Brigand Arms Blows Up Their Carbon Fiber Handguard

Brigand Arms makes the lightest AR handguards on the market by weaving braided carbon fiber strands into a lattice shape. Sure they’re tested to have about 630 lbs of tensile strength, but they still look fragile, right? In an attempt to further prove the durability of their product, Brigand Arms placed a handguard on top of a container of Tannerite and blew it up. Video below:

A full TTAG review on the 15″ Brigand EDGE handguard — 4.7 ounces including the nut — is coming soon. My .223 target/varmint upper seen above was built around a Lilja barrel blank turned and chambered by my gunsmith (HCTC Firearms), an X Products SCU (side charging upper), Linkin Armory BCG, ODIN Works adjustable gas block, Precision Firearms muzzle brake, and the aforementioned Brigand Arms EDGE. Now that it’s broken in, there’s a mess of match-grade .223 with this upper’s name all over it. . .

comments

  1. avatar A Brit in TX says:

    I like the look of it, would make it easy to access adjustable gas blocks also. Am wondering how rigid it is, and of course the price…….. In theory carbon fibre could/should be cheaper than more traditional milled & anodized aluminum.

    1. avatar Blake says:

      $230-$340. Top end being the 15″ model.

      WAY out of my comfortable price range for the weight saved. I’ll stick with my ALG handguards when they go on sale through primaryarms. I like a lightweight handguard but LOVE a heavy wallet.

      1. avatar A Brit in TX says:

        In the end I went for a Midwest Industries M-Lok 9″ handguard for my planned 300BLK SBR build (10.5″ barrel). Haven’t tried to fit it yet but the quality looks great, it’s light and not mega cheap at $150 but I think is good value.

        https://www.midwestindustriesinc.com/product-p/mi-g3m9-blk.htm

        By the way, I’m in no way affiliated to Midwest Industries!

        The CF handguard in the article looks great but until I’m old and infirm, the few ounces of saved weight aren’t too important!!!!

        1. avatar Splitlip says:

          really save some weight and skip the handguard and just wear a glove.

        2. avatar Blake says:

          Sounds like we’re working on very similar projects. Building a 10.5″ 300 SBR myself. Put a 9.5″ mlok Odin Works 02 Lite forend on mine. Seems great apart from the two piece barrel nut I’m not completely sold on.

          Pricier than I wanted, I think I spent about $150 on sale, but the look worked for the general theme of the build as I plan on painting it a distressed white, stormtrooper-esque lol. Between the multiple tax stamps for the SBR and silencerco Omega it’s the first gun I’ve let myself splurge on.

    2. avatar Warren says:

      I’ve handled them in person, and assisted in an AR build that incorporates one. I can tell you from personal experience, these things are deceptively rigid. It would take a LOT to mangle one. Trying to time these things so that your sights line up properly is a MASSIVE pain in the ass.

      They are eye-catching though. Anyone who’s familiar with them will instantly recognize them, and anyone who’s never seen one will immediately ask you about the specs.

      1. avatar Norincojay says:

        I was wondering that exact thing about mounting a front sight. I see the four rails. It would have been nice if they clipped on after the Handguard was installed. Then you would just have to align the rail not the whole Handguard or barrel nut. It looks worse than BAR barrel nuts with only four gas tube slots. Just a slight angle will screw up your front sight.

        1. avatar Warren says:

          The way it’s built, you can’t just clip that front part on and off. I don’t know how to explain it. There needs to be some kind of long “reverse rail” that you can attach to the receiver rail and to the front accessories rail at the same time, then tighten down the friction nut that holds it in place on the barrel nut. It’d make installing the handguard go a lot quicker.

        2. avatar Norincojay says:

          I just went to their web sight and see what you’re saying with the jam nut and front rail alignment. If you don’t intend to use a front sight and have $280 for their 9″ EDGE rail it would be sweet! There are a lot of options around $200 that only weigh a couple to a few ounces more with Keymod or MLok all over. This is definitely more of a specific use Handguard.

    3. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “In theory carbon fibre could/should be cheaper than more traditional milled & anodized aluminum.”

      The hand lay-up on the carbon kills any savings, and I kinda doubt the carbon is cheaper in raw material costs.

      Pre-preg carbon has very specific storage requirements (refrigerated) and a rather limited ‘shelf life’. It isn’t the kind of stuff you buy and then stick on a shelf for a few years until you need it…

  2. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

    ‘…they still look fragile…’

    Actually they look like they should be encased in concrete.

    1. avatar BLoving says:

      *snort*
      Okay, so I’m not the only one who saw it and thought “rebar?”. 😉

      1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

        Rebar cage even.

  3. avatar Vhyrus says:

    I’m wondering how comfortable it is on the hand. There is also no attachment points for accessories, except for that little bit on the end.

    1. avatar Warren says:

      It was surprisingly comfortable to hold, actually. Better than a quad rail, even. You really start to feel the heat coming off the barrel in a hurry though, especially after two or three mag dumps in a row.

      As to not having a lot of room for accessories, well… my buddy building it was going for an ultralight AR. Attaching accessories to the rail kind of nullifies the whole point of this particular handguard.

      1. avatar NineShooter says:

        “You really start to feel the heat coming off the barrel in a hurry though, especially after two or three mag dumps in a row.”

        Where’s the guy who I was discussing this handguard with last year, who kept insisting that allowing barrel cooling and protecting your hand from barrel heat were the same thing? I tried to make this point about heat radiating from the barrel affecting the shooter’s hand over and over again, and he just couldn’t (or wouldn’t) get it.

        He needs to hear it from someone like you who has experienced it.

        1. avatar Warren says:

          That heat has to go somewhere…

    2. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

      You can add rails.

      1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

        Yeah, I have a bolt-on rail section that I’ll be using on mine for a bipod.

    3. avatar Geoff PR says:

      And can it survive the heat if a can was under it?

      1. avatar Warren says:

        Absolutely it could.

        1. avatar Geoff PR says:

          Now the real question – could your hand survive with the hot can one inch under it? 🙂

          Edit – I could see that used in wagers. “I bet I could handle 60 rounds without letting go…” or, “First one to let go buys the beer…”

        2. avatar Warren says:

          There’s no way you’d have an inch clearance. Try quarter inch or less. Either way, that’s a wager I’ll be perfectly happy just watching go down from the sidelines.

  4. avatar Ralph says:

    Does it come in a barbed version? I need something to restrain my cattle.

    1. avatar NineShooter says:

      Okay, I’ll admit it, I laughed. Loudly.

      Thanks for the chuckles, Ralph.

  5. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

    They look cool and I’d expect them to stand up to use/abuse as advertised. I like the engineering that’s gone into them, too. I don’t participate in competitions, nor do I lug a rifle around all day, though. So the modest weight reduction isn’t something I would notice, let alone place a premium on.

  6. avatar Joe R. says:

    I was wondering about copper jacketed bullets traveling down the barrel fast in one direction making a micro-electromagnetic pulse, that translates to a capacitor like release of any induced voltages from the handguard into your electronic optics.

    Might cure the over/under-age of an EOTech?

    /sarc

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      You’re not *too* far off on that idea.

      I suppose the induced voltage could charge a supercapacitor used to power the red dot.

      Frequent re-charging would be necessary. A nice excuse to go to the range… 🙂

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        I was more hoping for follow up shots from the plasma rifle backup.

  7. avatar The Gray Poseur says:

    I’m not really looking for the attention I would get from the AR Fanboys sporting this hand guard.

  8. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    The demonstration was great … except for the fact that the demonstrator was only standing about 50 yards away with no blast shield in front of him.

    I noticed that he placed the hand guard on the back edge of the tannerite so that the blast force would tend to blow it away from him. That still does nothing to stop the tannerite from blasting other debris toward him, like rocks.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “The demonstration was great … except for the fact that the demonstrator was only standing about 50 yards away with no blast shield in front of him.”

      That’s sort of a fair criticism, except the only thing there with any appreciable mass was the handguard itself, and it’s built kinda like a whiffle-ball, with a *lot* of built-in aerodynamic drag.

      If it were like those morons who video themselves blowing up washing machines, cars, trucks or riding mowers, they shouldn’t be surprised if a chunk of metal performs an unscheduled surgical procedure on them.

      Like Kyle, AKA ‘FPS Russia’. The look on his face was *priceless*:

      1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        Kyle was quite literally about 18 inches away from dying that day. Had that truck door hit him, he would have died within minutes if not seconds.

        1. avatar Sian says:

          His cameraman as well.

  9. avatar Dan in CO says:

    630 lbs of tensile strength… once. After that one break or fracture, the product is not reliable, there is no fixing it. You’re better off with a more resilient material.

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