When it comes to AR builds and customization of the rifle there can be some parts that fly under the radar, but that doesn’t mean they are any less important. One such accessory that can be an afterthought to some is the handguard. This can be a mistake, given the style chosen can play an important role in how you operate and further accessorize your carbine. Armalite has expanded its line of high-end AR handguards this year, offering models that cover nearly every type of shooting of which both the AR-15 and AR-10 is called upon.
As its name suggests, the 3-Gun Handguard is designed with competitive shooters in mind. The ultra-light model has a slim profile to facilitate a strong forward grip favored by many shooters. The free-floating handguard includes a 2-inch MIL-STD 1913 rail at the forward 12 o’clock position, perfect for mounting backup front sights and other accessories. The KeyMod system allows for the quick and solid addition of other accessories nearly anywhere on the guard’s 3, 6 or 9 o’clock positions. The system also doubles as flush cup sling attachment points. The handguard comes with a barrel nut and mounting hardware. The accessory is available in 12- and 15-inch models. MSRP: AR-15 $189; AR-10 $199.
If versatility is what you’re after on your AR, then the Tactical Handguard should be right down your alley. The guard features a full length MIL-STD 1913 rail on its 12 o’clock position and a KeyMod system on its 3, 6 and 9 o’clocks. This should provide almost infinite arrangement possibilities. At the same time, the inclusion of the KeyMod system gives the handguard a low profile and keeps it snag free in the field. The system also acts as attachment points for flush cup slings. The handguard comes with a barrel nut and mounting hardware. The AR-10 version is only available in 12-inch model, while the AR-15 version is available in both 12- and 15-inch lengths. MSRP: AR-15 $189; AR-10 199.
Each year the AR platform works its way deeper and deeper into the hunting side of firearms. Armalite gives shooters looking to bag their next prized what appears to be an excellent accessory to do so in the Versatile Sporting Rifle Handguard. The solid center of the handguard helps facilitate a solid rest no matter the shooting position. The guard features a MIL-STD 1913 rail at the forward and rear 12 o’clock, perfect for the addition of sights or scope. The handguard also has a KeyMod system at the forward 3, 6 and 9 o’clock positions so other accessories can quickly be tacked on. As a bonus, the low-profile system escapes snags so common to the field. The handguard is available in a 15-inch model and comes with a barrel nut and mounting tools. MSRP: AR-15 $189; AR-10 $199.
Side note: Armalite points out its AR-15 handguards are interchangeable with almost all other manufacturers. But its AR-10 versions are specifically designed for the company’s AR-10s. In turn, they these models may not fit other manufacturers firearms.