Review: Strike Industries Viper Handguards

IMG_3303

If you have spent any time looking at aftermarket handguards for the AR-15 you know there is a dizzying amount of options out there. Strike Industries sent me one of their new offerings to take a closer look at. like many of you I still have a rifle with a front sight post that I refuse to upgrade. Mine just happens to be a Mk18 upper for my SBR. Without further ado lets take a look at the Strike Industries Viper Handguards.

The handguards arrived well presented as I have come to expect with Strike products in a nicely printed box.

IMG_3298

After opening the box I was surprised by the amount of care that Strike used with something as simple as sub $30 handguards. They not only were carefully wrapped in bubble wrap, but Strike included some really easy to follow pictograph instructions on the inside of the box lid. Most of us know how to install some handguards, but I am glad that Strike had the forethought to include newer gun owners that might not have that knowledge.

IMG_3299

After pulling the handguards out of the bubble wrap I found that the halves were molded from thick nylon reinforced polymer. They felt very substantial in my hands, much moreso than the standard “mil-spec” variety found on most rifles in stock form. You can see on the top portion of the handguard Strike included M-Lok slots so you can customize the rifle as you like. The bottom also has a row of M-lok slots.

IMG_3300

Taking a look at the inside of the handguards you can see the heat shielding on the lower half of the handguard, it is available in both black and red. The colored part is more easily seen in the photo above. While the red provides a nice contrast, I am not personally a fan of it. I would have preferred to see a OD green or even a tan color option before red, but that is just my humble opinion.

IMG_3302

Where other two piece handguards give a bit between the halves, the Strike Industries Viper Handguards lock together giving them a very monolithic feel.

IMG_3303

Enough looking, more shooting.

I threw the handguards on my test mule SBR and got to work. I have to admit, Strike did a wonderful job with the Viper handguards. They were really comfortable and added a bit more real estate for me to grasp when shooting. You can see here the shelf that Strike added to cover the gas block, it makes a rather convenient thumb rest if I say so myself.

P1010555

I handed the rifle off to Alex C. to get his impression. He seemed pleased with the handguards and tried to talk me out of them at the end of the day. Nice try, but no cigar.

P1010567

Here you can really get a sense of how the handguards are shaped. You can also see the M-lok slots on the top half of the handguard. The handguard also has M-lok slots along the bottom to allow you to attach whatever grips you might desire. I like that the handguards offer as much customizability as they do at the sub $30 price point.

P1010534

I mentioned the thumb shelf earlier, while it protects the thumb when shooting from a thumb over bore grip the handguard cap is still exposed in order to allow you to use the front sling swivel. Take caution because it isn’t hard to burn your finger if you get too aggressive with your support hand grip.

P1010562

Something I also really liked about the handguards is the included finger stop at the front of the bottom portion.

P1010523

I have to admit, I think I am in danger of people assuming I am a Strike fanboy, but the reality is they just produce solid and innovative products. At a MSRP of only $27.95 they are nothing short of a bargain when considering what you get out of them. Even though there are a thousand and one carbine handguard replacements on the market, when looking for a replacement for your rifle you should take a hard look at the Viper handguards from Strike industries. I have no doubt that you will be impressed as I was.

You can learn more about the Viper Handguards on Strike Industries website here.



Patrick R

Patrick is a Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog and works in the shooting sports industry. He is an avid recreational shooter and a verified gun nerd. With a lifelong passion for shooting, he has a love for all types of firearms, especially handguns and the AR-15 platform. Patrick may be contacted at tfbpatrick@gmail.com.

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


Advertisement

  • jwaller

    would it work with adam adams arms piston rifle?

  • Plumbiphilious

    They’re really aesthetically pleasing to me. Angles in all the right areas, no obtrusive non-functional bits (that’s not to say there’s no non-functioning decoration, but it wouldn’t get in the way as far as I can tell), I like it.

  • Vitsaus

    Sued by Magpul in 3….2…1….

    • Spencerhut

      For what? Putting out a competitive product? Using a cardboard package with black writing on it?

      • I’m not saying that Magpul will sue them, but with Industrial Design patents the devil is in the details. I used to work in the mobile computing industry and companies would sue over the most minute details, I’d hope that the firearms industry isn’t as petty but you can never be sure.

        I actually like the ID of the strike industries furniture better so far, Really like the look of this handguard with their “Red Line” heat guard although I’d probably paint it orange.

        • Giolli Joker

          “I’d hope that the firearms industry isn’t as petty but you can never be sure.”
          An example to crush your hopes: Glock holds a patent on the squared slide…

          • Sam

            Not a patent….a Tradedress / Trademark…..That’s a very dirty route to protect their properties. Note: All Glock’s utility patents are expired. They are using “Tradedress / Trademark” to prevent others to make “Glock-look-like” pistols…

    • El Duderino

      Ehh if they haven’t sued MFT they won’t sue these guys.

      • Magpul seems to be a classy bunch, suing another company would probably hurt their brand more than competition.

        • ostiariusalpha

          They sued the crap out of Elite Tactical Systems without hesitation. If you play nice with Magpul, Magpul plays nice with you. Otherwise…

    • ostiariusalpha

      Magpul grants a no-fee license to any manufacturer that wants to use their M-Lok system, so they’ve already known about S.I.’s handguard and seem to have given it their blessing. Besides, other than the M-Lok slots, it shares no particular design elements with the Magpul handguards.

  • BrandonAKsALot

    I’ve come to really appreciate Strike Industries. A few of their products are a little gimicky, but they all seem to be very well made with great attention to detail in their actual use. I like that they put the time in to making them have nice aesthetics as well as being functional. I just installed their checkmate comp on my AR and I have been very pleased with it. It’s light, minimal, compliments my rifles, and does exactly what I want.

  • ostiariusalpha

    I’ve always felt there’s been a real lack of alternatives in the drop-in handguard furniture. You’ve got the standard A2/M4 handguards, Magpul, AB Arms, and some ugly quad rails, and that’s been it. Not everybody needs a free float handguard or wants a Magpul, I’m glad Strike Ind. recognizes that there is a market for this stuff.

  • Phil Hsueh

    Looks pretty nice and I’m really surprised that for less than $30 they actually included a metal heat shield with the handguards. While I prefer free floating handguards I’d definitely consider these if I were to ever build an SBR with a front sight.

    Oh, btw, it’s further adieu, it’s further ado. Adieu is French for good bye, so by saying without further adieu you’re saying without further good bye which makes absolutely no sense.

  • roguetechie

    I’m really beginning to become a strike industries fan. They are hitting the sweet spot for the growing market segment of black rifle guys who have no delusions of operating operationally, yet absolutely insist on a quality level that IN THEORY could survive something like a few weeks of civil unrest or a hunting trip gone horribly wrong.

  • Nick

    Can’t believe someone okayed that logo etched into the top