For years, I fought the urge to put a foregrip of any type on my AR. I’d only seen vertical grips on the guns of dudes with beards who killed terrorists daily and mall ninjas who wanted to emulate bearded dudes who killed terrorists daily. But then, while nobody was looking, I tried one out. And sure enough, once properly positioned, I found myself with better control over my gun. The fine folks at Bravo Company Manufacturing were nice enough to send over a grab bag of grips for me to try out to see which one tickled me most . . .
If you’ll remember, BCM also makes the uber wonderful, and stupid lightweight KMR handguard that I love so much. Given their love of the KeyMod system, they offer several foregrips that mate directly to KeyMod rather than a Picatinny rail. But don’t worry, traditionalists. They make Picatinny-compliant versions, too.
First out of the bag was the KAG grip which was created in partnership with noted instructor and high-speed-low-drag operator, Travis Haley. I tested the KeyMod version, and found it to be very lightweight and easy to attach to the KMR rail.
On the range, the forward hook, naturally grips the hand, and provides a firm purchase for your support hand. So firm in fact that you can keep your gun in the pocket of your shoulder without the usage of your trigger hand, which can be freed up to adjust your scope, grab your pistol, knife a Tango, or scratch your ass should the need arise.
The KAG grip also makes for an effective barrier stop should you need to shoot off a wall or other similarly constructed obstacle. I laughed at that sort of thing until I had to shoot off a barrier at the Run ‘n Gun last year. Being able to load up the front of the gun against a barrier made for much steadier shooting and faster transitions between targets. I like the KAG grip a lot and will be running it for this year’s Run ‘n Gun.
Next in the bag was a trio of vertical grips. The two on the left from the Mod 3 collection with the on the right from the KeyMod collection. The two left hand version attach to either KeyMod or Picatinny with a directly-threaded type system that screws in from the bottom. The KeyMod specific one is a quick detach model that attached by twisting the grip until it locks.
Much like the KAG grip, I found all three to very easy to install and extremely functional. They allow for that forward rotated support hand grip that Chris Costa made so popular, and damnit if it isn’t a bit easier to control the rifle that way. The big difference between the KAG grip and the stubby vertical grips is how much of your hand will be wrapped around the handguard. Using the stubby grips, you’ll get a full three fingers of grip on the vertical surface instead of just one finger with the KAG.
The stubby grips are also effective barrier stops and as much as I jabbed them into things, I was unable to knock them loose.
Ratings (out of five stars):
Overall Rating * * * * *
Sticking a foregrip on your AR of choice might not be for everyone, but if you fancy such a thing, the offerings from BCM will give you a great deal of flexibility in mounting type, style, and color. $20 will get you the KAG and Mod3 grips. $40 will snag a QD KeyMod grip or Picatinny-attached short vertical grip. They work as advertised and look cool doing it.
If I can add 0.02 to the discussion. Definitely go with the quick detach “twist off” version. It looks a little goofier but it was massively helpful when trying to find that sweet spot of where to put the grip.
It’s also nice when taking different sized shooters out to the range as you can bring it in almost to the mag well for smaller shooters to give then plenty of control.
I use my fore grip more like the KAG, mounted angled forward with my pinky finger and ring finger mashed against it and middle and index fingers on the handguard with thumb wrapped over the top. I have seen people only grabbing the fore grip like it was an extra pistol grip and have just never understood that.
Either way, BCM has a formidable lineup of keymod accessories, good review.
>> I have seen people only grabbing the fore grip like it was an extra pistol grip and have just never understood that.
Originally VFGs first appeared on submachine guns – think Thompson and Beretta M12 for two classic examples, but many SMGs of that time period had magwell that was intended to also double as a forward vertical grip. Those were actually supposed to be gripped like that primarily to control recoil in full auto – since that was usually the only mode you had on those guns, and you had to use it because of the weak round; and accuracy-wise they were generally pretty shitty, anyway.
On a rifle, that is a far more precise weapon intended to be used at longer ranges primarily in semi-auto, this makes a lot less sense.
“But then, while nobody was looking, I tried one out.”
Pan left pan right….my chuckle for the day.
I have been reluctant to try one myself for exactly the same reason. And where I work, I see a lot of “mall ninjas”.
Ditto and just too “Churchill with his Thompson”
So you folks are like the anti’s who say men carry guns because their junk is too small, nothing like stereotyping those of us who for many reasons like/need vertical grips!
Lighten up Francis. He gave it a 5 star.
So Bob, if you’re talking to me, GFY!
I was pretty against vertical grips for a similar reason. I saw too many wannabe operators operating operationally in range operations. Then I threw one on my favorite AR build. I loved the way it felt, bUT i use it more lIke a hand stop with hAlf on the forend and the other on the grip. Then I tossed one ioon my SCAR which I also loved. I like to use them on rifles with bipods. I put it behind the bipod so if I am shooting with the bipod folded I have something to help keep the heavier front end up. Plus with my drop in quad rail I can’t get a good rail cover there due to space.
I am not a fan of the AFG on ARs but I use them in my AR pistol. I used to run AFGs on my AKS but with the Troy long rail on one and going full Zhukov on the other I like having nothing there.
“… but I use them in my AR pistol.”
Careful. That turns it into an AOW (NFA classification). Without a tax stamp, if a LEO wanted to be a dick, and saw you with it, you are in for a bad day/years.
My understanding was that the atf ruled that angled forgeries were ruled to be different and does not constitute an aow.
Good catch. The AFG prior to the statement completely didn’t register until you pointed it out.
Yep, AFG on a pistol is GTG. Vertical grips is not without the tax stamp.
So you didn’t want to run a fore grip cause you thought it was tacticool, but you have a SCAR?
I see what you did there and I LOL about it.
“I’d only seen vertical grips on the guns of dudes with beards who killed terrorists daily and mall ninjas who wanted to emulate bearded dudes who killed terrorists daily.”
How about people who thought that guys who have to shoot well or die might make a solid equipment choice from time to time and gave it a try?
I have to agree with some of the previous comments: if you care so much about what other people think of how your weapon looks that you avoid functionality and modifications that might make your weapons more practical and useful, you might be a pussy. Maybe one can shoot better with a soft-shooting semi-automatic shotgun. Maybe a Remington 870 is a fine shotgun. But Elmer Fudd will never know because his grandfather’s side-by-side works and he’s afraid of making his gun look “militaristic”. Now if you want to hunt with an antique because you find it pleasurable, that’s fine. But don’t do it because you buy into the anti-weapon, anti-“tactical” propaganda and are afraid that your weapon will be too weaponlike. You may get by with such thinking for recreation and hunting, but it is completely inappropriate in competition, military use, or self-defense. I don’t care if a dumbass at the range judges me, when I buy a firearm as a weapon I optimize it for the purpose of killing humans! I don’t care if my weapons are scary looking, they should be. They can easily kill and that’s what I buy them for. In fact I want any firearm intended to be used as a weapon to look as intimidating as possible. I would not recommend a Hello Kitty AR-15 for home defense. You might not be taken seriously and will have to kill someone who might have cowered from a black rifle with all the scary “assault weapon” features. A vertical grip, a flash hider or suppressor (oh no, I just broke into the house of a trained assassin!), a full-capacity magazine, “the shoulder thing that goes up”.
Oh look, another poor review devoid of cost analysis and weight comparisons to other products. You guys and TFB write the weakest fly-by reviews ever.
“dudes with beards who killed terrorists daily” – Dudes with beards who murder children daily
“mall ninjas who wanted to emulate bearded dudes who killed terrorists daily” – Mall ninjas who are gullible enough to believe bullshit about killing terrorists.
Funny you should bring this up just now. I have just went through a period of experimentation with VFGs and AFGs for my AR, and the slightly angled stubby BCM grip was one of them. What can I say… as a handstop to support the hand wrapped around the actual handguard, it works reasonably well – better than the purely vertical Magpul of a similar size, for example. But it’s still not optimal for that, and it sucks if you try to use it as an actual grip to hold (unlike Magpul, which lets you do either reasonably well).
Since I personally prefer the backstop approach and use it consistently, I have found that dedicated AFGs work better for that. Magpul one (the older model; haven’t tried the newer one) is okay; Mako is slightly better; but the best one that I have found so far is Stark SE-5. It has the most comfortable angle (around 45 degrees, less flat than the others), is large and long for a nice firm grip, has rubberized surface, and a storage compartment that’s perfect for a small bottle of lube.
I roll my eyes every time someone says “an AR15 is Barbie dolls for men”. I put irons on my rifle, a 3 point sling, and one of these BCM short fore ends. I like the consistent placement of the support hand that this grip provides
I might throw a scope on there with a QD mount for the rare long shot and maybe a light, but the thought has never crossed my mind “Oh cool! I get to play with this thing and accessorize it over and over!”
If your in to tinkering with accessories, that’s fine for you but don’t assume everybody has that bug.
It just means that you like your Barbie mostly naked. ~