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Old 01-07-2017, 08:10 PM
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Default No heat shields, happier barrel?

I've been looking at getting a different handguard for my Sport II. I thought I settled on the BCM M4 handguard with double heat shields. I want to stay with the classic look. Maybe even add a carry handle, but I'm not sure yet. I'm also thinking about a red dot. Anyhoo, as I was researching handguards with heat shields, I came across this blog.

Double Heat Shield vs. Single Heat Shield Handguards | Vuurwapen Blog

I never stopped to think about this, but it seems the double heat shield handguards keep the heat in more. This is good for your hand, but it can't be good for the barrel to run hotter can it? Or does it really matter? After reading this, would the non-heat shield handguard on the Sport II actually be better so the barrel stays cooler? I know your hand will heat up a bit more, but would it be better to have a bit warmer grip as opposed to an hotter barrel?

Last edited by JayC_783; 01-07-2017 at 08:38 PM.
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Old 01-07-2017, 08:28 PM
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5point5sixGUY 5point5sixGUY is offline
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I don't think you'll ever get your gun hot enough to make any noticeable difference to the guns performance under normal circumstances. But, I guess I'd rather my gun cool off sooner than later for whatever that's worth...
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Old 01-07-2017, 09:30 PM
WR Moore WR Moore is offline
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I couldn't get the test results to come up so I have no idea about what differences resulted. That being the case, it's hard to make a comparison. That said, temperature at the handguard isn't barrel temperature. It may, in fact, be temperature of the air passing through the hand guard.

I also noted his firearm was chambered in 5.45 x 39 mm Com Block. No data on barrel configuration. So, unless your firearm is a duplicate, we're not sure what this means to someone with a Sport in 5.56 x 45 mm NATO.

The occasional one mag dump for S&G is OK, dumping multiple mags can endanger the life of the barrel from excessive wear due to sustained high temperatures. Depends upon barrel quality.

I don't know about your use of the firearm in question, I do know that at least a lower heat guard is a very good thing. Before retirement, we used to burn a lot of ammo through M&P15s with double heat shielded hand guards. I don't recall harming a barrel with an industrial chrome lining.

The linked information may well be a demonstration of a distinction between parts that makes no significant difference in the real world.
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Old 01-08-2017, 12:14 AM
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For Christmas, my son gave me some MAGPUL furniture for my Ruger AR-556. He gave me a MOE 400 stock and a MOE SL hand guard. The hand guard looks great on the Ruger and it has 2 heat shields in it. It's very well ventilated.

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Old 01-08-2017, 03:43 AM
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Quote:
Jayc 783 wrote:
...it can't be good for the barrel to run hotter can it? Or does it really matter?
It depends; how fast are you shooting?

Are you shooting 100 rounds in ten minutes? Or an hour?

Heat is the enemy of barrel life. See this test where 10,000 rounds was put down the barrel of four different ARs in rapid succession (http://www.luckygunner.com/labs/bras...el-cased-ammo/). This was intended to be an evaluation steel cased ammunition but it reveals quite a bit about the erosive effects of heat.

In my opinion, if you're shooting 30 rounds a hour or less, then it doesn't matter what handguard you have. If you're maintaining sustained fire at a higher rate, then you may want to weigh the comfort of your hand against the life of your barrel.
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Old 01-08-2017, 10:20 AM
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I don't shoot that intensively. I actually don't shoot that much. I've had my Sport II for almost a year now, and have only put a 150 round box through it. I didn't even shoot all 150 rounds at once. I don't like doing mag dumps. It wastes the ammo too fast. It got a little warm when I shot, but nothing even close to uncomfortable.
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Old 01-08-2017, 11:27 AM
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Pretty sure military barrels are chrome lined to help extend barrel life when used at high rates of fire. The only full auto M16 I have experience with was inRVN and had at least 400 rounds an hour fired on occasion with out showing any signs of an effect on accuracy,carried it for a year and it was still doing fine when turned in. Target shooters claim chrome is not as accurate but I don't think the difference matters unless you are shooting paper for small groups. I have a clone that has a M 16A1 upper that has excellent accuracy and it was used but I don't know how much.
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Old 01-08-2017, 11:43 AM
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I'll file this one in the overthink folder.
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Old 01-08-2017, 04:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChattanoogaPhil View Post
I'll file this one in the overthink folder.
Yeah, I tend to do that. I admit, it's one of my many faults. For what it's worth, I did just buy that BCM handguard.
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Old 01-08-2017, 06:19 PM
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The heat shields in the handguards assist in even dissipation of the heat from the barrel. Unless you're firing at a fanatic rate it will not affect your barrel and will keep your hands cooler.
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