When I discovered that my Elbit Falcon MkII optical sight was incompatible with the M4 handguard I had on my IDF Colt Commando clone build, I decided that it would be easiest to simply buy a new CAR-15-style handguard. As this is a blog devoted to Israeli small arms and accessories, my first thought was “let’s see how the FAB Defense handguard works”. It was cheap-ish (about $25), and I liked the idea of using a handguard that an IDF soldier might think of replacing a broken handguard with. So, I bought one.
The FAB Defense HG-S carbine-length handguard is well-constructed, and has top and bottom heat shields. It looks remarkably similar to a USGI CAR-15 handguard, Unfortunately, and this will be the shortest review I’ve ever done on this blog, they didn’t actually fit on my gun. The total length of the handguard was too long, and the delta ring simply would not slide down far enough to accommodate it. Keep in mind, the upper on this gun is a genuine Colt LE6933 upper which has never had handguard fitment issues before (M4, CAR-15, Magpul MOE, etc.). I could theoretically have sanded the handguard ends down to make it fit, but bluntly, this is not acceptable as a solution. So, here’s my review: don’t buy the FAB Defense HG-S. It looks nice, but will probably have trouble fitting in-spec AR-15s.
4 thoughts on “FAB Defense HG-S Carbine-Length Handguard Review”
They never fit. You need to sand them. I’ve actually spoken with a FAB Defense sales rep about this and their “reasoning” is that since many IDF rifles have some variance in dimensions (as many of their rifles are cut down A1’s and so forth), they intentionally make them oversized and then you sand them to fit. I had the same issue on an M&P 15 rifle. It took about 10 minutes of sanding work, but I was able to make them fit eventually. An Israeli instructor that I often train with agreed with them when it came to some IDF rifles. Some of their handguards are loosely fit and rattle–making the elastic bands that were so prominent on many IDF carbines necessary to keep the handguards on and quiet.
Also, Colt tends to run a *tiny* bit smaller than other manufacturers. This issue surfaces when trying to fit some “drop in” rails to the 6920 and 6720. I’ve had difficulty with Magpul, Midwest Industries and Knights handguards and rails on *some* Colt rifles.
That is very useful information. Thank you! It’s kind of a weird way to approach the problem in my opinion, but I guess it wouldn’t take long to do with a powered sander.
I’ve used simple sandpaper and good old-fashioned trial-and-error. It is a frustrating exercise and it takes time. I agree that it’s not a great solution especially when they’re promoted as a “drop-in” product. It leaves the user wondering if he/she has been had–the manufacturer is telling us that it’s a feature–not a bug, but the explanation does seem plausible.
I just wasted a couple of hours trying to sand these damn things to fit my Colt Carbine. It’s not just a length issue – the radius also seems off; the curve is always binding regardless of where you sand and file. If the ring is smaller then mathematically the radius will be tighter! They should advertise this need for fitment or lack of Colt comptibility vs boasting of drop-in convenience and “quality production”. Wait – they can’t take as much of our money that way. Never mind – LOL – but no more money from me on FAB anything.