Choosing a Foregrip
A basic pistol holster or foregrip is simply a simple vertical grip or front grip, mounted to the fore-end (or front) end of a pistol, designed specifically for gripping by the forefront support hand. This is the most common type of foregrip and can come in either a flap design or a hinged design. The hinged design allows for the quick attachment of a sling block or other sling attachment. The flap design mounts to the underside of the magazine well in traditional types of holsters. The majority of modern holsters employ a foregrip that includes a flap or similar attachment.
Foregrip designs attempt to maximize the stability of the handgun by locating it in such a way that it allows the gun to be held at its widest in an upright position with the foregrip/flap in place to provide stability. A knuckle grip, also sometimes referred to as a “touch-up” or “tweak”, places the thumb on top of the pistol grip itself, allowing for a more secure and positive grip. This is the most favored design among experienced shooters and is generally considered to be the most natural position for holding a pistol. Unfortunately, this design makes it very difficult to shoot accurately when the weapon is used in an aggressive manner due to the increased potential for recoil.
An alternate, and much more stable, position for a pistol is the vertical grip. As the name implies, the vertical grip has the shooter’s hand sitting vertical (or upright) with the forefinger on top of the barrel. The vertical grip permits better accuracy because there is no need to “tweak” or move the hand to compensate for the changed position of the grip. For rapid firing, this is an ideal position. For many shooters, however, this type of grip is very uncomfortable and can cause clumsy and inaccurate shooting due to the large amount of movement required to place the hand on the pistol’s butt. For these shooters, another type of grip is much more preferable and is the recommended method for holding a pistol.
There are two basic types of grips that a shooter should know about. There is the light grip, which is the least preferred, and then there is the medium or full grip, which is probably the most popular. The majority of military and law enforcement personnel use full grips with their weapons because they allow for a much larger muzzle. These are also the most comfortable.
A “light grip” is simply the opposite of a “full grip”. With a “light grip”, the forefinger is not pressing on the butt of the firearm. With a full grip, the forefinger is along the base of the gun, supporting a heavy weight. The thumb is curled around the pistol’s recoil region to provide stability during firing.
Rifles, both gas-operated and spring loaded, have various options for holding the weapon. In a gas-powered rifle, the foregrip should be low to the barrel, supporting a lighter weight, and will usually incorporate a foregrip designed to absorb recoil. On a semi-automatic, the butt of the rifle should be held in a downward position. This allows for a longer distance between shots, while still maintaining good control of the firearm.
For semi-automatic rifles, a combination of a light grip and a full foregrip are usually acceptable. The keymod foregrip, which attaches to the bottom of the receiver, provides more stability than a light grip and is used with some models of the M-Lok system. A m-lok system can be fitted to gas-operated semi-automatics to add an additional attachment, such as a silencer.
Some weapons require a shooter to have a certain type of hand guard or pistol grip to support the weapon, and this is called a foregrip. Choosing a foregrip that fits well should not be a major problem, because many of these items are offered at most gun stores or by several different retailers. Shorter rifles may need to have a buttstock attached to the left side of the rifle to support it, and this will generally also need to be compatible with the foregrip. Left handed shooters will need to look for a foregrip that is designed to be comfortable for them to hold as well, since they may have trouble holding a heavy weapon for long periods of time. Most states require that a shooter be trained in handling a firearm and have a clean shooting hand, and this is usually a requirement of any gun shop when selling a firearm to a customer.