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Posted: 3/26/2006 8:14:37 PM EDT
Any issues with installation, fit and finish, durability, rail covers, etc?

General impressions?

Thanks.

K
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 2:29:31 AM EDT
They’re plastic and generally frowned upon. Spend a few extra bucks and get a YHM or MI 4 railed HG. You wont regret either.
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 2:54:29 AM EDT
I have a set of M44S on my Bushmaster. Installation was fairly easy. Tight fit. I have a folding vert grip and light. With covers they are comfortable. I've not had any issues with them. They are plastic but also light weight.
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 2:56:24 AM EDT
It only has 2 rails at 12 & 6 o'clock which makes it kind of hard to mount a light. Their VFG also takes up a lot of real estate on the bottom rail. I found that I was pretty much limited to using a VFG and nothing else.

They are ok if you are on a budget and can find a set cheap. I wouldn't pay retail for them.
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 4:41:08 AM EDT
Rails seperate from the HG. Buy something else (SF, MI, etc).
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 5:15:09 AM EDT
You obviously are not looking ofr a free float set up so just go get the SureFire rail system instead. They lock up quite nicely and if you decide to run a Beta mag through them they dont smoke up and smell like burnt plastic!!

Link Posted: 3/27/2006 5:38:46 AM EDT
I think First Samco is the last handguard you want to put on a rifle that will do anything other than occassional plinking.
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 5:19:32 PM EDT
Thanks everyone for your input.

Since the original handguards are plastic, what's the objection to a plastic replacement? Is it the durability of the rails? I'll consider a four rail system, but it seems like they would be pretty brutal to the hands? I would rather not *have* to wear a glove for an extended range session.

K
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 5:43:03 PM EDT
That's what rail covers are for. Vertical foregrips work well too.
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 5:44:41 PM EDT
i have those handguards and they are fine. i have a flashlight and vertical grip with a laser coming in the mail soon. mine has four rails and it came with rubber covers that look good too. if your on a tight budget i would go with them. work fine for me.
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 5:59:47 PM EDT

Originally Posted By kentak:
Thanks everyone for your input.

Since the original handguards are plastic, what's the objection to a plastic replacement? Is it the durability of the rails? I'll consider a four rail system, but it seems like they would be pretty brutal to the hands? I would rather not *have* to wear a glove for an extended range session.

K



Yes the original HG’s are plastic, but your not mounting a vert grip on them are you? If you do, and subject your weapon to occasional abuse, don’t expect them to hold up for long.

Plastic rails for mounting vert grips or accessories just doesn’t sit right with me. At the very minimum I would go with YHM HG’s. You can probably get a set for about the same price as the Samcos and have the piece of mind knowing that they are a good solid HG made of metal.

Exposed rails can be covered with the panels of your choice so your not holding on to bare rails with your hands. And HG’s such as the YHM or MI actually run cooler than enclosed HG’s because of the number of cooling vent holes.

But hey, the choice is yours.

Link Posted: 3/27/2006 6:46:32 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/27/2006 6:47:35 PM EDT by Onslaught]
I've got a $300 Daniel Defense 9.0 on one carbine and a Fobus M33 on another, so I feel relatively qualified to speak from both sides. I've also owned a YHM lightweight and a DD 12.0 as well.

The Fobus is thicker than standard handguards. It also has notches to index the barrel nut to prevent rotation. You can use a Viking Tactics offset light mount for flashlight mounting, and you can use other vertical grips besides the Fobus POS (though the ones that screw up from the bottom and use a pin won't work because of the grooves in the rails). This is my second set, and I must say that the new rubber panels are MUCH better than the old plastic slide-ons. It's slimmer than M4 handguards, fatter than carbine, and rubber panels top and bottom.

I mean, it ain't no Daniel Defense, but if you can find a set for less than $65, they are just fine. They are better than adding rails to existing handguards, but not as good as an aluminum forend. Do you need aluminum? Only you can answer that question. Would I trade you my DD forend for 10 M33s? NO... But would I tell you the M33 is crap? Nope.

If you just want to add a VFG, (have not tested a TD VFG yet, but will when I get one for my DD) and you're not going into the sandbox, crack house, or zombie graveyard, get one. If you don't like it, sell it to someone else who wants to try it and spend twice as much on a low end aluminum forend... Or spend 5x that on a LaRue or DD.
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 7:52:46 PM EDT
I had a set of m44's on my rifle.

Key word, had a set. Stuff fit on them ok, but i really honestly felt like the grooves would chip or something if the rail covers were off. Not that they were too shoddy, but it IS plastic. I wouldn't expect it to hold up to much (ie take them to Iraq). I actually got them pretty cheap off the EE here, ironically from a Marine who wanted to take them to iraq but lucked out and got issued a KAC unit instead.

I also felt like if my VFG took a serious hit, it may crack off the rails. Maybe I need to not be a wuss about my range toys. or maybe I need to invest in a real set of rails....
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 7:56:11 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ZBM2:
Rails seperate from the HG. Buy something else (SF, MI, etc).



That would be very tough to do as they are molded into the handguard.

For a VFG and/or a light the M33s suffice. I've used them in the past and taken them to a carbine course where they held up just fine. I've got a buddy who uses them to mount lights on his carbines.

The biggest negative about them is the slit they have milled down the center of the rails (like YHM & ARMS does). It makes using a KAC style grip difficult (no place for the pin to lock against) and there is not enough neck room for the Tango Down VFG.
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 8:10:22 PM EDT
I really hate mine. I also have a set of the four rail which I hate even more. Their Vertical Grips have always been loose. The mag couplers are the best thing Samco makes.
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 8:21:54 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/27/2006 8:22:24 PM EDT by sgtmike]

Originally Posted By ZBM2:
Rails seperate from the HG. Buy something else (SF, MI, etc).





Each half is one piece, the rails can not separate.

I have an M33 on my Bushy and it has held up well with my VFG.

I have the cover on the top rail. The fit is off a bit and it also tends to slide forward in normal use. All in all it is a decent set up if you don't want to spend the $$$. Just don't expect to mount an optic to it.

Sarge
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 8:27:37 PM EDT
I have them on my carbine and I've never had a problem. Have a vert. grip on the bottom, surefire on the right, laser on the left and EOTECH on top. Works fine for me......
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 6:39:03 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/28/2006 6:39:43 AM EDT by jvicent]
Last time I was in Iraq three buddies broke the rails on the First Samco handguard with VFG. They just aren't strong enough for use in the real world. If you think you'll be needing the weapon in a fight, how much would you spend for reliable equipment?

That said... at or training center we've got quite a few Bushmasters with First Samco quad rails on them, and they work, but we're breaking one every couple of months. I'm replacing them with the YHM two piece, quad rail handguards for less money.
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 6:50:52 AM EDT

Originally Posted By jvicent:
...That said... at or training center we've got quite a few Bushmasters with First Samco quad rails on them, and they work, but we're breaking one every couple of months. I'm replacing them with the YHM two piece, quad rail handguards for less money.



The YHMs are a much better option than the M44s to be sure. I think the M33s have a nich in being a decent flashlight rail.
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 6:59:01 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Forest:

Originally Posted By jvicent:
...That said... at or training center we've got quite a few Bushmasters with First Samco quad rails on them, and they work, but we're breaking one every couple of months. I'm replacing them with the YHM two piece, quad rail handguards for less money.



The YHMs are a much better option than the M44s to be sure. I think the M33s have a nich in being a decent flashlight rail.



If all a guys out for is to mount a light, there are cheaper and functional alternatives than the Samco HG’s. The Weaver rail section bolted to the CAR HG’s, or the FSB rails for example.

Again, the Samcos just never sat right with me, and case proven with jvicent’s input to the thread.
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 8:35:30 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/28/2006 8:45:32 AM EDT by Onslaught]

Originally Posted By sic_ness:
I had a set of m44's on my rifle.

Key word, had a set. Stuff fit on them ok, but i really honestly felt like the grooves would chip or something if the rail covers were off. Not that they were too shoddy, but it IS plastic. I wouldn't expect it to hold up to much (ie take them to Iraq). I actually got them pretty cheap off the EE here, ironically from a Marine who wanted to take them to iraq but lucked out and got issued a KAC unit instead.

I also felt like if my VFG took a serious hit, it may crack off the rails. Maybe I need to not be a wuss about my range toys. or maybe I need to invest in a real set of rails....


While confidence in your equipment is important, and you obviously had no confidence in your handguards, you also never actually experienced any issues other than what you "felt" was a weakness. You made the right move.


Originally Posted By jvicent:
Last time I was in Iraq three buddies broke the rails on the First Samco handguard with VFG. They just aren't strong enough for use in the real world. If you think you'll be needing the weapon in a fight, how much would you spend for reliable equipment?

That said... at or training center we've got quite a few Bushmasters with First Samco quad rails on them, and they work, but we're breaking one every couple of months. I'm replacing them with the YHM two piece, quad rail handguards for less money.


What constitutes the "real world" is different for each of us. For me, living in a tent, trudging through the sand, having to dive into the side of a dune at any moment when being fired upon is definitely NOT the "real world". If your "real world" has you doing that, or any of the rigorous things that a "training center" is going to be having you do with/to your rifle, day in, day out, over and over again, amen, then I would forego the YHM rails as well and go straight for the DD/LaRue. But if your "real world" is leaning an AR15 up against the night stand before you go to bed, with a flashlight attached to your M33 forend, then I see no reason why the M33 isn't good enough for that purpose.


Originally Posted By QUIB:

If all a guys out for is to mount a light, there are cheaper and functional alternatives than the Samco HG’s. The Weaver rail section bolted to the CAR HG’s, or the FSB rails for example.

Again, the Samcos just never sat right with me, and case proven with jvicent’s input to the thread.


Using a rail bolted to standard handguards leaves the flashlight pointed upwards in relationship to the barrel, and since your mount is only as good as what it's connected to, in this case a standard set of handguards, then you're going to have a weaker setup than the Fobus. Compared to a set of standard handguards, the M33 is actually a darned quality piece. They are VERY tight fitting and made of very thick material. They look to be thicker than even the CavArms handguards that I've owned. I prefer them to standard handguards even if I don't need rails.

I considered using the FSB rail mount option for the carbine with M33s, but the only option for operating the light is a tape switch. No option to use the thumb switch with a VFG and offset mount.

It's all fine and dandy that you guys don't like them and won't use them, and I'm not arguing that any of you are wrong in what you are saying... I'm only making sure to point out additional info in relationship to your input so that the poster gets the full picture.

But like I said in my very first reply... Don't spend more than $50 - $65 for them! If you pay $100 for a set, you just bought a GEO Tracker for the cost of a Jeep Wrangler. Aluminum forends ARE more durable (and heavier) than the Fobus. But for some folks, the Fobus will be PLENTY good and sturdy enough for what we ask of our ARs. For those in doubt... Buy DD!
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 11:13:22 AM EDT
Your post and intent is well taken. My only point is that if a guy or gal is leaning that M4 against the bed thinking that they will perhaps need it to defend themself or a family member against harm... wouldn't they want something that is ready for combat. Not diving into a sand dune, but maybe running into another room and breaking the light off the weapon because you hit the door jam with the VFG or something.

The point is that if you train to win (not just survive) in that worst case "I'm half asleep and a gunfight just started in my bedroom" moment, won't you be interested in having the best equipment your budget can afford? Aluminum two piece YHM handguards with four rails are about the same as the M44 rails from 1st Samco. Easy choice for me and probably for you as well.

Link Posted: 3/28/2006 2:00:01 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Onslaught:
Using a rail bolted to standard handguards leaves the flashlight pointed upwards in relationship to the barrel, and since your mount is only as good as what it's connected to, in this case a standard set of handguards, then you're going to have a weaker setup than the Fobus.



Well on both accounts that would depend on the mechanical ability of the person installing the rail and modifying the HG’s.

My modified HG’s happen to be a very solid set up, which by the way points the light beam exactly where I want it, which is far from “pointed upwards”!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not bashing the Samcos or Samco owners, they’re just not on the top of my list.

The original poster was asking for feedback and he got mine.



Link Posted: 3/28/2006 7:14:15 PM EDT

Originally Posted By QUIB:
... cheaper and functional alternatives than the Samco HG’s. The Weaver rail section bolted to the CAR HG’s, or the FSB rails for example.
...



I have both the M33s and the bolt on rails.

I use the TDI 'bolt ons' at 10:00 so I can use my light either with a traditional hand hold, or by sliding the light all the way to the rear I can still use it with a magwell grip.

However the M33's built in rail is FAR stronger, the overall system is lighter, and if you only cut the front secton of the rubber rail cover you maintain the feel of the handguard while allowing light to be mounted. If you prefer your light at 6:00 and/or intend on using a VFG I'd rather have the M33s.
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