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Sep 8, 2017 | By Troy Carter

Navy invents ‘Adjustable, Ergonomic’ grip for M4 carbine

Opportunity for small business to manufacture firearm accessory

News Article Image of Navy invents ‘Adjustable, Ergonomic’ grip for M4 carbine
Aviation Ordnanceman Airman Bayron Aguilar fires an M4 assault rifle during a gun shoot on the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima. (Evan Denny/Navy)

A small arms engineer at the Naval Surface Warfare Center-Crane’s prestigious armory has invented a drop-in replacement pistol grip for AR style rifles, namely the M4 carbine used by U.S. forces.

Adjustable for ergonomic efficiency, the pistol grip design is now being offered by TechLink to commercial partners for production.

A patent illustration shows the adjustable, ergonomic hand grip.
A patent illustration shows the adjustable, ergonomic hand grip.

The new grip was engineered to reduce muscle fatigue and accommodate the modern shooting stances used during military operations, Jason Davis, the Navy engineer who invented the patented grip, said during a presentation at the Purdue Research Park in February.

The grip is made of durable plastic and uses two interlocking plates that are pressed together and secured with screw or push-button release mechanism. Loosening the screw allows the plates to realign, changing the grip angle.

Internally, teeth molded into the interlocking plates allow the grip angle to adjust in 4-degree increments from perpendicular to nearly parallel to the rifle barrel/stock, which reduces space requirements during storage and transportation.

A prototype grip–courtesy of MilTech–weighed 3.67 ounces and disassembled into three simple pieces held together with a single metal screw.

“It’s a simple design and could be pretty easy to manufacture and market,” said Sean Patten, TechLink’s senior technology manager who works closely with NSWC-Crane’s Technology Transfer team.

A prototype of the adjustable grip
A prototype of the adjustable grip weighed in at 3.67 ounces.

The Navy facility in Indiana has over 100 technologies and inventions listed on the TechLink website that are available for commercial license, including a patented safe room, one-handed first aid kit, and an improved infrared beacon.

Interested parties can contact Patten for more details on NSWC-Crane’s inventions and the patent licensing process.

Troy Carter can be reached at troy.carter@montana.edu or 406-994-7798.