In our June issue, we ran a short sidebar on Bison Armory's Forearm Skin, a rather ingenious device that wraps around the fore-end of an AR-15 to provide a comfortable gripping surface. Now, many Facebook comments have indicated that this will trap heat, preventing the barrel from cooling. While this criticism is true, it ignores the larger issue, namely that an AR, particularly those with aluminum fore-ends, can heat up enough that they become uncomfortable or even impossible to hold. The Forearm Skin, apart from its hysterically funny name, provides a surface that does not transfer much heat to the hand, making it easy to hold even after prolonged firing.
In the sidebar, this was made clear. We took it down to the range for a quick test, and rapidly put 150 rounds through the gun on which it was mounted. Without the skin, one could not hold the fore-end without burning one's hand, but when we repeated the test with the skin on the gun, it was easy and comfortable to hold.
Might it trap heat and slow the cooling process? Sure, it almost certainly does just that. But, if the rifle is too hot to hold without the skin, what good is it to know it will cool faster? If you can't hold the gun, it makes it rather difficult to aim and fire it.
Outside of heat, when temperatures dip below freezing, metal fore-ends can be just as uncomfortable to grip. Again, the Forearm Skin will likely mitigate this discomfort.
We should have been more explicit about this facet of the product in our Facebook post, since it seems many people did not understand the product's utility. Lesson learned on our part.