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Slackerous Maximus
 
HardDrive's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Columbus, OH
Posts: 16,371
AR-15. Free floating handguard vs 'standard'

Looking at the Ruger AR 556. They make 2 versions, one 'normal' version, and one with a long free floating handguard (the MPR).

Am I correct in thinking that the unit with the free floating fore stock is intended for use with optics? Would the forestock be sufficiently stiff to mount iron sites?

The only other gun I'm interested in is the Sig M400, and I failing to see a reason to spend the extra $300.

Sell me a rifle!

(no, I am not interesting in building one.)
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Old 03-03-2018, 03:07 PM
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Generally the major part(s) of a rifle, doesn't matter if an AR-15, Ruger #1 or a 45-70 Sharps are the barrel meaning who makes it and how well it works, if the rifle has a replacement bolt like an AR-15 then how well it handles the shell case and finally the trigger. When I built my AR-15's back in 2007 I used a two stage adjustable trigger which I had set at 1#. With the Sharps I wanted the best two stage set trigger set so the front trigger was set at 2 oz after the rear was pulled. I imagine somewhere there are reviews of the various ready built AR-15 and hopefully they are written by an honest shooter. Sooooo the fore stock will have little to do with how well one shoots compared to the other. John
Old 03-03-2018, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by John Rogers View Post
Sooooo the fore stock will have little to do with how well one shoots compared to the other. John
I'll respectfully, but adamantly disagree, John. Forearm mounting is absolutely critical on rifles with two piece stocks, be they AR's or #1's. This is a really broad topic, but HD is only asking about AR's, so let's address those.

The traditional, original method of mounting the forearm to an AR had proven to be one of the most detrimental aspects of its design with regards to accuracy. It induces unwanted stresses to the barrel, which vary with barrel temperature and other factors.

Anyone looking to improve accuracy in the AR immediately ditches the stressed forearm and replaces it with a free floater. This is probably the most fundamental improvement to be made on this platform.

As far as suitability for open sights, yes, the Ruger version is entirely stiff enough to not deflect and to be entirely suitable. There are a myriad of open sights meant to mount to the Picatinny rail just for this purpose.
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Old 03-03-2018, 03:45 PM
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Slackerous Maximus
 
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Thanks Jeff.
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Old 03-03-2018, 03:47 PM
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Standard.
I feel the front sight base is more secure, and you get the bayonet lug, and sling mount.
I have seen some builds where they take the front sight and cut it to where a free float handguard will fit over it.
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Old 03-03-2018, 07:06 PM
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either way a standard A2 handguard, non freefloated sucks.
Your groups will shift POI everytime, optics or irons , if you put it on a bipod or sling it.. there is no repeatability.

non freefloat is only useful for casual plinking or if you are putting down supressive fire.
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Old 03-03-2018, 11:15 PM
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Mark Wilson
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You get a shlt barrel and you'll get shlt groups. Build your own AR with good quality parts - you'll spend a bit more but be a lot happier. Get a 2 stage trigger(Giessele or like) and an SDM pipe.

My latest build with 20" Stainless SDM pipe shoots nice.

Old 03-04-2018, 07:58 AM
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