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Posted: 12/30/2006 9:16:53 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/30/2006 9:17:34 AM EDT by Useaspoon]
Hello all,

Just bought my first AR15.  I am active duty Army and wanted to shoot more on my own time since I didn't qualify expert.  I bought a used Bushmaster Dissipator for cheap.  Dirt cheap.  Has seen almost no use.  Probably a couple hundred rounds at best.  The only modification is the A.R.M.S. folding rear sight.

So I want to do a few things to this rifle.  First I would like to dump the ugly, ugly handguards.  Poking around this site and looking online I see there is a large amount of choices.  I was hoping someone here could recommend a brand and SIZE that I would need.  I see some that say for carbine, 16", 20", etc.  I assume I need to use the front sight as an anchor point for some kind of buttplate.

Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Edit to add photo:
http://img247.imageshack.us/img247/3880/picture001ui0.jpg
Link Posted: 12/30/2006 9:56:12 AM EDT
I used to have a Dissapator like yours.  It has a carbine lenght gas tube, and if you pull off the handguards, you'll see the gas block is a milled off FSB, similar to what the V-match uppers have.  

Any handguard system you get will have to be "rifle" length.  You could always get a full length railed hanguard that clamps to the barrel nut, you just have to cut the delta ring off.  

Link Posted: 12/30/2006 10:27:59 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/30/2006 5:18:02 PM EDT
Thank you very much for the responses.

I went to the funstore today.  I looked at several handguard systems.  The gunsmith there told me much of what you guys have mentioned.  I can remove the front sight, replace it with a flip up style (about $75-$100).  A new gas block would have to be added.  No idea how much that is.  But the brake is welded and would have to be removed to get anything else on.  He suggested a phantom for price.  Personally I don't like the brake I have on now - it's solid,short, flat and ugly.  I would much prefer a longer fluted one.

So if I don't want to go through that whole mess with the gas block, front sight removal, new brake installation I should get full length handguards?  And will the 2 piece version be the option if I don't want to get into any front sight and brake removal?
Link Posted: 1/1/2007 7:08:18 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Useaspoon:
And will the 2 piece version be the option if I don't want to get into any front sight and brake removal?


That's the least invasive route and will work with no problems.
Link Posted: 1/1/2007 8:23:05 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/1/2007 9:18:14 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/1/2007 9:26:37 PM EDT by Onslaught]

Originally Posted By Useaspoon:
Thank you very much for the responses.

I went to the funstore today.  I looked at several handguard systems.  The gunsmith there told me much of what you guys have mentioned.  I can remove the front sight, replace it with a flip up style (about $75-$100).  A new gas block would have to be added.  No idea how much that is.  But the brake is welded and would have to be removed to get anything else on.  He suggested a phantom for price.  Personally I don't like the brake I have on now - it's solid,short, flat and ugly.  I would much prefer a longer fluted one.

So if I don't want to go through that whole mess with the gas block, front sight removal, new brake installation I should get full length handguards?  And will the 2 piece version be the option if I don't want to get into any front sight and brake removal?


I think the "funstore" guy was calling "options" as requirements, or at the very least, not being completely forthcoming.

You don't HAVE to add a new gas block just because you use a flip up front sight.  You also don't need to use a flip front sight at all.  I wouldn't suggest changing the front sight until you've fired your rifle a few dozen times and decided you "need" a folding front sight.  In fact, I wouldn't suggest changing ANYTHING until you've taken it on a few range trips.  

Well, except for the fugly fake flash suppressor.  You gotta change that piece.  

But as far as handguards go, play with it a while and see if you have any need for $200 - $300 railed forends.  If you don't like the LOOK of your handguard, what about the CavArms fat M4 type handguards for rifles?  They cost about $30, pop on just like the others pop off, have a great textured gripping surface, do not need rail panels, and yet they change the look of the rifle quite a bit.


Picture from the Cavalry Arms website.  NOT my rifle, and I BELIEVE it used to belong to fellow Team Member Hoplophile.

Too often, people buy an AR and then spends HUNDREDS of dollars tricking it all out, only to learn that they would prefer this over that, or wish they did the other instead, and they just re-do over and over.  

Shoot it till you figure out what you need.  Read until you figure out what options you have to fill those needs.  THEN you spend your money based on what YOU want, not what WE all want.  

Welcome to the site BTW!
Link Posted: 1/2/2007 12:12:04 AM EDT
Thank you for the welcome.

Over the past week I have put about 400 rounds through it.  Tommorrow will be my last day shooting the dissipator for quite some time.  I think I am going to begin ordering parts online and sending them home while I am at my duty station.  Then when I get back I will have a bunch of toys to play with.

I think I am going to go with that full size YHM rail.  I'll try to find some tan guards, a tan stock, and a tan grip to finish it off ergonomically and cosmetically.  And I am thinking the Eotech a must have.  

Other than that I will see how much damage I can do to this case of ammo tommorrow.

Thanks again!
Link Posted: 1/2/2007 4:09:37 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/2/2007 7:24:27 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Lancelot:
The YHM rails are okay. I did not like the way they split the rails down the middle. I also didn't like the finish that much. There is nothing really wrong with them, but I eventually sold them and replaced them with a set of the MI rails. The new generation 2 MI rails are lighter, and I think look better. YMMV

In that picture I have the rails covered with Tango Down rail cover panels. They're great, but do add a little thickness to the width of the thing.

Dissy's tend to be a shade nose heavy, and anything you add up front will make that worse. So just go easyo on all the whiz bang add ons. An option is to have the barrel lightened up. A good shop like ADCO can do that for you. The weight savings woould be worth any expense in that area.

Just a thought.


I definitely agree that the Midwest Industries forend is a better choice than the Yankee Hill version you mentioned, and a big +1 on a lighter weight profile barrel too.
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