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Which handguard should I choose?

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Hey guys, I'm just getting started on my build, and I'm looking for you opinions on which handguard to go with.

A little info on my build. I'm using the DPMS slick side upper with the taller rail and a TM-10 Lower. I've got my Bison Armory barrel on the way with a JP bolt and the associated small bits. The barrel is a 18" Mid gas that measures .9" to the gas block, .75" at the gas block to the muzzle with the last 1.8" at .725". I plan to use a low profile gas block under whichever handguard I choose. Do I need a heavier duty gas block for the 308, or is the standard tear drop style fine?

My intended use is hunting medium to large game at extended distances (450y max) and punching paper. I may try to push it farther if I find a range that has the capability.

As for the handguard, I plan on only running glass on it so I don't need a rail on the top. I'd like to be able to have a rail section on the bottom for bipod/ sling, and smaller rail sections close to the receiver for QD sockets and my brass catcher (9 O'clock and 3 O'clock positions). So far the two I'm looking at are the JP and the JD. I know the JD doesn't have the rail sections near the receiver, but it looks so dang cool!  8)

Does anyone have any other suggestions for handguards I may have overlooked?

Thanks for reading!

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Normally I'd suggest a 15" JP VTAC rail, but only if you were sticking to killing paper. Since you want to hunt too, that means you'll be humpin' the rifle all over. Then I suggest the Apex CNC rifle length.

The Apex CNC will give you plenty of barrel protection and is very light weight. You can add rails if your wish, or just stick to the cylindrical look. Personally I suggest Magpul MOE polymer rails, if you ever need them. You can put rails at 12, 1, 3, 6, 9, and 11 o clock. It also comes with preinstalled QD holes at both ends of the receiver.

If you jump on the list now, they are taking pre-orders for the upcoming 15" free float system.


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I completely forgot about Apex. I really like their tubes, just thought they were a little pricey for my AR-15 builds. (Funny how that changes when you move to the large platform :o) Thanks for reminding me of them, I think thats the one. The only downfall is that it doesn't have places for rails at 3 and 9 on the receiver end, but if there's Kydex, there's a way!

I think I'm going to go with the 12" model, I'm not sure I'd gain much with the added 3" for my purposes with this rifle.

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I just bought the 15" Troy VTAC Alpha Rail. I am thuroughly impressed with this rail. Not as light as my Apex, but damn light all the same. The mounting is genius. It mounts to a standard barrel nut.

Hi Robo  Ive also got the troy extreme on a 6.8.On the 6.8 extreme rail there is a tab that butts up against the upper to prevent rotation in addition to the two lockdown bolts for the barrel nut...I wish they could have done this on the 308... I have yet to notice any movement on the 308's so,I guess Troy knows what they are doing!

:)  Wash

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...I wish they could have done this on the 308...

They probably tried this at first. Since all .308's are made different, and to no exact spec, they may have abandoned that idea. It may fit one or two, but fails the rest. Rather remove the feature than get bad reviews from owners of off brand uppers.

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Well I looked on Apex's website last night, and saw that there was one 12" DPMS pattern rail available. This morning it was listed as Unavailable...thanks to me ;D I picked up their barrel nut too since I needed one for my build anyhow. This thing is coming together pretty quickly. I bit the bullet on the shipping from fulton and have a carrier, and lpk (- fcg) coming thursday, my TM-10 will be here tomorrow, the bolt and barrel should arrive sometime next week. It's going to be looking like a rifle in no time!

Thanks for the help!

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