Picatinny rails are both a blessing and a curse on a rifle. You can put whatever you want wherever you want on your gun, but with rail space at a premium and weapon weight the ever present concern deciding what exactly you need and what you can live without becomes difficult. There’s a product on the market right now that aims to make that decision a little easier by combining two functions into one rail-mountable solution: the Grip Pod . . .

In competition shooting, both a vertical foregrip and a bipod are desirable functions on a rifle. The forward vertical grip gives the shooter an index point for gripping the gun and adds some ergonomically placed surface area against which they can push when swinging the rifle from one side to the other. Plus, I just find it much more comfortable to rest my hand against something rather than directly gripping the handguard.

The benefit of a bipod for long range shots from various positions is pretty self-evident as the more stable the shooting position you have the more accurate your fire will be and a bipod is pretty damn stable. But having both of these features on a rifle at the same time takes up massive amounts of rail space, and on mid-length handguards basically puts the vertical grip too close to the magazine well to be truly useful.

Enter the Grip Pod. This single unit not only acts as a chunky vertical foregrip (and excellent monopod) but has a spring-loaded bipod stored inside the body ready to be deployed at the push of a button. At first blush it appears to be the solution to our problem, but digging a little deeper things get disappointing.

The vertical foregrip part of the Grip Pod does indeed function as a vertical foregrip, but I have some complaints. Besides the fact that the grip itself may be a hair too large, the biggest thing that irks me every time I use it is the screw on the side of the unit. In order to make the thing easy to attach and remove, they’ve designed a finger-friendly knob that lets you put the thing on and take it off at will – and rather quickly. The issue is that this screw becomes very annoying for those of us with large fingers (it interferes with getting a really good grip on the unit), and I can’t even fathom how our southpaw brethren manage one of these things without being VERY uncomfortable.

The bipod is the real selling point, but even that falls short of the mark. To keep weight down, the legs of the bipod are made of plastic which makes them very susceptible to bending and breaking. A gun has a tendency to move back and forth some as it fires, which stresses the plastic and will eventually break the legs.

And forget about trying to “load” the bipod (place forward pressure on the bipod to steady it), because that’s a sure fire way to snap the legs right off. The bipod only really works well on smaller calibers (like 5.56), and even then doesn’t really meet the requirements of a bipod on a competition grade firearm.

So in short by going with the Grip Pod you’re getting the worst of both worlds; a bipod that will break eventually and a grip that is somewhat uncomfortable. But here’s the thing: I still run one on my competition rifle for one reason – nothing does the job better and lighter.

If I were to get these components separately I’d be spending far more money and using tons more rail real estate than I currently am, not to mention adding extra weight to an already boat anchor-esque firearm. The Grip Pod not only takes up less space than a conventional bipod alone, but the compact design means less chance of the legs becoming snagged on some loose stage equipment and costing me time or a DQ.

It’s also considerably lighter than the combination of the two. But the biggest draw is probably the button on the back of the unit that instantly deploys the legs when you push it, meaning that I don’t have to reach forward and manually deploy the legs like with a normal bipod.

There’s no doubt that by going with the Grip Pod I’m missing out on some of the benefits of a bipod, but the fact of the matter is that for me and my skill level, it’s entirely sufficient for my needs. It gives me plenty of stability without sacrificing much weight or rail space, and does it rather cheaply as well.

Layered on top of the product itself is some rather fanatical support. They quickly replaced the legs on my Grip Pod when they finally decided to declare independence from the unit and disappear into the sands of south Texas and are apparently standing by to continue replacing them as they break again down the road.

Another side benefit of the fold-away design is that for matches where you’re running in a division that doesn’t permit bipods, you can still leave it attached — just don’t hit the magic button that releases the bipod legs and you’re good to go. It makes life a lot easier when you don’t have to be constantly swapping out parts on your guns depending on what the CRO decides to make the rules that day.

If you’re looking for a dedicated bipod, this isn’t it. And if you’re looking for a dedicated vertical foregrip you can do much better. But if you need something that works well enough in most competition settings, doesn’t take up a lot of space and is quick and easy to deploy, this might be your ticket. There are a number of competitors out there with similar designs, but none execute the concept quite like this one. The Grip Pod is an example of a unit where the value of the whole really is greater than the sum of its parts.

Grip Pod
Price: $80

Ratings (Out of five stars):

Reliability: * *
I really can’t justify giving this more than two stars when the legs snapping off is a common enough occurrence that replacement is a “no questions asked” affair.

Utility: * * * *
It doesn’t do everything that a standalone bipod would do, but it does enough to be functional.

Overall Rating: * * * 1/2
There are some very minor changes that could take this from three to four stars – swapping out the screw for something a little more low profile for one. But even as it stands right now, its good enough for me to run it on my primary competition rifle.

18 Responses to Gear Review: Grip Pod

  1. There is a “military” version of the Grip Pod that has metal-reinforced legs. Costs a bit more, of course.

    • Yes, I was expecting this review to talk about the version with the steel legs. I’d be interested in a side-by-side comparison.

  2. I pickup one of these at A Sacramento Gun Show a couple of years ago for $40. I put it on my 20″ AR. It has worked great and was much cheaper than a Harris Bipod!

  3. Heh, my Nerf Stampede has a foregrip/bipod unit almost exactly like this. I was wondering if someone had made a similar unit for big boy/girl toys. Too bad about using legs that look remarkably similar to the legs on mine.

    Has the spring mechanism given you any trouble, or do the legs break too quickly for it to be a problem yet?

  4. A bipod really doesn’t take up that much rail space. My Atlas bipod with a AD lever mount only takes up about 1.25 inches. The legs will almost always be stowed forward, and you’ll have it on the end of the quad rail.

  5. Those things are complete and unmitigated pieces of…Well, you know. I’m talking about the reinforced one I was issued. I don’t even want to think about the cheaper version.

    First off, those things are excellent at snagging on everything, even more so than most forward grips. Its a giant strap/string/buddy catcher. The bipod legs aernt quite round enough, the stupid dimond screw loves to get hung op on things and then loosen and fall off and the sides at the top are perfectley square, which is not a shape that helps snaggy things glide off.

    They do not like sand, dirt or mud anywhere on the bipod legs. If you retract it with crud on there, its gona be sticky. If a sufficient amount of dust gets into it, it will get sticky. And that just makes deploying the bipod…Interesting.

    Also, GOD FORBID you should actually try and prone out in a hurry with the bipod legs extended on it…They do not take kindly to being plopped down when you hit the deck. If you land the bipod legs down any lighter than a feather, be prepared to make use of their excellent customer service. As in, they break, and then you’re left with a huge clunky forward grip.

    As a forwards grip its awfull. Its huge and round and the texturing doesnt really help keep it in your hand that much. Its way to fat and way to long for my tastes.

    To get really good use of it as a bipod, you need to mount it wayyyyy forwards. And to use it as a forwards grip, you need to mount a lot further back, where it prys the rifle out of your shoulder (Unless you make the stupid mistake of applying any pressure what so ever on the bipod legs, in which case they snap or collapse back in, and taunt you with foul language.) and making it hard to get a good cheekweld. Mount it too far back, and you have to adjust your position higher, too, which is always lovely when rounds are incoming.

    After my unit replaced not the first, but the SECOND one that I broke, I traded it to a pog for a carton of American Marlbro Reds, which was probably the best deal I’ve ever made in my life. The fobbit was happy with something that looked really cool that he would never happen to use, and I had cigarettes for the week.

    Its ugly, its poorly made, its poorly designed, it works awful as a forwards grip and its almost worthless as a bipod in realistic circumstances. It may work wonderfully off of a mat or a bench, but it has no place on a fighting or practical competition rifle.

  6. I have two, and they have both worked well. If you like a stubby VG, then go out and get one. As to durability, I’ve used one on my .50 Beowulf with great results. I removed it and switched it to my 6.8, and then re-installed it on my 5.56. I’ve used the metal – reinforced and non-reinforced version.

    I’ve deployed and re-deployed the legs more than 100 times with no ill effects, and I’ve used the bipod to shoot decent groups with Troy peep sights (a few about 1″ 50 yard 3 and 5 shot groups with the bipod on top of a range towel and SSA 77 grain 5.56).

    It’s a heavy toy, but I’ve found it to be useful. YMMV.

  7. The Mako grip is a major piece of junk. I got one, and it broke, returned it and they said they “fixed it” but it broke again, never could get it to work and they never refunded my money.

    The grip pod works great, is strong and sturdy. I got the one with steel legs.

    • So, you managed to destroy yours, while I have had zero issues with mine over several years…

      How does this make it a “major piece of junk”?

      What part did you break on yours so easily?

  8. I was issued one of these for Iraq to mount under my M16A4 on a KAC M5 RAS. After seeing another soldier break his easily on a qual range. I decided to spring for my own Harris and a Larue Mount, using the KAC foregrip that came with the RAS, which served me much better.

  9. I considered getting one for my Sig716, but when i saw they were made of plastic I decided I didn’t really want one that bad.

    They could make the whole thing out of aluminum, add twenty or forty bucks to the price, and they would probably triple their sales overnight.

  10. I nut tapped myself with one of these within the first 48 hours of attaching it to my rifle. While uncomfortable, it ensured that I was 110% aware of total weapon awareness, not just muzzle awareness, for the rest of my tour.

  11. I recently picked one of these up and it is definitely a great addition to any rifle especially if you want to harness the CQB and medium range capabilities of your AR. I was very surprised at how well built this device is and once I got over how big the VFG was, and got to the range to put some rounds on target, I realized that I had found what I was looking for.

    Cheers,
    Dave
    MyGrip Pod Review

  12. It is amazing that the ‘experts’ on this site do nothing but complain about the grip. For example, without any empirical evidence, you state the polymer legs will break after repeated use. Not very scientific. One question, if this thing is such a piece of crap for you make believe warriors, why does the US Army issue it? I guess combat is a wimpier environment than your backyard range.

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