Hogue free floating front end.

Hogue free floating front end.

This is a discussion on Hogue free floating front end. within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I realize that this is supposed to float the barrel and improve accuracy. But I also know accuracy is only as good as the marksman ...

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Thread: Hogue free floating front end.

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array Gene83's Avatar
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    Hogue free floating front end.

    I realize that this is supposed to float the barrel and improve accuracy. But I also know accuracy is only as good as the marksman pulling the trigger.

    In reality, is this something to make the gun look spiffy or is their a definite advantage to having one? They do make a Bushmaster look kind of spiffy. JMHO

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    Distinguished Member Array kazzaerexys's Avatar
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    A free-float forearm is a great advantage when you are attaching a sling or a bipod, or are using a supported position (barricade or port) for resting the rifle. Without a free-float, any of the above induce some stresses onto the barrel which can deflect point-of-impact (POI); with a free-float, the stresses are on the forearm and receiver, leaving the barrel alone to do its work unmolested.

    As an example, my g/f and I both shot a 3-Gun match this weekend. There were two 100-yard rifle stages. Both of us are zeroed at 50yd and have an offset of about 1.5in high at 100yd. One stage was shot on a table (we rested on the magazine, so were effectively shooting unsupported at the barrel), the other using a wall as a support for the rifle. I have a free-float tube and saw the same POI (expected +1.5in) on all targets. My g/f shoots a Kel-Tec SU-16C that has a non-floating forearm. She shot the expected +1.5in from the table, but from the supported position had to aim at the very bottom of the target to get hits---it was about a 12in high target. I'd say she went from +1.5in to almost +8in at 100yd because of the barrel deflection.
    “What is a moderate interpretation of [the Constitution]? Halfway between what it says and [...] what you want it to say?” —Justice Antonin Scalia

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    VIP Member Array Gene83's Avatar
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    Thanks for the information. Obviously, this is my first AR platform. Although AR's were used in 'Nam, the Army was still giving everybody else M-14's. I may go with the Hogue since I'm not really interested in adding additional rails. I was just curious if it made any real difference other than cosmetics.
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    Distinguished Member Array DontTreadOnI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kazzaerexys View Post
    A free-float forearm is a great advantage when you are attaching a sling or a bipod, or are using a supported position (barricade or port) for resting the rifle. Without a free-float, any of the above induce some stresses onto the barrel which can deflect point-of-impact (POI); with a free-float, the stresses are on the forearm and receiver, leaving the barrel alone to do its work unmolested.

    As an example, my g/f and I both shot a 3-Gun match this weekend. There were two 100-yard rifle stages. Both of us are zeroed at 50yd and have an offset of about 1.5in high at 100yd. One stage was shot on a table (we rested on the magazine, so were effectively shooting unsupported at the barrel), the other using a wall as a support for the rifle. I have a free-float tube and saw the same POI (expected +1.5in) on all targets. My g/f shoots a Kel-Tec SU-16C that has a non-floating forearm. She shot the expected +1.5in from the table, but from the supported position had to aim at the very bottom of the target to get hits---it was about a 12in high target. I'd say she went from +1.5in to almost +8in at 100yd because of the barrel deflection.
    I knew that a drop in rail/guard could put stress on the barrel, but I did not know that it could be so prevalent at 100 yards. I only have one AR now, with a drop in two piece quad rail, but have it setup for close range (Within 100 yards) and intend to keep it that way. I feel like I have caught the black rifle fever though, and will keep this in mind when building/purchasing any further AR setups. Thank you for that info.

    Also, that sure is one sexy handguard....
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  5. #5
    Distinguished Member Array kazzaerexys's Avatar
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    On my competition rifle I was not worried about rail mounting positions, so I went with a carbon fiber free-float forearm with a single sling swivel stud at 6 o'clock. That nicely supports a Harris bipod. Several companies make carbon fiber tubes.

    I also like the basic round aluminum tubes from Yankee Hill Machine, but that Hogue is pretty sweet looking.
    “What is a moderate interpretation of [the Constitution]? Halfway between what it says and [...] what you want it to say?” —Justice Antonin Scalia

    SIG: P220R SS Elite SAO, P220R SAO, P220R Carry, P226R Navy, P226, P239/.40S&W, P2022/.40S&W; GSR 5", P6.

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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    I shot a gun with an aluminum free float tube,one huge downside is the heat off the barrel doesn't vent like a free float quad rail,or standard forearm with heat shields so if your popping off rounds very fast that tube will get smoking hot,hot enough that with a bare hand you don't wanta touch it
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    VIP Member Array Gene83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dukalmighty View Post
    I shot a gun with an aluminum free float tube,one huge downside is the heat off the barrel doesn't vent like a free float quad rail,or standard forearm with heat shields so if your popping off rounds very fast that tube will get smoking hot,hot enough that with a bare hand you don't wanta touch it
    What about the aluminum tube with the rubber overlay? Any experience with that? I would think that the rubber gripping surface would help insulate.
    "The superior man, when resting in safety, does not forget that danger may come." ~ Confucius

  8. #8
    Distinguished Member Array kazzaerexys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kazzaerexys View Post
    As an example, my g/f and I both shot a 3-Gun match this weekend. There were two 100-yard rifle stages. Both of us are zeroed at 50yd and have an offset of about 1.5in high at 100yd. [...] I'd say she went from +1.5in to almost +8in at 100yd because of the barrel deflection.
    Just to reinforce the above, we went to an outdoor range to sight in at 300 yards this past weekend. We did a deliberate test of her rifle by shooting the 300yd target (a 12" cast-iron frying pan conveniently left on the berm) with her rifle two different ways: sandbags supporting just the forearm out towards the muzzle end, and sandbags nestled into the receiver/barrel join. The scope she uses has a 300yd reticle. With the bags pressed up against the receiver, the 300yd reticle was right on, with all shots either hitting the pan or missing by just a few inches. With the sandbags supporting farther out on the forearm, the shots taken with the same sight picture were consistently hitting 18"–24" high on the berm. I also think there was a few inches of left deflection (right handed shooter leaning down and into the stock should make the barrel flex up and left), but there was enough wind that this was not certain.

    So, yeah, the non-floated forearm is capable of flexing the barrel somewhere in the 6-to-8 MOA range when supporting the barrel on something.

    As for heat, you will absorb less from the barrel because you can only transfer radiant heat; there is no direct metal-to-metal conduction. I find the carbon fiber gets warm, but has yet to get hot.
    “What is a moderate interpretation of [the Constitution]? Halfway between what it says and [...] what you want it to say?” —Justice Antonin Scalia

    SIG: P220R SS Elite SAO, P220R SAO, P220R Carry, P226R Navy, P226, P239/.40S&W, P2022/.40S&W; GSR 5", P6.

  9. #9
    VIP Member Array Gene83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kazzaerexys View Post
    Just to reinforce the above, we went to an outdoor range to sight in at 300 yards this past weekend. We did a deliberate test of her rifle by shooting the 300yd target (a 12" cast-iron frying pan conveniently left on the berm) with her rifle two different ways: sandbags supporting just the forearm out towards the muzzle end, and sandbags nestled into the receiver/barrel join. The scope she uses has a 300yd reticle. With the bags pressed up against the receiver, the 300yd reticle was right on, with all shots either hitting the pan or missing by just a few inches. With the sandbags supporting farther out on the forearm, the shots taken with the same sight picture were consistently hitting 18"–24" high on the berm. I also think there was a few inches of left deflection (right handed shooter leaning down and into the stock should make the barrel flex up and left), but there was enough wind that this was not certain.

    So, yeah, the non-floated forearm is capable of flexing the barrel somewhere in the 6-to-8 MOA range when supporting the barrel on something.

    As for heat, you will absorb less from the barrel because you can only transfer radiant heat; there is no direct metal-to-metal conduction. I find the carbon fiber gets warm, but has yet to get hot.
    Thanks for the info. I'll probably install one at some point and post the results. I changed the pistol grip to a Hogue model yesterday evening. That went smoothly. I've ordered a replacement trigger guard and seven more mags so I'm waiting for those to come in. Found 20 rd boxes of American Eagle FMJ at the local Walmart for $5.97 and picked up a few. Should be some interesting shooting.
    "The superior man, when resting in safety, does not forget that danger may come." ~ Confucius

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