whats new and exciting in the 308 AR handguard arena?

AXEMAN

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I have a second MATEN upper to build and I cant really find anything I like for a hand guard/fore end. I like the diamondhead stuff, but it looks like its 223/556 only. I have a badger stabilizer on the upper I have now, and I want something different for the new upper. don't really want rails, but that's what a lot of the choices are. Troy, Sampson and Midwest Industries all kind of look the same. centurion ... not sure. anyone know of anything else out there?
 

ORD

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Diamondhead USA's stuff is currently ONLY small-frame/AR-15 right now in terms of handguards, but they are supposedly working on large-frame AR variations...who knows when those will be hitting shelves.

If you like the Badger Ordnance Stabilizer (flat bottom, triangular/trapezoidal shape, rails if/where you want them, etc.), the check out the "Delta" series handguards from PRI. They are VERY nice and offer some very similar features, but in a better overall package in my experience with both.

The other really nice products out right now in terms of large-frame AR handguards are the Apex handguards. They offer tons of modularity, as well as one of the "better" textures in terms of grip on the market, as well as a variety of different sizes from carbine to extended rifle-lengths at 15".
 

ORD

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The Geissele offering looks to be pretty nice, but you are likely still ~2 months out or so before they are in full swing in terms of production if I recall their timeframe correctly and I'm not sure how fast you'll be able to get one after that. The prototype I have seen looks VERY nice indeed, but it may or may not meet the OP's requirements. Still worthy of consideration though if your schedule permits waiting that long for them to become available.
 

Ultraman550

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Heres a site I came upon in my search a few months back. It says "made to VLTOR WEAPONS SYSTEMS KeyMod specifications" so I don't know if that means it only works with a VLTOR upper or what but it looks like a pretty nice rail, not cluttered with rails and reasonably priced.


ODIN Works KMod Forend 12.5"
 

Fried Chicken Blowout

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You want something "tactical" or something that's light to help balances a heavy barrel? I just got done with an AR15 build that used a 26" heavy barrel that I chose a carbon fiber hand guard for that works great. They make it for AR10 as well. The AR10 version is 16" long and says it's 1 pound lighter than the SASS type. I assume they are referring to the DPMS tubular aluminum hand guard so it may cut more off of the railed hand guard's weight.

Carbon Arms Feather FF Tube, DPMS .308



Untitled by FriedChickenBlowout, on Flickr


Clearly not a tactical style hand guard but function because of the weight savings on a heavy gun. You can drill holes where ever you want and install stuff. I've got sling mounts from Impact Weapon Components and a JP rail segment. Just order the accessories to match the JP rail OD and they will fit this. I had to take the indexing rib off the backing piece for the rail segment so it sat flat inside the hand guard without a slot milling in the hand guard. There's plenty of room for large gas blocks as you can see. This is a 15" hand guard but I have a gas system that's 2" longer than a rifle gas system so the block hangs out. That's a JP 0.936 adjustable gas block and the barrel inside the hand guard is 1.25" OD. The barrel nut is quite impressive and the hand guard is easy to remove if you need to drill holes or mount stuff. Again, not tactical, but practical if you don't need to hang a bunch of stuff off the gun. There is zero flex in the hand guard. The material is heavier than most other carbon fiber ones I've seen. Brownell's stock them too.


Untitled by FriedChickenBlowout, on Flickr
 
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bladeandbarrel

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http://shopwilsoncombat.com/TRIM-Ta...dular-DPMS-14/productinfo/TR-TRIM-AR-10-D-14/




Wilson worked very well on my 2 MATEN builds
 

Shooter0311

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Biner, any idea on some ETA for a geissele 308 rail? Maybe, hopefully a 2014 shot show unveil???
 

biner626

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whats new and exciting in the 308 AR handguard arena?

Biner, any idea on some ETA for a geissele 308 rail? Maybe, hopefully a 2014 shot show unveil???

Your guess is as good as mine. Keep an eye on Geissele on ARFCOM in the industry section or their Facebook page.

Apparently they are in the testing phase. Stated a 6-8 week time frame a few weeks ago. Hopefully it won't cost anywhere close to the price of a Knights SR25 rail.
 
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AXEMAN

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thanks guys, keep it coming

that odin is nice, but I don't see anything that says if its for a 308. the geissele looks nice too. similar to another that's posted, the superior weapons systems unit. I really don't which way ill go. I like the clean look on the Wilson. its pricey though, as im guessing will be the geissele. the upper has a 16" barrel and I think im leaning towards a longer rail, at least 12" to 15" so that will whittle down the choices. im not really a rail fan, I have a seekins on an ar15 and its great, but I wish I had gone with a different seekins that was non railed. the carbon fibre tubes are cool. im just not sure which way to go. Troy and Sampson are a lot alike. I like that smooth look, plus I can add a rail section. if MEGA MKMs were easily available, id consider that too.

keep posting, this may help a few people in the future. thanks

also, does the JP tube come in a 308 size? I thought it did, just cant confirm it yet
 
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Redmanss

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I'm holding out to see what kind of magic Seekins comes up on a large frame before I build another. Seems the panic swamped them and put that project on the back burner, but I have a feeling it will be every bit as good as their SP223 setups.
 

Petey

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Another vote for the PRI tube. I have a DD Lite Rail on a 308 Win and the PRI on a 260 Rem and would take the PRI rail any day of the week. I haven't had a chance to try any of the 'new' tubes that have come out lately, though.
 

shooter545

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Check out Lancer Systems. they make some great stuff. I have 4 of their hand guards; just got one that is going on the 20" .260 Rem. Light, stiff, tuff and strong.
 

AXEMAN

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lancer is cheaper than pri. I like the lancer look better. pri seems clunky up close to the barrel nut. Id love to see either one in person though. how do they make the rifle feel being so light? balance wise that is.

im not in a hurry, I would love to see what seekins comes out with too


Midwest industries says its 2-3 weeks out from having the 308 version of the Gen II
 
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Petey

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As for the PRI balance, it is a relatively lightweight forend but with the chunk of a barrel I have on this 260 I don't know if I'd honestly notice much of a difference between the PRI and something perhaps a few ounces heavier. I like the feel of the composite material, especially in cooler weather (Minnesota...). Here's a quick picture so you can get an idea of how the barrel nut arrangement looks on a full build:

 

AXEMAN

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beautiful rifles guys, very nice stuff. i an drawn to the smooth look that Troy, Midwest Industries and Sampson Evolution rails have. add a rail section here and there. i like the lancer shape. that Diamondhead stuff is nice but no large AR stuff from them yet. this could be a handy thread or just a good place to show off your rifle ;) keep the pics coming.
 

smschulz

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FWIW, when you pick whatever forepart (rail, etc) you need to be careful so the top rails match up.
I don't believe the Samson Evolution rails match up but the Star quad rails do.
If they don't match up they will work but look like mis-matched dog crap.
YMMV
 

delfuego

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I like my Troy TRX 308 (13.8"). Light and skinny. Now with my Noveske sling stud I no longer need a rail section or 1913 mount for a bipod. IWC QD sling mount and squid grips make it real functional too.
 
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AXEMAN

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yeah thru some research, the Sampson Evolution are low profile. the mega is the higher profile of the two. Troy Battle rails have both offerings. +1 for troy
 

Delta4-3

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Roll your own brother, get exactly what you want, without paying ridiculous premiums.
 

EDoc

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I put the Troy Alpha w/ squid grips on my AR10 carbine and put the PRI on my long range AR10 - the PRI is the best and the Troy comes in at a close second but that's the only hand guard that's better IMO - the Troys' smaller diameter w/ the squid grips is really comfortable - the PRI is just badass, feels strong as a Abram and light as a feather - both have the modular rail sections for accessory placement preferences and both have qd sling mounts - I know its down to personal preference but IMO you wouldnt go wrong with either
 
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Benito

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I have an Apex on mine. Like it.

had a Troy, didn't like it. Don't trust the clamping system relying on 2 tiny screws.
Never getting a Troy product again, since they love hiring anti-2A statist morons. Never getting a penny from me again.
 

Skeld1

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I have the Troy MRF 13.8" on my DPMS. It seems pretty nice, but it also seems to have rotated slightly since I installed it. It wants to sit in the position it rotated to rather than being lined up perfectly with the receiver. I'm not sure why.
 

BLDTYLRY

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I have two MA-Ten builds. The first used a PRI GEN3 with Full Top Rail and the second is an MKM. If you want lightweight, the MKM is the way to go.

 

AXEMAN

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I have a MATEN and this is a second upper for that. my main thing with MEGA is that right after the MATEN came out, we had the MATEN ambi. great, I missed out I guess. so they have the MKM now but I already have an upper. the rail is only good with the new upper that goes with it. kinda pisses me off, I know its not a big deal. but every time I buy a MEGA product, I miss out when a change is made for the next generation

I do like that MKM though, looks almost as good as the mono they used to do
 
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mobius38

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That looks pretty sweet. What gas block is that?

As for the PRI balance, it is a relatively lightweight forend but with the chunk of a barrel I have on this 260 I don't know if I'd honestly notice much of a difference between the PRI and something perhaps a few ounces heavier. I like the feel of the composite material, especially in cooler weather (Minnesota...). Here's a quick picture so you can get an idea of how the barrel nut arrangement looks on a full build:

 

AXEMAN

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so I will say this. that centurion is decent looking. ive been looking at a lot of rails. they seem to be one of the few that doesn't include a few rail sections in the deal. they are one of the highest priced also. $365 for a 14" compared to a 15" from Sampson for $190 and soon something from Midwest Industries in the GII SS series for the 308 platform
 

silver78

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I think the OP said he was looking for something in the 12"-15" range. If he's inclined to go to the longer end of that range the 15" SWS is in my view still the best design on the market. At least it works for me. I bought it a couple of years ago. It's designed differently than their shorter models. Art is a great guy and his service has always been tops for the guys on the AR10 board at ARFCOM. Take a look here:

Free Float Tube for AR-10 Carbine model
 

AXEMAN

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that's a good looking rail. its high/standard profile so its a fit on the MEGA MATEN. Im waiting for Midwest Industries to drop, eyeing a used Centurion.
 

909er

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My rifle has a Troy TRX308 rail and im unhappy with it. My brother bought one at the same time. They are inexpensive as far as rail systems go. I guess the old saying "You get what you pay for" definitely applies here. The system relies on two little pinch bolts to support the entire rail to a factory dpms style barrel nut. There really is not enough of a barrel nut support to keep the system from flexing. Im interested in the tubular carbon models pictured but I am a little nervous that the system will flex as well. My Troy actually comes in contact with my gas block once the rifle is set on the bench on its bipod. My brothers does the same thing. Now we do have the longest version at 13.8" which compounds the problem.
 

AXEMAN

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My rifle has a Troy TRX308 rail and im unhappy with it. My brother bought one at the same time. They are inexpensive as far as rail systems go. I guess the old saying "You get what you pay for" definitely applies here. The system relies on two little pinch bolts to support the entire rail to a factory dpms style barrel nut. There really is not enough of a barrel nut support to keep the system from flexing. Im interested in the tubular carbon models pictured but I am a little nervous that the system will flex as well. My Troy actually comes in contact with my gas block once the rifle is set on the bench on its bipod. My brothers does the same thing. Now we do have the longest version at 13.8" which compounds the problem.

carbon will not flex, as long as the nut system its attached to is done right. the lancer stuff I really like the octagonal shape. Midwest is coming out with a 308 system in the next few weeks. id contact troy about the issues you are having just to see if they will have a reply or fix for you. lotsa choices in this thread to look at too. Troy, Sampson & Midwest are similar in barrel nut style attachments. one uses little shims, another a proprietary nut.
 

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AXEMAN

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your stuff always good looking Håkan, im always amazed at your work. will it fit a standard dpms/knights upper or is it for your uppers only?
 

Spuhr

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If it reach production it will be made to fit others of course.
this one is fitted to my upper, but that is just this one :)