Brigand Blade: The Lightest AR Handguard in the World! – SHOT Show 2017

The Brigand Blade.

To learn more, visit the Brigand Arms website.


The design concept is built on a platform of braided carbon tube.

At SHOT Show 2017, I ran into the folks from Brigand Arms, and yes that is Brigand (brig-uh nd) n. –  A renegade or outlaw; member of a well-armed band. They were a happy band because they have changed the game in lightweight AR forearms.

The BA handguard concept is built on a platform of braided carbon tube; technically called ‘Open-Architecture Composite Structure’ or O-ACS for short. The O-ACS geometry is computer designed T700 carbon braided composite yarns in a lattice to minimizes weight and maximize stiffness and strength.

It is then shrouded within a protective jacket. This jacket prevents cracking, splinters while also ensuring all-weather durability and abrasion resistance. Solid metal end-caps provide rock-solid mounting on the receiver and protection from impact on the forend.

They make their own barrel nut and jamb nut from 7075 Aluminum and Chromalloy steel. It weighs a total of 1.4 oz.

The result of all this engineering is a super lightwieght but strong handguard. To make its point, the folks at Brigand hung a 40-pound dumbbell from the end of BA handguard.  The even swung it around to demonstrate its toughness.  There were ino signs of bending!

40-pound dumbell helps to iterate the point that this is indeed a durable forend.

The Blade can withstand the heat of sustained fire, partly because it rejects barrel heat faster than most handguards. The open-architecture guard will warm up to operating temperature faster. However, under sustained firing the barrel will be cooler and the handguard will cool faster after firing than with any enclosed guard. This improves barrel life and decreases heat signature duration.


Specs and Pricing for the AR version.

  • All weights below are the TOTAL INSTALLED WEIGHT. It includes both the weight of the handguard + barrel nut + jam nut.
  • Lengths: Measured from tip of end cap to end of jam nut (i.e. fully installed length).
  • Angle offset is 60 degrees from the axis of the tube
  • The top side is 1.15″ shorter than the longer side

Not only is it light and tough, but it looks cool as well.


The Blade is a really intriguing development in handguard realm of the AR.  I look forward to the possibility of getting one in for review.

“Light.” Might be an understatement.

Price and Availability

You can purchase a Brigand Blade now by visiting the website.  Prices are listed above and vary based on the length handguard you choose.

{ 12 comments… add one }
  • mcFoo March 10, 2017, 9:51 am

    Really?? I absolutely draw the line at putting a fishnet panty on my rifle. no way.
    What would you use to hold weapon accessories to the rail- nipple clamps?

  • Will Drider March 4, 2017, 1:14 pm

    Having more then my share of time in shit storms, there is always something trying to snag your gear. Obviously this impedes your actions. If it slows or stops you from getting your weapon on the threat(s): it can kill you! It is a Snag magnet on the thing you need to be free moving at all times.

    For the Tacticoolies I guess you can use zip ties to add you 3lbs accessories to the front end. Might need some JB Weld to hold that front backup iron sight at Zero.

  • Kurt March 4, 2017, 3:32 am

    Just what I wanted, a wicker basket with little functionality for my rifle. These guys are going to take a serious bath on this idea.

  • Arewegreatyet March 3, 2017, 10:34 pm

    Looks like an old fashioned waste paper basket.

  • Pat J March 3, 2017, 7:26 pm

    Looks like a deer guard for a sapling, guess you get to see your barrel better through it.

  • robert March 3, 2017, 6:10 pm

    Well, to prove a point, fine but in reality NOT…
    No one is really going to put this thing on their AR.
    I would use a thin carbon fiber tube, that would be almost as light but this thing is just BUTT UGLY.

    • Kurt March 4, 2017, 3:25 am

      I agree. Looks like a damn wicker basket. I wouldn’t buy it if it was practical.

  • richard sharpe March 3, 2017, 3:39 pm

    may be fine for the range, but doubt it would do the troops any good.

  • Mike Watkins March 3, 2017, 2:11 pm

    The latest new thing for the guys who always have to have the latest new thing. And who have fat wallets.

    This is how to get rich: create something that will be regarded as much better and different, be sure to price it high enough to make it unaffordable to the commoners.

    I salute the makers of this hand guard.

  • Noel P. March 3, 2017, 1:33 pm

    All other things aside this makes for a very ugly gun. It may be ultra light and very strong but unless you plan just to use you ultra custom AR on sidewalks and in enclosed areas this weapon so equipped will not withstand the gore of necessary use. To clean out mud and other debris you would basically have to disassemble the the hand guard to adequately clean it and God help the gas block.
    Being that I am a primitive party from a time before most of today’s writers we used to want handguards that kept the dirt out and would allow our small arms to be useful in any conditions on any terrain. The Springfield 03, the MI and the M14 (MIA) all did just that. Even the pitiful early m16 and M16AI managed fairly well once the ammunition issues were straightened out and troops were taught to carefully clean and if necessary disassemble their weapons without the need of most tools.

    I remember the story about the Luger; beautiful weapon perfect point and a fine sidearm so long as you never left the city sidewalks. The Bkade fits in that same category; wonderful barrel cooling, unique architecture, light weight and something to grab onto without flame broiling your hand so long as you stay on the sidewalk. Not every accessory made or thought up for any system is actually practical or the end all of must have expensive additions.

  • Kalashmikov Dude March 3, 2017, 10:57 am

    I have a lighter handguard for my AR than this one. Its even more functional. Hell, it weighs in at minus. I tied a helium filled balloon to the end of the barrel. Three of em actually holds the gun for me eliminating any transfer of heat to my hands. Im only asking an even $1000 each for these balloons. Of course the strings will be made available at an extra cost. OK, I guess you must realize by now just how fucking ridiculous this is. Right?

  • Rob March 3, 2017, 2:48 am

    For a hand guard that uses minimal material, you would think the prices would be a little bit lower… Oh, well. I think I prefer something that I can easily attach accessories to, anyway.

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