After posting up the article about the Unique AR’s self-adjusting grip, Unique AR reached out and asked if I wanted to review their Unique Grip. I was intrigued by this grip and wanted to see what it could do.
As advertised the grip does adjust to your hand. You just loosen the set screw at the bottom and grab the grip. The grip is divided into two sections of shifting plates, the front and back. Grabbing the grip closes the shifting plates and the grip changes its shape to fit your hand.
However, you don’t always have to just grab the grip. You can push or pull sections to shift your hand position in relation to the trigger.
Look at the grip set up below. I left the rear section of shifting plates to reposition my hand rearward.
Depending on your grip shape, the plates approximate the curvature. In some extreme cases, there will be gaps where the curve is not as smooth.
The set screw is actually the same screw you use to mount the grip to the AR lower. When adjusting and setting the grip you can actually twist the grip and get some interesting angles.
If you loosen the set screw enough, you can rotate the shifting plates 90 degrees to the grip. You can see that the plates are hollow and inside are a series of rubber tubes. The tubes are what provides resistance and what allows the plates to expand when the set screw is released. You are basically squeezing the plates to squish those tubes. It is somewhat like a hand grip exerciser tool attached to your AR.
There is one issue I have with the Unique Grip and it is how I prefer to grip my ARs. I like to choke up on the grip and get my hand position as high as possible. This is a problem for me due to the gap between the trigger guard and the grip.
See where my middle finger sits? There is a hard 90-degree angle between the grip and trigger guard. No amount of shifting grip plates will fix this problem.
I thought maybe this might be an issue with my Salient lower so I tried a different lower.My Troy Carbine lower is mil-spec and the problem is still there.
The other problem is that now I am engaging only 2/3s of the grip. Take a look at my hand position below. Notice where my pinky finger rests, it is just below the middle of the grip. There are six plates that I am not even using my hand.
Since my middle finger sits in that 90-degree corner, then only my ring finger and pinky finger are engaging with the grip.
Another issue to be aware of is the top of the grip that slides over the lower receiver. The ears of the grip may be tight and need coercion to fit on your AR lower. It appears the grip I was sent was slightly warped out of the mold and made the ears of the grip a little too narrow. You can see in the photo below how the gap between the ears is narrower than the ridge in the lower. But since it is polymer it was not too difficult to force the grip on the lower, it just took a bit more effort than I am used to with other grips.
I was hoping the Unique Grip would be more modular than it is. Since the plates can shift position, I naively hoped that I could change the angle of the grip. Sadly that is not the case. I found the Unique Grip interesting but it does not fit my needs and shooting style. I did not have any issues shooting my AR with the Unique Grip, however, I prefer a different angle since I like to have the AR closer to my body. I normally have a more vertical angled grip and find it to be more ergonomic for how I shoot. As I mentioned above, my hand position makes the Unique Grip not that useful for me.The grip is advertised as comfortable but I found certain shapes to be rough and not that comfortable. this usually occurs when there are drastic changes in plate position. With a big enough shift between two plates, you can get a considerable gap which accents the hard corners of the shifting plates.
Looking at the way the grip is designed, I don’t see why they could not have shortened the top section and brought the shifting plates closer to the trigger guard and eliminate that hard 90-degree corner. When the Unique Grip was announced it was advertised to cost $95. This is no longer the case and the grip is now $65 on Unique AR’s website. I suppose if you have large hands, then the Unique Grip maybe for you, but as it is, I don’t find it to be all that useful to me. Your mileage may vary.
Edit: I reached out to Unique AR and they addressed the issues I had. Here is what Unique AR’s Founder Jim Corbet said.
Hey Nick,Thanks for taking a look at our grips. We truly appreciate any and all feedback. The upper part of the grip that slides onto the receiver should be tight the tighter the better but it should not be difficult to put on. we are are working on making sure the quality control inspections are catching anything like the upper grip tolerance being too tight. We have the injection molders do an initial inspection and we have our assembly and packaging staff do a final inspection. Unfortunately, it seems we have had a couple of grips that are tight sneak through our final inspection. We believe we have that completely rectified and we will not ship any more components like that.As to the slider being closer to the trigger guard, we had to make some engineering decisions that precluded us from getting them to be any closer. The primary concern was the large variety of lowers that have various size trigger guards. We had to decide that it was better to have slightly less adjustability at that point of the grip and fit on every receiver then to have full adjustability and not fit on some receivers. I wish we had a way to accommodate both. We worked on this particular problem for quite some time trying to devise the best solution and we feel that overall this was the best way to go. We have found that relaxing your middle finger slightly while adjusting the grip if you have all the way on the trigger guard that it will form a more comfortable shape.