AR15 Grips F.A.Q.
One of the easiest and most cost effective enhancements you can make to your AR style rifle is to change out the hand grip. Finding a good grip that fits your hand correctly and is functional for your intended application can be a huge improvement. An undersized grip will force you to awkwardly bow out your trigger finger in order to properly engage the pad of your finger on the trigger. This can be a very uncomfortable position that will fatigue your finger and wrist. An oversized grip is just as bad because it will force you to adjust your hand in an awkward position in order to get your finger to engage the trigger. This can compromise the integrity of your grip and is also very uncomfortable.
Luckily it's not very difficult to change out a hand grip on most AR series rifles and there are plenty of grip options available. Removing the grip on an AR rifle requires accessing the bottom of the hand grip which typically will either be hollow or may have a trap door assembly or storage compartment. Inside the compartment there will be a bolt which attaches the grip to your rifles lower receiver. Typically the bolts will be either flat head, phillips or allen head. A long shank tool will be required in order to reach the screw. When you loosen the screw we suggest to keep the rifle in an upside down position. The grip has a small hole in the bottom that holds in place a spring and detent for the selector switch. If the rifle is right side up the spring and detent will fall right out once you remove the grip. In order to remove the grip you must carefully unscrew the bolt inside the grip. As it starts to loosen pay close attention to the spring so it does not get lost once the grip is completely removed. The spring holds the detent in place so as long as the spring stays in position you will not lose the detent. With the rifle in an upside down position you lessen the chances of the spring shooting out and detent getting lost but still pay close attention. Once the screw is completely loose you can remove the grip completely from the lower receiver. Your new grip will usually include a replacement grip screw. If not you can clean up and reuse the old one. We suggest you use a small dab of medium strength thread locking compound on the grip screw. Now position your new grip in place on the lower receiver making sure that the selector switch spring fits into the hole on the inside of the grip. Once grip is properly aligned, drop the grip screw into the grip screw hole and start to tighten. AR lower receivers are made from all different types of materials so you should check with the specific manufacture of you rifle for proper torque specifications. If a torque wrench is not available you can tighten the grip until it seats flush against the lower receiver. Too much torque can crack the lower receiver so be careful here.
Everyone's hand is different so it would be impossible for one grip to work perfectly for everyone. What I will provide is some important considerations that will allow you to make a better informed decision and also some feedback on grips that I have personally used. A good grip should feel comfortable in your hand and allow for easy access of the pad of your finger to the rifles trigger without having to bow out your trigger finger and without having to reposition or alter your hand position on the grip. It should be as easy as reaching out your finger and having it fall naturally on the trigger where ideally the center of the pad on your trigger finger touches the center of the trigger. Different grips are made of different materials so it's also important to find something you feel comfortable holding for extended periods of time. Your specific geographic location will also be a factor as some materials work best in arid environments while other work better in cold or wet places. Some people don't like the feel of plastic grips so they opt for a grip with a rubber texture while some people don't like the rubbery feel so they prefer a more textured, hard plastic material. Neither option is wrong, it's just what works best for you.
Once thing to mention is that the size of your hand and length of your finger will play a critical role. Ideally your grip should fit your hand like a glove but that's not always possible. Long and short fingers will require special considerations and possibly some compromises. I personally have average size hands with long fingers ( my glove size is typically L-XL ). Having tested dozens of grips in the past I have only found a few that work well for me and I will pass on my personal experience on which grips work best for me. From my experience I have discovered that the width of the grip ( distance from where the web of the hand sits to where the inside of the grip meets the lower receiver ) seems to be the most critical factor in achieving proper trigger finger placement. The evaluations are completely subjective and by no means are these all encompassing but hopefully this information will at least give you a foundation to work from when selecting your grips.
Feel free to contact us with any questions.
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