Best AR-15 Handguards [Free-Float & Drop-In]Reading Time: 11 minutes
The AR-15 is comparable to the windows computer in the gun world. It’s because of how it allows you “DIY” on it as you build. Also, it’s a highly customizable gun in the market. Many shooters have embraced it as their best firearm and enjoy customizing many features of it. Among the common and best upgrades on AR-15s is the handguard.
Why would you change the standard AR-15 handguard to a more custom AR-15 handguard anyway? Among the benefits of such upgrades include enhanced performance, accuracy, and aesthetics of the rifle. Also, most handguard designs offer slots for mounting additional accessories.
There a lot of AR-15 handguard varieties available in the market. Therefore, it can be a little bit confusing on the best handguard you need to fix on your AR-15. However, it’s affected by various factors such as a shooter’s preference, budget, the purpose of your AR-15, etc. That means there is no better handguard than the other in relation to the above aspects, but the quality is of much significance.
This article has reviewed some of the best AR-15 handguards you can purchase depending on the buyers’ experiences and views. The below list is made up of both free-float handguards and drop-handguards with various rails systems.
Best AR-15 Handguards (Free-Floating)
1. AERO PRECISION Atlas S-One Handguard
It’s among the best modern free-float handguards available in the market. The Atlas S-One AR-15 handguard from Aero Precision is offered in 2 versions, i.e., the M-LOK and KeyMod system. Aero Precision is one of the best manufacturers in the firearm industry, and they have safeguarded their good reputation by offering quality products.
The Atlas S-One handguard is suitable for the money compared to its quality, design, and benefits you will enjoy. Of course, it’s not as cheap as the drop-in counterparts, yet not expensive.
It offers a pleasant and comfortable grip on your secondary hand. This lightweight handguard allows you to have manageable weight on your AR-15. Depending on the rails system you enjoy between the M-LOK and KeyMod, there is an addition of the Picatinny rail feature on top. That allows space for a variety of AR-15 accessories.
You can get in either flat-dark earth or black colors.
2. BCM Fighter MCMR (M-LoK) AR-15 Handguard
Second, on our list is the BCM Fighter MCMR handguard that is an M-LoK free-float handguard. It’s slightly priced higher than the Atlas S-One model from Aero Precision. It’s a high-end product made from 6061 (T6) aluminum. Also, they come in different lengths.
Several hardware pieces accompany it for installation. A notable piece from the kit is the M-LoK rails section piece. Also, installing this lightweight AR-15 handguard is easy.
The fact that its mounting slots are more angled makes it standout. Additionally, attaching your accessories to it is convenient with much ease.
The MCMR M-LoK features a nice vertical grip and QD sling mounts.
3. V Seven Hyper Light M-LoK Handguard
The Hyper Light M-LOK handguard from V-Seven one of the best custom AR-15 handguards you might need to consider as your choice regardless of its high price. It’s a “cocktail” of magnesium alloy and aluminum, making it super light yet durable and sturdy.
Depending on your preference, you can choose between the KeyMod and the M-LoK rail system on the sides. This handguard is designed with Picatinny slots on top and sling mounts on each side.
If you are looking for a quality AR-15 handguard for tactical purposes, the Hyper-Light handguard is your viable option.
Best AR-15 Handguards (Drop-in)
1. Magpul MOE AR-15 M-LoK Handguards
Are you on a budget, yet your preference or nature of your AR-15 doesn’t allow you to switch to the free-float handguards? Worry no more! The Magpul MOE M-LoK handguard is the choice. It’s very lightweight as it’s made from a polymer material. Also, it’s a very affordable drop-in handguard in the market.
Magpul offers it in various lengths to accommodate different AR-15 gas systems. Unlike the typical drop-in handguards, it comes with M-LoK slots for your accessories. It’s also a comfortable handguard that is reinforced with an aluminum heat shield in the inner parts.
The MOE handguard comes in 4 different colors, and the installation process is super easy.
2. Leapers UTG Super Slim M-LoK Handguard
The Leapers UTG Super Slim M-LoK AR-15 handguard is another high-end drop-in handguard. You will find most of the features of a free-float version on the UTG M-LoK model from Leapers. Therefore it’s highly-priced than the Magpul MOE Handguard. It’s for that AR-15 shooter who likes drop-in handguards yet needs the M-LoK and KeyMod slots on his/her AR-15.
However, it slightly heavier than some free-float handguards.
The point of choosing the best AR-15 handguards scales down to one’s preference. The above list has focused on some of the best free-float and drop-in handguards available in the market for your AR-15s. However, those are not the only options you have, but they were worth mentioning.
Among other best AR-15 handguards you can check out include Seekins Precision NOXs M-LoK Handguard, Midwest Industries 2 piece handguard, Brigand Arms EDGE handguard, and the Odin Works 02 Lite Rail system, among others.