Good free-floated hand guards make for good gun experiences. Finding a good one can be a little tough, though, and there are certain things that can really irk you, as I pointed out in my Strike Industries review. Specifically, I look for a few things when reviewing a free-floated hand guard (FFHG). First, ease of installation. If a mechanically-minded guy with a vise, action block, and a torque wrench can’t do it, that’s a big downer. Second, it needs to mate to the receiver like it was born there. Third, it should be light weight. And last, it should provide a nearly seamless top rail for accessories. I found the ODIN Works KMod Forend fits the bill across the board . . .
As you can see in the video above, installation is fairly easy assuming you have the right tools, though I found the timing of the forend adapter to be a bit more labor intensive than shown in the video. It gave me a great opportunity to torque and retorque the barrel nut several times until I got it figured out. As I said in my SI review linked above, a set of crowfoot wrenches is a must if you’ll be installing FFHGs on a regular basis.
I think ODIN knows that there’s nothing worse than a half-assed gear kit showing up on your doorstep, and subsequently, they do a very good job of giving you everything you need for the install including the handy little gas tube go/no go gauge you see above. The included gear also includes the Allen wrenches you need as well as a generous amount of thread locker for the handguard screws as well as the barrel nut, though I opted to use moly grease on the latter.
The hand guard itself weighs in around 8.7 oz on my scale. ODIN’s website lists a weight of 11.55 oz for the long hand guard which we tested here. That lines up pretty well with my gut feelings on weight, though I neglected to weigh the barrel nut and forend adapter when I was assembling the whole thing. Mostly because I was so excited to actually get it installed because frankly, it looks awesome.
Once in place and timed, the hand guard mates perfectly with the receiver by way of six screws that ride in an oblong channel. This allows for variations in the way different barrels and receivers work together without the need for shims or other little pieces. But most of all, it creates a totally seamless junction between the receiver and the hand guard. This makes for a good looking aftermarket accessory that also functions quite well as you have an uninterrupted top rail for mounting full-length accessories like night vision optics.
Since this is a KeyMod-enabled hand guard, it’s worth pointing out that I had zero issues using a variety of different KeyMod accessories with this hand guard. As with any KeyMod system, this allows the end user to position any number of accessories in a variety of locations around the gun, or they can leave it completely slick-sided for high speed, low drag operations. Overall, the hand guard is very light and balances nicely. The workmanship is flawless and once installed, it’s very sturdy.
Specifications: ODIN Works KMod Forend – 15.5″
- Material: 6005-T651 Aluminum.
- Inside diameter: 1.6″
- Outside diameter: W-1.8″ H-2.1″
- Weight: 11.55 oz as tested
- Available Lengths:
- Price: $245 available from Primary Arms for $189
Ratings (out of five stars):
Fit, Finish, Build Quality * * * * *
All the machining was perfect and I was unable to find any imperfections in either the machining or the coating. The whole thing is built like a tank and held up well to a bit of light abuse. I have no doubts that further, harder abuse could be taken with no issues. The KeyMod positions worked very well with a variety of KeyMod accessories.
Installation * * * *
Getting the forend adapter and barrel nut timed correctly took me a few tries as getting to 40 ft-lbs of torque would take the forend adapter past center. As such, you almost have to anticipate where it needs to be by lining it up at about the 11:00 o’clock position and then torquing the nut in place until the forend adapter lines up. Once done, everything else slides together easily.
Overall Rating * * * * *
This is a fine accessory that fits the bill for those looking for a fairly light weight KeyMod hand guard. And at less than $200, the price is hard to beat.