You might remember we posted a piece from our guest blogger Sean Fisher on the pluses and minuses of customizing the pistol grip on your issued M4.
We had some good feedback on the idea from our readers, but I wanted to forward a reply I got from PEO Soldier on what the actual policy was on retrofitting new pistol grips on your M4 (or M16 for that matter) in combat.
According to the service, straight leg Joes are not allowed to customize that grip whatsoever. Despite some people who say that a correct fitting grip is key to marksmanship, the Army is worried it could mess up the weapon's functionality.
While a pistol grip may appear like a “minor” change to a Soldier, there are actually significant design implications inherent in the grip that could adversely affect the weapon’s performance. In the case of the pistol grip for M4/M16 weapons, for example, the bolt that fastens the grip to the lower receiver actually goes through to the inside of the trigger housing. If the design tolerances on either the bolt or the grip do not meet specifications, the bolt could adversely affect trigger function. This is one small example of how an unauthorized modification could have a dangerous result.The Army says it issued a "precautionary message" back in 2000 that explicitly prohibited changing the grip (before we were involved in two shooting wars) and referred Joes to the publication AR 750-10, Army Modification Program for more details.
I don't know a thimble full about weapons compared to most of our readers here at Kit Up!, but that sounds reasonable to me...or have things changed so much that this restriction is unreasonable?