The evolution of the assault rifle grip began not long ago when shooters realized they no longer fired their weapons using stances developed in the 1960′s. Back in the day, armorless shooters were taught to use the bladed stance and a high elbow. But today, body armor and enhanced understanding of body mechanics during shooting and weapon manipulation has lead to changes in how a rifle is shouldered. Emerging doctrine now teaches us to shoot with shoulders squared up to the target and elbows tucked in for stability–and to keep from getting shot in the arm.
To accommodate the updated stance, gripmakers have changed the angle the grip sits at on the rifle’s base. Looking at a rifle from the side, you’ll see the bottom, leading edge of the newer grip is further forward. Reducing the grip angle allows shooters a straighter wrist which translates into better trigger control, more recoil control and a stronger grip for weapon manipulation.
Look at the range of grips offered today and you’ll see the evolution is underway, with a range of choices that accommodate AR shooters with large, average and small hands shooting from bladed or updated stances. The grip is the most intimate gripping surface of the rifle and has spawned a huge breadth of options to serve the comfort and efficiency interests of all shooters.
GearScout went to great lengths to photograph all the grips shown below to scale and align them all in the frame so you can compare each grip from two views to get an idea how they all differ. Details on the grips and links are available after the break.
A2 Style Grip by DS Arms
The USGI A2 style grip took the flat A1 grip and added the finger groove up top and ditched the sling mount at the grip’s base. The knurling and ergonomics are all the same as the original. Grip angle suits a more bladed shooting stance. $4 Colors: BLK.
Bravo Company Manufacturing Gunfighter’s Grip MOD0
Both BCM Gunfighter’s Grips have reduced angle grip to optimize fire control ergonomics when employing modern weapons manipulation techniques. Trap door storage compartment, the MOD 0 features a slim design, similar in size to the A2 pistol grip. The smooth insert is shown above, and the extended insert is shown below. $35 Colors: BLK, FDE, FOL.
Bravo Company Manufacturing Gunfighter’s Grip MOD1
The BCM MOD1 uses the same reduced grip angle as the MOD0, but has a high rise back strap for a higher grip or for use with larger hands. Both BCM GFGs come with two modular trigger guard inserts that close the gap between the trigger guard and grip. The smooth insert is shown above, and the extended insert is shown below. $35 Colors: BLK, FDE, FOL.
Ergo AR Grip #4005
Rubber overmolded “Suregrip” surface feels soft, but firm almost like a pencil eraser. Ambidextrous with highrise backstrap and slight stippling, the grip follows the A2 angle, but offers far better traction and comfort. Includes the Ergo Gapper to fill the gap between the grip and trigger guard present on some rifles and a plug to seal the hollow grip. Also comes in a non-rubberized surface (#4015). $27 Colors: BLK, FDE, ODG.
Ergo Tactical Deluxe AR Grip #4045
Same overmolded surface texture as the original Ergo grip, but with a much wider and more substantial feel. $41 Colors: BLK, FDE, ODG. www.ergogripsusa.com
Ergo2 AR Grip #4010
Same shape as original $4005 Ergo, but with a redesigned riser that fits both AR15 and AR10 pattern lower receivers without a need for spacer inserts. $30 BLK, FDE, ODG. www.ergogripsusa.com
Light, textured, overmolded. Uses the A2 angles while offering modest finger grooves and palm swells. Fits AR15 pattern rifles. $22 Colors: BLK.
Larue Tactical A-PEG Grip LT750-SM
Available in two sizes; regular for 5.56 receivers, shown, and extended for 7.62 receivers. Features subtle swells that fill the hand without feeling like finger shelves and staying ambidextrous. The front flat makes the grip feel more structured and substantial. Also choose regular (shown) or rough texture. Fits and AR15 rifle. $28 Colors: BLK, FDE, FOL, ODG, UDE.
The MIssion ADaptable Grip is a offers three interchangeable rear straps to accommodate all hand sizes and two front straps; A2-style and A1 (no finger shelf) style. Solid feeling despite its modularity, the MIAD offers lots of options including choice of optional core storage modules. All the backstraps are shown below. $36 Colors: BLK, FDE, FOL, ODG.
Conventional grip angle with reinforced polymer body construction uses comfortable, wrap-around rubber overmolding for weapon control in grip-challenging environments. This medium sized grip features soft serrations in the front and back and a hard-polymer bottom edge. Comes with a basic grip cap and will accept optional Magpul storage cores. $24 Colors: BLK, FDE, FOL, ODG. store.
Provides a low profile, compact design and steeper grip angle compared to more traditional styles. Works well on smaller Personal Defense Weapon AR15 configurations, the slim profile also makes it an excellent choice for shooters who prefer a smaller grip circumference. $20 Colors: BLK, FDE, FOL, ODG.
Sierra Precision SPR Riflegrip
The SPR offers right-handed shooters a large grip with a thumb shelve and ergonomic finger groove. Great for the benchrest shooter. Made of glass filled polypropylene with a slightly textured finish. $27 Colors: BLK
Stark Equipment SE-1 AR-15 Pistol Grip
Replaces trigger guard. Working on a non-trigger guard version.
More raked angle for upright, non-bladed stance. Polymer constructions is solid with slightly tacky, overmolded feel without the squishiness. Rounded shape is comfortable for average hand while highrise backstrap offers improved leverage. Replaces stock trigger guard with oversized integral trigger guard. Stark is working on a non-integral version. Grip plug holds a pair of CR123s, or AAs. SE-2 versions include hook mount or QD swivel mount. $40 Colors: BLK, FDE, ODG, Digital Desert camo.
Stark Equipment SE-2 AR-15 Sling Grips
Stark has introduced the first AR-15 pistol grip to integrate an ambidextrous sling mount. The SE-2 is available in two versions. The Hook Mount (above) provides a loop compatible with most common sling hooks; The Swivel Mount, below, allows the attachment of push-button sling swivels. The SE-2′s sling mount is located above the hand and below the buffer tube, with a low profile design that stays out of the way of even fully collapsed M4-style stocks. When added to AR pistols, the SE-2 provides excellent one-handed control while providing sling attachment that doesn’t clutter up the receiver extension. $50 Colors: BLK, FDE, ODG, Digital Desert camo.
Strike Industries PTG-CQB
Sets your hand close to the receiver and keeps your arm and shoulder tight and comfortable. The short, structured grip feels good in an average sized hand and would make a good choice for a PDW. Features the American stars and stripes. Fits all AR15 and AR10 pattern rifles. $21 Colors: BLK, FDE, and ODG. strikeindustries.com
Strike Industries PTG-PRO
The PRO grip features a highrise backstrap and a storage compartment that seals with a hinge and lock instead of rubber and plastic caps that fall out. Fits all AR15 and AR10 pattern rifles. $21 Colors: BLK, FDE, and ODG. strikeindustries.com
Tango Down BattleGrip B16
The BG-16 fits all AR-15 and AR-10 series rifles and clones. The grip angle is the same as the A2 grip, but has a little more meat on the backstrap and more surface stippling. It includes sealed battery storage tubes, foam spacers, stainless steel hex-head bolt, wrench. $36 Colors: BLK, FDE, FOL.
Tango Down BattleGrip B17
Same features as B16, but in a larger format. Works with any rifle configured to take a standard AR-15 grip. Has an unstructured storage compartment. $38 Colors: BLK, FDE, FOL.
Troy Battle Ax CQB
Small and thin. For small hands or small guns; or both. Fits AR15 patterns and FN Scar rifles. $20 Colors: BLK, FDE, ODG, TAN.
Troy Enhanced Battle Ax CQB
Increased angle for modern AR operation and shortened length for working in close quarters. Aggressive scale pattern keeps the shooter’s hand in place. Fits AR15 patterns and FN Scar rifles. $20 Colors: BLK, FDE, ODG, TAN. troyind.com/plastics/pistol-grips
Viking Tactics VTAC-Erized M4 Grip
The most aggressive grip surface of any grip here. Resin/epoxy surfaced grip emulates grip angle of A2 and removes finger grooves. Will also remove skin and paint from vehicles if improperly employed. $45 Colors: BLK.