Your eyes do not deceive you. That grip is not broken. Sam Cadle and I were able to go hands-on with the prototype variable-angle “tactical angular grip” (TAG) coming soon from LMT Developed in partnership with Hopkins Industry, LLC chaired by an active Coast Guard shooter, the TAG adds additional ergonomics to your rifle. In prototype form, the grip had five settings: centered, mid, and high-offset angles (left and right, respectively).
Admittedly my first impression was skeptical, but as the inventor Charles Hopkins started to explain the concept the “mental light-bulb” turned on quickly. During my Marines MOUT training we were always instructed to avoid “chicken-winging”, which was difficult without extended “encouragement” from the instructors. With the M16A4′s long length-of-pull and when in body armor, one naturally wants to extend the elbow as it is more comfortable. By canting the grip to body, you can ergonomically force the shooter to adopt an “elbows-in” posture, reducing one’s profile as they enter CQB situations.
The interface is intuitive; easily manipulated with only the shooting hand. The TAG is adjusted by pressing in a countersunk button at the top rear, near the pivot point. Once pressed, the grip is adjustable across the full range until set by the user pressing the now extended button back flush under the middle finger. During our informal manipulation, neither Sam or I could get the grip to accidentally change angles. When locked in place, the TAG felt solid.
The true vertical setting felt similar to MagPul’s K2 (i.e. more vertical), which I really like. During dynamic shooting, I typically use the two shortest stock settings on the buffer tube. When tucked in to the shoulder the TAG’s higher grip angle feels more natural in my hand. The example also had a built-in storage compartment. In addition, the TAG was mildly textured for increased grip.
LMT hopes to release the grip later this year. Pricing has not yet been set. The TAG is patented.
**Please note that the configuration or layout of the grip may change. It was only a prototype! We will work get get a sample for evaluation & review upon release.**