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Posted: 1/31/2006 8:05:53 PM EDT
Good evening AR15.com patrons!

[For the record, I'm not trying to start a product-bashing thread...I need your help in making an informed purchase]

I'm in the market for my first modular handguard set and have been drawn to the ARMS #50M. I've done some research (i.e., on the AR15.com forum, manufacturer's site, and internet browsing) to avoid a regrettable impulse buy. For the record, I have not yet committed funds to this mount system.

Aside from the SIR's weight (and price), what else should I know about the SIR in terms of:
- Aftermarket parts compatibility (e.g., do aftermarket offerings fit with minimal complications?).
- Mount reliability (e.g., can the side/bottom mounting rails come loose and drop an expensive tactical light?).
- Durability.

If you could provide any input on these issues, I would greatly appreciate it. Please feel free to post any recommended substitutions for the #50M, but please follow-up with a justification for the product that you mention. If you require additional information (e.g., purpose for build), please feel free to ask.

I know it's a pretty long first post for a noob, but thanks for your time.
Link Posted: 1/31/2006 8:09:38 PM EDT
I had one. It is inferior. The rails are slightly out of spec and some accessories, like the TDI VFG, will not fit. If you do not loc tite it together, it will fall off. The bottom plastic part feels loose when you use a VFG, and it is overly heavy. The rails won't fall off though.
Link Posted: 1/31/2006 8:13:03 PM EDT
good units, i like mine alot
Link Posted: 1/31/2006 8:14:01 PM EDT
Forgot to mention that I like the LaRue rail system, and the Daniel Defense rail system as well.
Link Posted: 1/31/2006 8:21:32 PM EDT
I'd read all I could on every rail system that I could find. People's opinions and perceptions differ. I like the Predator system. It is light, despite its looks. One down side is that some add-ons won't fit, specifically VFG's. I also have a Daniels Defense. It's a good simple, light rig...

TS
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 2:49:36 AM EDT
Thanks for the feedback, fellas!

Looks like I have a bit more product-related research to do.

Killy
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 6:02:20 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/1/2006 6:09:21 AM EDT by eklikwhoa]
i had three of them and never had any problems with them coming loose and one of them had a tdi vfg on it.

i will agree that the lower portion being polymer made it feel a bit flimsy but the arms sir was the easiest to install and really solid! also there is no guessing if it was indexed/canted cause it mounted straight to the upper. i owned the #46c and #50c and loved both got a good offer on them and sold them but if i ever run into a 50 for cheap i plan on getting it.

as the ad states "the original leader"



but yeah the arms is kinda bulky and i now prefer the sleeker profile of the larue
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 6:43:38 AM EDT
I've probably got no more experience than many of the guys here but for what it's worth...

My personal 16' carbine has the 50C on it right now. To cowitness my EOtech I have to mount it on the front, lower level. This makes it very difficult (impossible for me, actually) to change batteries without removing the sight. No, I won't switch to a trijicon (the dots are too bright in the light of the sandbox.) so I have been thinking of just switching to a new handguard.

I just installed a YHM free float rail on a company gun. It's the one with the rails you screw on yourself. Nice piece of kit actually. The YHM 2 piece that's not free float works well too. I'd equate it to the Surefire rails.

Larue makes great stuff, as does Marty over at Badger Ordinance.

The great thing is that if you spend the $350 or better for the SIR, someone will probably be willing to buy it from you.

I've never had pieces fall off the SIR, but I have had the bottom rails get loose during up drills when I was using my Surefire pistol grip light.
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 4:17:07 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/1/2006 4:22:52 PM EDT by Killy_Wonka]
Wow guys!

Thanks for all of the comments; keep 'em coming.

I'm feeling more informed with each new reply; however, I still have some *fun* research to do.

Killy
eklikwhoa, that's a phat M4!
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 4:32:46 PM EDT
I've got the #50M and love it. Feels good to me, fits everything nice and tight including my Surefire M910A vert grip/light and anything else I could imagine putting on it. My only recommendation to you is: Be sure that you're going to stick with that mount, the #50M requires you to remove the delta ring which isn't standard on any of the other handguard replacements I've seen. Which means later down the road if you decided to change to another handguard/foreward grip you'd have to reinstall the D-Ring etc... The ring and other crap behind it's cheap, but requires you to pull the barrel or sites to reinstall.

If you don't like the idea of that, then I'd suggest getting the civilian version #50C. That's the only difference between the two, it's just cosmetic whether or not you like the look of the D-ring on there or not.
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 5:19:01 PM EDT
A.R.M.S.®,INC. is the original designer and manufacturer of the dovetail dimensions for Military and civilian use since 1983. Those original A.R.M.S.® dovetail dimensions, were eventually adopted in 1995 as the Mil-Std 1913 Rail. From there site. I love mine only one problem I should have used to Loctite they gave me to mount my Aimpoint to there mount. Some of the kids.
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 5:26:46 PM EDT
Actually, the MIL-STD 1913 is NOT the same as the ARMS rail. As a rule, ARMS products are inferior to LaRue and some other makes and models, and Dick Swan is a sheister. He makes an inferior throwlever, so he trademarked the term. Buy at your own risk.
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 5:58:31 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/1/2006 6:05:33 PM EDT by M4-TUNA]

Originally Posted By ASU1911:
Actually, the MIL-STD 1913 is NOT the same as the ARMS rail. As a rule, ARMS products are inferior to LaRue and some other makes and models, and Dick Swan is a sheister. He makes an inferior throwlever, so he trademarked the term. Buy at your own risk.

Really WOW show me your proof please. LaRue is nice it is just a spinoff from Arms. Why not Trademark the term that is bussiness just like Ford . I am not getting on any side with the 2 companies. Both companies make nice stuff. Do U wear Levi's?
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 6:03:45 PM EDT

Originally Posted By TigerStripe:
I'd read all I could on every rail system that I could find. People's opinions and perceptions differ. I like the Predator system. It is light, despite its looks. One down side is that some add-ons won't fit, specifically VFG's. I also have a Daniels Defense. It's a good simple, light rig...

TS

What kind of VFG did you try on the Predator ?
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 6:09:55 PM EDT
Well, MIL-STD-1913 is a different slot depth that the side and lower rails of the ARMS. That is one reason the TangoDown grips don't always work well on the ARMS rails.

Dick Swan isn't a very well-liked guy and apparently not without reason;but I've never had problems with any of his products. Using loctite on any threaded fastener on an AR is a good idea though...
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 6:10:28 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/1/2006 6:29:52 PM EDT by sabre331]
I have a 50 c on my colt , the aimpoint co-witnesses on the lower level , also the c model is easy to remove in case you want to go back to standard handguards also you can mount a harris bipod directly to the lower guard without using an adapter by removing the bottom rail & installing a sling swivel in one of the rail mount threaded holes
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 6:13:37 PM EDT
You can not go wrong with Larue.
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 6:23:37 PM EDT
Lots of great products out there. I chose the A.R.M.S. and I don't regret it. It is heavy and expensive but it works for me and I like it. If weight is an issue, I'd look at something else. If you're looking for a rock solid platform, I'd go woth the SIR.
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 6:37:57 PM EDT

Originally Posted By sabre331:
I have a 50 c on my colt , the aimpoint co-witnesses on the lower level , also the c model is easy to remove in case you want to go back to standard handguards also you can mount a harris bipod directly to the lower guard without using an adapter by removing the bottom rail & installing a sling swivel in one of the rail mount threaded holeswww.hunt101.com/img/363271.jpg



May I suggest that you move the M68 farther to ther rear? The experience of myself and others has validated rearward placement.
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 6:51:01 PM EDT
No complaints from, I like mine

Link Posted: 2/2/2006 4:43:35 AM EDT
One thing I have always wondered about all the SIR's is why they don't make them with full length side rails. Anyone have an idea other than "not necessary"? I would think they would do it just to match every one else if for no other reason.
Link Posted: 2/2/2006 5:14:20 AM EDT
I'm not a fan of any rail that doesn't stay level with the upper receiver.

Daniel Defense makes an outstanding rail, which is strong, and currently the lightest weight rail that I know of. The DD 7.0 does require removal of the barrel, which for some people tends to scare them off. Other people do it themselves, or pay a gun plumber to do it for them. The minor inconvenience is well worth it to use the top of the line product.

Another option, if you want something simple to install, and that free floats the barrel is the Samson rails.
Link Posted: 2/2/2006 5:17:11 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ASU1911:
May I suggest that you move the M68 farther to ther rear? The experience of myself and others has validated rearward placement.




Are you serious? I am very curious as to why you would say this. What do you and the others feel makes an optic mounted rearward better than a forward mount?
Link Posted: 2/2/2006 7:27:55 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Stickman:

Originally Posted By ASU1911:
May I suggest that you move the M68 farther to ther rear? The experience of myself and others has validated rearward placement.




Are you serious? I am very curious as to why you would say this. What do you and the others feel makes an optic mounted rearward better than a forward mount?




+1

what is your reasons or what do you have to back your statement. the only thing i see is that the dfferent levels of co-witnessing due to the "bi-level" but thats nothing like what you are suggesting.
Link Posted: 2/2/2006 8:48:24 AM EDT


- Aftermarket parts compatibility (e.g., do aftermarket offerings fit with minimal complications?).



I've had no problems with KAC mounts/vertical grip and ARMS mounts. I had to do minor filing on the TangoDown vertical grip for it to fit.


- Mount reliability (e.g., can the side/bottom mounting rails come loose and drop an expensive tactical light?).


The rails attached to the sides are locked into the upper metal portion of the SIR, along with being screwed in.

The rails attached to the bottom of the polymer portion of the SIR are screwed in to metal bushings.

The rail attachments are rigid and I haven't had any loosening of screws.


- Durability.


The SIR obviously has the durability to endure my typical, non-abusive civilian use.

On the same subject, it has been stated in these discussion forums that Blackwater uses the SIR on its issued AR's.

I can't see a company such as Blackwater using a product if it didn't work well for them.


Chris
Link Posted: 2/2/2006 4:28:59 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Stickman:

Originally Posted By ASU1911:
May I suggest that you move the M68 farther to ther rear? The experience of myself and others has validated rearward placement.




Are you serious? I am very curious as to why you would say this. What do you and the others feel makes an optic mounted rearward better than a forward mount?



It obscures your field of view far less and adds less weight to the front of the gun. I find that it makes a difference. Personally, I wouldn't use a SIR and cannot mount an optic in that position anyway. I tend to mount the M68 over the barrel-upper interface or slightly further back.

It comes down to what you think after using it. I've used them about every way possible, and thats what I've found, as have many of the people that I have discussed the matter with.
Link Posted: 2/2/2006 7:51:45 PM EDT
Thanks again for the replies!

From what I've read, here's a listing of the companies that I'm going to research (in order of post appearance, NOT personal bias):

ARMS
LaRue Tactical (nice stuff)
Daniel Defense (nice stuff)
Patriot Ordnance Factory (Predator rail)
KAC (IM'd)
Yankee Hill Machine Company, Inc
Badger Ordnance
Samson Manufacturing Corporation (nice stuff)

In terms of product selection, the research list looks promising.

Once I make up my mind on a rail system (purchase/install it), my rifle will have all the qualities of a good cup of coffee: hot, black, and f*cking AWESOME! hanks I'll keep offers that I received on the back burner.

I've got some serious homework ahead, fellas!

[Unless there are additional rails out there that have escaped the list, I think everything's wrapped up here...'til the next topic and have a good night!]

Killy
Wonka
Link Posted: 2/3/2006 2:26:28 PM EDT
Just pick the one U want, most of the major brands are good. I have 4 Arms rail and one Knights and they both have there good and bads.
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 6:59:44 AM EDT
Had mine three years. No problems ever and my ARs are not safe queens. I have the #46C and it's great.
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