One of the biggest challenges facing the FS2000 enthusiast is locating various parts and accessories. With both slings and tactical hand guards discontinued for several years they are difficult to find and often commanding a significant premium. The Tactical handguard in particular is a sought after item which sell in the mid $300s when they occasionally come up for sale on Gunbroker. It’s easy to see the FS2000 ending up another FN orphan like the FNC.
Though I personally prefer the simplicity of the FN made sling there are several other options out there. For several years I have used a sling from SKT on one of my FS2000s and have been happy with it. Though I have not purchased one yet many people recommend a sling made by Urban ERT. Finally it is relatively straightforward to create your own sling adaptor using readily available components. My personal preference for donor parts are slings made by The Outdoor Connection which is a part of the Boyt Harness company.
One of the more important spares for FS2000 is the charging handle which is prone to breaking if given the “HK slap”. I have yet to break one myself but given the number of reports online it seems prudent to keep a few spares. Unfortunately Midwest Gun Works has been sold out for over a year and there is no sign that more will ever arrive. The last one I spotted on Gunbroker went for well over $100, more than double the original price. Fortunately for several years the Aerospace Resource Group has manufactured what is called the JudoChop charging handle. It’s an all aluminum which fixes the weakness of the original plastic piece. I have had one on an FS2000 for several years now and it works fine. As I haven’t actually broken an original charging handle I haven’t bothered to install them on my other rifles but it’s nice to have the option.
In my search for FS2000 handguard options I was surprised to find several 3D printed options available from Shapeways including one that is similar in design to the Monolith Arms design. Though I never saw the appeal of the quasi PS90 look for the FS2000 there are plenty of people who do. Fortunately the designer BDG offers some other options for those of us who would like to mount up some M-LOK accessories.
At first I was a little skeptical as many of the “gun parts” I found on Shapeways were actually for airsoft with little differentiation. Although there are some remarkably accurate airsoft versions of the FS2000 licensed by FN it seemed like a bit of a gamble to pay $120 for a plastic part. As my first foray into 3D printed parts I was a bit concerned about the durability, the hand guard is not a particularly stressed part it seemed like an additional gamble on a $120 plastic part though eventually I decided to just pull the trigger on it.
The description of the plastic material on Shapeways site is “strong and flexible” which it turns out to be. It fits up perfectly to the FS2000 and though I don’t fully trust it yet the part seems sufficiently strong for my purposes. The weakest link, in my estimation, would be the channel for the M-Lok hardware to mount in. If a vertical grip were mounted with just two of the T nuts I would be very concerned about it possibly ripping out. To alleviate this I chose to mount a Magpul rail section with a greater number of locking nuts to distribute the force across a larger area.
In my searching for whether the BDG printed handguard was an airsoft part I came across the licensed airsoft version of the FN Tactical handguard made by G&G. It intrigued me as it looked identical to the real thing and mounted on the airsoft version of the FS2000 in the same manner. As I was already blowing $120 on a 3D printed part I might as well drop another $120 for a hunk of Chinese metal that looks like it might work.
On arrival my impression of the G&G handguard was that it is so close to the real version that it would be difficult to tell the two apart apart from the FN logo. Upon more detailed inspection the G&G version mounting lugs are slightly thicker with the rear lugs are slightly further back and is slightly longer overall. The G&G version was very close to mounting directly up to the FS2000 however these minor dimensional differences prevent it. Anyone buying a Tactical handguard should be very careful they are buying the real deal and not the airsoft version.
Modification of the G&G handguard to fit a real FS2000 is pretty straightforward. Disassembly reveals that the hooks which hold it to the rifle are retained by the bottom rail rather than with separate screws as on the original FN version. From there I used my trusty Harbor Freight belt sander to thin them down slightly. The rear claw I sanded down shorter to adjust for it’s slightly rearward position. To open up the interior of the claw I used hand files as it’s tight and not much needs to be removed . The interior of the handguard required just a little bit of opening up with either file or belt sander. The side rails are longer than the original and it’s necessary to cut a small section out of the top rear corner to fit on the stock. Although I took some measurements at the beginning I ended up just hand fitting all the parts. If another Fs2000 enthusiast is out there with a milling machine it would be very interesting to see a run modifying a batch of these.
After ensuring the G&G handguard was fitted up I went to work with a large drill bit to remove some mass. A common complaint with the FN Tactical handguard is that it weighs a lot and the G&G version is even heavier as it lacks any lightening holes. I have never drilled my FN handguards but as this wasn’t an original part and had already been modified just to fit I didn’t mind. The final touch was to hit the bare metal surfaces with some black paint and put it all together.
Although the G&G handguard requires some work to be used with an FS2000 it is, in my estimation, one of the best options out there for anyone who has been wanting a Tactical handguard and has been unable to find one. The aluminum construction seems very sturdy, it’s definitely not a pot metal part, and I would compare it favorably with the real FN version. Although I like the light weight of the BDG printed plastic handguard I’m not ready to trust it like I do an aluminum part. As it seems unlikely that FN will ever be making more Tactical handguards the idea of modifying a $120 G&G version seems very appealing compared to waiting for months or years for a real one to show up on Gunbroker and then getting in a bidding war for it.
For this FS2000 I fit up a Hera Arms CQR front grip that I bought on a recent trip to California. I had never heard of Hera or their CQR grip or stock before and my impression is that it was intended as a compliance item for California buyers who couldn’t have a normal vertical grip. I don’t have to worry about that issue but the design immediately struck me as being very similar to the grip angle of the FS2000 and I wanted to try it out. The construction is very sturdy and when it was just a little too long to fit correctly I didn’t think twice about grinding some plastic off the rear. Although it makes the FS2000 look fairly large it feels perfect and may end up being my ergonomically favorite configuration.