Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Carbine Support Grip

I get quite a bit of emails as to why I grip a carbine the way I do with my support hand. The opening segment of Tactical Arms shows me shooting an M4, as do a couple pics that have been on here and the web.

First off, I didn't invent this grip even though it's been attributed to me on more than one occasion. Unfourtunately, I don't know where it came from, so I can't give credit where it's due. I would guess that it began as a three gun thing, and maybe John Shaw brought it to the SEAL Teams?

In any case, there are quite a few pro shooters out there besides me that run a carbine with this grip (Jason Falla, Tony Reeves, Looey Gines, Billy Solares, Brian Searcy, Larry Vickers, Chris Costa) or a slight variation. And to be honest, I didn't originally do it for the same reasons I do it now.

The reason for placing the hand as far forward as possible is to have better control and balance on the gun. Especially when shooting from standing or on the move. If you think about a correct pistol grip, all I'm doing is replicating that on a longer plane. Gripping an M4 closer to the mag well would be the equivalent of doing a cup and saucer grip on a pistol. Now, an important thing to note is that when you go to a supported kneeling position, you can't use this grip. You must roll your hand slightly more under the rail so you can make contact between your elbow and knee. It will work in the prone though, no problem, especially if you rest the mag on the ground.

I place my thumb over the top rail because that's how I activate my laser. The on/off button for all IR devices is on top. I 100% hate pressure pads and cables of any kind (if you're doing anything more than standing still, they will screw you eventually). I discovered by accident that when shooting a carbine without a laser, that thumb does an almost unbeleivable job of reducing upward recoil during rapid fire. To the point that you can keep up with iron sights and this grip against a guy that has a red dot and does a traditional under grip.

So does your hand get hot? Not really. If you decided to unload an entire mag at once, yes, it would get uncomfortable. If that's you-wear gloves.

A few years ago when Larue and others came out with rail systems that where longer than normal 7" issued one, a lot more people started to adopt this style of support hand, either on purpose or by accident. My new M4 will have an extended foregrip, no doubt, for the sole purpose of getting my hand as far forward as possible for better overall control of the weapon.


Haji said...

Add Kyle Lamb to that list of shooters, and as far as I can remember, all the top pro competitive shooters like Jerry Miculek that do carbine stuff.

I have a DD 9.5 FSP rail on my carbine, with a Scout Light on the right side. I activate it with my middle finger knuckle, which means just a very slight shift of my size XXL hand. I typically have my thumb wrapped around the top of the rail, and my index finger is either pointed down the bottom rail or sometimes hooked over the end of the bottom rail. I find I can really pull on the rifle, and lean on it at the same time, which gives really good recoil control.

My thumb is right in front of the gas block, but I've got Knight's Armament rail panels on all the unused rail, so I find that heat isn't an least not in that grip.

People have forgotten why the vert grip was invented in the first place, and went to it as what they supposed was the preferred grip with it. Anybody who's running a VG without two lights and a PEQ on their rifle needs to get a timer and try it with and without. The results will show that not chicken choking the vert grip is the way to go.

Anonymous said...

I always wondered why some of you guys do this. I was at a Tac 1 pistol this spring and saw you shooting like that on the next range over. Thanks for the good info!

Haji said...

Since I posted that a year ago, I've swapped out the M600 Scout for an M300 Mini Scout on the right side and an XT07 rail mount tape switch. That set up has pretty much made everything right with the world.