The classic silhouette of an AR-15 has been widely recognised since its introduction in 1959. Depending on the viewer’s perception, it bears a slew of positive and negative characteristics. The AR-15/M16/M4 was unquestionably equipped as a war machine, a true combat machine. It did, though, find a home in the weapons safes of law-abiding individuals. An AR-15 is, in practice, the strongest “combat grade” weapon that civilians can get their hands on.
It’s not just practicality that drives gun advancement, as usual. Legislation, some of which is beneficial and some of which we rather not discuss, often plays a part. Recent legislation in California and other states has prompted the development of “featureless rifles” with “featureless grips.”
What Is a featureless Grip?
Essentially, a “featureless weapon” is one that has been designed to be impossible to inflict large-scale harm with. We’ll go through the laws in more depth later.
In brief, pistol grips is are outlawed in California. You must license your firearm as an assault weapon if you choose to preserve it in the old design (and / or some other features).
The following is a list of what is prohibited:
Where the web of the trigger hand (between the thumb and index finger) is located below the top of the exposed portion of the trigger while shooting, it is referred to as a pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously under the motion of the firearm.
What’s going on here? Can you repeat that in English ?
In other words, they don’t want a grip that is lower than the trigger. Also, the distance between your thumb and index finger must remain higher than the trigger’s noticeable portion.
Makes you that feel uneasy? That’s right. For any trigger that can be considered featureless, the trigger finger would be at a downward angle.
Why Use a Grip With No Features?
The word “Modern Sporting Rifle” has gained traction in recent years as a more generic term for AR-style weapons. Anti-gunners and their political officials see the “black rifle” as nothing more than a death machine designed to destroy as many civilians as possible in the shortest amount of time.
States such as California and New York also enacted legislation prohibiting the use of assault firearms and other semiautomatic centerfire weapons (rifle, pistol, or shotgun). A firearm with the following features is classified as an assault weapon under California state law: pistol grip, forward pistol grip, thumbhole stock, telescoping or folding stock, grenade or flare launcher, or flash hider.
AR-15 weapons with some of the characteristics mentioned above are deemed prohibited under a recent California statute. As of January 1st, 2019, it will be required to report such ARs as assault weapons.
There are imaginative workarounds for unique furniture to render your rifle “complimentary featureless,” but bear in mind that all of them will not be as convenient or practical as the original pieces.
In a nutshell, the reason for using a featureless grip is that you do not have another choice.
If a gun owner in California does not want to license his AR-15, he will upgrade his weapon to “featureless” hardware. For most of us, the most cost-effective approach is to move our current platform to the featureless style. As a result of the conversion, it will stay a fully usable rifle without the standardized features that characterize an assault weapon.
You might, of course, use a “featureless grip” purely for aesthetic reasons, although we expect this to be uncommon. However, there are a few choices for staying on the correct side of the legislation.
Manufacturers have worked hard to develop a practical, non-pistol grip that satisfies legal specifications. So far, there have been two approaches. One choice is to use Kydex grip wraps, also known as “shark fin” grips, to replace the pistol grip. The other is due to grip shape, which prevents your hand’s web from being pressed against the exposed trigger when shooting.
Maintaining Your AR-15 in California and Other States
Having an AR in one of “such states” can necessitate many changes. It will offer your rifle a “Sporter” look while still keeping it legal in jurisdictions that prohibit certain “assault weapon” functionality.
The pistol grip is the most significant cosmetic and technical alteration of the seven non-acceptable elements, as well as the most difficult to work with. It is, though, a critical adjustment that must be made as soon as possible. The classification of assault weapon imposes extreme limitations to what you can do with your weapon.
Review: 5 Best Featureless Grips
The majority of the grips we selected are easy to mount and do not require any gunsmithing. At the same time, they will lend the rifle an unusual form and appearance. They have no effect on how you handle your rifle, however. It’s just a question of acclimating.
The Best AR-15 Featureless Grip Overall: THORDSEN CUSTOMS LLC – AR-15 FRS-15 BASIC STOCK KIT
- Can be used in States with restricted Laws
- Made from Polymer, great Quality
Thordsen Customs’ FRS-15 Stock was created specifically for AR-15 owners who face legal limitations on their weapons. If you reside in a state like New York, where the legislation restricts you to carry your AR-15 with a pistol grip, this stock is the answer. The stock is made of reinforced fiber and has a minimalist nature that allows it to get through weapons restrictions.
This stock’s slant and curved grip enable you to use your weapon like a pistol grip without breaking any local laws. A recoil pad at the end of the stock limits the impact of recoil. In addition, the stock has several mounting points for QD mounts. A buffer tube cover is included with the stock, which serves as a base for resting your cheek.
The cover also accepts M4 cheek risers, ensuring that you have all you need for an AR-15 stock. When finding your way back, the unusual style of this stock has been designed in such a way that it doesn’t snag onto objects like trees or benches.
This oddly formed stock from Thordsen was cleverly engineered to get around state restrictions without sacrificing versatility. Sling mounts are pre-installed, and cheek risers are also compatible with the stock. In addition, the rubber pad on the butt plate is useful.
Given its justified price and the dilemma it addresses, the stock seems to be the best buy in order to abide by the law AND still keep great accuracy and achieve the highest performance out of your AR rifle.
2nd Best AR-15 Featureless Grip: MFT ENGAGE AR15 FEATURELESS GRIP
- Very affordable
- Durable Material
- Includes a a secure watertight storage compartment with a quick access tab
The MFT ENGAGE AR15 FEATURELESS GRIP one of the oldest proprietary grips on the market, turns your AR-15 into a California-approved featureless weapon. It also preserves the rifle’s detachable magazine capability. The MFT grip differs from a standard gun grip in that it prevents the thumb from winding around and over the grip.
The MFT is a molded polymer grip that replaces the regular Mil-Spec A2 pistol grip. The featureless grip even attaches quickly and snugly without needing any modifications.
The angled grip is identical to a “Sporter” type stock, but the body contours are more like those of a Mini-14 or M1 Garand. The MFT replaces the original grip screw and has squared edges and aggressive surface texturing on the side panels for a relaxed yet safe grip.
This unique Rifle grip can appeal to many who live in featureless grip states. It’s like shouldering a normal hunting rifle stock and holding the thumb on the side of the stock. One of your best options to get your rifle featureless.
3rd Best AR-15 Featureless Grip: HOGUE – AR-15 FINGER GROOVE GRIP W/COLLAPSIBLE COMMERCIAL BUTTSTOCK
- Angled Grip
- Easy Installation
- Modern design
- Not great for left handers
The HOGUE – AR-15 FINGER GROOVE GRIP W/COLLAPSIBLE COMMERCIAL BUTTSTOCK is a stock that you can easily replace the featurless grip with if you are in a state that isnt as restrictive as California or New York. It easily exchangable with a featureless grip and gives you the opportunity to switch between a standard pistol grip as this one and featureless grip. It gives you a comfortable wrap-around wooden shotgun-style grip, with the added benefit of making your neck less cramped.
The HOGUE – AR-15 FINGER GROOVE GRIP is one of many solutions to a “featureless” pistol grip that helps you to bring your finger closer to the trigger. This is our preferred alternative to the standard pistol handle, aside from the low-cost and ergonomically designed Strike Industries Simple Featureless Grip.
This strange-looking non-pistol grip has a grip attachment point for a compatible shotgun-style stock or even a bird’s head grip, and it mimics the Mini-14 grip angle. This unit, dubbed the “Shotgun Wedding,” is only compatible with the Mossberg 500 stock and compatible shotgun stocks like the Magpul MAG490 and the Hogue OverMolded.
The Hogue Buttstock is made by fused deposition 3D printing a solid nylon polymer. That helps to understand why the surface finish is so much rougher than you’d expect from standard glass-filled nylon injection molded pieces.
There are certainly other options to render the AR-15 CA compatible, but the Hogue Finger Groove Grip requires the owners the expense of purchasing a featureless grip and buttstock.
About the fact that the nuts and washers are provided, certain customers have reported that they need to buy a slightly longer mounting bolt because the regular bolts from Mossberg 500 stocks are a little small.
4th Best AR-15 Featureless Grip: ANARCHY OUTDOORS – AR-15 PENGUIN PRECISION RIFLE GRIP
- Made out of durable polymer
- Very easy to install
- Low price
- Some people didnt like that its made out of plastic
The ANARCHY OUTDOORS – AR-15 PENGUIN PRECISION RIFLE GRIP is a one-of-a-kind grip that can be customized in a variety of ways. It simulates the feel of a tactical rifle stock on your AR. On your new sporting weapon, this ergonomic non-pistol handle doesn’t eliminate the need for a featureless grip, which is required for you to comply for California laws with your AR-15.
Along with the AR’s initial buttstock, the AR-15 PENGUIN PRECISION RIFLE GRIP may be used. It provides thumb clearance, allowing you to curl your thumb around the top for a comfortable assertive grip.
Another choice is to mount an AR stock to the back of a AR-15 PENGUIN and use the buffer tube as a cheek rest.
This AR-15 PENGUIN PRECISION RIFLE GRIP is made of a very hard polymer component and is only compatible with Mil-Spec forged AR-15 lower receivers. A mounting pin, a washer, and thin polymer hole-caps to cover the rear holes are included with the kit. If you’re not mounting a stock to the back of the label, this will make it look better.
While it provides a reasonably stable shooting posture this grip can create a comfortable position for thumb since it rubs doesn’t rub against the stock latch plate. If you want to have a better tactical pistol grip AND a featureless grip you should buy this one and a featureless grip further up in the list.
5th Best AR-15 Featureless Grip: KNS PRECISION, INC. – AR-15/MCX PICATINNY STOCK ADAPTERS
- Allows thumb clearance
- Looks great
- Supports your hold of the rifle
- Works better with only Mil-Spec-forged AR-15 lower receivers
The Exile Machine Hammerhead is a one-of-a-kind Picatinny stock adapter that can be customized in a variety of ways. It simulates the feel of a modern rifle stock on your AR. On your new sporting weapon, this ergonomic non-pistol adapter is compatible with a featureless grip. It allows your AR-15 to comply with California laws.
The PICATINNY STOCK ADAPTER can be utilized along with the AR’s original buttstock. It provides thumb clearance, allowing you to curl your thumb around the top for a comfortable assertive grip.
Another choice is to mount an AR stock to the back of the picatinny adapter and use the buffer tube as a cheek rest. For CA enforcement, the stocks must be of a fixed form or pinned to a specific length in all ways.
This KNS precision product is made of a very hard polymer substance and is only compatible with Mil-Spec forged AR-15 lower receivers. A mounting pin, a washer, and thin polymer hole-caps to cover the rear holes are included with the kit. If you’re not mounting a stock to the back of the label, this will make it look better.
While it provides a reasonably stable shooting posture, it is compatible with the often uncomfortable featureless grips, but if you choose our first rank combined with this adapter, you won’t even feel that you are using a featureless grip.
These alternatives to a “featureless” pistol grip aren’t as convenient as a standard pistol grip, but shooters can get used to them quickly.
Making certain adjustments is never uncommon with weapons enthusiasts, but if you reside in a state where those “features” are still unlawful, it’s critical to investigate your choices and make the appropriate changes.
TIKKA T3X TAC A1 – SHORT REPORT
During the further testing of my Swedish Mauser at a distance of 300m, I had the opportunity to shoot the Tikka T3x Tac A1 with 20″ barrel in 6.5mm Creedmore caliber. It was equipped with the new Kahles 525i scope. A fellow shooter kindly provided it to me and here are my brief impressions:
For a purchase price of USD2300, the T3x Tac A1 naturally has all the conveniences that a modern precision rifle has these days. These include height and length adjustable butt plate (the latter by two included “spacers”, see picture), a height adjustable cheek piece, a folding stock, great to be combined with a Best AR-15 Featureless Grip and of course a forearm to which all kinds of accessories can be mounted by means of M-Lok system. A muzzle brake may not be missing of course, which is by the way quite effective!
What struck me particularly positive about the rifle is the great trigger, which the Tikka already has from the factory. The pressure point was reached after only a short distance and could be easily overcome. A very good trigger feel, there was nothing to complain about. Perhaps it has already been noticed from the pictures that the rifle was ordered in a configuration for left-handed shooters. I am always pleased when a manufacturer also has such variants on offer! As a right-handed shooter, I had to operate the bolt handle with my left hand, and it was here that I first noticed how smoothly and well guided the bolt is to operate – clean work, Tikka! Incidentally, you hardly need force to eject the empty cases really far – for reloaders, fingertip feeling is required here …
The precision was simply outstanding at 100m. Here are two 5-shot groups, which were shot by the owner sitting on a bipod and sandbag. By the way, Hornady factory ammunition of the type “ELD Match” with a bullet weight of 140gr. was used.
The excellent and with USD 2700 unfortunately also quite expensive scope 525i from Kahles certainly makes a significant contribution to the great shot groups. What impressed me most about the scope was the delicate and also versatile reticle, it offers the shooter a multitude of possibilities to optimally align the rifle through the numerous clues. It was mounted on a block mount from Era-Tac with -20 MOA pre-tilt.
HERA ARMS THE 15TH SRB 16.75″
My AR-15 with 18″ uppers from Hera Arms has served me faithfully so far, delivering very good shot groups at 100m, good shot groups at 300m, and moreover, in its previous configuration, still reproducibly delivering hits at ranges up to and including 700m.
But a little variety can not hurt and because of the consistently positive experiences I have had with my AR-15 from Hera Arms, an additional upper was ordered from this manufacturer. The decisive factor was the high weight of the 18″ upper with bull barrel, which was not easy to control in the kneeling and standing position. So this time it should be a real light version, which might even be used for dynamic disciplines later on.
However, there were still a few hurdles to overcome on the way to the new upper: On the one hand, there was the selection of the barrel, Hera has many in its program. The short barrels are reserved for hunters in this country, I already have a longer one in 18″ myself and even longer variants would have missed the goal – to train for skill or to shoot dynamically. So 16.75″: This time I was consistent and chose the lightest available barrel profile, the SPB Gen.1. To go with it, I wanted a muzzle flash hider, so that the neighbors at the stand also have something from it, the choice fell on the Hera CC and for Californians or New Yorkers i can recommend to buy one of the Best AR-15 Featureless Grips above to comply with law.
Lightweight construction was again taken to heart in the choice of handguard, and so it was to be the IRS Keymod forend. When selecting its length, Hera Arms advised me directly and told me that the 12″ handguard would just about cover the gas block. Since I could not accept that this would still look out the front in conjunction with a 9″ handguard (then no longer a Keymod version), I then set the length to 12″. At the end of the telephone consultation it was clear that I had hit the upper of the SRB’s with adjustable gas block with the chosen components – the Hera article number was noted and my gun dealer Spartac immediately informed about an order.
But the answer of my dealer was somewhat sobering: The desired color FDE is only offered by Hera Arms for complete systems! In black, the configuration would therefore have been no problem. Great! I already saw the project burst – what the hell do I want with a black upper on a lower in FDE? And apply for a complete gun again? No, I don’t want the paperwork… Anyway, it didn’t leave me any peace and so I called the armory again personally. While Hera Arms reiterated the sales strategy to me, at the end of the conversation it turned out that they still had exactly one 12″ IRS-Keymod forend and exactly one HUS case in FDE in stock – lucky me, exactly the parts I need and one of the Best AR-15 Featureless Grips!!!!
The company finally agreed to clear the stock for me and that’s probably how I got the last single upper in FDE color. The predicted delivery time of about 20 weeks hurt a bit again, but at least it went on as I thought it would. The waiting time was used to get slightly higher mounting rings (22mm) for the remaining scope UTG SWAT 3-12×44 and paint them. 8 weeks later then the happy news: The delivery to the dealer was announced and a few days later I then had the new upper at home. The weight was significantly less than the previous upper, a real pleasure!
The components of my upper are:
- HUS case in FDE 12″ IRS Keymod forend in FDE 16.75″ barrel, type SPB Gen.
- Muzzle flash hider Hera CC Duralloy
- Bolt Carrier Group VLTOR BMC Gunfighter loading lever “Large”
- 2 sets of mounting rails for IRS Keymod forend in FDE
- Price for the above configuration incl. shipping: 1740 Dollars – please contact Spartac for current prices!
The grip position for perfect pistol shooting
Dynamic shooting sports are becoming increasingly popular. And rightly so, because they improve physical performance, concentration and promote a sense of responsibility. That is why we offer you an introduction to basic shooting skills, so that you can act precisely, powerfully and quickly in accordance with the IPSC motto “Diligentia, Vis, Celeritas”. You can now find out here what is important for the grip position for perfect pistol shooting.
To be successful as a sports shooter, there are several factors to consider. Weapon, optics and ammunition must not only harmonize with each other, but also be designed to meet the shooter’s individual requirements. But all these aspects are invalid if the shooter’s technique is not right. That is why we would like to give you an insight into the world of dynamic small arms shooting and IPSC shooting techniques. Starting with tips and advice on the correct grip position.
The grip position as the basis of the dynamic shooting technique:
It all starts with the right grip and therefore we want to open our special on IPSC shooting techniques not only with explanations on the topic of “correct gripping of the weapon”, but also to dispel a widespread myth: The recoil control, which is so essential for fast, accurate shooting, takes place primarily with the hands. Neither exaggerated “leaning forward” nor stretching the elbows or tensing the shoulder muscles does much for recoil control.
The recoil of the weapon is primarily controlled with the hands. In addition to recoil control, a firm grip also helps to a certain extent to overcome triggering errors. If lateral pressure is applied to the trigger, i.e. if the trigger slide is not moved backwards in a straight line, the position of the hit changes.
On the other hand, if the weapon is held with a sufficiently firm grip, trigger errors have less of an effect.
The following elements make for a good grip:
- The weapon is gripped as high as possible
- Large area contact to the weapon
- The weapon is held with the greatest possible grip force
The right grip starts at the top!
First of all it is important that the weapon is gripped/held as high as possible. The higher the weapon is held – in the direction of the barrel axis – the more control you gain in the shot. The easiest way to demonstrate this effect is to deliberately hold the gun lower and fire a few shots; the muzzle deflection in the shot increases dramatically. In addition to a high hand position, it is crucial for good recoil control that as much grip surface as possible is used.
The hands should have as much contact with the grip of the gun as possible. Only in this way can the grip force be used effectively for recoil control. In detail, the grip is constructed as follows: With the strong hand, the grip is gripped in such a way that the thumb- index finger bend is directly under the grip spur.
The forefinger lies outside the trigger guard long against the grip piece and the remaining 3 fingers surround the grip piece from the front. Ideally, you should feel a certain pressure on the middle finger (from the trigger guard) and in the crook of the thumb (from the trigger guard), since this way you know that the hand is resting high on the grip piece.
If you now look at the Best AR-15 Featureless Grip from the weak side, you will discover a gap between the fingertips and the root of the thumb. The weak hand is then placed in this gap. For this purpose, the hand is guided to the underside of the trigger guard with the index finger – similar to a hand edge strike – and then rotated forward until the root of the thumb can be placed in the gap described above.
As with the strong hand, the index finger of the weak hand should also feel pressure from the trigger guard. Furthermore, the fingertips should point towards the ground when opening the weak hand. This ensures sufficient pre-rotation of the wrist.
Even the most inexperienced shooter will quickly notice that the more you hold the weapon in place, the less it moves. Basically, more is better in terms of grip strength. It helps us to control the weapon.
60/40 and 70/30 IPSC-GRIFF: The right use of force is important…
Nevertheless, there are also cases of too much use of force. For example, excessive force can cause some shooters to tremble at the stop. In addition, too tight a grip with the shooting hand can lead to problems with trigger control/manipulation.
Based on the different tasks of the shooting hand and the non-shot hand, it is therefore advisable to consider them separately when considering the correct use of force. Regarding the non-shot hand, it is quite realistic and practicable to demand a maximum use of force.
Although fine motor skills are affected, this is not dramatic, since the non-shot hand only has a supporting function; in particular, it is not involved in the triggering process when striking with both hands. In the case of the shooting hand, however, such a loss of fine motor skills would be quite problematic. In the ideal case, the shooter only moves the trigger and nothing else.
However, this isolated trigger movement becomes more and more difficult with increasing force, which is why it is generally advisable to loosen the Best AR-15 Featureless Grip a little with the shooting hand and “just hold the weapon”. This is probably one of the reasons why people sometimes talk about the 60/40 or 70/30 “IPSC grip”. With regard to fine motor skills it makes sense to grip the weapon with the non-shot hand and the shot hand with different intensity.
In simple terms, the gun should be gripped with the firing hand as firmly as if you were hammering in nails with a hammer. With the non-shot hand, on the other hand, the gun can be gripped as tightly as possible for maximum recoil control. However, if you are in the lucky position of being able to grip the weapon more firmly with the trigger hand without sacrificing fine motor skills, you should do so in any case.
In any case, the extra recoil control is worth it. In summary, one can say that the weapon should always be held with the greatest possible effort without any negative side effects (such as loss of trigger control or premature muscular fatigue).
Perfect pistol shooting: good results through constant grip position
Now we come to the last element of good weaponry, consistency. Every time we grip our weapon, we should do so in the same way. In a way, consistency is even more important than grip strength. Even under the greatest match or time pressure, the constancy of the weapon position should not suffer.
A simple trick to accustom yourself to a constant grip technique is to make marks on your hands with a felt pen. To do this, the weapon is first grasped with the correct hand position. Then a second person applies a line (or two lines) that runs from one hand to the other. If the weapon is now grasped again, one can check one’s own weapon posture by simply looking at the markings. If the lines match, the hand position is correct. Otherwise, corrections must be made.
By the way, these tips on the correct Best AR-15 Featureless Grip position are not only interesting for passionate IPSC shooters, but are also useful and worth knowing for every handgun shooter and every shooting sport discipline. Just give it a try and you will soon realize that you can still perfect your pistol shooting.