A light grip

Is this the ul­ti­mate ac­ces­sory for your mil­i­tary-style ri­fle? – the editor asks

Air Gunner - - LED FOREGRIP - www.hawkeop­tics.co.uk Laser/LED fore­grip £ 89.99

As the tac­ti­cal wave washed over the air­gun in­dus­try, the chance came my way to test this in­ter­est­ing, ver­ti­cal fore end grip, with an in­te­grated ‘flash­light’. My Big Test gun this month is the Ben­jamin Ar­mada, which looks just like a mod­ern as­sault ri­fle. The fore end is a huge alu­minium ex­tru­sion with four flat faces, onto which it is pos­si­ble to fix al­most any­thing. It has sec­tions of Weaver/ Pi­catinny rail, ideal to ac­cept the ver­ti­cal pis­tol grip that many special forces units seem to favour to­day. They be­lieve that the ver­ti­cal grip of­fers a more nat­u­ral and se­cure hold than grip­ping the fore end ever could, and in close- quar­ters com­bat, the ri­fle is less likely to be pulled from your hands. Of course, it also of­fers the op­por­tu­nity to add an ul­tra-bright LED torch and a laser in the same de­vice. I’ve never han­dled a gun in this con­fig­u­ra­tion, so I was in­trigued to see how it felt.

Low down

Be­cause there is a hous­ing for a light and laser, the grip sits well be­low the bar­rel. In fact, the mid­dle of the knurled area is over 5” be­low the bar­rel. This makes for a com­pletely new feel­ing as you han­dle the ri­fle. Your lead­ing hand is very low, and I felt this re­duced some of the strain on hold­ing such a heavy ri­fle off-hand. The con­struc­tion is very chunky and rigid, to the ex­tent that I could de­tect no flex at all.

One of the ad­van­tages that this ‘rail sys­tem’ kind of ri­fle of­fers is that you can re­po­si­tion any of your ac­ces­sories with the twist of an Allen key, and I ex­per­i­mented by shift­ing the grip back and forth un­til I was happy. For me, this was a cou­ple of inches for­ward of the bal­ance point.

Child’s play

Ad­just­ing the laser is child’s play and takes just sec­onds. I’ve used lasers like this for years as in­stant rangefind­ers, so I know they work very well. The ‘flash­light’ is rated to give a 165-yard beam and of­fers an even spread of light. The whole unit has a good solid feel­ing and is well made, as I’ve come to ex­pect from Hawke.

So, if your as­sault ri­fle has a space on the fore end in need of a new ac­ces­sory, let me rec­om­mend this to you. It does ex­actly what it prom­ises, looks just right on ri­fles like the Ar­mada, and adds that ‘special ops’ han­dling too.

Above: This grip sim­ply looks right on ri­fles like this. Inset: The build is very sub­stan­tial, mak­ing for a solid and se­cure feel

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