A while back I tried out the Strike Industries Lightweight Forward Assist. And it didn’t work out for me, in short, because I’m left-handed. So I picked up the Strike Industries AR Hex Forward Assist to see if that would be a better fit for me.
...And it did work better for me.
More details later about why this forward assist worked better for me.
For now, I’ll dig into why you might use this forward assist over the stock mil-spec forward assist.
Strike Industries AR Hex Forward Assist Review: It Sits There and Looks Cool
If we’re being honest with ourselves, nobody has actually used a forward assist since 1989 (exaggeration).
The forward assist just sits there for 99.99% of the time. And looking cool matters. So your forward assist may as well look cool. That way it does something for you while you’re never using it.
Let’s talk about how the Hex forward assist does that for you.
The Hex forward assist isn’t quite as aesthetically aggressive as many other Strike Industries components. But it looks cooler than the mil-spec design. And it pairs well with enhanced upper receivers like the Aero Precision M4E1.
However, the hex pattern is mellow enough that it doesn’t look out of place if you put this forward assist on a bone stock AR-15. It’s an aesthetic upgrade on just about any AR-15.
Also, the finish is really nice. I’m not sure exactly what sort of finish Strike Industries uses on this forward assist. But it looks like it might be a melonite/QPQ finish.
Either way, the finish is deep black and smooth. The finish is more attractive than many mil-spec forward assists I’ve seen.
Design and Operation
In terms of function, this is just a standard forward assist. If you need to press on it, you probably won’t even notice the difference between the Hex forward assist and a mil-spec forward assist.
Even the piece that interfaces with your bolt carrier group is machined from the same tool steel you’d find on a standard forward assist.
This forward assist even has almost the same dimensions as a mil-spec forward assist. And this is what made the Hex forward assist a better option for me than the Strike Industries Lightweight Forward Assist.
The lightweight model is slightly more flared than a mil-spec forward assist. And that was an issue for me when I ran my charging handle, because my knuckle would hit the lightweight forward assist.
However, I didn’t have this issue with the AR Hex forward assist. It’s about the same diameter as a mil-spec forward assist. So my knuckle never catches on the Hex forward assist. That makes this forward assist a better option than the lightweight forward assist, for me.
Ultimately, this forward assist works just the same as a mil-spec forward assist. And it works just fine for everyone, including left-handers.
There’s not a whole lot to say about the construction of a forward assist. But the AR Hex forward assist is built almost the same as a mil-spec forward assist.
The only difference might be that the Hex forward assist has a head that’s machined from carbon steel. I’m not sure exactly what type of steel a mil-spec forward assist is made of. But it may not be carbon steel.
Either way, the Hex forward assist won’t be some sort of durability or reliability issue on your rifle.
Do You Need Assistance?
Assistance from your forward assist? Probably not.
But the Strike Industries AR Hex Forward Assist looks cool. That way it works for you when you’re not using it, which will most likely be almost all the time.
And, if you’re left-handed, this forward assist won’t bash your knuckle when you run your charging handle.
Ultimately, if you’re looking for a forward assist that will upgrade the looks of your rifle without affecting the function, this is the one to get.