View Full Version : Aluminum vs carbon-fiber hand gaurds - hunting

06-21-2012, 8:55 AM
We are currently offering our rifles with a ventilated aluminum free float hand guard. They are very sturdy and cost effective. The only draw back is that they weigh more than plastic or carbon-fiber handguards.

For a hunting Ar15, is the extra $100 worth the weight savings of a carbon-fiber hand gurad? Would you be willing to pay a little more for less weight?

06-21-2012, 9:11 AM
Have you checked out the seekins rail? A fellow calgunner did a review, its supposed to be very light. Whats the weight running on the carbon fiber units?

06-21-2012, 9:38 AM
Have you checked out the seekins rail? A fellow calgunner did a review, its supposed to be very light. Whats the weight running on the carbon fiber units?

The seekins rail are both more expensive and heavier than the carbon-fiber tubes we are considering. A seekins rail would add a miniumum of $150 to the total cost of the rifle. The carbon fiber units would only add $100 dollars and they weigh 11 oz for a rifle length and 10oz for a mid length, including the barrel nut.

06-21-2012, 9:59 AM
Now that is interesting.

HK Dave
06-21-2012, 10:06 AM

DD Lite 11.6 ounces
Apex Machining 10.6 ounces
DD M4 11.0 ounces
Spike's SAR 9.31 ounces
Troy Extreme 8.46 ounces

Given that there are plenty of rails at that weight or lower, i'd say it depends on the design of that carbon fiber tube and whether it is as dynamic as the rails listed above.

Maybe there's a market for it? Personally I'm quite fond of hardened aluminum and a 2-3 ounce savings for a tube that does nothing but be a tube is not worth an extra $100... but instead I'd expect it to be $100 less.

06-21-2012, 10:12 AM
I'll stick with my Samson Evolution handguards. They are lightweight, sturdy and affordable.

I'm sure there is a market for carbon fiber handguards. They're just not for me.

06-21-2012, 1:35 PM
There are a number of hand gaurds out there that are light weight. What we look at is overall construction quality, aesthetics, weight, features, and what is usually overlooked by casual buyers or home builders, how easy/time consuming the system is to install and the effects this will have on accuracy.

The current system we use is very easy to install and take off while maintaining durability. This saves on labor cost. It also allows us to torque the barrel nut to the exactly amount we wish. Most hand guards your stuck with whatever torque aligns everything together. This can have an effect of precision and durability. The new carbon-fiber handguard we are considering not only is fast and precise when it comes to instillation, the user can also easily remove and re-install the handgaurd as many times as they want with ease, all the while being able to achieve the same alignment time and again. The hand guard attaches to the nut with set screws making this possible. The carbon fiber tubes we are considering are by Lancer. They are very similar in construction and installation to the aluminum handguards we are already using.

06-21-2012, 3:28 PM
If it's just for plinking then yeah no way for the extra $100, but if it's for hunting and you're lugging that rifle all day around in the field? yeah I would pony up the extra moola to make it lighter.