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Contour Tactics Releases Their Forward Operations Grip

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Gripping your weapon is a highly individualized experience. While there are certainly a couple of wrong ways to do it, there’s also more than one right way. Industry start-up Contour Tactics just announced the launch of their flagship product, the Forward Operations Grip.

In relation to carbines, the need to accommodate a wide array of grip styles and texture preferences gave rise to an entire segment of aftermarket full of smart people trying to give us the best grip possible on both the front and back ends of our rifle.

Forward grips in particular showcase an incredibly diverse array of grip styles. From finger stops and barricade bumps to wedge-shaped angled foregrips, stubby grips, and broom handles, there is a forward grip out there for you, whether you favor a beer can grip, thumb-over-bore, C-clamp, finger forward, or some other configuration we’ve not yet heard a name for.

The integrated mounting shelf is great for OEM tape switches that can be attached with hook-and-loop.

The Contour FOG is one of the more unique offerings we’ve seen. The owners of Contour have decades of experience in hot spots throughout the world as special operators and US government security contractors. They brought this cumulative experience to bear in their flagship product, the Forward Operations Grip, or FOG. 

The principle behind the FOG is simple: create a forward vertical grip for a rifle that mirrors your support-hand placement on a pistol. With conventional wisdom in pistol shooting advocating a thumbs-high or thumbs-forward grip with support hand firmly mated to the side of the gun, Contour set out to recreate this ergonomic in a rifle forward grip, that offers additional utility in terms of both switching placement and heat mitigation.

The result is what you see here: a forward grip apparatus that even resembles a pistol grip in form, molded to put your hand in a comfortable and consistent position every time without conscious effort. The grip includes a hand stop at the front and a small pillar to brace the web of your thumb into, features which naturally push the hand into that same thumbs-forward, fingers-wrapped grip you would get on your handgun. This is especially useful if you shoot carbine with push-pull tension. Additionally, the FOG also includes a shelf to accommodate a tape switch.

The integrated hand-stop and thumb pillar guide the hand into a comfortable, consistent grip every time you pick your carbine up.

Originally designed for rifles running quad-rail handguards, the FOG actually attaches to the left side (9 o’clock) rail instead of the bottom, which is a first in our experience as vertical grips go. The rest of the grip module wraps underneath the handguard to cover the bottom rail. This is much preferrable to the metal “cheese grater” feel of bare hands on pic rail, and eliminates the need to pair a vertical grip with rail covers to protect the rest of your hand.

We had some concerns at first that a side-attachment method might not give us the most stable grip, but experienced zero wobble or shifting of the gun, even when pulling hard against it to manage recoil in long strings of rapid fire. We also noticed no thermal transfer, even on our test SBR with a suppressor attached. You can, of course, run this on a KeyMod or MLOK handguard by attaching a picatinny rail section to the 9 o'clock side of your handguard, and then attaching the FOG to the rail. But the team at Contour tells us that an MLOK variant is already in the works.

Tape switches are perhaps the most popular way to activate a carbine-mounted light or laser, and almost every major manufacturer of these products includes an OEM tape switch solution. The FOG's mounting shelf accomodates these switches handily, requiring only a small strip of loop tape (included with most factory tape switches). This modularity also allows tape switches to be replaced quickly it they break, or you need to switch the model of your light/laser.

If you are running more than one remote switch on your carbine, you will have to choose which one you place on the FOG, then find rail-estate elsewhere. Certainly not a deal-breaker, just something to note. In our case, we used a Unity Tactical Hot Button mounted at 12 o’clock for our laser. The setup worked well for our needs, but we did need to shift our hand position to reach the top-mounted Hot Button.

If you've got larger hands, this might not be as much of an issue. We were still able to keep comfortable and positive control on the weapon, even when activating the laser while shooting.

We hope to see a Gen 2 of this product that replaces the flat shelf with a two-or-three slot picatinny extension to mount some current options like ModButtons, AXONs, or the new Surefire CSP. Contour informed us that, in addition to the possibility of an MLOK-direct variant, they are also working on iterations of the FOG that may include integrated switches, or even completely integrated lights and/or lasers.

This switching setup allowed us to maintain ambidextrous switching while still taking advantage of the FOG's benefits.

The FOG, by nature of its design, is somewhat biased towards right-handed shooters. Switching shoulders to work doors or barricades, if that's how you train, means you lose direct access to the tape switch. In the case of our demo setup shown here, we could use the push-button switch on the tailcap to run the light if needed. Switch placement notwithstanding, you can still get a completely functional and comfortable grip on the FOG with your right hand and, if switching shoulders is not a method you prefer, it's a moot point altogether.

The Forward Operations Grip provides very comfortable support-hand ergos in a lightweight package with great insulation properties, that goes above and beyond the typical stub or wedge design. By the time you read this, you will be able to pick one up for yourself direct from the Contour Tactics website linked above for $79.99.

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