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hughes35e

TWS kalashnikov handguard Really?

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Hi all.  I just bought a TWS Kalashnikov handguard for my Saiga .223.  I am really creeped out by the integrated "gas tube" that comes with it.  So I removed the sturdy, solid gas tube from the rifle and assembled the handguard.  But the physics of the thing boggles my mind.  So the gas tube going forward, ends about 1/2" shy of the gas block, and to the rear, about 1/2" shy of the receiver.  So you can clearly see the piston pull out of the gas block, and almost pull out of the rear end of the gas tube.  So basically, the "gas tube" is more of a piston guide than a full gas tube.  Do these things really work?  How does the gun preserve enough gas pressure to drive the BCG all the way to the rear of the rifle with all the gas escaping at the gas block?  Thing 2:  won't a cloud of hot sooty gas be expelled back toward the shooter's face, and whatever optics I've mounted?  Thing 3:  won't my hands be exposed to hot gasses being blown out of the handguard?  I really want to read a response from someone who actually has one of these.  I'm scared to shoot it with it on there.

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I do not have the handguard, but what you are describing does not sound correct and actually dangerous to fire. I would be on the phone with TWS.

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I beleive the gas tube is essentially there to guide the piston, I beleive you could fire an AK without the gas tube and it would cycle the weapon, it just probably wouldn't return to the gas chamber without the tube.

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Might look a little intense, but if my piston didn't have a full guide back to the block I wouldn't run it! That gas tube really takes up a lot of the slop in the ak design

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Might look a little intense, but if my piston didn't have a full guide back to the block I wouldn't run it! That gas tube really takes up a lot of the slop in the ak design

 

It wouldn't be a good idea, but it would work, most likely for one shot as the piston wouldn't find it's way back to the gas chamber without a gas tube.  It really wouldn't hurt amything though.

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Just read up on the installation. As Hog references, the SS replacement guide tube keeps the piston inline, and the 1/2" gap between the guide tube and front gas block is normal. I see your concerns, as they would be mine as well, but I can't comment any further without pics to see the installation.

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As already mentioned, the "gas tube" on an AK rifle really is just a piston guide. The piston gets all the energy it needs imparted by gas pressure while it is still in the gas block. That's why there are vent holes cut in the gas block in AKMs, in the gas tube on milled guns - to vent excess pressure. That short piston guide probably looks silly as hell, but it will not cause problems in operation.

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Id try to fire it. The fas tube isnt air tight so the gas would all leak around after the initial impact of gas on the piston.

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Well, I was mostly wrong about the TWS Kalashnikov handguard.  It actually works.  The weapon cycles as it should there isn't a pyroclastic cloud shot back into your face like I thought. I did notice a fine layer of black dust on the lens of my scope.  But I can't remember if it did that before or not.  I shot it at night and couldn't see any flames coming out of the gas block either. 

 

So now for my review:

The pros:  The rifle feels more balanced and lighter now.  I used to have an intrafuze tri-rail on it and the TWS has to be at least 4 oz lighter.  I put a Burris scout scope on it and ran four rounds through at 50 yards standing supported, and could cover three of the holes with a quarter.  The scope sits lower than on the old side mount I was using, so it's more comfortable to shoot.  The handguard is pretty stable and secure too.  Plus, it looks pretty badass.

 

The cons:  It is pretty tough to install, thus it will be bitch to clean the gas tube on it.  It uses hidden allen headed screws, which will make field stripping it tough.  Also, it is mounted using u shaped clamps that hold it to the barrel.  It looks like with a decently, hard blow, it could be canted to the left or right.  Especially with the bolt locked to the rear.

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Wow! $260-$300 for a hand guard set. It's great looking and all but...

Well, I would have saved the money, but I wanted a flat top rifle, so with my TWS dogleg, the two create a single plane across top of the rifle.  Right now it's at the smithy getting a Bolton Gas Block, a demon brake, and Dark Earth molyresin put on it. The smith work costed me double because the wife said if the gun gets a spa day, she gets one too. I'll post pics once I get it back.

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