Has anyone cut down a handguard?

So I really really want a Midwest industries mlok combat rail because price and weight can’t really be beat.

Unfortunately they don’t offer a 10" handguard in literally anything but the quad rail versions.

I asked them if it’s possible to chop a 10.5 handguard down to 10 and not interfere with the mlok slot. They said yeah but say by by to the warranty which unless I get one that’s completely jacked up I don’t see why I should need a warranty.

The picture is of a 10.5 barrel in an 11.2 vtac handguard with a yhm 5m2 break and a blast shield.

Yhm says the of of the break is 1.25, and the cans I want (t2) are between 1.25 and 1.3 so obviously I can’t run the can under a MI handguard and I don’t want to.

I could get a 9.5 handguard and deal with the .75" gap but that’s not why I want a 10" mi mlok handguard is because that extra .25" means my light and front sigh is that much further out giving me that much more hand space.

The reason I’m so stuck on MI combat rail is the design, price, weight and the size of the barrel nut which again gives me more room for mlok slots to give me more space to put heat protection materials.
I’m trying to stay slim and light and really don’t want to spend more than $150 and have a high quality item with 7 sides of mlok.

I’ve looked at literally every other handguard that’s quality. Bootleg, Zev, bcm, geissele, aero, alg, slr.

Why isn’t there anything close to what I’m looking for without having to cut it down and possibly run into issues?

Why do 10.5 barrels get more shaft than any other?


That would be a great question for @switchpod. He is an expert machinist and has experience with building custom-length firearms.


Man have I ran down this road a time or two. This is commonly referred to as the Goldilocks issue.

One being too short.

And the other too long.

Cutting an extruded piece of aluminum on a lathe away from the chuck usually results in a catastrophe. The options generally are to-
1: find a lathe with a chuck big enough to have a “through hole” with a larger diameter than the outside diameter than the rail or-
2: to use a bandsaw to cut down the rail.

Now for my two cents. I would reduce the outside diameter of the muzzle device that your using as long as there is enough material, or increase the internal diameter of the rail to except the muzzle device. Possibly both in this case.

I honestly like the look of a rail over device personally.

Reducing the muzzle device “actually I made this to size but you get the idea”.
image image

Increasing the inner diameter of the rail to fit the device.
image image

The last idea I have for you is to maybe find a company that makes a rail in the right size for your build.

Now I can’t speak to the quality or durability of these rails but at $40.00-$50.00 at least your not breaking the bank.

Happy building! Please keep us all up to date on this build! I’m really interested in seeing it completed when done.


Interesting. On the surface (no pun intended) this seems like such an easy task. But having never cut a handguard down myself and reading @switchpod’s post, I find myself questioning whether or not I would engage in such an endeavor.

And yes, for the record I was thinking along the lines of hacking the end off, cleaning it up with files and sandpaper, then painting to match. Am I a cob? Perhaps. :shushing_face:


I had a handguard for a 308 pistol that the locating tabs did not work with the upper. I filed them off then stoned them smooth. Alumna black and it was black again. A band saw seems the best way to shorten your rail. You might buy a cheap rail and practice cutting it off before you cut the expensive one.


I cut one with a metal chop saw, sanded and filed up the cut area, scuffed whole handguard and painted. no issues of any kind.


Yeah Ive been looking around and its really hard to find good quality products, like all MI has to do is take a 10.5 and chop the front half inch off like they dont have a band saw or a lathe that can do this.

Im willing to pay for it, I love everything about the MI CR system but they dont give any love to 10.5 and 12.5 in these handguards.

Ive seen those handguards and I really cant say the quality will be up to snuff as ive dealt with overseas made handguards in the airsoft world and jesus christ on a bicycle the quality is trash.