As one can probably guess, this is about Guntec's new 15" Air Lite handguard for the AR15. I received the handguard about 2 months ago and have been using it ever since. Guntec has been around since 1989. They make tons of accessories for AR15's, AR10's, AK's, and even more.
The Guntec hanguard that I received was in M-lok. For you keymod fans, they make them also. Now the first thing I would like to mention is how thin the handguard is. If you like them thin, you'll love this handguard. It measure 1.5" wide, 1.975" tall, and has an inside diameter of 1.34". It also has a built in full length top picatinny rail. I will mention that although it is M-Lok, it only has 3 m-lok slots each on the sides and bottom, toward the very front of the handguard. This would be 3, 6, and 9 o'clock. The rest of the handguard has cut out triangle patterns to reduce weight.
Now, this Guntec handguard is light. On my scale, it weighed in at 9.6 ounces complete with barrel nut and screws. Remember, this is a 15" handguard with a full top rail, so this is quite good. The barrel nut is also aluminum, which helps with the weight.
Installation of the Air Lite was pretty straight forward. Which is good since it didn't come with any instructions. Once all your old parts are off. Slide the barrel nut on and tighten as normal. If the screw holes that hold the handguard on don't line up, remove it and put one of the supplied shims in it and try again. My kit came with 4 shims, I only had to use 1 to get the holes to line up. Guntec also lists a crowfoot wrench for the barrel nut, buying the wrench will make life much easier. Next install the gas block. I only mention this because you will need a low profile one, and smaller is better in this case. Then slide the handguard on. Line it up. Then install, and tighten down, the supplied screws. Thread locker is probably a good idea. And as always, safety check the rifle when finished.
Depending on where the gas block is located, you might run into some accessory mounting problems. Since the handguard is so thin, the screws on the m-lok parts may run into the gas block. On a mid-length or rifle length gas system, one set of m-lok attaching slots will not be usable. The inner part of the handguard is just too close to the gas block. Cutting down the screws won't even work. If you run a carbine or shorter gas system, you won't have this problem.
After shooting this handguard, here is what I found. Being that it is very thin helps if you shoot thumb over bore, or if you have smaller hands (think children). I did notice that it heats up faster than some of my larger diameter handguards, but really this is only a problem after 3 or 4 30rd mag dumps. It has no sharp edges and is flat on the end so it doesn't get caught up on stuff. It is not what you want if you plan on putting a suppressor under it (too thin). It is quite sturdy. And it comes with rubber m-lok inserts.
If you are looking for a light handguard, this Guntec might be for you. I would like m-lok slots all the way down, which they make, just not in the Air Lite version. The price is reasonable. It looks good and even comes in many different colors. Go check out Guntec, they probably make an accessory for you.
Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points
Claim to Fame:
15" really light AR15 handguard
AR15 owners wanting a thin and/or light handguard
FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):
- T6 Aluminum Body
- Proprietary Lightweight Aluminum Barrel Nut Included
- Total Weight Including Barrel Nut Is 8.9 oz. I measured at 9.6 ounces
- 3 M-LOK Slots On 3 Sides of Front End Of Handguard
- Triangle / Diamond Cuts Throughout Handguard to Reduce Weight
- Rail System Slides Over Barrel Nut , And Is Locked Up Against Receiver With 6 Screws
- Monolithic Top Rail
- 15" Length
- Internal Diameter: 1.34"
- Outside Diameter: 1.50"
- Made in USA
What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?
What others are saying?:
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Link to other reviews:
We Like Shooting review of the 12" std handguard
MSRP = $129.95
Retail = $111.71 at OpticsPlanet
I need it now! Availability:
Optics Planet, GunTec USA only sells to dealers
Complete top rail
Made In USA
Multiple Color Options
Rubber M-Lok "covers" included
Only M-Lok slots are at the front
No QD attachment points
M-Lok screw run into gas block
Score: 8.00 Great
Chad's Favorite Link: U.S. Tactical Supply