2020's Best AR-15 Handguard Reviews

OUR TOP CHOICE: Faxon Firearms Streamline Handguard

With a lightweight design weighing only 6.4 lbs., this model brings stability with a steel barrel nut and universal appeal because it can attach to billet and military-specification receivers. You can easily accessorize with the included Picatinny rail, and it’s even compatible with other firearms to help save you money.

Your choice of an AR-15 handguard can define the shape and functionality of your firearm. You need to decide if you want a classic or tactical look if you need protection from a hot barrel, and how much weight you are willing to add on to your weapon.

If you plan to install the handguard yourself, you’ll want a model that fits easily to your barrel or to the upper receiver, and a free-floating handguard can even help to improve your shooting accuracy. M-LOK and Picatinny rails can provide plenty of room for accessories.

Fortunately, there are excellent handguards available at every price-point.

2020's Best AR-15 Handguard Reviews

Editor’s Choice: Faxon Firearms Streamline Handguard

With a lightweight design weighing only 6.4 lbs., this model brings stability with a steel barrel nut and universal appeal because it can attach to billet and military-specification receivers. You can easily accessorize with the included Picatinny rail, and it’s even compatible with other firearms to help save you money.

Although there are several well-designed alternatives, for the best AR-15 handguard available today, buy the Faxon Firearms Streamline Handguard.

Top 7 AR-15 Handguards Reviews

This model has a carbon fiber finish coated with a hard-coat Type III anodized black color that gives it a sleek appearance while making it a durable handguard that is built to last. The installation process is straightforward, as is attaching scopes and other items because during machining the manufacturer has engraved “T” markings to help with accessory placement.

The easily-accessible 2-QD sling swivel mounting points make the attachment and detachment of your sling a simple task, which saves valuable time when loading up to head out for a hunt. Suitable for rapid firing, this handguard does not rotate even under extreme pressure, so you can keep a firm grip even when you’re shooting for sustained periods. 

Who Should Get This?

With the convenience, stability, durability, and compatibility that this model brings to the market, it’s a great choice for those who can afford the higher-end price tag.

If you’re buying on a budget, this wallet-friendly handguard has a range of great features that can rival more costly options. Although it may not be your first priority, the range of 5 color schemes can make your firearm look stylish, while also being functional. 

The riveted aluminum heat shield provides superb protection, and this is complemented by the protective front lip and side extensions, which keeps away any heat from a hot front sight.

This model is compatible with direct impingement and also the majority of piston-driven gas systems, making it appealing to a wide range of marksmen. This handguard is a significant upgrade on the standard plastic mid-length handguards that are familiar to most AR-15 enthusiasts.

Who Should Get This?

Providing superb protection from a hot barrel, combined with an attractive design and an ability to work with most gas systems, makes this a solid buy for any marksman on a budget.

Being one of the lightest handguards available, this is the ideal model for anyone who suffers fatigue when shooting for extended periods, or who needs to conserve some energy when out on a hunt. Although some marksmen may prefer a more solid feel to their handguard, this model is robust. 

The manufacturer puts each piece through a plasma disposition process, producing a ceramic-like finish which is tougher than standard anodizing. For added security, the Type III anodized aluminum barrel nut can cope with extreme temperatures, bumps and scrapes, rapid firing, and just about any destructive element you’re likely to encounter when in the field. 

Because it comes with the tools required for installation, you can start using it almost right out-of-the-box.

Who Should Get This?

For those who spend a lot of time holding their firearm up during competition shooting, or who travel long distances with their weapon when hunting, this light option is an ideal choice.

Available in 5 lengths, ranging from a short 6.7 inches to a longer 17-inch version, you can choose a handguard to fit your various gun barrels. The partial Picatinny top rail is ideal for mounting optics and red-dot sights, while the proprietary RIGIDRAIL design provides a superb balance between a lightweight design and a strong handguard that can operate in tough conditions.

The 4 anti-rotation QD sling sockets provide several options for your carrying sling, and also prevent the rotation that can make it difficult when trying to present your rifle and acquire a target in the shortest time possible.

Because there is no contact with the gas tube, this can significantly reduce wear-and-tear to help increase the lifespan of your handguard.

Who Should Get This?

If you have a number of weapons that could benefit from a handguard, this model comes in a variety of lengths that can fit on to most AR-15 firearms.

While you can opt for the standard neutral colors that are common to most handguards, this stylish model offers you the choice of a striking red color. While it may not be appropriate for concealed shooting, it can make your firearm stand out when you’re in a competition or when on the range. 

Using aircraft-grade billet aluminum, this unit is also robust and offers excellent protection from a hot barrel. Because there are no timing or shims required for installation, you can fit this model quickly, and the included barrel nut ensures that it is secure and cannot rotate, even under extreme duress. 

Backed by a lifetime warranty, you can enjoy shooting, safe in the knowledge you have support from the manufacturer.

Who Should Get This? 

Designing your firearm allows you to consider the functionality that you need, but also the appearance and style you want to project to fellow marksmen, and this is an attractive and stylish handguard.

Attaching directly to your firearm’s upper receiver, this free-floating model can help improve the stability of your firearm and ultimately your shooting accuracy. The ergonomically-grooved surface provides a snug fit for your hand, while the sleek and slimline design is ideal for having a reduced outline when you’re on a hunt. 

The lightning cuts through the model significantly reduce the weight of this unit, enabling you to add more accessories without the firearm becoming too heavy when in use. The 8-M-LOK slots provide plenty of room to add accessories and the 3-slot top Picatinny rail provides you with even more room to equip your firearm.

Compatible with right and left hand AR-15 upper receivers, this handguard can benefit a wide range of marksmen.

Who Should Get This? 

Whether you’re shooting recreationally, or in a competitive environment, being comfortable can help to make your shooting more accurate and provide a more pleasant experience.

This superb handguard is available in 4 lengths ranging from 9.2 inches up to 15 inches depending on the size of your barrel, and the lightweight design means it won’t add unnecessary ounces to your firearm. The compact height and width dimensions are ideal for a close fit on your barrel.

Forged from durable 7068 aluminum and magnesium alloy, it has a ceramic-like coating that provides it with a superior finish that can withstand the harshest of weather conditions. This material is also one of the portable options available for an AR-15 handguard, and can be as much as 30% lighter than other rival options.

Although it only comes in a black color scheme, the range of features makes this model worthy of consideration.

Who Should Get This?

Your handguard may be exposed to inclement weather conditions, suffer accidental drops or scrapes, and even be affected by corrosive chemicals. This model is one of the most durable currently available.

Best AR-15 Handguard Overall

There are several excellent models on the market, but there is one that is outstanding among its peers. Robust, lightweight, easy to install, and bringing a high level of stability to your firearm, it is a handguard that can bring benefits to both the experienced and the novice marksman. The sleek and slimline design also gives it an attractive appearance.

For a model that provides outstanding performance in every important AR-15 handguard metric, choose the Faxon Firearms Streamline Handguard.

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