View Full Version : Plastic Handguard and built-in bipod?
September 21, 2001, 00:02
Ok, my first FAL I love. It's a frankenstein STG with the metal handguard and the bipod. As all of you know, the handguard gets hotter than a wife finding that rifle you've been hiding from her, so I am very interested in getting a plastic handguard to avoid having to buy that hard-to-find jackalope oven mitt. BUT, I love the built in bipod! Does anyone out there know of a company that sells a plastic version of the STG handguard so I can keep my beloved bipod AND not burn my hand off?
Any help to the newbie is greatly appreciated!
September 21, 2001, 00:48
Sorry, I don't know why this posted twice...
September 21, 2001, 02:23
TAPCO has the CAI made plastic handguards, these are exact replicas of the original STG handguards, but they still tend to get hot, DSA makes plastic FN/Imbel replica handguards, they will still accept your bipod, but they don't look like original STG equipment, they're made of thicker plastic than the Centruy HGs, and don't get as hot, but prolonged shooting will still burn your hand, the Imbel HGs are made of EVEN thicker plastic and give you even better heat resistance, but even they will get hot after a while, and good luck finding a set in excellent or new condition, though you may be able to find a set that you can refinish and will look halfway decent.
September 22, 2001, 03:11
Jackalope: If you have the $ you could
see if Gunthings has a handguard set, @ www.Gunthings.com (http://www.Gunthings.com) or, post a WTB ad on the Market forum with a long slim wait. I suspect that you like the look of the metal HG's, but cost is a factor. I'd recommend Tapco's $19.99 CIA plastic look-alikes, and make liners for the insides using aluminum
flashing from a home repair store(it
comes in 6"-8"wide x 25'-50'length rolls. It's thin enough to cut with kitchen shears(easier than tin snips).
A template is in the Archives; and, I recommend making patterns using stiff paper(file folders are perfect), remembering to press form them to the curvature of the inside walls & angles, otherwise your patterns will be undersized. Done that. Press the paper on the HG screwholes to get the exact centers. When cutting the aluminum I'd recommend drilling a small pilot for the screw openings, then enlarging them with a Dremel burr, as a larger bit will scrunch the thin aluminum. An alternative is to apply Thermo Shield 2000, a "radiant heat reflection adhesive-backed metallic(foil) insulating tape" rated to 2000 degrees for protecting engine wiring, etc.. It's about $13 for a 15'
x 1-1/2" roll, enough to do about 4 sets. Cut to fit, overlap the seams, & use the scrap pieces to cover any spots that you flubbed. Cut openings for the vent holes using a hobby knife or single edge razor blades. You can get it at any speed/racing shop, or on-line. Some guys have used muffler insulation tape.
With either method the handguards will still heat up, but more slowly. I'd recommend getting into the habit of wearing cheap, thin, full-fingered
leather driving gloves from Target, etc., as they look better than an oven
mitt:-), and you'll have them ON should you inadvertently grab a hot barrel-end as the rifle slides from what you leaned it against. They'll also protect rubbing your fingers raw
loading a bunch of mags.
You can add just a tad more protection
by spraying the outside of your HG's with Dupli-Color truck bed liner spray (buy the spray can, not the roll-on),
and spray about 16"-24" away to vary the texture. Use the rest to rehab worn HG's, pistol grips & buttstocks.
I even waterproofed my toolbox by spraying it on the inside of the handle rivets. If you spray too close
it'll clump-up, with unsightly bumps:
Peel off & try again.
One thing: the CIA Handguards screw & bushing are bright brass. Blacken them with Birchwood-Casey's Brass Black, or
spray the head & bushing with bed liner.
Have fun, being an FALoholic isn't terminal, except to your spare cash.
September 22, 2001, 09:38
DSA makes and sells a bi-pod cut set of synthetic handguards for about $49.00 less shipping. This ups your U.S. parts count by 1 also. HTH!
Jim :D :D :D :D
September 22, 2001, 11:22
Wow! Ok, great info! The combination of the Tapco bi-pod cuts and the plethera of instructions by USMC326 sounds good to me! I gotta get that order in Monday if my sheckles will suport it, then it sounds like I am off on my first FAL project (even if it is a minor one).
Thanks all!! :D
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