Magpul PTS - MOE Vertical Grip (MVG) and Rail Vertical Grip (RVG) Review
The basic details:
"The MVG and RVG are basic, light-weight, cost-effective vertical fore grips and are ergonomically designed for use as traditional vertical grips as well as optimized for use with the "thumb break method" of shooting, as taught by Magpul Dynamics.
The MVG is designed for use with the MOE and ACR (Adaptive Combat Rifle) Hand Guards and attaches directly to these hand guards without the need for a rail. All mounting hardware is included.
The RVG is designed for use with milspec 1913 Picatinny rail hand guards. The RVG includes a custom fitted universal mounting rail and all mounting hardware."
Vertical fore grips (VFGs) are nothing new. They were originally designed to mount under the gun's hand guard with the intention of giving the shooter better control of the weapon and as a reference point for the reaction hand to grasp the front end consistently in the same manner and position every time (whatever method the shooter chooses to use). The traditional approach to using VFGs is for the shooter to grasp the VFG fully within the palm of the reaction hand gripping the VFG vertically. Over the years, many shooters have adapted the way they hold the VFG from the aforementioned standard gripping method, to a modified technique frequently referred to as the "Thumb Break Method". Instead of fully grasping the VFG, the Thumb Break methodology entails partially holding both the VFG and the rail, basically at the point where the two meet, and placing the thumb in line with and above the bore of the weapon. Shooters have found this modification improves weapon recoil control (not really a problem for most AEG shooters), and yields quicker and more precise movement of the barrel from target to target. That said, the human hand is simply not optimized to hold an object in that manner which was why Magpul developed their Angled Fore Grip (AFG). But the Magpul AFG isn't for everyone either. So for the shooters out there that prefer VFGs, Magpul developed their own version of it, using the popular aesthetics, ergonomics, and functionality Magpul has been well known for.
(Picture from Magpul Industries)
MVG vs RVG:
The MVG and RVG only differ in the way they mount onto hand guards and they are purpose built to that end.
The MVG is specifically designed to be mounted on the Magpul MOE and ACR handguards. The MVG has two small pegs on its top surface that interfaces with (plugs into) the slots/openings in the MOE and ACR hand guards. Once the MVG is plugged into the hand guard, a metal plate (included with the MVG) is placed on the inside of the hand guard and a screw is used to securely hold the MVG in place.
The RVG is designed for all other hand guards that have 1913 Picatinny rails (pretty much all RIS and RAS style rails on the market today as well as many hand guards with short strips of rail on them). Instead of the dual plug method of the MVG, the RVG has a 1913 picatinny profile groove and a locking plate that you slide onto the rail and using a pair of nuts and screws, lock the grip in place.
The Magpul PTS RVG (left) and MVG (right). The only real aesthetic difference is the RVG's picatinny rail:
The inside of the RVG with a nice Magpul logo and the MVG (with a hole where the screw goes through to the MOE hand guard).
MVG / RVG aesthetics and ergonomics:
These are two very similar designs with the same overall aesthetic and ergonomics. They have horizontal grooves on the front and back, and a great stipple like texture on the sides (though nowhere near as aggressive as DIY stippling). The grips are shockingly comfortable to hold, and feels (and looks) very reminiscent of the Magpul MOE pistol grips and MIADs. They have a slight taper in the upper half of the grip which feels great, but what I really like is the fact that they're more elliptical than circular in cross section. Being elliptical (in this case longer from front to back than side to side), gives the shooter better torque on the grip than a perfectly rounded grip would, and small improvements like that add up to better weapon control.
I've heard some people comment that the MVG and RVG appears "fat" in comparison to other grips, but take a look at the picture further down, and you'll see they're not much different in size to other commonly available VFGs on the market. I think part of the reason why people might get the impression the MVG/RVG are "larger" than they actually are, is because the grips are shorter than what traditional VFGs tend to be. It's all relative you see. I personally have medium sized hands. Gripping the MVG/RVG in the traditional full grip manner, all my fingers fit on the grip, however the bottom of my palm does extend beyond the base of the grip. It's not uncomfortable thanks to some nice beveling at the bottom, but it does make me wonder what shooters with larger hands than my own will experience with it.
Ergonomics are great in these grips. In fact, I've got quite a collection of real steel and replica VFGs, and the MVG and RVG are by far the most comfortable grips to hold in both the traditional vertical grasping technique and the Thumb Break Method. As previously mentioned, they have a slight taper in the upper half of the grip which feels great and extremely natural in hand when fully grasped. In the Thumb Break Method these grips have once again been optimized for comfort and ergonomics as the transition between MVG/RVG and hand guard feature natural curves which work well with the hand partially on the VFG and partially on the hand guard. It's definitely a little more comfortable with the MVG which has a near perfect transition into the MOE/ACR handguard. The RVG is not quite as perfect, but when combined with rail panels, it's close. The other limitation of the RVG is that Magpul went with a non-quick detach design. Instead Magpul elected to use nuts and screws inserted from one side and bolted on the other to secure the RVG to the rail which they chose over throw levers. Throw levers are good in terms of ease of use in mounting and dismounting them from the rail. However, throw levers can sometimes get in the way of your grip, or snag on gear if you're not careful with them. Using nuts and screws, there's almost nothing to get in the way of your grip especially in the low profile and recessed way Magpul has integrated them into the RVG. I honestly don't notice the mounting hardware while using the RVG in either the traditional vertical grasping method nor with the Thumb Break Method.
The transition from MOE handguard into the MVG is a delight to hold. By far the most comfortable and natural feeling VFG I've ever held:
The RVG mounted on the rail with various rail panels (rail panels not included).
Added a picture of the MVG's mounting hardware and another of how it looks installed (pics are courtesy of Magpul PTS):
* Mounting Hardware
Using Magpul Ladder Rail Panels, they don't quite fit when placed right up against the RVG. You need to move it forward one space, or trim the rail panel piece that buds up against the RVG. In either setup, it's very comfortable regardless:
The RVG with XT Rail Panels. It shows a nice curve from the side, but the sharp corners of the XT panel are not so great and don't make for a comfortable grip:
The Magpul XTM Rail Panels used with the RVG is a better combination. The nice grip transition from RVG to XTM and the rounded XTM corners make for a very comfortable grip. Perfect for regular VFG grip or thumb break method:
VFC SR16E3 IWS with a Magpul PTS RVG
Magpul Industries RS version vs Magpul PTS Replicas:
Magpul PTS RVG (left) next to a Magpul RS RVG (right):
The real steel Magpul VFGs and the PTS VFGs are almost identical. Magpul PTS did a great job of replicating the design and polymer of the real steel version. The only version I had on hand are the black ones, so it's hard to comment on color differences between the real vs replica versions, but over the recent years, all of Magpul PTS' Black, FDE, Foliage Green and OD Green furniture have been spot on accurate to the real deal. Texturally and strength-wise they feel the same. The only differences I can see and feel is: (1.) the addition of the PTS logo which is absolutely tiny and very tastefully located on the top face of the MVG/RVG (which will be hidden when mounted on the gun), and (2.) the texture on the left and right sides of the grip, is a stipple like texture on the PTS version, and on the real steel version it feels similar but is actually a small Magpul logo repeated over and over again.
In the above picture please note the following differences:
• RS Magpul RVG has Magpul logos on the side for texture vs Magpul PTS RVG which has a regular stipple-like texture.
• The nuts on the RS Magpul RVG sit deeper into the grip making a slightly uncomfortable center ridge. I prefer the Magpul PTS RVG which feels more comfortable in this regard.
The RS RVG comes with a polymer rail and hardware to attach it to a MOE or ACR hand guard:
Note: The Magpul PTS RVG does NOT come with the polymer rail.
These grips are LIGHT. Very light. They add a negligible amount of weight to the gun thanks to the fact that the grips are almost entirely hollow. For a hollow design, you'd think it'd be potentially fragile, and yet thanks to a lightweight and strong polymer, the grip feels solid.
Both the Magpul PTS MVG and RVG will be available in Black, FDE, and Foliage Green. OD Green may be considered later on.
Some VFG manufacturers make VFG's that are modular in design allowing the shooter to alter the height of the VFG by adding and subtracting sections of the VFG. In order to keep weight down, Magpul decided on a height that they felt was the best compromise for all shooters ... not too long, not too short. If the MVG/RVG is too short for you, then you should probably look for another VFG that better suits your needs. If the MVG/RVG is too long for you, (say, you'd rather it be the height of a handstop) I have heard of people suggesting you can cut and trim the grips shorter as needed. Neither Magpul nor Magpul PTS mention this as a viable option, so if you do it you do so at your own risk. That said, it seems viable and I can't see why it wouldn't work (but I ain't doing it to mine ;) ).
A collection of various VFGs. From left to right: Bobro Shorty, LaRue FUG, TangoDown/ADM QD Stubby, Magpul PTS RVG, Magpul PTS MVG, KAC VFG, and DYTac replica of the CQD VFG.
The MVG and RVG is priced at $19.95 and $24.95 respectively. The price is the same as the real steel versions. In my opinion, the prices for these grips are very competitive. It's possibly one of the cheapest grips on the real steel market. KAC's cost $67 to $80, Bobro's are $78.50, LaRue FUGs are $98, Daniel Defense's is $50, TangoDown's non-QD VFGs are $64-$70 and their QD VFGs are about $94, and CQD's $100. As Airsoft VFGs go, no not the cheapest, but I still feel it's reasonable priced for what it is. These truly are top quality products.
I like these Magpul PTS grips. I wasn't expecting to quite honestly. Mostly because I had never really encountered a VFG that I found that comfortable ... and because the style of this grip is different than what's conventionally seen on the market ... and I fear change. And yet, as soon as I started using the MVG and RVG ... I was a convert. It's light, rather stylish, inexpensive and insanely comfortable. The MVG is especially comfortable. The first time I felt the MVG mounted on a MOE hand guard I was in love. It just felt *right*. The ergonomics transfers well to the RVG and railed hand guards too. There's really not much more to ask from them. They are simply great grips.
* Magpul PTS MVG and RVG Review Samples supplied by Magpul PTS.