This guide covers some of the best handguards for 16 inch barrel AR15 build to have enough room to mount accessories, sling attachment on the rail and to keep it lightweight. These options were handpicked based on durability, weight, ergonomics, aesthetics and modularity.
A longer rail allows the user to mount accessories further forward such as mounting a rifle light where the light beam doesn't cast barrel shadow. Users can also purchase extended length light mount while using a shorter handguard.
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BCM MCMR - Best Overall
The BCM MCMR Series of AR-15 handguards offer simple, lightweight and durable design for a 16" barrel AR15 build. The full length MLOK slots allow the user to mount accessories even in offset positions, which eliminate the need for special offset mounts if mounting from the 9 or 3 o clock positions.
One of the key features of this handguard is its proprietary patented steel barrel but mounting system. This system includes a mechanical index to the 12:00 rail, effectively positioning the mounting hardware to minimize any movement caused by heat generated by rapid firing.
Available for 7", 8", 9", 10", 13" and 15"
For a standard 16" barrel build, a 10" is optimal for weight saving, but not too long. A 13" is just long enough to mount light accessories and grips forward, but also save weight. 15" is for anyone who wants to mount light and grip accessories further forward.
- 7" - 7.1 oz
- 8" - 7.6 oz
- 9" - 8.2 oz
- 10" - 8.9 oz
- 13" - 10.5 oz
- 15" - 11.5 oz
Aero Precision ATLAS S-One Handguard - Super Lightweight
The Aero Precision's innovative Aero Taper Lock Attachment System (ATLAS) S-ONE series of handguards prioritizes size and weight, making it the ideal choice for those seeking a lightweight build on a 16" barrel AR15 as a competition gun or range training gun.
It features two perfectly matched tapered locking nuts, ensuring uniform clamping pressure across a custom-engineered barrel nut through the use of a turnbuckle screw.
Additionally, a ratcheting detent enhances the security of the design, providing precise registration during installation. The main selling point of this handguard is its lightweight design where most of the handguard has the weight shaved off to be as light as possible. Anywhere where the shooters typically don't mount accessories, these rail mounting spots are optimized for weight savings.
Please note: Not compatible with M4E1 Enhanced Upper Receivers
Sons Of Liberty M89 Drive Lock Handguard - Best Mounting Rigidity
The Sons Of Liberty (SOLGW M89) is the newest generation handguard with increased rigidity to minimize deflection when using tripod and sling hard in the field. This means any laser mounted device can maintain zero better than other handguard systems on the market.
With a slightly wider extrusion, the M89 provides additional real estate around the gas block, ensuring you can mount accessories with ease using the M-lock system (Also include 45-degree slots for offset angle light mounting). Moreover, the larger diameter of the M89 rail enables it to handle sustained shooting without heating up excessively.
Available for 8", 9.5", 10.5", 11.5", 13", 13.75", 15" and 16.75"
Anything shorter than 15" is recommended for a 16" barrel build where it provides the most amount of room to mount accessories forward such as weapon light and also extend iron sight radius is preferred.
The new SI Gridlok Rail is strong, unique, lightweight, and has all the needed features for a 16" AR15 build. Users can pick various length to fulfill their preferences and add modular accessory rail as needed.
If you need to cover the gas block, use the 13.5" size. It comes with thin pieces to make it fit just right. Users use it in 3-gun contests, and the M-Lok size is just right.
The 10" black arm part works well with outside M-Lok rails. Some people wanted it to not twist as much, but our thin pieces make sure the gas tube is straight. It's easy to put on and great for 10.5" short gun barrels.
Available for 8.5", 11", 15", and 17" Anything shorter than 17" is recommended for a 16" build with a pinned and welded muzzle device. We do not recommend having the handguard covering any part of the muzzle device if the muzzle blasting is hitting the handguard.
- 8.5" - 13.76 oz
- 11" - 15.38 oz
- 15" - 17.96 oz
- 17" - 19.33 oz
Daniel Defense RIS III M LOK - Best For Fighting Rifle
The Daniel Defense RIS III combines the battle-tested excellence of the Mil-Spec RIS II (1913 Quad Rail) with the versatility of the M-LOK attachment system. It's machined with durable aircraft-grade 6061-T6 aluminum, the RIS III ensures reliability even in the harshest conditions. Its lightweight design is made possible by reducing weight while adding versatility through the utilization of M-LOK attachment points.
One of the standout features of the Daniel Defense RIS III is the inclusion of seven M-LOK attachment points along the handguard. These attachment points are strategically placed along the rail, offering users endless possibilities to customize your AR15 rifle.
Available for 9.5", 10.5" 12.5" and 13" (FSP)
All of the available options are great for a 16" barrel build. The 13" FSP version works for an AR15 build with a A2 fixed front sight gas block
- 9.5" - 12.9 oz
- 10.5" - 13.7 oz
- 12.5" - 16.6 oz
Midwest Industries Night Fighter M LOK - Best For The Money
The best part about the Night Fighter Handguard from Midwest Industries is its exceptional rigidity for any AR15 builds. With its long steel barrel nut and torque plate, it offers unparalleled stability, eliminating flex and torque commonly experienced with other handguards.
This rigidity ensures precise and consistent performance, making it an ideal choice for shooters who want to mount lasers at the end of their rail without worrying about point of impact shifts.
Additionally, the handguard's slimline design, comfortable grip, and user-friendly features make it a versatile and attractive option for any AR-15 setup.
Available for 9.25", 10.5" and 13.5"
- 9.25" - 11.4oz
- 10.50" - 12.4oz
- 13.5" - 14.1oz