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opinion on AR15 free float tube vs handguard

Discussion in 'Gear & Accessories' started by ZombieAssassin, Dec 15, 2008.

  1. ZombieAssassin

    ZombieAssassin Oregon Member

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    YHM-9479 handguard vs YHM-9431A tube: why get one over the other?

    Handguard: rails up the wazoo, "tactical" look (subjective).
    Tube: lighter, better for smaller hands, more comfortable to hold.

    Any other opinions?
  2. Dutchy556

    Dutchy556 Bend, OR Member

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    Unless you're going to be hanging a ton of stuff on your rifle I'd go with the customizable tube - put rails only where you want, and it's a little lighter.

    Along that same smooth/modular handguard line I'd look at the Vtac tubes - a little more expensive but I think even lighter.

    YHM stuff is good to go for most civilian uses but there are certainly more high speed options out there as well... There is some anecdotal evidence of their rails being, while perhaps not "out of spec", a little hard to fit certain accessories on (TD Vertical grips come to mind).

    I'd keep my eyes open on the EE here and ar15.com if you're a member there for a good deal on other options that fit your budget too.

    Nothing wrong with going YHM though, nothing at all... (and that modular rail appears to be on sale, thats a pretty good deal for a free float)
  3. wichaka

    wichaka Wa State Well-Known Member

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    Unless you need to hang everything up to and including the kitchen sink on them, they are pretty much a waste of money.

    In doing many tests with stock handguards vs free float rails/handguards, there was very little difference in accuracy.

    If you're not going bullseye shooting, or like I said above, needing to attach some gear on them, then I would consider staying with the factory set up.
  4. BUZO71

    BUZO71 Emerald Valley, Oregon New Member

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    I have the handguards on my LMT and it works well for me... but then again, I have a foregrip and tac light attached as well as a side mounted sling swivel attached to it too. I like the fact I can adjust the grip, swivel and light as needed...
  5. torpedoman

    torpedoman land of corrupt politicians Member

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    i recall looking at those and thinking i could but a pretty good 223 for that price of them

    OFADAN Brownsville, OR Well-Known Member

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    The mission should dictate the equipment/set up...determine your primary and secondary objectives for your mission/task and then let these objectives determine if you need this, want this, or "just gotta" have it because it scores high on the "CDI" factor.

    I concur with wichaka...sound advise!

    FYI...when folks show up for a defensive carbine course they have their carbines/rifles outfitted with all the latest "techno" garb you can hang on them. Within two hours (easily) 70% has either fell off, broken, or has been taken off intentionally and stored in a range bag or car trunk. During a typical carbine course lunchtime and breaks turns into a swap meet. As one of my mentors drilled into my head early in my career this sage advice; "the simple it is the happier (and better) you will be" No truer words have been spoken.

    BKMDNO Oregon New Member

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    There are several arguments for and against the various rails and hand guards. Free Float vs Non-Free Float, Smooth vs Railed.




    On the first concerning Free Floating, there are several things to consider. First what is the rifles use going to be. If it a close quarters weapon that will not be used with a scope for long distance shooting, than there is really no need for the free float. The free float eliminates the weight, stress, and flex placed on the barrel when you mount a bipod, pull from vertical grip, or sling.

    Free float hand guards usually cost more than a bolt together hand guard. As most are one piece they will require a armorer to take the front sight/gas port off the barrel and the front hand guard locking ring that is attacked to the upper receiver. This is an added cost.

    On the second issue Smooth vs Railed, there again is several things to think about. If you are going to mount just a few things and want the smaller, smoother profile, than the smooth hand guard may work for you. Most will be metal and if you shoot in cold environments it can make it less comfortable than the plastic covers. How well will the rails be secured to the tube is another consideration.

    You think you will not use all of the rail spot, as did I at first, but as you add a vertical grip, bipod, light, and other toys, they get used up fast.

    Front grips/hand guards are like cars. They all provide the same function to get you from point A to point B, but there are many to choose from to suite your individual needs.

    I personally went with the GG&G non free float hand guard. It came with bolt on rails and plastic strips for the areas where the rails were not attached. It also came with 45 degree rails. Most of all it was on sale at the time.
  8. kapnkrunch

    kapnkrunch vantucky New Member

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    in my opinion get the customizable ff tube thats what im using on my varmit rig long rail on the top for optics mounting and a 3'' rail for a bipod/sling stud CIMG96581.jpg
  9. BUZO71

    BUZO71 Emerald Valley, Oregon New Member

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    +1 I have been using the same iron sights I've been shooting with since I was 17 (including the ten years in the Army). Of course, I use the light and swivel as well as the fore grip... but then again, I use my M4 all the time and those are needed for my weapon/ usage. :thumbup:
  10. Doc In UPlace

    Doc In UPlace Tacoma-ish Well-Known Member

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    Along with techno-garb is the Tacti-Cool category, a fave of mine. :paranoid: