Posted: 8/8/2004 8:47:06 PM EST
As discussed in THIS thread, I ordered a TDI short vertical fore grip in an effort to streamline my CQB carbine. Well it arrived on Saturday & I had a chance to install & play around with it today. Good news is it's a keeper!
The grip is made of a durable, hard polymer that is not brittle or fragile in any way. It is dark black in color, and there was virtually no flash on the edges or seems. What VERY little excess plastic there was scratched away with my fingernail.
The grip slid on to my Surefire M73 handguards without any problem at all, and it locks in place very securely. It is held in place with a tension fit. It has a steel screw that extends through the "rail clamp" section of the upper grip & it screws into a steel nut that is embedded in the plastic, pulling the two sides of the rail interface tight on to the rail for a stable and movement free fit. The screw must also pass through one of the picitinny rail channels, and this prevents the grip from sliding fore or aft on the rail.
I obviously didn’t practice muzzle strikes with my carbine & grip, but I did try to get it to move after installation, and it would not budge. Consider the TDI VFG solid & sturdy enough for social purposes!
The TDI VFG is comfortable & long enough for people with small to medium (i.e. "normal") size hands. If you have big meaty bear mitts I suspect that you will find the grip a little too short for proper "grip ability". The body of the grip is larger in diameter than a Knights or Magpul VFG, but it is a hair smaller than a TangoDown VFG. I find it comfortable to hold & it allows me to activate my push button weapon light without difficulty.
The TDI VFG comes with a rubber plug or stopper, which fits, via simple tension into the bottom of the grip's hollow inner cavity. While you could probably fit a couple of Aimpoint type batteries into this grip (don't expect to fit Surefire batteries or a spare bolt... it's not going to happen), I decided that the stopper did not fit securely enough for my tastes, and I decided to ditch the plug. No loss... I don't like to store things in my VFGs' anyway. YMMV.
In conclusion, I am extremely glad that I took the plunge & ordered the TDI grip. I envision it doing everything that I need it to do. It is well-made, sturdy, low profile, & comfortable. The kicker is that it is also about half the price of the Magpul & TangoDown offerings!
This isn't to say that these other grips are crap... they most assuredly are NOT! In fact, if streamlining my fighting carbine weren’t such a high priority for me, I would have kept my Magpul Ind. grip. It is also a very high quality product, with a soft rubber like grip over molded onto an unbendable shaft. It secures with an Aluminum clamp & steel thumb nut, and the result is a rock solid fit that is quite tolerant of all rails, even those that might be a bit out-of-spec. It has a watertight internal cavity that will fit both Aimpoint & Surefire type Lithium batteries, and the end cap ain't going anywhere once it is screwed down!
The Magpul VFG is slimmer than the TDI or TD grips, so again... it is best suited to normal size hands (though length is not an issue, for it is as long or longer than a TD VFG). It is also a bit heavier than the other grips mentioned, but not by much. I found it very comfortable to hold on to, and if length & $$$ are not an issue; I would recommend that you also consider the Magpul VFG. It hangs tough with the best of them, and it is better than most!
There you go... two VFG reviews in one post! If you have any questions, feel free to ask.
Two things I forgot to add... the TDI VFG is not quickly detachable. You need a flat head screwdriver or coin to install &/or remove it. This is not an issue for me, but it may be for you.
Also, I tend to think that the TDI grip is too short to properly mount a tape switch. You could try (with some inner tube) but I think that most tape switches would extend past the bottom of the grip. Again, not an issue for me (I run a Surefire G2 with a Z49 tailcap), but if you like and use a pressure switch for your light, this might not be the VFG for you.
I'm glad you appreciate it Lumpy!
To answer your questions, I don't think the nut is going anywhere. You don't have to torque the screw that much to get a tight fit, and the nut looks pretty well embedded in the plastic.
I purchased mine from www.strategos store.com, but I can't really recommend them. They raped me on S&H ($9.50 on a $27.99 item) & they don't actually have their items in stock... they place an order with the manufacturer & the manufacturer ships the item to you. Because of this set up, it took me longer to get my grip than I feel it should have.
My first TDI related thread has links to a couple of other companies that sell the grip. Give them a try.
NYP, do you have a digi-camera at home or have a friend who can snap some pics for us?
I'm definately down for one of these abbreviated VFG's.
Thanks for the excellent review. I was considering this VFG for an AK74 build with the TDI railed handgrip. Too bad you did not know about BlackJack Buffers, BlackJack Buffers, in stock for $28, $4 shipping and fast delivery. I highly recommend them.