View Full Version : New AR, handguard question

bruno diaz
October 30, 2012, 09:23 PM
I just bought my first AR, a Windham Weaponry MPC with the Diamondhead folding rear sights. My question is, if I want to add a rail to attach a light or a grip to, do I have to replace the handguard, or the lower part of the handguard? One of the selling points of this model for me was the double heat shields in the handguard. If I have to replace it anyways, that kind of defeats the purpose. Also, do any handguards work, or do I need a special brand?

Metal god
October 30, 2012, 09:51 PM
More info needed for me to help . I need to know and or see the exact hand gaurd you have . some you can attach rails to some you can't . Do you have picture of your gun or a link that shows what it looks like . I know you can attach rails to the Magpul MOE hand gaurds and they do have a heat shied but not double


October 30, 2012, 10:32 PM
Heat shields are not that big a deal with the AR unless you are doing a lot of rapid fire or shooting match ammunition.

You can replace the handguards with CAA models that have rubber covered rails on the top and bottom. You can get Magpul MOE handguards and attach a rail to the bottom and sides. You can buy a metal quad rail and have rails all around it.

It's really up to how much you want to spend.

October 30, 2012, 11:42 PM
If you have a standard FSB check out the Mossie Midnight Mount for lights. They work like a charm and don't require a rail. The VFG will be more trouble on flimsy handguards but are you sure you need one?

I have some pictures of mine in this thread:


October 31, 2012, 01:29 AM
I highly recommend the Magpul handguards. It allows you to install rails on the bottom and sides of the handguards.

The standard M4 handguards can accomodate some accesories, but you are very limited on the space and location. You'd also have to find a specific type of rail to add to the top or bottom of the handguard, so you might as well buy an aftermarket handguard or quadrail.

October 31, 2012, 03:20 AM
I use the Magpul MOE handguard and added a rail to it. The 5 slot Magpul rail is all I needed. They offer a 7 and 9 slot as well to take up more space if it's really needed. Not all accessories will require a rail.

You can see in the picture below the slots which you can add pieces to the bottom as well as the 5 slot rail and how much space it takes up.


Here it is with a light mounted.


Plenty of room to add all the attachments necessary. I have the Magpul sling mount on the other side. It takes up one full slot. If you need to adjust positioning to a spot between the slots then buy a rail.


I like this route over a quad rail because it's inexpensive, lighter, and easy to add on to.

Another option is to change the gas block to one with a rail and get a light mount that works accordingly. I have a gas block with a rail on top but my light was in my sight picture with the mount I have. I wish I would have gotten a top and bottom rail gas block. It would put the light further out in front and allows for different types of light mounts that won't interfere with your sight picture.

As far as special type of hand guard to order, it looks like you will need a mid length size hand guard based on the image of the firearm you named.

October 31, 2012, 03:38 PM
This is what you need.



October 31, 2012, 04:39 PM
I'm going to second these guys and suggest the Magpul MOE handguard. I've actually come to prefer it over aluminum quadrails in most applications.

They are inexpensive, very light, ergonomic, and have a much tigher/more stable fit than standard AR forearms. They have single heat sheilds, but are thicker than standard forearms and designed to better ventilate the heat out.

October 31, 2012, 07:36 PM
I say Moe fore or if you want to float it go with Daniel defense you will not go wrong with either

Sent from my HTC_Amaze_4G using Tapatalk 2

p loader
October 31, 2012, 09:18 PM
I have the MOE handguards on my ARs. My only complaint is that the forward grip (even with loctite) often starts to wiggle loose after heavy shooting. That cheap little bolt needed to be sturdier. FWIW the Magpul BUIS also fell off during shooting one day, it was also secured with loctite.

For what you pay though it's not that bad.

November 1, 2012, 01:26 AM
Loctite won't always hold under high heat. Try Rockset. Remember to let whatever you use sit for 24 hours before you shoot too.

bruno diaz
November 5, 2012, 08:51 AM


I like the rail in this first link, but my question is in the mounting. I see there are three screws, and I know I've got those holes in the bottom of my handguard, so...what do those screws go into? Do I have to tap holes into the handguard, or do they somehow screw into the holes. I feel like and idiot asking these questions, but, like I said, I'm an AR newbie.

November 5, 2012, 01:57 PM
The rails that I have that attached to the hand guard or Magpul MOE hand gaurd have an insert on the inside. You then just thread the rail through to it and your good to go.

p loader
November 5, 2012, 03:07 PM
Loctite won't always hold under high heat. Try Rockset. Remember to let whatever you use sit for 24 hours before you shoot too.

I was thinking of getting a longer screw/nut combo as well. The one they include doesn't really say "sturdy" to me. Thanks

November 5, 2012, 03:56 PM
Bruno, you should look at changing out your hand guard for what you want to do. The MOE is about 30 dollars and has a heat guard. You won't notice any heat on your hands while using it. I don't know why the double heat shield on your current hand guard made the deal for you, it's simply not necessary. No offense, but it sounds like the sales person took advantage of your limited knowledge on the AR platform. However at least what you're looking to change out is one of the most inexpensive parts.

November 5, 2012, 05:04 PM
Another vote for the MOE handguard. I have them on my 14.5" BCM middy that is set up for HD. I have a Streamlight Polytac LED Flashlight/VTAC mount on my MOE and its rock solid.

bruno diaz
November 5, 2012, 10:48 PM
No problem, Radioflyer. No, the salesperson didn't take advantage of me. I came in fully aware of what I wanted. I've been researching the Hell out of these things for the past year. I initially wanted the M&P Sport, but heard that they're not as easy to customize. I was fine with no dust cover or FA, but the handguard lacking a heatshield bothered me. That's why I say it influenced my decision so much. I wanted a gun that was fairly "good to go" upon purchase. I also wanted something that felt good in my hands and was high quality for a decent price. I was about to "pull the trigger" on the Ruger Mini 14 with the ATI tactical stock for $695, and like that it had rails already set up, but it just didn't feel as good in my hands. ARs with quadrails don't feel right either. I'd just like one rail for a light. Again, I just need to experiment with it and break it down. I just haven't had the time and thought I'd get some insight from you guys before I got started. If it's a handgun or a shotgun, I'm golden. But, the AR is a whole new can of worms for me to open, and I'm looking forward to it. Thanks to all for your input and threads in this forum. It really helped me make an informed decision.

November 6, 2012, 12:22 AM
Having many options on accessories with the AR is a good thing. Try out different things and Find what works for you. The Magpul MOE is definitely the best bang for the buck. I would also suggest buying the handguard removal tool (about $15) to make things easier when swapping them. Its not necessary but it is helpful.

Since we're posting pics, here's my AR w/ Magpul handguard: