If you follow our blog you know that I bought my wife an ASA M4A3 carbine as her welcome home present a while back. Her recent deployment was in 2012/2013 and I thought I do something nice to her for when she comes home. She loves it and decided back then to leave it plain and functional, what means basically stock configuration.
But after shooting it for a while she wanted a foregrip with integrated bi-pod and with her request I got a new challenge. Biggest challenge is not the research; it’s the final selection of the part. And since we don’t follow the tacticool movement (functionality always trumps looks in our book!) we really want to stick with good brands and products that are preferably made in the USA.
Now, foregrips are a great option if you like the vertical grip rather than the horizontal. If it includes a bi-pod it’s even better, no matter if you are shooting prone or benchrest. But it all comes at a price as you will find out if you keep reading.
Before we could put a vertical foregrip on it we first needed to find a new handguard w/ quad rail that fits the bill. Quad rail because she also thinks about getting a flashlight mounted. Now, there’re plenty of aftermarket accessories and -manufacturers out there to choose from. So we looked over the must haves of the new handguard. It needed to be a quad rail style, 2-piece construction, sturdy and affordable.
We found it in Midwest Industries Gen2 two piece drop-in handguard (item# MCTAR-17G2). Advantages are that it is truly a drop in part and just a matter of seconds to install. Also, it’s made from 6061 aircraft aluminum, it is hard coat anodized, made in the USA and it has a lifetime warranty.
The only disadvantage is that it does not have heat shields. This is the (small) price you have to pay to get a light, sturdy and affordable drop-in handguard in a 2-piece construction.
As for the bi-pod foregrip, I opted for the MAKO vertical grip w/ bi-pod (item# MAKO-T-POD).Advantage of the MAKO grip is that it is sturdy. It is basically a full grown bi-pod with the ability to fold up and convert into a grip if you like. The bi-pod legs are made out of aluminum and have five independent height adjustments.
Downside of this attachment is size and weight. The grip itself weighs about 10oz. and measures almost 6.5” in height. Compared to a regular foregrip (~4oz. and under 5” in height) the bi-pod grip looks and feels like a giant. And you’ll feel the additional weight with every minute you carry/handle your weapon.
With putting on a quad rail handguard we also got a Daniel Defense rail mounted swivel attachment for the Vickers 2-point combat sling.
My wife is satisfied and like every minute she’s working the gun.
Bottom line: Before you buy you should do your homework. That helps you with determining what you really need (i.e. intended use, pro – con list, etc.) and makes sure that you will be satisfied after the purchase.