Jack
Link Posted: 12/21/2003 5:49:53 PM EDT
Jack, I knew there was a catch somewhere [:D]

-Cap'n
Link Posted: 12/21/2003 7:00:47 PM EDT
Thanks for the replies.

What do you have to do for the Knight's?  Remove the barrel?
Link Posted: 12/21/2003 7:04:25 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/21/2003 7:05:42 PM EDT by mattld]
Nope, no barrel removal is necessary for the Knight's rail systems.  Only on the FF handguards is front site removal necessary.  All of the RAS models (M5 RAS, RAS II, etc.) require no front site or barrel removal for installation.  Just take off your handguards you have now, and put on the new ones.  It is really fast and easy to do with only simple tools.
Link Posted: 12/21/2003 7:14:36 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/21/2003 7:38:10 PM EDT by crochunter]
Originally Posted By mattld:
Nope, no barrel removal is necessary for the Knight's rail systems.  Only on the FF handguards is front site removal necessary.  All of the RAS models (M5 RAS, RAS II, etc.) require no front site or barrel removal for installation.  Just take off your handguards you have now, and put on the new ones.  It is really fast and easy to do with only simple tools.
View Quote


Sweet, then I bet that's what I'm gonna go with then.  The SIR has a nice look to it, but it's not really what I want.

What about Knight's #98064 MWS Handguard for the M4?  How does it differ from the RAS?
Sorry for the bonehead questions, I just don't know much about them.  Do you know any info. websites on them (Knights isn't that helpful)?

Link Posted: 12/21/2003 7:38:53 PM EDT
RAS 2 has the hump and is FF the RAS is not free float.  Removal of the front sight and installation of the FF RAS is an afternoon job for your first time.  The only hard part is getting the front sight pins out.  After that a retarted monkey can install a FF RAS.  Its really that easy.  Only issue is finding someone through the hometown forum or the built it yourself forum who will let you come over to do your install.
Link Posted: 12/21/2003 9:21:53 PM EDT
The SIR looks cool, but I don't think it's for me. ( Hav'nt seen one up close, but seems a little large. If not let me know, I've been wrong before )I have the RAS on one of my AR's, and am thinking of changing it to the FF RAS. I don't like the looks of the RAS with the hump. ( has anyone figured out a use for the rail on top of it )

When I make the change it will be my first attempt at removal and replacement of the front sight. I have a video called " AR15 The Movie ", and hopefully that will take me through it step by step. If not I'll be on the boards asking for help.
Link Posted: 12/21/2003 11:09:57 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/21/2003 11:11:12 PM EDT by Lockedon]
SIR #50

BEST Cooling of all avaliable handguards
MOST versatile handguard (ONLY sir to co-witness eotech sights)
EXREMELY solid set up, while still remaining free floating (clamps to upper receiver)
Doesn't weigh much more than regular handguards at all.
Doesn't require ANY gunsmithing at all, and will take you about ten mintues to install using just a screw-driver. (all commercial SIR models are like this)
Link Posted: 12/22/2003 12:57:18 AM EDT
The hump was designed as the perfect spot to direct mount an Aimpoint.  Thats where it belongs.  If you put an ARMS 19 behind it, it fits almost flush an you dont even notice it.  You need to judge the looks after its got optics mounted not while its on by itself...it makes all the difference.

I have a FF RAS.  My reccomendation would be a Daniel Defense Rails system though.  The slim line SIRs are not real bulky.  They do NOT feel good in the hand though and are heavier than the FF RAS and a LOT heavier than a DD rail.
Link Posted: 12/22/2003 12:59:31 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Lockedon:
SIR #50

BEST Cooling of all avaliable handguards

I have never seen any evidence of this.  Can you provide any?

MOST versatile handguard (ONLY sir to co-witness eotech sights)

Most versatile SIR not most versatile handguard.  It mounts all optics too high that are designed for direct flat top mounting.

EXREMELY solid set up, while still remaining free floating (clamps to upper receiver)

Agreed

Doesn't weigh much more than regular handguards at all.

Its still the heaviest

Doesn't require ANY gunsmithing at all, and will take you about ten mintues to install using just a screw-driver. (all commercial SIR models are like this)

Agreed
View Quote
Link Posted: 12/22/2003 1:26:36 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/22/2003 1:40:20 AM EDT by MarineSniper8541]
Ask Wes at MSTN how many spare parts he sells for the SIRs. [rolleyes]

I'd stick with KAC or Daniel Defense. I just made my decision on a KAC FF Carbine RAS.

It has no parts to break like the SIR does and you can use a BUIS other than the communisticly designed SIR which forces you to use their own BUIS (also one big reason the military has not baught off on them). You also have a greater range of mounting options with the KAC which also happens to be lighter.

The Daniel FF RAS weighs 8.5 oz. Anyone know the weight of the KAS FF RAS?

Here is my question though. Why does the FF Carbine RAS require the removal of the front sight? I have not seen one installed but it does not seem to me that the front sight would need to be removed if you just remove the barrel then plug it back in thru the RAS tube.
Link Posted: 12/22/2003 4:35:21 AM EDT
As of yet, the GG&G is untried. On top of that, I do beleive the design also requires the removal of the barrel for installation.  I would skip it as I don't think it will be in the same league as Knight's, Daniel Defense, or ARMS.

Nothing wrong with the SIRs.  They look bulky, but don't feel that way.  They are heavier than the others, but the weight is ditributed over the length of the entire rifle, so it feels very light.  The polymer bottom is said to remain cooler for longer periods of time  However, they are still not to my taste.  I can't comment on the losing parts because I never bought a SIR.  However, the fact that the rails are removeable and secured with screws, I can see how one can lose parts.  Parts that are removeable seem to have a habit of getting lost, especially with your everyday infantryman and sportsman.

I prefer a Knight's and I like what I have seen of the Daniel Defense.  If you don't mind the hump, I would pick the RAS II.  It free floats, does not require the removal of the barrel, and takes up less real estate on the upper receiver.  It allows the mounting of the ACOG on the upper without raising its height, like the SIR does.  The #98064 is the original RAS (after the original RIS) and is a very stable setup, but doesn't free float.  If you hate the hump, get the RAS.  If you don't mind the hump, the RAS II gives you "more bang for your buck".  

The Daniel Defense and the FF line of Knight's RASs require disassmebly of the barrel.  Not that its a big deal, but if you have never done it, get a smith to do it or have someone you know that knows how to do it show you.  Any way you go with the top three will serve you well.
Link Posted: 12/22/2003 6:46:46 AM EDT
Take a look at this thread:

[url]http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=3&f=12&t=172238&w=myTopicPop[/url]
Link Posted: 12/22/2003 7:06:00 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Bartholomew_Roberts:
Take a look at this thread:

[url]http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=3&f=12&t=172238&w=myTopicPop[/url]
View Quote


Awesome!  All the info. I was looking for. Thanks Bart.

Looks like I'm going with the KAC M4 RAS.  Until I get it (after Xmas), I'll think about the FF model, but I have no experience on removing the barrel.
Link Posted: 12/22/2003 9:39:33 AM EDT
Also be aware that Surefire is offering a new rail system very similar to the M4 RAS you are contemplating; but about $100 cheaper.

It hasn't hit the market yet; but might be worth waiting for. In fact, there are several new rail systems coming out in the next several months. You might also want to wait for the inevitable wave of discarded equipment to hit the equipment exchange as people upgrade to the latest and greatest.
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