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AR15 80 Percent Lowers, Grip and Stance

AR-15 Rifle: Grip And Proper Stance

A Good Grip And Stance Can Make A World Of Difference When You Are Shooting Your AR-15 Made From Your 80 Percent Lower Receiver. Controllability And Accuracy All Stem From How Well You Hold Your Rifle.

But it’s not as easy as some people think. There are multiple good grips and stances for firing an AR-15. So we’re going to go over what each brings to the table.

Types of Grips

All grips focus on allowing us to pull the gun into ourselves. This creates stability and allows you to control the gun under fire.

There are three basic grips you need to consider: the “Normal” grip, the C-Clamp, and the Magwell grip.

“Normal” Grip

This is the grip you naturally use when shouldering the rifle. It has the primary hand on the pistol grip and the non-dominant hand under the forend of the AR-15. The non-dominant hand’s thumb will normally be along the side of the forend.

Most of your shooting can be done with this grip. You can firmly pull the rifle in towards you and your arms will normally be in a comfortable position. This will allow you to aim and shoot for longer periods with less fatigue.

C-Clamp Grip

This style of grip provides better control with the AR-15 but has the drawback of requiring more tension in your arms. Unlike the “Normal” grip you will wrap your entire non-dominant hand around the handguard of the rifle.

Doing this will naturally push your hand farther forward which allows you mitigate the muzzle rise of the gun. You might be tempted to lock out your elbow here, but remember to keep the joint soft to avoid injury.

For quick, controlled shots, the C-Clamp grip is amazing. You will also adopt a variation of this grip if you put controls on the top of your handguard, since your thumb will be activating them.

Depending on how far you reach forward and how much grip pressure you put around the handguard will determine how long you can hold that position before tiring.

Magwell Grip

This is the most situational grip of them all. Instead of holding or supporting the forend of the rifle. you grip the front of the magazine well. This small shelf like area naturally allows you to pull directly back into your shoulder

This actually provides less control, since the AR-15’s recoil pivot point is the magazine well. This means the barrel is allowed to move freely like a lever under recoil, making secondary shots harder.

There are some situations where the magwell grip is your only option. If you are shooting from an awkward position or from the kneeling/prone position the terrain may require you to grip the rifle by the magwell.

Other times you may want to grip the magwell if the barrel is extremely hot. This can occur from using fully-automatic fire or long strings of semi-auto fire. Gripping farther down on the magwell keeps your hands from getting scorched from the high amount of heat.

Grip enhancers: Foregrips and handstops

Gripping the forend or handguard is a very basic way to hold onto the rifle. But sometimes a better grip is needed. Foregrips and handstops allow you to have that better grip on the rifle. And they come in three different varieties: Foregrips, Angled Foregrips (AFGs), and handstops.

At their core they provide a more ergonomic gripping area for easier control of the rifle by allowing the hand a place to rest or exert force on. Here’s a quick table to cover their pros and cons

Grip style



Foregrip (broomstick style)

Additional grip area great for longer rifles or shorter guns with low rail space w/accessories

Illegal in some areas and targeted by firearm legislation

Angled Foregrip (AFG)

A more natural grip angle for better control

Can be bulkier than a handstop


Small and unobtrusive.

Legal in more areas

May be easily overlooked if you don’t train with it.


While grips focus on your arms and hands, stances focus on the rest of your body. Your stance will determine how stable you can be while firing because it is how you interact with your environment.


Standing is the most basic position to use while shooting but it can be one of the most challenging.

Most people are taught to use the Weaver stance, where your off-foot is put forward and you lean into the gun.

A simpler way to describe this, stand up straight without locking your legs and if you feel like you’re going to fall forward, move your off-foot forward until you feel stable.

If you start shooting and feel pushed back by your AR-15 put your foot farther forward and lean into the recoil.


The next position is kneeling or squatting. This can provide some people with a more stable position to shoot from without them having to lie down. It also allows you to prop your arm or arms on your knee(s) to have less sway in the gun.

You can use either knee as a platform, and which knee you use will depend on how widely you kneel and how deeply you squat. Do whatever feels the most comfortable.


This is usually the most stable shooting position. You don’t have to worry about your balance, just where your body is positioned.

You should spread your legs out behind you to help prevent body rotation. You will be resting your elbows on the ground to support your rifle and your grip will be different from your standing grip.

Situations like this are when you may want to adopt a Magwell grip, especially if the terrain requires you to get higher in the prone to see your target.

Supported vs Unsupported

Another factor of stance is resting your gun on a support. This can be anything from a wall or side of a building to shooting sticks and tripods. It is a solid object you use to add stability to your shooting.

Depending on what is available you will have mixed results, but it is always good to practice shooting from different positions and angles so you know what to expect.

Closing Considerations

Grip and stance is going to vary from person to person. These are just some general guidelines for you to follow. Modify each of them to your needs and body to get the best results.

Remember that some people can shoot worse if they are kneeling or prone. Find out which of these grips and stances work best for you and try to get better with the ones that are harder for you to use.