FAB Defense, a part of the larger Mako Group, has produced the AR-15 (and AK-47) Podium. The FAB Defense AR-15 Podium is a combination pistol grip and bipod, and is another innovative accessory produced by one of Isreal’s leading arms accessory manufacturers. The AR-15 Podium is designed to assist AR-15 shooters in establishing a solid shooting platform, without the use of bulkier and slower deploying bi-pods or bags. FAB Defense has been in business for over 50 years.
The FAB Defense AR-15 Podium is a one-piece pistol grip replacement for the standard AR-15 pistol grip. In addition to upgrading the shooter’s pistol grip with a better contoured and textured FAB Defense AGR-43 replacement grip, the AR-15 Podium includes an integrated base plate that attaches to the magazine well to form a very stable enclosed platform. The base plate runs horizontal, and can be used as-is for a shooting support platform. However, the base plate also contains (2) foldout bi-pod legs that can provide an even more balanced shooting platform.
FAB Defense AR-15 Podium
For many years snipers, precision shooters and competitive shooters have sought a way to support the rifle during shooting to remove human movement input. One of the most popular forms of support has been the add-on bi-pod. The Harris bi-pod has become one of the most popular bi-pod systems for military, law enforcement, and civilian shooters alike.
However, bi-pods come with a price for all the benefits they provide in stabilization. First, the bi-pod adds weight furthest from the shooter’s body. So the rifle becomes heavier to carry, and more awkward to shoot in the event a non bi-pod position needs to be taken. Second, bi-pods are slower to deploy in critical time sensitive shooting situations, like a police or military sniper operation.
The shooter can never really tell how much or little the bi-pod legs need to be deployed until they are in their final shooting position. This takes precious time and precision to set the bi-pod legs up properly. Finally, if the bi-pod legs are placed on a hard surface the shooter will inevitably face bounce, and if the bipod is placed on soft ground the bipod will inevitably dig in – and not always in an equal manner on both sides.
The new FAB Defense AR-15 Podium attempts to solve many of the bipod deficiencies. First, the AR-15 Podium brings the rifle support to the center of the rifle, instead of further away from the shooter’s body. This not only helps with weight distribution, but will make control of the rifle easier when using the bipod function. This should be true for both hard or soft surfaces, as the shooter’s proper hold on the AR-15 should prevent most of the input into the rifle’s movement during recoil.
The FAB Defense AR-15 Podium is made of lightweight, high-end polymer composite making the whole unit very easy on the user, and a lot lighter than traditional bipods. For instance, the AR-15 Podium is almost half the weight of a 6-9″ Harris bipod. The Podium comes with a magazine well attachment to make the whole platform very secure.
In addition, the AR-15 podium can be deployed and retracted in less than a second. This provides a much more feasible support tool than traditional bipods that can take 10+ seconds to properly deploy. To deploy the AR-15 Podium the shooter can simply rotate their shooting hand down slightly to activate the release button located on the bottom back of the pistol grip. The other option would be to use the off-hand to reach back and tap the release button.
To reset the FAB Defense AR-15 Podium the shooter simply folds the bipod legs up and locks them into their closed position. This occurs with both a tactile and an audible click so the shooter can be sure the AR-15 Podium is locked and out-of-the-way. The AGR-43 pistol grip is more ergonomic than traditional pistol grips, and its rubberized texture is much better for gripping in wet conditions.
The central location, and innovative design, also make the AR-15 Podium more compact with less snagging concerns from a bulky bipod at the end of the AR-15’s hand guard. This can provide good precision capability, while maintaining fast entry or patrol rifle mobility.
*US Patent No. 9,354,012.
FAB Defense AR-15 Podium Features
- Compact and sleek design with no protruding parts
- Rapid deployment mechanism operates by the push of a button
- Provides steady and durable bipod platform
- Quick and easy installation, no Gunsmith required
- Made of light and durable high-end reinforced polymer composite
- Saves valuable rail space for additional mounting options
- The model includes the AGR-43 pistol grip and the Podium bi-pod.
FAB Defense AR-15 Podium Specifications
- Height (Closed): 1.18 inches
- Height (Open): 3.07 inches
- Weight: 8.18 ounces
- Colors: Matte Black, Olive Drab Green, or Flat Dark Earth
- MSRP: TBA.
There is a lot of chatter on the internet about the FAB Defense AR-15 Podium. Most of the talk is not very positive – everything from its ugly to it’s going to make the AR-15 even more unstable during shooting. These are concerns each individual shooter must consider. The shooter in the video above doesn’t help matters when he deploys the AR-15 Podium and goes prone. It appears the rifle is unbalanced, but in reality the shooter did not get a good shoulder fit required for solid shooting.
However, to the biggest legitimate concern (balance) I believe we have laid out several positive aspects of having the bipod legs closer to the shooter’s body (near the center of the rifle), as opposed to the far end of the barrel side. This is true for hard surfaces and soft surfaces alike.
By having the bipod legs more centrally located, the shooter can use a close-in grasp on the magazine well or on a fore grip to help keep the AR-15 on target. All of this can be accomplished with less concern about balancing the AR-15 on the magazine, which can in some cases cause a misfeed or other malfunction. The rapid deployment and resetting of the AR-15 Podium is another great feature.
Finally, because the bipod pivot points are closer to the shooter, the rifle can be manipulated quicker and easier than traditional bipods when shooting at various angle targets – both on the horizontal and vertical plane.