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Posted: 12/25/2003 7:32:58 AM EDT
Merry Xmas To All!!

I got a Armalite M15A4 (5.56)w/ 16" BBL and Harris Ultralight Bipod from the wife. I field stripped, checked, and oiled per instructions except..I Can't get the handguards off! I depressed the retainer ring as far as it will go and neither the upper or lower piece of the handguard will budge. The bipod is attached to the lower portion of the handguard. How do I remove without damaging anything?

Link Posted: 12/25/2003 10:01:23 AM EDT
Your choices are either to buy one of the hand guard removal tools on the market, or just man up and remove the guards by hand.

By hand, start with just the lower guard.  Pull down-cant the delta ring to slip just the bottom of first.  When the hand guards are new, the barrel nut (star nut) will bite into the slot of the guard.  Getting the delta ring out of the way is a start, but you will need to pull very hard on the guard to pry it off the star nut, it helps to push up towards the sight tower, and straight out at the same time.   Once you have the bottom off, the top guard is a lot easier.
Link Posted: 12/25/2003 10:13:10 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Dano523:
just man up and remove the guards by hand.
View Quote

That would be my suggestion as well.
Link Posted: 12/25/2003 12:06:47 PM EDT
OK! I'll give a little more persuasion. I wanted to make sure that there was nothing else to remove first.
Link Posted: 12/25/2003 3:55:17 PM EDT
This works for me and it doesn't cost anything.  Get a twist-tie like the ones that come on bread bags.  Attach a rubber band to one side of the twist-tie and thread the other end of the tie through two vent holes in the lower handguard near the slip ring and twist the tie shut.  

Put your right hand through the rubberband (if the lower handguard is to your right) so that the rubberband is around your wrist.  Now push down on the slip ring with both hands, if the rubberband is positioned properly on your wrist, this will apply tension to the lower handguard and will pull it off once the slip ring is pushed down all the way.

Once the lower handguard is off, this will allow you push down on the slip ring easier so that the upper half can be removed.
Link Posted: 12/25/2003 4:20:45 PM EDT
Jason you clever guy.

I find it significantly easier with the upper separated from the lower.

Link Posted: 12/26/2003 5:45:27 AM EDT

I got em off. Other than to check the gas tube for damage, they can stay on. I don't see any need to remove them for normal cleaning.

Link Posted: 12/26/2003 12:13:35 PM EDT
Since you live in VA, you may want to get used to pulling the hand guards and applying a light coat of CLP on the barrel.  When you shot the rifle, any lube/oil will be burnt off the barrel surface, and given enough time, your going to get rust spots/pitting on the barrel under the guards.

In area's where there is very little humidity, such as here in Colorado, you can get away with not using lube on the barrel for extended periods of time (still need to watch for condensation when you bring a cold rifle into a warm house).   But, where the Humidity is High, the untreated/lubed steel parts will rust in a very short time if not protected with a coat of lube to displace the water/humidity in the air.  

P.S. Having spent almost a year in FL and LA, you dam near have to store them in a bucket of oil to keep them from rusting.  
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