Can be slightly heavy
Smallish for goon hands
Doesn't "Look Milsim"
Review: Radical Plastic Tactical Operations Tippmann A5 Foregrip
Recently I received a Tactical Operations A5 Foregrip from Jeff (AKA Frosty) at Radical Plastic ( http://radicalplastic.blogspot.com/ ), and I thought Iíd post up a review for it. Forgive me if things jump around a bit, as this is my first official review. Alright, so letís get started.
I was looking into the A5FG because I was unhappy with the stock foregrip, and didnít feel like doing a pile of modding to mount a rail and get a better one, or get a shroud. I had developed a habit of not using the stock grip, as for my style of play I prefer a horizontal grip, more like a conventional rifle. I saw Frostyís signature from A5OG advertising his blog for the A5FG, so I sent off an email, and I was hooked up with a grip.
Shipping was pleasantly speedy, arriving in under a week (your mileage may vary, I was relatively close to him geographically, and in the same country), and he kept in email contact to make sure it arrived. As I excitedly destroyed the packaging, I opened it up to find the grip, and a pleasant thank you letter with more information about the installation and use.
I had a few expectations of the grip when I received it, having made a few things out of various plastics in high school shop class, and had seen pictures of it online prior to receiving it. There were a few things to note here. It was a bit smaller than I expected, then again not everyone has goon hands like me. ;) I had thought it would be hollow, however I was pleased to see that it seemed to be solid plastic. This of course meant that it was slightly heavier than I had expected, but it really isnít much difference, since an A5 is already on the heavy side, and the difference is negligible.
Attachment to my A5 was easy stuff; you just remove the old foregrip, move the nut in the A5 frame as far forward as it will go, remove the washer from the bolt that was in the old foregrip, and slap the A5FG on and bolt it in. It sits solidly on the A5, and doesnít move anywhere at all. About ĺ though my first day of testing it developed a very slight wobble, but half a second with an allen wrench fixed that up, and it hasnít wiggled in the three games since. I assume it just needed to wiggle a little deeper in its notch. This is a vast improvement on the stock foregrip, which wigggles loose and falls off if you look at it funny.
The ergonomics of this grip, for me, are fantastic. Itís comfortable to hold, put my hand in a perfect position, steadied my aim, and (though I havenít scientifically tested this yet) it enhances my accuracy and hit count. Once I combine this with a nicer barrel, I will be able to determine with more sureness what its effects are on accuracy. From having used it, though, Iím positive that it gives me a more stable shooting platform, and I shoot better. This may be different from you, if youíre used to shooting a speedball marker, it might not work as well. For me, though, itís fantastic. Iíve used it in every shooting position possible, and it works remarkably well for me. The lower profile is also fantastic, as I like to low-crawl, lay prone, and sneak up on people. :)
Having been told that this grip was tough, Iíd decided to test this theory. I beat it up pretty good, within the limits of paintball use. It stood up fantastically for regular play.
Then came phase 2 of the toughness testing: hard use. I laid a smackdown on this grip, and, like the A5, took the punishment and was no worse for wear. A few details of what I didÖ this is of course abuse of the product, but in the spirit of testing I decided to be unnecessarialy mean. My grip has been smacked on trees, covered and scrubbed with sand, dropped several times, and skidded over gravel. I was going to run it over with a truck, but my buddy wouldnít let me drive his truck. The grip withstood the beating well, with only some scuffs and scratches on the finish, which were very much diminished when I cleaned it.
Actually, now that I think about it, I should talk about the finish a bit. Itís best described as ďstickyĒ, whilst being made of hard plastic. Itís hard to describe, but the plastic is roughened up a bit, and doesnít slip on your hand, especially if you have a glove. It works wonderfully in play.
The grip also got covered in paint and cleaned up rather well. Mine has some silly blue stains from our field paint, but thatís because the field paint is awful for stains and I didnít wash it right away. Any other paint I used though cleaned off flawlessly, itís just that crappy local field paint that got baked on in my car. All I did to wash it was a scrub with a stiff brush and some dish soap and hot water, then rinse it. The Radical Plastic website recommends applying a bit of oil or something to that effect, but I found it unnecessary.
More than a few times did I get a second look or comment on the field about my ďSniper ForegripĒ so I guess one could say it has a somewhat unique look about it, itís definitely not a common thing on fields just yet. I like the way it complements the look of my A5, however anyone wanting their marker to look like something in particular would probably not like this, as itís not ďM4 ForegripĒ, or anything of the like.
All in all, the Tac-Ops A5 Foregrip is an incredible piece of equipment, and I would definitely recommend it. If you have any questions I can be reached at A5OG.net and pbrewview as greggorievich, and I'm sure Frosty at Radical Plastic would love to help.
If you like a solid grip with excellent ergonomics to the point of not noticing it's there, and a unique look, the A5FG is definitely worth picking up.