When “2 out of 3” is Still an Improvement!

So what would you do if a new Colt AR 15 costing $495 showed up one your doorstep along with these:


  • MAGPUL SL Hand Guard Carbine at $29.04
  • MAGPUL MOE (Magpul original equipment) SL Grip at $17.40
  • MAGPUL MOE SL Carbine Stock at $49.80

Well, you make some Black Rifle Coffee, pull out the tools and see how you can change things up!

Right now I want to say that I love what MAGPUL puts on every box:

First things first, removing the raised front sight gas block. Colt (and Bushmaster and…) attaches these with tapered pins that are inserted from the right side. Trying to remove one from the right side will teach you how tools can do more damage than good. ALWAYS put some penetrating oil on them and give it time to work.

Break it down – use a barrel extension torque tool to make sure you don’t tweak the barrel with all the pounding…put on your headphones, I recommend something heavy on the drums, from the Classical William Tell Overture” to Guns N’ Roses Sweet Child O’ Mind” to “Tarantula” by Pendulum, to “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad” if you are into a melodic beat!



Also remove the front sling adapter as it exerts enough pressure on the barrel to make it another force you don’t want to have to overcome with brute force.

I then went and pulled off the Colt hand guard, to be honest I am a big Picatinny rail fan and the “carbine” hand guards remind me too much of long days in Basic Training. To be sure you need the Hand Guard Removal Tool or a second pair of hands to get the hand slip ring down. I recommend gloves for this as it takes some effort and I don’t want to mess up my manicure.

There is a slip-disk over the front of the carbine hand-guards that snaps off easily. At this point I should have noticed that the replacement MAGPUL SL Hand Guards do not come with anything like this which will become important soon.

Once this was done it was easy to put the gas block back on and then just snap the MAGPUL SL hand guards mentioned above into place. BUT the old slip-disk can no longer be used and there is no mechanism to secure the front of the new hand guards to anything. This is a deal breaker. Once the rifle is reassembled there is still significant movement of the front grip. 

At this point I went ahead and installed the SL Grip, which was a marked improvement and swapped out the carbine stock. Also an improvement.


I had a couple of other experts take a look and see if there was something I missed with the hand guards, there was not. At this point I put the original carbine hand guards back on and test fired the weapon. I was impressed with the results. Accurate, fun to shoot and easy to zero-in the iron sights. I have an email in to MAGPUL to see if what they recommend. Stay tuned….

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A former rocket scientist (really) who has traveled the world, father, freedom lover, hates to stay indoors, and loves wild places, people and things. PC challenged, irreverent but always relevant and always looking to learn new things.


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