Best AR-15 Pistol Grip: Vertical – Hand and Front Grip Included! [2019]

Pistol Grips are one of the most commonly bought accessories for AR-15 owners, and that’s no surprise. It’s one of the most important parts of your shooting experience. Finding the right grip can dramatically increase the ergonomics of your rifle, make it more comfortable to shoot, and even help you with accuracy and sighting if the angle and grip surface fit your hand better.

It’s likely that your AR-15 came with a stock grip that works pretty well, but it may not be the most comfortable rifle you’ve ever held. Maybe your hand is a little too big and the grip is on the skinny side, or it doesn’t have as much padding as you’d prefer, or it’s set at a strange angle compared to your other rifles.

Not to worry. In this article, we’ve handpicked the best AR-15 pistol grips on the market today. Each one is great on its own, but in our reviews we’ll outline exactly what makes an individual pistol grip good and the bottom line on choosing it.

Best AR-15 Pistol Grip Reviews

BCM AR-15 MOD-3 Gunfighter Grip

BCM AR-15 MOD-3 Gunfighter Grip

The first AR-15 pistol grip we’ll be covering is also one of the best. It’s a go-to option, especially for modern shooters, and almost anybody should be comfortable using it. This option from Bravo Company, or BCM for short, is designed around comfort and customizability.

The first and most important thing about this grip is that your hand won’t slip when you’re holding it. The polymer the grip is crafted from is aggressively textured with a checked, rough pattern on the sides and smoother grooves on the front. This means there’s adequate grip surface for both your palm and your fingers, even when wearing gloves or if you have rather large hands.

This is a relatively short, chunky grip. On average, reviewers with larger hands love it. Because it gives them ample space to hold onto their rifle securely, unlike standard AR-15 grips or some of BCM’s skinnier grips like the MOD-1.

In addition, this grip is a great choice for the more modern shooter, or anybody who learned to shoot with a more squared-off stance (i.e., shooting with your chest pointing at the target and your feet relatively parallel, as opposed to having one foot far behind the other).

Because of the way modern fighting has evolved, squared-off stances have become much more widely used. They give you better mobility and chances are if you’re training in modern gunfighting, you’re using a stance like this. This grip was designed to facilitate a squared-off stance and provide more rifle control when doing so.

Part of the way it does so is through grip angle. This grip is slightly more up-and-down than a traditional AR-15 grip, making it relatively comfortable to hold, even when squared-off.

There are two modulated triggerguard inserts included. One is smooth and one is extended, so you can dictate how much space you want between the triggerguard and the grip depending on your own preferences, hand size and shooting style.

This grip is crafted from impact resistant polymer and comes in Black or Flat Dark Earth. It should fit any standard rifle that fits AR-15/M16 grips and it comes with mounting hardware. There is also a hinged, water-resistant trapdoor in the grip for storing batteries or other small items. It’s sealed with a rubber gasket.

Pros

  • Not particularly expensive
  • Grip purpose-designed for the modern shooter
  • Adaptable triggerguard
  • Checkered surface
  • Great for large hands, with plenty of padding and a beavertail construction

Cons

  • Not the most feature-rich
  • This grip may be a bit big for those who have small hands

The Bottom Line:

If you have large hands and you usually have trouble comfortable holding a standard AR-15 grip, this is the one for you. It’s one of the most consistently well-reviewed grips on the internet, and it’s both thick and aggressively textured, which means you won’t have a problem with putting and keeping your hands on it, even in adverse weather conditions.


Magpul MOE+ Grip

Magpul MOE+ Grip

The regular Magpul MOE grip is a great buy. It’s ergonomic and probably one of the most commonly used aftermarket AR-15 pistol grips out there. THE MOE+ has all the same great features and benefits, but we like it because of its added rubber, anti-slip coating.

It’s not an essential upgrade, and if you’re trying to save a few bucks, the normal Magpul MOE will serve beautifully. But in our eyes, more grip is an upgrade we’re always willing to shell out on. It’s essential not just to your shooting performance, but to the safety of you and those around you as well.

In addition, if you live in a particularly humid area or you have sweaty hands, the rubber overmolding will help you keep a good grip on your rifle. We’ve found it works better than the standard reinforced polymer that most manufacturers use. There are grippy grooves on the front and back of the grip to further keep your fingers secure.

The MOE isn’t as vertical as the previously reviewed BCM Gunfighter MOD-3 grip; it has a bit more of an angle to it. If you don’t have a squared-off stance very often or even just if you prefer a more angled grip because of the way you shoot, this is a great, great alternative.

Also, if you’re not quite sure where to start with buying the best AR-15 pistol grip, the Magpul MOE+ is a great place to begin. It’s very widely used and it’s an upgrade over any stock grip, but it doesn’t have an extreme angle or any other strange features that are catered towards users with specific needs.

The body itself is made from reinforced polymer (the same as the standard MOE) and it’s covered with rubber overmolding. The bottom edge is made of hard polymer to reduce any snags and it wears well over time, in comparison to some grips that have rubber on the bottom as well. Mounting hardware is included. In addition, even though the MOE+ comes with a standard grip cap, it can accept Storage Cores from Magpul, which you can buy separately. Adding a Storage Core will let you store two small batteries or something similar in the bottom of the grip. The MOE+ comes in Flat Dark Earth or Black.

Pros

  • Beautifully grippy rubber overmolding
  • Same great ergonomics as the standard MOE
  • More rakish angle for those who prefer it

Cons

  • Might not work well for those who prefer a vertical-style AR-15 grip

The Bottom Line:

This is one of our frequent picks for a standard AR-15 pistol grip. It’s not as chunky as others, so it’ll fit all hand sizes relatively well, but it still provides a very respectable amount of space. Furthermore, it’s really grippy, perfect for humid climates. This grip doesn’t come with any eye-popping features, but that’s what we like about it. It just does its job and it does it well.


Magpul MOE K-2

MAGPUL - AR-15 MOE K2 GRIP

If you liked the look of the Magpul MOE+ grip but you’re not too crazy about the idea of a more acute grip angle, then this is the grip for you. It’s slightly more vertical than the standard MOE, and comes closer to the BCM MOD-3 Gunfighter grip.

That vertical angle makes it great not only for the squared-off stance we discussed in the BCM MOD-3 Gunfighter review, but also for personal defense. If you think you’ll primarily use your AR-15 to defend your family or your property, then the MOE K-2 will likely suit you better than the standard MOE.

The Magpul MOE K-2 is optimized for Personal Defense Weapons (PDW), or rifles that have a short length of pull (LOP, or the distance between the trigger and the back end of the rifle). On such weapons, your hand generally rests a little closer to your body than on a traditional rifle. That’s great for mobility, but it also makes traditional angled grips a little more uncomfortable and it may affect accuracy and shooting comfort. The MOE K-2 solves that issue.

The K-2 has a one-piece, solid polymer construction and a proprietary backstrap design. Furthermore, it features Magpul’s TSP (Trapezoidal Surface Projections) texture. In plain english, that means it has a raised, textured surface on both sides of the grip, as well as notched serrations on both the front and the back. In practice we’ve found it to  be more than grippy enough, even though the grip is made of polymer rather than rubber. It also accepts Magpul’s Storage Cores just like the MOE+.

Pros

  • More vertical grip is great for PDW’s and rifles with a short LOP
  • Simple but effective design
  • TSP texture works great and keeps your hands on the grip
  • Can be modified to store small objects like batteries

Cons

  • Not the most ergonomic grip on this list — the MOE K-2 is basically just textured polymer

The Bottom Line:

If you’re into the looks of the MOE+, but you don’t know if the grip angle will work for you or your uses, then the MOE K-2 is a great alternative. You’ll get almost all of the same features (except for the rubberized coating) and a good, textured grip, but with the more vertical angle that you prefer.

The MOE-K-2 is also a great if you’re not too into rubber grips. The MOE+ and Hogue grips offer great ergonomics, but some people prefer a solid, straight-up grip of polymer in the hand — which the MOE K-2 can provide.


Hogue Overmold AR-15 Pistol Grip

Hogue Overmold AR-15 Pistol Grip

This one is for the chunky grip lovers out there. If you like the feel of holding your AR-15 by a pistol grip that’s large, textured, and coated with comfortable rubber, then the Hogue Overmold should suit you perfectly.

The Hogue Overmold is constructed from a core fiberglass insert, with (as the name suggests) a mold of rubber laying over top of it. The grip is also textured on the sides for a little more tactile sensation. For those who may be a little worried about the grip feeling too soft, you can rest assured; while it’s grippy, it’s not tacky or sticky, even in the heat. And it’s firm enough that your accuracy and the way you hold your rifle don’t have to change.

That said, we feel this grip is great for anybody who doesn’t deal well with recoil. The rubber definitely provides more impact absorption than a standard polymer grip does, but without losing too much in the way of firmness.

This grip’s biggest selling points are its ergonomics. It doesn’t have a beavertail and there’s nothing you can really swap out about it, but the Hogue Overmold is entirely focused on providing a comfortable shooting experience. The built in finger-grooves set it apart from the rest of the pack. They’re very deep and relatively well-placed.

That said, if you’re a shooter with particularly large or small hands, you may want to try and find the Hogue Overmold in stores or on a buddy’s gun to try it out before you buy. You might find that the finger grooves don’t quite fit your fingers exactly the way you’d normally prefer.

Pros

  • Large, chunky grip is great for big hands
  • One of the most rubberized grips on this list — super comfortable to shoot with no matter what position you’re shooting from
  • Built in finger grooves are quite nice in comparison to the more traditional flat surface
  • Rubber is comfortable without being tacky or sticky

Cons

  • Finger grooves may not fit perfectly for shooters with uniquely-shaped or very, very large hands
  • Won’t suit users who want the firmest of grips, or who like being able to slide their hand up and down easily

The Bottom Line:

The Hogue Overmold has some crazy good ergonomics, with a huge coating of rubber on top of the fiberglass base and deep, built-in finger grooves that are perfect for holding onto when you’re shooting. If comfort is a top priority, this is the grip we’d recommend over any other on this list.

Just be careful. If you’re not sure whether the finger grooves will be more of a help or a  hindrance, then this is one grip you should definitely try before you buy.


Magpul MIAD Gen 1.1 AR-15 Pistol Grip

Magpul MIAD Gen 1.1 AR-15 Pistol Grip

This grip is really more of a system. It’s incredibly modular, and you can change out almost any piece of it that you’d like, which is its main selling point. MIAD stands for Mission Adaptable. There are also two sizes available, to ensure that it fits the widest variety of AR-15 receivers possible.

Both the backstrap and the frontstrap of the Magpul MIAD grip are interchangeable. That’s great news for users who often feel that every grip they buy is just ever so slightly off. The MIAD will let you tinker to your heart’s content until you get a setup that’s perfect for you and your shooting style.

The MIAD comes with one straight backstrap and two beavertail-style ones. There’s one straight frontstrap insert and one that comes with a finger ledge. To install, you don’t need to use glue or screws; the inserts simply snap into place. The grip itself is made from reinforced, molded polymer and it also holds a ½ oz lubrication bottle in the core.

In practice, the grip works well, and the inserts aren’t fragile and they don’t fall off easily. There’s no reason to be concerned about durability. That said, this grip isn’t necessarily as comfortable or ergonomic as ones that have a ton of rubber, or that are designed for a specific purpose, like the Magpul MOE K-2 or the Hogue Overmold, respectively. Instead, it’s just great that you can switch easily and find the right grip thickness for you.

The other downside is that many users note that fitting this grip can be a bit on the tight side. If your AR-15 lower is from an obscure maker and you usually have some trouble fitting aftermarket grips, you may want to reconsider this one.

Pros

  • Easily the most interchangeable grip on this list
  • Features a plethora of different grip combinations
  • Will fit pretty much any hand, whether large or small, narrow or wide
  • Modular but well-constructed. Durability isn’t an issue

Cons

  • Can be a bit hard to fit to the receiver
  • Not as soft as molded rubber grips

The Bottom Line:

The Magpul MIAD is the best AR-15 pistol grip for shooters who need options, shooters who switch their grip often, or shooters who share a gun with someone who has a different hand size. Switching out backstraps and frontstraps is easy and the grip itself is very well-made, meaning it’ll last a long time despite its modularity.


Daniel Defense AR-15 Pistol Grip

Daniel Defense AR-15 Pistol Grip

If you’re searching for the Best AR-15 pistol grips, this one may just top the pack. It features a unique design and you can tell the makers were thinking about the shooter more than potential profits when they made this grip, because it’s so nice to use.

The top of the grip and core are fashioned out of hardened polymer, but the lower section of the grip features a soft-touch overmolding. Unlike the Hogue grip earlier on this list, this one only features the overmolding on the bottom, which is a great solution that should satisfy users who want both stability and comfort. You get the impact resistance of the rubber overmolding, but the firmness and handfeel of polymer near the top of your grip. In other words, it’s the best of both worlds.

Furthermore, as far as texturing goes, this grip just feels incredible. It’s grippy without being abrasive, comfortable without feeling soft or overly cushy.

The triggerguard on this grip is oversized, meaning it’s good for people who need to wear gloves or who often find the top of their trigger finger pushing up on the AR-15’s lower receiver area. It also doesn’t require a roll pin, so grip installation is easy.

In addition, this is a great grip for people who normally shoot 1911’s. The grip is modeled after the classic .45 and features the exact same grip angle. That makes this a good option for users building PDW’s; it should feel very similar to a pistol.

If you’re after the more vertical grip style seen in the Magpul MOE K-2 or the BCM MOD-3 Gunfighter grip, however, this isn’t the grip for you. The 1911 design has a pretty aggressive angle to it. That said, it’s still based on one of the oldest, most successful automatic pistol designs ever.

Pros

  • Designed after the tried-and-true 1911
  • Best of both soft overmolding and firm polymer grip
  • Oversized, easily-installed trigger guard
  • Best-in-class texture on the overmolding

Cons

  • Aggressive, 1911-style grip angle is not for everybody

The Bottom Line:

This is one of the best aftermarket grips one can buy. Thoughtfully designed, based on a time-tested and unilaterally respected gun design, with an enlarged trigger guard and a soft but firm grip, this option from Daniel Defense just feels like it’s been well-thought out. There are better options out there for people who need a more vertical grip, but if that doesn’t matter to you or if you’re a fan of a relatively steep angle, this could be the perfect solution.


Things to Consider When Buying the Best AR-15 Pistol Grip

Buying an aftermarket grip can be confusing, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are three of the most important considerations when you’re looking for a new one.

Grip

Your grip shouldn’t slip around when you’re holding it. Obviously, that would be pretty dangerous. As such, you should be looking for a grip that provides an adequate amount of texture and features to keep your hand firmly secured. Is there grippy rubber somewhere on the grip? Does it have some kind of texture or pattern for tactile sensation and to increase friction? Are there finger grooves or ledges to facilitate a tighter, more secure grip?

Comfort

If you’re not comfortable and you can’t keep your hands firm but relaxed, you won’t shoot well. Tension and a strange position will decrease your shooting accuracy. As such, looking for a comfortable grip is of paramount importance. Whether it’s made out of rubber, fiberglass or polymer, when you hold it in your hand you should be able to get a firm grip without feeling unduly strained or awkward.

Angle

Finally, angle is an important consideration that people sometimes forget to think about. Do you prefer a more straight up-and-down grip that’ll let you hold your hand close to your body in a squared-off stance? Or are you a traditionalist that prefers the more angled grips common to AR-15’s? Either way, the degree to which a pistol grip is angled can completely change your shooting experience, so choose carefully.

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