FGR-3 Railed Polymer Handguard for M4 & AR-15 Carbines
One of the first accessories most shooters add to their M4 or AR-15 carbines is a railed handguard. After all, it is hard to install other accessories until there are rails to mount them on. Until recently there was no good solution that was cost-effective, sturdy, and good-looking for shooters who don’t need a full quad-rail system. Aluminum rail systems are nice, but add weight and bulk and often more rails than are needed. For those who don’t need a full aluminum rail system, but don’t care for cheap rails bolted to the factory handguards, there is now an elegant solution: the FGR-3 railed handguards from The Mako Group and FAB Defense.
The FGR-3 handguards are built of weapons-grade reinforced polymer, the same type of material used in Glock pistol frames. The handguards include heavy-duty aluminum heat shields, brightly polished to reflect heat. The lower handguard has a built-in rail in the six o’ clock position, starting about a quarter of the way forward from the back and extending just past the front of the handguard. The upper handguard has a two-inch rail (5 slots) in the three o’clock position and another in the nine o’clock position. These side rails extend slightly forward of the handguard , with part if the rail beside the front sight tower.
The first thing I noticed about the FGR-3 handguards is that they are built more solidly than most polymer handguards. The FGR-3 not only protects the gas tube and gives the shooter a place to hold, but also allows the mounting of accessories including foregrips and bipods. This has the potential to place more strain on the handguards, and they are reinforced accordingly.
In addition to lights and foregrips, some shooters will want to mount lasers, which require a stable platform that will allow them to maintain zero. This is accomplished by the FGR-3 by an extremely tight fit and by its shape which is molded to securely index the barrel nut. While tighter to install than factory handguards (get a buddy to help with instalation), the end result is rails that don’t move a bit. The FGR-3 will give you the stable platform you need for mounting lasers.
The FGR-3 does not have a top rail, so it will not interfere with the mounting of rail extenders or optics on flat top receivers that extend forward of the receivers. It is also out of the way of the Z-type carry handle mounts.
To install the FGR-3 on M4 or Ar-15 carbines, remove the factory handguards by pulling back (down if the butt is resting on the ground) on the delta ring and pulling the back end of each handguard out away from the weapon. Insert the front end one one of the FGR-3 handguards into the front handguard ring, pull down on the delta ring, and snap the back end of the handguard into place. Repeat this procedure with the other FGR-3 handguard. Remember that the FGR-3 is a very tight fit to the barrel nut, and cannot be moved or turned once in place. Be sure to align it correctly before snapping it into place. Depending on the manufacturer of your carbine, you may find the fit tight enough that it may require slight fitting. A few quick strokes with a file does the trick. Fitting may also be required if the carbine’s handguard ring has been bent or damaged. It can easily be bent almost unnoticeably, and is very difficult to straighten without noticeably damaging it.
Once installed, the FGR-3 is super-stable. It is much more comfortable in the hand than most aluminum rail systems. The polymer is nice in very hot or very cold environments, where aluminum can burn or chill the hands very quickly. The FGR-3 keeps the classic look of the M16 family, while adding modern functionality.
Most people do not need all the rail space (and expense) that comes with most rail-system handguards. The FGR-3 is a simple, rugged, and cost-effective solution that just looks right on any AR-15 style carbine.
Click here to purchase the Mako Group/FAB Defense FGR-3 Railed Polymer Handguards
The FGR-3 is manufactured in Israel for Israeli military and law enforcement units.