Strike Industries has just released its Viper Enhanced Pistol Grip for the AR-15 or AR-10 model rifles. The new Viper grip incorporates several design features to enhance the shooter’s grip and comfort while shooting. Of particular note, is the optional grip angle the Viper offers to maximize the individualized preferences of shooters. This is an incredible development and quite frankly something that should have been available for years.
Over the last few years, Strike Industries produced an incredible amount of new products, pushed the envelope on design enhancements, and overall kicked butt with products that offer practical improvements.
BlueSheepdog has had the opportunity to review several S.I. products, and each time we have come out on the other end pleased with the products’ design and manufacturing quality, and enhancement of end-user compatibility.
Strike Industries Viper Enhanced Pistol Grip
The new S.I. Viper Enhanced Pistol Grip is designed to improve overall grip control and comfort for users of the AR-15 or AR-10 rifles. With the AR-15 being labeled “America’s Rifle” there has been an enormous increase in accessory products in the last 15 years. Some of these products are simply designed for curb appeal or making the rifles look nicer. However, there are plenty of products that not only improve appearance but actually increase modularity and improve overall handling of these enormously popular rifles. The S.I. Viper Enhanced Pistol Grip appears to combine both features.
At first glance, the Viper Enhanced Pistol Grip may not seem to be anything significantly different from other AR-15 pistol grip options. Indeed, the Viper grip has a similar appearance to the very popular Magpul MOE pistol grip, including an internal storage compartment for batteries, cleaning supplies, or small tools.
The end cap is rubberized and uses a push-in tension lock. Both the S.I. Viper and Magpul MOE pistol grips offer textured front and back panels for increased grip traction, and mild textured side panels.
However, the biggest draw and improvement of the Viper Enhanced Pistol Grip is the ability of the shooter to choose the grip angle that best suits the individual shooter. The traditional military A2 pistol grip came in at a 25-degree angle. Many alternative AR-15 grips have improved upon the materials, dimensions and storage ability of AR-15 pistol grip, but have maintained the original 25-degree angle.
Strike Industries now offers the shooter an option of the original 25-degree angle grip or choose between a flatter 20-degree and 15-degree angles.
Many pistol shooters have considered John M. Browning’s Colt Model 1911 as having the best pistol grip of any modern handgun. The Model 1911 has a grip angle of 18-degrees, making the grip more vertical and the pistol closer to a true L-shape.
Despite the more vertical design, many shooters feel this angle allows for a more natural grip on the pistol. Almost anyone who has held a 1911 in their hand knows just how natural and comfortable the pistol slides into place.
More modern handguns, like the highly popular Glock series pistols, have a 22-degree angle. The Glock grip is angled slightly more to the rear than a traditional 1911 but still offers a comfortable and secure grip. To each his own as they say.
Strike Industries realizes not every shooter is the same, and this definitely applies to hand size and shape. In addition, each shooter tends to have a preference for grip style, shooting stance, and several other shooting options. By offering AR-15 shooters the option on grip angle, each shooter can now customize their rifle grip to best suit their own body positioning, grip style, and shooting platform preferences.
Enhanced Pistol Grip Features
- Streamlined profile
- Wider grip
- Aggressive texture (though less than some competitors)
- Fits a wide variety of hand sizes
- Offers (3) grip angles – 15, 20, and 25-degrees
- MSRP: $18.95 (even cheaper here)
The Viper Enhanced Pistol Grip uses slightly less aggressive texturing on the front and back grip panels than the Magpul MOE grip. In addition, the Viper is slightly wider than the Magpul MOE and uses a more subtle texturing on the side panels of the grip. Texturing on the Viper is still aggressive enough to ensure significant grip purchase.
A wider grip has been especially beneficial to AR-15 shooters over the traditional military A2 grip that many have complained was too narrow and too hard for a comfortable grip. In addition, the Viper and MOE pistol grips remove the finger groove of the A2 grip to allow different hand sizes to still find comfortable grip purchase.
Finally, the beavertail is slightly longer Maintaining a comfortable yet firm grip on the AR-15 is paramount to overall weapon control and accurate fire.
Currently the S.I. Viper Enhanced Pistol Grip is only offered in black. We have no information about optional colors being offered, but if the popularity of the Viper grows there will likely be additional colors offered later.
With an MSRP of only $18.95, there is a lot to be gained by selecting the Viper Enhanced Pistol Grip for your rifle. We are planning on ordering a 20-degree grip for review.
This grip angle should improve grip quality over our current 25-degree angle and hopefully be a perfect middle ground between the 1911 angle and our on-duty Glock grip angle.
We’ll publish our review results in an addition to this article after we’ve given the 20-degree Viper grip a good trial. However, from what we’ve seen in Strike Industries products from previous reviews, and the optional grip angles designed to improve individual shooting performance, the Viper Enhanced Pistol Grip appears to be another winner.
For those that asked, I ordered the Enhanced Pistol Grip from Optics Planet here.
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