The Grip Stop is intended to provide a variable forward thumb-over-bore hold. Its first incarnations were a bastardized mix of shelving bracket and epoxy mounted on a couple of Marines' rifle. Now they are Computer Numerical Control machined black billet aluminum.
It was designed by gunsmith Nathan Murr, who partnered up with Lanco Tactical (and soon Rockwell Tactical, among others) for distribution. At $40 it’s an inexpensive option for someone who wants a foregrip designed to allow variable grip angles for virtually any rifle out there.
Another foregrip style? I must admit to thinking the same thing. I asked the question rhetorically: Why should it engage any more interest than a score of other foregrips? The answer, unexpectedly, was enough to pique my interest.
Though I have attempted the forward hold, it never took. This isn't so much a lack of interest or some sort of personal dogma (I think the ongoing disputes are ridiculous - you use what works for you) as it is a lack of time on the range growing used to the change. It's difficult to switch up a shooting style you've used relatively successfully for 20 years.
Part of my trouble adapting may have had to do with ingrained habits, but part of it may have been how the physical build of my rifle affected my hold. The Grip Stop might be something that mitigates that.
"It's about body mechanics," says Murr. "If you wrap your hand up around a carbine with a vertical grip as a handstop, your hand will contort to fill the deadspace created by that right angle. When you grip it and use it to pull the weapon back into the [shoulder] pocket, your fingers want to fill that dead space.”
Murr is a former Marine infantry NCO turned sniper team leader who recently transitioned to the Marine Reserve component. He now works both as a gunsmith and shooting instructor.
"Other forward hold grips tend to lock your wrist at a specific angle," Murr continues, "which might or might not work for an individual and might or might not be comfortable. Some of them result in a something where...if you're trying to hold as far forward on the weapon as you can, you're actually losing muscular strength and aren’t able to drive it as aggressively as you like. I wanted to build something that didn't lock you into one hard angle, something more intuitive and natural to hold."
The gradual curve of the Grip Stop is designed to allow a variable grip. Murr advises that it’s built so your hand will naturally fit to it, because it's a grip made to more naturally fit your hand.
"What's easier to pick up with one hand, a box or a ball?” Murr asks.
Essentially, this build allows you to roll your wrist forward or back and adjust the pitch so you're not confined to one angle and don't need to lock your arm or hyperextend your arm (impacting shooting ability and risking injury). Another key feature is that it's keymod compatible and will work on virtually any weapon. You can screw it directly to an AK, mount it to the classic tubular M16 guard by drilling two holes or put it on a Pic rail with a slight modification.
When asked how he developed the Grip Stop, Murr said “he wasn’t impressed with the forward hold, but … later some of the guys who’d embraced it started outshooting me.”
“I started looking more at the body mechanics and I started to see the merits. I tried different grips with an aggressive stance, but they all forced a specific angle so I just continued to use a stubby handgrip and make due. Eventually I took a rail cover, shelving bracket and epoxy to see if I could allow for pitch adjustment without compromising the position of wrist placement on the forearm. I tried it, took it other Marines in the platoon and they liked it."
Murr said later he was, “...building a rifle with a Troy Alpha rail and thought: ‘Here’s something else important.”
“Putting a Pic rail on it made no sense at all, it’d just increase the weight and diameter. So I took a VFG, melted it directly to the handguard and it worked perfectly,” Murr said. “That cinched it. Eventually, I had ABS plastic protypes 3D printed until I got it exactly how I wanted it. Now it seems good to go."
Note that the Pic rail version is in the works and will be released this fall. In the meantime, you can bolt it directly to a Pic rail with cooling holes or threaded inserts, or bolt it to a rail cover and use it that way. Also, though it was initially tested by guys in a sniper element, Murr describes it as an infantryman's tool.
Murr has shipped some Grip Stops out to reviewers for Test and Evaluation. As soon as I hear back from one of them I'll advise here.
Purchase one here.