Magpul’s RVG (and MVG) has proven to be a tremendous value in the crowded market of vertical grips. It offers a solid, durable, and relatively lightweight way to really get a grip on your rifle. It is long enough that it can be used with a full grip (hammer grip) but savvy users will find that it is well shaped to work with the thumb break or thumbs forward grip. However, when it is used in this method, it is much larger than it needs to be.
This installment of The Tactical Handyman is nothing earth shattering, but it is useful. We will be taking a look at some modifications to the MVG and RVG that will make these vertical grips better suited to a thumb break or hand stop style grip, increase grip, and save a little bit of weight in the process.
- Cutting implement that is suitable for plastic (a hacksaw or hacksaw blade works great, a rotary tool could also work)
- Sandpaper in various grits
- Rotary tool (optional)
- Stippling gear (optional)
Our goal is just to shorten the grip to remove any length and weight that we aren’t using. You will be tailoring it to how you grip the rifle. If you are using it as a handstop and most of your hand is actually gripping the hand guards then you can take a ton off the grip. If you are using a pure thumbs forward grip, you may want to leave most of the MVG intact. Your grip will dictate how much is removed.
The procedure is simple. As with any project, remove all ammunition from the area that you are working in. Check that your carbine is unloaded. Double check that it is unloaded and then check it again. You can’t check too many times. Then…
- Study how you grip the rifle. Present it several times and as you do, mark the lowest point on the grip that your hand is contacting with your pencil. You will want to do this several times and at full speed to really get a good idea of where to start cutting.
- Plan the cut. Once you have decided on a pencil mark to use for your cut, consider adding about 1/8″ to account for sanding later or just to give yourself some room on the grip. I decided that I would cut my RVG at a diagonal since I only contact the front of the grip. You will want to plan your cut now because it will be too late after you start cutting.
- Make the cut! You can remove the grip and put it in a vice if you like. This would be the safest thing to do, especially if you are using a power cutting tool. I using a hacksaw blade so I just kept the RVG mounted. I wrapped one end of the blade in tape so I could grip it and I liked the control and flexibility that this method gave me. You can use the grooves on the front of the RVG to align your cutting tool.
- Clean up your cut. Use your rotary tool if you have one or your sandpaper to clean up the sharp edges where you made your cut. I rounded the edges fairly aggressively. Finish the clean up with the finest grain sand paper that you have.
- Stipple the grip. This step is optional. After step 4 you will have a functional grip but you can really increase its function with some quick and dirty work with your soldering iron. If you need help you can check out my article on stippling gear.
I am not the first one to do this modification and, like I said, it isn’t really earth shattering but it is functional. I think the stippling really enhances the functionality of this mod so I strongly encourage you to give it a try.