Nate Murr, now Director of Business Development at Kinetic Development Group, is the Marine combat vet who distracted me with John Moses Browning trivia and secondhand smoke to eke out a win at Lancer Systems Media Day’s AR-15 drag race. He walked away with a sweet matched receiver set, but not before handing me a B5 Systems Gripstop as a consolation prize . . .
To be fair, I think Nate keeps a few of these in his fanny pack at all times, as he’s not only a Gripstop client, he’s also the inventor. This product was invented for and refined in combat use by Marines and is intended to be a simple, durable unit that functions as a hand stop, forward grip, and barrier stop. It’s compatible with Keymod, MLOK, and more.
The real key here is the Gripstop’s curved, serrated front face. This allows it to be used as a barrier stop and can instantly make the rifle very steady at practically any shooting angle. I believe the design stemmed from a need to shoot at downwards angles from behind the short walls surrounding many rooftops in urban combat scenarios. In practice, it really allows the shooter to brace his or her rifle on top of most objects from window frames to vehicles to walls, branches, one’s own knee, Nate Murr’s beard, and more.
When shooting offhand, that curved face provides the shooter’s support hand with a solid grip to pull the rifle back into their shoulder. The curve plus the serrations means it works regardless of the shooter’s preferred wrist angle. It works notably well for those who like to rock the C-Clamp grip, while at the same time not locking the shooter into a specific grip style like some competing units do.
The Gripstop’s vertical, flat rear face can act as a hand stop to prevent the shooter from sending that support hand forwards beyond the muzzle/forend when bringing the rifle to bear quickly (especially on a short rifle/carbine or SBR). With some sling setups, it can also be used to push the rifle forwards against a taut sling. Alternatively, it can be used to brace against a barrier either with the rifle on the far side of the barrier and pulling back on it, or by reversing the Gripstop so the flat, vertical face is forwards.
For the record, despite having a vertical face to it the ATF has cleared it for use on pistols. It is not considered a vertical forward grip.
A hole at either end accepts the variety of mounting hardware that comes with the Gripstop.
A pair of round cone thingies is included for attaching to Keymod, and a pair of oval-shaped plates is included for clamping to MLOK and most generic and random slots, which was the case in these photos with the Lancer Systems carbon fiber handguard. Spacing between the holes is 2-3/8″, and this is compatible with some handguards that are simply covered in threaded holes, allowing the Gripstop to be bolted directly on. A Picatinny version should be hitting the scene very soon.
My example is the standard, 1.75″ height but the Gripstop is also available in a “K” model that’s a shorter 1.375″ tall.
On The Range
As you can imagine, it does what it’s supposed to. It may not look it, but it actually feels good to pull back on. Gripstop is pretty into the curved design, and would love you to #EmbraceTheRadius.
Certainly, it’s a unique design element and I was surprised how well it works — thanks primarily to the serrations — both for bracing against an object and for gripping. The above photo from Rockwell Tactical’s Instagram page shows how the flat rear face can work well for further clamping and pinning of the Gripstop against a barricade while also functioning as a hand stop.
This photo from Markland Photography’s IG shows the normal use for offhand shooting — all fingers on or in front of the curved face of the Gripstop. Typically the support hand little finger ends up near the Gripstop’s tip, and the rest of the fingers cascade along the radius forwards from there.
Wait, what was I saying? Oh, Gripstop, right. There actually is one in the photo above — it’s attached to the rifle — and the hand model is demonstrating another solid way to grip it. Some shooters will prefer having a finger or two behind the rear face. While I do grip a lot of handstops that way, I prefer pulling back on the Gripstop exactly as seen in the previous photo, including with my support hand thumb pointing forwards parallel with the bore.
The Gripstop is a very simple design, but that belies its utility. Most of these devices work well as a handstop, as a forward grip, or as a barrier stop, but few others can perform at such a high level in all three functions. Despite this functionality, the Gripstop is lightweight, strong, and fairly inexpensive. I understand why it has become so popular in both military and civilian circles.
Specifications (B5 Systems Gripstop):
Material: hard anodized aluminum
Fits: Keymod, MLOK, other slots, direct-thread (Picatinny coming soon)
Weight: 2 oz including hardware
Height: 1.75″ standard version, 1.375″ K version
MSRP: $47.99 including shipping
Ratings (out of five stars):
Utility * * * * *
It’s very effective for bracing a rifle for stability against an object and works at various shooting angles. It’s a great angled forward grip that’s also legal for use on a pistol. It’s a great handstop.
Overall * * * * *
Despite what I can only assume was an annoyingly smug expression somewhere behind Nate’s beard and cigarette when he won, I couldn’t really find any flaws with the product. It does what it’s supposed to in the most straightforward way possible, and that’s a formula I almost always like.