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Posted: 12/21/2008 10:24:29 PM EDT
I own a RRA AR-15 mid-length flat top. I am wanting to install a new guard up front. I love the free floeating rig from Yankee Hill. Is it a bad idea to mix manufacturers? Should I pick an offering from Rock river and stay with that? This is the first major facelift of my rifle. How much trouble is it to change those? Sorry for the question, but I have to learn sometime.

GM
Link Posted: 12/22/2008 2:05:57 AM EDT
[#1]
YHM handguards are a great deal in term of price. Fairly cheap, but good quality.

Of course, a Daniel Defense, KAC or Larue Handguard would be more "sexy" but the YHM does his job perfectly ! It wont be a problem to mount it on your rifle.

If you are installing a freefloat handguard, you will have to remove the frontsight (and it's 2 pins, which can be a pain, or easy, depending how much they are forced in) and that you will have to remove the barrel nut, to replace it with the YHM barrel nut, in order to install the new FF hanguard.

You need a couple of tools at least, a barrel nut wrench, an armorer block, and for the YHM handguard, the dedicated wrench.

here are the tools :

one good block

the YHM wrench

and according to me, the best AR-15 wrench, the DPMS one.. (sorry, couldnt find it at midway)

DPMS kind of Wrench


Hope it helps..
Link Posted: 12/22/2008 2:29:30 AM EDT
[#2]
It is not a bad idea to mix manufacturers.  Your RRA rifle (as well as most, if not all other ARs) is already a mix of different manufacturers that was assembled by RRA.  My RRA rifle has a LaRue Tactical free float handguard installed.

And if you were thinking about getting a RRA free float handguard, the ones they sell are made by numerous manufacturers, including YHM, Surefire, Daniel Defense with exception of that half quad rail, half tube thing they sell (I think they make it but not sure).

Installing a free float handguard is very simple if you have the tools.  Check out the build it yourself section of this site, it has all the information you need.  

Also, take the time to look at the multiple other offering for free float handguards, there are many more options available that are much higher quality than YHM for not too much more cash.
Link Posted: 12/22/2008 2:54:12 AM EDT
[#3]
However if you want to keep your front sight post you can go with this from Midewest Industries but that will require you to cut off your delta ring. It is free float and actually pretty easy to install and will give you a monolithic top rail which would allow for a few more mounting options.
Link Posted: 12/22/2008 3:17:48 AM EDT
[#4]
RRA uses yankee hill on their production guns. I ordered a quad rail for my mid length from them and it was a yankee hill. Yankee hill makes decent stuff so don't get caught up in the hype.
Link Posted: 12/22/2008 8:36:22 PM EDT
[#5]
Hey everyone,

Thanks for the info on changing these things, and the links. How much has accuracy been increased for you guys with a free floating barrel? What all are the advantages? Me thinks it might be easier to just install the non-float variety. Hmmm. Decisions. In the meantime, I can search this site a little more.

GJM
Link Posted: 12/22/2008 10:07:20 PM EDT
[#6]
After reading all this stuff, it looks like I have a choice, free float or just a set of two piece rails to replace the handguards with no gunsmithing. Well, I will have to decide. Thanks again for everyones help.

GJM
Link Posted: 12/23/2008 12:27:47 AM EDT
[#7]
Quoted:
After reading all this stuff, it looks like I have a choice, free float or just a set of two piece rails to replace the handguards with no gunsmithing. Well, I will have to decide. Thanks again for everyones help.

GJM


Consider your shooting ability, and be honest with yourself when you do.  Are you a good enough shooter to even recognize the difference that a free float might make?

I am not saying that you are not, just saying that you know how great, or not so great of a shooter you are.  I would say 99% of shooters, myself included, are not great enough to notice any difference that might be made by free floating a barrel.

Just something to consider and possibly help you make a decision.
Link Posted: 12/23/2008 5:20:14 AM EDT
[#8]
Quoted:
After reading all this stuff, it looks like I have a choice, free float or just a set of two piece rails to replace the handguards with no gunsmithing. Well, I will have to decide. Thanks again for everyones help.

GJM


Daniel Defense makes a two piece free-float:
Bravo Company Link to DD Free Float

Link Posted: 12/23/2008 7:11:39 AM EDT
[#9]
Quoted:
RRA uses yankee hill on their production guns. I ordered a quad rail for my mid length from them and it was a yankee hill. Yankee hill makes decent stuff so don't get caught up in the hype.



+1

Link Posted: 12/23/2008 7:14:17 AM EDT
[#10]
I'm at your stage of the mod game myself and have spent hours researching, asking
these questions. If you go with a non FF you might look at Surefire's M73 series,
one of the best looking rails w/ a good track record. Yankee Hill will also install
a YHM quad rail for free if you send your upper which is something I might do.

Some swear you don't need a FF unless you shoot with a bipod but I don't know whats the difference between shooting off a pod vs. just using a rest as far as pressure points on a non FF handguard. Shoot your AR - alot - and see how accurate it is before, then shoot after a FF install and see if you've gained accuracy.
Link Posted: 12/23/2008 7:18:07 AM EDT
[#11]
I've got one of the old YHM FF tubes from back before they put the lock-nuts on them, and it hasn't come loose yet. I didn't locktite it, I just torqued it to death.

The ones with the lock-nuts ought to perform even better, which is to say they might be the best value for the money out there. If I was building a rifle to go off to war with, I'd want a better FF rail than YHM, but I seriously doubt that 99.9% of the people that build AR's will ever stress a handguard beyond what the YHM can stand up to.

Link Posted: 12/23/2008 7:21:30 AM EDT
[#12]
I have the Omega 7.0 lite... it is great... Ive heard Yankee is a pretty good budget rail.
Link Posted: 12/23/2008 7:25:50 AM EDT
[#13]
Quoted:
Is it a bad idea to mix manufacturers? Should I pick an offering from Rock river and stay with that?
GM


Not at all!  People here play mix and match all the time.  In fact there is usually a post floating around that says "how many" or "who's names are you sporting on your rifle?"

Link Posted: 12/23/2008 7:26:51 AM EDT
[#14]
I just put the YHM non-free float handguards on my M4 and am very impressed so far. I have rifles for tack driving and use this carbine with a red dot for plinking, rabbit hunting, home defense, and the occasional zombie army. A free float wouldn't make a heap of difference in my case (and wouldn't for anybody else unless you're doing something akin to bench shooting).

Here's a couple photos to give you an idea of quality and design.

http://smithplanet.com/temp/ar/3.jpg

http://smithplanet.com/temp/ar/6.jpg

http://smithplanet.com/temp/ar/4.jpg
Link Posted: 12/23/2008 7:33:28 AM EDT
[#15]
Quoted:
I just put the YHM non-free float handguards on my M4 and am very impressed so far. I have rifles for tack driving and use this carbine with a red dot for plinking, rabbit hunting, home defense, and the occasional zombie army. A free float wouldn't make a heap of difference in my case (and wouldn't for anybody else unless you're doing something akin to bench shooting).

Here's a couple photos to give you an idea of quality and design.

http://smithplanet.com/temp/ar/3.jpg

http://smithplanet.com/temp/ar/6.jpg

http://smithplanet.com/temp/ar/4.jpg



Your photos remind me of one thing I really like about my YHM handguards - they allow you to mount a standard QD sling swivel in several different locations. My sling is actually mounted to the top of my rail, so the rifle hangs right-side-up when I'm carrying it slung. I carry it a lot when I'm out piddling on the farm or driving the tractor.



Link Posted: 12/23/2008 7:35:42 AM EDT
[#16]
So wait.. do you just go out and shoot crows and ground hogs and shit?
Link Posted: 12/23/2008 8:11:19 AM EDT
[#17]
Quoted:

Your photos remind me of one thing I really like about my YHM handguards - they allow you to mount a standard QD sling swivel in several different locations.


Yeah, I think this is a feature of all of their handguards. There is a threaded hole at the end of each rail. I put a stud on the bottom rail also and my Harris Bipod mounts on there nicely without taking any additional rail space or requiring a picatinny bipod rail. YHM makes a very nice swiveling mounting stud for $4.
Link Posted: 12/23/2008 9:23:40 PM EDT
[#18]
You guys did an excellent job answering this. It is such a big help. I think at my level of shooting, I probably would not notice the difference a FF would make. I think I will save myself time, and install a two piece quick job for my gun. I can do something different later if I become the shooting champion or something. I do want to shoot with a bipod eventually. I think that would be fun. These AR's are so much fun, I find myself wanting to mod everything. If I am not careful, it will look like a X-mas tree.

GM
Link Posted: 12/23/2008 9:47:35 PM EDT
[#19]
Quoted:
I just put the YHM non-free float handguards on my M4 and am very impressed so far. I have rifles for tack driving and use this carbine with a red dot for plinking, rabbit hunting, home defense, and the occasional zombie army. A free float wouldn't make a heap of difference in my case (and wouldn't for anybody else unless you're doing something akin to bench shooting).

Here's a couple photos to give you an idea of quality and design.

http://smithplanet.com/temp/ar/3.jpg

http://smithplanet.com/temp/ar/6.jpg

http://smithplanet.com/temp/ar/4.jpg


Damn shame that YHM isn't a free float as that is in my mind what a rail should look like.
Contrare to popular concensus I don't care for the DD as it looks like a piece of sharp cornered I beam with holes in it.

Link Posted: 12/24/2008 1:08:36 PM EDT
[#20]
That YHM non float look awesome. I think I found what I want!

GJM
Link Posted: 12/24/2008 1:54:26 PM EDT
[#21]
Here's  a few pics of my YHM Light weight rifle length FF hand guard.





Link Posted: 12/24/2008 2:11:22 PM EDT
[#22]
I would save up for a Daniel Defense or Larue. YHM are OK, but I had a YHM on one of my older rifles and prefer the Daniel Defense I have now. It seems stronger.
Link Posted: 12/24/2008 2:59:17 PM EDT
[#23]
ROCK RIVER USES YH STUFF FR THERE BUILDS CHECK THERE WEB SITE
Link Posted: 12/24/2008 3:06:27 PM EDT
[#24]
For the love of God you guys are making me jealous. Just amazingingly nice stuff here. I can't wait to dress my one and only up a little, but I find myself wanting to buy an additional gun to have in reserve before spending too much, or at least another upper or something. I guess I could get a longr barrel upper to switch on and off.

GJM
Link Posted: 12/24/2008 3:19:49 PM EDT
[#25]
The DD Omega 9 for my mid-length would be great. Jeez....too many options......nice stuff though.

GJM
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