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OfficerJohnson10
January 25, 2010, 02:34 AM
My department issues full auto version m16A1s as patrol rifles. They are delivered bone stock from government surplus from as far back as the Vietnam era. I would like to replace the standard handguard with a picatinny rail handguard but I was told by a co-worker that todays aftermarket handguards will not fit these early model 16s due to a triangular shaped connection point at the front sight for the original triangular shaped handguard.

Does anyone have any knowledge of this being true or not?

If it is true, is there a manufacturer out there that makes a railed handguard or even maybe some kind of adaptor to overcome this problem?

Thanks for your input.

zoomie
January 25, 2010, 02:45 AM
He's mistaken.

http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/lid=10343/learn/Installing_A_Free_Float_Handguard

You may have to remove the front sight, so make sure you have the tools to do so.

Willie Lowman
January 25, 2010, 03:47 AM
What are you looking to tack on to your M16? A light or laser?

DMK
January 25, 2010, 09:32 AM
Actually, many "modern" AR15s still use the triangular cap at the front, even with round handguards. The round caps are actually fairly uncommon.

The round and triangular handguards are fully interchangeable.

Technosavant
January 25, 2010, 10:25 AM
1) Rifle length AR-15/M-16 handguards still use the triangular cap.

2) There is a wide variety of railed handguards to use. Not all of them require gunsmithing. If you just want rails for accessories and don't need free floating, then look at no-gunsmith mounts. If you would like free floating or want a more rigid lockup, look at the Daniel Defense Omega rail- I have their 12.0 (rifle length) on a 18" SPR barreled AR (it has a rifle length gas system), and it installs in minutes, locks up tight, feels great, and looks good.

OfficerJohnson10
January 25, 2010, 03:57 PM
Lowman to answer your question I would like to mount a light and also have the ability to mount other items such as a sling stud mount. I'm trying to stay away from the barrel clamp light mount if at all possible. I do not care for its looks and feel that it may put too much weight near the end of the barrel affecting the rifle's maneuverablilty.

Technosavant,
I'm pretty much just looking for a rail system to mount accessories and am not looking to squeeze out every litttle bit of precision accuracy from the rifle. With that in mind a free floating system would probably be unnecessary. These no-gunsmith rails, do they require specialized tools like an AR wrench or the like or is just a "snap-in" operation? I'm completly new to the AR platform so sorry if the question is a little "simple":rolleyes:

To all responding,
Does anyone have a suggestion as to which rail I should go with. I see that the rails can be made of metal or plastic. Is one better than the other or one better suited for a perticualr situation? Please keep in mind that more than likely I will be paying for this and not the department so I would like not to break the bank.

Thanks again for all those who reply.

Jimro
January 25, 2010, 04:25 PM
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=584667
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=951436

Metal is better than plastic, at least the current generation of plastics. In another few years that might not be the case.

Jimro

DMK
January 25, 2010, 05:14 PM
The Yankee Hill units are pretty nice and they have a two piece that just bolts on without needing to remove the front sight/gas block.

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=362480


You'll also want some rail covers over the parts of your rail that you aren't using.

ATW525
January 25, 2010, 06:00 PM
If you can wait, you might consider holding off for the rifle version of the Magpul MOE handguard. It sounds like you're exactly the kind of person that product is targeted at.

ETA: Midway seems to expect the rifle length MOE handguns in July and it looks like they're expecting to charge under $40 for them.

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=253204

Of course, only time will tell. Magpul could always end up selling the design to Shrubmaster and they could be delayed until three years from now when they debut with a $500 MSRP.

Technosavant
January 25, 2010, 06:18 PM
I'm pretty much just looking for a rail system to mount accessories and am not looking to squeeze out every litttle bit of precision accuracy from the rifle. With that in mind a free floating system would probably be unnecessary. These no-gunsmith rails, do they require specialized tools like an AR wrench or the like or is just a "snap-in" operation? I'm completly new to the AR platform so sorry if the question is a little "simple"

OK. If you decide to mount an optic to it, then you'll want a good solid lock up. If just a flashlight and forward grip, it's not as necessary. For the latter, I have a shorter version of this one (http://midwestindustriesinc.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=category.display&category_id=67) on a carbine of mine.

Installation is EXACTLY like regular AR handguards. Pull down the delta ring, separate the handguards, pull off the bottom and the top ones. Reinstallation is the reverse of removal. It's just spring tension holding them on.

If you decide you want an optic, then the Daniel Defense Omega Rail (http://www.danieldefense.com/?page=shop/detail&product_id=118) would be my first choice. Installation is a touch more involved, but the only tools needed are a flat bladed screwdriver (not included) and an allen wrench (included)- you put them on like a regular handguard (fitting the flange on the barrel nut into a groove), screw the guards together, then tighten some allen screws to lock up and level the handguards. As I said, it's a 10 minute job, tops.