What Is the Purpose of a Foregrip
Over a century ago, the simple foregrip had but one purpose to fulfill, control. You see, when World War One reared its ugly head in Europe, the handheld machine gun was brought into common Military use. Thus, the need to control the weapon when firing fully automatic became an issue, because they do tend to get away from you. Some engineering wizard attached a simple wooden post onto the forearm and all-of-a-sudden the tactical foregrip was born, that solved the problem. This crude foregrip allowed the user to keep downward pressure on the front of the gun, and maintain control of the barrel.
This initial purpose yielded additional benefits. Using this tool kept your hand further away from the barrel, and thus heat generated from rapid firing. Furthermore, this tactical foregrip established a static anchor point which added to a shooters consistency. From these humble beginnings, the once simple tactical foregrip has evolved into multiple uses. Some shooters think of the AR-15 foregrip as a luxury, while others view theirs as a necessity. Depending on your point of view, both are right.
You Must Obey
As with nearly anything in today's world involving firearms, they are watching you! I strongly urge you do not put any AR-15 front grip on your weapon until you first, not only know but understand your state laws. We want you to be a shooter, not an accidental felon. The particular style of AR foregrip you will want depends upon several factors. Some of which are the length of your gun, how much it weighs, your physical size, and ultimately your own preference. Throughout the following text, we will explore the possibilities.
Designs of The Tactical Foregrip
There are three primary styles of the AR-15 foregrip. While varying in appearance and function they generally attach to the underside of the barrel shroud.
- Vertical Forward Grip: An AR-15 front grip that presents itself in a 90-degree position to the weapon.
- Angled Forward Grip: This AR foregrip provides a contact surface for weapon control that is less than 90-degrees but can vary by design and manufacturer.
- Handstop: The smallest AR forward grip available, usually a mere protuberance.
AR-15 Vertical Grip (VFG)
The vertical foregrip is the pioneer of the three we will consider. In its basic form, the AR-15 vertical grip is simply a round extension attached to the bottom of the weapons’ handguard, giving you something to hang onto. They are particularly suited to controlling barrel climb during automatic fire. The AR-15 vertical grip yields the best results when one wants to avoid the excessive heat a barrel emits during high rates of fire. Additionally, a vertical foregrip tends to make extended periods of carrying more comfortable, such as on patrol. Many find the natural position of their forward hand on the AR-15 vertical grip results in less muscle fatigue over time. Shooters who have sustained an injury, and live with pain may find the vertical foregrip more comfortable, even for short-time use. Certainly, nerve damage or arthritis could be an issue considering the angle one must attain using an AR-15 angled foregrip or handstop.
Many Options Available
The AR-15 vertical grip is often found featuring a compartment in which to carry small items such as spare batteries or a firing pin. From a tactical view, this AR forward grip could be an advantage, for at times spare parts can be hard to come by. In some vertical foregrip models, a hidden bi-pod is an available option. Should your shooting needs involve long-distance firing from a prone position this is a perk. This tactical foregrip brings the classic look to your AR-15 that many strive to achieve.
In a Close Quarters Combat situation, a vertical foregrip will enable you to add more power to your swing if it comes down to a hand-to-hand confrontation. The surface area of an AR-15 vertical grip yields greater purchase on your weapon if a combatant tries to wrest it from you. The vertical foregrip doubles nicely as a barricade stop, putting yet another tool in your kit. Many shooters use the AR-15 vertical grip as almost a handstop for general applications. By grasping the barrel shroud with your thumb on top, the supporting hand only relies on the vertical foregrip as a rearward pressure point. This shooting stance puts the supporting hand closer to the line of fire, which can lend itself to greater accuracy. Many shooters simply like the feel of this stance.
Even with the seemingly ample space the quad-rail system allows, it does not take long to fill it up. Decisions on which AR-15 forward grip to employ must include concerns about its footprint. A vertical foregrip only uses one spot on a handguard, resulting in less clutter and more options for the other necessities. Many who run the shorter SBR platform tend to lean toward the AR-15 vertical grip. The shorter and lighter AR-15s tend to get a bit rowdy when going to full auto,as well as less mounting space on the rail. These circumstances fall directly into the wheelhouse of the vertical foregrip.
Angled Foregrip (AFG)
The second in our trio of choices for an AR forward grip goes from the straight “broomstick” version to one that lies closer to the rail. The AR-15 angled foregrip gave the shooter another option to bring the AR-15 to bear. This AR-15 front grip sweeps back from the Handguard, changing the geometry of the supporting hands hold. In moving the position of a shooters hand closer to the rail some users find the AR-15 angled foregrip a more natural position. Engaging modern ergonomic design, the AR-15 angled foregrip can provide some shooters with more control of their weapon. By far, the most common hold when using the AR-15 angled foregrip is with the thumb over bore pulling the rifle back into the shoulder. This AR forward grip can vary in design from a basic pistol grip all the way to a skeletonized, futuristic work of art.
By positioning the supporting hand nearer a shooters line of sight the AR-15- angled foregrip enhances weapon alignment. In Close Quarter Combat circumstances, the ability of the weapon to naturally flow with the shooter, resulting in a faster reaction time. In some competitions, an AR-15 forward grip such as this can save time, therefore, increasing your potential score. An angled AR-15 foregrip encourages smooth lateral movement when transitioning from one position to another. At the same time, it creates an environment where it is likely the shooter can maintain a steady sight picture.
Streamlined and To the Point
The angled AR-15 foregrip flows back off the rail, forming a seamless, solid reference point for the support hand to index. The AR-15 angled foregrip presents a much lower profile. Consequently, it is much less likely to get in the way or get snagged on gear. Some companies offer an AR foregrip that adjusts from a straight foregrip into an AR-15 angled foregrip. This could be a viable alternative if your individual needs demand both functions from an AR foregrip. Quite often one will find an AR-15 angled foregrip deployed on a weapon running longer rails. The AR-15 angled foregrip will bolster stability when having to take off-hand shots, because of the additional rearward pressure one can exert between the weapon and the shoulder.
The handstop, while diminutive, is still very much considered an AR forward grip. A heavier weapon is desirable if one only fires over a rest and there is not much moving about required. When you must travel for your shot, then weight can become an issue. Ounces quickly add up to pounds when mobility is a must. There is little mass to the handstop, therefore, minimal weight is added to your weapons platform. This type of AR-15 forward grip provides a completely adequate low-profile anchor point without interference.
The Handstop Is Small But Useful
The initial purpose for a handstop is to establish a positive index point for the support hand. Additionally, the shooter uses a handstop to pull the weapon back into his shoulder increasing stability. Some models of this tactical foregrip are designed in such a way that they can be utilized as a barricade stop.
Quick and Clean
When deploying a weapon fitted with a handstop the support hand grips the barrel shroud. This position allows the shooter to envoke more direct control of the weapon. One is able to quickly bring the weapon into play and lock in for action. This design of the AR-15 front grip provides the cleanest profile. Consequently, it is the least likely tactical foregrip of all three to snag on your gear or obstacles.
Bringing It All Together
Now that we have explored the different styles of an AR-15 foregrip, and grasp the basic uses of each it’s time to think. You must know which type is legal to have on your AR-15 in your state or municipality. The length of the weapon on which you intend to install an AR-15 forward grip. Exactly what function that weapon is going to be required to perform. Take into account your own personal tastes. Lastly, whether a tactical foregrip is even necessary for you at all.
Talk to others at the range or in the gun shop. Find out what they run, and why. No doubt, you’ll find the choices and reasons are all across the board. Some shooters will have the same AR-15 front grip on every piece they own, while others will have none at all. Guess what, both of them are right. How much it costs or how popular an item is, makes no difference if you aren’t proficient in using it.
Start One on Its Way Today
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