Upgrade your Styer AUG with this slim yet modern Handguard!

The Steyr AUG: a rifle that‘s futuristic, yet retro. Loved and hated for it‘s choices in design, instantly recognizable from movies and games. A true working horse of a rifle that performs in basically any condition!

Never the less, a uncomfortable fact about the original Steyr AUG variants is, for endusers they‘re not the most modular rifles out there. 

They required specialized accessories that are only suited for certain model variants and not interchangable with other weapon platforms. 

But so did alot of guns that got designed in the late 70s.

ClawGear AUG Handguard

Clawgear did a great job when facing this problem and came up with a simple, yet effective solution to modernize basically any .223 Steyr AUG variant. Suited for the early A1 from the 70s up to the latest A3 models.

Of course there are other solutions from different companies as well, but the clawgear handguard was one of the first aftermarked options that offered a true handguard, not just a bottom rail.

ClawGear AUG Handguard

The handguard is 14cm long on the bottom and about 5cm in with and hight. the front is slightly canted and therefore the upper mounting slots slightly pushed to the rear.

It‘s almost, but not truely octagonal because of the AUGs gas system construction.

During production it is milled from a solid piece of aluminium and hard anodized (Mil-8625-F type III, class II). It comes with mlok or keymod slots for mounting various items on the 06/07:30/09/10:30 o’clock positions and one at the 1:30 o’clock position. 

So the gas system basically takes up some slots. On the top we also lack mounting slots due to the proximity to the barrel i assume. A integrated picatinny rail might have been suitable there, but a 45° mount that is available from clawgear also does the trick. Another item they offer is a heatshield for the gas plug, i personally do not use this as i want to keep my gas plug accessible so i can switch between suppressed mode and regular gas setting. If you don’t need to access the gasplug, you may install the heatshield as the plug itself can get quite hot.

ClawGear AUG Handguard

Mounting the handguard is quite easy and can be done with simple tools and in basically no time.

It clamps onto the gas piston housing and is pinned in place where the folding grip mounts.

Clawgear provides a video with all the instructions that you can follow along quite easy. I mounted and removed it a couple of times with my multitools and the included allan key on the fly in barracks, so you can definitly do it in a workshop with proper tools. I always used the original pin of the folding grip with the handguard, so the included rollpin isn‘t neccesary. This little trick helps if you have to remove it from time to time (maybe due to inspection in the armory)

ClawGear AUG Handguard

The Handguard requires you to install a different Top Rail if you want to use it with the A3 model without any modification if the parts itself.

The Clawgear Toprail also features an integrated QD mount as well as more picatinny slots while saving some overall weight.

So lets get to some more practical experiences: A question i encouter often is if the handguard gets hot.

Well yea it will get hot after some quick magdumps. But honestly, it‘s not nearly as hot compared to the naked AUG gas block, and i touched that thing way too often by accident.

I‘ve also seen guns that heat up more on their handguard design. Even some ARs get very hot around the gas block. So I reccomend to wear some gloves in general and if you don’t dump magazine after magazine your hands will be fine. 

ClawGear AUG Handguard

Now an aspect that might give you some troubles: it you have the 16″ AUG you might have some issues mounting certain muzzle devices as the barrel does not protrude very far out of the handguard.

I had to get a thread adaptor to extend the barrel about 1cm so I could mount an ASE Utra Hiper flashhider.

So lets come to a conclusion.

The handguard will provide enough surface to manhandle the AUG while holding all the accessories you need: lasers, lamps and grips.

The barrel QD function is not influenced as some other handguards do, installation can be done on most military and police issued AUG variants across the world without any change to the rifle, you could even keep the OEM folding grip with it.

It will heat up a little bit but not as bad as the gas system itself, so you wont burn your hands by accident like you could and probably certaunly did on the standart AUG.

Depending on your muzzle choice it might get a bit tricky but thats a trade off you need to pay.

ClawGear AUG Handguard

Got your interest? That’s why we wrote up this article. Head over tho the ClawGear website and find out more. Any questions? Drop them in the comment section below, we would love to hear them. Cheers and thanks for reading this article.

Grab yours >> www.clawgear.com/Handschutz

Special thanks to our friend THATGEARADDICT for writing up that review for AMNB.

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