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Posted: 9/27/2004 2:38:24 PM EST
Im sure this has been addressed so I apoligize ahead of time. I want to put railed handguards on my M4 and would prefer free floating, but have been told that free floating tubes have to be installed by an armorer. Is this true? If so how much can I expect to by to install these things, and would it be worth it? Or should I just go buy the 2 piece surefire guards?
Link Posted: 9/27/2004 2:40:35 PM EST
It would be about $50 to install, but if you ask around in your hometown I think somebody will have the tools and time to do it for you. If you find the right guy, most mechanical things can be fixed so long as the beer is free and cold.
Link Posted: 9/27/2004 2:56:26 PM EST
Who makes the best and most cost effective 2 piece railed handguards? Most of the nice free floating ones cost over $350+ $50 to have installed, thats too rich for me.
Link Posted: 9/27/2004 3:01:00 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/27/2004 3:04:26 PM EST by rocko]
I believe YHM willl install any of their HG's you purchase (provided you don't have a perm. attached muzzle device) free of any charge, except for return shipping. Check the EE for pricing, but you can get carbine length for under $100 delivered, rifle length for I think $150 or so. Also check the Build it yourself for directions on how to do it - specialized tools may run you $75 or so (action block & armorer's wrench), but could come in handy down the road.
Link Posted: 9/27/2004 3:03:19 PM EST
Who here has the 2 piece handguards? Anything pos or neg to say?
Link Posted: 9/27/2004 3:18:45 PM EST
Link Posted: 9/27/2004 3:21:19 PM EST

Originally Posted By Kingcobra:
Who here has the 2 piece handguards? Anything pos or neg to say?



I have YHM 2 piece handguards and cant think of anything bad to say about them. They are on par with KAC in my opinion.
Link Posted: 9/27/2004 4:41:18 PM EST
I've got a Tdi 2 piece railed hand gaurd on my CavArms/Mega AR, I like them and I really like the feel of the rail covers they offer.
Link Posted: 9/27/2004 4:46:08 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/27/2004 5:16:26 PM EST by Alien]
I went with the RAS II myself. It's free floating and will not droop like many other free floating tubes are reported to do over time, as it clamps to your flat top receiver. Some people see it as a problem, but the hump/clamp is a perfect spot for an Aimpoint and you can still use most other optics out there (though it is a problem with Eotechs for most people). You can do the install yourself as long as you have some basic mechanical ability. It doesn't require any special armorer's tools or removal of the front sight base.

Here's a picture of my M4 with a cheap scope that I mounted on a cheap scope riser that I butchered to fit between the RAS II hump and the ARMS #40 BUIS. I'm sure there are proper length risers out there, but I didn't feel like spending any more money on it.


Link Posted: 9/27/2004 5:07:44 PM EST
if only they made those in a midlength model...
Link Posted: 9/27/2004 5:17:50 PM EST
check the Equipment Exchange on this site. i picked up my SIR rail used (but pretty much brand new) for about $70 cheaper-and i have seen them a lot cheaper on there than what i paid.

SIR and RAS2 are both free floated (i think the ras2 is anyway) and can both be installed without removing the barrel or using special tools.
Link Posted: 9/27/2004 6:04:30 PM EST

Originally Posted By Kingcobra:
Im sure this has been addressed so I apoligize ahead of time. I want to put railed handguards on my M4 and would prefer free floating, but have been told that free floating tubes have to be installed by an armorer. Is this true? If so how much can I expect to by to install these things, and would it be worth it? Or should I just go buy the 2 piece surefire guards?



The Oly FIRSH is available around $100 or less. I used it for quite awhile, and I really beat on it. It held up great. AQ decent department armorer should be able to do it for you if that is an option. See below pic....



The YHM 2 piece is what I am currently using, and it has worked out very well ever since they were released. They are also in the $100 range, and are easy to install yourself. See below pic....

Link Posted: 10/6/2004 12:19:04 PM EST
OK guys I did a little home work came up with a solution I was happy with. I then called a few local gunsmiths and almost fell out of my chair. I think I want to go with a YHM lightwieght FF tube with one of their flip up frontsights w/ gas block. I called 2 places and both said about the same

$60 for the tube
$90 for the front sight


Are these guys on crack or am I being too cheap?
Link Posted: 10/6/2004 1:28:42 PM EST

Originally Posted By Kingcobra:
OK guys I did a little home work came up with a solution I was happy with. I then called a few local gunsmiths and almost fell out of my chair. I think I want to go with a YHM lightwieght FF tube with one of their flip up frontsights w/ gas block. I called 2 places and both said about the same

$60 for the tube
$90 for the front sight


Are these guys on crack or am I being too cheap?



Are those installation charges? If so, that is expensive. However, they may not realize the gas block is held in place w/ set screws vs. pinned. Installation of a new pinned GB on a bbl that's already had the pin holes drilled is a bit more work - you'll never get the holes lined up exactly, so you've got to get a close as possible, then drill oversize, etc.

As I noted before, if you buy one of YHM's kits, they will install it for you free of charge save for shipping there and back - or at least that is what their site says. Now, it looks like that is only available for the "kits", which includes a few extra you may not be interested in, but you are still much cheaper. The retail of the carbine-length kit, which includes the flip up front sight gas block, end cap, sling stud & swivel is $204.25. YHM's page for their kits is here. See the bottom of the page for the installation offer. I don't know if they honor the assembly offer for kits purchased through resellers, but I don't see why not, and would certainly be worth asking. If so, you can get the kit even cheaper - look at the ads in the EE.

Myself, I already had an armorer's wrench, so all I really needed was the action block. IIRC, I got the wrench for under $30 and the action block for $35. So - for not much more than the gunsmith is asking for the rail install alone, you can buy the tools to do it yourself, and you still have the tools to show for it. You can use for future builds/maintenance, or probably can resell for at least 2/3 of the original costs - putting you back maybe $20-30 in the end.
Link Posted: 10/7/2004 7:57:01 AM EST
Yeah those were just installation costs. If I buy the tools how hard is it to do myself? Patience is not one of my stong suits, if its difficult thr rifle will end up flying out the window
Link Posted: 10/7/2004 8:42:10 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/7/2004 8:43:16 AM EST by Onslaught]

If I buy the tools how hard is it to do myself? Patience is not one of my stong suits, if its difficult thr rifle will end up flying out the window


I say DO IT! I am by no means mechanically inclined or patient, but I bought all the goods and installed mine myself. It was NOT a big deal at all. I won't be doing it any other way from now on, that's for sure.

There are other ways to do it with less, but for my results I used

A bench vise
Action block (available from Oly Arms, FAC, etc. for around $35, and it says "Brownells" right on the block.
Barrel wrench
punches (I just used plain ole Craftsman punches and had NO dinging issues at all.)
C-clip pliers (again, Yay Sears Card )
Small $5 tube of "anti-seizing compound" from AutoZone.

Not counting the vice (which I already had), I think I spent about $75 on all the tools above, and I have swapped 2 barrels and installed a Daniel Defense forend already, with plans to do more damage down the line. EXCELLENT investment for me.
Link Posted: 10/7/2004 9:02:39 AM EST
if you want FF get the rasII... you don't have to change anything to your weapon but remove the old handguards and attach on the rasII... keep the delta ring same barrel nut... no need to remove FSB or FS
Link Posted: 10/7/2004 10:03:05 AM EST
I too was in the same situation and was leaning toward a FF rail. I thought long and hard about the intended use of my carbine and where I was mounting the optics. I also didn't feel like finding a qualified armorer or spending the big $$$, so I wound up with a SureFire M73. It seams like the perfect mounting platform for non-optic accessories (at any price). I'm not knocking ANY of the FF rails, as it is always better to err on overbuilding something, but I just couldn't justify the cost in my circumstance. The downside: I'm getting a little play with my TD vertical grip, although I've read that even some new KAC forends are getting some slop with the TD. The upside: SF will have a potential solution in my hands tomorrow Chris
Link Posted: 10/7/2004 12:37:13 PM EST
That is my biggest concern. I dont think the FF tube will help accuarcy at all for what Im going to use it for, I just need something solid that can take abuse and not get loose. Second I wanted flip up front sights (A2 style) and YHM makes one at a good price so I figured why not. I thought about just sending my upper to YHM but not really comfortable with the idea.
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