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Posted: 8/5/2004 6:33:49 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/22/2004 10:31:51 AM EST by Sharpshot]
I have a preban J&T 16" A2 upper (M4 profile bbl) that has been sitting in the safe. I'm about to buy an RRA lower and collapsable stock, and merge the pieces for my post AWB sunset build. The upper currently has M4 type handguards. I'm wanting to get new set of railed handguards. FF or not they must be railed. Price is kinda important because I want to have enough money to buy optics/mount, probably Aimpoint ML2. BTW I would install the Aimpoint on the top rail, not carry handle. Here are the handguards I'm currently looking at with approximate prices.

KAC RAS (FF)
Troy (FF)
Daniel Defense (FF) (~$300)
LaRue (FF) ($230)
YHM lightweight 4 rail forearms (FF) ($120)


This is what I'm looking for
- would like to stay around $200 (give or take)
- solidness "no play" (very important since I will most likely be installing optics on it)
- must be milspec
- weight (don't wan't anything too heavy)
- ease of installation (somewhat important)
- FF (would be nice but not neccessary)

What is everyone's input on what I should get? Would a two-piece system be solid enough for optics? I haven't seen too many posting on Bushmaster's handguards so I don't know too much about them. How are they? SureFire's M73 seems to be a good bang for the buck from what I've read up on. Keep in mind this will go on a 16" A2 upper. All suggestions/recommendations/comments welcome.
Link Posted: 8/5/2004 6:45:52 PM EST
I understand the constrains of a budget, but I say get the best you can afford and you won't end up saying "I should have gotten . . ." That being said I would HIGHLY recommend the DD 7.0 rail. Free float, VERY solid, VERY light and beams with quality. You can get one for around $280 I believe. But based on your requirements I would say the LaRue fits you best, but last time I checked Grant was out of them.
Link Posted: 8/5/2004 6:49:15 PM EST
I have a set of YHM 2 piece handgaurds on my 16" A2 and I am real happy with them . There has been complaints about them not being Mil Spec but YHM has fixed that problem and all new ones are now .Mine fit real tight I can't even get them to move when I shoulder the weapon and pull on the forward vertical grip . Check with Brightflashlights.com in the Industry Forums he usually has them for $112 , you will just have to see if he has them in stock right now .
Link Posted: 8/5/2004 6:51:42 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/5/2004 6:53:36 PM EST by gotm4]

Originally Posted By Sharpshot:
I have a preban J&T 16" A2 upper (M4 profile bbl) that has been sitting in the safe. I'm about to buy an RRA lower and collapsable stock, and merge the pieces for my post AWB sunset build. The upper currently has M4 type handguards. I'm wanting to get new set of railed handguards. FF or not they must be railed. Price is kinda important because I want to have enough money to buy optics/mount, probably Aimpoint ML2. BTW I would install the Aimpoint on the top rail, not carry handle. Here are the handguards I'm currently looking at with approximate prices.

LaRue (FF) ($230)
GG&G (FF) ($235)
Bushmaster 4 rail - split (no FF) ($180)
Bushmaster carbine (FF) ($200)
SureFire M73 (FF?) ($195)
YHM 2 piece handguards (no FF) ($132)
YHM lightweight 4 rail forearms (FF?) ($120)

This is what I'm looking for
- would like to stay around $200 (give or take)
- solidness "no play" (very important since I will most likely be installing optics on it)
- must be milspec
- weight (don't wan't anything too heavy)
- ease of installation (somewhat important)
- FF (would be nice but not neccessary)

What is everyone's input on what I should get? Would a two-piece system be solid enough for optics? I haven't seen too many posting on Bushmaster's handguards so I don't know too much about them. How are they? SureFire's M73 seems to be a good bang for the buck from what I've read up on. Keep in mind this will go on a 16" A2 upper. All suggestions/recommendations/comments welcome.



Those are the same thing as the YHM 2pc, 4 rail handguards from www.bravocompanyusa.com for $109.95 (they aren't FF but do work damn nice for the money).
Link Posted: 8/5/2004 6:57:42 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/5/2004 7:04:02 PM EST by Sharpshot]
Thanks for everyone's comments/suggestions so far

cnorton, I would love to have a set of DD forearms but the $280 is kinda turning me away. however, they are still in the picture.

guncrzy, thanks for the info. in fact I heard that Bushy's FF and 2 piece forearms are actually made by YHM, but have a Bushy name. Anyone know if that is true? Got M4, is that what you meant to say?

GotM4, thanks for the heads up
Link Posted: 8/5/2004 7:06:32 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/5/2004 7:15:01 PM EST
If you want to mount your optics on the hand rails, you'll need a free floater, unless you want to roll the dice as to whether or not they will ever move.
Link Posted: 8/5/2004 7:16:54 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/5/2004 7:47:44 PM EST by Sharpshot]

Originally Posted By Vinnie:
If you want to mount your optics on the hand rails, you'll need a free floater, unless you want to roll the dice as to whether or not they will ever move.



good point. that's exactly what I was wondering.

anyone know if the SureFire M73 free floats?
Link Posted: 8/5/2004 8:12:45 PM EST

Originally Posted By Sharpshot:
- must be milspec



What do you mean by 'Mil-Spec'? Lots of people throw it around without understanding what it means.

The Milspec for the M1913 rail? The Milspec for finishing aluminum components? The Specs used for the SOPMOD solicitations? What is used by the military?

I would suggest dropping the 'Mil-Spec' designation and tell us what you are looking for because that will narrow the field.

BTW of the ones you mentioned I'd go with the LaRue - but it's not the easiest to install.

Link Posted: 8/5/2004 8:13:57 PM EST

Originally Posted By Sharpshot:
anyone know if the SureFire M73 free floats?

No, it is similar (but inferior IMO) to the YHM 2-piece.
Link Posted: 8/5/2004 8:21:27 PM EST
Are all these systems as thick as the KAC RAS?

I handled a friend's M4gery recently and was surprised by how much thicker the railed systems are as compared to standard handguards. While I certainly like the look and the flexiility of the rails, I got a bit turned off by the thickness.....
Link Posted: 8/5/2004 8:29:25 PM EST

Originally Posted By Zaphod:
Are all these systems as thick as the KAC RAS?

I handled a friend's M4gery recently and was surprised by how much thicker the railed systems are as compared to standard handguards. While I certainly like the look and the flexiility of the rails, I got a bit turned off by the thickness.....


The Daniel Defense tube is thinner than any of the others.
Was the thickness with or without rail covers? I ask because there are different style of covers available and some are thinner than others.
Link Posted: 8/5/2004 8:34:18 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/5/2004 8:36:29 PM EST by Sharpshot]

Originally Posted By Forest:

What do you mean by 'Mil-Spec'?



Like guncrzy stated earlier, I've read posts about the YHM handguards being out of spec. He says the new ones are fine now. I just don't want to buy optics, lights, vfg's, etc. and them not fit properly on the rails.


Originally Posted By Forest:

BTW of the ones you mentioned I'd go with the LaRue - but it's not the easiest to install.



Just curious what makes it a little harder to install?
Link Posted: 8/6/2004 7:04:00 AM EST

Originally Posted By Hoplophile:

Was the thickness with or without rail covers? I ask because there are different style of covers available and some are thinner than others.



With standard KAC rail covers. Felt like I was holding a 2-liter bottle of soda by comparison....
Link Posted: 8/6/2004 7:07:55 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/6/2004 7:09:07 AM EST by mongo001]

Originally Posted By Zaphod:
Are all these systems as thick as the KAC RAS?



The Larue 7.0 is only a very small fraction of an inch wider than the DD 7.0 and cost $70-100 less. It isn't very much heavier either.

IMO, except for ease of installation, the Larue is what you are looking for.
Link Posted: 8/6/2004 7:16:40 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/6/2004 7:19:54 AM EST by Leisure_Shoot]
The mil-spec problem with YHM was that the rails were not tall enough, or deep enough, and some accessories were difficult, but not impossible to mount to them.

The only one accessory I know of was the Tango Down vertical grip. the solution was to file/sand a little bit on the mounting base/bottom of the vertical grip mount so there was more room to seat it better.

Another thing that is important to remember, for some people, is that free-floats require some amount of work to mount. Removal of barrel nut and and front sight base and flash hiders. Especially notable would be soldered flash hiders or brakes.

Another positive thing about YHM is that it is drop-in, just like plastic handguards.
They are a tad heavier than others, like Daniel Defense, I understand.

I am anxiously awaiting my CAR YHM 2 piece HG's in the mail as we speak... errr, type.


*** on a side note... I read a description of the M73's stating the finish was not great. Flash inside the vent holes and not as nice machining. I have never seen one myself, so take it for what it's worth.... hearsay.
Link Posted: 8/6/2004 7:21:39 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/6/2004 7:22:30 AM EST by Sharpshot]
How would yall compare/contrast the Larue FF handguard to the YHM Lightweight FF handguard? Is the Larue worth the exra $100+ bucks?
Link Posted: 8/6/2004 8:06:08 AM EST

Originally Posted By Sharpshot:
How would yall compare/contrast the Larue FF handguard to the YHM Lightweight FF handguard? Is the Larue worth the exra $100+ bucks?



Yes, it is. It is thinner, side to side, it is lighter and with its locking detent in the handguard nut, there is no chance at all of it coming loose.

IMO, no matter how tight you get the locknut on a YHM type rail system, there is still no positive means to keep the handguard from rotating should the rail system take just the right kind of hit - just enough force in just the right direction. If it ever moves even the smallest amount, your mounted optics will be off.

I've built six different uppers with YHM rails sytems for various people and never was comfortable with the fact that there isn't any positive, mechanical means (other than friction between the rail/locknut/barrel nut) to keep the tube indexed. DD, KAC, PRI & Larue all have pins that mechanically lock it in position to the barrel nut.
Link Posted: 8/6/2004 8:14:59 AM EST
thanks for filling me in, mongo.
Link Posted: 8/6/2004 8:15:38 AM EST
Link Posted: 8/6/2004 8:18:06 AM EST

Originally Posted By JTAC_Supply:
There's always loctite

Jason



True, and that's what I used on some of them for peace of mind, but there are two things I don't like about Loctite:

1. It still isn't a mechanical means of keeping the handguard in place, but it helps alot.

2. Hope and pray you won't ever have to take that thing apart, especially if you use the wrong type of Loctite or use too much of it.
Link Posted: 8/6/2004 8:20:41 AM EST
Link Posted: 8/6/2004 9:38:30 AM EST
Yeah, I usually use the blue loctite on rifle components because it is not permanent but keeps a strong hold. Although, having to use loctite on handguards is outta the picture for me. Since I'm mounting optics it sounds like Larue and DD forearms seem to be the preferred choices. Are Larue's much heavier and harder to install than the DD?
Link Posted: 8/6/2004 10:06:08 AM EST
Any reason to exclude the Troy MRF, which is easier to install than LaRue or DD while still being free floated? It is a little heavier, of course.
Link Posted: 8/6/2004 11:15:10 AM EST

Originally Posted By Cato:
Any reason to exclude the Troy MRF, which is easier to install than LaRue or DD while still being free floated? It is a little heavier, of course.



No, that would be an excellent choice and would fit most of his criteria as well.
Link Posted: 8/6/2004 11:19:00 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/6/2004 11:24:39 AM EST by Sharpshot]

Originally Posted By mongo001:

Originally Posted By Cato:
Any reason to exclude the Troy MRF, which is easier to install than LaRue or DD while still being free floated? It is a little heavier, of course.



No, that would be an excellent choice and would fit most of his criteria as well.



You know, that is a good point. Troy is another great choice from what I've read, I forgot to list. How much does it weigh (oz)? Because the lighter the better, but a tad heavier won't matter I suppose. Who sells them carbine length, how much are they, and does anyone have pics of them mounted? I ran a search and didn't see any carbine length pics.
Link Posted: 8/6/2004 3:30:38 PM EST
YHM light weight free float tubes are awesome. Very light and very solid. BrightFlashlights has very good prices for them, IIRC they were 89.95.
Link Posted: 8/6/2004 4:11:32 PM EST

Originally Posted By Sharpshot:
Just curious what makes it a little harder to install?



You have to remove the front sight base, and if you have a permanently attached muzzle device that needs to be removed as well.
Link Posted: 8/6/2004 4:39:14 PM EST

Originally Posted By Forest:

Originally Posted By Sharpshot:
Just curious what makes it a little harder to install?



You have to remove the front sight base, and if you have a permanently attached muzzle device that needs to be removed as well.



Forest, isn't this neccessary though for installing all FF railed handguards?
Link Posted: 8/6/2004 4:52:03 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/6/2004 5:01:02 PM EST by mongo001]

Originally Posted By Sharpshot:

Originally Posted By Forest:

Originally Posted By Sharpshot:
Just curious what makes it a little harder to install?



You have to remove the front sight base, and if you have a permanently attached muzzle device that needs to be removed as well.



Forest, isn't this neccessary though for installing all FF railed handguards?



Not all. Troy, KAC RAS II, ARMS SIR are a few that are FF and don't require removal of the FSB. Most of these are two piece tubes that install on the barrel nut and receiver (as applicable).

Added Info on Troy MRF-C
Link Posted: 8/6/2004 5:31:23 PM EST

Originally Posted By mongo001:

Not all. Troy, KAC RAS II, ARMS SIR are a few that are FF and don't require removal of the FSB. Most of these are two piece tubes that install on the barrel nut and receiver (as applicable).

Added Info on Troy MRF-C



thanks again, mongo. I have a SIR-C #45 mounted on a Colt Sporter. It was, for the most part, a piece a cake to install. I actually think I'm leaning towards the Troy MRF. Its looks really appeal to me, and like Cato stated it meets my criteria. I'm still unable to find a price for them or locate someone who sells them.
Link Posted: 8/6/2004 5:35:02 PM EST

Originally Posted By Sharpshot:

Originally Posted By mongo001:

Not all. Troy, KAC RAS II, ARMS SIR are a few that are FF and don't require removal of the FSB. Most of these are two piece tubes that install on the barrel nut and receiver (as applicable).

Added Info on Troy MRF-C



I'm still unable to find a price for them or locate someone who sells them.



Dude, you really need to learn how to use the search function.



Just kidding.

Try this: Possible Troy MRF Sources
Link Posted: 8/6/2004 5:42:45 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/6/2004 5:45:11 PM EST by Sharpshot]

Originally Posted By mongo001:

Dude, you really need to learn how to use the search function.

Try this: Possible Troy MRF Sources



I ran the search and never saw this thread, most likely overlooked it. gracias.
Link Posted: 8/6/2004 5:56:20 PM EST
The design of the TROY IND. handguards is wonderful (the standard barrel nut is a very good/stable mounting platform, and easy too!) it's just too bad that they weigh so much for what they are.

The ultimate would be an uninterrupted railed handguard with the profile and weight of the Daniel Defense!

I'm holding off on my next project on the slim hope that after the SCAR trials are over, perhaps DD may offer this variant to us all (if this is in fact what they have?)!
Link Posted: 8/6/2004 8:01:42 PM EST

Originally Posted By Zaphod:

Originally Posted By Hoplophile:

Was the thickness with or without rail covers? I ask because there are different style of covers available and some are thinner than others.



With standard KAC rail covers. Felt like I was holding a 2-liter bottle of soda by comparison....

What you'll want to try then are the 'ladder style' low profile rail covers. They are just tall enough to fill the slots in the rails. www.besthdw.com/test/ddta11.jpg to see what they look like.
Link Posted: 8/22/2004 10:59:46 AM EST
Where did you see the LaRue for $230?
Link Posted: 8/22/2004 11:23:09 AM EST

Originally Posted By SpyHawk:
Where did you see the LaRue for $230?



good question. I know I saw it somewhere so I'll have to look again and I will let you know.
Link Posted: 8/22/2004 3:43:24 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/22/2004 4:09:31 PM EST

Originally Posted By dennysguns:
I have the Troys for sale in the EE.

The MRF-C weighs 11 oz on my postal scale. Not exactly heavy

Denny



I've narrowed it down and I'll be getting a Troy MRF soon.
Link Posted: 8/22/2004 4:17:18 PM EST
get the larue... light enough... best FF carbine... solid... cheaper, includes tango down covers... is a no brainer!
Link Posted: 8/22/2004 6:42:53 PM EST

Originally Posted By jar3ds:
get the larue... light enough... best FF carbine... solid... cheaper, includes tango down covers... is a no brainer!



the only thing that's actually holding me back from the LaRue is installation. I really prefer not to remove my FSB.
Link Posted: 8/23/2004 8:48:47 AM EST

Originally Posted By mongo001:

Originally Posted By Sharpshot:
How would yall compare/contrast the Larue FF handguard to the YHM Lightweight FF handguard? Is the Larue worth the exra $100+ bucks?



Yes, it is. It is thinner, side to side, it is lighter and with its locking detent in the handguard nut, there is no chance at all of it coming loose.

IMO, no matter how tight you get the locknut on a YHM type rail system, there is still no positive means to keep the handguard from rotating should the rail system take just the right kind of hit - just enough force in just the right direction. If it ever moves even the smallest amount, your mounted optics will be off.

I've built six different uppers with YHM rails sytems for various people and never was comfortable with the fact that there isn't any positive, mechanical means (other than friction between the rail/locknut/barrel nut) to keep the tube indexed. DD, KAC, PRI & Larue all have pins that mechanically lock it in position to the barrel nut.



What if you use and extended rail to attach the upper to the YHM ff tube? would that work in helping it be more stable? Do the rails end up being the same height?

Thanks
Link Posted: 8/24/2004 4:49:17 AM EST
I would jump on the Larue @ the $230 mentioned earlier but can't find it for <$300
Link Posted: 8/24/2004 4:57:49 AM EST
yhm
Link Posted: 8/24/2004 7:05:23 AM EST
You can the YHM LW FREE FLOAT 4 railed forearms from Brightflashlights for $89.95, IIRC.
Link Posted: 8/24/2004 7:14:39 AM EST
I went with TROY, the forearm is awesome and they stick strictly to mil-spec...
Link Posted: 8/24/2004 7:54:37 AM EST
G and R has the LaRue for $240ish witout the panes. That's the cheapest I've seen it.
Link Posted: 8/24/2004 7:58:50 AM EST
Link Posted: 8/24/2004 8:08:07 AM EST
Here's a giant tagaroni. This thread deserves a tack. Great info.
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