July, 16

AR 15/16 Free Float Handguards: The Ultimate Guide

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AR 15/16 Free Float Handguard – these five words may seem like a mouthful to someone outside the arms industry. But for those who are into firearms, this is something that they have heard quite often. Previously, handguards were an afterthought in building an AR-15 or AR-16 rifle. However, with the progress of technology and advancements in firearm design, things have changed drastically.

The free float handguard has become a popular choice among gun enthusiasts due to its benefits over traditional drop-in handguards. It gives better accuracy by removing pressure from the barrel and also provides more space for mounting accessories such as scopes and lasers without affecting accuracy. In addition to this, it's lighter than many other traditional models which make it easier to handle during combat situations.

If you're someone who is looking for ways to improve your shooting experience or just interested in learning about new developments within the firearms community – then keep reading on! This article will explore all aspects of AR 15/16 Free Float Handguards so that you can make an informed decision when choosing one for yourself!

AR 15/16 Free Float Handguard: The Ultimate Guide

If you own an AR 15/16 rifle, then you are probably familiar with how important it is to have a reliable and efficient handguard. A free float handguard is a type of handguard that attaches to the upper receiver of your rifle without touching the barrel. This design increases accuracy, ensures better heat dissipation and allows for more customization options.

In this guide, we will be discussing everything you need to know about free float handguards for your AR-15/16 rifles. From different types to installation tips, we've got you covered.

Types of Free Float Handguards

  1. Drop-in – Drop-in handguards are easier to install but may not provide full customization options as they do not cover the entire length of the barrel.
  2. Free-floating – As mentioned earlier in this article, free-floating rails attach only at one point on the gun's receiver; they offer greater flexibility but tend to be more expensive than drop-ins.
  3. Modular – Modular Handguards allow users greater customization by allowing them switch out rail sections as needed based on mission or intended use.

Keep in mind that while drop-ins might be easier and cheaper upfront, they can limit customizability downrange which could affect performance in certain environments or situations.

Benefits of a Free Float Handguard

Now that we understand what this type of rail system is let's dive into some benefits associated with using one:

Improved Accuracy

A major benefit provided by free-float rails is improved accuracy because nothing touches your barrel directly except for gas block assembly around its end or base area as opposed traditional designs which bear against each other throughout firing process causing shifts and inconsistencies over time resulting decreased precision over long ranges due contact-based disruptions between components mid-fire sequence (e.g., when gas strikes direct impingement tube).

Improved Heat Dissipation

Due to the design, free float handguards do not touch your barrel directly. This means they can reduce heat buildup by allowing air to circulate between the rail and barrel more easily, increasing overall endurance of critical components.


With a free float handguard, there are almost no limitations when it comes to mounting accessories like lights, scopes or grips.

Tips for Installation

Installing a free-floating system isn't as straightforward as installing other types of rails designs due to their unique attachment points (usually at gas block). Here are some tips for installation:

  1. Tools – Make sure you have all the necessary tools before starting your project: torque wrenches and hex keys come in handy.
  2. Instructions – Follow manufacturer's instructions carefully; this will help ensure accuracy throughout process.
  3. Proper Torquing – Avoid over-tightening screws while torquing down hardware during installation phase; this could lead damage on parts that may decrease performance long-term.


In conclusion, if you're looking for improved accuracy and customizability options then investing into a Free Float Handguard is definitely worth considering! Keep in mind though that proper installation is key so make sure you follow our tips closely before getting started on your next project!


What is an AR 15/16 Free Float Handguard and why is it important?

An AR 15/16 Free Float Handguard is a specially designed upgrade for your rifle. The handguard allows the shooter to have a better grip on their rifle, which in turn leads to improved accuracy. The free-floating design of the handguard means that it does not touch the barrel, which reduces heat transfer while also improving accuracy.

The installation of an AR 15/16 Free Float Handguard will allow you to attach accessories such as lights, lasers, and grips without interfering with your shooting performance. Additionally, it makes cleaning and maintenance much easier because there are no intrusive parts covering up important mechanisms.

Whether you are using your rifle for hunting or professional purposes like military or law enforcement operations, investing in an AR 15/16 Free Float Handguard can make all the difference when trying to improve consistency and precision during shots.

What materials are commonly used for manufacturing Ar 15 / 16 free float handguards?

There are several types of materials that can be used to manufacture Ar-15 / -Free float handguards. Some common options include aluminum alloys such as aircraft-grade aluminum (Type III Hardcoat Anodized) – which provides durability without adding any extra weight – carbon fiber composite (made from woven strands of carbon fiber), titanium alloys (which provide excellent strength-to-weight ratio), polymer variants like nylon reinforced with fiberglass material just so they don’t break down easily over time.

Of course each material has its own advantages and disadvantages based on what exactly you’re looking for in a free float hand guard.

For instance; if weight reduction is paramount then Carbon Fiber would be ideal due this lightweight nature however if cost effectiveness trumps all other factors then polymer would be ideal given its relatively affordable pricing compared to other alternatives.

How do I determine what length I need my Ar-15 / -Ar-16 free float handguard to be?

The length of your Ar-15 / -Ar-16 Free Float Handguard will depend on what you intend to use it for and how much space you need to accommodate accessories. The most basic rule is that the hand guard should extend beyond the gas block so as not to interfere with its operation.

As a general guideline, a 12 inch or longer handguard can usually accommodate any accessory that you might want to add, such as bipods, flashlights or lasers. A shorter hand guard may be ideal if weight reduction and maneuverability are more important than adding accessories.

Are there any restrictions regarding installation of AR15/AR16 free float handguards?

Yes. There are federal laws regulating firearms in America that include certain specifications for guns and gun parts such as barrel length and diameter which could either make your weapon illegal or subjecting it into an NFA item if modified beyond certain limits.

If your rifle has configurations outside those limitations then installing an AR15/AR16 Free Float Handgrip upgrade might require additional steps like filing out necessary paperwork before work begins on making upgrades/updating components in order stay compliance with state/federal regulations

Can I install my Ar 15 / 16 free float handguards myself?

Yes, depending on experience level. Installing your Ar 15/Ar 16 Free Float Hand guards is relatively simple with proper guidance from manuals/guides available online.

It’s recommended however That one familiarizes themselves first by reading through guides/manuals thoroughly prior attempting this process; some common mistakes made during installation include incorrectly aligning screws resulting in wobbly/rattling racks plus other undesired effects when operating firearm after completion.

All in all though; self-installation saves time & effort while also providing great personal satisfaction since they’ve practically ‘crafted’ their own rifle structure without external help

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