I wanted to write this post to give a big shout out to MAS Defense and their Ridgeline free-float rail. Before you read any further, I want you to realize that this is a $99 rail and thus far I have been very, very pleased with it.
After a few seasons of deer hunting with the AR-15, I wanted to change around my setup a little bit. I love hunting with an AR-15. I do a great deal of deer hunting from inside of blinds and box stands, so what I really love about it the most is how compact of a rifle it is. That 16 inch barrel and collapsible stock really make it so much more conducive to maneuvering around inside of small blinds. What I found that it was greatly lacking was a longer handguard.
Originally, this upper was a flattop setup with the old school insulated handguards. Below, Center…
That setup was greatly lacking when it came to using a rifle rest. I am a very big proponent of making certain that you have a rock solid rest for your rifle before you ever take the shot at that deer. Depending on which blind I am in, I often accomplish this by shooting off of a tripod or the edge rail of the box blind. Either way, those 7 inch handguards absolutely suck at creating stability. They also didn’t afford me the opportunity to put a bi-pod on the rifle when needed.
The solution to my problem was a 15 inch free float handguard. So after shopping around for a while…
$200+ for a handguard? No thanks.
$99 for a handguard? Shut up and take my money.
You can see more detailed pics and all the specs at the MAS Defense link above, but like I said, I have been very happy with the purchase. Fit and finish is great. The full length rail on the top is true to spec, and the keymod cuts are smooth and non-abrasive to bare hands. It also has a pretty darn simple barrel nut setup and the screws that hold the rail in place (With a little blue locktite) have been holding nice and tight.
*So this setup will become my new ‘woods gun’ for short to moderate ranges. I did shoot a mid-sized doe this year at the furthest distance that I ever have with a .223 – 215 yards, and it dropped her where she stood (Federal Fusion). I will have an upcoming post about the other rifle that I am switching to which will round out the complete change in my deer hunting setups. Stay tuned.