AR15 handguards are about as ubiquitous as the rifle itself. Seems like more and more companies are springing up with a handguard for the dubious black rifle, and the tread seems to be lighter and more modular. With the proliferation of Keymod and MLOK rail attachment systems and less demand for full quad rail picatinny forends, the options for the end user have never been more plentiful.
I myself was interested in giving a lighter version a try, and I happened upon the Fortis REV handguards. Fortis machines some fantastic parts, and their handguards are now available in a Gen 2.0. The difference between the REV I and the REV II is the short forward rail sections in the 3, 6 & 9 o’clock positions that are present on the REV I have been removed on the REV II... and instead have been replaced with additional KeyMod/MLOK real estate and limited rotation QD sling swivel sockets.
I went with the 14" MLOK version of the REV II, and it is quite light. With a weight of only 9.3 ounces, Fortis really shed the excess with all of the milling and machining any of the 6061-T6 aluminum that wasn't crucial to structural integrity. The REV II uses a two part design where the main body is one solid piece, with a smaller mounting collar at the bottom rear. The REV II indexes by the two ear tabs that align on either side of the upper receiver, and a dovetail slot in the bottom that mates with the mounting collar and fastens with four screws and a 9/64 allen key.
Another design choice made to cut the fat was making the insider diameter much smaller than most other handguards on the market. At 1.340" the inside can still facilitate most low-profile gas blocks and the narrowest of suppressors like the AAC ECO-9/EVO-9 and most 22 cal cans. Be warned though, the screws/locking nuts of MLOK accessories will decrease that diameter by protruding inwards... making adding MLOK components and overlapping a can very problematic.
Overall with it's continuous top rail, anti-rotation index tabs, QD swivel sockets and use of the inexpensive and standard barrel nut, the Fortis REV II is a very nice handguard for the modern AR-15 build. The lighter weight will help keep your rifle lean and mean without sacrificing modularity
FIREARMS INSIDER REVIEWS – 8 KEY POINTS
Claim to Fame: Fortis REV™ II is an extremely lightweight yet robust free floating rail system. When designing the REV™, we didn’t want just another rail system, we wanted a better, lighter, feature rich handguard that was robust and within budget.
Target Market: AR15 owners
FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):
- Material: Aircraft Grade 6061-T6 Aluminum
- Finish: Military Specification Type III Hard Coat Anodized
- Length: 7", 9", 12", & 14"
- Weight (length and rail system dependant) 12" Keymod = 7.8 Ounces
- Inside Diameter: 1.340"
- Continuous Top Rail
- Rotation Limited QD Sockets
- KEYMOD at the 3, 6, & 9 o’clock
- Anti-Rotation Tabs
- Uses Standard AR15 Barrel Nut (Not Included)
- Made in the USA
What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: Keymod or MLOK. Some dealers offer FDE Cerakote.
What others are saying?: "I purchased a 12″ Fortis REV Free Float Rail for use on my lightweight project build and it has served me well. I needed an extremely lightweight, extended rail that mounted on the standard barrel nut for a 14.5″ barrel with permanently attached muzzle device and the REV fit hte bill perfectly. Fortis has now released the REV II that is basically the same rail except the short the 3, 6 & 9 o’clock forward rails that are present on the REV have been removed on the REV II. They have been replaced with additional KeyMod real estate and QD sling swivel sockets. The result is a rail that weighs even less at just 7.8 ounces (the REV 12 weighs in at 9.2 ounces).
This looks like an excellent revision to the REV series of rails. I really don’t use the forward rails and actually find them to be a bit uncomfortable for how I hold the carbine due to some sharp edges. The new version removes the rails, saves weight, and costs less (at the introductory price). That is a win-win-win." Jerking the Trigger Review
"I thought the cardboard tube the rail came in may have been empty b/c it was so light. I opened up the tube...it was in there. The rail just looks amazing imo. I had actually called Fortis to ask about the total overall length. I have a 12.5 barrel+was wondering how much of the barrel would be left with no rail covering it . I had read the OAL was a bit more than 9"(it's about 9.2"). The amount of barrel left exposed on my 12.5" BCM barrel(not counting the threads on the end of the barrel) is 2.75". I think it was the head of Fortis that answered the phone(not sure if it was). Anyhow, I was really impressed with Fortis's customer service b/c he answered all my questions. The rail went on SUPER EASY!!! Being that it was my 1st upper build, that made my day. I can't say enough good things about the rail. I'm a very happy customer. Also, as far as Red Barn goes, it was fast shipping, a great price, and great packaging-Couldn't ask for more!" Red Barn Armory Review
- Easy installation around standard barrel nut
- Continuous top rail w/ no gap
- Indexing tabs still not close enough to upper receive to ensure zero/level.
- No 7 or 9 inch MLOK versions
SCORE: 8.0 GREAT
For FFL services I choose Promised Land Firearms in Toulon, IL.