Remember back when foregrips on guns were one of the chicest, most tactical accessories a gun could have — save for a giant laser or suppressor? When suddenly, they were replaced by the angled foregrip, a new more ergonomic alternative from Magpul that was 100 times more ‘tacticool’ than the traditional vertical grip.
While that was the prevailing logic for a few years, shooters are beginning to understand that both types of grips have their applications. For example, angled foregrips are better suited to thumb-over-bore styling shooting than vertical grips. This is because they allow the shooter to get a more positive grip that still allows their support hand to be rotated into position. This type of shooting is best for countering recoil, but not necessarily muzzle rise.
Conversely, vertical grips are better at countering muzzle rise — this is why these grips were originally designed for fully automatic weapons and submachine guns. Both of these types of firearms tend to suffer from excessive muzzle climb because of their rapid rates of fire.
AVG, VFG, BFG?
For a while, shooters had to choose between the two types of grips and employ them accordingly to their needs and their equipment. This meant that you either had reduced vertical recoil or reduced push — but never both.
This was the likely impetus behind the mini vertical grip. A grip small enough to be utilized with a shark-fin-like thumb-over-bore grip, but long enough to be used like a traditional vertical foregrip. One of my favorites is the TangoDown Stubby Vertical Grip.
Available in Foliage Green, Flat Dark Earth, or the ever-popular black, this three-and-a-half-inch foregrip tips the scales at a featherweight 2.56 oz. Weight on a small plastic component might not seem like a big deal, but when that little plastic grip is hanging off the forearm, every ounce counts. This is because as the distance from the pistol grip increases, so does the leverage or mechanical advantage of that part over the shooter’s firing hand.
Grades are Weighted…
For example, if the grip weighed about one pound, this wouldn’t change the balance of perceived heft of the gun substantially if said grip were located two inches from the pistol grip. However, if that same grip were mounted just below the front sight tower of, say an M4, it would make the gun feel very nose-heavy, and as if it weighed five more pounds.
Back to the foregrip itself — the Tangodown stubby grip is relatively inexpensive, and in my testing thus far, has fit every Picatinny rail I’ve mounted it to. While pricier versions exist with quick detach throw-levers, the one reviewed uses two spring-loaded pegs that engage between the teeth of the rail itself. To remove or attach, simply pull down on these pegs (small tabs for them are exposed on the outside) and slide over the rail. Once in position, release said pegs and they engage the rail for a secure grip.
Overall, I liken this foregrip as a solid alternative to offerings from Magpul and others. Between its solid construction, positive lockup, and integral water-proof compartment, the Tangodown stubby grip offers a great deal of value for very little cash.