Several months ago Umbrella Corporation Weapons Research Group (www.ucwrg.com) provided us with a few of their Grip-23 AR15 grips. I was very happy to have the opportunity to get my hands on them as they are hard to get. Jaime, at UCWRG was a pleasure to deal with and you could tell their customer service was a top priority.
Several things interested me in the Grip-23. Our friends at Tactical Link (www.tacticallink.com) got me interested in UCWRG. I saw the Grip-23 showing up on rifles, in a lot of Tactical Link’s pictures, on their Facebook page. I wanted to try some of the new grips that were coming out with a more vertical grip. I have had some wrist issues and felt that the more vertical grip would help me with those issues. At just twenty dollars, the Grip-23 is a lot less than other big name grips. After receiving two Grip-23’s from UCWRG, one in FDE and another in Black, I mounted them on two of my rifles.
Initially I was worried about liking the grip. Magpul Design Group was consulted about AR15 grip design and several prototypes resulted from this information. I have never been a fan of the Magpul grips and was apprehensive about any influence the consulting had in the Design of the Grip-23. Once I mounted the Grip-23, I immediately felt the benefits of the more vertical angle of the grip. It is a no frills, simple, no B.S. design.
When you look at the Grip-23, you notice it has an extended beaver tail or (Tang) on the grip, much like the Magpul grips but the Grip-23’s is larger. This larger, thicker tang pushes the web of the hand down farther than other grips. The benefit to this is a straight pull in the trigger. The index finger/trigger finger is parallel to the bore of the rifle and this allows a straight to the rear pull on the trigger. This index helps with accuracy and quicker follow up shots. With traditional angled grips, I find that my trigger finger is coming down at a slight angle. If you have some kind of match trigger like a Geissele in your AR, you will definitely see the benefits to the improved ergonomics.
Another thing I noticed with the better index, was the reach on the magazine release. The lower hand grip, more vertical angle and parallel index allows you to get a full finger pad on the magazine release. This gave a positive no doubt press to release the magazine, on a reload.
The vertical angle of the Grip-23 also lends itself to an elbow down shooting position with the fire control hand/arm. This helps you avoid (Chicken Wing) with your strong side arm. With the more vertical grip and elbow down hold, you can get the rifle closer into your body and control recoil better. I have had several injuries involving my wrist. With a tradition angled grips, my wrist hurts or becomes fatigued when I have to remove my support hand from the rifle. I found with the Grip-23 I was able to support the weapon, with one hand, for longer periods of time, without my wrist hurting or forcing me to lower the rifle. This made working the charging handle and doing magazine exchanges much easier. One area that you really notice a difference in the angle of the grip, is in a low ready or hanging position. Much like if you were patrolling or doing perimeter security. It feels much more natural when holding the grip in low ready as you don’t have your wrist kinked like on a standard grip.
As I stated in the beginning, the Grip-23 is a simple, no B.S. design. Having said that, the no fills simplicity but well thought out design is what this grip is all about. I have never used the storage compartments in other grips and the Grip-23 happens to have no storage feature. It has a hollow open bottom like a standard A2 grip. There is no trigger gap extension, to cover up the infamous gap at the trigger guard, that you find on other grips. UCWRG understands that most users are replacing the standard trigger guard with a Magpul trigger guard or other similar manufacturer enhanced trigger guard. The Magpul trigger guards come on most of the big name (Colt, Daniel Defense, BCM) rifle manufactures now, so the gap extension is not needed. The Grip-23 has a smooth, none aggressive texture. After market stippling is common for those who want a more aggressive surface.
By focusing on the angle and placement of the fire control hand, in relation to the trigger and controls of the AR15 platform, UCWRG has created a grip that enhances AR15 handling performance at a very low cost. In most cases $15.00 to $20.00 less than other aftermarket grips.
I really like the UCWRG Grip-23. I think it enhances overall weapon handling and manipulation. The Grip-23 is competing heavily with my favorite go to grip at half the price. One thing you will notice in all of my pictures, there is a Tactical Link Z-360 sling mount on all of the rifles. The Grip-23 gives good separation between the grip and mount. If you like the Z-360 mounts the Grip-23 is a very nice addition in combination with the Z-360 mount. As I continue to mess around with the Grip-23, I like the benefits of the Grip-23 more and more. In my opinion, for the price, you will not get another grip that gives you more ergonomic and weapon handling performance than the UCWRG Grip-23. Personally, the UCWRG Grip-23 is also just damn sexy looking on a rifle. I think the Grip-23 will find it’s way on to more of my AR15’s in the future.