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Centerfire Rifles - Semiautomatic or Gas Operated Centerfire rifles, carbines and other gas operated rifles.

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  #1  
Old 03-17-2009, 11:11 PM
afmcgraw afmcgraw is offline
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Default Carry handle I.D.: commercial vs. Mil Spec

I guess it's time to come out from my lurker status since I can't seem to find an answer to this one. I tried searching this forum and others with no success.

I'm looking for info on how to identify commercial and Mil Spec carry handles (for lack of a better term). The way I understand it, there are two types, one for F-marked FSBs, and one for A2 FSBs. With the only difference being the distance between the handle-picatinny mating face and the handle-rear sight mating face.

Take a look at this post on ar15.com if I'm not being clear:
http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.htm...f=118&t=424705

Does anybody know those two different dimensions? Do I understand correctly that the lower cut handle is for the A2 FSB, and the higher cut handle is for the F-marked FSB? Does it matter if it's on a 16" or 20" barrel?
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  #2  
Old 03-18-2009, 11:30 AM
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a308garand a308garand is offline
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As I have seen, the markings to look for really quick are on the elevation knob:
Carbine - 6/3
Rifle - 8/3

Your rifle front sight housing will play an important part in the mechanical sight height for the rear sight. If your front sight housing is on a carbine and is 'F' marked, it is taller and needs the taller 6/3 marked carry handle. I don't think the rifle length barrels have 'F' marked front sight bases....

You need to measure the height of your front sight tower, if it isn't 'F' marked, to be sure of the height. Measuring from the top of the barrel to the bottom edge of the front sight tower,,,,1.94 - Standard base, 1.98 - 'F' marked base (Taller)

Another way to cheat the system is to buy the taller front sight post from Bushmaster.

The USGI carry handles are the best to get, they are more "rounded" on the edges, have forge markings still present near the rear sight,,,,,,,the knock-off carry handles are usually lacking the forge markings and have "sharp" edges,,,, kinda hard to describe.
HTH

Last edited by a308garand; 03-18-2009 at 11:30 AM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 03-18-2009, 11:46 AM
afmcgraw afmcgraw is offline
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Thanks for the reply.

I'm looking at a DPMS carry handle, so it's not "bottom of the barrel" China junk. It looks forged from the flash width on the inside of the handle opening, and has a square forge mark.

I have read that DPMS mostly uses A2 FSBs on their uppers, and they and some others machine the rear sight mating face lower on the carry handle to accommodate the A2 FSB.

If someone has an A2 FSB successfully sighted-in with a detachable carry handle, I'm looking for the carry handle rear sight base height that I mentioned in my first post. (By successfully, I mean with a standard front sight post, not in an extreme position.)
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Old 03-18-2009, 12:30 PM
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Army Army is offline
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DPMS has GI contracts. They will be in spec.
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Old 03-18-2009, 3:36 PM
afmcgraw afmcgraw is offline
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In spec to print, or in spec to Mil spec for an M4? The DPMS handle looks like the lower height ones on the ar15.com post. Anyone with a carry handle/A2 FSB setup and a set of calipers should be able to confirm.
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Old 03-20-2009, 8:22 PM
afmcgraw afmcgraw is offline
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If anyone is interested, I think that I got this one figured out. I couldn't get an account on ar15.com to ask because of my email host, but I did find a post that seems to have answered the question. (midway down the page with the pics)

http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=3&f=66&t=344624

-The milspec is 0.835" from picatinny top surface to base of rear sight (for use with "F" marked FSB).
-The commercial is 0.795" from picatinny top surface to base of rear sight (for use with A2 FSB).

I measured a DPMS, and it was 0.795" (commercial).
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Old 03-20-2009, 8:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Army View Post
DPMS has GI contracts. They will be in spec.
Just like how DPMS barrels have "in-spec" 5.56 chambers and they have "in-spec" staked bolt carriers

I would check the carry handle to make sure that it is 6/3, another easy way to tell a real carry handle from a junk one is that all quality carry handles will have the thumbscrews 4-point staked.
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Old 03-21-2009, 12:23 AM
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Been shooting ARs for a long time and still don't get why people are so fixated on getting a carry handle. Shouldn't be used for carrying anyway and it's a waste of good rail space.
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Old 03-21-2009, 1:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Omega13device View Post
Been shooting ARs for a long time and still don't get why people are so fixated on getting a carry handle. Shouldn't be used for carrying anyway and it's a waste of good rail space.
Ditto. I don't even know why it's called the "carrying handle." It is more correctly the "rear-sight riser" or something like that. One of the first things we were told as recruits, upon being issued rifles, was the severe beating we would receive if we were ever caught handling a weapon by the carrying handle. It's almost impossible to have proper muzzle awareness with a rifle swinging around by your thigh, pointed straight forward.

A good folding back-up iron sight is the way to go, whether used with optics or not. And I don't like the issued ones that we had (the ones with an elevation lever on the side.) They are sprung, held in place by a detent which almost always fails and leaves them permanently up--in the way of your optics. There is no need for it to be sprung.
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Old 03-21-2009, 1:42 AM
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But it's so good looking..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Omega13device View Post
Been shooting ARs for a long time and still don't get why people are so fixated on getting a carry handle. Shouldn't be used for carrying anyway and it's a waste of good rail space.
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Old 03-21-2009, 1:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpnosworthy View Post
But it's so good looking..
Actually, I think that explains why they're still issued in the military along with flat-top M16A4's and M4's, even when optics and back-up irons are issued. They want the "traditional" look for ceremonies . I can't think of any other reason you'd want a carrying handle, when you have optics and a BUIS.
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Old 02-05-2010, 9:02 PM
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I know Rock River makes a detachable carry handle. I hear the NM version has enough adjustment for getting out to 600 yards- if you're ever thinking of getting into highpower shooting...
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