One of the most important accessories that any AR-15 owner will buy is the pistol grip. Problem is, there are so many of them to choose from. To solve this, I’m going to review some of the best AR-15 pistol grips available.
- DPMS – BLACK A2 PISTOL AR-15 PISTOL GRIP
- HOGUE – AR-15 PISTOL GRIP
- BRAVO COMPANY – AR-15 MOD-3 GUNFIGHTER GRIP
- MAGPUL – AR-15 MOE-SL GRIP
- ERGO GRIPS AR-15 ERGO GRIP RIGID AMBIDEXTROUS
Click here to get one for yourself.
AR Pistol Grip Information
If you ‘ve bought an AR-15 pistol, it is likely that it may have come with a standard grip, but for most users, these are neither comfortable nor do they match their hand size. So, the quest is to find an alternative pistol grip but there are several factors that need to be considered before you part with your cash. Do you want to purchase the best AR-15 grip for precision shooting? There are many factors to consider. Let’s take aim at some of them …
Why Bother Using a Grip at All?
This is probably the most asked question with regards to pistol grips on AR-15s. There is no one specific answer, as instead of providing just one benefit, a pistol grip provides several. Two of the most important though, are to allow you to use your AR-15 safely and to be able to hold it stable as you are firing.
Pistol grips also play different roles depending on exactly why someone is using an AR-15. If the owner is using it as a duty weapon, they will want the grip to be comfortable and reliable for the situations they may find themselves in.
For gun enthusiasts who use their AR15 for target practice on ranges, for example, the consideration may be less on the ruggedness of the pistol grip, and simply wanting it to be the right size, or to look good aesthetically.
Not everyone will be buying a pistol grip for the same reasons, but here are some reasons others consider the purchase important.
Ergonomics and Comfort
A rifle might not be the first thing anyone thinks of when thinking of the word comfort, but it is actually a critical aspect of using your AR15. If your hands are strained and do not feel relaxed, then the chances of hitting anything you aim at are next to nothing.
There are several factors that you may want to assess when evaluating how comfortable a pistol grip will be
Pistol grips can be made from polymers, fiberglass, or rubber, so that choice is important if you have a preference, or an aversion to any of them.
Obviously, you want a grip that matches yours. Too small, and it may feel loose. Too big and you’ll be straining your hand to hold it.
Hard Finish or Rubberized Finish
This plays a big part in how the grip feels in your hand and the difference between each is very noticeable when you grip it.
Smooth or Rough Texturing
You might think this is something rugged gun enthusiasts should not care about, but you are wrong. The texture on a pistol grip can differ and one or the other may feel more natural and comfortable to each individual owner.
Importance of Finger Grooves and Palm Swells
These both play a role in how the pistol grip feels in your hand so both need to be carefully considered. With finger grooves, the question is ‘Yes or No?’ and the fact that I have large hands means that my answer is ‘Yes.’ I also look for palm swells which are relatively substantial.
This does not mean every AR-15 owner with large hands will feel the same way as me. I know of some of my friends with smaller hands than mine who have the same preference, and others with even bigger hands than me, who don’t.
Grip Angle: Straight or Angled?
This is often overlooked but it does need to be thought about. When holding your AR-15, your pistol grip is either going to be vertical or angled. The angled style is the more traditional type that AR-15 owners tend to use, but straight vertical grips are becoming more popular.
Straight grips allow you to hold your rifle closer to your body, and more significantly they enable a squared-off stance to be taken when aiming and firing. This stance is often recommended as the one to take up when using an AR-15 rifle as opposed to the more common fighting, or bladed stance.
Should Your Pistol Grip Have Storage?
One final and practical consideration is whether your AR-15 grip has storage or not. The consensus (at least in my head) is that it should. This storage space is useful for holding important extras, like band-aids, batteries and most important of all … Big Red chewing gum!
How to Change An AR-15 Pistol Grip
This something you really need to see. Here is a short video showing you exactly how to change your AR-15 pistol grip.
Best AR15 Pistol Grips
The A2 pistol grip style is one of the most commonly used, mostly because they are typically the default grip that comes with AR-15 rifles. The DPMS version is simple, great value for the money and ideal if you want a tried and trusted option for your pistol grip.
The simplicity of the DPMS comes to the fore when you are replacing your old grip. It’s a simple matter of taking off the old one, pushing on the DPMS grip until in position, and then tightening the screw. Hardly difficult, even for me.
To provide a more assured hold when you are using your AR-15, the sides of the DPMS grip are checkered. This ensures that you will not feel any slippage or movement when holding your rifle, even if your hands are sweating.
The DPMS pistol grip also has the finger protrusion in the perfect location so that it keeps your pointing finger properly independent in terms of its position to your other fingers.
By the way, the value for the money I mentioned means that I bought some spares so if you want to have back-up pistol grips for your AR-15, you can do likewise without breaking the bank.
- Checkered pattern for secure grip
- Pointing finger kept independent
- Easy to mount
- Cost effective
- Mounting hardware not included
For those of you with larger hands, or who like to really feel your AR-15 pistol grip within your grasp, this option from Hogue is one that you will like.
It is constructed from fiberglass in its core which will ensure its durability, and its outer shell is molded rubber, which has more than one advantage. The first is it absorbs recoil well, so if you struggle with that, then you have a solution with this.
Rubber is also a material that is extremely grippy, and with the addition of a rough mottled surface on the sides, there should be no issues whatsoever of you losing any purchase on this AR-15 pistol grip.
If you have large hands it gets even better, as this Hogue pistol grip has finger grooves and more than that, they are deep finger grooves. This provides not only an additional grip for you, but it is going to be extremely comfortable in your hand when you are gripping it.
As if the finger grooves weren’t enough to make this pistol grip highly desirable, it also has orthopedically designed palm swells, so that when it comes time to pull the trigger, your rifle stays exactly where it should be.
- Superior durability
- Ideal finger grooves
- Absorbs recoil very well
- Excellent grip
- Not ideal for large hands
This most recent release from Bravo Company (BCM) sees us with an AR-15 pistol grip that is designed to go the distance thanks to its enhanced durability. This is a result of BCM using an advanced polymer to manufacture this pistol grip in order to prolong its usefulness.
The polymer construction is also highly effective at resisting impact and it even comes in a choice of four colors, namely black, wolf green, foliage green and flat, dark earth green. So if green’s your thing, happy days!
Its straight design means that if you are someone who is a fan of the squared-off stance rather than the angled stance, then your preference can be accommodated when aiming and firing.
In terms of an assured grip, the sides of this pistol grip are checkered, and thus virtually minimize any potential slippage to zero. The addition of grooves on the front adds to that sureness of grip.
This pistol grip also comes with two trigger guard inserts which are modular. One of them is smooth and the other is extended, which allows you to adjust the distance between the grip and the trigger guard, depending on what you prefer.
There’s also storage within the pistol grip which is accessed using the small hinged door at the bottom of it.
- Near zero slippage
- Modular trigger guard inserts
- Interior storage capabilities
- Highly impact resistant
- Storage capabilities reduce overall durability
The AR-15 MOE-SL Grip from Magpul is a pistol grip that will appeal to AR-15 users whose hands are smaller than average. This is due to the grip circumference being smaller than that you would normally find on a pistol grip of this type.
It may look and feel narrower, but its overall size, particularly from back to front, is still sufficient to provide you with a very secure grip, without it ever feeling uncomfortable.
Another advantage of this narrower grip is that it more readily accommodates AR-15 rifles that are smooth-sided. But it is not all good news. It’s narrowness means it is also too small for any storage inside it.
Back to the positives though, and the reduced grip angle which kind of gives you the best of both worlds. It is classed as semi-vertical so you can still use a straight stance if you wish. However, traditionalists will also feel that this retains a natural feel, as well as one that is comfortable.
On the sides of this pistol grip, there is a rough texture to enhance your control of your AR-15, and the horizontal lines across the finger area double down on that, meaning that even wet hands should not slip.
- Great for small hands
- Semi-vertical grip for versatility
- Rough texture for secure grip
- Very narrow – not ideal for large hands
Most pistol grips tend to suit left- or right-handed users, but with the Ergo Grips AR-15 pistol grip, it doesn’t matter, as it is designed to be ambidextrous.
The palm swell on this pistol grip is impressive in design and size, and you will certainly feel it in your palm when using it. Nevertheless, it is not so huge that those with medium or even smaller hands couldn’t use it just as well. The size of the palm swell means that it will also absorb recoil more effectively.
To complement the grip which the palm swell provides, the finger grooves are equally effective. The grooves are clear, but not so pronounced that you do not have the ability to move your fingers when holding your AR-15. The best way to describe the grooves is that they act more as a guide for your fingers than enforcement of their position.
On the surface of the Ergo Grips AR-15 pistol grip, you have a rubberized texture that the makers have decided to call ‘Rhino Hide.’ Not sure why, so don’t ask. What I do know is that the texture provides superb traction, and the rubber, along with the polymer body, ensures that this pistol grip is extremely durable.
- Ideal finger grooves for grip and mobility
- Ideal for recoil absorption
- High level of durability
- Not the best choice for small hands
The five AR-15 pistol grips we have reviewed each offer different benefits. In some cases, these will be especially welcomed by particular types of AR-15 users, such as those with bigger hands, or enthusiasts who prefer a squared-off stance.
Having considered each of them, I’ve come to the conclusion that my top choice is the Bravo Company – AM-15 Mod-3 Gunfighter Grip. Part of the reason is down to its construction which provides a great combination of durability and comfort.
The checkered texture of the palm swells provides excellent traction, as does the texturing on the front of the grip.
You also have a degree of adaptability which I love, thanks to the trigger inserts. This means you can adjust the trigger guard gap to suit you. This grip is also not a bad option if you’re building for tactical purposes.
It comes with storage, which is always a big plus in my book … I need somewhere to store my Big Red. Plus, you even get to choose what color your pistol grip will be, although, if you don’t like greens, I hope you like black.