This is a discussion on Getting ready to fix hand guard within the Accuracy forums, part of the M14 M1A Forum category; I'm going to fix my handguard finally it's hitting the stock and loose messing up my accuracy. My question is do I secure it with ...
I'm going to fix my handguard finally it's hitting the stock and loose messing up my accuracy. My question is do I secure it with a fixative to the front band or go through the aneeling and bending porocess. Also what to use to keep the rear up off the barrel.I will be removing about a 1/16 off the gaurd. Any help would be great. Thanks
Good question and it happens that I'm working on one of my handguards also, so I hope you don't mind me adding a bit.
You should be able to epoxy the front of the handguard into the front band without doing the annealing and bending. Prep the surfaces and put some epoxy into the contact area... you probably want to tape off the barrel and other nearby parts since epoxy has a nasty habit of getting everywhere you don't want it. Since you didn't bend the tabs you will probably want some way to hold the handguard firmly up into proper contact with the lip on the band until the epoxy cures, like maybe wad up a piece of something like a plastic trash bag that the epoxy won't stick to and stuff it between the barrel and the handguard so that the handguard is held in firm contact in the right position with the band. Let the epoxy fully cure.
For the rear of the handguard there seems to be two popular methods. One is to epoxy the handguard to the clip so that the clip holds the handguard away from the barrel. Others will apply a bead of high temp silicone to the inside of the handguard at the rear so that when you assemble it, the silicone bead holds the handguard away from the barrel.
My handguard is currently set up with a silicone bead, but since I'm going to epoxy it into the front band I'm wondering whether it is better to epoxy it to the clip at the rear and remove the silicone, or just leave the silicone bead. The silicone bead definitely keeps the rear of the handguard from flopping around, you have to squeeze the handguard into place, but the silicone presses against the barrel on top of the chamber.
I just looked up some of Gus Fisher's posts on this subject yesterday and he recommends Hysol 11C epoxy for the handguard.
Back in 1973 when I first learned to NM condition an M14, we were already gluing both the front of the handguard to the gas cylinder and the HG clip to the HG. We took a piece of 1/16" welding rod and flattened the end by peening and bent a curve it in. We tapped that in place GENTLY under the rear of the HG so it would hold the HG just off the barrel as the glue would set up. You DON'T want to tap it in deep enough it forces the bottom two edges of HG clip to come up to the top of the slot in the grooves of the barrel, though. You JUST want to raise the HG up off the barrel. We used Hysol 1 C (white colored) epoxy to do it and continued to use that the entire time we worked NM M14's. However, I don't think the Black colored Hysol 11c was available then. The 11c blends in better and is not as noticeable as the white colored 1c and that's why I usually use 11C black colored epoxy today.
Back then, we were also taught to use a center punch and punch the barrel in front of and behind both bottom edges of the HG clip. We THOUGHT that would keep the HG clip from being able to work around and loosen up. We later found out thias was not necessary at all and stopped doing it.
Bending the edges of the front band upwards is only really necessary if you modify/cut the stock ferrule and front of the stock like we do on a NM rifle. If the ferrule and front end of the stock are not so cleared, bending the edges up only keeps the HG a little higher and you can do that other ways.
IF AND WHEN you glue the front of the handguard, MAKE SURE you mold release the barrel so you can get the handguard/gas cylinder off the barrel in the future without risk of screwing up the front band AND without having to heat the front band too much.
Army AMU used the high tech sealant to keep the handguard off the barrel back by the clip and they won a lot of stuff with the rifles built that way. I only do it on some Walter Mitty rifles and prefer to glue the Rear Handguard clip on NM or rifles built for the best accuracy. I am not sure you would see an appreciable difference in accuracy, either way. I just "believe" it is better to glue the handguard clip, though I can not prove it.
BTW, if you have a full heavy barrel in the rifle, you have to do some serious clearing on the bottom of the HG so it will fit down over the barrel and not bear on the barrel, even when you glue it at both the front and rear.
I used to glue trimmed handguards into the front band and between the clip and fiberglass at the rear. I'd bend on the clip's tabs a bit to give it a hair's more lift. But since I made a little tool to remove handguards without pulling the whole front end I've gone to silicone on the front lip and a healthy glob on the barrel toward the rear of the handguard, another smaller glob on the top of the op rod guide. It's just GE silicone in a tube, rated for up to 550 degrees F, IIRC. I sand the inside of the handguard to get as much barrel clearance there as I can, without cutting through the handguard. My barrel bands and the ones I can get are annealed so the tabs get bend up and clear of the barrel. I MIGHT still dab a little epoxy under the handguard clip, just depending, but more likely I'll set the clip forward in its slot and lay a little clear epoxy just behind it. The handguard stays put when it goes back on.
I siliconed the rear of my handguard and it does not move fore or aft. If the dab of silicoane is big enough the force of it will keep it from moving.
I put a dab on the handguard, smooth it down with my finger until approx 3/16 inch thick. Let dry and install
This is on a Garand handguard but same idea with M1A
So, if I'm going with the silicone front and rear, is it better to apply two dabs inside the handguard and let dry AND THEN install, or apply the handguard while the silicone is still wet and let it dry "sticking" the handguard to the barrel?
My Super Match had a black silicone or glue that actually affixed the handguard to the barrel. SAI used two dabs, front and rear.