Apex makes a series of retrofitable aluminum handguards. I personally don't love the rails that are festooned over many "high speed" AR15s now. Many of the guards Apex offers have slots that both allow rapid cooling, and also give an easy way to mount short rails across the guard.
One of the best things about Apex is their "GatorGrip" pattern. This is a very grippy pattern that is still not abrasive enough to cut the hand if used aggressively.
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January 19, 2011, 04:02 PM
9" - 12" free floated hand guards in two designs, the standard version and another with a cutout for barrels with attached sights. Good cooling, and those elongated holes also serve as mounting slots. US made, msrp is $160 for the .223 and $211 for .308. Cerakote is an additional $45, though its possible we can get a group buy together for some of the green anodized you see in the photo.
My take: comfortable with a good grip. My initial thought was this this would offer great grip in twenty degree wet environments. Overall these have a great feel.
Plus i like to support smaller companies with good ideas. The owner seems like good people.