Grip Techniques on an AR-15

26th Oct 2020

Accurate shooting with an AR-15 starts with the fundamentals. Your gear, attachments, ammunition, optics and everything else are important, but all secondary to the way you hold your weapon. A good grip is essential to control where you place your rounds, and your forward hand plays a vital role — naturally leading to the question of where to put yours. Rather than a single correct answer, choosing the right grip technique for an AR-15 comes down to finding the one that works best for you.


Your forward hand needs to provide you with a stable shooting platform if you want to put consecutive rounds into tight groups. If you look around the range, you might see shooters using several different grip techniques to get there, including C-Clamp grips, magwell-hold grips and aftermarket foregrip attachments.

While some shooters get a little passionate about one grip or another, all three work toward achieving the same goal. They are also all adaptable for right and left-handed shooters. In the correct application and with a little bit of practice, you can become proficient with any of the primary grip techniques on an AR-15.


The C-Clamp grip technique comes from the competitive shooting community. This popular style aims to reduce recoil and muzzle rise while keeping an unobstructed sight picture. This grip also helps you make quick transitions between targets.

c-clamp AR-15 grip technique

To get into a C-Clamp grip, extend your support arm down the length of your handguard. Place your hand underneath the guard with your palm facing up and point your index finger toward the barrel's end, without touching the barrel. Thumb placement is a matter of preference. You can place your thump alongside your palm or wrap it around the top of your rifle. This style of grip works well both with and without a vertical or angled foregrip.


Gripping an AR-15 by the magwell is a classic technique. Of the three, a magwell hold can be the most comfortable. This position puts your arms in close to your body, letting you rest the weight of the rifle against your torso to reduce fatigue. This position provides limited recoil management and is best for engaging targets at short range.

magwell hold AR-15 grip technique

Getting into a magwell-hold grip technique is easy. Bring your support hand up underneath the junction of your handguard and upper receiver. Next, clamp your magazine well with your fingers on one side and thumb on the other. If you want added comfort and even more stability, you can install an aftermarket magwell grip attachment.


Foregrips attach to AR-15s equipped with rail handguards. These grips help you pull the gun in closer to your shoulder to absorb recoil. They also offer high mobility and excellent field of view from virtually any shooting position. 

AR-15 foregrip hold technique

Two styles of foregrips are available:

  • Vertical foregrips: A vertical AR-15 foregrip comes straight down from the handguards and is easy to pull into your body.
  • Angled grips: Angled grips come in varying angles under 90 degrees, bringing your hand closer for more surface contact.


At Wing Tactical, we have the parts and accessories you need to set your AR-15 up however you want. Our staff knows these rifles inside and out and can point you toward the right products to meet your needs. Contact us online today for expert assistance.

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