If you have never heard of Magpul then I can’t help you. Magpul is one of, if not THE leader in polymer products for the AR platform as well as many other accessories. From stocks to grips, rail covers, sights and slings, and let us not forget the PMAG either.

Of all the things that Magpul makes, Magpul Original Equipment (get it, MOE) is an entire line of furniture and accessories for your new or old AR. It is high-strength, low cost, and comes in a wide array of colors (even pink). Well, this isn’t really a new product but it is one we have gotten mixed feedback about, so we set out to try it ourselves.

I have always had and enjoyed using longer rail systems. Carbine length is not something I have ever really enjoyed or practiced with so this was an interesting change of pace for me. I literally built a carbine length system around the M.O.E. just to fully commit to the system and not just the product. Most out of the box, plastic hand guard, carbine length rifle systems I have tried were either too bulky or cheap feeling. The M.O.E. is a nice hybrid of two worlds. It is thinner than the factory carbine cover and lighter than most quad rail options all while feeling superiorly sturdier.

The M.O.E. utilizes an almost “tapered” design instead of a big round oval or circle. Plenty of room for gas or piston with straight angles at the 10 and 2 positions. This is a welcome deviation from the 9 and 3 positions found on most quad rails. The rail is cut with multiple “slots” for mounting points for the variety of M.O.E. accessories. Whether you need standard 1913 picatinny rail segments available in 5, 7, 9 and 11 slot parts, light mounts and sling adapters, there is a combination and solution for everyone. Recently I even saw on Instagram a way to utilize a GoPro mount with the M.O.E. slots and screws. Very modular and adaptive. All this while still utilizing the delta ring makes customization an easy process to add and remove items without dealing with a dozen mounting set screws or proprietary mounting situations.

I have run this hand guard in temperatures from 80ºf to 20ºf as well as fired slow strings and multiple mag dumps. Granted, I wear gloves when I am at the range, but that has no bearing. This thing stayed at the most, warm to touch even as smoke poured out of the open ports on the top of the guard. The M.O.E. has a built in heat shield that has been tested and put through the test with several other blogs and has proven it can take the beating with ease. Also notable is the fact that there was no warping, cracking, discoloration under any of these conditions and still looks pretty damn good. I am actually a little disappointed that my M.O.E. doesn’t have any “character” marks yet. These photos were shot after using it for 2,000+ rounds, in the dirt, dragged and banged around. All I did was wipe them with some Hoppes and a microfiber cloth.

This hand guard has definitely changed many opinions I have had in the past. I trust polymer a lot more now than I ever did. I can understand why many manufacturers are starting to offer M.O.E. packages on their rifles and most of all, I now know you don’t have to spend $200-$800 on a rail system. At under $30, the hand guard is a fantastic upgrade for anyone whether it’s a brand new AR or an old warhorse in need of a facelift that does more than look pretty. Plus, with polymer there are so many options for colors to accent or enhance your new DuraCoat, Cerakote, Hydro-Dip or whatever you choose to do with your AR. So don’t let the price tag or the popularity fool you. The M.O.E. system is not some cheap alternative, it is a great product with many options at an affordable price. Now if I can only convince them to make a M.O.E. A.F.G…