Best AR-15 Grips: Pistol and Forward Grips

by Travis Pike

August 5, 2022

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Embracing the AR 15 means embracing every little part and piece of the rifle. The AR 15 presents shooters and owners with a ton of different options for customization. There is no other weapon out there that offers you this much customization. Today we are talking about an important but often ignored part, the AR 15 grip. 

When I say AR 15 grip, I could mean the rear grip that sits behind the trigger or a forward-type grip that rests on the handguard. I could mean either, but today I’m talking about both. We are going to cover the best AR 15 grips from multiple angles. Now that I mention it, angles play a big part in our grip selection, not just the angle of the grip but the type. 

In fact, we are doing a deep dive into the realm of AR 15 grips, and you might just be surprised by how deep we can go on the subject. The smallest differences can be a big difference in the weapon’s ergonomics and how it handles. Mixing the right grip with the right weapon goes a long way. Heck, there are even legal implications to consider with the AR 15 and what kind of grip you equip. 

Before you leave this article, you’ll not only have a long list of the best grips on the AR 15 market but the ability to choose your own and find the best grip for you.

We have separated our best of lists into;

The Best AR 15 Pistol Grips

Magpul MIAD Gen 1.1
  • Customizable
  • Storage Compatible
  • Multiple Color Options
Check Price
Magpul K2 Grip
  • Aggressive Grip Texture
  • Storage Options 
  • Multiple Color Options
Check Price
BCM Gunfighter Grip Mod 2
  • Customizable 
  • Perfect for Smaller Rifles
  • Storage Compatible
Check Price
Strike Industries AR Multi-Angle Pistol Grip
  • Shooter Adjustable Grip Angle
  • Storage Compatible 
  • Perfect for Any AR
Check Price
Ergo Tactical Deluxe Suregrip
  • Various Grip Angles Available
  • Rubberized Grip 
  • Multiple Color Options
Check Price
B5 Systems P-Grip 23
  • Affordable
  • Simplistic 
  • Designed For Modern Carbines
Check Price
Hogue Extreme Series G10
  • Aggressive Grip Texture 
  • Extremely Durable 
  • Packs Some Style
Check Price
TangoDown Flip Grip
  • Change Grip Angles Instantly 
  • Aggressive Grip Texture
  • Multiple Color Options
Check Price

The Best AR-15 Pistol Grips

  1. Magpul MIAD Gen 1.1
  2. Magpul K2 Grip
  3. BCM Gunfighter Grip Mod 2
  4. Strike Industries AR Multi-Angle Pistol Grip
  5. Ergo Tactical Deluxe Suregrip
  6. B5 Systems P-Grip 23
  7. Hogue Extreme Series G10
  8. TangoDown Flip Grip

The Best AR-15 Pistol Grip Reviews

Now we’ve had an overview look at our list, let us take the time to individually review each item. In this section we’ll be speaking into the product and looking at the pros and cons.

PMagpul MIAD Gen 1.1 Review

Modularity matters, and if you like modularity, you’ll love the Magpul MIAD. MIAD stands for MIssion ADaptable, and it’s a modular pistol grip system designed for the pickiest of shooters. Magpul makes some of the best rifle gear on the planet, and they typically make it for a great price. 

The Magpul MIAD allows you to swap the rear and front strap with replacement models to get the grip to fit your hand be it big or small. The MIAD kit can be easily adapted for nearly any shooter. Better yet, it’s compatible with Magpul’s grip cores. 

These grip cores allow you to store a variety of accessories and tools on the gun. This includes a small oil bottle, small parts, and more. With a grip angle of 25 degrees, it is well suited for carbine-style AR 15 rifles. 

The only downside may be the somewhat high price Magpul asks. That being said, you are getting a modular grip with core compatibility. The MIAD kit is a great system and well suited for changing terrain and various hand sizes. 

Magpul MIAD Gen 1.1 Pros and Cons

  • Modular
  • Core Compatible
  • Non-slip grip texture
  • Almost 40 dollars!

Magpul MIAD Gen 1.1 Deals

Magpul K2 Grip Review

Yep, another Magpul, heck, this entire list could be Magpul products. However, we’ll keep it varied because variety is the spice of life. The K2 grip takes the original K and makes a few improvements. They add a beavertail and storage compartment and make it a hair wider for bigger hands. 

The K2 offers a fairly tight and vertical 17-degree angled grip. This makes the ole K2 perfectly suited for PDW-style rifles. You can get on the grip regardless of how short the stock is. It’s also well suited for AR pistols and better mimics a pistol grip. 

The K2 grip features Magpul’s aggressive grip texture that ensures your hand doesn’t move. The addition of a beavertail allows you to get your hand fairly high on the gun for increased control and interaction with your firearm’s controls. While a little wider, it’s still fairly thin and well suited on a thin and light PDW-style AR. 

Magpul K2 Grip Pros and Cons

  • Affordable
  • Great Grip Texture
  • Storage Options
  • Beavertail can create a gap between grip and receiver.

Magpul K2 Grip Deals

BCM Gunfighter Grip Mod 2 Review

BCM is my go-to when it comes to furniture on my AR rifles. The BCM Gunfighter Grip Mod 2 is my all-time favorite. As a fan of modularity, I like being able to change the front and rear backstrap to accommodate my hand size and preference. I also like the aggressive grip texture that keeps my hand in place with or without gloves. 

The grip angle allows for a squared-off stance and the use of PDWs or carbine-style rifles. You can square up without your rifle putting strain or discomfort on your wrist. The Mod 2 offers a storage compartment that’s waterproof with a seal in place for storing any manner of goodies. 

The Gunfighter Grip Mod 2 grants you a thoroughly modern option and a great choice for the modern rifle shooter. The grip aligns your wrist with your trigger ensuring things remain comfy in all manner of shooting positions. 

BCM Gunfighter Grip Mod 2 Pros and Cons

  • Modular
  • Storage Options
  • Awesome Grip Texture
  • Might be Too Vertical for Some

BCM Gunfighter Grip Mod 2 Deals

Strike Industries AR Multi-Angle Pistol Grip Review

We’ve talked about different grip angles, and we’ll talk a lot more about that later. What if a grip allowed the user to set the preference to their shooting style? Well, that’s what the Strike Industries Multi-Angle Pistol grip does. You can adjust the grip angle from 10 to 35 degrees. 

Both of those go well beyond normal when it comes to verticality and swept-back design. This allows the grip to customize the grip angle as they see fit. AR 15 rifles are modular, and you might switch uppers and lowers around, and this pistol grip doesn’t mind. Adjust it as you see fit. 

The texturing is tough to beat, and Strike Industries even allows for storage in the device. Strike includes the Grip Plug Tool holder insert for small tools, batteries, and similar items. It’s modular, adjustable, and works well as just a standard pistol grip. 

Strike Industries AR Multi-Angle Pistol Grip Pros and Cons

  • Adjustable for Various Angles
  • Aggressive Grip Texture
  • Storage Compartment
  • Pricey

Strike Industries AR Multi-Angle Pistol Grip Deals

Ergo Tactical Deluxe Suregrip Review

When you call yourself Ergo, you best be making comfy grips. I can’t speak for all of Ergo’s products, but the Tactical Deluxe Suregrip certainly checks the bill for comfort. The Suregrip embraces your hand like an old friend and feels like it’s made specifically for you. Heck, even lefties will feel comfy with this bad boy. 

The Ergo Suregrip comes in a 25-degree grip angle or a 15-degree grip angle. The 25-degree model is perfect for rifles and carbines, and 15 degrees fits well on ultra-short rifles. The external texture is rubberized and very tacky. It sticks to your hand and prevents it from sliding downwards or slipping off the grip or just up or around the grip. 

Once you’re locked in place, it stays locked in place. While the grip is hollow and storage is possible, you have to purchase the grip plug separately. The Ergo is the grip to go with if you want to maximize comfort without many other concerns. 

Ergo Tactical Deluxe Suregrip Pros and Cons

  • Super Comfy
  • Tacky Texture
  • Available in Different Grip Angles
  • Grip Plug Sold Separately

Ergo Tactical Deluxe Suregrip Deals

B5 Systems P-Grip 23 Review

Do you want an affordable, downright budget-friendly option that isn’t your standard A2 grip? Well, I have you covered with the Type 23 P-Grip from B5 systems. I’ve seen the P-Grip sold for as low as 11 bucks, and at that price point, it’s tough to find a better carbine or short rifle pistol grip. 

We get a sharp vertical angle for smaller rifles and AR pistols. It’s complete with a beavertail for a higher grip and a very aggressive grip texturing. It’s not fancy, modular, or anything like that. It’s a simple but effective grip that won’t break the bank. 

Heck, B5 even makes it in a wide array of colors so you can match it to your furniture. 

B5 Systems P-Grip 23 Pros and Cons

  • Affordable
  • Great Texture
  • Multiple Color Options
  • No modularity

B5 Systems P-Grip 23 Deals

Hogue Extreme Series G10 Review

The Hogue Extreme Series G10 Piranha takes us out of the polymer realm and brings us into the G10 world. G10 is a crazy molded and pressurized fiberglass material. The Piranha grips wear aggressive texturing, and Piranha is the proper name for texturing this aggressive. 

It doesn’t just stick to your hand. It bites it and holds onto it. G10 is a rugged and strong material but isn’t friendly for modularity or adjustability, so you get what you get. The grips come in both strict 15-degree angles and standard grip angles. 

Some might not like the aggressive texturing, but if you want a true no-slip grip, it’s the way to go. The Piranha series, in particular, exemplifies that aggressively textured grip. G10 also gives you some stylish looks, if that matters.

Hogue Extreme Series G10 Pros and Cons

  • Extremely Aggressive Texture
  • Rigid And Sturdy
  • Stylish
  • Extremely Expensive

ProductHogue Extreme Series G10 Deals

TangoDown Flip Grip Review

When it comes to grip angles, you either get a swept-back design or a vertical design. What if you could have both? It sounds silly, but TangoDown figured it out and created the flip grip. Shooters can pull and rotate the grip to switch between a vertical or swept back grip. The vertical works great for modern shooting styles and allows for a good squared-up shooting style. 

The swept-back grip design is better for long-range, precision-oriented shooting and feels comfy in bladed stances. Bladed stances might not be common, but sometimes cover, concealment, or your use of support requires it. 

The Flip Grip gives you the best of both worlds and makes it super easy to flip at a moment’s notice. 

TangoDown Flip Grip Pros and Cons

  • Flips to Two Different Angles
  • Aggressively Textured
  • Thin and Ergonomic
  • Somewhat Heavy

TangoDown Flip Grip Deals

Best AR-15 Forward Grips

Now we’ve covered the Bet Pistol Grips, let us take some time to look into the Best AR-15 Forward Grips. See our list below.

Best AR-15 Forward Grips

Magpul AFG 2
  • Angled Grip 
  • Low Profile 
  • Allows For Maximum Rifle Control
Check Price
BCM Gunfighter Vertical Grip Mod 3
  • Vertical Grip 
  • Stubby
  • Can be run in either direction
Check Price
Troy Modular Combat Grip
  • Vertical Grip 
  • Can be Stubby or Full Sizes
  • Made From Metal
Check Price
Bravo Company KAG
  • Angled Grip
  • Handstop Style Grip
  • Allows for Modern Shooting Styles
Check Price

Best AR-15 Forward Grips

  1. Magpul AFG 2
  2. BCM Gunfighter Vertical Grip Mod 3 
  3. Troy Modular Combat Grip
  4. Bravo Company KAG 

Best Forward Grip Reviews

Now we’ve had an overview look at our list of the Best Forward Grips, let us take the time to individually review each item. In this section we’ll be speaking into the product and looking at the pros and cons.

Magpul AFG 2 Review

Magpul made the angled foregrip a thing, and they’ve continued to revamp it and improve it. The AFG 2 represents a thinner, lighter design than the original AFG. Magpul designed the grip with a modern shooting stance in mind with the ability to use the famous C-clamp to reduce muzzle rise and increase control. 

The AFG 2 comes ready to attach to a Picatinny rail and mounts drama free. It’s simple but very effective. It lets you assume a grip that helps control recoil and muzzle rise and provides that constant index point without a big knob sticking downwards. Hell, it makes using mounted pressure switches easier.

Magpul AFG 2 Pros and Cons

  • Increases Firearm Control
  • Provides an Ergonomic Grip Point
  • Interchangeable Finger Shelf
  • Requires almost 5 inches of rail

Magpul AFG 2 Deals

BCM Gunfighter Vertical Grip Mod 3 Review

BCM, much like Magpul, makes another appearance. This time it comes with BCM’s classic stubby design. The BCM Gunfight Vertical Grip Mod 3 isn’t hanging downwards like some giant knob and doesn’t take up a ton of rail space. 

The Mod 3 features a forward grip angle and can be used as a traditional vertical grip. Flip this sucker around, and the angle allows you to run the nub like an angled grip allowing you to exert force to control recoil and muzzle rise. The Mod 3 works with your natural body motions to better control the weapon. 

The flat sides make it easy to wrap your hands around and help maintain a rock-solid grip on the gun and grip. BCM makes them for direct mounting to M-LOK, Keymod, or standard Picatinny attachments. 

BCM Gunfighter Vertical Grip Mod 3 Pros and Cons

  • Lightweight
  • Affordable
  • Reversible
  • Doesn’t Provide Much of a Grip when Used Vertically

BCM Gunfighter Vertical Grip Mod 3 Deals

Troy Modular Combat Grip Review

Sometimes you want a stubby grip, and other times, you need a big long grip. Why swap out grips when you can go modular. Troy offers you modularity with the Troy Modular Combat Grip. The grip allows you to choose between a short and long attachment to get the grip you want and need for a specific situation. 

If you want maximum durability, then Troy has you covered with an aluminum design that’s tough to beat. On top of that, it offers you a waterproof compartment sized just right for storing extra batteries or M&Ms. 

The grip is round, fairly ergonomic, and maybe a little bulky. The grip sports a ton of texturing and makes the grip easy to, uh, well, grip. It’s a neat and simple setup, but you’ll pay for the all-metal design. 

Troy Modular Combat Grip Pros and Cons

  • Modular
  • Ergonomic
  • Durable
  • Expensive

Troy Modular Combat Grip Deals

BCM KAG Review

The KAG or Kinesthetic Angled Grip is about as minimalist as it gets. You might be surprised to know that Travis Haley teamed up with BCM to create the KAG. It’s hardly a foregrip and more of a finger stop, but it still falls within that angled foregrip realm. 

The KAG is designed to provide a constant indexing point and hand stop. The magic comes from Haley and BCM designing the KAG to feature a “biomechanically efficient forward rake to create an interface for positive retention and joint relief to the wrist, elbow, and shoulder, allowing for smooth weapon manipulation. Without substantial increase to the girth of the weapon system.” 

That’s a fancy way of saying the grip is extremely ergonomic and designed to allow the shooter to exert control and mitigate both recoil and muzzle rise. It’s simple but very comfy and is a solid minimalist take on the foregrip. 

BCM KAG Pros and Cons

  • Minimalist Design
  • Ultra Lightweight
  • Ergonomic
  • Might be too small for some.

BCM KAG Deals

Best AR-15 Grips – Buyers Guide

So now that we know what grips work let me help you get a grip on getting a grip. This will be a deep dive into how the function of the grip and how the grip works, and the little differences you might not consider when choosing the best grip for your weapon. Due to the fact we are talking about two different types of AR 15 grips, we’ll break this into two sections. The first section will cover the rear grip you have to have, and the second section will cover forward grips. 

Rear AR-15 Grips 

Believe it or not, the angle of your grip makes a huge difference in how a weapon handles. AR 15 pistol grips come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes, and the most important is the angle of the grip. 

The old-school M16 grip and original AR 15 grip is swept rearward quite a bit. These grips are a product of their time and the rifles of the time. These guns had long lengths of pull and fairly long stocks, and the swept rearward pistol grip is a bit of a requirement. If you shoot an M16A2 length weapon, the swept-back pistol grips are a bit more comfortable. 

As rifles and AR pistols have gotten smaller and shooting styles have evolved, AR grips have become more vertical. This leads to more control over the weapon and better ergonomics all around. These more vertical AR 15 grips allow for a more squared-up stance, a more modern shooting style. 

The general rule of thumb is that shorter PDW-style guns work better with nearly vertical grips, grips as vertical as 17 to 10 degrees are common on these guns. Standard carbine length rifles will M4 collapsible style stocks work well with 20 to 25-degree grips. For full-length rifles, grips out to 30 to 35 degrees work well. 

Grip Material 

What’s your grip made out of? That makes a big difference in how the grip feels in your hand and can affect both function and price as well. I won’t say one is the best option, but in general, polymer seems to be the standard. Let’s dive into the three materials most common in AR 15 grip design. 

Polymer 

Polymer, injection-molded AR 15 grips are the most common type of grip. Polymer has been the mainstay of the AR world since its origins. Don’t let the idea of plastic fool you, they are very well made and plenty tough. Polymer offers a good balance of great texture, an affordable price point, and often unbeatable modularity. 

Aluminum 

Aluminum grips are somewhat new and have grown in popularity. These metal grips are a bit more stylish than effective. They tend to be expensive and somewhat heavy. While there is nothing explicitly terrible about these grips, they don’t offer many advantages over polymer other than style. 

G10 

G10 comes from stacking layers of epoxy-soaked glass cloth and adding heat and pressure to the mix to create a high-pressure fiberglass laminate. G10 has become quite popular for gun and knife grips, and G10 made its way to the AR 15 world. G10 is a lightweight but very durable and strong material. It’s also heavily textured and provides a great no-slip grip. G10 tends to be quite stylish with a number of color options available, but also a little expensive. 

Hand Size 

How big is your hand? AR 15 rifles and pistols are the most popular weapons in the United States and are used by people of all sizes and shapes. While the military can mass issue M4s to everyone with the same grip, we in the civilian market don’t have to deal with that. 

I have hands that wear 2XL-sized gloves. How does anyone expect me to use the same grip as a 5-foot-tall petite woman? It’s a silly idea, so it’s smart to pay attention to the size of your grip. Most grips fall into one size fits all, moderate-sized platform that fits the widest variety of shooters.

Grip size ensures you can control the weapon, manipulate the controls without issue, and generally provide you with the most comfort possible. 

For those of us on the far sides of the bell curve, we need to pay special attention to grip size. The good news is that the market provides for us. Multiple furniture manufacturers produce XL-sized and small-sized grips, and if you feel a little left out by the one-sized fit all approach. 

Storage 

A huge modern feature of most polymer AR 15 grips is the option to store goodies in them. Let’s face it; there is a lot of dead space inside the grip as they tend to be hollow. This opens up a small slot for storage. Magpul famously capitalized on this with various kits that allow you to store extra rounds, spare parts, and even a little canister of gun oil. 

Most modern grips these days offer a hinged cover, and Ergo even produces plugs to adapt various grips like the classic A2 grip to embrace the storage design. These small compartments are neat, and you can stash small tools, snacks, cleaning gear, or whatever. It’s neat, but personally, it’s one of the smallest considerations I have when choosing a AR 15 grip. 

If storage was a primary concern, then Magpul certainly does it best. Although I wouldn’t get wrapped around the hinges when considering a AR 15 grip. 

General Ergonomics Features 

There are a few small ergonomic features you should consider. These don’t fit into other categories but can be easily grouped into general ergonomics. 

External Texture

When you grab the grip, what does it feel like? Is it aggressive? Or is it slick? The difference in texturing can be considered when it comes time to start shooting. The less aggressive the external texture, the more likely your hand can slip when wet, sweaty, or under pressure. 

The more aggressive textures can be a little too aggressive and create hot spots and even a little pain in the hand. They can be awfully rough, but your hand certainly won’t slick off the grip. 

A slick or moderately textured grip tends to work okay with barehanded shooters. Skin kind of sticks to things naturally, and a moderate texture on bare hands won’t make you feel like your hands are ice skating. If you wear gloves when you shoot, then the more aggressive texturing might be better suited for you. 

Tacky Rubber

Have you ever grabbed a AR 15 grip and felt like it was grabbing you back? That sticky-style rubber design can either be a big turn-off or a major ergonomic advantage to you. Those sticky or tacky, rubberized grips do prevent your hand from sliding on the grip without the aggressive texture that can become uncomfortable after long periods of use. 

Finger Grooves 

Finger grooves can be quite divisive among shooters. Some hate them, some love them, and rarely does anyone have anything but a strong opinion of finger grooves. 

The downside to finger grooves is that they rarely fit everyone perfectly. They force your hand into a certain position that might not be comfortable. This mostly affects shooters with larger or smaller than average hands. 

The upside is increased retention. The finger grooves form speed-like humps that keep your hands from sliding. Additionally, some people love the finger grooves and find them incredibly comfortable. 

Palm Swell 

Let’s jump to the back of your AR grip. A palm swell is a slightly raised, rounded portion of the grip that is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a portion of the grip that is swollen and fills your hand. This more pronounced rounded section encourages a higher grip which can often aid in precision shooting, especially in supported positions. 

AR-15 Forward Grips 

We’ve covered the standard AR 15 grip now, and we’ll talk about forward grips. Forward grips come and go in popularity and are certainly an optional accessory. Forward grips on guns have been around forever, with guns like the Thompson submachine gun rocking them decades ago. 

Forward grips have a few benefits and a few downsides, but to really discuss forward grips, we have to break them down into two categories. We have vertical forward grips and angled forward grips. The difference is important and even has legal implications. Let’s dive into the differences before we go any further. 

Vertical Grips 

Vertical grips hang down directly from the weapon’s handguard. These grips were quite valuable in the early days of rail systems and M4-style platforms. Accessories like lights and lasers were massive, and they often left little room for the user to grip the gun by the handguard. Thus a verticle grip extending from below the gun offered operators a way to grab the weapon. 

Heck, I used a Knight Armament Grip on my M16A4 for years in the Marine Corps and found it super handy and comfortable. 

Vertical grips also protect your hand from heat. Some handguards get hot quite quickly. In fact, most get hot fairly quickly, and when shooting high round counts, a vertical grip puts some space between you and the heat. These grips can also be used to be braced against barriers to provide a stable shooting platform. A vertical foregrip allows you to pull the weapon tight into your shoulder without your hand slipping rearward. 

Vertical grips do add another device that’s sticking off the gun and can easily catch on things in the environment and snag and generally just get in the way. According to the ATF, vertical grips cannot be used on AR 15 pistols as this redesigns the gun to be fired with two hands. According to the ATF, handguns should be designed to be fired with a single hand. 

Angled Grips

This brings us to the world of angled foregrips. Angled foregrips, for some reason, can be used on AR pistols, according to the ATF. Why? Well, I don’t rightly know. There also seems to be some misunderstanding of what makes an angled grip. Is an 89-degree grip angled and legal on a AR 15 pistol? I can’t tell you. 

Angled foregrips came to life when gear shrunk and handguards expanded. There was plenty of handguard leftover to grab, so a vertical grip wasn’t necessary. An angled grip allowed the shooter to have a constant index point and an area you can pull rearward on to lock the gun in your shoulder. 

Angled grips are lower profile than vertical grips, but some can be used to brace against barriers for stability. Angled foregrips have gotten smaller and smaller, and now many have become nothing more than hand stops which allow a point of index and a means to pull the weapon tight to the shoulder with your thumb and hand, exercising more control over the weapon’s muzzle rise.

Angled grips don’t allow protection from heat and often make gloves a good choice during high round count sessions. 

Enter the Stubby Grip 

Sitting between vertical and angled foregrip sits the stubby grip. It’s essentially a vertical grip cut in half. It lowers the profile and uses the same angled shooting style. It offers a little protection from the barrel’s heat and offers great recoil and muzzle rise control. 

Stubby grips are a bit of compromise between angled and vertical grips with advantages of both. I tend to prefer the stubby grip personally, but like most things with the AR, it’s all personal preference. 

A Good Grip 

Woo boy, I told you this would be a lot about grips. Grips, grips, grips, holy crap, isn’t there a lot to know? Did you ever think the thing you hold on a rifle could be so complicated? Well, here we are after a few thousand words on grips. 

Do you have any further questions? Any suggestions for good grips? Let us know below! 

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About Travis Pike

Travis is a former United States Marine Corps Infantryman and currently a firearms writer, instructor, and works in Emergency Management.

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