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Posted: 2/16/2006 5:48:12 PM EDT
I am getting everything together for a midlength build.  Samson, Troy & Midwest Industries all three make a FF rail system which provide a continuous rail from the flat top upper forward.  I plan to use a rifle length FF rail over a low profile gas block.  They are all three within about $60 of eachother in price.  Does anyone have any positive/negative experiences with any of these system?  I don't want to make the decision based on price alone.  Sometimes you get what you pay for, sometimes you're just buying a name.
Link Posted: 2/17/2006 1:53:41 AM EDT
IMO, if you don't plan on attaching an M203, or need the lower portion of the handguard to be removed often, then the MI handguards are what you should get.  I have a set of the carbine-length hg's from them and they are solid and very well built.  
Link Posted: 2/17/2006 5:46:16 AM EDT
The Midwest MCTARs weigh a lot. The Samsons should be the lightest

Note that the Midwest relies on steel pins that locate on the notches of your stock barrel nut. These steel pins are found in aluminum locking plates. I would imagine with enough torque and vibration, the steel pins may bend/distort/wear at the aluminum plates and cause some minor play over a long period of time.

The Samson and Troy units appear to only rely on "wings" that clamp against the exterior of the upper receiver. I haven't heard of any problems, but I would imagine again with enough vibration/torque over time, the aluminum upper / wings may wear by a few thousandths causing some HG play.

I haven't heard of anything bad with the MI MCTAR HGs other than that they're heavy.
Everyone else prefers the Samsons and the Troys. The Samson adds an additional allen screw to secure the lower handguard, while the Troy uses only a spring detent (easier to remove).
Link Posted: 2/17/2006 7:16:23 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/17/2006 7:24:49 AM EDT
Interesting! So the locking plates essentially clamp onto the barrel nut to the effect that it relies on the friction/forces exerted by the clamping, with the pins there just, as you said, for extra insurance?
Link Posted: 2/17/2006 7:38:33 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/17/2006 7:51:44 AM EDT
I wonder what compounds we could use to increase the friction. Rosin perhaps?
Link Posted: 2/17/2006 7:53:55 AM EDT
Now that's the kind of information I was looking for!  Many thanks to metroplex and BravoCompanyUSA!!!
Link Posted: 2/17/2006 3:09:23 PM EDT
Bump for the Friday night crew
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