Whether you’re in the process of building an AR-15 or are looking to accessorize one you already own, an angled foregrip can be a helpful tool for anyone.
You would think that choosing one would be straightforward, but because everyone has a different hand size or shape, a different purpose for the gun — and even different levels of dexterity — it may take a while to find one that fits you.
The Categories of Foregrips
Before choosing a foregrip for your rifle, you need to determine your purpose to know which product will best fit.
Will you be using this rifle as a home defense gun or a “truck” gun? Maybe you need a hand stop or bipod foregrip for shooting competitions? Or if you simply want a more comfortable grip on your rifle (that’s a great reason to have one as well). There are a few different categories of foregrips — each serves a different purpose and vary in price point.
Vertical foregrips are precisely what they sound like; a grip that sits at a 90-degree angle to the handguard or rail when mounted.
These foregrips are more tactically oriented and have been used for years by the military. The purpose of the forward grip style is maximum control in tight quarters — like clearing buildings and rooms.
It is also easy to find a vertical grip in the dark and comfortable to grip it with your support hand. Plus, vertical grips orient your support hand in a similar position as your strong hand, which can be comfortable for many people.
The vertical grips on the market today come in an almost endless variety of sizes, styles, and grip textures. A more low-profile short, stubby grip gives your hand a point of reference, so you grip your weapon in the same spot each time. A long vertical grip will provide shooters with bigger hands a better grip and enable you to change directions faster.
As for grip texture, it’s really dealer’s choice. You’ll find utterly smooth metal foregrips, rubber grips, grips with ribbed finger grooves for comfort, or even grips with a rough stippled grip for those looking for a more aggressive feel.
The grip texture will be a personal preference, so try to touch and feel as many grips as possible before settling on one — or if you have a specific texture you like, look for that same texture when in the market for a new grip.
If your rifle has a lot of recoil, a vertical grip will help you to pull the stock tighter into your shoulder for better control of the rifle. Typically when you use a vertical foregrip, your support hand will never contact your handguard or rail. This prevents barrel heat from making its way to your support hand and allows you to mount more accessories at the front of the handguard — such as a front iron sight, a flashlight, or even an activation sensor pad for a light.
Horizontal or Angled Foregrips
Angled foregrips come in a much larger variety of shapes and sizes than vertical grips, but they all mount horizontally on the rail of your AR-15.
What is unique about the different options of angled foregrips is, for many people, they fit your hand and natural grip position more comfortably than vertical grips. There’s more supination at the wrist than with vertical grips, which naturally activates the bicep muscle — translating into more stability and comfort for many shooters.
Angled foregrips can vary in length, shape, and purpose. Angled foregrips can feature a front bumper used for positioning a rifle against a barricade as a stabilization point. Some angled foregrips are designed like a triangle to give your grip a more natural curve, while some are completely flat against the rail for a C clamp grip around the handguard while still featuring the front bumper.
Just like your vertical grips, angled grips can have different textures on the bottom and can include finger grooves for an even more customizable grip. The only person that can choose what feels right is you, so try ‘em all.
Bipod foregrips serve a dual purpose. They can be used both as a foregrip when shooting unsupported or as a bipod when shooting prone.
One of the most significant considerations is the height of the grip itself will determine how low the rifle can go when shooting prone. This can limit you from shooting certain targets if the targets are much lower than the bipod foregrip sits.
Why use a Foregrip
Customizing firearms to make them comfortable for you to shoot is one of the most effective ways to improve your shooting. Incorporating multiple foregrips into your gear gives you the opportunity to create different feels and functionality.
If a foregrip makes an AR-15 rifle easy to hold, easy to maneuver, helps you manage recoil, and allows you to get a better grip on the gun, then it is a good idea to include a foregrip in your kit. You’ll be a better shooter with one.
Foregrips are also popular on high-power guns because they allow the shooter to pull the rifle into the shoulder more and help pull the muzzle down as it recoils. Essentially, a foregrip can make firing high-power cartridges rapidly much safer. One of the most common issues people have when shooting quickly is losing control, allowing the muzzle to rise until it shoots well above the intended target.
The key to successful handgun shooting is having an exact grip on the gun every single time. A good, consistent grip on every platform — from rifles to pistols — is essential for accurate shooting. A foregrip can act as an index point where your hand knows to go, making the right location easy to find and recreating the same grip every time you pick up your rifle.
Advantages of an Angled Foregrip
There are several ways to use an angled foregrip — all of which increase control and comfort. The biggest advantage of an angled foregrip is they create a more natural grip angle for your hand and wrist. Many of these foregrips also are designed for comfort and a more precise fit for different hand sizes. The other advantage is knowing exactly where to grip your rifle every single time. An inconsistent grip can lead to poor accuracy and bad habits.
Angled foregrips that sit flush with the handguard can be gripped with your thumb wrapped around the top of the rail of the rifle (in a C clamp grip), your pinky through middle finger in the flat part of the grip, with your index finger on the slightly angled front of the grip.
Angled foregrips with one groove in the middle can be gripped with two fingers on each side of the groove with your thumb resting along the side of the handguard. The front-angled foregrips can also act as a backstop for your four fingers to pull back against while your thumb C clamps around the handguard.
Learning how to use an angled foregrip can take time, especially if you’re not used to its location or all of the purposes it can serve. It alters the feel of your rifle, which can mean teething issues for some users, but with time and practice, you’ll be a better shooter with that learned consistency.
Any addition to your rifle will add weight, which can be a downside for anyone focused on keeping their kit as light as possible. Also — adding weight to the front of a rifle, even a few ounces, changes shooting dynamics.
Learning How to Use an Angled Foregrip
The most important key to consistent shooting is, first, learning how to grip your rifle the same way ten times out of ten. Try using the front of the angled foregrip as a stabilizer.
If you’re at home or the range, try pushing the end of the foregrip against a countertop or tabletop to see how it can help steady the rifle.
Finally, practice live firing your rifle while pulling the rifle into your body with the angled foregrip. Do not pull down on the rifle as you’re shooting to try and counteract the recoil, as the downward pressure will pull your shots low. Learn how to draw the stock horizontally into your shoulder tightly without building any flinches as well.
Most angled foregrips can be mounted on Picatinny rails, M Lok handguards, or Key-mode handguards, but the mounting location is a personal preference. Experiment with the foregrip by moving it closer to the muzzle or closer to the action and seeing what feels most natural.
The Best Angled Foregrips Reviewed
1. Timber Creek
This foregrip mounts onto any Picatinny rail and offers various color options with a cerakote finish on top of aircraft-grade billet aluminum. The Mini Enforcer is small enough to double as a hand stop as well.
This Magpul AFG is made of polymer, adding only 2.5 ounces of weight to the end of your rifle. Mount it on any Picatinny rail. This grip allows for a more natural grip with your palm facing upwards and still allowing your thumb to wrap around the top of the handguard.
3. Tyrant Designs
This foregrip from Tyrant Designs is designed to fit on all M-Lok and Keymod rail systems.
The grip pairs a mix of polymer straps on an aluminum body, making it a more comfortable grip with the hardened structure for easy barricade support.
4. Fortis Manufacturing
The Short Angled Grip by Fortis is made of hard-coat anodized aluminum. It weighs just 2.1 ounces and attaches easily with slotted screws. This grip style is designed to position your hand in front of it — with a custom shape for your pinky and hand to slide into.
5. Bravo Company Manufacturing
BCM’s Kinesthetic Angled Grip (KAG) relieves tension from the shooter’s wrist, elbow, and shoulder. This grip makes an excellent index point for your hand to find a forward grip on the rifle immediately — and the best part? It’ll run you under $20.
6. Strike Industries
Strike Industries uses its LINK system to mount their curved grip on both M-Lok and Keymod rails.
The front of this grip features a barricade stop, and the entire foregrip is made of aluminum with a variety of color options if you feel the need to get all matchy matchy.
7. Magpul AFG
Magpul’s most popular and low-profile AFG grip is made of polymer and directly mounts to M-Lok handguards.
The design is simple but provides just enough arch for your hand to have a comfortable grip. Plus, it’s decidedly inexpensive.
9. Timber Creek
This larger version of the Timber Creek Enforcer Mini gives you more space for a c-clamp grip and acts as both a grip and hand stop — plus, it’s machined from aircraft billet aluminum and weighs just 1.5 ounces. It mounts to M-Lok systems and comes in a variety of colors.
10. FAB Defense & VTS
11. Magpul Hand Stop
What is unique about the XTM foregrip from Magpul is that it comprises four separate pieces – a hand stop, index panel, a full XTM panel, and a half XTM panel.
This can give you options to set up a foregrip that is more customized to your hand size. While you don’t get much (if any) angle with this foregrip it can act as a hand stop and will be considerably more comfortable than c-clamping your bare handguard. Plus it’s about the price of 3 gallons of gas (2021 prices).
12. Professional Outdoor Tool
For the budget-conscious, this grip — logically named a “Professional Outdoor Tool” — is easy to install on a Keymod or M-Lok rail. It’s a tad heavier than other options at 2.08 ounces, but for those looking to add more control to their rifle on the cheap, this guy will do the trick.
Are angled foregrips better than vertical foregrips?
Angled foregrips are not as bulky as vertical foregrips. Angled grips can also act as a hand stop, a barricade stabilization point, and provide a better C clamp grip around the handguard. In short, angled foregrips give a user more options for hand position & usability.
What do angled foregrips do?
Angled foregrips can serve multiple purposes, from managing recoil, creating a consistent grip on the rifle each time, acting as a hand stop, providing stabilization against a barricade, and providing a more comfortable grip angle.
Is angled grip or vertical grip better?
Different grip types became popular because people are different — and there isn’t one size fits all. Each grip category serves a different purpose, so one type isn’t better than the other per se. It’s all about what works best for the shooter.
What is an AR Handstop?
A hand stop isn’t designed as a foregrip but rather an indicator of where your support hand grip should stop, so you avoid shooting your hand. These are popular on short barrel rifles and AR pistols – and can also be used as a barricade stabilization point.
Angled foregrips can pack a whole lot more punch into one style grip. Decide on the size & grip profile you want to mount on your gun then land on the style and texture that works best for your hand — you’ll be glad you did.
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