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Compass Lake Engineering Service Rifle Float Tube Info Only



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Compass Lake Engineering Service Rifle Tube



The float tube is THE most important change you can make to your AR-15 based rifle to increase its accuracy. THE MOST IMPORTANT thing!  There are many float tubes available on the market. Some cost more than the CLE unit, and some cost less. They all do the same thing, isolate the barrel from the random flexure and dampening induced by the sling and handguard system. All about the same except -Ours doesn't break. Its a simple concept with complex results.  One of our customers is the USMC Service Rifle Team. A very dedicated group of gentlemen who have managed to cause 'premature failure' in almost every float tube system they tried.  They turned to CLE.  We designed the tube shown in this shot to be "Marine Proof". They are still using them as are many of the best smiths in the Service Rifle field.



We start with a heavy wall section of Chromoly Steel tubing cut to the correct length. We then machine a short slot in the muzzle end for our gas tube.  This is an important difference!  Most tubes use a much longer slot to allow for the use of the 'mil spec' gas tube.  Our research  indicated that much of the 'premature failure' was caused by flexure of the cylindrical section of the tube due to the long slot.  We instead 're-bend' a mil spec gas tubes to fit in the short slot.  We now have a much more ridged tube.  As shown in the next photo, we silver solder a re-machined mil spec handguard cap and a sling swivel clevis that we manufacture to the front of the tube.  This process along with our short slot in the heavy wall tube makes an excellent front end for a service rifle float tube. 



The job is only half done.  We next developed a unique way to attach the float tube to the upper receiver while maintaining the 'free floating' characteristics of the gas tube.  Its all got to float or we effect the accuracy of the barrel.  We designed a new barrel nut, that maintained the mil spec star configuration, so our mil spec handguards would still fit with no rotation.  Our solution was to machine a new nut with a swivel collar that will allow the installer to get the torque on the nut just right as well as to precisely align the star nut with the cruciform hole in the upper.



This shot shows what we are after, a tube that firmly supports the handguard, holds the handguards tight so they don't twist and has just a little space between it and the front sight base so the barrel 'floats'.  When you have a floating CLE barrel... well you've got something!

If you order a Service Rifle Upper from CLE, this is the float tube hidden under the mil spec hand guards. Our intent is that it will stay hidden, and that you will never give it another thought.... just concentrate on that front sight post!

  If you want to purchase just the CLE Float Tube, it is available for $120.  A pre-bent gas tube is $14.50.  Installation, $50.

A word of caution is in order here.  All this sounds simple, and it really is.  The most difficult part is the modification of the composition handguards to snugly fit on the float tubes.  What you have is a hole, made up of two semicircles in two conical, flexible parts.  You need to increase the size of that hole to a precise dimension.  If you haven't done it before, you may not get it right your first time.  We will be glad to modify your grips if you want to send them to us, or we will sent you a new set, modified and ready to go for $35.



  • Manufactured by: Compass Lake Engineering


This product was added to our catalog on Wednesday 19 October, 2016.