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Know the different types of handguards for AR15

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The hand-guard is also referred to as forearm or forend. It is a guard that is attached to the firearm’s front portion to provide better grip to the weapon when holding it from the front. The user is also provided adequate protection from the hot barrel at the time of firing the weapon. More attachments can be done due to the amount of room it offers, like the M203 grenade launcher, lasers, lights, handstops, vertical foregrips, along with other attachments.


They are available in two variations, namely drop-in and free floating. Several mounting systems are also used. The main ones are Picatinny, KeyMod and M-Lok. This accessory also called crosstree, crossguard or the guillons is considered to be a part of the knife or sword, right above the handle. The users’ hands are protected from the opponents’ blade, if it tends to slide down blade portion.




  • Drop-in type: It is a classic type that has been designed exclusively for AR15s. The entire barrel gets encased and is installed as two pieces. Few benefits of using this type are given below:
    • Cost effective
    • No modifications necessary to stock AR 15 for installing this type.
    • Easy ‘drop-in’ kind of installation.
  • Free floating type:  This type improves greater accuracy as it is designed not to touch the gun’s barrel. It also offers enhanced harmonics, thereby offering the user with greater accuracy. Few benefits offered by this are given below:
    • Reduces weight
    • Provides versatile and flexible accessory mounting options
    • Enhances shooting accuracy

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This type is also known as ‘floating’ hand-guards and has been increasing in popularity with time. They function by merely attaching to the weapon at one point (through upper receiver on barrel nut) while the rest of the accessory is designed not to contact the barrel, thus providing a ‘floating’ impression above the barrel, thereby deriving this name. This type is also said to offer increased accuracy especially between .5 & .75 MOA when compared to drop-in counterparts. Increase in accuracy is mostly because of avoidance of the issue termed as barrel warping. This occurs as the Handguard contacts the barrel, which next alters slightly the angle of the barrel, thereby reducing accuracy. An example as to where it may occur is when against the surface is propped the rifle or when there is used a bipod. Force that is exerted upon on the hand-guard tends to push back against the barrel, thereby changing barrel’s angle to reduce accuracy. This angle might appear insignificant. But it is possible to magnify some slight deviation, thereby causing shot to appear widely-off down the range. The floating type however is excluded from suffering due to barrel warping. This is because it floats around without making any contact with barrel. Greater accuracy is achieved as force exerted onto the hand-guard does not push back into the barrel.


If you still feel confused as to which one to be chosen for your rifle, then you can feel free to contact the trained and knowledgeable experts at!!

Creation date: Nov 29, -0001 4:07pm     Last modified date: Oct 14, 2019 12:49am   Last visit date: Jul 17, 2024 4:04pm