Monday, November 10, 2014

AR Pistol Grips: BCM Gunfighter MOD 1 and Magpul MOE SL

AR Pistol Grips:

BCM Gunfighter Mod 1 and Magpul MOE SL

One of the first things I swapped out on my first AR-15, was the A2 pistol grip. This was ditched for many reasons, chief among them that the finger grooves were nowhere near where my fingers, nor anyone else I have ever met, fingers are placed. At the time, there were about three aftermarket pistol grip options; Tango Down Battle Grip, Ergo Grip and the new Magpul MIAD. I had felt the Tango Down and Ergo Grip’s on friends rifles, and found them to thin for my liking with the same grip angle of the A2, if not slightly more canted with the Ergo. 

I went with a Magpul MIAD with the medium backer insert and no finger groves on the front. This combo was very popular with shooters and became the Magpul MOE grip. I ran the Magpul MOE for several years while seeing other options come out that didn’t really shock the market with problem solving. During this time I noticed that while standing with the rifle at a patrol ready hold or when shooting higher round counts I would feel some discomfort in my firing hand wrist. This was found in my issued rifle with A2 grip as well as personal MOE/MIAD equipped rifles. 

While browsing the internet, I read some discussion about the HK-416 pistol grip and how it was more vertical and solved the complaints that people had with the current options on the market.  At that point I started looking to test a replacement pistol grip option. Magpul released the “K” and “K2” grips, Tango Down the “Flip Grip” and the unobtainum KAC PDW Grip were on the market. As I was about to buy one of the afore mentioned, BCM released the “Gunfighter Grip.” The Gunfighter Grip came in 2 models – mod 0 and mod 1.  The marketing on all these grips indicated a more vertical alignment that was conducive to modern gun fighting stances as well as more time spent holding the gun vs. bulls eye shooting. 

I picked up and installed the BCM Gunfighter Mod 1 on my rifle as a trial, and fell in love. It was more ergonomic for my shooting stance as well as comfortable for long periods of holding the gun – barricaded subjects, long desert walks, etc.  It does maintain a similarity in appearance to the HK-416 grip; take that for what it is. After buying a couple $30.00 BCM grips to upgrade a few of my rifles, I realized that $30 grips to replace a $20 Magpul grip didn’t make a financial sense. Naturally if it makes you shoot better, that $30 investment is worth it. During this time I had one real complaint and that was it seemed slightly thick for my preference of a year round functional grip  - no gloves in summer, thicker gloves in the winter.

While loosely keeping an eye on the AR accessory market, Magpul announced the MLOK system and its upgraded MOE SL (slim line) line. In this announcement was the new MOE SL pistol grip. Magpul announced it as a more vertical grip than the standard A2 grips. Naturally I was interested by this, but could never find one locally to test. Long story, but Drake from Magpul sent me a MOE SL grip. I was very excited by this opportunity to get some literal hands on use of the grip. 

Upon receiving the MOE SL grip, I was first concerned that it would be similar in grip angle to the old MOE grip. This is definitely not the case and I found it felt like a slightly thinner BCM Gunfighter grip. I’ve run the MOE SL on my SBR since receiving it, and have found one complaint with it. No cover for the bottom, which is where I store my SBR paperwork. A simple fix was to place duct tape over the bottom of the grip. For $20, you can’t complain about that over the $10 more grip having a latch covering the bottom. 

BCM on Left, MOE SL on Right:

BCM on top of MOE SL:

MOE SL on top of BCM:

Grip angle of the BCM MOD 1 and MOE SL is by all appearances and feels, the exact same. You will also note the width difference. Without a pair of calipers handy, I cannot compare the width difference, but its noticeable when looking and holding the grips. 

Looking Down on grips, MOE SL on top, BCM on Bottom:

All things considered, either option is a good upgrade for anyone with an AR rifle, Unless you need to hold something like SBR or Suppressor paperwork in your pistol grip, the MOE SL at $20 is the best option, and really, an entire roll of duct tape is cheaper than $10 if that is something you need. I won’t be selling all my BCM grips just to get the new MOE SL grips, but as I finish building or replacing A2 grips, it will most likely be with MOE SL grips.

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