AR-15 Handguards

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  • gungate

    NRA Patron Member
    Apr 5, 2012
    16,981
    Damascus. MD
    I am trying to make a couple accessories fit on the bottom rail (mlok) of my 6.5 Grendel build. What a PITA not sure why they have anything but picatinny. All you end up doing is getting picatinny adapters. Can anyone recommend a 15-16" rail that is all native picatinny (at least top and bottom) that won't break the bank? Are these hard to replace I have never done it?
     

    outrider58

    Eats Bacon Raw
    MDS Supporter
    Jul 29, 2014
    50,000
    What type of accessories are you trying to add?


    M-LOK rails are a lot lighter than Pic rails.

    Here are a bunch of M-LOK accessories(just in case)

     

    Deerminator

    Active Member
    Jul 5, 2010
    131
    Hagerstown
    What a PITA not sure why they have anything but picatinny.
    Weight reduction for people who don't want to mount anything on their handguards. Even if you mount a couple accessories on yours, it'll still be more weight from all the unused rail on that handguard. For some it doesn't matter, but for others it does. And, they can sell more accessories like small sections of picatinny rail for those who do. Pure genius

    And, no, they aren't difficult to replace.
     

    gungate

    NRA Patron Member
    Apr 5, 2012
    16,981
    Damascus. MD
    What type of accessories are you trying to add?


    M-LOK rails are a lot lighter than Pic rails.

    Here are a bunch of M-LOK accessories(just in case)


    What is prompting this is my Hera grip and bipod. The grip is long enough that it is a real PITA to install using mlok to picatinny adapters. It needs like 5" to be fully supported (which it probably doesn't need to be). The grip needs to be installed closer to the upper receiver and my bottom mlok holes stop around 3" from the receiver. So I have been looking for a 3 hole mlok to picatinny adapter which is really hard to find as they almost all have 2 holes. I want to mount it so the adapter is at least another inch closer so the grip. So install 2 of the 3 holes and leave 1 without a screw. I found a couple 3 hole adapters but those all have detents coming out where the holes are instead of the bottom sitting flush. Always something! And of course I already got a bipod which is native mlok that I could still return and get the picatinny version.

    With all the above BS I realized that if the rail was simply all picatinny I would not be having any issues. This will always be fired from the bipod on a bench so I am not worried about weight.
     

    outrider58

    Eats Bacon Raw
    MDS Supporter
    Jul 29, 2014
    50,000
    What is prompting this is my Hera grip and bipod. The grip is long enough that it is a real PITA to install using mlok to picatinny adapters. It needs like 5" to be fully supported (which it probably doesn't need to be). The grip needs to be installed closer to the upper receiver and my bottom mlok holes stop around 3" from the receiver. So I have been looking for a 3 hole mlok to picatinny adapter which is really hard to find as they almost all have 2 holes. I want to mount it so the adapter is at least another inch closer so the grip. So install 2 of the 3 holes and leave 1 without a screw. I found a couple 3 hole adapters but those all have detents coming out where the holes are instead of the bottom sitting flush. Always something! And of course I already got a bipod which is native mlok that I could still return and get the picatinny version.

    With all the above BS I realized that if the rail was simply all picatinny I would not be having any issues. This will always be fired from the bipod on a bench so I am not worried about weight.
    It's hard to find guards that have pic on top and bottom anymore. Everybody used to make them, but they've become rare and affordable at the same time. MW Industries used to make my favorite rail, but discontinued them a couple years back. I have them on most of my guns. Pics on top with optional add-ons for the sides and bottom.
     
    Last edited:

    Bountied

    Ultimate Member
    Apr 6, 2012
    7,136
    Pasadena
    I am trying to make a couple accessories fit on the bottom rail (mlok) of my 6.5 Grendel build. What a PITA not sure why they have anything but picatinny. All you end up doing is getting picatinny adapters. Can anyone recommend a 15-16" rail that is all native picatinny (at least top and bottom) that won't break the bank? Are these hard to replace I have never done it?
    Why not just get M-LOK accessories? They make bipods grips etc so you don't need and adapter.
     

    gungate

    NRA Patron Member
    Apr 5, 2012
    16,981
    Damascus. MD
    It's hard to find guards that have pic on top and bottom anymore. Everybody used to make them, but they've become rare and affordable at the same time. MW Industries used to make my favorite rail, but discontinued them a couple years back. I have them on most of my guns. Pics on top with optional add-ons for the sides and bottom.

    View attachment 406782 View attachment 406783

    Hera makes them. No surprise since their grip is dependant on a fairly long bottom rail of picatinny. I did find what I want on Optics Planet of course higher than I wanted to pay but not bad. I assume this comes with a new nut but it doesn't say.

    I will either get the 15" or 16.5" still deciding. 15" is $45 cheaper so probably that one. I have a 15" now but there is a few inches of barrel that could still be covered. $115 shipped for 15" since I have an 11% off coupon. I guess I can't really beat that price.


    This is the grip I have with the Hera rail that I want. Seems like a no-brainer!

    opplanet-hera-arms-ar15-m4-handguard-16-5in-black-11-05-05-av-1.jpg
     

    Bountied

    Ultimate Member
    Apr 6, 2012
    7,136
    Pasadena
    So you have an M-LOK bipod, you just need to attach the Hera grip? Maybe try what Boats mentioned and cut off the detent on a 3 rail pic MLOK adapter so it can get closer to the receiver? Or just use a 2 hole MLOK pic rail and don't fully secure the Hera grip. These options will be a lot cheaper than replacing the whole handguard to achieve the same goal. Unless you already returned the bipod and bought the handguard then disregard.
     

    gungate

    NRA Patron Member
    Apr 5, 2012
    16,981
    Damascus. MD
    So you have an M-LOK bipod, you just need to attach the Hera grip? Maybe try what Boats mentioned and cut off the detent on a 3 rail pic MLOK adapter so it can get closer to the receiver? Or just use a 2 hole MLOK pic rail and don't fully secure the Hera grip. These options will be a lot cheaper than replacing the whole handguard to achieve the same goal. Unless you already returned the bipod and bought the handguard then disregard.

    I am totally over-thinking and over-building, as usual. Another wrinkle I was going to return the Magpul mlok bipod and get the picatinny version instead but apparently the box went out with recycling last week. It is funny because I keep every box for everything every time but this one somehow ended up on the trash heap. I think the Gods are against me. :lol2: :lol2:

    I will try the detent grinding as I already have a piece that has 3 holes but with the detents. I may not even need the grip since I will be shooting this from a benchrest with the bipod every time.
     

    alucard0822

    For great Justice
    Oct 29, 2007
    17,695
    PA
    MI Combat rail, sturdy, easy to install, good for the money, and one of the lighter quad rails still made.

    Personally, every single handguard I've built is M-LOK since they came out. Quad rails are heavy, but also big and uncomfortable without covers compared to MLOK or even mil-spec 2 piece round handguards. The pic rail and mount also leave it about an inch away from the rail compared to direct M-lok which can mount on the rail surface directly.
     

    Gun4Fun

    Active Member
    Jan 22, 2023
    148
    Washington DC
    Lol speaking of handguards I was just thinking about them last night. I have a slim profile mlok with a flattop pic rail on top.

    but I have always thought it was a little thin. I was thinking about looking for some bigger diameter. I like the free floated mlok style with the flat pic rail top but basically none of the ones I can find online state how wide they are so I find myself trying to guesstimate from the pictures. And guesstimating from internet pictures always ends well :rolleyes:
     

    outrider58

    Eats Bacon Raw
    MDS Supporter
    Jul 29, 2014
    50,000
    Lol speaking of handguards I was just thinking about them last night. I have a slim profile mlok with a flattop pic rail on top.

    but I have always thought it was a little thin. I was thinking about looking for some bigger diameter. I like the free floated mlok style with the flat pic rail top but basically none of the ones I can find online state how wide they are so I find myself trying to guesstimate from the pictures. And guesstimating from internet pictures always ends well :rolleyes:
    Geisseles are wider. Also, MI makes a suppressor width rail that is in-between the standard and narrow-ish rails in M-LOK.
     

    jrumann59

    DILLIGAF
    MDS Supporter
    Feb 17, 2011
    14,024
    Lol speaking of handguards I was just thinking about them last night. I have a slim profile mlok with a flattop pic rail on top.

    but I have always thought it was a little thin. I was thinking about looking for some bigger diameter. I like the free floated mlok style with the flat pic rail top but basically none of the ones I can find online state how wide they are so I find myself trying to guesstimate from the pictures. And guesstimating from internet pictures always ends well :rolleyes:
    Most M-Lok you will find will have ID of 1.35" give or take. For tucked suppressor you want minimum of 1.5 in ID or larger depending on the suppressor. Old school quad rails are chunky AF though they can still be found.

    If you are not a fan of M-Lok Diamondhead has some handguards that use screws to add their pic rail sections though many of their hand guards are lesss round and more "triangular"
     

    outrider58

    Eats Bacon Raw
    MDS Supporter
    Jul 29, 2014
    50,000
    Frankly, I don't like M-LOK any more than I liked Keymod. I think they're both lame. I loved MI's SS series rails. They were great. Of course, anything I fall in love with gets canceled. It's the story of my life. They were light, configurable, would swallow most cans. They were perfect.

    ss series.jpg

    untitledhorizontal (2).png
     

    calicojack

    American Sporting Rifle
    MDS Supporter
    May 29, 2018
    5,401
    Cuba on the Chesapeake
    Frankly, I don't like M-LOK any more than I liked Keymod. I think they're both lame. I loved MI's SS series rails. They were great. Of course, anything I fall in love with gets canceled. It's the story of my life. They were light, configurable, would swallow most cans. They were perfect.

    View attachment 406858
    View attachment 406860
    Hey - I got the same handguard with my PSA upper! Except my AR looks like it had an accident in a paint factory.
    rifle-556-saa.jpeg
     

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