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Posted: 5/9/2004 5:04:16 PM EST
I have read and seen pic by pic demostrations of how to assemble a barrel on to an upper. But I have yet to see any directions on how to install a free float handguard system. And of course what I do know about it is that it requires gas block dissasembly. People say free floats make your barrel more accurate (grip pressure or something, I dunno). My original intent on this AR I am building was to go with a 2 piece KAC. I going to have a chrome-lined barrel so being accurate isn't as important as if I were to say use a SS barrel.

I was going to try to avoid Barrel installation just because of the complexity of it? What do you think should I attempt to install a barrel? if you have? Would you consider it difficult for someone who has never done any thing like it before? Of course I would get the headspace checked.
Link Posted: 5/10/2004 6:44:03 AM EST
I would say if you get the correct toold for the job then you really can't go wrong doing it yourself. I just built my first AR and though I have worked on many cars and machanical things in my years (all 27 of them) the rifle was the first of it's kind for me. As always, I researched alot but the main thing was buying the right tools for the job. You will need a vise block (to hold the upper when you tighten the barrel nut), a barrel wrench (to tighnen the barrel nut), and set of roll punches to first remove your front sight housing and to also put the roll pin for the gas tube in the front sight post after you re-install it, and that's all you need. My upper came with moly lube on the threads already so if yours didn't you'll need some of this also. This is NOT COMPLEX by any means so don't be "scurrred". Alot of people swear by the "you need to properly torque" the barrel nut but SO MANY MORE just say tighten it and go shoot. With the free float barrel nut you'll just need tighen it good, and then line up the nearest hole to put the gas tube through. I would have to say lining the gas tube up inside the front site post was the hardest part of doing my barrel and it jsut takes a little patience to get it done right. You'll see how it all works once you get the parts so buy the tools and have fun.
Link Posted: 5/10/2004 6:47:18 AM EST
I forgot to say that you will not need to have the headspace gauged on your New barrel and New bolt/carrier build. this is only an safety check that is need on used and worn parts going together. o need to get it checked so long as they are both new and unused.
Link Posted: 5/10/2004 6:49:43 AM EST
If you get a #50-C version, you don't gave to remove anything except the plastic hand guards.
Link Posted: 5/10/2004 9:46:20 AM EST

Originally Posted By 3rdtk:
If you get a #50-C version, you don't gave to remove anything except the plastic hand guards.


Or an RAS-II.
Link Posted: 5/10/2004 11:27:36 AM EST
I didn't think a RAS II free floated the barrel.

Link Posted: 5/10/2004 11:47:38 AM EST

Originally Posted By BookHound:
I didn't think a RAS II free floated the barrel.



It does.
Link Posted: 5/10/2004 12:22:16 PM EST
Thanks for the responses I am still on a fence regarding Upper options and I am eagerly waiting for my lower reciever assem. kit to get in. But I suspect it will go together quickly and I would kind of like to have my mind made up for the next step. I am thinking Chrome lined 16', Accuracy isn't my first priority, or else I would by a 20' SS barrel and use a High powered scope. I am building a Tac. Carbine that I would like to eventully have vertical grip and Surfire. I will be useing either an EOtech or Aimpoint, I don't suspect that I will be shooting over 150 yds, (tops) So under these circumstances are free floats any help?
Link Posted: 5/10/2004 1:10:42 PM EST
[Last Edit: 5/10/2004 1:26:24 PM EST by Fenian]
There are 3 quad rail style free float tubes that are pretty good, and won't break the bank:
The Olympic Firsh, the Liberator IIs from Fulton Armory, and the Yankee Hill ones.

I've got the Lib. IIs on one 16", and I just put a YHM tube on one of my other ones...although it's not the quadrail style...it's a tube, with places to mount rails of varying lengths at the 12, 3, 6, and 9 o'clock positions.

I can recommend the YHM stuff wholeheartedly, as well as the Liberator IIs. I've heard good stuff about the Oly, but I don't have any personal experience with them.

They all cost about the same, so it's pretty much a "pick 'em" thing...whichever one grabs your fancy.

YHM makes a standard and a lightweight style; since you're building a tactical carbine, I'd check out the lightweights.

As for the installation of a standard 2 piece tube, there's nothing to it if you have the right tools...an action block, and an armorers wrench. Now, SOME barrel nuts on different float tubes require a 3 pronged wrench, but for most, a regular wrench, a la the Bushmaster or DPMS, will suffice. The action block is a must have, otherwise, you risk ruining your upper.

You can put the front sight right back on, or you could get a picatinny rail style gas block. If you do, my my advice is to get one of the bolt on kind...Yankee Hill makes a one piece gas block and flip up sight that's pretty cool....it kills 2 birds with one stone, at about $ 75...a bargain. It makes for a cleaner look if you're using optics, and you can flip it up for back up when needed.

A 3 piece tube with a jam nut is a little trickier in that it's a whole lot easier if you have the wrench to tighten the jam nut, but I did my Liberator IIs without one...another set of hands comes in very handy there.

The only problem is a post ban muzzle brake if you have one...it needs to come off, and that's beyond the capabilities of most of us. If you don't have a brake, the whole process is really pretty simple, but a little intimidating the first time. Banging the taper pins out of the front sight block is the hardest part, once you get those out, the sight assembly/gas tube just slide off the barrel...you don' have to remove the actual gas tube....it's held in by a roll pin, and it's not going anywhere.

Are you buying the barrel assembly seperate, or swapping one that's already on the receiver?


Here's a pic of the Yankee Hill one I just did...bear in mind, this is a full length tube on a carbine, so it required a low profile gas block. Other than that, pretty basic...tighten the barrel nut, and screw on the tube portion, index it, and tighten the jam nut.

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