U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- The Best AR 15 handguard provides a quality ergonomic profile with heat resistance protection from your rifle gas system and barrel. The rifle handguard should be lightweight, easy to install, and free float to ensure increased rifle accuracy.
The modular design of the AR 15 makes it easy to change out parts, and customize the rifle to whatever user configuration you desire.
You can set up the gun for plinking, competition, long-range precision, and tactical applications. The rifle variations are pretty much limited only by the user’s imagination.
The most changed part of the modern sporting rifle is the AR-15 handguard. You should determine the gas system as carbine length, mid-length or rifle length. Choose the proper length handguard to make the rifle easier to use and more able to accept useful accessories.
To choose the best AR 15 handguard for your rifle, you’ll need to decide what its primary use will be. Will it be your home defense gun, varmint-hunting rig, or competition rifle? There are many choices that you need to make a final selection. Brownell’s has 80 unique models of handguards for the AR- rifle on its website, including .308 versions.
For this review, I selected handguards that suit specific user applications. Each of the AR 15 handguards have useful features for a specific purpose. There are plenty of streamline free-float handguards available. All the selected handguards for this review are streamlined and include a mounting system for attaching accessories. Other handguards that are more specialized might fit your particular purpose better.
The Best AR 15 Handguard List
5) Magpul MOE
The Magpul’s MOE handguard is a great option for beginners who want to try customizing their own AR-15 for the first time. It’s designed to snap into place on any standard AR that has both a delta ring and round or triangular front handguard cap. The Magpul MOE does not need any tools or advanced assembly to install. You push down on the delta ring around the barrel near the receiver, pop out the original handguards, and pop in the MOE replacement. More info on the Magpul MOE Handguard.
The Magpul MOE delivers a comfortable profile, bolt-on rails, tactical mounts, and add-on vertical foregrip. It comes in a variety of colors, giving you lots of choices.
Remember the MOE handguard does not free float the barrel and mounts to the standard delta ring.
4) Midwest Industries AR-15 G4 Handguard with M-LOK
The Midwest Industries AR-15 G4 Handguard with M-LOK is the latest handguard evolution to make it easier than ever to outfit your AR platform with all the accessories you could want or need.
The AR-15 G4 Handguard is constructed of 6061 aluminum with hard coat anodize finish. The barrel nut and torque plate are heat-treated 4140. The handguard is full dehorned and deburred.
- 100% made in the USA
- Lifetime Warranty
- 1.5” O.D. – 1.3” I.D.
The AR-15 G4 Handguard is available in five lengths, 10.5”, 12.625”, 13.375”, 14”, and 15” with all lengths offering five integral anti-rotation QD sling pockets, seven sides of M-LOK, and a continuous picatinny top rail.
3) Bravo Company KMR and MCMR
The “Keymod Modular Rail” handguard from Bravo Company is a handguard featuring the keymod attachment system. It also free-floats the barrel and has some neat features. The keymod mounting holes positioned around the handguard provide four “halfway” mounting positions beyond traditional 3, 6, 9 and 12 o’clock. Also, the bottom of the rail is wide with a generous flat, allowing you to rest on a barricade or other object for steady supported position shooting. This handguard is lightweight and strong.
If you prefer M-LOK Bravo Company also makes the MCMR (M-LOK Compatible Modular Rail), which provides all the same benefits as the KMR.
2) Geissele MK4 Super Modular Rails
Famous for their AR-15 triggers Geissele Automatics makes advanced AR 15 handguards. The Super Modular Rail (SMR) MK4 combines traditional Picatinny rail with keymod attachment slots. Geissele handguards include its own barrel nut. This handguard is sturdy, lightweight, and versatile. Mounting options let you configure the MK4 any way you want. If you’ve got the Geissele trigger, might as well match it with the handguard, right?
1) Geissele MK16 Super Modular Rails M-LOK
The Super Modular Rail 13.5″ (SMR) MK16 M-LOK®, NSN# 1005-01-672-4794 (13.5”), has been adopted by USASOC for the URG-I program (Upper Receiver Group Improved).
The Geissele Super Modular Rail MK16 offers unmatched performance for the most demanding shooters. Mounted to your AR-15 upper using the updated version of the proven Geissele Barrel Nut design, the MK16 is not only easy to install and maintain but offers superior rigidity. Anti-rotation tabs and set-screws ensure that your rail will won’t rotate, even under the most extreme conditions of use. M1913 picatinny rail on top and M-LOK™ slots on every quadrant ensures maximum customization for all your accessories. The Geissele SMR MK16 is precision machined using 6061-T6 Aluminum due to its strong, rigid, and light properties, and is finished in durable Type-3 Hardcoat anodized. A 9.3″ variant of the MK16 is also available for users requiring a shorter platform.
- HEIGHT: 2.39″
- COLOR: Black or DDC
- MATERIAL: 6061-T6
- FINISH: Type 3 Hardcoast Anodize
- AVAILABLE LENGTHS: 9.3″ or 13.5″
- INNER DIAMETER: 1.26″
- OUTER DIAMETER (DAQ*): 1.59″
Just Do It
There are many AR-15 handguards out there designed to give all sorts of different features, mounting options, and enhancements. Do a little research and choose which handguard you think will work best. You can you improve the handling and performance of your AR-15 with a new handguard. As well you can have the satisfaction of knowing you installed it all by yourself. Check out Ammoland’s recent article on Best AR 15 Triggers.
This article updated to reflect changes in product improvements/availability on 06/30/2021.