Guns Griffin Armament: Breaking into the Furniture Business David Merrill February 28, 2016 0 COMMENT Wisconsin-based Griffin Armament is best known for their silencers and corresponding muzzle devices. With new suppressors coming out on a regular basis like their modular Optimus and the sealed-and-serviceable Alpha, it’s not hard to see why. But those aren’t the only things they make. Late last year we began seeing photos of new furniture that in development — today we’ll tell you that not only is it available, but that we’ve also gotten our hands on some. The grip is as good a place to start as any. Griffin calls it the A3 grip, but really what you’re seeing appears to be a modernized version of the A1. Gone is the annoying finger nubbin’. It’s just one of those minor vexations you didn’t realize you had until the first time you tried a grip without it. Many a nubbin’ has met it’s maker by the hands of the belt sander in the basement, and nary do you see an aftermarket grip with one. That’s for a reason. These sides feature a plain square texturing with a low backstrap. If you want something a bit more aggressive, there’s no doubt the polymer used would take well to any number of soldering irons or wood burners for stippling. The angle is more upright than an A1 or A2 grip, which many find advantageous when combined with a short stock. Here are a couple comparison photos. No issues with fitting the A3 with a winter trigger guard, and I strongly suspect an A2 grip plug would work with one. By itself the A3 grip will set you back $16, so it’s certainly not going to break the bank. Next up are the new M-LOK compatible rail covers. Dubbed Rail Shields, they’re an easy solution to protecting your hands from heat or simply adding a bit more grip. Each pack of Rail Shields includes (3) standard panels and (1) panel with an integral hand stop. The Griffin Armament Rail Shields don’t snap into place with a plastic lock but instead are secured with grade 5 bolts and M-LOK nuts. Like the A3 grip, they feature square texturing and should take well to stippling and other such modifications if desired. Currently only one length is available but hopefully there will be more options in the future. It should be noted that although there are (4) rail pieces in each package, Griffin currently only sends enough hardware to attach three of them. Think of the handstop panel as optional. For those running M-LOK forends with a continuous top Picatinny rail, this shouldn’t provide too much trouble. However, if you’re running something like the Midwest Industries lightweight M-LOK handguard you’ll have to pick up some more hardware for full coverage. Last, but certainly not least, is the Griffin Armament Extreme Conditions Stock (ECS) buttstock. As with the A3 grip, the lines are familiar but you know there’s more going on than what meets the eye. I found the ECS stock easier to install than many others. There’s no messing around with pulling a latch in a different direction or juggling locking mechanisms. You press down on the latch with far more pressure than you’d use to adjust, and it slides right on. Though this can definitely be subjective, upon shouldering I found the stock angle very pleasant. The nice rubberized stock pad with integral drainage holes didn’t hurt either. There is an ambidextrous limited-travel QD point located in the rear of the buttstock. Instead of using a traditional socket, Griffin molded the travel stops into the stock itself and opted for a simple thin steel hole to push your QD swivel through. It’s the lowest profile QD system that I’ve seen. Although you should always have quality hardware when it comes to hanging thousands of dollars off of a sling, you definitely want to make sure you aren’t using an Alibaba airsoft special with this stock. The QD point is currently the only provision for attaching a sling to the Griffin Armament ECS, so if you want to attach a carrying strap for pomp and parade purposes just stick with one of the old ones. As to the ‘Extreme’ name, here’s what Griffin Armament has to say about it: After develoment, in testing of actual units from the first production run, we drop tested an M4 carbine mounting the ECS™ stock in one foot increments from 1 foot to 10 feet onto concrete without failure. As a comparison a single drop of an issued M4 carbine stock from 5 feet resulted in a sheared mil-spec locking pin and stock locked on the receiver extension due to binding of one of the broken pieces of the pin. … The current issued locking latch pin will bend and shear at the reduced diameter threaded shank, promoting stock failure- Griffin replaced it with a full diameter hardened stainless tool steel pin. The music wire spring is not a material recommended for outdoor use- the Griffin ECS™ uses 17-7 stainless steel springs which are outdoor use rated. I’ll let the engineers and “torture testers” deal with that content. What I can say is that lockup is tight without being hard to adjust or requiring extra mechanisms on a standard mil-spec receiver extension. Overall I’m impressed with what Griffin Armament has brought to the table and am looking forward to continued paths outside of the silencer marketplace. All of the parts listed are available individually or sold in package sets in four different color schemes: Regular old black, FDE, OD Green, and of course, Grey. For more information you can visit Griffin Armament online here, or give them a follow on Facebook or Instagram.