The Best AR 15 Handguard For Your Black Rifle

Best AR 15 handguard for rifle
Best AR 15 Handguard Field Testing Rifles for Ammoland

U.S.A.-( 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

Magpul MOE AR-15 Handguard
Magpul MOE Handguard

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

Bravo Company KMR Handgaurd
Bravo Company KMR Handguard. If you prefer Keymod, this could very well be the best ar 15 handguard

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

Geissele Automatics Ar-15/M16 Super Modular Rails SMR
Geissele AR-15/M16 Super Modular Rails SMR

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

Geissele MK16 Super Modular Rails M-LOK
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″
  • 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.  


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This list is by no means comprehensive, which I understand is difficult when picking 5 out of the entire industry. While these are 5 great options, they are by no means the best value. The Rainier Evolution and Fortis REV are basically the same product as the ARMS SIR, but they’re half the price ($150 and $170 respectively). Additionally, while the MOE is extremely popular, the Spike Industries Viper offers potentially better quality, 12, 6, 1, and 10 o’clock MLOK surfaces, and a cool red heath shield option if desired — and for less money than MOE or MOE SL.… Read more »

Theman O'Theyear

If BCM made a KMR and MLR, they would have a waiting list for their handguards. I contacted them and asked if that would be a possibility, and they said they have no plans on making an m-lok rail. Seems stupid to me just because they hired the inventor of Key Mod Eric Kinsel, doesn’t mean they cant make m-lok. A week went by and I heard our Armed Forces are going with m-lok. Forget with who though, maybe they signed with FN or Stag. On top of all that, almost $300 for a handguard with shotty mounting solutions. If… Read more »

dewayne lipson

Wouldlove to see this article done based an the same thing . this time do the top five based on quality but affordable for the minimum wage worker.

William M Butler MSG USA ret

Try Monstrum Tactical or firetacsports for low cost, high quality free float handguards. I have used both and am satisfied with both. Watch for their weekly sales that give good discounts. Good Luck


If you’re a minimum wage worker , how do afford a fairly expensive hobby like this?


We all get to choose how we spend our money, even minimum wage workers.

joe vincent

If you are a minimum wage worker you shouldn’t be spending what little money you make on

anything but subsistence . If you feel you need a firearm for home defense then you can buy

a much cheaper weapon like a revolver or shotgun. I want a Ferrari, but I drive a Toyota.


Hey joe, [email protected] off. Just because someone work minimum wage doesn’t mean they can save a little bit of money at a time for said firearm. Last time I checked it a free country and we have the right to bare arms you closed minded dipshit. People choose to and spend their money how they see fit not you. Budget builds are great and allow the individual to purchase a part at a time. Nothing wrong with that. Next, think before you open you mouth.


Wow! Elitist much, that’s really offensive. We need all patriots to exercise their constitutional rights.


Palmetto state armory has deals all the time i just finished a complete build with magpul grip and stock, stainless steel free float barrel with a keymod front for $555


Cocos for each is needed for any decision. Editors, please make that a required criteria in articles!


My current favorite is Magpul’s MOE SL. One caveat: it’s a ‘puppy’s momma to install’!


Who ever wrote this never shot a DDM4V11 Rifle

TRob ARob

I built two AR’s using the magpul furniture. One in red and one in blue. They both are lightweight compared to the 3rd AR I built. I even dyed the magpul magazines to match the furniture. Now my son has his favorite color and I have mine.

Alan T

Newer to the list of free float handguards is from DaVinci Arms. It is the lightest I’ve tried, and the hex pattern is slick. Price is really good too! I think you can only get them on line right now; haven’t seen them in my local shop.


Let’s be honest, most of us do not shoot enough or at the precision levels that can appreciate the accuracy potential gained by a custom hand guard. It’s much like adding a winch to your $50k pickup truck. It looks cool but who’s going to take it off road. I like the full length hand guard in keymod because it’s versatile and has unlimited mounting options for lights and other goodies. However, a decent rifle with the and a rail to mount your flashlight is about all any of us need or will use. Now I’m going to wait for… Read more »

Jeffrey Turner

Nice comments all. I got one free float and going to convertor her to free foat. Though it’s confusing between m-lok, key mod and other for attaching items. I gt the wrong shit yesterday so only item I got that fit was my push in sling attachment and magpul sites the rest don’t fit and I’m pissed. My krypek fwd is pencil thin. It’s not free float but very pretty. I’ll keep searhing. I have 4 blank lowers have to compete and going free float o the. I have one I at have to trash because when I first started… Read more »


Pls proofread your posts, it’s hard to get what you’re saying at times.


+1 vote on the Diamond Head…inexpensive and tough as nails. Put one on my AR pistol build. Aesthetically, the slanted front end is pleasing…

M. Beck

He wrote in the article that he chose only free float that had an attachment point not only free float handguards and bothered that might fit your particular goals. These are also his top five. I personally like m.i. but that’s just my preference

UTG fan

I have built two AR uppers, one in 556, and the second in 300 Blackout. I see no reason to use anything other than the UTG SL:

Jim in Conroe

I just used the 15″ version of the UTG vanguard in your link to give me nearly a full barrel shroud. I am very satisfied with this UTG product and the keymod system.


I don’t see anywhere he said he chose only free-floats. I think you may need to go back and learn to read Cody.


Personally I don’t think I can take advice from a guy that said he chose only free floating hand guards and lists 2 out of 5 that are anything but free floating. If it snaps in place using a delta ring and hand guard cap it is attached to the barrel and therefore not free floating. A couple comments previously listed here listed some of what I would consider easily top five options. Daniel defense and seekins precision. And I would like to add Sampson to the list.

Terry Hartsel

He said he only chose free float hand guards that rails could be attached to, not the smooth type with no rail attachment points. He isn’t saying he didn’t choose any that weren’t free floating. You misunderstood.

Donald Voight

want to stay with old school nam m 16 look but want to upgrade to 6.5 granel with 20 in barell but stay with tryangular forearm and the use of front sight as it was on m 16 style can i get this to work on a ar 15 platform please e mail me and let me know thanks Don

Steve C

Donald, you should be able to retain the M 16 triangular handguard but watch to be certain the outside diameter of the 6.5 Gredel barrel is the same as the inside diameter of the front sight tower and the handguard attachment part directly behind the front sight base. As long as the OD of your barrel matches these parts ID you should be all right. I have an HBAR AR 15 A2 with triangular handguards on it, mostly because I find them to be effective at shielding the hand from heat, they look great, feel good in the hand and… Read more »


Screw Dick Sean an ARMS.

Never forget he’s the asshole who sued people because he claimed he patented the lever.


As bulletlatin6 said, you should put seekins precision on the list. I like their rail especially the model that has titanium barrel nut.


There are so, so many great handguards out there these days. I’m a big fan of Midwest Industries, they are high quality at prices that won’t break the bank. Using one of their 15″ Gen II SS Series one of my 5.56 builds….looks awesome. I’ll be putting one of their MI Lightweight M-LOK Compatible handguards on my 6.8 SPC “Make-over.” ALG Defense is making some nice simple but elegant handguards as well at a very reasonable price.


Daniel Defense rails are tough enough for the military and fit,finish is great.I have all of the handguards listed above except the A.R.M.S and the DD is much better IMO.I have two of the DD omega rails and installation is easy with no modification to the weapon.They are also free floated and strong with no flex.Pricey yes but well worth it.

Richard Teichler

For free I’ll choose using the standard A2 style…Which still keeps my left hand from burning while I’m firing at anything, which really is the only purpose of the hand guard..

Richard Teichler

For free I’ll choose using the standard A2 style…Which keeps my left hand from burning while I’m firing at anything.

Jason Parker

Yup. You took the words right out of my mouth!


You left out two manufacturers with great products and service that matches — Samson Manufacturing and Seekins Precision. Samson’s handguards use the standard AR barrel nut while Seekins’ uses a proprietary barrel nut that is installed with a standard armorer’s wrench. Seekins makes a large diameter handguard (MCSR) that will cover a supressor on an SBR.

Martin Bare

I used the Midwest Industries Gen II SS Series in my first AR build. Not only beautiful, it is sleek, highly functional, and tough as nails! I particularly like putting a small length of rail just where I want it, and not having it all over the place. I like the thin, smooth grip, the right size for my hand, and as light as possible for a rifle-length build. Great product!


Stay away from KeyMod ! It sucks !!!

Jim in Conroe

I just completed building an AR with a low profile keymod handguard, and I have no complaints. I have attached a stud for a bipod or sling and a forward handgrip using the keymod system.

Could you be more specific about what you find wrong with the system?


Here is my feeling regarding the KeyMod hand guards: when I need a mounting rail for it, I have to order from the Internet. I can find all the Magpul stuff for M-Lok; go to Cabela’s, Bass Pro Shop, to Sportsmans Warehouse and the small AR gun shops, they all carry M-Lok items. And, don’t forget to use loc-rite, not needed for M-Lok a better system.

Jeff in Redding,California

I run a Bravo Company KMR Keymod and I love it! Accessories mount securely, and where it fits my shooting style. Just my example of a positive experience.


I love my Keymod rail!! You just have to know how to properly add the picatinny rail pieces and you can do anything to it.
I built my first AR15 and added a scope and bipod to it and I just really like the look of it too!!


Assembling an AR15 is not very difficult , Read , watch videos of sub assembies and soon you’ll try. Nothing like saving nothing by buying headspace gauges , armorers wrenches , vises, screwdrivers, etc. But it really impresses your friends and family that you actually assembled something nice and works. Best part ,dont like it change it.


If you were to purchase your AR from Windham Weapons any accessory you purchase from them gets installed at no charge. Great quality AR’s and great deal.

Charles McLaughlin

Your article could not be more timely for me. Building a new AR in 6.5 Grendel with the assistance of my gunsmith friend. The hand guard that I selected first is not compatible with the new Super Match JP Enterprises barrel profile. How about an article explaining the various methods to secure hand guards and maintain a free-floated barrel? Thanks