Forward grips have been popular for the AR-15 for some time and rightly so. Since the M4 platform starting wearing quad rails the forward vertical grip has been a mainstay for the carbine. It makes wielding the weapon in close quarters much easier. The result is that one carries the weapon with hands oriented like a boxer with fists at the ready. While this isn’t the most stable hold for pure accuracy, it makes it very difficult for the weapon to get dislodged from the shooter’s control. I’ve used many different FVGs but once I saw the GripPod in action I knew I had to have it.
The concept is that you can combine a vertical grip with a bipod that is spring loaded inside the grip. It can be deployed by pushing a button. Securing the bipod is accomplished by folding the legs together and pushing them back into the handle. If shooting prone or from a rest is not likely then the value of the GripPod is neglible. As a grip it is large and heavy. But if you want the ability to quickly shoot from a rest/prone the device is perfect.
I first tried the clone route, just like I did with the Eotech holo sight with similar results. The cheaply made knockoff was about $35 and while it could have come from the same mold, the quality and reliability were terrible. The spring didn’t always work and it was so flimsy that the rifle wasn’t really steady when the bipod was deployed. That device is now on one of my son’s Nerf rifles. I’d say that is fitting. Why Nerf guns have rails is a mystery to me but that’s another story.
I finally broke down and bought the real deal for about $80 on eBay and the difference is dramatic. The gun rests in perfect stability on the bipod and I’ve never had an FTF with it. Sure, you can shoot prone without it but I have found that having a bipod allows my weak hand to support the butt stock by pressing it flat against my strong shoulder. I have found this to be the most stable way to shoot my AR.
Along with the all-polymer version they used to have an aluminum model but that has been replaced by a model that has polymer covered steel legs. Apparently you can stand on the rifle and not collapse them. The all-polymer model is now the LE model and the steel-leg variant the MIL model.
I will say while I keep a tactical light and the GripPod on my rifle most of the time, I often take both off during run-and-gun activities. The extra weight is annoying if I’m doing a lot of running. Most of the time however I keep the GripPod on the rifle just because I can. The other nice thing is that it makes putting the rifle down on a bench, table or even the ground much easier and I don’t have to worry about getting dirt or sand in the action.
And yes, it looks very cool.