I’ve got a bias when it comes to AR-15 handguards. I like full-length handguards. I’m not a big fan of the shorties that don’t even cover the gas block. I like getting my support hand all the way out near the end of the barrel for as much stability as possible. Problem is, as you might expect, longer handguards mean more material, which means both more weight and more cost.
Firefield’s Verge line—available in both KeyMod configuration and the M-Lok variant shown—offers a full complement of handguard lengths from pistol-length (7 inches) all the way to 15 inches. The 15-inch version in this review weighs 9.9 ounces, offers a full-length Picatinny rail on top and M-Lok attachment points at the three-, six- and nine-o’clock positions.
Installation is simple: there’s a barrel nut that screws onto the upper receiver once the barrel is in place (if you’re replacing a delta-nut-type arrangement like we did a while back, you’ll need to remove everything that’s not a barrel first…). There’s a barrel nut key included with the rail that’s designed to work with a torque wrench, as well as several shims to properly clock the nut—you need to have the screw attachments in the right position for the top rails to mesh. Tighten to 30 ft.-lbs. and install the handguard (hex key included).
Once installed, you can attach as many—or as few—accessories as desired. Backup sights are pretty important, as is a good light; beyond that it’s whatever you’d like. Foregrip, hand stop, light, laser, kitchen sink; as much or as little as desired in any location you want. One seven-slot section of rail is included; you can also add extras like those available from LongShot Manufacturing or Kinetic Development if you like.
Should you opt for a clean handguard, you won’t be disappointed: the Verge has a smooth, slim feel in the hand that’s fine all on its own. MSRP: $79.97.