Vertical Foregrips

AR-15 Vertical Foregrips Frequent Asked Questions

Vertical foregrips are an accessory grip for rifles, providing additional leverage at the front of the rifle for recoil control. Vertical foregrips are versatile and come in countless sizes and configurations. From the old SOPMOD broomstick to the modern stubby, vertical grips are as diverse as they are practical, but the principle is always the same: reduce recoil by improving the shooter’s rearward leverage. You can brace a vertical foregrip against a surface or barricade to reduce recoil. While it will not be as precise as a bipod, bracing your rifle against cover can make a big difference, stabilizing your crosshairs on target for repeated accurate shots.

When a shooter grips a bare handguard, they use the friction between their hand and the handguard to pull the rifle into their shoulder. By adding a foregrip perpendicular to the bore, the shooter can apply direct pressure and stabilize the rifle with greater efficiency. The result is a reduced perceived recoil and a faster return-to-target, but early foregrip technique had a few problems.

When the SOPMOD program added a full-size vertical foregrip to the M4A1, many soldiers clutched the grip with a balled fist. This technique can feel comfortable at first, but it instills some glaring problems for precision shooting. First, it pushes the support hand further from the muzzle, making it harder for shooters to recover from recoil when firing unsupported. Second, the shooter’s wrist is more susceptible to torque, so the subtle side-to-side recoil intensifies. Last, it required larger, heavier grips to provide real-estate for an entire hand.

After some experimentation, many soldiers gravitated towards thumb-break technique, which sets four fingers on the grip and the thumb against the handguard. This is a significant improvement over the full-fist grip and improves muzzle control, but current practice has gone one step further. A split grip, angled between the grip and handguard, provides the most leverage for the marksmen, applying both vertical and horizontal stability.

There are many high-quality vertical foregrips on the market. To find the best fit for your rifle, consider the design features of each grip as it relates to your rifle’s intended purpose.

Hand position is critical to a foregrip’s performance. By angling the support hand between the handguard and foregrip, marksmen achieve greater stability without sacrificing muzzle control. This technique contributed to the recent popularity of stubby grips, such as Magpul’s MVG, which are now the most popular option on the market. Bravo Company offers vertical foregrips with a slight angle for added comfort, but some users flipped them around, claiming that it reduces muzzle rise.

Some vertical grips add benefits beyond size and angle. Tango Down’s vertical foregrips have waterproof storage built into the bottom, so you can keep batteries, matches, or lubricant onboard. Going a step beyond storage, Grip-Pods add a pair of bipod legs into the bottom of the vertical grip, so marksmen can deploy them for enhanced support while prone.

Angled foregrips are a newer grip style, blending the leverage of a vertical grip with a shallower angle for reduced profile.

When used correctly, angled foregrips and vertical foregrips share a similar grip angle. The difference is that angled grips contour to the hand, while vertical grips have an aggressive 90-degree stop. This makes angled grips more intuitive, as there are very few wrong ways to hold it.

Angled grips aren’t as good for bracing against cover, as any slip will cause your rifle to slide right over the barricade. You also won’t find any onboard storage options, but that may not matter depending on your setup.

All-in-all, angled foregrips provide a worthy alternative to the traditional vertical grip, especially for those who prefer the ergonomics and reduced weight.

Like vertical grips, angled grips come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and designs. To find the best angled grip for your rifle, you’ll want to consider your application and personal preferences.

The most popular form of angled foregrip is the Magpul AFG—a basic polymer angled foregrip with plenty of contact points to improve the user’s control when shooting. These grips are lightweight, durable, and affordable, which is why they have become the baseline for all angled foregrips. If you’re looking for a good introductory grip without spending much money, the Magpul AFG is hard to beat.

Minimalist angled foregrips like the Seekins Precision K20 Angled Foregrip offer a more simplified alternative, if you’re looking for something with a little less bulk. You won’t have as many contact points as the AFG, but your grip space will feel more compact.

Hand stops are the latest craze in the shooting world, and it’s easy to see why. They work great with a C-Clamp grip, so shooters get great muzzle control while retaining their additional point of contact for added rearward support.

Given their simplicity, it’s hard to describe handstops beyond the obvious. If you normally shoot without a foregrip, a handstop will feel very natural, so little practice for effective use.

You can grip the rifle as normal and pull it tight to your shoulder pocket. The hand stop will act as a very subtle contact point at the edge of your hand to prevent you from slipping backward.

This simplicity is also the hand stop’s primary weakness. On a short-barreled rifle, a vertical grip or angled grip will change your grip and move your thumb up and back. This makes it easier to access your flashlight or IR equipment, which take up a lot of space on the rail.

Also, just like angled grips, handstops do not have any room for storage and can slip off certain surfaces if used for bracing.

The best handstop is the one that matches your preferences and rail attachment system. Many hand stops are designed for M-LOK, which gives the lowest profile, but there are plenty of options for both KeyMod and Picatinny Rail as well.

One of the most popular handstops is the BCM KAG. The BCM KAG blurs the line between angled grips and handstops, providing a very slight incline into a very effective hook. The result is a comfortable hold that points naturally with negligible added weight.

For a more traditional, low-profile hand stop, consider options like the Arisaka Defense Finger Stop, the Magpul XTM handstop, and the Slate Black Industries Slate Stop. These are all very basic, pragmatic designs that will improve your rearward leverage and reduce muzzle climb.

Every grip has a time and a place where it shines, and preference tends to dictate much of the choice.

Some AR-15 owners value the utility of a vertical foregrip, while others prefer the comfort of an angled grip. Some folks just want a little more leverage, so they get a handstop and call it a day. If you know what you shoot best with, stick to the proven option.

Ultimately, there is no right choice in every situation. You should experiment with the options to find the one that best matches your desired application. The best approach is to think hard about your shooting style and needs, then seek out a well-reviewed, industry-proven foregrip of choice. If you have friends with different foregrips, ask to try out their setup. Who knows what you might learn!

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to send us a message at info@primaryarms.com or call us at 713-344-9600.

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