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ipser

Looking for 12" MLok Free Float Handguard

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I'm planning a new AR15 build and this time I want to use a free float MLok handguard.

 

The rifle barrel will be 20" and it will have the standard A2 front sight post/gas block/bayonet lug. This puts a firm limit on the length of the free float handguard. I would prefer to err on the side of sturdiness rather than light weight.

 

There are so many free float handguards and even those that are MLok do not all look the same and I am having a hard time figuring out what will work. It looks to me like the length from the upper receiver to the A2 sight post is approximately 12.5" but I was told by one manufacturer that their 12.625" handguard would not fit. The problem is that some handguards are described as 12" but are actually a bit longer.

 

Can you recommend a sturdy 12" handguard?

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Matrix Arms  lists at 11.136. They are nice as I have a pair of 15" versions I use.

 

Greg

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Sometimes the specs will show the actual length as compared to the advertised length. If 12" is a must, I'd call before purchase.

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Look no further.

 

https://www.midwestindustriesinc.com/product-p/mi-22m.htm

 

This 2-pc. design uses the existing barrel nut. All is needed is to remove the Delta ring assembly. Midwest Industries handguards are very sturdy. It comes in at 12.5" long.

Edited by TackleberryMCS
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3 hours ago, GLShooter said:

Matrix Arms  lists at 11.136. They are nice as I have a pair of 15" versions I use.

 

Greg

I have used matrix Arms handguards as well.

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15 hours ago, TackleberryMCS said:

Look no further.

 

https://www.midwestindustriesinc.com/product-p/mi-22m.htm

 

This 2-pc. design uses the existing barrel nut. All is needed is to remove the Delta ring assembly. Midwest Industries handguards are very sturdy. It comes in at 12.5" long.

 

In fact, MI is one of the vendors I was looking at that told me their one-piece 12.625 was too long but suggested the two piece designs. Can you explain the two piece design and how it differs from the one piece?

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1 hour ago, ipser said:

 

In fact, MI is one of the vendors I was looking at that told me their one-piece 12.625 was too long but suggested the two piece designs. Can you explain the two piece design and how it differs from the one piece?

 

First off, the 1-pc. handguards use a proprietary barrel nut. This means that you would have to remove you barrel assembly along with the muzzle device, FSB and gas tube, Delta ring assembly, and USGI type barrel nut. You would then install the barrel using the proprietary barrel nut, install the handguard (unless you are using a low profile gas block to replace the existing FSB), then the FSB with gas tube attached followed by the muzzle device.

The 2-pc., as I said before, all is needed is to remove the Delta ring assembly. It can be cut off (carefully) using a Dremel tool and cutoff wheel. The top handguard aligns with the receiver and barrel nut, then the bottom half is fitted and there are screws that attached the halves together. Much simpler and you do not have to remove the FSB, gas tube, or muzzle device.

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26 minutes ago, TackleberryMCS said:

 

The top handguard aligns with the receiver and barrel nut, then the bottom half is fitted and there are screws that attached the halves together. 

 

Thanks! Now I get it.

This is a new build so I can skip the delta ring but how exactly do the two halves affix to the GI barrel nut and is that sufficeintly secure? (I've built an AR before with a GI barrel nut and delta ring and also helped a couple friends with their free float handguards.)

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1 hour ago, ipser said:

 

Thanks! Now I get it.

This is a new build so I can skip the delta ring but how exactly do the two halves affix to the GI barrel nut and is that sufficeintly secure? (I've built an AR before with a GI barrel nut and delta ring and also helped a couple friends with their free float handguards.)

 

 

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1 hour ago, ipser said:

Also, what is the difference between MLok with oval holes vs. round holes?

 

https://www.midwestindustriesinc.com/product-p/mi-22m.htm - 2-pc. handguard

 

https://www.midwestindustriesinc.com/MI-SLH15-p/mi-slh15.htm - 1-pc. handguard

 

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7 minutes ago, TackleberryMCS said:

 

 


He mentioned antirotational tabs. How do those hold? Also, he left the
front handguard A2 triangular ring but I assume that is superfluous. 

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15 minutes ago, TackleberryMCS said:

 


What I meant about the holes is that if you look at those two models you will see that the one piece has oval holes but the two piece has round holes. I am not familiar enough with MLok to know if that matters. 

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6 minutes ago, ipser said:


What I meant about the holes is that if you look at those two models you will see that the one piece has oval holes but the two piece has round holes. I am not familiar enough with MLok to know if that matters. 

 

All M-LOK slots are oval. The round holes on the 2-pc. handguard are non-functional. They are for aesthetics, weight reduction, and cooling. The M-LOK slots on the 1-pc. handguard are all functional in addition to reducing weight and cooling.

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12 minutes ago, ipser said:


He mentioned antirotational tabs. How do those hold? Also, he left the
front handguard A2 triangular ring but I assume that is superfluous. 

 

As you can see in the video, the anti-rotation tabs are on each side of the upper receiver. These allow for the handguard to be held in place so as to not rotate once everything is tightened. There are many free-float handguard that have anti-rotation tabs of some sort. Some tabs work with the upper, some with the barrel nut, and others have a proprietary mounting system that prevents rotation. Daniel Defense, LaRue Tactical, and a few others produce handguards of that type. These systems have a more complicated installation.

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