The PTW’s motor is a custom item, sized appropriately to accept many converted real steel grips. It’s a different story for most AEGs, because of their eminently sensible reliance on off the shelf motors. The drawback is their over-sized grips.
Even with big hands like mine, the girth of a standard AEG grip is palpable compared to that of the equivalent RS grip. It doesn’t sound like a huge deal, but the experience is very different.
Comparing PTW and Standard AEG Grips
I’ve borrowed some pics from Move Research and Development – a PTW retailer in Tokyo – to illustrate the difference between a PTW’s grip and that of a TM spec AEG.
You can see how much slimmer the M16A2 style PTW grip is in the pic above and its really noticeable when the gun is wielded.
It’s not surprising when you see the motor:
RS Grip Conversions for PTW
As a consequence of the slimmer motor, individuals have been converting RS grips to fit the PTW for a long time. However, if the angle of the desired grip is different to that of the standard M16A2 item, the chance of conversion for PTW use decreases.
One of the most popular RS grip conversions is the Hogue. I’ve had a couple of these over the years. They are comfortable grips, set at the traditional M16A2 angle. The design also exhibits enough rigid infrastructure to provide a solid backbone to the soft rubber over-mould, after the hollowing-out process of conversion.
Here’s one of mine on Instagram from 2013, with a cool comment from Mark Owen (yeah, the real one, from the Bin Laden raid).
Now, while Hogues are great and all that, for some time I’ve wanted a more upright grip.
Why Use a Steeper Grip?
Having tried steeper angled grips on other platforms (a number of GBBs accept RS grips without modification), I find them more ergonomic; and that’s really important to me not only because it’s more comfortable, but because it makes the RIF more wieldy – bringing the primary hand closer to the shooter’s body.
L119 Owners Group guru Andy J sent me this link, which better explains the advantages of a steeper grip.
Enter The Magpul MOE K2 Grip
A while back I was talking to PTW guru Tackleberry about my requirement for a steeper grip – which has only grown over time, due to increasing discomfort from chronic musculoskeletal issues.
He suggested the Magpul MOE K2 grip was a likely candidate for conversion.
The K2 has been seen in the wild and this image from @btl_ltw is my current favourite depiction:
Although the K2 exhibits a steep angle, with some mods to it – and the PTW’s motor – Tackleberry said he could make it fit; the motor sitting at the usual angle inside, but in transverse orientation relative to the K2’s angle.
So, I sent away my HK416A5 lower to him and this is what I got back. You can easily see the difference between the K2’s angle and that of HAO’s weird H&K style grip (which mimics the M16A2 angle).
The Magpul MOE K2 Grip in Use
This grip is awesome! I managed to grab some plinking time with it this evening.
So far, the K2 is the single biggest ergonomic improvement I’ve experienced with a PTW.
As described, my primary hand is now closer to my body and the angle of my wrist is way more comfortable. Additionally, my trigger finger is straight.
With the RIF closer to me, my support hand is now able to extend further on the rail, so that I can take better advantage of the C-clamp grip manipulation method and my AFG2.
Is the Tackleberry Magpul K2 Grip Conversion Worth It?
For me, I think using this grip means I will miss fewer opportunities to get out in to the woods, because it makes my joint and tendon issues less acute. That in itself seems like a good reason to invest.
Indeed, you’ve got to really want his grip conversion, because it ain’t cheap – but there’s a lot of work involved.
Once the basic machining is done to the grip, it’s hand finished to fit. Then there’s a load of engineering work to be done to the motor – including remodelling part of it and rerouting the wiring.
Finally, an angled block is machined from scratch and screwed onto the motor end. The grip base plate then screws onto that, which draws everything together and delivers a solid platform.
So – is it worth it? Hell yeah!
- Tackleberried Systema PTW Value Kit 3
- Tackleberried Systema PTW Hop/Orga Barrel Group
- Tackleberried Systema PTW Cylinder
- Tackleberried HAO HK416A5 7075T6 CNC Receiver Set – RAL8000
- Tackleberried RS Magpul MOE K2 Grip – FDE
- VFC Ejection Port Cover – RAL8000
- RS Sig Sauer Romeo 4T optic – FDE; or
- RS EOTech EXPS 3.0 – Tan
- RS Magpul RSA
- RS Magpul AFG2 – FDE
- RS HK416A5 Castle Nut
- RS HK416A5 Receiver End Plate
- RS HK Rear BUIS – Black
- RS HK 416A5 Slimline Stock – RAL8000; or
- RS Magpul CTR Stock – FDE
- RS HK 416A5 HKey Slimline Handguard – RAL8000
Read the previous Tackleberried HAO HK416A5 Incremental Update.