The venerable HK G3 family is a reliable warhorse that canfeel dated in its ergonomics and accessory interface. With an AIM Sports handguard, however, one can easily accessorize the rifle and adapt it to the 21st century.
The handguard is available for 16-inch carbines, such as the PTR91 SC, and for 18-inch G3 pattern rifles in standard or extended length. The extended length version provides 3.8 inches of additional rail space ahead of the front sight tower for the attachment of a white light (or other) emitter. Its 1913 top rail can be substituted with an included M-LOK version, if so desired. Carbine and rifle length handguards are available in KeyMod or M-LOK, while the extended length rail is available with M-LOK only.
The AIM Sports handguards have a similar profile to the “slim” handguards seen on the Bundeswehr service rifles. The lower half of the octagonal shape features five rows of M-LOK or KeyMod attachment points. The M-LOK versions have the upper diagonal face scalloped to enhance the grip for the support hand’s thumb.
The handguard is extruded from corrosion-resistant 6061 aluminum, and the slots are then machined. The author found the black anodizing suitably tough. He braced the rifle through barricade holes, as well as other makeshift shooting surfaces, with little surface marring. Paint transferred to the handguard was easily removed with a wet towel.
The handguard can be easily installed with no gunsmith required. Instead of an HK pushpin, the handguard is secured to the hanger with a steel bolt. It will not fit rifles with a collar, such as the CETME.
The original slim handguards (7 ounces) could rapidly become uncomfortably hot, even with the heatshield. The wide handguards solved that problem at the cost of weight (13.5 ounces). The AIM Sports handguard, on the other hand, maintains the light weight while remaining comfortable during extended use. The natural convection air-cooling was effective while radiant heat proved minimal.
The attachment interfaces can easily accommodate a foregrip to improve handling. It assists the user to pull the rifle into the shoulder to mitigate recoil and acts as a brace when shooting from a barricade. It also prevents the support hand from slipping and contacting the heated trunion area. Other accessories, such as bipods, lights and lasers, can also be added in any desired location. The attachment interface also solves the sling dilemma for left-handed users.
The AIM Sports handguard allows one to accessorize the G3 family to improve handling and utility. It is well made and effectively mitigates barrel heat while maintaining minimal weight. Their attractive price, in comparison with similar offerings from B&T and Spuhr, makes these handguards worthy of consideration when updating G3 rifles.