Angled and vertical foregrips are great for keeping your rifle stable and aligned, but their particularities make them best for different purposes.
In this guide, you’ll learn more about them and which one is best for you.
Angled Foregrip vs Vertical Foregrip
If you use your rifle often and use it to fire several rounds in a short period, at some point, you’ll need some sort of gripping system.
Angled foregrip and vertical foregrips are the most popular out there, and although they share the same purposes, they may be more suitable for different needs. On the table below, there’s a list of the pros and cons of both options. Those features will be further explained in this article.
Protects against overheating
Good recoil control
Helps controlling muzzle rise
More instinctive body positioning
Stability and vertical alignment
Offers flexibility in shooting stance
Allows you to compensate for recoil
It can overheat
It has legal restrictions
Suit for precision shooting at any distance. Because it’s lighter and can move from a target to another quickly, it makes a good hunting companion.
Great for long and fast repeating shooting sessions, as it provides excellent protection against overheating. It’s a common choice for combat situations.
Relevant Characteristics Between Angled Foregrip and Vertical Foregrip
Let’s get visual. On the table below, you’ll have a better idea about the looks of both systems and how they would interact with your rifle. There’s also a short and to-the-point comparison between both systems.
Requires more rail space
Rail Space Needed
Requires less space
Requires more strength to stabilize
Heavier. It may require more body tension to control.
Similarities and Differences
Vertical foregrip and angled foregrip are two different ways to use your off-trigger hand to secure more stability to your rifle. Although there are differences between, there’s no right or wrong choice here, and personal taste plays a significant role in the final decision. You’ll read below what else unites and separates both options.
Angled Foregrip and Vertical Foregrip Differences
Let's investigate the differences here between these two grip styles:
Vertical foregrips are the name suggests, touch the barrel at a 90° angle on the front part of the rifle. Also called broomstick, this kind of foregrip makes horizontal alignment easier for some shooters.
Angled foregrips were designed to be more anatomical and to provide a more natural holding position. For this reason, some shooters may find it more comfortable, in opposition to a more tense posture with the vertical one.
Purposes and Accuracy
Vertical foregrips are the standard option for long shooting sessions and long-distance flights. They allow for easier horizontal alignment and less vertical recoil. Although, for short and medium-distance targets, many may prefer the angled foregrip, allowing for quicker and more precise change between targets. On the other hand, vertical foregrips usually make for better barricade stops.
What Does Federal Law Say?
Although every citizen has the right to own guns, some accessories may be legal, while others aren’t. Moreover, some legalized accessories can be used illegally, so it’s crucial to pay close attention to what the legislation says.
The use of a vertical foregrip on a handgun is forbidden by federal law, although the item itself is perfectly legal, for instance. Under NFA laws, a handgun equipped with a vertical foregrip would be categorized as AOW (Any Other Weapon), changing its original purpose of being fired with only one hand; thus, it’s not allowed.
Despite this, angle foregrips can be legally installed on AR-15 pistols.
Those are some of the main differences you should bear in mind before making your choice. Small legal details can land you in big trouble if overlooked, so watch for tricky legislations and loopholes. Some shooters can also prefer one style over another only for aesthetic reasons.
Angled Foregrip and Vertical Foregrip Similarities
The similarities of these foregrips really begin (and end) at them offering more stability over having no grip, as you'll see:
Both grips are placed under the front end of the barrel. They are used as tactical gear because they provide more stability as well as precision. Foregrips, in general, proportionate better recoil control, less muzzle rise, and protection against overheating.
Their positioning along the gun is mostly a matter of taste. However, they are more often used by the end of the barrel.
Posture and Alignment
Vertical and angular foregrips were designed to facilitate effortless horizontal alignment while keeping your posture as ergonomic as possible. which favors alignment even more if you shoot from a non-standard position, like lying on the ground, for instance.
Both systems allow you to hold the rifle tighter against your shoulder, which is very useful for target shifting.
Both grips improve your gun’s performance, so they can be considered upgrades. Laws regulate the employment of both systems on handguns and shotguns. So, gunsmithing is not the only thing you should consider when choosing your foregrip.
You can find both vertical and angular grips used for hunting, long-range shooting, and target practice, proving their versatility. However, vertical foregrips seem to be preferred in combat situations. Since the beginning of the last century, several armies have used variants of vertical grips on their rifles and machine guns.
Advantages of Angled Foregrips
Angled foregrips were designed to be more anatomical. In fact, in appearance, they are much more discreet than their “broomstick” colleagues. Also, they’ll make little difference in your posture, almost as if there wasn’t any foregrip at all.
Why use them, though? Precisely because of this reason. Some shooters want to solve problematic issues such as barrel overheating and recoiling without changing their whole body positioning. This design also allows you for a more stable placement of the rifle on your shoulder, which is a crucial advantage when switching between close targets.
Additionally, it doesn’t usually require extra storage considerations for the weapon, as the vertical ones often do.
Laws and Regulations
While the legislation tends to be tough on vertical foregrips usage, angled grips fly mostly below the radar. The National Firearms Act, from 1934, is very clear when it says that it is not allowed to equip a handgun with a vertical foregrip, while it leaves aside the usage of angled foregrips.
It is as confusing as it sounds, and amid this confusion, there are several legal oddities and loopholes.
Purposes and Accuracy
Angled foregrips are extremely useful, even if you don’t intend to build a Frankensteinish pistol-rifle. They favor effortless precision on your rifle through a more intuitive body positioning. They can also take more advantage of the movements from your shoulders.
They are commonly mounted on the top end of the rail, which for many shooters, improves accuracy. Those features make angled foregrips perfect for short and medium-range shooting, for which some shooters may find the vertical ones a bit clumsy.
If you favor a more natural posture and firing hundreds of rounds on end is not on your plans, consider adopting the angled foregrip. They are very efficient in protecting your off-hand against overheating and a great help to mitigate recoil.
They tend to be lighter than the vertical ones and use less storage space. Those are crucial advantages if you plan on traveling or hiking with your rifle. As legislation tends to be less picky with angled foregrips, you can use them without major legal concerns.
Advantages of Vertical Foregrips
Vertical foregrips are designed to provide stable horizontal alignment on the barrel via vertical support. It’s quite useful in long shooting sessions, especially if you plan on firing hundreds of rounds, for it provides adequate protection against overheating.
This positioning also favors recoil control greatly. There’s no standardized or arbitrary distance between the grip and the receiver, so it’s very much up to your taste. During body combats, it can offer an advantage while disputing the rifle.
Purposes and Accuracy
Because they provide so much stability, they are ideal for long-range shooting.
They can be mounted on all kinds of rifles, but legislation can be capricious about its use on shotguns and handguns.
If you want to carry a bipod around, but not as a separate gear, some vertical foregrips come with built-in bipods or even slots for extra ammunition. It works quite well as a barricade stop, making it a brilliant tactical gear for sport shooting, target practice, or even combat in situations.
Because it allows for a less tense body position, more robust recoil control, and easier horizontal alignment, it helps controlling muzzle rise; it’s more accurate in many scenarios.
Stability and precision are always welcome regardless of your shooting habits. Anyway, vertical foregrips have some features that are more useful in combat situations. It offers additional leverage in a hypothetical physical struggle for the rifle, or while shooting atop of vehicles, or shooting rounds on end without bothering about overheating.
Simultaneously, it can require extra storage space for your gun, and it can itself be a small extra slot.
What About Handstops?
Handstop is a different gripping system than the ones mentioned before, although it is designed for the same purposes. They are lighter than the vertical or angled grips, as it is smaller and sometimes use different materials.
Handstops are popular among hunters, for whom gear weight can become a huge problem. Competition shooters will most probably go vertical or angled grip, where their additional weight is a tactical advantage.
Nevertheless, some specialists defend that hand stops provide better recoil absorption if the shooter is strong enough to hold tight onto the rail, but this is subject to debate.
The critical feature dividing handstops from other gripping systems is that it’s not something the shooter can grab, but rather a reference point. Because of its size, you can’t hold on to it, so your hand goes to the front of the gun and slides back to the point you’ve chosen. Thus the name.
A reference point makes sure the shooting position will always be the same, providing more stability and reinforcing muscular memory. If you opt for hand stops, heating is something that you’ll always have to bear in mind.
While handstops increase control and stability, compared with a bare gun, vertical and angled grips still are more effective in many scenarios.
On the other side, handstops won’t turn your gun into a portable felony since they won’t change into an AOW.
Despite their differences, all gripping systems serve the same purpose, yet they vary inapplicability. Handstops are light, easy to carry, and surely add all the stability a hunter may need. They are cheaper and discreet, legally speaking.
Angled foregrips are a step forward, as they are better at long distances, as well as shifting quickly between targets at short and medium distances. Vertical foregrips are very popular among the military.
They tend to be heavier than the others, but they add formidable stability, plus an amazing barricade stop. Above all, it’s essential to have your purposes clear in mind to make the best choice for your needs.
People Also Ask
Make sure you know where you’re placing your money. When it comes to choosing your gear, a wrong move can be wasteful and dangerous. If you still have doubts concerning both systems and their different (and similar) features, or more to-the-point legal issues, look at this section.
Which Foregrip Reduces Recoil the Most?
Vertical stops are very stable surfaces to grab on, so your body helps you in resisting recoil.
Are AR 15 Foregrips Legal?
Yes, as long as the rest of the rifle is legal.
Is it Legal to Put a Vertical Grip on a Shotgun?
It is, but with restrictions. Like handguns, shotguns cannot have their original purpose changed. A handgun can’t become a rifle, the same way a shotgun can’t become an assaulting weapon. A shotgun with a revolving cylinder and a vertical grip would be considered an assaulting weapon, thus an AOW. So, without this cylinder, it’s legal.