What are your opinions on the best handguard for an AR-15?

flashgor_99

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I have started buying parts to build my first AR-15. I will purchase a 16-inche barrel, so first question - what length handguard should I buy?
What about things like picatinney rail all around vs. keymod mounts, etc? Over time I plan accessories like night vision, flashlight, laser, bipod, etc. and I want flexibility for the type shooting I'm doing at the moment. Suggestions welcome.
Thanx
 

Alliance96

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I like a 13-15 inch VTAC Alpha rail, but I don't mount anything on it aside from flip up sights. I use it mostly for the grip it give up front and the added control of the weapon
 

jrbfishn

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Key mod is probably the most versatile. But it is all about what kind of shooting YOU will be doing and what best fits YOUR needs and the way you shoot. There is no such animal as "the best". Only the best for you.

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dt300mm

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ditto on KEYMOD, personally don't care for quad rails. Plenty of accessory space but just plain sucks when you go to pick up the rifle by the handguard. KEYMOD handguards allow you to place a rail exactly where you want em while keeping the rest of the handguard smooth and hand friendly
 

gll

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Key mod is probably the most versatile. But it is all about what kind of shooting YOU will be doing and what best fits YOUR needs and the way you shoot. There is no such animal as "the best". Only the best for you.

from an idgit coffeeholic
This!

Right now, I 'm thinking I would like a sling swivel 2-point mount just forward of the receiver. My Hogue forend doesn't allow for this, so I have to decide whether to drill and tap it for a picatinny rail, or modify for some other option.

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Joshua - Capitol Armory

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Personal preference... I dig the MLOK Noveske NSR rails quite a bit, but I'm leaning to the side of MLOK rather than Key Mod.

Advice though, keep accessories to a minimum.

Flashlight is going to mean no bipod (do both, you'll see why I say that) mainly because the light will be used when moving, bipod for longer shots the flashlight won't do anything for.

Same with NV. If you put a PEQ or DBAL on there, you'll probably want a PVS14 mounted on a helmet, otherwise mount the PVS14 behind a red dot and drop the laser. The great thing about nods is having the ability to walk around, drive, etc... so weapon mounted systems hurt the function quite a bit.

An ideal setup would be a longer barrel, glassed upper with a bipod.
A light weight, shorter upper with a red dot of some sort and flash light.
Then a 3rd upper with a IR laser helmet mounted PVS14. (You could run an IR torch if you wanted with it, but if I go past what normal nods will do then thermal is a better option.)
 

Charlie

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Keymod, or something like that. I've got standard rails all around my free float and don't really need them (or like them). MY choice now would be the lightest rail I can find with just enough space railed/keymod to put a light and a flip up sight.
 

Recoil45

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Lancer makes some nice hand guards.
 
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