Your AR-15 handguard affects much more than you think. Your handguard can affect how comfortable your rifle is to use, how well the weapon handles heat buildup and even your overall accuracy. Today, let’s take a look at 4 top-tier AR 15 handguards that are perfect for your budget.
What's the Best Handguards for You?
Free-Float or Drop-In?
The one thing to consider before buying an AR-15 handguard is whether the model is free-floating or drop-in.
In our opinion, free-floating handguards are far and away superior since they don’t contact the barrel of your AR 15 (this is how they get their name).
This increases your accuracy since the handguard doesn't contact your barrel.
You might even see accuracy increases of up to one MOA.
Furthermore, free-floating handguards absorb less heat than drop-in handguards, even when they are made of the same material.
Plus, you often get a little more room for accessories or optics.
While drop-in handguards can be nice since they’re usually cheaper and easy to install, they’re ultimately not worth it in the long run.
Now let’s take a look at some different free-floating AR 15 handguards you can afford depending on your budget.
1. Aero Precision AR-15 Atlas Handguard
This quality AR 15 hand guard is made with aircraft-grade aluminum and is extraordinarily lightweight.
Thus, it's a perfect choice for a customized AR 15 build where every ounce matters.
It features a proprietary locking attachment system for stability and to help avoid hand guard distortion over time.
It also comes with a full Picatinny rail at the top, so you can add whatever attachments you please.
A quick disconnect sling socket is also included for user comfort on long marches with the weapon.
This free-floating handguard is also made of lightweight aluminum and has a full-length topside Picatinny rail.
There are seven rows of M-LOK slots in total: plenty of room for a variety of accessories to boost your AR 15 build.
The streamlined and clean aesthetic will also be attractive for many AR 15 builders.
Perhaps best of all, this handguard is extraordinarily affordable at less than $200 at the time of this writing.
So it’s not only durable and effective, but it's also budget-friendly!
If you have a slightly higher budget than average, you might want to consider this carbon fiber handguard.
Carbon fiber combines the durability of even the toughest rifle materials with the lightweight of aluminum.
Basically, pay a little extra and this material gives you the benefits of heavy-duty and lightweight metals all in one.
It comes with 8 M-LOK faucets you can use for a variety of mounting accessories.
Since the carbon fiber is also great at handling heat, you’ll feel even less discomfort when firing multiple shots in rapid succession.
Even though it’s free-floating, it’s also easy to install with regular wrenches and tools.
This handguard is made from a magnesium and aluminum alloy.
This results in a material that’s about 30% lighter than regular aircraft-grade aluminum (used for common AR 15 handguards).
Even better, the handguard is made with a special layer of ceramic coating that provides even better wear resistance.
A black finish ensures that the guard won't glare or flash in the sun.
It comes with three integrated quick draw swivel mounting points for slings around your shoulder, plus a generally slim design.
The asking price isn’t half-bad, either, though it’s not exactly a budget option.
All in all, these free-floating handguards are all great choices.
Consider your overall AR 15 build’s budget, then use that to determine which will likely be best for you. Good hunting!
Do you see handguards you think you might want to try? Let us know why in the comments section!