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Posted: 1/30/2006 4:46:25 AM EDT
I've noticed a trend lately. It seems like it's mostly Marines doing it---maybe they're teaching it at the MCRD's? Guys using the magwell on an M-16/M-4 or the magazine on an AK or M-14 as a vertical foregrip. In fairness, when I helped run a class on the M-14 for some 101st guys deploying to Iraq in November the majority of them used the magazine on the M-14 as a VFG. It definitely isn't something I've seen in the past, especially when I was in the Army 20 years ago.

I guess it's okay if you don't have a seperate VFG, and are using a MAGWELL as opposed to a MAGAZINE. But from my experience in shooting, gripping a magazine can cause jams (FTF), especially with an M-14. Perhaps less so with an AK.

So, is it me or is this something some of you guys have noticed as well? Maybe some active duty Marines or Army can chime in. It seems the Marines do it like it's been drilled into them in training. Is it really a stable firing platform?
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 4:48:27 AM EDT
Far be it from me to question what is so obviously accepted among the troops, but I've never fully understood the utility of a VFG, nor thought that one would be comfortable.

Am I THAT wrong about this?
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 4:49:16 AM EDT
I find it more comfortable to use the magwell on M4-type rifles. On heavier 20" rifles (HBAR in particular) I don't do this. Holding the actual magazine is a no-no in my book.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 4:51:21 AM EDT
The mag-well maybe, but have never seen anybody grab onto the magazine itself. Were the Marines that you observed in the actual act of firing, or were they just glassing the countryside with their ACOGs?
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 4:51:44 AM EDT
I DO like VFG's on my M-4geries and AK. I would think that using a magwell or magazine would be kinda far back and leave the weapon muzzle-heavy, i.e. not balanced well.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 4:53:03 AM EDT
I grip the magwell as a FG but I don't hold onto the magazine.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 4:53:40 AM EDT

Originally Posted By GySgtD:
The mag-well maybe, but have never seen anybody grab onto the magazine itself. Were the Marines that you observed in the actual act of firing, or were they just glassing the countryside with their ACOGs?




The ones grabbing the magazines were using AK's in weapons familiarization classes.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 4:54:42 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 4:55:18 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ABNAK:

Originally Posted By GySgtD:
The mag-well maybe, but have never seen anybody grab onto the magazine itself. Were the Marines that you observed in the actual act of firing, or were they just glassing the countryside with their ACOGs?




The ones grabbing the magazines were using AK's in weapons familiarization classes.



See, on an AK (with mag dimples/tight mag) I think you could get away with it, but it seems to me like it would make the rifle feel heavy in the front.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 4:56:11 AM EDT

Originally Posted By The_Beer_Slayer:
i used to shoot that away until i watched a case seperation blow out the magwell.

won't put my hands near that area again while shooting.



If I had your luck with exploding guns, I wouldn't either.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 4:57:12 AM EDT
I don't find a VFG very comfortable for me.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 4:57:44 AM EDT
I know that my friend(Nat Gaurd) told me that they were instructed to use the magwell as a VFG during some of their training before going to Iraq. I distinctly remember that as being quite odd. I'm assuming that they're following their training?
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 4:59:33 AM EDT

Originally Posted By The_Beer_Slayer:
i used to shoot that away until i watched a case seperation blow out the magwell.

won't put my hands near that area again while shooting.



I've seen something similar, but I think the rifle was bumped underwater.

Link Posted: 1/30/2006 5:02:36 AM EDT
I have seen the same from retired Marines. I have done it with my M4gry but not on the longer guns.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 5:05:30 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/30/2006 5:07:57 AM EDT by eye_spy]

Originally Posted By The_Beer_Slayer:
i used to shoot that away until i watched a case seperation blow out the magwell.

won't put my hands near that area again while shooting.





OUCH! I shoot with weak hand on the magwell too!

I would not say it is a fad.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 5:07:52 AM EDT

Originally Posted By The_Beer_Slayer:
i used to shoot that away until i watched a case seperation blow out the magwell.

won't put my hands near that area again while shooting.



Bingo. I like my hand just the way I was born with it. No need to tempt fate. I can afford a VFG.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 5:08:52 AM EDT

Originally Posted By The_Beer_Slayer:
i used to shoot that away until i watched a case seperation blow out the magwell.

won't put my hands near that area again while shooting.

Jesus man! Either you have the WORST luck with guns or you shoot 10,000rds a week to experience that many KB's.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 5:11:02 AM EDT
I wouldn't put a VFG on a carbine personally. The only rifle I might try one on is an SBR. Even then I don't know if I'd like it.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 5:12:19 AM EDT
In a DETC tac carbine class we were taught to shoot isoceles style to take better advantage of body armor, and elbows in tight. When shooting from this stance, I found myself naturally using my offhand on the front of the magwell, and so did quite a few others. It works, and you know what they say, "Whatever works".
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 5:12:49 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 5:14:42 AM EDT
When I went through the Master Marksmanship Course, they DID teach using the magwell as a foregrip and the mag itself as a monopod while in the prone. Or I should say that they covered it as a legitimate OPTION. They'd run a bunch of tests to counter the arguments about misfeeds and felt that it was essentially a legend. There was some issue with additional parts wear, but that was about it. I think what they were/are primarily trying to get across is that with the increased use of personal armor combined with the continued use of the full A1/ A2 stock, its important that the guys not get stuck into the textbook "you MUST hold the weapon here, here and in THIS way" that they teach in Basic; that you can effectively use the weapon in a non-standard, non-FM "range-safety-is-everything" manner and still be able to engage and neutralize the enemy.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 5:17:08 AM EDT
When we were being instructed by some Marine SOTG instructors for MOUT, they all used the the mag well grip.

Most guys in my unit do with our A4s. It's actually a really good hold for MOUT. Sure, a real VFG would be better, but my A4 doesn't have rails yet. That's one of the first things I am going to get. Although, I hope I get an M4.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 5:20:09 AM EDT

Originally Posted By The_Beer_Slayer:


Actually i have had better luck with reloads that factory ammo

Yikes!

I was actually thinking about this on Saturday while I was shooting. The front of the reciever is awfully close to the chamber and gas tube so I can see how it wouldn't be the best idea to grip the gun there. It does work well for me though esp. when engaging in room clearing drills. I have yet to find a good FG to fit my big hands.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 5:22:13 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TheKill:
In a DETC tac carbine class we were taught to shoot isoceles style to take better advantage of body armor, and elbows in tight. When shooting from this stance, I found myself naturally using my offhand on the front of the magwell, and so did quite a few others. It works, and you know what they say, "Whatever works".



+1

If you're in a squared-up stance, the left arm has to reach way out to the handguard.

Also, a VFG - magwell or bolt on - is far more ergonomic.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 5:23:32 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ABNAK:
I've noticed a trend lately. It seems like it's mostly Marines doing it---maybe they're teaching it at the MCRD's? Guys using the magwell on an M-16/M-4 or the magazine on an AK or M-14 as a vertical foregrip. In fairness, when I helped run a class on the M-14 for some 101st guys deploying to Iraq in November the majority of them used the magazine on the M-14 as a VFG. It definitely isn't something I've seen in the past, especially when I was in the Army 20 years ago.

I guess it's okay if you don't have a seperate VFG, and are using a MAGWELL as opposed to a MAGAZINE. But from my experience in shooting, gripping a magazine can cause jams (FTF), especially with an M-14. Perhaps less so with an AK.

So, is it me or is this something some of you guys have noticed as well? Maybe some active duty Marines or Army can chime in. It seems the Marines do it like it's been drilled into them in training. Is it really a stable firing platform?



The people using the magwells as grips either wear gloves or haven't gotten their weapon hot enough. After shooting under the beating sun with about 4-5 mags run through the rifle, metal parts were too hot to touch w/o gloves. I quickly learned why they used plastic for the handguards.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 5:24:59 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ABNAK:
I've noticed a trend lately. It seems like it's mostly Marines doing it



Hope the dealers are hearing this... no doubt if the military is doing it all of the chairborne rangers will follow... and VFG sales will plummet.

In terms of mechanics it seems to make more sense to have secondary grip as far out as possible/comfortable from the pistol grip to give the best control.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 5:27:21 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 5:27:23 AM EDT

Originally Posted By pathfinder74:

Originally Posted By ABNAK:
I've noticed a trend lately. It seems like it's mostly Marines doing it



Hope the dealers are hearing this... no doubt if the military is doing it all of the chairborne rangers will follow... and VFG sales will plummet.

In terms of mechanics it seems to make more sense to have secondary grip as far out as possible/comfortable from the pistol grip to give the best control.

I like fhe VFG far out when the M4 stock is fully collasped however when fully retracted it feels much better to grip the magwell
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 5:32:28 AM EDT

Originally Posted By NoVaGator:

Originally Posted By TheKill:
In a DETC tac carbine class we were taught to shoot isoceles style to take better advantage of body armor, and elbows in tight. When shooting from this stance, I found myself naturally using my offhand on the front of the magwell, and so did quite a few others. It works, and you know what they say, "Whatever works".



+1

If you're in a squared-up stance, the left arm has to reach way out to the handguard.

Also, a VFG - magwell or bolt on - is far more ergonomic.




Roger that, especially for some of us smaller guys(I'm only 5'7) with shorter reach, the balance of the M4 is such that it seems very natural to grab it by the mag well. I keep my VFG as far back on the rail as I can get it, and it seems to work pretty well that way for me...
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 5:44:18 AM EDT
With an A1/A2, firing from the standing position, I tend to let my off hand come to the rear and grab the front of the magwell. This way, I can brace my off hand elbow against my body and and use that arm as a monopod. I also do this with "hunting" rifles. I just find that it gives me more support and stability. I don't, however, grip the magazine itself because of "potential" misfeeds or increased wear on the bottom of the bolt or mag lips.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 5:56:34 AM EDT
Nothing new here, troops have been doing that since Nam.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 6:04:13 AM EDT
I removed my VFG cause it keeps hitting my magwell when I flip the upper.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 6:07:06 AM EDT
My cousin was a marine in the early 90s. He tells me he was taught to shoot like that.

Link Posted: 1/30/2006 6:09:42 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/30/2006 6:11:38 AM EDT by -Absolut-]

Originally Posted By Zaphod:
Far be it from me to question what is so obviously accepted among the troops, but I've never fully understood the utility of a VFG, nor thought that one would be comfortable.

Am I THAT wrong about this?

I think so. In addition to being more comfortable to hold for longer periods of time, the VFG also gives you much more control over the rifle in CQB situations.

I don't think using the magwell as a VFG is anything new, i've been seeing troops do it since the WOT began.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 6:22:43 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/30/2006 6:23:04 AM EDT by macman37]
Magwell is a natural contact point for your hand. When I see people with their hands far out on the handguard I think "You could be holding that so much more comfortably!"

That said, the only time I use a VFG is on my SEBR. It feels natural to have it on a short carbine.

I heard about - I think it was a Canadian rifle team? - using the 30 round mag as a bit of a monopod in competition for shooting prone. This was quickly disallowed (as the rumor went).
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 6:42:26 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TheKill:
In a DETC tac carbine class we were taught to shoot isoceles style to take better advantage of body armor, and elbows in tight. When shooting from this stance, I found myself naturally using my offhand on the front of the magwell, and so did quite a few others. It works, and you know what they say, "Whatever works".



I know a guy who's been shooting in this style stance for years. And if you have your elbows tucked way in then your offhand come up pretty naturally at the front of the mag well. And hella' more comfortable to use that than turn your hand to grip the handguard.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 6:42:54 AM EDT
I found myself holding onto the magwell quite a bit with my M16 when I was in the Army. It seemed very natural and comfortable.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 8:02:27 AM EDT
I noticed it in Black Hawk Down. The lead character, SSgt. Matt Eversmann, played by Josh Hartnett, used that technique when firing his M-16. I don't remember if others did that in the movie, but I remembered he did.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 8:08:53 AM EDT

Originally Posted By RikWriter:
I found myself holding onto the magwell quite a bit with my M16 when I was in the Army. It seemed very natural and comfortable.



Yeah i never did it until the military, i do not really remember anyone telling me, I am guessing it was because when you are doing mout you have to keep your elbows tucked in?
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 8:15:11 AM EDT
On my M4gery, the VHG is only a tad over an inch in front of the magwell. The balance felt best there. I did use the magwell before I got the VFG. I like to tuck my elbows in for support and holding the magwell just 'fit'.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 8:20:08 AM EDT
During sustained firing, I would recommend wearing gloves or not using the magwell as a grip surface.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 8:24:33 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 8:43:44 AM EDT
I don't no about the military but I don't believe it's a fad or particularly new. I've been shooting this way (holding magwell, not magazine) for a long time. Long before they even started making accessories, let alone VFGs, for ARs.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 9:28:58 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 10:35:35 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Zaphod:
Far be it from me to question what is so obviously accepted among the troops, but I've never fully understood the utility of a VFG, nor thought that one would be comfortable.

Am I THAT wrong about this?



+87
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 10:38:04 AM EDT

Originally Posted By The_Beer_Slayer:
on my m4 clone i put a forgrip just in front of the magwell in close. keeps my hand off the well and gives me virtually the same grip




Same with me. I put my VFG @ 5 or 6 inches in front of the magwell. At my height (just under 6'2") it is quite comfortable and keeps everything in nice and tight. I like to rest the triceps area of my arm on my lat area for a more stable firing platform.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 10:55:55 AM EDT
I have used my magwell on my AR as a sort of foregrip. I don't GRIP it, I form my hand in a U and pull the rifle tight into my shoulder.

I have found that the closer your weak hand is to your body, the more stable you are. Holding the rifle with your offhand way out by the front sight just isn't stable. I've seen many people wobble and shake doing that.

It's not uncomfortable to hold the magwell, and it doesn't get too warm when I'm shooting matches. A real vertical foregrip would have to be very far back (close to the magwell) to be comfortable to me.

I'm getting a Beretta CX4 soon that will primarily be used in carbine matches. I'm thinking I might try to rig something up to mount a VFG closer to the trigger guard by clamping onto the bottom mount in the front, then running down along to body. Or I might just say phuck it and use it like it is.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 11:00:41 AM EDT
I'm sure all you young pups who think this is a new fad would be a real laugh to any WWII vet who was issued a Sten, Sterling, Lanchester, MP38 or MP40!

Link Posted: 1/30/2006 11:03:27 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/30/2006 11:04:26 AM EDT by Matthew_Q]
Double tap due to slow response!
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 11:05:12 AM EDT
I've always used the magwell on my M4gery, and on my USMC-issued M16A2 before that. I tried a VFG on my carbine, didn't like it, and took it off.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 11:06:35 AM EDT
I find that its a natural position to slide my forehand to when firing my M4gery, but from a standing position I dont like this grip as I get better control of the front sight when using the actual fore grip. Not sure of this is being trained into folks, but between putting undue pressure on the mag, and the fact that it reduces the stability of the weapon, I would not train people to aim this weapon this way.
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