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Thread: RFI: Ready to upgrade free-float handguards

  1. #21
    Site Supporter dogcaller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wake27 View Post
    Iíve never seen BCM use a barrel like that, though itís possible in their very early days I guess. Easy button is to buy two BCM MCMRs and send both to John Thomas at Retro Arms Works.

    Is there a reason you donít want a pic rail on top?

    Putting a muzzle device on the Wilson will probably go a long ways to minimizing flash and/or recoil depending what you use. Iíd absolutely get it done since youíll probably be sending it off anyways.

    ETA - depending on where you are in CO, d. wilson is in Denver and another solid AR smith.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    Thanks, Wake. Not opposed to the pic rail on top, was just thinking it might save weight to not have it, but there donít seem to be many options. Not a big deal. Thanks for the tip to D. Wilson. Will likely use him.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by dogcaller View Post
    Thanks, Wake. Not opposed to the pic rail on top, was just thinking it might save weight to not have it, but there donít seem to be many options. Not a big deal. Thanks for the tip to D. Wilson. Will likely use him.
    Yeah there are other ways to save weight which are more common and probably better. I went to Dave several times when I lived in the Springs and he's a solid dude that does great work.

  3. #23
    I'd strongly recommend ditching the flip up sight gas block on the 16". It significantly limits your options. I'm guessing it's a YHM gas block? If so, I believe those weigh around 5oz (for some models, YHM shows ~5.24). If switching to something more modern, like say a pinned Geissele gas block, you'd probably save up to ~3.6oz.

    As far as rails, there are quite a few on the market that don't have full length rails at 12:00 and only have a rail at the last few inches. They are harder to find, especially due to lack of a standard or consistently used term for this layout. Here's a few:



    Of those, I only have experience with the CMT and F-1 H7M rails. Both are extremely nice, light, and ergonomic. I particularly like how robust CMT's mounting method is for the rail (similar to SLR) plus the fact it has anti-rotation tabs. Considering CMT's barrel nut is shared among all of it's current 7 handguard lines, that also offers room for easy changes in the future should you so decide.

    The F-1 H7M is super cool, very sleek, ridiculously light, and quite robust (only one on the list that's 7075 T6). That said, with the timed barrel nut and lack of anti-rotation tabs, I'd pick the CMT over this if you want something that's less hassle.

    Another thing worth considering are the potential advantages in using the same handguard line for both guns, in different lengths. For example, the CMT UHPR MOD 1 HDX 13.7 on the 16" gun and either the 15.0 or 17.0 on the 18" gun. Same shared mounting system, no need for two different sets of special tools, same ergos. Later on, say you decide you want to experiment with the 18" gun and shooting from tripods (I'm just making stuff up). You might decide to jump on the ARCA rail craze, in which case you could swap out to the CMT DRT-A1, which you'd be able to do yourself without needing to mess with the barrel nut.

    I hate to say it but, after a long period of time with ALG rails being sold out and nearly impossible to get, it appears Geissele has finally killed them off. As of ~Oct 24 of this year, or sometime between then and now, Geissele has taken the ALG website down and now redirects it to their site. While they're still selling some ALG parts, the handguards now appear to be gone. I and I know many others will be extremely displeased with this. The last few years, it feels like they've gone the way of LaRue (which I still like and also builds good products... when available), at least with certain products. I hope they bring those budget rails back at some point because they were probably the best-engineered budget rail there was.

    Here's a few pics I have of one of those CMT rails (13.7 on a 16" with a Faxon Gunner barrel, Aero slick side upper, V7 AIR port door and rod, V7 Ti A2 flash hider not torqued yet as I just test fit everything on the upper):

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  4. #24
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    Thoughts for the OP:

    1) The weight savings for no Picatinny 12 o'clock rail is minimal

    2) ALG rails were great but are effectively dead. If you are considering a Geissele rail now (Black Friday Weekend Sale) is the time to grab one. G does other holiday sales but BF has the best discounts.

    3) For your Wilson Upper WC has their own MLOK rails which are decent.

    4) CMT rails are good, Primary Arms sells a rebranded CMT rail under PA's house brand "Expo Arms" All PA Expo Arms products are currently on sale for BF.

  5. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by dogcaller View Post
    Not opposed to the pic rail on top, was just thinking it might save weight to not have it
    It probably adds some rigidity also.

    And thanks for bumping this, it caused me to think. I have new access to a couple places and will probably get back into deer hunting next season and will probably build a 20" upper in 350 Legend. Might be a good idea to go ahead and order that handguard I am going to want...

    Also, if myself and others didn't scare you away from Larue, I think they really are a good value, you can always order one and if it doesn't ship in a week or so they are cooperative about canceling.

  6. #26
    Site Supporter dogcaller's Avatar
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    Lots of good info here, thanks, all. Iím planning to go with the 12Ē Larue for the Ghost and a Wilson tube for my WC upper. There are cheaper options, but theyíre not terribly expensive. Buy once, cry once. Iím going to take the advice and ditch the flip-up front. Was going to buy the Larue gas block but it sounds like it might be proprietary to Larue barrelsÖ. Anyone have an opinion on that?

    Will probably send the WC back to them to install the hanguard and a flash suppressor. Thinking about having them take an inch off the barrel so the length stays approximately the same. Donít really want to go longer.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by dogcaller View Post
    Lots of good info here, thanks, all. Iím planning to go with the 12Ē Larue for the Ghost and a Wilson tube for my WC upper. There are cheaper options, but theyíre not terribly expensive. Buy once, cry once. Iím going to take the advice and ditch the flip-up front. Was going to buy the Larue gas block but it sounds like it might be proprietary to Larue barrelsÖ. Anyone have an opinion on that?

    Will probably send the WC back to them to install the hanguard and a flash suppressor. Thinking about having them take an inch off the barrel so the length stays approximately the same. Donít really want to go longer.
    Make sure you find the LAT in stock, lots of people wait a long time for Larue stuff to ship (no personal experience). I don't know about the compatibility, I glanced at it quickly and it's an odd design that I don't follow. I prefer the FCD or Badger (ultra low profile) but as always, BCM is an easy answer for quality and general purpose. I don't know what level WC will modify stuff, Dave definitely will chop a barrel if you need.

  8. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Lehr View Post
    Another option is the LaRue LAT or SAT handguards (I prefer the LAT) they cost $10.00 an inch from 7 to 13.2 inches. They are also generally not in stock, it took me several months to get my 13.2" LAT.
    Quote Originally Posted by mmc45414 View Post
    And thanks for bumping this, it caused me to think. I have new access to a couple places and will probably get back into deer hunting next season and will probably build a 20" upper in 350 Legend. Might be a good idea to go ahead and order that handguard I am going to want...
    And yesterday I did order a 350 Legend barrel, and was thinking about maybe putting another handguard on order, and after I sorta standardized on them they discontinued the damn things! Some mention on Arf that ML confirmed it on Insta, just streamlining the product mix. Some of the other things seem to have escalated in price, the scope mount I paid $140 for is now $400. Probably will not be getting another hat after this one wears out...

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