A long time ago in a Marine Corps far, far away I was a young Private at Camp Geiger being issued my fancy M16A4. This was late 2008 and the M16A4 was quite modern for the time, at least for this future infantryman. I spent my time on boot camp with an M16A2, so the dolled up A4 excited me. It came topped with a 4x Trijicon ACOG, a PEQ 15 laser aiming module, and the KAC VFG. According to one instructor, the days of holding your rifle in a traditional style were done and the VFG was king. The KAC VFG, or Knights Armament vertical foregrip, came about when the SOPMOD Block 1 rifles came to be and is prominently featured on that famous poster. As time passed they seemed to become a general issue item alongside the gripod.
The grip was designed for M4 rifles that sported short 7 inch rails but were dolled up with the latest and greatest AR accessories. The rails would hardly offer the room necessary for a real grip on your rifle so the KAC VFG became a necessity. Why the Marines decided I needed one on my M16 with its extra-long rails and single accessory I’ll never know. I’ll admit I loved it and it was an accessory I kept mounted. We were instructed to use a combination grip with the hand angled on the rail and pressed against the grip. This paved the way for the famed angled foregrips.
The KAC VFG was just the beginning of foregrips on modern guns. The KAC VFG wasn’t the first but was one of the first of the GWOT era of weaponry.
I’d bet the majority of people reading this have used or seen the KAC VFG in action and a bunch of you probably have it laying around in the spare parts bin. Knights Armament produced the quad rails for the military which started the trend of over accessorizing ARs. I was pleasantly surprised to find my own old KAC VFG and instantly wanted to equip it to a gun. However, I quickly found the majority of my weapons do not have traditional Picatinny rails. All of my ARs have modular handguards, and so do my shotguns. My 80 percent lower AR as a pistol can’t legally have one. I am lucky enough to have a Kel Tec SUB 2K Gen 2 that has a Picatinny bottom rail.
It was like gripping an old friend. I went right back to my time with the VFG on my M16A4 and it was quite comfortable and fills my massive hands. This grip is still in use in top tier units. If you search photographs of Block 2 guns you’ll still see the KAC riding dirty.
Why not? The grip still does it’s job and gives you a good grip when your gun is covered in accessories. To me, it also makes it easier to keep the weapon from rising when firing rapidly. Even though its quite old the KAC VFG is still a great option for your weapon. It doesn’t require tools to install, is super comfortable in the handle, and very well made. This is a cheap piece of gear, but its still a Knight’s Armament part.
The KAC VFG in Action
On my little 9mm, the recoil is minimal enough to keep the rails from digging into your hands. However, on a proper rifle, the cheese grater effect of a metal Picatinny rails does fatigue your hand. It can also cause a bit of pain after a long day on shooting.
Other than that I always found it so much easier to carry my M16A4 on humps with the vertical foregrip installed. It was a more comfortable grip angle, especially if the weapon is carried in the low ready for long periods of time. If you are going to be traversing a variety of terrain and be doing so for a long period of time a vertical foregrip will make the entire event a lot more comfortable.
Additionally, a vertical foregrip can be used to brace against a barrier for additional support when firing from behind cover. This barrier brace technique is really easy to do with the KAC VFG. The long and straight nature of the design keeps the barrel on the right plane when you start shooting.
The current VFG market is full of all sorts of options. This includes plenty of angled grips, short grips, stubby grips and more. People are always looking for new ways to hold their rifle. Knights Armament helped start a trend that continues to evolve and grow to this day.
Does anyone else out there have experience with the KAC VFG? If so, what are your thoughts?
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