Choosing and Changing Your AR-15 Handguard or Rail

Customizing your AR-15 is fun and can help you to modify the appearance of the gun as well as to improve its function. Adding a handguard rail system will give your gun a completely fresh look. However, you do not want to just buy any handguard. It can be easy to just look at one and think that it will work perfectly, or maybe a friend has one and you think it will work well. Don’t buy one until you do your research!

What Does the Handguard Do?

Before you purchase, you will want to know what it does especially if you are new to the AR world. These go around your rifle’s barrel and helps to protect your hand as well as the barrel when you are firing the gun. The handguard provides a place to grip and helps you to have better shooting posture. The rail system also allows you to mount accessories. The AR-15 rail is widely known as the best option to add to your gun and should be one of the first things you add when customizing your AR-15.

Choosing the Right Rail

There are several different options for an AR-15 handguard. These guards will come in a variety of different lengths that will correspond to the lengths that are made for the barrel and gas system. Before you decide on what rail you will get, you will need to take into consideration the different types of accessories that you want to get. Getting the wrong one could end with you having a useless rail that will not allow you to attach the attachments that you wish to attach. You will also want to consider the weight of the rail as well as to see how it installs. Do not think that you do not need to consider the length of the handguard rail because if you do, it can affect the performance of the gun. A good rail system will help you to have a better grip and allowing you to have a broad variety of accessory mounting options. However, if you decide to go with one that does not fit your gun well, it can cause you to need to extend the barrel length on your gun. With this type of gun, that is relatively easy, but you’ll want to make sure that you pay attention to this.

How to Change the Handguards and Rails

Once you have purchased your handguard, you will want to learn how to install and remove it. This might be a bit difficult the first time that you do it, but with a little practice, you will have it down in no time.

1. Plastic handguard removal. The very first step is to remove the plastic handguards that come standard on your gun. You will need a forearm removal tool for this process. You will want to pull the delta ring down. Once this is done, the handguards will split, and you will be able to remove them.
2. Installation. All you will need to do is to place the replacement handguards and do step 1 in reverse order. However, if you have decided to install a free-float handguard or you have decided on quad-rails, keep on reading.
3. Flash hider/Muzzle brake. Remove these.
4. Front sight post. You will want to loosen this and remove or remove the gas tube and block.
5. Delta ring/Barrel nut. You will want to remove these. The easiest way to help with this is to use an AR Multi-Too. You will also need to get a hammer and a punch set.
6. Installation. Once you have removed all the above items, you will want to install a new barrel nut as well as all the other items.
7. Reassembly. Reassembly is easy. Just follow what you did before in reverse order.

Removing and installing a new handguard for your AR-15 rifle is relatively easy. Customizing your gun will give you a better-looking gun as well as a more efficient operating gun.