Words and pics: Rich Norman
Do you like Koch?
The HK416A5 fetish continues and do not adjust your monitor. Heckler & Koch’s “RAL8000” polymer really is this colour:
H&K has re-engineered the vertical forward grip with typical German design expertise; much like they did with the HK416 series. With a clear understanding of user requirements and a whole market of grips to benchmark against, the company has come up with something which is distinctive, yet simple, sturdy and reliable.
However, like the HK Slimline stock (which I reviewed here), it looks a bit shit.
It strikes a portly, bowling pin shape which – while ergonomic – is not easy on the eye. Then there’s the colour of the “RAL8000” version. I use inverted commas here because whatever colour it is, it truly isn’t RAL8000 – which is a green-brown (and not a brown-green, tan, FDE, or baby poo yellow).
That being said, would I use a “RAL8000” Assault Grip on a RAL8000 A5? Yes, I would – and here’s my thinking.
The A5 is an exclusively military variant. So for me only factory kit, issued kit or kit evidenced in the wild is appropriate – regardless of whether you’d be better served using the item as camouflage in a custard factory.
So, if you want to go all ‘competition shooter’, you really need the civilian version of the HK416A5 – the MR223A3.
At its business end the Assault Grip’s rail interface is simple, but to install the unit the user must slide it on from one end of the rail; there’s no means to quick attach/detach. However, unlike most other grips, all parts of the indexing mechanism are captive – with nothing easily lost or mislaid when adding or removing the item.
The mechanism utilises a CNC billet stopper which is unique, to my knowledge. It integrates perfectly with the user’s choice of picatinny groove and locks-up solidly.
An oversized lozenge-shaped aperture further supports pain-free indexing, allowing the billet stopper to be easily identified and lined up with the appropriate slot. The aperture is a lot bigger than that of the classic KAC forward grip offering, and is easier to use. In fact, the Assault Grip is like KAC’s item on steroids.
The billet stopper is secured against the rail by tightening a rotational knob at the base of the unit (again, like the KAC). The knob exhibits an aggressive grip pattern which is deeply splined. The action is butter smooth and the knob is retained by a pair of knock pins. So, while the mechanism can be disassembled if absolutely necessary, it’s impossible to loosen the knob to the extent that it will separate from the Assault Grip’s body (hence it is captive).
At the flat base of the knob, you can get medieval with the grip’s tightness on the rail; there are facilities to use a coin – or other implement – for decent torque.
Lastly, aside from its ergonomic (if portly) shape, the shaft of the grip exhibits a grooved surface for additional purchase.
The Assault Grip doesn’t seek to be wildly different from its competitors – it just seeks to be better.
And for me, it is.
Read more in the Do You Like Koch? series:
Catch up on more HK416A5 news, here: