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C-Clamp Grip for M4/AR-15 style Rifles

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Old 09-17-2012, 12:17 PM   #1
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C-Clamp Grip for M4/AR-15 style Rifles

Hey All,

I'm in the middle of an AR-15 build, and as I've been researching parts, I've continually come across images / videos of various people gripping an AR-15 with a "c-clamp" grip with their support hand (see image below). Is this a recent development? I've grown up around guns my whole life, have shot the M16/M4 for three years, and have received PMI's from MSG's and have never come in contact with with this style of grip.

I'm not offering an opinion on this grip, just trying to understand is uses and advantages. I've never been deployed, is this something some people/units commonly use in combat? Maybe only in special circumstances? Maybe it's a grip mostly used in 3-Gun or other speed-shooting competitions?

The first grip I ever used (when I was really young) was the underhand "clamp" - what I would use to support my hunting rifle. As I advanced to assault rifles, I switched to using a vertical fore-grip or a "magwell" grip. I've never tried the c-clamp grip (haven't been to the range since I've discovered it), but I'm definitely going to give it a go and see what I think.

I will freely admit my ignorance on this subject. While I shoot expert on the Army qualification course, I am not an expert - I have learned the basics.

Any insight would be greatly appreciated. I'm mostly interested in military application and SOP, although if your knowledge applies to competition shooting, I'd be happy to hear that too .

Thanks in advance!

Chris Costa using the "c-clamp" grip with his support hand
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Old 09-17-2012, 04:38 PM   #2
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From what I understand it's mostly to help pull the rifle back into the pocket of the shoulder and to stabilize it.

I've used that C-Clamp style but in reverse so my thumb is on the bottom and my index finger on top. I use that for shooting next to a wall or something though where I can use my other fingers to spread on the wall and support the weapon.
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Old 09-17-2012, 05:37 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Idaho View Post
I've used that C-Clamp style but in reverse so my thumb is on the bottom and my index finger on top. I use that for shooting next to a wall or something though where I can use my other fingers to spread on the wall and support the weapon.
I have done something similar when I am shooting from an improvised rest - be it a vertical plane (wall, plywood, etc.) or short wall (hunched over, too tall to kneel, too short to stand) - similar to making a comfortable bridge on the side rail when playing pool.

I just can't imagine holding the weapon with my support arm fully (or almost fully) extended for a prolonged period of time. I assume I would fatigue and my shooting would be worse off for it.

Perhaps I am wrong about this though; I welcome anyone with experience in the matter to tell me otherwise and share their experience.
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Old 09-18-2012, 01:26 PM   #4
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Well with a little further research, I found this video that explains some of the advantages of the c-clamp style grip. I suppose it makes sense in theory; I'll have to use it myself though before I can form an opinion.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYjitNIEmzw

I'd still be curious to hear from any combat vets that could comment on this style of shooting position.
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Old 09-26-2012, 04:28 AM   #5
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I like it especially while doing CQB. A lot of my team started shooting using that grip. and it really helps with accuracy.
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Old 09-26-2012, 07:10 AM   #6
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i think this is a "trend" emanating from w/in the professional shooting sports ranks (i.e. multi-gun, 3-gun, etc.)... you'll see guys like todd jarret and jerry miculek teaching this style now... however, i don't think it would be practical to try and adapt this to CQB / room clearing techniques...
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Old 09-26-2012, 08:01 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ross123 View Post
I like it especially while doing CQB. A lot of my team started shooting using that grip. and it really helps with accuracy.
Interesting. So, if you don't mind, I'd like to question you a little further on this:

1. How far were you shooting to? I understand by definition you were shooting without a rest, so the distance isn't going to be too far, but what I'm really getting at is whether or not one would change their grip when transitioning from inside a building (CQB) to outside a building?

2. While doing CQB (picturing room clearing), does the extension of the support hand help or hurt the speed in which an operator can turn corners? I can see how the extra leverage (using the c-clamp grip) can increase the speed at which the operator can swing / position the muzzle, however, the greater the radius of a circle, the greater the arc-length (greater distance at "same speed" = longer time). So perhaps a magwell grip (smallest radius) would result in the greatest speed?

As a statement about question 2, I can see how having the extra leverage in the muzzle would be very helpful if an operator was ambushed while room clearing and an enemy grabbed a hold of their rifle. With the c-clamp grip, the operator would have an easier time overpowering the attacker and regaining control of the rifle - as opposed to a magwell grip. Maybe this is reason enough?
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Old 09-26-2012, 03:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hunter.V.White View Post
Interesting. So, if you don't mind, I'd like to question you a little further on this:

1. How far were you shooting to? I understand by definition you were shooting without a rest, so the distance isn't going to be too far, but what I'm really getting at is whether or not one would change their grip when transitioning from inside a building (CQB) to outside a building?

2. While doing CQB (picturing room clearing), does the extension of the support hand help or hurt the speed in which an operator can turn corners? I can see how the extra leverage (using the c-clamp grip) can increase the speed at which the operator can swing / position the muzzle, however, the greater the radius of a circle, the greater the arc-length (greater distance at "same speed" = longer time). So perhaps a magwell grip (smallest radius) would result in the greatest speed?

As a statement about question 2, I can see how having the extra leverage in the muzzle would be very helpful if an operator was ambushed while room clearing and an enemy grabbed a hold of their rifle. With the c-clamp grip, the operator would have an easier time overpowering the attacker and regaining control of the rifle - as opposed to a magwell grip. Maybe this is reason enough?
1. well ive used it up to 50M on the range. and no any target i would be engaging while standing or moving i would be using this grip. so i wouldn't change to a different grip just because i left a house and was crossing a alley way or something like that. cause any target more then 50M away your probably being engaged by them as well and you would be behind cover or finding cover. very very rarely did i ever engage a target more then 50M away while standing. unless i was throwing rounds just do buy some time so i could find cover.

2. yes having that arm sticking out that far does cause some issues at first. but its a non issue if you practice.
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Old 09-26-2012, 03:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wileyC View Post
i think this is a "trend" emanating from w/in the professional shooting sports ranks (i.e. multi-gun, 3-gun, etc.)... you'll see guys like todd jarret and jerry miculek teaching this style now... however, i don't think it would be practical to try and adapt this to CQB / room clearing techniques...
well i don't know what you do for a living or anything. but i do CQB and room clearing for a living. there teaching this technique in some of our very best urban warfare schools. like i said i like it alot and use it every time i shoot.
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Old 09-26-2012, 06:00 PM   #10
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I've never heard it called a C clamp but I guess it is a good name. I used it today on the range. I've shot will all the pro competitive shooters and never been "taught" that grip. For me it is a pure comfort thing. It is a more natural grip for me and feel good with it out to about 100m. After that without a scope or 3x for an EOTEC standing unsupported is very difficult and requires a different stance all together.


I agree with ross123. The grip is great for CQB.

OP, here is a bit of possibly unwanted advise based on you picture of Costa. See the forehand grip he has. Don't waste you money. They might look cool but they are slower in transitioning the gun between targets. Part of the reason the C clamp grip is popular with rapid engagements is that it allows you to get out further on the gun and drive it from target to target faster. The foregrip is less stable. I know I will hear from all the guys who like the foregrip but I will beat all of them without one.

Ross123. Where are you a FBNC?
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Old 09-26-2012, 06:42 PM   #11
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I'm an 18C over at 3rd group
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Old 09-26-2012, 06:44 PM   #12
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Yeah I haven't used a forgrip in years. I also hate watching people shoot while holding there magazine well.
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Old 09-26-2012, 07:29 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doc1911 View Post

"I've never heard it called a C clamp but I guess it is a good name."

"OP, here is a bit of possibly unwanted advise based on you picture of Costa. See the forehand grip he has. Don't waste you money. They might look cool but they are slower in transitioning the gun between targets. Part of the reason the C clamp grip is popular with rapid engagements is that it allows you to get out further on the gun and drive it from target to target faster. The foregrip is less stable. I know I will hear from all the guys who like the foregrip but I will beat all of them without one."
I heard it called a "c-clamp" grip in one of the YouTube videos I watched on that shooting position, so I can't claim originality for that one.

I have shot with a few forehand grips and found them comfortable, but I've never ran a weapon system hard with one, so I can't attest to speed.

I was actually thinking of getting a Magpul Angled Foregrip:


Do you have any experience with one of these, or any insight you would be willing to pass on? I'm open to suggestions and appreciate any opinion. I am building a battle rifle, not a safe queen.
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Old 09-27-2012, 03:29 AM   #14
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I used that magpul grip on my SCAR in AFG. and I like it. Its one of those things you either like it or hate it. Just gotta try it for yourself and see
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Old 09-27-2012, 05:24 PM   #15
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Before those came out we used to make our own. We called them the "nub." We would cut down the older style foregrip that looked more like an actual pistol grip. I never ran one but a few guys liked them. They allow you to pull back on the gun with using less grip and are a bit more ergonomical than a straigh under hand grip.
To each his own.
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Old 09-27-2012, 05:35 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doc1911 View Post
Before those came out we used to make our own. We called them the "nub." We would cut down the older style foregrip that looked more like an actual pistol grip. I never ran one but a few guys liked them. They allow you to pull back on the gun with using less grip and are a bit more ergonomical than a straigh under hand grip.
To each his own.
This is a picture a buddy from another forum sent me before I bought the same thing. A guy on arfcom was selling them. I have the exact same setup but I'm right handed. I like it a lot, way more comfortable than doing the full "c-clamp" grip with just the hand guards, MOE or not. Better than a full VFG too, IMO.

Haven't used a AFG but seems like the same idea.



I like mine because it's relatively unique as well.

I'll assume you were talking about cutting down the knights armament vfgs doc?
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Old 09-27-2012, 06:08 PM   #17
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They run em like this in art of the tactical carbine 1, most of the guys are just holding the VFGs.

In art of the tactical carbine 2 they get into it a lot more.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-B9j8NINk0
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Old 09-27-2012, 06:14 PM   #18
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I guess I should add Haley and Costa say it helps you stop quicker on your target as you swing your gun round, and then also helps drive the gun down and to the right since the recoil wants to push up and left. Probably depending on which hand you shoot with.

So better recoil management and quicker reaction times to get on target.
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