PSA AR-10 Handguard

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lailr
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PSA AR-10 Handguard

Post by lailr » Thu Jun 25, 2020 2:32 pm

So, My PSA Ar-10 Kit rifle I put together 8 months ago is ready for some upgrades. I'm looking for input on the hand guard. I want to be able to hang accessories off it, Bipod, canted offset sights, maybe a light. I have no experience with MLOK or KEYMOD systems, and lean toward just a regular rail set up. I understand that it has to be changed to a free floating barrel. Any suggestions out there? It's the 18 inch stainless mid-length if that makes a difference.

Does anyone have any experience with these different set-ups? What is the most cost effective set up out there? I'd like to have enough left over for better glass than the crappy Tasco that I pulled out of junk drawer.

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Re: PSA AR-10 Handguard

Post by MacWa77ace » Fri Jun 26, 2020 9:39 am

If you've never used either before then all your attachments need to be changed to MLOCK or Keymod. So that's an additional cost to think about. As far as pricing the Keymod and MLOCK are very similar, apples to apples, for the rails themselves and for the attachment hardware. Or you can slap picatinny rail sections onto either -so you can use any old attachments you have or use QD mounts. But that defeats the purpose and they cost a little $ too.

MLOKs are slow to change or move stuff around IMO. And you have to make sure you have the lugs turned correctly. But you get a really clean and lower profile with an MLOCK attachment than picatinny. There is no QD for a direct MLOCK attachment that I know about. Again you'd have to put a picatinny section on the rail for QD.

Some MLOCK front rails have a picatinny running down the full length, that's heavy on a long rail. But some MLOCK rails you can buy that have a picatinny section cut in just at the front for mounting a front site, that would make the rail even lighter. Or get one with no top picatinny if you're not going to mount anything to the top and want a really light rail.

Then there's how the rails attach. Some rails have to have the barrel nut timed to line up correctly. Others don't. Depending on your build skillz you may want to pay attention to how the rail attaches also.

Lastly check the internal diameter spec so you can check it against the gasblock you've got to make sure it will fit under the rail.



I've no personal experience with Keymod, just Picatinny, MLOCK and MOE.
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Re: PSA AR-10 Handguard

Post by boskone » Sat Jun 27, 2020 9:40 pm

lailr wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 2:32 pm
So, My PSA Ar-10 Kit rifle I put together 8 months ago is ready for some upgrades. I'm looking for input on the hand guard. I want to be able to hang accessories off it, Bipod, canted offset sights, maybe a light. I have no experience with MLOK or KEYMOD systems, and lean toward just a regular rail set up. I understand that it has to be changed to a free floating barrel. Any suggestions out there? It's the 18 inch stainless mid-length if that makes a difference.

Does anyone have any experience with these different set-ups? What is the most cost effective set up out there? I'd like to have enough left over for better glass than the crappy Tasco that I pulled out of junk drawer.
I have one of each (M-LOK and KeyMod), had a Pic handguard (now M-LOK), and of the three I like M-LOK the best. I think it's also more common than KeyMod.

Picatinny just has superfluous material, making the handguard and rifle bulkier and heavier. M-LOK and KeyMod let me put what I need where I need it, and that's it. I even already had a pic rail bipod, and just bought some pic-rail sections to mount it on my M-LOK and Keymod handguards.

KeyMod is like a screw-mounting keyhole, with the "channel" chamfered; you stick the "screw" head in the hole, slide the assembly back, tighten it down. It's theoretically faster, but I don't see that as terribly relevant, and I don't like the loss of material. It's also (or at least was) slightly more expensive, because it required more machining operations.

M-LOK is just a slot, with T-nuts for mounting. You stick the t-nuts into the slot(s), and start tightening; they're rounded on 2 corners and angled on the other two, so they stop rotating when perpendicular to the slot and start tightening. Slightly more fiddly than KeyMod, but between the two it seems the most secure to me.

I think most handguards either have a full-length pic rail up top for mounting sights and optics, or a bit of rail at the front and back (for a BUIS front sight and to extend the receiver's pic rail enough for a scope or whatever). You can also buy rail segments for each for under $20. My 5.56 upper has a Magpul MOE handguard and a gas-block mounted front sight; that's not supposed to work, but some work with a rotary tool and some files managed the job just fine. (Which really made me wonder why Magpul doesn't just extend the cutout a mm or two.)

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Re: PSA AR-10 Handguard

Post by lailr » Mon Jun 29, 2020 9:25 am

boskone wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 9:40 pm
lailr wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 2:32 pm
So, My PSA Ar-10 Kit rifle I put together 8 months ago is ready for some upgrades. I'm looking for input on the hand guard. I want to be able to hang accessories off it, Bipod, canted offset sights, maybe a light. I have no experience with MLOK or KEYMOD systems, and lean toward just a regular rail set up. I understand that it has to be changed to a free floating barrel. Any suggestions out there? It's the 18 inch stainless mid-length if that makes a difference.

Does anyone have any experience with these different set-ups? What is the most cost effective set up out there? I'd like to have enough left over for better glass than the crappy Tasco that I pulled out of junk drawer.
I have one of each (M-LOK and KeyMod), had a Pic handguard (now M-LOK), and of the three I like M-LOK the best. I think it's also more common than KeyMod.

Picatinny just has superfluous material, making the handguard and rifle bulkier and heavier. M-LOK and KeyMod let me put what I need where I need it, and that's it. I even already had a pic rail bipod, and just bought some pic-rail sections to mount it on my M-LOK and Keymod handguards.

KeyMod is like a screw-mounting keyhole, with the "channel" chamfered; you stick the "screw" head in the hole, slide the assembly back, tighten it down. It's theoretically faster, but I don't see that as terribly relevant, and I don't like the loss of material. It's also (or at least was) slightly more expensive, because it required more machining operations.

M-LOK is just a slot, with T-nuts for mounting. You stick the t-nuts into the slot(s), and start tightening; they're rounded on 2 corners and angled on the other two, so they stop rotating when perpendicular to the slot and start tightening. Slightly more fiddly than KeyMod, but between the two it seems the most secure to me.

I think most handguards either have a full-length pic rail up top for mounting sights and optics, or a bit of rail at the front and back (for a BUIS front sight and to extend the receiver's pic rail enough for a scope or whatever). You can also buy rail segments for each for under $20. My 5.56 upper has a Magpul MOE handguard and a gas-block mounted front sight; that's not supposed to work, but some work with a rotary tool and some files managed the job just fine. (Which really made me wonder why Magpul doesn't just extend the cutout a mm or two.)
Ok, I ,like lighter..... Are MLOK accessories priced the same as picatinny? And as prevalent? Even though I can add rails

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Re: PSA AR-10 Handguard

Post by boskone » Mon Jun 29, 2020 9:40 am

I'm not big on accessories (lasers, lights, VFGs, etc) so I can't say universally, but so far as I can tell they're within the same ballpark.

I did shop for an M-LOK bipod (decided not to because I don't normally leave it mounted and didn't want multiple to keep up with), and they all seemed to be within normal variations for online prices. (If the MSRP's $100, most vendors are $80-90, one vendor with a Geocities-looking page is $60, and then there's one place trying to sell it for like $200.)

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Re: PSA AR-10 Handguard

Post by MacWa77ace » Mon Jun 29, 2020 2:37 pm

lailr wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 9:25 am


Ok, I ,like lighter..... Are MLOK accessories priced the same as picatinny? And as prevalent? Even though I can add rails
I'd say that with the exception of QD items, everything you can attach via picatinny you can do a MLOK or Keymod attachment. And while there is some really cheap import stuff around, if you compare Magpul brand name products, for example, within their own offerings MLOK to picatinny to Keymod, they are really close. But brand name compared to brand name, Magpul to UTG, for example, there might be a larger difference but it's the brand's price difference not the platform. We're still only talking a few bucks though mostly apples to apples.


Couple other things i forgot to mention, some MLOK front rails, in addition to the top rail being picatinny, will actually come with a small MLOK picatinny rail section section included with the front rail that you can attach wherever you want. Keep an eye out for exactly what 'comes in the box' in the description. Others will come with QD holes built in the rail front and rear, left and right side, for QD sling swivel attachments. That's another thing to keep an eye out for so you don't have to buy an MLOK or KEYMOD QD sling mount adapter for your MLOK front rail.
boskone wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 9:40 am


I did shop for an M-LOK bipod (decided not to because I don't normally leave it mounted and didn't want multiple to keep up with), and they all seemed to be within normal variations for online prices. (If the MSRP's $100, most vendors are $80-90, one vendor with a Geocities-looking page is $60, and then there's one place trying to sell it for like $200.)
I've got a really nice [expensive] dedicated bipod that is picatinny, its not a VFG/bipod combo but it does have another picatinny rail on the bottom to attach a light or VFG to the bipod, I don't know what the MSRP was on it at the time but I paid $100 for it at a gunshow. So in that case I'ma add a picatinny rail section to the MLOk instead of buying another MLOK bipod. I don't have it set up as a QD though so still have to break out a tool to add it or take it off. So not that much difference except for the MLOK fiddle factor. Although I do have a couple extra QD picatinny mounts that i could use on the bipod if I wanted to QD it the picatinny rail section added to the MLOK front rail.

Lets see that'd be: MLOK to Pic QD to Pic so that's a triple connection to QD attach my picatinny bipod to my MLOK rail :roll:
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Re: PSA AR-10 Handguard

Post by boskone » Mon Jun 29, 2020 4:02 pm

MacWa77ace wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 2:37 pm
Lets see that'd be: MLOK to Pic QD to Pic so that's a triple connection to QD attach my picatinny bipod to my MLOK rail :roll:
My bipod is QD, has a lever that clamps it on. Otherwise it's just a bog-standard mount; I think it's either Caldwell or UTG, even. I eyeballed the Magpul bipods, pretty seriously, but this works for my needs.

I did see someone with access to a bunch of adapters that had stacked like Keymod->M-LOK->Pic->Keymod->...

Useless, but kinda funny.

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Re: PSA AR-10 Handguard

Post by lailr » Tue Jun 30, 2020 8:01 am

Well, I'll post pics when it's done. Sounds like I'm getting my feet wet with MLOK, because I'll actually hunt with this rifle too, vs don't with my AR/AK. And weight SHOULD factor in the decision making process. Thanks!

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Re: PSA AR-10 Handguard

Post by boskone » Tue Jun 30, 2020 9:11 am

lailr wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 8:01 am
Well, I'll post pics when it's done. Sounds like I'm getting my feet wet with MLOK, because I'll actually hunt with this rifle too, vs don't with my AR/AK. And weight SHOULD factor in the decision making process. Thanks!
Cool.

Even relatively heavy as it is, I think my 6.5 Grendel AR-15 (the one with KeyMod) is probably my favorite hunting rifle. It's got a 20" barrel and a heavy-ish build, but still lighter and handier than my Remington 700 in .243.

I've thought about switching it over to M-LOK, but for $150-200 (the approximate cost for handguards that length which I actually like) I'll deal.

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Re: PSA AR-10 Handguard

Post by Dabster » Tue Jun 30, 2020 12:48 pm

I bought my AR-10 years ago before accessories were really a thing. It also has a 24 inch barrel -it looked like a halberd. The sad OEM handguard had issues: limited bipod mounts and (Only about 12 inches long) limited territory to grip it. My chief criteria was length and I ended up getting a 16" SLR Rifleworks MLOK handguard (https://slrrifleworks.com/hand-guards/308-handguards/). It was easily installed, it mounts a bipod like a boss, it is more comfortable to shoot and it looks fantastic.
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Re: PSA AR-10 Handguard

Post by lailr » Wed Jul 01, 2020 9:35 am

https://monstrumtactical.com/dpms-lr-30 ... ree-float/

Here's what I have ordered. MLOK it is. Trying to save a little for some decent glass

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Re: PSA AR-10 Handguard

Post by boskone » Wed Jul 01, 2020 10:34 am

lailr wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 9:35 am
https://monstrumtactical.com/dpms-lr-30 ... ree-float/

Here's what I have ordered. MLOK it is. Trying to save a little for some decent glass
I've been really pleased with my Primary Arms optics over the years. PA is probably my go-to on a budget, Vortex if I've a bit of money to splash.

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Re: PSA AR-10 Handguard

Post by lailr » Wed Jul 01, 2020 11:32 am

boskone wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 10:34 am
lailr wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 9:35 am
https://monstrumtactical.com/dpms-lr-30 ... ree-float/

Here's what I have ordered. MLOK it is. Trying to save a little for some decent glass
I've been really pleased with my Primary Arms optics over the years. PA is probably my go-to on a budget, Vortex if I've a bit of money to splash.
Ever since I've tried Vortex, I"ve sworn by them....Probably try to find something with an illuminated reticle. PSA has those on sale too, if they'll ever get back in stock..... Love to have a NV option, but that's a LONG way off

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