Crimson Trace calls their MVF-515 vertical foregrip “modular.” The ability to swap the green laser for a red one is the MVF-515’s only “modularity.” Making that swap would be like trading in Blake Lively for Conchata Ferrell. Unless you started with Conchata (red laser) already. Then the foregrip makes the unit a lot more gooder. And plenty good it is too: a robust piece of America’s finest polymers that’s a phenomenal home defense solution. Call me a militarized muppet, but I’ve fallen in love the all-in-one utility of a piece that practically screams ergonomics and engineering smarts . . .
I was always fond of all-in-one foregrips. Check out my review of the Sig Sauer Stoplight STL-300J in my post Hotrodding the WASR-10 – Part 2. That thing still rocks; it still has the most powerful light I have seen in an all-in-one, packing the horsepower of four, yes four, CR-123s.
Back then, green lasers were not quite ready for primetime. But now green is the new red and it sure is the only way to fly. As I discovered in my test of a Viridian laser that absolutely shined—but was ergonomically dim. I was hoping the Crimson Trace would bring together the best of both worlds. It does and then some by bringing haptic happiness to the typical ergonomic snafus that plague accessories.
The Crimson Trace MVF-515 Modular Foregrip arrives in a reinforced box containing everything you need to get going, including two alan keys for adjustments (so you can keep one in your range bag and an instruction manual Elmo could read (if Elmo could read). And read it you will, if only to change the batteries. You’d think the bottom cover slides off and there would be a battery slot; you have to take apart the unit further than you think to access the voltage department.
Eleven easy-to-follow photos guide you through the process (that isn’t exactly a bad thing; you get to understand the internals of the unit by going in this deep). If the last circuit board you encountered was on your child’s Fisher-Price Tummy Fun playmat, you’ll appreciate the Crimson Trace difference.
Taking a grip on the unit itself and you can feel its relative heft (ten ounces) and strength. If you could unscrew it off of your picatinny fast enough, it would make a dandy instrument of bludgeon. On the bottom section of the foregrip are two large buttons on that activate the green laser- either side‘ll do ya depending if you are a righty or southpaw. Moving upwards, two buttons smaller in size turn on the replaceable LED light. The last buttons are the ‘master’ programming switches for the light and the laser.
The first mode you get to pressing the master buttons is momentary on/off; the way I leave my unit 99% of the time. In this mode, squeezing the foregrip with a normal pressure turns on the green laser, and nudging one of the light buttons turns on the light. The next mode is strobe. A lot of people argue over the merit of the strobe function on the light, but I think it could prevent me from taking a clear shot. On the other hand, it would definitely distract and disorient an enemy in a dark environment.
For the laser, I do not operate in self defense mode with a partner, so I’m not interested in the flashing laser. Finally, the last mode keeps everything on in case the power goes out and you want to burn up some expensive batteries for doing household maintenance (or go strobe and have a Last Days of Disco party).
I decided to mount the MVF-515 on my AR where it was great, but I really loved it on my Kel Tec Sub2000. Yes, I know: it effectively doubled the price of the firearm. But it enhanced the handling of the Sub2000 set about four notches back from the barrel end of the Sub2K factory-made rail (it’s on the Kel Tec website).
Bonus! You can still fold the weapon; it just looks like it took a Cialis and never called the doctor when the erection persisted. Moreover, I can literally make hits shooting from my hip 50 yards away. I made the group below, gun at chest level, gently pressing off rounds, laser only. I would always use my sights if they are available, but the MVF-515 makes taking shots from awkward positions possible. I’m also from the camp that believes a glowing green dot on a criminal’s chest may significantly improve the chances of said misfit fleeing.
Which is fine by me. Forgetting the mental implications, I don’t ever want to scrub bloody carpeting with OxyClean or patch small holes in sheetrock. And forgetting the Home Depot bill, good New York lawyers charge $450 an hour. I will I have to, but if a small battery powered device can scare off an intruder, more power to it.
Crimson Trace MVF-515 Modular Vertical Foregrip could be a couple of ounces lighter, but I like the brick shithouse feel. It helps justify my love. While the buttons that actuate the laser are perfect, the light needs a little more pressure to activate than I would like. Think of bringing down an eight-pound trigger pull to a 5.5. Too bad skilled gunsmiths also aren’t microswitch designers.
Style * * * ½
Looks good while housing a light, laser, and foregrip.
Ergonomics * * * * ½
Well thought out and well engineered way to turn on a light and laser without wiring up your rifle like it’s a Christmas tree. Turn up the sensitivity on the light switch and its perfection.
Reliability * * * *
So far it has worked every time I pressed the button.
Customize This (not applicable)
Light, Laser, and Foregrip. What more do you want it to do- shave your backhair?
OVERALL RATING * * * *
I like it, use it, recommend it.