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View Full Version : To Float? Or not to Float? That is the question


FUSE
02-16-2007, 10:48 PM
Which do you prefer and why? I want forearm that is super sturdy. Is a free floating forearm more stable then one that does not float? Or vice versa? Are they the same as far as ruggedness? As you attach more accessories does one have an advantage over the other?

proraptor
02-17-2007, 12:58 AM
Go free floating....more accurate - proven....Do it right the first time

Omega13device
02-17-2007, 9:32 AM
Free float is more accurate because the handguard doesn't touch the barrel. Are they rugged? Well, they seem to be getting a heck of a workout in Iraq and Afghanistan, with plenty of accessories attached. The railed forearms of choice for "pros" seem to be LaRue, Daniel Defense, Knight's Armament, and Troy. There are also less expensive alternatives like YHM and Midwest Industries. There are others I'm sure, those are just the ones that come to mind.

mltrading
02-17-2007, 10:26 AM
Go free-float! Current available FF forearms are all very sturdy like a rock. The benefit of FF forearms is much much more than none-FF.

SemiAutoSam
02-17-2007, 11:05 AM
Something about this just looks backwards.
I suppose your a southpaw I however would get a mouth full of brass.

What kind of Green did that upper and BCG set you back ?

http://shadow.slipgate.org/Weapons/Pics/DSC03339.jpg

BTW very nice build.

NeoWeird
02-17-2007, 12:23 PM
As with many thing a rule of thumb, but not a fact, is that you get what you pay for. While there are cheaper alternatives that will work just as well as big name brands (and I would consider Midwest Industries to be a fairly large name), when you start requiring a better product demands on the manufacture go up, and as such tooling, experienced labor, etc goes up and drives prices up. For the average person who just wants to mount a forward grip and possibly a light it's no big deal, but do you know that the rail is perfectly square, flat, offset at 90 degrees to the centerline, perfectly perpindicular and parralel to the axis of the bore, etc. all within <.001"? For your average joe plinking it's no big deal, but when you have someone who is using an optic mounted forward of the receiver in any way, whether it's electronic, scout, or simply longer than normal eye relief for better peripheral vission and they are shooting at targets 500 yards away than those slight variations and imperfections can deadly. I'm not saying the most expensive is the best, nor am I saying the least expensive is the worst, I am simply saying that NO two products are EVER 100% alike and generally speaking, but not always true, the more expensive one is more expensive for a reason and it is usually quality if all other aspects are similar (ie material, size, etc.). I honestly believe that this is the case of MOST AR parts, except with some rules of thumb like Colt which commands a premium just because it's Colt (even though their quality is awesome and I am sure it would be money well spent).

proraptor
02-17-2007, 12:27 PM
I also love my midwest industries rail they are becoming a big name in the industry because their rails are just as good as daniel defense, larue, etc etc and are a lot cheaper...Not to mention they are monolythic and give you the top continuous rail which is super nice

maxicon
02-17-2007, 1:51 PM
I also love my midwest industries rail they are becoming a big name in the industry because their rails are just as good as daniel defense, larue, etc etc and are a lot cheaper...Not to mention they are monolythic and give you the top continuous rail which is super nice

Technically, monolithic would mean the receiver rail and the forend rail are a single piece (mono meaning one, lithic meaning stone, or made of a single stone). LMT makes a true monolithic upper, but they're very expensive:
http://www.lewismachine.net/product.php?p=56&cid=8&session=65837233ef7b6f578f242c70db32d647

What you've got is a same-plane forend, meaning the rail on the forend is on the same plane as the receiver rail. Some aren't like this, like the Surefire rails.

gn3hz3ku1*
02-18-2007, 12:14 AM
is it worth the extra money if i just plan to shot at regular paper targets at 100 yrds?

Tzvia
02-18-2007, 7:27 AM
When I was gathering parts for my first railed upper build, I almost bought the MI because of price, but it was so much fatter than other brands I bought the Troy instead. Not the cheapest, or the most expensive, but I've got small hands and that was a big factor. Getting that darn rail level with the upper was a lot of work and I almost gave up! Thankfully, I have no need to mount an optic on it. Put an Aimpoint with a cantilever mount-and mounted it to the upper, not the rail.

One of the first replies with photos here shows the same type of issue I had with the Troy. The rail is not level with the upper. As others have said, for a light or grip, it's ok. For optics, nope.

I also have built with a 12" Larue rail. No it's not monolithic, but it mounted up in a fraction of the time the Troy took, without a hassle and it IS lined up. I was ready for a fight like the much less expensive Troy and had all kinds of levels and straight edges and a wood vise all ready for battle. But nope, perfect line up real quick. Since I am mounting optics on the rail I was happy I spent the extra $$ for it. My 3-18 IOR illuminated scope spans the upper/rails no problem.

There IS a difference. Frankly if companies like Larue or DD could make and sell their product in the YHM or MI price range, they would; it would be great for business. In the end, it's all a matter of what you NEED vs what you WANT and what you are willing to spend.

proraptor
02-18-2007, 9:05 AM
Technically, monolithic would mean the receiver rail and the forend rail are a single piece (mono meaning one, lithic meaning stone, or made of a single stone). LMT makes a true monolithic upper, but they're very expensive:
http://www.lewismachine.net/product.php?p=56&cid=8&session=65837233ef7b6f578f242c70db32d647

What you've got is a same-plane forend, meaning the rail on the forend is on the same plane as the receiver rail. Some aren't like this, like the Surefire rails.

I know all about LMT and what they make believe me....Even though it isnt 1 piece which is worthless in my eyes the top rail is still continuous and does the same thing....The AR platform is already strong enough....

My MI rail went right on my upper in about 5 mins (CMMG took the delta assembly off before they shipped the upper to me) and lined up perfectly with the top rail....Yes its a little wider than other rails and I think it looks cooler because of that not to mention I have large hands and it fits perfect.

IMO there is no reason to spend anymore money on Larue or daniel defense..But Im the type of guy that buys no name jeans cause they are exactly the same thing as high priced jeans.....The name hikes up the price....Hopefully MI stays at a good price cause the quality is awesome.

mltrading
02-18-2007, 9:30 AM
if you're not going to mount anything on the quad rail beside maybe a vertical grip or light, its probably not worth it. for how much you spend you should make sure you're getting that much back as well

if you're just going for appearance, why not get the cheap 2 piece ones that snap right in?

http://www.bravocompanyusa.com/YHM-2-Piece-Tactical-Handguards-Carbine-p/yhm-9670%20carbine%202pc.htm

unless you just want to have the best, theres no justification in purchasing a uber expensive 200+ picatinny rail if you're not going to fully utilize it

Not exactly. There are also plain FF forearms available. Such as YHM's customizable forearms and forearms of JP Enterprise (now the forearms are logoed with Viking Arms). They are all looking sleek without rails.

Tyler
02-18-2007, 12:47 PM
They ALL float down here, and when you're down here with us, you'll float too!

Any one see Stephen King's "It" :p

Omega13device
02-18-2007, 2:31 PM
My 3-18 IOR illuminated scope spans the upper/rails no problem.

[thread hijack]
This is generally not a good idea because if the rail turns at all you're going to have problems keeping zero. With this scope I wouldn't think you'd need to mount it so far forward anyway, but if you do, get a LaRue SPR mount and you can keep the mount on the upper while still getting proper eye relief.
[/thread hijack]

Tzvia
02-18-2007, 6:49 PM
[thread hijack]
This is generally not a good idea because if the rail turns at all you're going to have problems keeping zero. With this scope I wouldn't think you'd need to mount it so far forward anyway, but if you do, get a LaRue SPR mount and you can keep the mount on the upper while still getting proper eye relief.
[/thread hijack]

I am patiently waiting for Larue to make 35mm rings for their spr mount. Until then, it has to span or the scope sits in my eye, and my eyedoctor advised that it's not a good idea to put big metal items in my eyes so forward it sits. It's the one bad thing about this great scope. Mounting options are limited. And the Larue rail isn't going anywhere. Neither is the JP on the other AR that I use it on.

mltrading
02-18-2007, 6:56 PM
mltrading,

right, the only reason i didnt mention regular 1 piece free floats is taking into consideration installation. for me i like it not only to look god, but install relatively straight forward as well. call me lazy, but i didnt feel like removing the barrel to install a part. so, for me the MI rail was perfect :)

YHM and JP FFFs are two-piece (or call 3-piece) design. They are easier to install than one-piece ones. Just FYI.:)

Blue
02-18-2007, 6:57 PM
I put the YHM light weight rifle length FF tube on mine. It was cheap, and looks nice. I bought it from brightflashlights (from AR15.com) for around $125.

FUSE
02-18-2007, 7:58 PM
I ended up buying the stag upper with samson 4 rail mounted from the factory. So far I love it, it is high quality. As soon as I borrow a good camera I'll be posting pics of my first complete OLL under that .223 self loading pic thread.

-Cheers-

:)

maxicon
02-18-2007, 8:13 PM
I put the YHM light weight rifle length FF tube on mine. It was cheap, and looks nice. I bought it from brightflashlights (from AR15.com) for around $125.

How much trouble was it to install? Is this one that you cut off the delta ring for?

Blue
02-18-2007, 10:12 PM
How much trouble was it to install? Is this one that you cut off the delta ring for?


It was freakin easy. You slide their barrel nut over the barrel and torque it down. Then the tube screws onto that. Took just a couple of minutes. But I don't remember ever cutting a delta ring off of anything :confused:

ken858
02-18-2007, 10:20 PM
i have a yhm four rail free float and im pretty happy with it!