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Posted: 10/14/2004 8:48:46 AM EST
Hi all,

Is there any significant difference between the M4 handguards made by Colt and Bushmaster? Are they interchangeable? I'd like to get a set for the Bushmaster AR that I'm getting ready to buy and noticed a good deal on the Colt handguards.

I was under the impression that the heat shields in the Bushmaster handguards are blackened, but that might just be from the photos I've seen on their website.

Thanks for your advice,

Dave
Link Posted: 10/14/2004 9:11:48 AM EST
Haven't used either, but I'm running the Cav Arms M4 handguards and couldn't be happier. And they come in colors if that's an issue.


.

Link Posted: 10/14/2004 9:15:04 AM EST
Colt, Cav Arms, Bushmaster are all different. Cav Arms has a straight non taper single heat shield, Colt has taper to front and double heat shield, Bushmaster is tapered but single heat sheild. The Colt hand guards are too heavy IMO for what they are.
Link Posted: 10/14/2004 9:21:44 AM EST
The Colt M4 handguards are significantly larger (bigger around- or fatter) than the Bushmaster versions. I think they also feature double-heat shield vs single.

They are the same length on the carbine models- whether they are interchangeable or not, is a good question. It seems I heard that they are. We will probably get an expert opinion here soon
Link Posted: 10/14/2004 9:41:42 AM EST
Guys - just to clarify here, Bushmaster offers both regular carbine handguards and M4-style guards (with the fatter, oval-shaped cross section). Their rifles come with the regular (skinny) handguards, but they list the M4-style with double heat shield on their website. That's the style I'm looking at - basically I'm considering ordering them direct from Bushmaster (I think they're $35) or going with the Colt handguards.

Just wanted to make sure you all weren't thinking of Bushmaster's regular carbine handguards when you all were saying that the Colt ones are larger than Bushmaster's.

Thanks,

Dave
Link Posted: 10/14/2004 9:54:22 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/14/2004 9:59:55 AM EST by DevL]
No you are not listening.

COLT HAS DOUBLE HEAT SHIELDS AND BUSHMASTER DOES NOT. Yes I know both make M4 style but COLTS DOUBLE HEAT SHEILDS ARE PATENTED AND NOONE ELSE HAS THEM. I checked and Bushmasters web site says nothing of double heat sheidls on the M4 type handguards.

Bushmaster is lower quality than Colt by far. Colt M4 handguards are actually heavier than a Daniel Defense free floated 7.0 railed fore end. Therefore I think they are too heavy for what they are. I also think they keep too much heat on the barrel with double heat shields.

If you get the cavarms realise they have no taper to the front like real Colt M4 handguards. They are the same size in the back as front.
Link Posted: 10/14/2004 10:20:12 AM EST

Originally Posted By DevL:
No you are not listening.



ALRIGHTY, then... Excuse me for not being able to get to the (blocked) Bushmaster site here at work.

Thanks for clarifying that though - I thought I had read that Bushmaster had double heat shields.

Interesting what you mentioned about the quality - the metal components of Bushmaster's rifles seem very nice, but I noticed that the collapsible buttstock seems a little rough - some areas where the mold appears to have been short-shot, and bits of plastic flash hanging off different parts.

I may go ahead and order the Colt handguards, or maybe just live with the normal Bushmaster guards until I can afford a rail system.

Thanks,

Dave
Link Posted: 10/14/2004 5:49:45 PM EST
Unless you are going to be firing your M4 full auto, there is no need for double heat shields. Plus, they don't let the barrel cool down as fast, leading to somewhat shorter barrel life. New sets of Colt handguards have the two heat shields glued to the handguard, and there is no way of removing them without destroying them.

The one main advantage that Colt has over BM is that they use a more heat resistant plastic. If you have ever hand a pair of standard USGI A2 handguards, Colt uses that same type thermoset plastic for their M4 handguards. BM uses a softer type of plastic which will melt at lower temps than the Colt plastic. Still, for even the BM handguards to melt, you would have to really work at it.
Link Posted: 10/14/2004 7:34:38 PM EST
Originally Posted By DevL:
I also think they keep too much heat on the barrel with double heat shields.


That heat is kept off your hands though. I really like my Colt M4 handguards...much nicer IMHO than the stock handguards that came with my upper. I like the fatter feel of them, how cool they keep my hands, and how durable they are. Definately the way to go...
Link Posted: 10/14/2004 8:03:58 PM EST
Dave,
I have in my hands a set of bushy M4 handguards, a set of colt M4 hand guards, and a set of RRA D4 handguards. They are ALL the same diameter. The colt handguards are heavier. The bushy handguards arent bad, but kinda over priced. Go to www.rockriverarms.com, and get a set of the D4 handguards for 19.95. Just as good as the bushmaster guards, not too heavy, really nice products. At 19.95 for the D4 handguards, you can have the comfort of M4 handguards on your rifle while your saving to get a rail system, and if for some reason the rail system breaks, etc, you will have a really decent set of M4 style handguards that will not have cost you all that much. HTH, YMMV.
2 ACR Scout,
C_Rion
Link Posted: 10/14/2004 9:23:41 PM EST
Hrm, that's interesting: I hadn't heard that about the CavArms guards. I have heard they are nice thou.

I own a set of Colts, and they fit my hands way better than the dinky carbine handguards that came with my BM carbine.

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