Free-floating a two-piece handguard?


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Sledgecrowbar
October 27, 2012, 01:11 AM
My first AR build has been stalled for about a month, partly due to funding, partly due to indecision. I guess that's everyone's stalled AR build. While I've built guns from scratch, I'm new to handling the AR platform.

This isn't a security or field gun per say, at least not until I'm used to it, I'll be using it only at the range, and I'm interested in free-floating for consistency.

I really like the look of the Magpul MOE handguard, so I decided to look into making it work with this. I've seen barrel sleeves for competition that let you free-float regular handguards in classes that require rifles with Colt-style furniture, but being designed only for that purpose, the price isn't worth it, I could buy a nice quad rail for the price of the sleeve and MOE. I thought about making a free-float sleeve myself, and I can and will if that ends up being my only option.

I've also seen the Model 1 Sales free-float tube, which is even cheaper than the Magpul handguard, but I'm definitely picking up an MOE regardless, even if I have to mount it the way it was intended.

I like the idea of getting the Magpul look, at reasonably above the Magpul price, but with the advantage of a free-floated handguard, and I'm more than willing to put in the work. Without holding the pieces in my hands, I theorized that I might be able to epoxy the two halves together and mount them either to the delta ring (I'm still not sure what that does) or with a barrel nut designed for free-float handguards.

I haven't seen any pictures of the barrel nut for the Model 1 Sales tube, but I was looking at the Yankee Hill Machine free-float barrel nut, which is longer than the standard nut and externally threaded. I'm not terribly worried about it being reversible, but I don't want to just epoxy the handguard onto the barrel nut and never be able to disassemble it again. All I have is an upper, a lower, hardware kits, and a buttstock, as I'm still choosing a barrel.

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hentown
October 27, 2012, 12:06 PM
I've built a bunch of ARs, all with free-floated barrels. I'd suggest that you forget about the delta ring and go with a two-piece free float tube, such as the excellent YHM tube that comes with a couple of rails. You torque the barrel nut part of the tube, then screw the indexer and main tube body on. Works great.

http://www.brownells.com/rifle-parts/stock-forend-parts/forends-handguards/ar-15-m16-tactical-handguards-prod21647.aspx

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