Where to find an Aero Precision Handguard for your AR-15 Build

Aero Precision has been building AR15 and AR10 rifle parts for almost 30 years. While many people are familiar with their M4E1 and M5 rifle platforms, you may not know that they have an excellent lineup of handguards. 

Available Aero Precision Handguard Options

Aero Precision offers a comprehensive line for the M4E1, M5, and EPC-9 builds. It’s important to note what type of upper receiver you have prior to purchasing your handguards. Save yourself the $10-25 dollars by checking if the upper receiver is THREADED or ENHANCED.

Learn the difference between the M4E1 and X15 platforms here.

If you have an ENHANCED upper receiver (top photo) then you WILL NOT need a barrel nut. If you have a THREADED upper receiver (bottom photo) then you WILL need a barrel nut. Ensure you’re purchasing the right option when checking out (with or without barrel nut). Worth Firearms will remove the barrel nut from handguards and offer a one-time discount to properly price your handguard. 

Drop-in Handguards

These are your basic two-piece plastic handguards and MAGPUL handguards. If your rifle has a D-Ring or look like an old M16 style rifle, these are your typical handguards. As a service member from 2005 – 2009, this is what we used in boot camp and in the fleet (support).

Infantry units were starting to get issued the M16A4 when I deployed to Iraq. These rifles typically featured handguards with a rail on them. Round rail covers were typically used to cover picatinny rail portions of the handguard that were not used. These were still dropped in with the D-Ring and Front Site Post.

Free Float Handguards

These are great handguards. Something I notice when I pick up my M4E1 rifle platform is just how light it is. I’m using S-One M-LOK handguard on the rifle pictured below.

But the features of a free float handguard extend much further than the light weight of the handguard. Many people find that free float handguards are more accurate because they do not touch the barrel, decreasing any vibrations reverberated from the barrel to the rest of the rifle platform. ReFactor Tactical wrote a great blog post about this very topic.

The Marine Corps’ new M27 service rifle uses a free floated barrel. We can all agree (I’m sure) that military grade isn’t always “the best”. However, I’d agree that the Marine Corps’ adoption of the M27, with a free float barrel, must say something about free float barrels.

A word about ATLAS systems. ATLAS stands for Aero Taper Lock Attachment System. This system refers to how the handguard attaches to an upper receiver’s barrel nut or enhanced upper receiver’s bolting points. 

AR15 ATLAS R-ONE M-LOK Handguard

ATLAS R-ONE M-LOK

These handguards are:

  • 5” in diameter
  • Include QD sockets for your favorite sling attachments
  • M-LOK attachment points throughout the handguard
  • A full picatinny rail
  • Available in FDE and Black (watch for future special color options)
  • Available in 4.8”, 7.3”, 9.3”, 10.3”, 12,.7”, 15” lengths
    • M5 available in 12.7” and 15” lengths

** Not compatible with M4E1 or M5 Enhanced Upper Receivers due to its mounting system.

AR15 ATLAS S-ONE M-LOK Handguard

ATLAS S-ONE M-LOK

These handguards are:

  • 5” in diameter
  • Include QD sockets for your favorite sling attachments
  • M-LOK attachment points throughout the handguard
  • Reduced rail sections with a front and rear picatinny rail
  • Available in FDE and Black (watch for future special color options)
  • Available in 7.3”, 9.3”, 10.3”, 12,.7”, 15” lengths
    • M5 available in 12.7” and 15” lengths

** Not compatible with M4E1 or M5 Enhanced Upper Receivers due to its mounting system.

AR15 Quantum M-LOK Handguards

Quantum M-LOK

These handguards are:

  • Designed for M4E1 platforms with an Aero Precision barrel nut or with the M4E1 enhanced upper
  • 78” inside diameter – fits most muzzle devices and 1.5” suppressors
  • Compatible with low-pro gas blocks
  • Include QD sockets for your favorite sling attachments
  • M-LOK attachment points throughout the handguard
  • Reduced rail sections with a front picatinny rail
  • Available in FDE and Black (watch for future special color options)
  • Available in 7.3”, 9.3”, 12,.7”, 15” lengths
    • M5 available in 15” length only

AR15 Enhanced M-LOK Handguards, Gen 2

Enhanced M-LOK

  • Designed for M4E1 platforms with an Aero Precision barrel nut or with the M4E1 enhanced upper
  • 72” inside diameter – fits most muzzle devices and 1.5” suppressors
  • Compatible with low-pro gas blocks
  • Include QD sockets for your favorite sling attachments
  • M-LOK attachment points throughout the handguard
  • One continuous top picatinny rail
  • Available in FDE and Black (watch for future special color options)
  • Available in 7.3”, 9.3”, 10.7”, 12.7”, 15” lengths
    • M5 available in 12.7” and 15” lengths

AR15 Enhanced Quad Rail Handguards, Gen 2

Enhanced Quad Rail

  • Designed for M4E1 platforms with an Aero Precision barrel nut or with the M4E1 enhanced upper
  • 72” inside diameter – fits most muzzle devices and 1.5” suppressors
  • Compatible with low-pro gas blocks
  • Include QD sockets for your favorite sling attachments
  • M-LOK attachment points throughout the handguard
  • One continuous top picatinny rail with half-length front rail sections on sides and bottom.
  • Available in FDE and Black (watch for future special color options)
  • Available in 7.3”, 9.3”, 12.7”, 15” lengths
    • M5 version not currently available

How to install free float handguards

Aero Precision offers an excellent video on how to install free-float handguards. We suggest purchasing this Armorer’s Block to get this done safely and easily.

What else are we missing? Check out our review of Aero Precision BCG and other parts.

Summary

There are many manufacturers for handguards. If you’re looking for a drop-in handguard solution, Worth Firearms offers MAGPUL handguards as a step up from your typical tubular M16A2 style handguards.

If you’re interested in going with the current standard free floating handguards, check out the Aero Precision Handguard options at Worth Firearms.

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