I always enjoy going up to the NEXT booths at SHOT (which is the place where all of the vendors that are either new or on a waiting list to get a floor booth are staged). Most attendees of the show spend their time on the main floors and never get the chance to see some of the products.
This time I found Hardened Arms, a company that actually had something I had never seen before, and I found interesting enough to share with you readers. One of the thing we can all agree is that the industry around AR platformed rifles has given us no end of things to hang from our handguards–arguably some of them more useful than others. Lights and lasers probably being the most useful category. The problem is that they are mounted to adjustable systems with screws and other hardware and sometimes those things get loose (if you are not super religious about checking them).
Hardened Arms’ take on the problem is a trade off. They’ve engineered a 12″ free float rail from 6061-T6 aluminum with two forward tubes that can accommodate a number of accessories (1150 CREE lights at 500 lumens, infrared 940 NM bulbs, or a Laser). It is fairly lightweight at just under 20 ounces with installed CR123A batteries. Of course it has a standard top picatinny rail, and also supports the M-LOK standard on the sides and bottom. Internal diameter of 1.8″ will accommodate many suppressors.
It surprisingly was not awkward to hold, and should accommodate a number of grip styles for those that still rock the ole “C-Clamp”. I like the idea of having something that can’t get knocked loose, and there are even some advantages for barricade shooting (you can brace with one of the tubes and peek the barrel and other tube over to get some light on target. Definitely an innovative solution, and one that could potentially accommodate other accessories like “less-lethal” alternatives.
Check them out at: http://hardenedarms.com