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Preview – Light Rail

The Latest in Free-Float Handguards

In a world where ounces equal pounds and pounds equal pain, the weight of one’s equipment can oftentimes be as important as their functionality. Weight adds up quickly; keeping gear functional but light can keep one in the fight longer. In recent years, this line of thought has been applied to everything from armor plates and boots to nylon kits and even ammunition. The modern rifle is no exception. Brimming with Picatinny rail on all four sides, tactical free-float handguards found on many of today’s rifles allow the user convenient attachment points for mission-specific equipment, such as lights, lasers, optics, grips, and more.

As the use of fully railed handguards became popular, a pattern started to become noticeable. Many shooters only used certain portions of the rail, leaving most of the rest of the length of Picatinny untouched or, ironically, encased with rail covers or rail ladders — some folks sarcastically referred to these railed systems as “cheese graters.” Manufacturers began to develop the next stage of free-float handguards, which integrated feedback from those in the field.

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