Purpose of Pistol Grips


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Geronimo45
March 27, 2008, 09:34 PM
That is, pistol grips on rifles (and shotguns) already having a stock... what purpose does the pistol grip serve on non-automatic long guns? The pistol grip I'm referring to isn't the foregrip, BTW. Thanks.

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Fu-man Shoe
March 27, 2008, 09:38 PM
Well, it does make for a good place to hold onto!

MachIVshooter
March 27, 2008, 09:39 PM
Well, technically speaking, most modern rifles have a pistol grip. That is, a modern bolt action like the Remington 700 or Winchester 70 have pistol grip stocks, and a traditional Winchester model 94 has a straight stock.

Now, assuming that you're talking about protruding pistol grips like those on the AR and AK, they're simply more ergonomic than a straight stock or even a pistol grip stock.

Carl N. Brown
March 27, 2008, 09:48 PM
A gun designed for strict utility or ergonomics ends up looking like an AK or AR or Glock, not pretty just functional. M6 Scout fer instance.

Rear pistol grip has nothing to do with (full) automatic anyway. BARs were full automatics without pistol grips and the early Beretta SMGs were styled like conventional rifles.

Now, that shoulder thing that goes up, that I wonder about.

Vaarok
March 27, 2008, 09:55 PM
Shortens the overall length of the rifle while still providing controllability and a comfortable grip.

JesseL
March 27, 2008, 10:38 PM
According to the VPC, they "make it easy to spray fire from the hip" :barf:

In reality their just more ergonomic and may help control recoil better on firearms that don't require you to shift your firing grip to cycle the action the way bolts and levers do.

Bartholomew Roberts
March 27, 2008, 11:12 PM
If you put the stock in the position to best control recoil, it is inline with the action. This makes for good recoil control but makes it a little awkward to grasp the rifle without a pistol grip.

The drop on a traditional rifle stock solves the "where do I grab" problem; but leaves the action moving rearward above the shoulder/stock and contributes to muzzle flip/

rangerruck
March 27, 2008, 11:19 PM
If you really wanna know the purpose of a pistol grip type stock on a bolt rifle, go grab a straight stocked, fat wristed mosin nagant, and pull it tight into your shoulder. Count the seconds on how long you can comfortably do that.
then go get a pistol grip boltie and do the same thing; HUGE difference!!!

ZombiesAhead
March 27, 2008, 11:31 PM
1. It helps pull the rifle in towards your shoulder to steady it.

2. It allows a straighter stock so that recoil is directed straight and evenly into your shoulder.

3. It is the exact same idea as the stocks on many rifles and shotguns that aren't technically "pistol grips" but they have a drop for the grip and then they raise back up (see the Mossberg 590 regular stock version, for example).

BBroadside
March 28, 2008, 12:24 AM
I think VPC's point about hip-shooting is backwards. Who wants the heel of their right hand to be nearly vertical when as far down as their hip? I've never tried hip-shooting, but I bet it'd be more comfortable with a more conventional hunting-type stock. Great way to waste ammo and get kicked off the range. (Wouldn't it be funny if one of these VPC types actually went to a shooting range? They'd be thinking "Where are all the lunatics in camo howling and empty magazine after magazine into human silhouettes? The media PROMISED me they'd be here!")

To elaborate on alexd's 2nd point, the (nearly) vertical rear grip on the AR-15 and comparable military rifles is important when your stock is intended to be in-line with recoil. This is important with a fast-firing gun (auto, semi-auto, or burst-fire), since a conventional stock (picture a hunting rifle) causes the weapon's kick to lift the muzzle. A straight-line stock should be easier to control when fired quickly, but it takes some engineering to allow you to get your thumb on top when the stock is that high. One solution is the thumbhole (which was, unintentionally, encouraged by the 1994 US law), but the traditional military solution is usually the vertical grip.

Oddly enough, whenever I see an M16 raised to a soldier's shoulder in a photo these days, he or she always has the very bottom of the stock touching only the top of the shoulder, as if the gun would just be too low if it were shouldered the usual way. Indicating I've seen an anomalous collection of photos, or maybe in-line stocks aren't a great idea, or, most likely, mounting a scope to an AR is tricky in some way I don't quite grasp!

Furthermore, folding stocks can be affixed to vertical rear-grip weapons, leaving the weapons shootable with the stock folded. This isn't the greatest idea in most cases, but on light-shooting weapons I suppose it can be done. Since a lot of these weapons historically fired pistol ammunition, it's logical to at least consider firing them like a pistol, probably in some kind of emergency situation. (If anyone knows what the M1A1 carbine is like to shoot with the stock folded, let me know ... I'm curious.)

This of course applies equally to bolt actions, but I've only recently seen a folding-stocked bolt gun that had a pistol grip (I wish I could remember the manufacturer).

Finally, the vertical rear grip of the AR-15 seems to work quite well with the telescoping stock. This is very important in an army trying to accommodate women of Southeast Asian descent as well as 6'6" Irish types. (The again, the Russians had women wielding those gigantic Mosins for decades, so my length of pull isn't everything.) I'm not saying a conventional stock couldn't be made to work with a variable length, it doesn't seem very common outside major $$ target weapons; the telescoping stock (originated on the CAR-15, maybe?) seems successful and doesn't noticeably add to MSRPs.

Once, Bill Ruger said that if he'd introduced the Mini-14 earlier, he thought it would have been adopted by the military instead of the AR-15. I wonder if he was picturing it in its curvy wooden stock, or something else?

All of this may not technically answer Geronimo45's question. As MachIVshooter says, "pistol grip" is a vague term. Before the craze for military-looking shotguns, it really just meant a gun with part of the stock shaped like the graceful grip of an 18th Century pistol. This was contrasted with a straight grip (and I hope some shotgun expert will tell us the pros and cons ... I'm ignorant myself). For example, Ruger sold its pistol grip shotguns as the Red Label and its straight grip shotguns as the English Field ... and both of these were over-unders that don't look the slightest bit military (there's hardly anything "vertical" about them).

You can do a Google image search on
Ruger "Red Label" (for a traditional pistol grip),
Ruger "English Field" (for a straight grip), or
SPAS-15 (for vertical rear ... what people usually mean by "pistol grip" nowadays)

dscottw88
March 28, 2008, 12:54 AM
I'm presonally interested in putting a pistol grip on an 870 when I pick it up soon. I've held both and although some might think it wierd, I find it more comfortable. I wasn't planning on doing anything else to the gun, just wanted to put the pistol grip on it.

BBroadside
March 28, 2008, 04:34 AM
If you fulfill your plan, tell us about your shooting experience, dscottw88. I've heard a lot of bad stuff about pistol grips for shotguns, but it seems to be about a few designs which are just too flimsy. Are you thinking about a vertical rear only, a vertical rear with a folding stock, or a vertical rear with a full fixed buttstock? I don't know if those things are all still available but I bet they are.

Geronimo45
March 28, 2008, 05:14 PM
If you put the stock in the position to best control recoil, it is inline with the action. This makes for good recoil control
This is also, I expect, why AKs appear to have much more muzzle-flip than ARs?
Thanks for all the info, folks. Much appreciated.

JesseL
March 28, 2008, 05:38 PM
This is also, I expect, why AKs appear to have much more muzzle-flip than ARs?

That, and 7.62x39 fires a projectile with 2-3 times the mass of a 5.56x45's projectile. More bullet mass = more recoil, all else being equal.

ZombiesAhead
March 28, 2008, 06:33 PM
This is also, I expect, why AKs appear to have much more muzzle-flip than ARs?

I think it's just the projectile size. Looking at my WASR, the stock seems to be in line with the barrel.

1KPerDay
March 28, 2008, 06:37 PM
I've never tried hip-shooting, but I bet it'd be more comfortable with a more conventional hunting-type stock.
Try it. ;)

alaskanativeson
March 28, 2008, 07:15 PM
My wife is left-handed. She has always had a problem with normal rifles. When she saw the break-open style of the Thompson Center Encore she was sold, no more ejections into her face. After she held it and found out how comfortable the pistol grip was she was sold. She bought it on the spot in 7mm-08 caliber. So far she maintains a 1 to 1 ratio of bullets to kills on big game. She has now had me put a pistol gripped stock on her 10/22 just because she really likes how comfortable they are.

AhmadShah
March 28, 2008, 08:17 PM
"Oddly enough, whenever I see an M16 raised to a soldier's shoulder in a photo these days, he or she always has the very bottom of the stock touching only the top of the shoulder, as if the gun would just be too low if it were shouldered the usual way. Indicating I've seen an anomalous collection of photos, or maybe in-line stocks aren't a great idea, or, most likely, mounting a scope to an AR is tricky in some way I don't quite grasp!"

I suspect that the reason you'll see soldiers with rifles shouldered very high is due to the body armor they wear. It's hard to get the rifle shouldered into the pocket of the shoulder when there's all the body armor in the way. At least, not that I've found so far.

Carl N. Brown
March 28, 2008, 08:19 PM
According to the VPC, they "make it easy to spray fire from the hip"

I have shot a pistol grip only shotgun and a shotgun with the conventional stock but with the butt removed ("house" shotguns). The pistol grip does not make "shooting from the hip easier" unless your goal is to shoot the bad guy in the foot. Shooting from the hip is easier with a full conventional stock, by the way. As usual VPC is out of touch with reality and focusing on looks and not usage. You want to stop criminal violence with guns, you pass laws aimed at violence and at criminals; these silly definition laws do not deter criminal acts.

Rifles with pistol grips and buttstocks do seem to shoot well for me from the shoulder. I have M1A1 carbine, Yugo M70AB2, Thompson TM1 and a Marlin M60 in a Ramline stock. They shoot well from the shoulder. I also have "conventionally" stocked rifles. There is nothing inherently criminal or sinister about ergonomic design details. VPC and Co. are just misdirected and obsessed to the point of fetish.

Vern Humphrey
March 28, 2008, 08:24 PM
I assume from the orginal post that you mean a curved wrist when you say "pistol grip" -- a Springfield Type C stock, as opposed to a Type S.

Try shooting rapidly and accurately with a bolt action rifle -- you'll quickly see why the Type C (pistol grip) stock was adopted -- it properly positions the hand after rapid bolt manipulation.

Vermont
March 28, 2008, 08:36 PM
I shot a rifle with a pistol grip for the first time yesterday. It was much easier to reach the trigger which made it much more comfortable for me. For someone with bigger hands, it might not make as much of a difference, but I really liked it.

H2O MAN
March 28, 2008, 08:41 PM
They offer excellent support for your trigger finger.

My shotgun, AR, AK and most of my M14s have pistol grips.

PercyShelley
March 28, 2008, 08:47 PM
Shortens the overall length of the rifle while still providing controllability and a comfortable grip.


Often overlooked.

A pistol gripped saiga versus a non pistol gripped saiga is a difference of almost and inch in terms of trigger placement, no?

Zach S
March 29, 2008, 05:23 AM
Oddly enough, whenever I see an M16 raised to a soldier's shoulder in a photo these days, he or she always has the very bottom of the stock touching only the top of the shoulder, as if the gun would just be too low if it were shouldered the usual way. Indicating I've seen an anomalous collection of photos, or maybe in-line stocks aren't a great idea, or, most likely, mounting a scope to an AR is tricky in some way I don't quite grasp!
As mentioned above, body armor makes it nearly imposable to tuck it into the shoulder pocket.

Also, AR15s dont have very much recoil or muzzle flip. Some would say they dont have any.

I shoulder mine high because I shoot with my nose to the charging handle and keep the stock at a pretty short LOP. Its just more comfortable.

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