Game changing AR handguard from Manticore

by Miles

This past weekend was Bullpup 2015 in northern Illinois, and I’m sure the various products and designs on display there will be trickling all over the internet in the next few weeks, to include a number of updates from myself attending it, not just from Manticore, but from a number of other interesting vendors there as well. Because of the potential effects this handguard might have on the market however, I’m going to start off with this one!

Sven showed me the Rapid Prototype version of this handguard back when I interviewed him in the summer, but made me swear on the life of my first born to not tell a soul. Well, he unveiled it at Bullpup 2015 so now the cat is out of the bag and we’ll see just how effective it really is, and how the consumer responds to it. But basically there are two features on it that it really brings to the table. The interchangeable Keymod/ M Lok/ simple covers, and the barrel nut that secures the actual free floating handguard to the upper receiver. The whole set up comes with the handguard, barrel nut, wrench, and three mixed handguard sections of your choice. MSRP will be upwards of 200 dollars after shipping and handling.

The concept behind the interchangeable covers is quite simple. Basically Manticore has 2 large slots per side of the handguard minus the top (which if I’m not mistaken has either the M Lok or the Manticore mounting system), in total having 4 altogether, in addition to some picatinny for a front sight, and a little bit to continue off of the upper receiver rail. These slots are separated by QD mounts both fore, aft, and dividing the slots themselves. Within these slots, Manticore has removable sections of either Keymod, M Lok, and a simple cover with their own design. But what it boils down to is you can have all three types and more of each on a single handguard, placed where ever you want them to be. The slots are machined into the actual handguard, with the sections flush to the handguard, so nothing is sticking out. They are secured using Manticores screw nut system that has worked so well with their Tavor products. In addition, I’m not a mechanical engineer, so I can’t explain this part very well from what Sven told me, but the way the stress levels are designed into the piece, whatever stress is put on the sections is taken up laterally, through the sides, instead of going out from it. I probably screwed that up, but that’s the gist of it.

Not pictured is the M Lok section, but the lower one is what they are calling "Frag" and the upper one is "Snake Skin". I'm sure they'll come out with more patterns as well.
It is pretty slick and thin, that's for sure.

The second concept is a barrel nut with what seems like many a dozen individual holes machined into it, in a conical pattern. The purpose behind this is that, through their design process, they’ve made it so no matter how you screw the barrel nut on, a set of holes will always line up with the holes on the actual handguard, to torque the handguard in place, with equal amounts of pressure on both sides so you’re not dealing with seperates amounts of pressure on one side than the other. In addition, the piece comes with a wrench fitted to it, that allows for proper indexing as well. It goes without saying but the nut only works with Manticore handguards.

This is a video I briefly took of him demonstrating it, but I didn’t get the full explanation.

In this picture I've inserted the barrel nut into the handguard, and you can see the various holes through it. If it were actually on the rifle, they would line up appropriately.
Unfinished one is just to show the definition of the barrel nut.

Infantry Marine, based in the Midwest. Specifically interested in small arms history, development, and usage within the MENA region and Central Asia. To that end, I run Silah Report, a website dedicated to analyzing small arms history and news out of MENA and Central Asia.Please feel free to get in touch with me about something I can add to a post, an error I've made, or if you just want to talk guns. I can be reached at

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2 of 38 comments
  • Stephen Stephen on Sep 24, 2015

    Now Manticore just needs to come up with a tape switch cover (HINT, HINT).


  • FightFireJay FightFireJay on Sep 25, 2015

    "Game changer" - definition, uses multiple proprietary adapters so that you can use non proprietary open source adapter-less direct attach accessories.

    Joking aside, I do like the idea of being able to add textured pads like those show. Especially if there is a rubber overmolded option!