I have tried a lot of grips for the AK series of rifles and I am just going to say this up front… The US PALM AK Battle Grip (AKBG) is easily the best grip for the AK that I have ever tried. You could probably stop reading right there and know everything that you need to know for this review, but if you want to know why it is the best, read on.
The AKBG is a grip for the AK series of rifles (AK-47, AK-74, etc.). It is made from a heavy duty polymer that comes in an assortment of colors. The colors include your typical black and Flat Dark Earth offerings as well as a very cool red bakelite color that is very appropriate for some AKs. It comes with all of the hardware that is necessary to mount it to your AK.
Why is it the Best?
The typical polymer grip that comes on most AKs leaves a lot of Western (as in hemisphere) shooters scratching their heads. It is narrow from front to back and side to side. It is basically straight with no swells or flairs except for at the top of the grip which is the worst place to have a swell. It doesn’t fill the hand very well at all. The AKBG on the other hand corrects all of those shortcomings. It has gentle palm swells and a sloping backstrap that really fills the hand. It is shaped to drive the hand higher on the grip for better control. It is just about as perfect a grip as you will find in terms of filling the hand without a lot of extra contours, ledges, or finger grooves.
The texture on a typical AK grip isn’t necessarily bad, it is just that the grip is so small that the texture barely seems to do anything. The AKBG has a very nice sort of stippled texture in large patches on both sides of the grip. It does a good job of providing grip without being too aggressive. While it might be nice if the texture was applied to the front strap or even the whole grip, the grip works very well as is.
The AKBG has one of the best storage compartments on any grip, not just AK grips. If you are familiar with the Tango Down Battle Grip’s storage compartment, the AKBG’s compartment will seem familiar since it uses the same excellent plug design to close the compartment. The compartment is basically wide open on the inside with plenty of space to store ear plugs or a small bottle of oil. The flexible rubber plug is captive at one end and has a pull tab at the other. The end with the pull tab can be locked tightly into place in the grip and it forms a water resistant seal. It is easy to open, easy to close, and I have never had one open unless I was actively trying to open it. It is very secure.
You will rarely see me mention this as a factor in a review, but I am going to mention it here. The AKBG looks good. So many aftermarket grips for the AK look like toy space gun parts or seem like an afterthought. The US PALM AKBG looks right on an AK. Obviously, some care was taken to make sure that this was the case.
The thing that strikes you when you use this grip is just how well it works with your hand and even improves the handling of the AK. It fills the hand well and promotes good trigger finger placement. It drives the hand very high on the grip. In fact, you will likely find that your hand it wedges up against the receiver which is perfect. This sort of placement really helps you drive the gun.
It works well with bare hands and gloves. I almost always wear gloves when I shoot, especially with AKs, so it is important that there is enough texture to lock the grip into my hand even when I have gloves on. The AKBG has enough but might benefit from having the stippled texture on more surface area, like the front strap. This is really a nitpick since it works so well as is.
This is a small thing but I noticed it on all three AKBGs that I own. They fit the trigger guard very well. AK grips are notched at the front so that they interface with the back of the trigger guard to prevent the grip from spinning. Many other grips that I have tried either don’t have enough material to lock the grip in place positively or have so much that there are edges. All 3 AKBGs that I own fit perfectly.
I think the best endorsement that I can give the AKBG is to say that I liked the one that I was sent by US PALM for evaluation so much, that I bought 2 more. All of my AKs wear US PALM AKBGs and I think yours should too.
Disclosure: US PALM provided an AKBG for this review, free of charge. However, I did buy two more on my own.