Tools Needed To Install Free Float Handguardebay

Why install a free float handguard? One of the main benefits to free-floating an AR-15 is an increase in accuracy from reduced variability in the barrel harmonics due to sling tension. The traditional AR-15 configuration has the sling mount attachment at the base of the front sight gas block, so moderate changes in sling tension can change the point of impact downrange. To install your new STNGR USA free-float handguard, you will need: Moly Grease - A grease material for readying the threads for the barrel nut. Blue Loctite - Loc-Tite is a locking compound that secures bolts and pins. For securing Allen bolts in this guide. Tools for Installing AR15 Free-Float HandguardsREQUIRED TOOLS:VISE For clamping the upper receiver assembly. Recommend 5” vise as a minimum UPPER RECEIVER VISE BLOCK (AR15) To hold the upper receiver securely. Usually a two-piece plastic clamshell design. SAFETY GLASSES For eye protection. Look for Z87 rating as a minimum. BALL PEEN HAMMER Used with punches. Four to eight ounces recommended. Installing Delta Ring and Barrel Into Upper Receiver Mil-Spec. To install the barrel and handguard slip ring assembly and gas tube you’ll need the upper receiver vise block with the insert, a barrel wrench, a torque wrench, snap ring pliers, and a number 2 roll pin holder and punch. A small flashlight would be handy also. DIY AR-15 Build: Barrel and Free-Float Rail System Installation. Continuing our DIY AR-15 Build, today we’ll be installing our Bravo Company 14.5″ Barrel and Daniel Defense 9″ Lite Rail onto our Upper Receiver. You’ll not only need a torque wrench for this part of the build, but the Daniel Defense proprietary Barrel Nut Wrench.

Tools Needed To Install Free Float Handguard

We will continue our series of gunsmithing lessons today with a step by step guide on how to install free float tubes. For all beginner gunsmiths among our readers, and for the more experienced gunsmiths as well, if they’d like to double check their technique or compare methods, here is our preferred way to install a free float tube. As long as you follow these steps carefully and prepare all the tools you need in advance, the process of installing these tubes is safe and pretty much user friendly.


Free float tubes are an essential part of any hand guard of rifles belonging to the AR series. While the rifles don’t usually come with a tube already installed, the wide majority of users (especially if they have a little gunsmithing skills themselves) like to install a free float handguard in order to make the rifle safer and shooting it smoother.

The process is also just as much about precision, beyond the improved safety: any fluctuations and inconsistencies in the external pressure placed on the rifle’s barrel results in imprecise shootings and a decreased accuracy. In an effort to stabilize that external pressure on the barrel, gunsmiths start any planned AR 15 modifications with installing an AR 15 free float handguard as the first priority.

In order to install free float tubes to AR rifles, you don’t need to be an expert and not even a certified beginner gunsmith. Any amateur gun enthusiast or simple gun owner is qualified enough to complete this easy installation process, as long as they take their time and follow the instructions carefully. Our following steps are made with the example of a AR 15 free float installation in mind, but most other types of AR rifles can be modified in exactly the same manner as well.

Tools needed to install free float handguard
  1. First of all, gather everything you need on your work table (bench). Besides the rifle you intend to modify and the AR 15 free float tube you’ll install, you will also need the following: an AR upper receiver block, a bench block, and a barrel nut wrench (for screwing and unscrewing the barrel nut).
  2. To start the AR 15 free float installation, use the upper receiver block to keep all rifle components in place while you work (and while still in the vice). Carefully remove the handguards, and then the flash hider. Carefully drive out the tapered pins which hold the rifle’s Gas Block in place, and then remove the gas block itself (you may need to grease it and slide it off).
  3. Use the barrel nut wrench to remove the delta ring, in order to allow the barrel to now slide in and out of the upper easily.
  4. Take the tube and put the barrel nut over the barrel. Then, screw it onto the rifle’s upper and then index the gas tube hole on it in order to be a good match for the gas tube hole on the receiver.
  5. Time to actually screw your free float tube Don’t forget to also torque it down. Then put the gas block back in place and make sure you don’t tighten it too much (you don’t want it to bind). It’s best if you test this ideal tightness of the screw beforehand.
  6. Drive the tapered pins (which you removed in the beginning) back in, from the correct position in order to assembly your AR 15 rifle back. That’s it, it’s done, enjoy your improved free float handguard!

What to Watch Out For:

  • Don’t be tempted to replace the installation of the tube with attaching a sling or bipod to the barrel of your AR rifle (or to the handguard), as that will only affect the accuracy even further.
  • If it is your first time installing free float tubes, make sure you read the instructions carefully and also gather all the necessary equipment and tools on your work table before you actually start.

As a final note, rest assured that the process is easier than it may seem at a first glance if you haven’t done it before. If you need to familiarize yourself with the components of the rifle, feel free to read the manual here before you begin the actual work on the AR 15 modifications you have in mind (including the work to install free float tubes).

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The greatest thing in open iron sights are the flip-up sights, and now the market is producing night sights and more advanced open irons; how great is that? To get a complete rundown on open iron options, read this guide.

I will assume for brevity that you have the old rail off the gun or have not installed anything yet. First up, open the package, and count all the parts against the parts listed on the packing slip. After you count all the parts are there, and all the tools you will need are on the table or bench, it is time to get started.

To discuss the free-floating quad handguard, we also need to cover the barrel install quickly. All of this share the same barrel nut, which needs to be addressed. If you have the upper receiver assembled, remove the Bolt Carrier Group and the Charging Handle from the Upper Receiver. Coat the threads of the Barrel Nut and the Upper Receiver with anti-seize. Ensure the Indexing Lug on the top of the Barrel is lined up with the Receiving Groove. The Indexing Lug and Groove ensure the Gas Port is aligned.

Thread the Barrel Nut onto the threads, and screw it down until finger tight, ensuring that everything fits easily and is lined up correctly. Put the Upper Receiver into the Holding Fixture and clamp into the vise. Use that Barrel Nut Wrench or the Armorer Wrench on the teeth that the Barrel Wrench or Armorer Tool is custom made for this. That is as far as I am going with barrel install because this article is for the handguard, more detailed instructions can be found here; follow the link.

Now that the barrel nut is on and tightened correctly, etc., slide the free-floating quad rail onto the barrel nut exactly as your instruction manual shows, line up the holes, and screw in the bolts to hand tight. Ensure everything lines up correctly, especially the rail on the flat top upper and the top rail of the quad rail handguard. Lastly, ensure the handrail placement is the right length for you. This check is a test fit for the product and the shooter fit.

Now, unscrew all the bolts, and if your set-up requires you to install your quad rail mounting or M-Lock mounting rails, put them on now, use a dot of blue thread locker (you know what I am talking about), and snug them good and tight.

Then, replace the quad rail over the barrel nut, line it all up again, and this time put a dot of thread locker on the bolts and snug them tight, check your instructions and see if there is a torque spec you need to meet. The only reason to use the thread locker is to keep the bolts from unscrewing under recoil, and it is up to you.

Tools Needed To Install Free Float Handguardebay

After assembly, take a few minutes and enjoy the new look and awesomeness of that rifle. You know you are going to do it, so do it like a pro.

Next, shoot it! Get the new gun smell mixed with the range's cordite smell, and all things are happy.

Good Shooting!!!