Saturday, March 24, 2012

A Hogue Monogrip for the AR15..... In which Carteach begins a journey


As some of our friends and neighbors here are aware, an AR15 A2 rifle has come to reside at the Carteach0 secret bunker complex, otherwise known as 'The House'. It's well used, and was built from parts. To the best of my knowledge, an elderly DPMS lower and a post-ban Colt A2 upper. The bolt carrier and upper guts appear to match Colt, and the trigger group looks to be all DPMS. As for furniture.... the hand guards are the new A2 round style, and the butt stock looks like it was used to beat mules into submission during some foreign conflict.

In any case, after an hours scrubbing copper fouling, the rifle laid five rounds into two inches at 100 yards, and has now become a match rifle for the fat old man.

"But Carteach, you already have a gorgeous Garand to shoot in the matches!"

"Yes... I know... but with this I can shoot two squads, and be twice as embarrassed in the same match!"

You see....matches for me usually have this scene at some point, as a GOOD shooter looks at my targets....

GS: "Nice shooting there buddy. Is this your first time shooting a big bore match?"

Carteach: "....... I've been shooting alongside you here for three years. I've already spotted for you twice this season!"

GS: "Oh...... well...... nice weather today, isn't it?"

So Carteach has embarked down the AR15 road, and I'm told it will be a life long
adventure in upgrades, downgrades, fixes, retrofixes, uppers, lowers, sidewayers, and such like that.

To kick off the bandwagon, the Fat Man has elected a tiny little upgrade from the classic A2 platform. A one screw, five minute, twenty dollar change in the rifle. That would be swapping the hard plastic hand grip away and installing a Hogue Rubber Grip Ar-15/M-16 Rubber Grip with Finger Grooves.

Purchased from for roughly $20 (with free shipping at that time), the Hogue grip replaces the slick hard plastic A2 with a highly grippable and sticky-ish handle for the shooter to hang onto. It's not like the AR has massive amounts of recoil to contend with. It's just a poodle shooter for yumpin yimminy. That said.... holding on to the rifle in a repeatable manner is a key element to shooting accurately.

The AR15 grip is held on by one lonely screw. The house Pachmayr gunsmithing screwdriver set had a slotted insert that fit the screw perfectly. It was the work of a moment to unscrew the old grip, and ready the rifle for it's new handle. Of course, that work of a moment was followed by several minutes searching for the SMALL SPRING that lives under the grip. Using the secret magic words (%$# @#%$# ^$@$%#*+^# (^$$@$@), the spring was recovered and installed under the new Hogue grip.

The hardest part of the entire five minute ordeal was getting the screw into the hole of the new grip, as the screw hole lives at the bottom of a deep dark grip well hole. Carteach solved this by placing the screw and it's lock washer on the screwdriver, and then lowering the grip over it Vertically. Once that was done, the rifle was finished seconds later.

How does the Hogue grip feel compared to the stock hard plastic? Like night and day, the difference is remarkable. The shooters grip is much firmer, more repeatable, and utterly un-shifting under recoil. Frankly, I wish all firearm modifications were this cheap, easy, and of such value. Hogue has been making grips for generations... and with reason.

Good stuff!


45er said...

I think you'll be happy. I went with the Ergo-grip with mine. If you spend all day on that rifle shooting half a case of ammo, your hand will thank you for that.

mmasse said...

Very nice. I went the magpul route but it amounts to the same. Its like night and day. I would however replace the trigger pins with a non-rotational one. The last thing you want is your trigger group falling out on you during a match. I used the KNS ones (for $20).

JFT said...

I also have an Ergo grip on mine. I didn't realize how much difference it makes until I swapped rigs with a friend who has the standard A2. Sometimes it's the little things make the biggest difference.

Old NFO said...

LOL, NOW you've started down that long road... :-) Welcome to the EBR jungle!

Carteach0 said...

NFO, Thank you!

I looked (felt) a few different grips, including the Magpul versions. Of them all, I really like the way the Hogue seemed to fit my hand. It just seems to feel like part of my body extending into the rifle.

ZerCool said...

Like JFT and 45er, I've got the ERGO on mine. Utter love and it is a must-do any AR I build forever. Hogue was a close second, and I think the reason I went with the ERGO is that the Hogue wasn't in stock when I ordered.

Earl said...

I will watch for further improvements, I just am so certain that the AR platform was meant for female soldiers (and I love wood) that I am biased against the fine rifles you can produce by carefully crafting an AR for precision shooting. Oh, and they always wanted to sell it as able to go full auto, which I frown on unless Mongol Hordes are upon you during prime time. I do like so hear about a craftsman at his work.

Roger said...

Old NFO has it right.
The handgrip is just the beginning. Next will be a free float handguard or an upgraded trigger - - - - or more likely, both. Then an adjustable buttstock. That A2 just has to go.
Sierra 52 gr HPBT MKs and H335 will bring your groups down to an inch. Oh the places you'll go!

Carteach0 said...

Roger.... have you been reading my Amazon wish list? (G) All those rifle components are already there.

I've just ordered 1000 62 grain SS109 bullets to work with. The Sierra MK's will wait till I get good enough to need them. That's what I use in my Turk Mauser, which makes excellent use of them.

Question.... is an adjustable stock DCM match legal? I thought I read the rifle had to appear in either stock A2 or carbine configuration.

Anonymous said...

I'd suggest "Gunsmithing the AR" by Pat Sweeney... saves a little time on the learning curve...
Being an ex-auto teacher meself, I've found the best way to retain all those leetle AR parts is one of those ~3" diameter magnetic parts trays they sell for working on cars.
Good next projects would be an oversized charging handle latch and an oversize triggerguard. Both Amazon and qualify for free shipping!!!

Mark Roote said...

The Hogue grip was one of the first things I added to my AR.
I took mine out the first weekend I had it and it was right at (or just below) freezing and that hard plastic thing hurt like heck. The Hogue is much friendlier in cold weather and helps with actually gripping.
Good Choice.

AM said...

An adjustable stock is DCM legal if it is in an M4 configuration rifle. And then only with issue adjustable stocks. Cool stocks like the PSR are a no go at this time.

Right now your AR is not DCM legal because of the rather excellent Hogue grip (unless the rules have changed). Easy to change back to a stock grip for a DCM shoot if you want.

Firehand said...

Few years back daughter gifted me with one of the best birthday presents I've ever received: a magnet broom.

Magnet about a foot long, an inch or so wide, with a handle in the middle like a push broom. I have no idea how many times that's saved me time, swearing and possibly having to buy a new part.