Thursday, May 9, 2013

JP Free-Float Rail Review: Can't get here fast enough

Heckuva 1-2 punch there Rocky.....

WHO: JP Enterprises,  a world class manufacturer of superior AR-15 rifles and components, is owned and operated by John Paul, an avid shooter and innovative parts designer. JP is widely regarded as producing the finest aftermarket AR-15 components, namely triggers, free float rails, and barrels. Their complete rifles are highly sought after and considered equal or superior to mil-spec. 

WHAT: The JP Rifles 15.5" VTAC Modular HandGuard, a tube that is designed with the ultimate in accuracy, safety, and reliability in mind. A combat environment was envisioned when this rail was designed, and is tested to ensure it will survive catastrophic consequences to the rifles. The tube itself is anodized lightweight aluminum which attaches securely to the upper receiver using a carbon steel barrel nut. The unique barrel nut collar allows precise 12:00 indexing so that the gas tube is perfectly aligned. The modularity of the rail tube allows rail segments to be added at almost any index point for slings, lights, bipods, or iron sight attachments. As you can see above, I've added a full length 12:00 rail for sight attachments and grip. The Modular HandGuard comes in a variety of colors including Black, OD green, and FDE, and a variety of lengths from 7" to 15.5". MSRP for these rails range between around $150 to $250 depending on length.

WHEN: I have been employing the JP 15.5" Modular Handguard on my 3-gun AR-15 rifle for the past 2 months.

WHERE: This handguard will be employed in 3-gun competition and general training at home ranges. Currently, I have drilled at home with my rifle on typical 3-gun targets (paper and steel).
  • The Skinny: I think JP was one of the originators of the modular handguard concept. I can at least remember the JP rails being around since I first got into AR-15's 3 or 4 years ago.  They are tough and sturdy and would be appropriate for any application I can think of. For my application of an accurate, maneuverable 3-gun rifle, the JP fits the bill just right. I am of the opinion that every AR deserves a free float handguard, even though for most shooters the improvement in accuracy may be negligible. The ability to add accessories to the front end of the rifle on this modular handguard is reason enough to add one. It's obvious that the design was researched and well thought out. I don't think it would become loose or dislodged from the rifle even if you ran over it with a convoy of humvees. The JP Modular Handguard has to be near the top of my list of favorite float tubes. It's evident it is a revolutionary design in that many companies are mimicking the same design with modularity in mind.
FINAL WORD: 9 out of 10 (must-have), with 1 point off for weight. Compared to similar rails, the JP rail comes in on the heavy end of the spectrum, but the positives far outweigh it (for lack of a better term)

My Rating System (out of 10)
1-4: Do Not Buy. Complete or near-complete trash
5-6 : Would take for free from a friend
7: Would buy and take a flyer on/would give to a friend
8: Preferred, would happily buy
9: Preferred, would pre-order or anxiously await release
10: Must-have, would troll Equipment Exchange and/or sign up for email alerts in order to procure

Be safe and see you next time.

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