AR-15 Barrel Cooling Fins

Here’s something for the AR-15 that’s a bit, different. Called the AR-fin, they’re just what they look like. Fins for your AR-15 that supposedly helps cool down your barrel. They’re made out of .030 stainless chrome alloy and are precut to fit 6.7 inch 2-piece quad rails. They go for $39.95 plus $5.95 shipping. If you plan on picking up one of those TacCon “full-auto” triggers these fins might actually come in useful during mag dumps. Anyone think they’ll actually work?


The latest accessory for your AR15 from SUNPOWER SYSTEMS it’s called AR-fins.
Made from .030 stainless chrome alloy that is practically rust proof, and YES it cools your barrel. This serrated pattern is designed for maximum heat dissipation used in Hi-tech heat exchangers. AR-fins are a two part system a primary rap around the barrel and a secondary sheet for added cooling.

It fits in all 6.7 inch Quad Rail Carbine Length 2 Piece Drop-In Systems.
AR-fins weigh only a few ounces and installs in minutes and LOOKS GREAT.
We utilize a precision crush fit using your Quad rail for maximum contact with the barrel and thus alleviating any possibility of rattle or noise from the fins.

It is a simple law of thermodynamics, when you increase your surface area you can dissipate more heat. By installing AR-fins you increase the surface area fivefold, just look at a CPU heat sink for example. The serrated pattern of the AR-fin gives you more surface area than a heat sink with only a few fins. In addition the thinner the material the faster the heat dissipation.

Ray I.

Long time gun enthusiast, archery noob, Mazda fan, Sci-Fi nerd, Whiskey drinker, online marketer and blogger. My daily firearms musings can be found over at my gun blog and Instagram.

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  • 11b

    I believe they also make the magazine-fan-cooler-thing as well. Super derp.

    • 11b

      Sorry for double post, speaking of derp.

  • 11b
  • Alexander

    Quite a shame this is pretty much the most retarded form of heatsink there is.

    Lets hope one day someone can do things right for a change.

  • Nathan

    Lol, you should check out the guy who did it:

    Crazy stuff

    • st4

      More entertaining than the OP! Glad I clicked on this.

    • DaveTheGreat

      Hilarious! It’s like he knows his inventions are crap, but he’s still proud of them.

      Ok, that crossbow cocking device is actually pretty cool …

    • Bobby

      That guy was on the show ‘The Colony’

      He was a moron…

  • bbmg

    With/without fin barrel temperature reading test?

  • j

    Does this un-freefloat my barrel, by pressing my handguard against it?

    • Tuulos

      Most likely.

  • Pseudo

    This would make sense if the heatsink were attached to the barrel (which could very well be a terrible idea from a barrel design perspective), but as is it looks like this would impede convective heat transfer away from the barrel. Best analogy would be floating a heat sink a few mm above a CPU and marveling at the ‘improved’ heat transfer. I would be very surprised if this were effective unless I’m missing how these attach.

    • ChuckyTee

      Would you not need to use some kind of thermal paste? I forgot to put some on a computer I upgraded a couple years ago. That computer would not even boot. Thermal shutdown city…

      • Pseudodeus

        Gun maintenance kit now must include arctic silver…

        • Panzercat

          Don’t forget the cooling fan 🙂

      • Lee

        Yup, if you don’t use thermal paste, you end up getting more of a “heat jacket” than a “heat sink.” JP has been using them on their rifles for several years now. Great stuff.

    • Some Rabbit

      Quite right Pseudo. It may even increase the heat by obscuring the airflow through the handguard vents. And why steel? Aluminum is rustproof, conducts heat better and is far lighter.

      • jlovold

        Aluminium and steel does not go well together. If immersed in water, aluminum corrodes like crazy if it is in contact with steel.

        Also aluminium has a very low melting-point.

        • Suburban

          The upper is aluminum, the handguard is aluminum, the barrel nut may be aluminum depending on the model of handguard. It wouldn’t melt.

          Working a block from the ocean, my stainless steel knife blade was constantly turning orange. Either way, if it gets wet, it’s going to oxidize unless you do something to prevent it.

        • MrSatyre

          Has anyone ever gotten their carbine’s steel barrel past 451 F without completely trashing it? Aluminum is a couple hundred degrees past that, I think?

    • Suburban

      You could attach it with stainless steel tie wraps. That’s what they use to attach exhaust header wrap on race engines.

      I wouldn’t bother though. As you’ve pointed out, there are drawbacks to the AR-Fin product. I’ll keep my $46, and rely on plain old air-cooling.

  • Roland_1911

    In the market of never ending gadgets for firearms.
    Just another hammer looking for a nail

    • Patrick Mingle

      unless it actually works that is

      • Roland_1911

        Very true.

  • Chase Buchanan

    The poor writing does not inspire confidence.

  • Timothy G. Yan

    JP have the barrel heatsink that’s machined from metal and contoured to their barrel and it’s bolted on.

    The one in this post look like crap. All firearm barrel flex violently during firing from the twist motion of the rifling. That flexible sheet won’t stay on for long or there will be enough gap developed after few round that it won’t even touch most of the barrel. Then it will become a heat trip instead of a heatsink.

  • Vhyrus

    So they made it out of stainless steel and claim its ‘practically rustproof’? If they had made it out of aluminum it would be lighter, dissipate heat better, and be COMPLETELY rust free. This is just bad product design.

  • Aurek Besh

    Tacticool-ing fins.

  • DiverEngrSL17K

    The problem with cooling fins of any kind, regardless of whether they are wrap-arounds like this example or integrally machined as part of the barrel assembly ( like the old Hotchkiss and Nambu machine guns ) is that they tend to gather compacted dirt and debris and are more difficult to clean quickly, a factor that does have a fairly significant impact for military battlefield usage.

    On the other hand, they might not be a bad idea for non-battlefield private use in situations where the firearms in question tend to see more frequent and detailed care, as long as the application works correctly, in which case the cooling fins / expanded surface area would usually have to be in direct contact with the underlying heat sink ( i.e., the barrel itself ), or be an integral part of said heat sink to provide adequate heat dissipation. Either way, more cleaning will still be needed with extended outdoor use.

    • claymore

      If one was involved in “non-battlefield private use” there are a minute amount situations like none probably where overheating would be a concern.

      • DiverEngrSL17K

        Good point.

      • Tuulos

        Competitive shooting comes to mind, especially during summer and in warmer regions. I’ve actually seen pictures of competitions where the shooters shoot barehanded in the morning and when the day advances they have gloves on the support hands due to the heating of barrel & handguard. Although one guy who did an article about that found that railed handguards help dissipate the heat so the shooters using them didn’t require gloves.

        • Phil Hsueh

          Question is, was the heat a result from the number of rounds fired with little to no time to cool off or simply a result of the day getting hotter as it goes on?

          • Tuulos

            From my experience I’d say the shooting is the biggest factor, temperature only has it’s word to say in the cooling speed.

          • Lonnie

            ambient temp is going to be lower than barrel temp, ergo the difference in time of cooling a barrel between 100 degrees and 80 degrees would be minimal.

        • claymore

          There are videos on the net where M-16 types were fired until their barrels were literally red hot and no damage was reported. Can’t see why a few hundred rounds would have any effect beyond making grip uncomfortable.

          • Suburban

            You don’t want too much heat held in the barrel. The more you fire the rifle with a hot barrel, the faster the rifling is worn down. I’m afraid that this AR-Fin thing will only trap heat between it and the barrel. Your support hand may stay cool, but you’d be destroying your barrel at an accelerated rate. Cooling fins on the barrel would increase surface area for faster air cooling, the AR-Fin is really more of a heat shield.

          • Cymond

            “Continued to function” is a far cry from “no damage”. Heat leads to increased wear and decreased barrel life, which is a reasonable concern for people with expensive match-grade barrels.

          • claymore

            And people with match grade barrels will not be shooting fast enough to get the barrel that hot normally and that was my point.

          • Cymond

            Competition shooters often empty several magazines at full speed in a stage, and some shoot multiple stages. Plus they’re likely to a practice stage over and over while preparing for a match.

            I’ve also read about varmint hunters whose barrels get so hot during multi-hour rapid shooting sessions that they wrap them in wet rags to help cool.

          • claymore

            Still not enough heat to worry about.

  • mikee

    Six decades of AR15/M16 developments and here is another solution to a nonexistant problem.

  • Nicholas Mew

    If you are going to add a cooling jacket, you go all the way.

    • noob

      the vickers machine gun had a water cooling jacket. the engagement at at High Wood on 24 August 1916 fired a million rounds of suppressive fire without stoppage over 12 hours. the prize for most rounds fired went to one team for firing 120,000 rounds. the prize was 5 francs.

      I think the photo above was one of its contemporaries – the hotchkiss.

  • gunslinger

    so the only contact is via pressure from a quad rail?

    what if you free float?

    how much contact do you really get?

    i’m not buying the idea here…

    • DiverEngrSL17K

      Good call, Gunslinger. Proper and adequate heat transfer to the cooling fins ( or any heat dissipation surface area on the outside ) is generally dependent on direct metal-to-metal contact, or monolithic mass ( as in a barrel with cooling fins integrally machined into its structure ) over a large surface area. Unless the manufacturers can prove that they have done this, or prove that they have found a way to circumvent it while still ensuring adequate heat transfer via other channels, I too, remain somewhat skeptical.

    • 277Volt

      Makes me think of heat sinks in PC’s. They’re horribly inefficient without some sort of material to fill up the gaps between contact surfaces that would otherwise be occupied by that wonderfully efficient insulator we know as air.

  • RickH

    I’m buying it for no other reason than: “MADE IN AMERICA!!!”

  • Joe

    So it sucks heat from your barrel… Right to the hand guard … How is that a help exactly?!?

  • Mike C

    JP rifles has been doing this for years in their competition models.

  • Man pippy

    A more efficient heat insulating handguard would be a more useful, especially for an AK.

  • Phil Hsueh

    Maybe this will inspire someone to come out with an AR cooling fan that you can mount to the front of your free float. Combine that with these fins and you’ll have PC like cooling. Or better yet, someone needs to invent a water cooling system for AR barrels, now that would be some serious cooling at the expense of weight, extra junk on the rifle, and making a free float no longer free floating.

    • Cymond

      Your wish is granted!

      • DiverEngrSL17K

        Great Photoshop image, Cymond — it took a while to stop laughing, but you really made my day! Thanks!

        • Cymond

          I may be wrong, but I think this was a real thing. Transferrable belt-fed machineguns are more expensive than a registered converted AR, so I assumed this was someone’s way to make a select-fire AR run like the big-boys at Knob Creek. The barrel jacket is obviously custom, but the Spade grip and tripod adapter are from KNS.

          • DiverEngrSL17K

            If that is the case, I stand corrected! Never expected that this would be the “real thing” — stranger things have happened, one never knows. If so, my hat is off to the fellow who came up with this idea. This example just goes to show how easy it is for anyone to incorrectly assume the obvious!

  • Cymond

    Others pointed it out, but the JP Rifles Heat Dissipater is a far superior design. It’s aluminum (lighter weight & better thermal coefficient) and bolts around the barrel for better contact.

    The downsides of the JP cooling fins is that they only work on certain barrel contours and they have a fairly large outer diameter which limits your handguard choices. I’ve considered putting one on my lightweight barrel, but I’m not sure it’s worth the extra weight of the Dissipater and the larger, heavier handguards.

  • Fox218

    It has already been determined the gas tube will fail well before the barrel fails if exposed to long periods of sustained fire.

  • Rick Bonenfant

    Wouldn’t this transfer the heat from the barrel into the handguard? I don’t want my plastic rail inserts and foregrip melting.

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