RRA ar15 mid length, handguard question

Discussion in 'AR Talk' started by jednp, Jan 29, 2007.

  1. jednp

    jednp XDTalk 4K Member

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    Alright, while I am not sure exactly what model # my AR is due to me buying it from an individual selling it online. I do know it's a rock river, has the mid length gas system and has the quad rail free float handguard on it. My problem is I want to lighten up the front of the gun a bit. The current handguard is the yankee hill aluminum free float. According to YHM's page it weighs 17.5 oz. Would switching to the lightweight aluminum quad rail which weighs 12.4 oz make much of a difference? I've always felt it was heavy, and was reassured that my assumption was correct when my friend who just returned from Iraq held my weapon and thought the front end was very heavy. I see on tv people holding their ar's with one hand quite often, and with apparent ease. Mine strains your arm.

    Now I know the weapon he is use to is the M4 which has the 14" barrel which will cut down on some weight, and he has a different handguard setup on his. he doesn't have the quad rail. I think he said he's using a surefire lower which has a light built in.. then something else on top. All I know is I want mine to be lighter so it's easier to maneuver.

    So will shaving 5.1 oz off with a different handguard make a big difference? I don't know anything else to do if I want an aluminum free float and don't want to spend a crap load of money. I just want to make my gun so it isn't a tank, so any suggestions will be greatly appreciated!

    and btw... I have heard that the YHM freefloat quad rails have had problems in the past.. nobody ever said why but I had just heard that. must have been them moving or something? says they are new and improved now with anti-rotation screws. hopefully that's what the problem was and it's now fixed.
     
  2. boricua9mm

    boricua9mm XDTalk 500 Member

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    Most non-custom RRAs use the HBAR profile barrel. The R4 (M4) barrel is lighter, but it isn't a true M4 profile under the handguards, so you will save some weight, but not as much as a true M4 profiled barrel. I run my carbine super simple. No heavy forend with a bunch of stuff hanging off of it. Do you need a quad rail on the forend? Do you use any of the rails at all? Losing the quad rail and going with a standard handguard would save some serious weight, close to a pound. I don't need a quad rail at all, so that's what I would do. You'll have to decide how much you really need a rail system.
     
  3. ichy_trigger

    ichy_trigger XDTalk 10K Member

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    I have the RRA midlength but I went with the standard plastic handgaurds. I added a picatinny rail that screws to the handgaurd so that I can mount a surefire on it, I dont know what else I would need on a carbine meant for close work. They DO make a carbonfiber freefloat tube but I dont know who sells them off the top of my head.
     
  4. Bidah

    Bidah XDTalk 500 Member

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    I belive that I have that same upper, minus the YHM. The barrel on mine is an HBAR, which is quite a bit heavier than a true M4 barrel that is 2" shorter, and quite a bit lighter in overall weight, even without the lightening cuts they put on it. While you won't save much by replacing the YHM, if you replaced the barrel and the YHM, then you would.

    Or, if you decide that you don't want the setup all together, contact me about selling the upper as I am looking for another one. Keep the lower and get the upper the way you want.
     
  5. jednp

    jednp XDTalk 4K Member

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    alright, I never paid much attention to the fact that there are different barrels. That probably is where most of my weight is coming from. I like having a quad rail for my vertical grip, bipod when I want to use it, and a light. That and I like the look of the quad rail. that's why I was wondering if a lighter one would make much difference. I mean, the lightweight YHM one vs the one I have is almost saving as much weight as my keltec p32 weighs. Now that may not seem like much, but hold it up for a good amount of time and you'll notice the weight, vs no weight at all in your hand.

    I suppose there really are only a few options. 1, ditch the quad rail and go with plastic handguards.. which btw, I think have seen plastic quad rails, or else just put rail pieces on the handguard. 2, put a lighter weight aluminum quad rail on. 3. buy a whole new upper. But I don't see that solving my problem, as I like the mid length.

    Or, what I wouldn't mind doing if I can come up with the money, just buy an entry tactical to go with this one. that all depends on how long dem's keep their hands off of our assault rifles. If they keep them off between now and '08... I'll have time to get one.
     
  6. Ajcrash

    Ajcrash XDTalk 2K Member Founding Member

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    Subscribing

    I'm trying to decide if I should get a quad rail, or just keep the stock handguards and add the rail pieces. In-order to keep weight down some I'm leaning toward that route. Cheaper, and lighter that way. :)
     
  7. Bidah

    Bidah XDTalk 500 Member

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    They do make a composite quad rails, and I know of a couple that swear by them. I have thought about doing it myself, but I can't remember if they make a mid-length system, or even who it was. I am contacting my friends to see who it was that made them.

    Spend more time carrying it around and then it won't be so bad.. :) It is lighter than my FAL, which I use hunting, or my Garand, which I also use hunting, so I don't complain.. :)
     
  8. jednp

    jednp XDTalk 4K Member

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    weight alone isn't so much the issue, it's that the weight is all up front and makes the balance pretty poor, especially if you need to hold the weapon one handed.. say to open a door or something.

    I did see a composite quad rail.. firstsamco made it.. it was a rifle length one however. I don't see one for the mid length on their site, just an aluminum one but no composite. unless I'm blind
     
  9. Verm

    Verm XDTalk 500 Member

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    The early YHM rails had a tendancy to loosen over time. The new ones have a new design with locking screws that prevent them from loosening. I run YHM on my rifles and never a problem.
     
  10. jednp

    jednp XDTalk 4K Member

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    Alright, this is what really got me thinking that my AR was heavy compared to others.. before my friend even brought it to my attention. The S&W ar15 appears to have a mid length gas system on it. what does it have on it for handguard? does it have an aluminum quad rail? it appears to.. or is it composite? All I know is that thing was nice and light. I couldn't believe how much difference there was between that and mine.

    on a second look.. it appears it has the barrel on it that has been lightened. but I still think it has an aluminum quad rail. i don't think it's composite. But I suspect the barrel, and a lighter rail make it that much lighter.

    So here's another question... does anyone make that barrel in a mid length that will work on my RRA? I want to keep the mid length, but I really want to lighten this up.

    I don't want to turn this rifle into an M4 style. I like the longer handguard. I like the quad rail. So either by replacing my whole upper with something else if I can find one I want.. or by changing my barrel & quad rail. Either way is gonna be pricey, but it'll be more of what I want.
     
  11. xd4life

    xd4life XDTalk 3K Member

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    POST A FRICKIN PICTURE!!!


    What barrel is on that rifle?? Is it a bull Barrel?? If so that is where some of your weight is comeing from.

    Are you gonna be useing this rifle mainly as a Varmit rifle where the heavier barrle might be useful or for IPSC where that extra weight may hamper you? Or are you just wanting a SHTF rifle.
     
  12. jednp

    jednp XDTalk 4K Member

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    ask nicely and you shall receive. but only if you ask nicely. if it were a bull barrel, I would have said bull barrel. use of the gun isn't important, weight is weight.. and I don't want it.
     
  13. Bidah

    Bidah XDTalk 500 Member

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    Hey Jednep, I finally got an answer on those composite handguards. They are Fobus M44 and they come in a 2 rail and 4 rail version.

    Just in case you wanted to know.
     
  14. jednp

    jednp XDTalk 4K Member

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    I don't typically have the bipod or bipod adapter on it. just had it on for the picture and I only use it if I want to attempt more precise shooting. otherwise i just keep the vertical grip.. and plan on getting a light just for the AR setup in the future.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Krackels

    Krackels XDTalk 25K Member Founding Member

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    From Adco firearms and located at the FAQ: The Big Thread On FF & Railed Forends.
    [​IMG]

    An olympic firsh is about 7 ounces lighter than the YHM, and it retails for around $150. If you don't mind dropping the cash the Daniel Defense's are signficantly lighter.
     

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