Never before has the market offered so many options to owners of AR-15 rifles looking to upgrade or those looking to start from scratch on an entirely new gun build. One of the newest AR-15 components to hit the market early in 2019 is the DoubleStar Cloak, a handguard built to provide shooters with a slim, lightweight, versatile forearm for their next AR build or rifle upgrade.
Machined from 6061 aluminum, the DoubleStar Cloak handguard is a free-float option that provides users with two quick-detach sling-swivel sockets, as well as M-Lok attachment slots on six faces along the circumference of the fore-end. The top of the handguard provides short sections of Picatinny rail at the front and rear, giving shooters slightly more mounting space in front of the flattop rail on their AR-15 upper receiver, as well as a mounting point for a front sight. However, the material between these two ends is removed to allow for a slimmer, lighter design that fits a user's support hand comfortably.
Attaching the Cloak to the upper receiver is done through the use of an included barrel nut, which is machined from heat-treated 4140 steel to ensure a solid lockup without any twisting or distortion from over-torquing. The exterior of the handguard incorporates two anti-rotation tabs that line the handguard up perfectly with a mil-spec upper receiver. Those who have uniquely shaped billet upper receivers on their rifles will have to ensure that the tabs will clear any contours on their upper to avoid installation issues. DoubleStar also warns consumers that the handguard will not work on AR-style rifles equipped with gas-piston operating systems.
The DoubleStar Cloak handguard can be had in 15.5- and 7-inch lengths to accommodate full-length carbines, pistols and short-barreled rifles. The overall weight on the 15.5-inch handguard is 13.7 ounces, and the interior and exterior diameter of the handguard is 1.3 inches and 1.55 inches, respectively. The forearm is finished with a hardcoat-anodized treatment. Each Cloak handguard is made in the USA, and the suggested retail price on the unit starts at $149.99 for the 7-inch model and ends at $199.99 for the 15.5-inch option.