TWS HandGuard Gen-3 Short Top AK-47/74
Comparison of Gen-2 to Gen-3
The latest generation of the TWS product line offers greater levels of functionality, modularity, and durability. Chief among the new features is the quick detach front hinge utilizing a robust takedown pin. A recent development for AK operators is the increasing popularity of 1-4 variable power scopes. These longer scopes typically limit the ability of a hinged top cover to fully open without the front of the scope pivoting down to contact the hand guard. Until now this problem required the use of heavy and expensive quick detach scope mounts. The new Gen-3 Dog Leg™ rail top cover simply comes off with the scope attached by just pressing out the takedown pin.
The general construction of the Gen-3 is slightly heavier with the wall thickness increased from .060" to .100". The weight difference is quite small, however, as the cover is aluminum and it was very light to start with. The difference in feel is substantial. The Gen-3 somewhat looks and feels like a tank. In fact, it makes the receiver look rather puny by comparison.
Another difference is the slightly taller rail height (+.090"). In the older Gen-2 we took great pains to make the rail absolutely as low as possible to make the best co-witness with micro dot sights. The top cover was practically shrink wrapped around the bolt carrier. That focus on low height made it so we had to compress the shape under the sides of the rail surface. As a result, not all throw lever type quick detach mounts would work. Some fit such as A.R.M.S., Brobo Engineering, some ADM and Larue, etc. Mounts that didn't fit were some Larue models, some ADM, and others... It was a mixed bag. Also, the Gen-2 top cover and hand guard were designed about two years apart so there were engineering compromises we were never fully satisfied with.
The new Gen-3 system from the beginning was a clean sheet design that developed both the top cover and hand guard together. That way the integration is 100%. We were able to apply all the lessons learned from the Gen-2. The slightly taller height, however, does sacrifice the co-witness from a 1/3 to a 1/4 with micro dot sights. That small sacrifice means now all throw lever mounts will work.
The new Gen 3 hand guard did get many more upgrades over the older Gen-2. We now have more space available under the upper to compensate for a misaligned gas block and guide tube. Other differences include semi-floated design, M-Lok side rail compatible, retention of the cleaning rod and bayonet, and more ventilation for cooler running.