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Posted: 7/9/2003 10:42:58 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/9/2003 10:43:38 AM EDT by Fenian]
Okay, I threw caution to the wind and headed up to Savage, Maryland to visit the fine folks at Fulton Armory, to pick up a set of Liberator II handguards.

I'm convinced that residents of Maryland have only to purchase specially marked cereal boxes to obtain driver's licenses, so every time I head that way, it's an adventure.

Other than the fact that the front end of my car started acting like it was about to come apart, I'm happy to report no major incidents. (Can't figure out what's up with that, since I went to the range yeserday, and was doing 75 on 66 West headed out to Centreville, with no signs of any trouble.)

Anyway, I found FA with no trouble, and had a quick "how to" install lesson from Cliff. Very nice guy, and he even gave me an additional 5% discount for being an ARFCOMer.

All in all, this appears to be a very sturdy unit, and the barrel nut length should insure that it's stays rigid no matter what you do to it. Also, there is a nifty little hole in the front, on either side, to mount a swivel...it just pops into the hole like a socket wrench...there's 4 little ball bearings in the shaft of the swivel to lock it in place.

I weighed the complete assembly...15oz...pretty heavy, almost double the weight of the tube that was on there...so I'm picking up 8oz. before I start mounting stuff. The extra weight no doubt accounts for how sturdy it feels, so there's a trade off there. If you're looking for something really lighweight, you might have to go elsewhere. Unfortunately, I don't have any other metal RAS style handguards to compare it to in terms of weight.

Well, here are some before pics...I apologize once again for the low quality of the pics:





I'll let you know how they are, when/IF I get the upper all back together lol.
Link Posted: 7/9/2003 4:53:50 PM EDT
I too can vouch for this product -- my first Fulton Armory purchase was their complete Liberator II upper, and this is a great handguard. I put Knight's panels on it until I actually decide to mount something, and it gives a very large diameter satisfying grip. The upper feels so solid assembled I had no idea there was such weight to the item. Top notch! -Dan
Link Posted: 7/9/2003 5:21:13 PM EDT
I don't notice the weight now that they're on the rifle...kinda funny. They certainly felt heavy before I installed them, that's why I decided to weigh them. I'll definitely have to get some sort of panels for them...how much are the Knight's panels? I'm almost afraid to ask hehe...Knight's = $$ usually.
Link Posted: 7/10/2003 2:15:17 PM EDT
I assume you meant Clint, not Cliff (unless it was another employee). He is one of the nicest guys I've ever dealt with. He's done some work on a couple of my Garands that was top notch. He's not the fastest or least expensive. He stays very busy, but he will take the time to speak with you and answer all your questions on the phone or via email. I'll pay extra for good service and I know that he will stand behind his work.
Link Posted: 7/10/2003 8:01:10 PM EDT
Regardless of length, they are $20 apiece at Del-Ton. They come in 2, 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11 rib, and the 11 rib fits the liberator handguard length perfectly. $60 to cover the sides and bottom, but worth it to protect the rail. When you put an attachment on it, you'll need an appropriate shorter panel at $20 each. It can get costly, but they are excellent quality and you likely won't be sorry. -Dan
Link Posted: 7/10/2003 8:08:27 PM EDT
Calvert1...yes, Clint...sorry...I spoke to Cliffy109 earlier in the day hehehe. Danox, Oly sells a bag of a dozen panels for $32...enough to cover all 4 rails. I ordered them this morning. They have 2 different styles...one type looks sort of like the Knight ones, the other are the more traditional ones. I went to the range tonight...I slapped a vertical grip on the FA handguards, and put about 50 rounds through it...heat didn't seem to be an issue, but we were going back and forth between 3 rifles, and 3 pistols...so I never did fire a full 30 round mag through it before switching to something else.
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