Best Handguard For Ruger AR 556

Searching for the best handguard for Ruger AR 556? Do you own a Ruger AR 556, and you want to protect your hands from the heat and flying debris that comes with using it? Only a handguard can keep your hands safe and allows you finger-to-finger grip.

Many people are hesitant to use the Ruger AR 556 because it comes with an average handguard. When shooting with your strong hand on the grip and your weak hand on the fore-end, there is no protection from the heat coming off the barrel, which can burn your hands – this often happens in rapid firing situations such as self-defense. 

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We have done all of the hard work and found seven great options in various price ranges. We reviewed seven of our favorite aftermarket handguards on this page, so take a look through them to find one that suits your needs and budget.

7 Best Handguard For Ruger AR 556 (Ranked And Reviewed)

1. Troy Alpha Rail Handguards

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Length: 13
  • Material: Aluminium
  • Color: Black

Troy Alpha Rail Handguards are the perfect upgrade for your Ruger AR 556. The handguard features a free float design that allows you to mount accessories without touching any of the barrels, improving accuracy and reducing the chance of heat damage. It has an aluminum construction with a matte black finish and M1913 Picatinny rail slots on all sides. 

Troy Alpha Rail Handguards are a lightweight, free-floating alternative to traditional quad rails. Troy’s patented offset design allows the handguard to mount closer to the barrel for improved ergonomics and more comfortable weapon handling. The handguard is compatible with most piston-driven as well as direct impingement gas systems.

The two hex head screws prevent over-tightening, and the alpha-numeric designations make it easy to reference the proper handguard length. The top Picatinny rail is perfect for mounting optics or attaching other accessories, while the deep horizontal grooves allow you to add a light or laser. They feature three removable rail sections for a total of four slots and have an alpha-numeric designator on the side for easy identification.

best handguard for ruger ar 556
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2. Double Star Free Float Handguards

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Length: 12.5
  • Material: Aluminium
  • Color: Black

Double Star’s Free Float Handguard is machined from 6061-T6 aluminum and features a matte black hard coat anodized finish. The handguard is designed to free float the barrel for enhanced accuracy potential and relieve stress, allowing it to stay cooler longer. It is machined with M4 feed ramps; this lightweight handguard will enable you to mount your preferred accessories without sacrificing performance or reliability.

Double Star’s Free Float Handguards are designed for the Ruger AR 556 rifle and accept all standard nut wrenches. It will fit any standard upper receiver, including a .308 upper or .223/5.56 with a carbine length gas system or mid-length gas system. The knurled center section allows for easy installation and removal of the handguard. 

These handguards are designed to save weight and provide a comfortable grip. The five longitudinal flutes on the rifle handguard help with heat dissipation, while the ten slots cut in the muzzle end of the carbine handguard increase airflow and speed cooling. Both styles have an uninterrupted top rail that is ideal for mounting optics or accessories.

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3. Yankee Hill Diamond Pattern Handguards

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Length: 12
  • Material: Aluminium
  • Color: Black

Diamond-shaped handguard vents reduce the weight of your Ruger AR 556 by up to a pound. The diamond-shaped design allows for excellent airflow, which keeps you cool on even the hottest days. The Yankee Hill Diamond pattern is one of the most popular designs used on many guns from Ruger, Remington, Mossberg, etc.

Yankee diamond-patterned handguards provide a comfortable grip and keep your hands cool during high-performance shooting. They also feature full-length Picatinny rails that allow you to mount additional accessories such as tactical flashlights and lasers for improved accuracy and increased visibility.

The diamond pattern offers a superior grip, and the handguard is machined from high-grade 6061 T6 aluminum. The handguard is a mil-spec hard coat anodized for durability. This model comes with an extended top rail that allows you to mount your favorite accessories on your rifle.

These handguards feature alphanumerically marked slots for easy identification of accessory locations. You can use them with the YHM end cap (sold separately) or without depending on user preference. Each handguard comes with jam nuts, barrel nuts, and anti-rotation screws to ensure they stay locked in place during use.

best handguard for ruger ar 556
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4. Bravo Mcmr M-Lok Free Float Handguard

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Length: 10
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Color: Black

This Bravo Mcmr M-Lok Free Float Handguard is part of the Bravo Company Manufacturing line of AR 556 parts and accessories. The Modular Compact Micro-Rail Handguard is designed as a lightweight option for those looking for high quality, extremely rigid, and durable free float rail system.

The handguard features seven rows of M-LOK mounting points, which allow you to customize your rifle with any number of accessories to suit your needs. This handguard features an uninterrupted Picatinny rail from the rear of the receiver to the front sight post. With an interlocking accessory mounting system, the m-lok system allows advanced modularity past the current 1913 Picatinny rail system. 

The handguard is made of high-quality aluminum and has a matte black finish. This free-float handguard allows you to attach accessories such as lights, lasers, sling mounts, etc. It features KeyMod slots on the sides and bottom for attaching various accessories.

best handguard for ruger ar 556
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5. Forward Controls AR-15 Handguards

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Length: 11.5
  • Material: Aluminium
  • Color: Black

Forward Controls AR-15 RHF Handguard is a high-quality drop-in upgrade for your AR-15. This handguard features a full-length 1913 rail at the 12:00 position and MLOK slots at 3:00, 6:00, and 9:00. The handguard has been designed to be used with low-profile gas blocks on a carbine or mid-length gas systems.

The RHF handguard is the next generation of free-float rail systems designed to be an extremely lightweight yet durable and robust platform for mounting accessories on Ruger AR 556 rifles. The RHF features a barrel nut system that requires only one wrench to install or remove. It also has anti-rotation tabs for a rock-solid lockup with any standard AR 15 barrel nut.

RHF’s handguard is designed for the AR 15 platform. RHF’s handguard is made of high-quality 6061 T6 aluminum and a hard-anodized finish to ensure durability. The inside diameter of the rail is 1.315 Inches, and the barrel nut diameter is 1.378 Inches. 

It allows you to install rails at any point around the tube, so you can customize your build to include what you need. This also means that if a rail is damaged or broken, it’s easy to replace without replacing the whole handguard. In addition, it features an integrated barrel cooling system that directs air from the front sight assembly into channels on either side of the handguard.

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6. Battle Arms 556 Switch Rail Handguards

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Length: 12
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Color: Black

Battle Arms 556 Switch Rail Handguards are designed to be the most rigid, lightest, and highest quality rail system possible for your AR 15 platform rifle build. The Switch Rail is a continuous top Picatinny rail that features M-LOK at the 3 & 9 o’clock positions and Keymod at the 6 o’clock position to provide maximum mounting options for all accessories needed on a modern sporting rifle (MSR).

Switch rail handguards feature an internal locking handle that allows the user to lock the handguard in place on a MIL-STD-1913 Picatinny rail. You can then rotate the locking handle down out of the way for use as a traditional handguard. With this locking handle in place, additional rails can be attached along the bottom and sides of the handguard for mounting lights, lasers, vertical grips, or other accessories.

The B.A.D. (Battle Arms Development) 556 Switch™ Rail is a free float rail system designed to fit all Mil-Spec AR 15/M4 rifles and carbines. The modular design of the 556 Switch™ allows users to easily change from a shorty configuration to a standard rifle-length in seconds. You can accomplish this with no tools and without removing your optics or front rail-mounted accessories.

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7. Faxon Streamline Handguards

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Length: 15
  • Material: Carbon Fiber
  • Color: Black

The Faxon Firearms Streamline Carbon Fiber Handguard is super lightweight, but it’s stronger than aluminum – and 40% lighter. The 15″ model weighs in at only 8 oz. It also features a continuous carbon fiber wrap around the entire length of the handguard for a hard, smooth finish that’s comfortable to hold onto and won’t get slippery when your hands are sweaty or wet.

The Faxon Streamline handguard is a free-floating quad rail system for AR15/M4 firearms. The Streamline’s proprietary barrel nut and lock ring design install standard threaded upper receivers with no special tools or fixtures required. Its eight sides give the shooter plenty of room to mount direct-attach M-LOK accessories for the ultimate in weapon customization.

The modular design of the Streamline makes it easy to install, and you can use it with any standard AR-15 barrel nut. This handguard has plenty of clearance inside for common suppressors to fit under the handguard, so it works well with any firearm using a standard 5/8×24 threaded muzzle.

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What To Consider When Buying A Handguard For AR 556?

When purchasing a handguard for AR 556, one must consider the handguard’s material, length, and aesthetics.

Material

The primary considerations for material are aluminum, plastic, and carbon fiber. The aluminum handguards are the cheapest on the market but are very durable. In contrast, plastic ones are not as durable as aluminum or carbon fiber but can also be relatively inexpensive. Carbon fiber has a high durability-to-weight ratio and is expensive.

Length of Handguard for AR 556 

When it comes to length, there is no set rule on how long you should get your handguard to be because it largely depends on what kind of firearm you have in terms of barrel length and what you want from your rifle in terms of weight and balance. There are shorter handguards five inches long, while others can be more than 16 inches in length. It is the user’s discretion to decide which size will suit them best.

Aesthetics 

When it comes to aesthetics, there are many different designs for AR 15 handguards, all with a distinct aesthetic quality for the rifle owner to choose from, depending on their taste. The most common style is the quad rail, but there are also keymod rails and Picatinny rails, among other types, each with its unique advantages and disadvantages.

FAQs

The Ruger AR 556 handguard is a full-length handguard that is one of the longest on the market. It measures 11 inches and will fit rifles with standard carbine length gas systems and barrel lengths up to 18 inches. 

Double major in Engineering and Geology at the University of Minnesota. Experienced shooter & hunter for over 15 years. Certified NRA officer for over 10 years working as a writer at Ballachy.com .

The only difference is that there’s no room for the heat shield and gas block. There’s plenty of clearance between the barrel and grip area, so it will still add protection from hot brass in addition to giving your rifle some fantastic looks. It also means that it’ll be easier to swap out barrels or change calibers without needing any modifications or adapters on your part. 

Double major in Engineering and Geology at the University of Minnesota. Experienced shooter & hunter for over 15 years. Certified NRA officer for over 10 years working as a writer at Ballachy.com .

You have the freedom to customize your weapon to meet your specific needs. The rail system on this rifle is free-floating and can be mounted in any position. One possible configuration would be mounting a scope on top of a bipod underneath the handguard. Which means you have the freedom to customize your gun to meet your specific needs.

Double major in Engineering and Geology at the University of Minnesota. Experienced shooter & hunter for over 15 years. Certified NRA officer for over 10 years working as a writer at Ballachy.com .

Conclusion

The Ruger AR-556 is a popular rifle for many reasons. It’s dependable, accurate, and lightweight. But the best part of this gun? You can customize almost every aspect of it with aftermarket accessories from companies like Trirock or Oarea. 

To help you find the perfect handguard to suit your needs, we put together our top seven favorite Ruger AR-556 handguards on the market today. Check out these reviews and buying guide to make sure you get what will work for you.

Double major in Engineering and Geology at the University of Minnesota. Experienced shooter & hunter for over 15 years. Certified NRA officer for over 10 years working as a writer at Ballachy.com .

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