Poll, Using the magazine as a grip.


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rocinante
February 7, 2011, 05:24 PM
I have been told to never use the magazine as a grip. If anything went kaboom it might damage or remove your hand. Some way it might affect the feed. BUT I am constantly seeing pics of various military and police and other pros doing exactly that. So is it bad and dangerous practice?

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Carter
February 7, 2011, 05:32 PM
I've never seen or heard of an AR kaboom that was bad enough to do that, but I could just be uninformed.

Using the magwell/magazine as a grip isn't my favorite practice, but sometimes its usefull or comfortable.

gunnutery
February 7, 2011, 05:38 PM
That's never been addresses in the LE training I've been in, but better safe than sorry. I'm also hesitant to call someone a pro. I can only speak about the military second hand, but from what I've gathered in talking to numerous army/national guard members, firearm training has been lacking. And I can definately say that I'm one of the few officers between two depts that shoots on my own time. The rest only shoot once a year. They're good shots, but training and self training is rare.

wally
February 7, 2011, 05:41 PM
It should in no way affect feed or function, if you can't use the magazine as a hand grip or a quick'n'dirty mono-pod your rifle is broken.

If you used the bottom of the mag as a "cup and saucer" hold and had a case head failure it'd probably hurt quite a lot, but unless the lower actually comes apart, (in which case its likely bad no matter how you hold it) it should not be an issue using the mag/well as vertical grip if a case head fails.

IBEWBULL
February 7, 2011, 05:43 PM
As far as i can remember the Sten and some other sub guns were designed to use the magwell for support due to heat on the forend.
Tell me if I am in error.

GoWolfpack
February 7, 2011, 05:45 PM
On some rifles holding or touching the magazine while firing can cause failures to feed properly. Happened on a Mini-30 I shot a while ago. ARs have much better support for the magazine than Minis.

DeepSouth
February 7, 2011, 05:47 PM
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CAUTION! CONTAINS IMPROPER LANGUAGE AT END!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oh1lyMyejpI
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I wouldn't want to have my hand on the mag of the gun in that video, but I don't think it would have removed a hand. Probably not the best idea but I'm not overly concerned with it. I guess bottom line is when a gun kaboom's there will be places you really don't want your hands, but knowing where those places are is probably hindsight more times than not.


I have seen some of those super wobbly AK mags that don't feed right when their being pulled on.

as37692
February 7, 2011, 05:47 PM
When I went to the two week Squad Designated Marksman course put on by the Army Marksmanship Unit back in 2008, the only way we were allowed to shot was by holding on to the front of the magzinewell and the magazine. After two weeks being on the range and shooting every day, things have a way of sticking with you, and now the only way I shot my issue M16A4 or my personal M4 and A4 clones is well holding onto magzinewell and the magazine.

Bartholomew Roberts
February 7, 2011, 05:49 PM
Depends on the firearm I imagine. With the AR15, I sometimes use the magwell (not the magazine) as a grip. That has never caused me any problems.

I've also used the magazine as a monopod and never had any problems.

From those two pieces of data, I would guess you can probably get away with using the actual magazine as a grip if you wanted to; but ergonomically, there isn't much point to it on an AR.

carbine85
February 7, 2011, 05:56 PM
I said yes since I do it all the time and never really thought about it.

mc223
February 7, 2011, 06:03 PM
http://www.armalite.com/ItemForm.aspx?item=GW01A-BLK

http://www.702shooter.com/nifty-gadgets-and-accessories/fab-defense-mag-well-grip-vs-tactical-mag-well/

http://www.rainierarms.com/?page=shop/detail&product_id=792

Roan
February 7, 2011, 06:29 PM
The Sten and other early SMGs were designed to have the magazine held by hand in order to stabilize the weapon. This practice fell out of favor not because of personal injury but rather to the fact that this damaged and wore out the magazine latch as well as the feed lips on the magazine. Beyond this, some models would have problems feeding during the practice, particularly when coupled with the higher wear on the magazine locking mechanisms. Holding a weapon by the magazine WELL should not be a problem. These problems were recorded primarily with fully automatic weapons, so I don't know if a semi-automatic would exhibit the same accelerated wear.

LemmyCaution
February 7, 2011, 06:57 PM
According to US Army FM 23-8, it's just fine for the M-14.
http://www.popintheyap.com/FM23-8/M14_Alternate.jpg

Dionysusigma
February 7, 2011, 07:04 PM
Know one guy who swears by it (to the point of being annoying). Claims it helps reduce reload time. Works for him, apparently, as he consistently places in the top 10-20% in local 3-gun matches.

Feels odd to me, though.

SGW42
February 7, 2011, 08:12 PM
I was taught stauchly to keep my hand on the forearm, horizontal. O'Connor told me to tuck my hand up next to the sling swivel. Seems to provide a better platform when shooting off-hand.

I forget what firearm I was reading about that advised not to hold the magazine for fear of misfeads, but sounded like sound advice. All of the pics I see of people holding an AR-type rifle like that seem to be holding the mag well, not the magazine, or so I assumed. I don't keep to many tabs on the tactical stuff.

garyhan
February 7, 2011, 08:15 PM
I used to shoot a rental Sterling smg now and then. One of the staff (she was British and should have known the Sterling) always insisted I hold it by the mag. Every time I did, I got repeated jams which never occurred otherwise. Since then, I have held no gun by the mag.

gary

gunnutery
February 7, 2011, 08:29 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=utn8j05ZzEs

Not sure how it ended up for this guy, but he was definately holding his left hand after the kaboom.

jpwilly
February 7, 2011, 09:06 PM
I've done it but it's not my prefered method 100% of the time.

There's a neat product that is a little mag well grip if you want to employ this hold with a little more comfort. I saw one for the first time on a Phoenix SWAT unit SBR.

Something like this: http://gunsforsale.com/ghg/2010/06/18/gripwell-review-for-ar-15/

AK103K
February 7, 2011, 09:20 PM
As far as i can remember the Sten and some other sub guns were designed to use the magwell for support due to heat on the forend.
Tell me if I am in error.
Youre in error, sort of. :)

The STEN was meant to be held by the barrel shroud, not the mag. I cant think of one SMG that the mag was meant to be held onto by the off hand. Mag wells yes, mags, no. Its a good way to cause stoppages.

Not that it wasnt done, as things got hot, but even then, its more Hollywood than anything else.

henschman
February 7, 2011, 09:40 PM
A lot of NRA High Power and CMP shooters put their hand up against the mag on an M-14 or the magwell on an AR for their offhand position, with the elbow down against their rib cage for a solid, bone-on-bone position. This works well if you have no sling (or if the rules prohibit you from using one).

But in a sling-supported position, your hand should be on the forearm, preferably up against the sling swivel, with your elbow under the rifle.

If you're using a supported position, your support side hand should be on the stock.

As for CQB, there are lots of different techniques taught, but I do not favor grabbing the mag/magwell for this. I prefer grabbing the rifle as far forward on the handguard as possible. This gives you better leverage and muzzle control.

AK103K
February 7, 2011, 09:52 PM
I prefer grabbing the rifle as far forward on the handguard as possible. This gives you better leverage and muzzle control.
I agree. It also makes pointing and shooting much faster, easier, and more natural.

HorseSoldier
February 7, 2011, 10:03 PM
Another +1.

It may be good for NRA standing off hand stuff, but for combat marksmanship/CQB sort of stuff it's just bad form. Hand on the front of the magwell (or VFG a couple inches in front of it) is more comfortable, but sacrifices muzzle control and slows speed.

franconialocal
February 7, 2011, 10:15 PM
I don't know what the "right" or technically correct answer is to this question but I can tell you I'd be doing pushups on the range firing line if my Sgt. saw me doing it......just sayin' :scrutiny:

blackspyder
February 7, 2011, 10:26 PM
I don't like the idea of holding the mag/magwell for support while firing. Moving parts and extra pressure aren't exactly good combos. Besides with my luck I'd hit the mag release every time.

snakeman
February 7, 2011, 10:42 PM
I have used my mag as a grip and monopod

DoubleTapDrew
February 7, 2011, 11:23 PM
As for CQB, there are lots of different techniques taught, but I do not favor grabbing the mag/magwell for this. I prefer grabbing the rifle as far forward on the handguard as possible. This gives you better leverage and muzzle control.
It seemed like a few years ago in the AR-15 world, holding the magwell was all the rage. After that, it became en vogue to hold the handguard out as far as possible (and that's when midlength and rifle length FF handguards started showing up on everything). I'm not sure which is "better" but it seems like holding the rifle further out would allow for quicker, intuitive transitions on multiple targets (seems like the 3-gun guys started doing it first), but may allow more muzzle wavering on distant targets from that unsupported hand out there.
I may be way off base but that's just my take on it. Also, I think you kind of need to use the mag as a handgrip if you want to use your M203 :)

BushyGuy
February 7, 2011, 11:24 PM
it should be ok, look at the M203 Grenade launcher underneath the M4, they use the mag for a handle.

Zerodefect
February 8, 2011, 12:00 AM
I can't aim with a magwell grip at all!

I reach out as far as I can on a rail so I have better leverage and steadier aim. Threegun/Magpull style.

That soldier in the old WW2 pic with the M1 probally couldn't hit the side of a barn holding the M1 like that. LOLz. That pics insane, who comes up with that stuff?

The magwell grip may be effective if your stuck in a tight spot and your enemy is in a bunker/ditch only 30 feet away. Where your improvising an odd position, and trying to stay as small as possible. Much like a paintball senerio. Note that allmost all paintball guns use a short "magwell" type grip.

LemmyCaution
February 8, 2011, 12:24 AM
That soldier in the old WW2 pic with the M1 probally couldn't hit the side of a barn holding the M1 like that. LOLz. That pics insane, who comes up with that stuff?

Um, the Army? It's from the army field manual for the M-14, which dates it a lot closer to the Vietnam War than WWII.

Also, it's an M14, not an M1.

Also, you might want to have a look at some of these images:

http://www.google.com/images?q=offhand%20position%20shooting

HorseSoldier
February 8, 2011, 02:50 AM
Um, the Army? It's from the army field manual for the M-14, which dates it a lot closer to the Vietnam War than WWII.

And yet still rooted in the principles that we should train our troops to be able to soundly smoke the hell out of Picketts Charge. Quaint, and wholly ineffective when its two-way go time. ;)

madcratebuilder
February 8, 2011, 07:54 AM
When I went to the two week Squad Designated Marksman course put on by the Army Marksmanship Unit back in 2008, the only way we were allowed to shot was by holding on to the front of the magzinewell and the magazine. After two weeks being on the range and shooting every day, things have a way of sticking with you, and now the only way I shot my issue M16A4 or my personal M4 and A4 clones is well holding onto magzinewell and the magazine.
Interesting that the MU taught that method. I do use the mag well/mag when operating my 14.5 rifle, not so much with the longer barrel rifles. That photo of the M14 goes against everything I've been taught about that rifle. Holding the M14 mag or resting the rifle on the mag is sup[pose to be bad juju, so I have never have.

AK103K
February 8, 2011, 08:36 AM
Um, the Army? It's from the army field manual for the M-14, which dates it a lot closer to the Vietnam War than WWII.

Also, it's an M14, not an M1.

Also, you might want to have a look at some of these images:

http://www.google.com/images?q=offha...ion%20shooting
What youre showing there, and in most of the pics in the link, are more or less just traditional offhand "target" positions.

If you look at the rest of the positions in the same manual, youll find that they too are just basic "target" positions.

That offhand position with the M14 works OK, and I always used a modified version of it (I dont hold the mag, but the stock forward of it) when shooting HP and the DCM matches, but it is what it is, and not really of much use when your utilities arent starched, and your boots arent bloused and shiny. :)

ultradoc
February 8, 2011, 09:00 AM
I was taught not to by uncle sam. even resting the mag on the ground was a no no

benEzra
February 8, 2011, 09:06 AM
It's certainly OK to do so (from both a safety and reliability standpoint, IMO), but I find that I am faster and more stable in transitions if I place the left hand as far out on the handguard as possible (and hence the left arm relatively straight), with the thumb over the top of the handguard.

IIRC, the tucked-in, squared-up "shorty grip" encouraged by gripping the magwell, or a VFG placed very close to the magwell, was primarily intended to help entry teams square their armor up to a straight-ahead threat, and to take up less space in an entry stack, neither of which is really applicable to most shooters. And at least for me, it amplifies the tendency to overswing and/or "bob".

PandaBearBG
February 8, 2011, 09:14 AM
I think its fine, I do and sometimes do the mag "monopod" in a pinch, whatever works best for you. If the gun jams or kabooms, well its time to get a better gun.

M91/30
February 8, 2011, 09:24 AM
Your probably more interested in AR's but I use the magazine as a grip all the time on my 10/22 (25 and 33rnd mags) only problems ive ever had was if i really pushed on it and i got an occasional feeding issue but that was only with the loose fitting BC mags. Works fine with gsg-5 as well.

LemmyCaution
February 8, 2011, 09:27 AM
And yet still rooted in the principles that we should train our troops to be able to soundly smoke the hell out of Picketts Charge. Quaint, and wholly ineffective when its two-way go time.

Of course you are correct, but the poll does not ask if it's OK to use the magazine as a grip in combat shooting. It just asks the question generally. And the answer, as regards the M-14 in traditional position shooting, is 'yes.'

And also, I was responding to the poster who stated that the soldier in the illustration 'couldn't hit the side of a barn' with that stance. Which is incorrect, as that stance is very well accepted for offhand target shooting.

henschman
February 8, 2011, 01:40 PM
It seemed like a few years ago in the AR-15 world, holding the magwell was all the rage. After that, it became en vogue to hold the handguard out as far as possible (and that's when midlength and rifle length FF handguards started showing up on everything). I'm not sure which is "better" but it seems like holding the rifle further out would allow for quicker, intuitive transitions on multiple targets (seems like the 3-gun guys started doing it first), but may allow more muzzle wavering on distant targets from that unsupported hand out there.
I may be way off base but that's just my take on it.


No, you are very much on-base! The far forward support hand technique for CQB is all about muscling the barrel onto target, which you have to do in a dynamic environment involving moving, and targets presenting in different places. It allows you to control your muzzle more quickly and more precisely than other methods, but you are still ultimately relying on your muscles to hold up the rifle. This is necessary for CQB, but it is the OPPOSITE of what you want to do for precision marksmanship. Precision marksmanship is all about minimizing muscle input. That's why precision shooters use a loop or hasty sling, or a bipod, or sandbags... it allows you to relax your support hand, and use solid, consistent elements like bone, sling, and ground to build your position instead of muscles.

Personally, I like to have my serious battle rifles set up for doing both CQB and precision. The best method I have come up with so far is a 1 or 2 point tactical sling for carrying the rifle, but also an M-1/M-14 issue GI web sling attached to the support arm in the "loop" position, with an extra hook or a QD swivel on the front, so it can be quickly attached and removed from the rifle. You can use the far-forward support hand method for CQB, and then if you need extra precision for a longer shot or a smaller target, it's as simple as hooking up the GI web sling, wrapping your wrist, and taking a solid position.

If you know what you are doing with a sling, you can get just about as stable as you could with a bipod. However, it is a lot more versatile since it can be used in any position, and it takes up a lot less weight and bulk than a bipod. It also actually keeps the rifle in your shoulder pocket, unlike a bipod, so it is great for rapid fire.

I don't put bipods on anything except for long range bolt guns that are intended to be fired slow fire from long distances.

Bartholomew Roberts
February 8, 2011, 02:05 PM
No, you are very much on-base! The far forward support hand technique for CQB is all about muscling the barrel onto target, which you have to do in a dynamic environment involving moving, and targets presenting in different places. It allows you to control your muzzle more quickly and more precisely than other methods, but you are still ultimately relying on your muscles to hold up the rifle. This is necessary for CQB, but it is the OPPOSITE of what you want to do for precision marksmanship.

Good description. One of the main purposes I use the magwell hold for is comfort - if I have to hold the rifle at ready for an extended period of time, the far forward grip doesn't work because it relies a lot on muscles and even the big muscles in your shoulders and back can only stay in the game so long if they are bearing all the weight.

henschman
February 8, 2011, 03:20 PM
Yeah, that is a good point Bartholomew. I didn't think about the possibility of using a magwell hold for holding the rifle on target for a long time. This might be especially helpful for cops, who sometimes have to hold their weapons aimed toward the threat for a long time for a standoff-type situation.

If you have to remain aimed at the threat from the standing position, using something like a High Power type position might be nice... using that elbow on the rib cage, with support hand against the mag, to minimize muscle input. Better if you can just take a different position, like kneeling, or maybe use a wall or car hood for support in that type of situation, though.

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