A Grip Pod is a weapon stabilization system for certain models of assault rifles and automatic weapons. It serves as a weapon grip that mounts near the forward hand of the user. The Grip Pod employs a retractable bi-pod concealed within the grip in order to switch from a vertical fore-grip to a bi-pod attachment, when a button near the top of the grip is pressed. The Grip Pod was created in 2003, and is now used throughout the United States Armed Forces.
The Grip Pod System was created in 2003 by Joseph R. Moody and Joseph D. Gaddini. Its parent company, Grip Pod Systems, International, was founded in 2005 in order to market and further develop the bi-pod grip. After extensive testing at Picatinny Arsenal in the same year, Grip Pod Systems won a sole source contract with the US Army and Marines, which began implementing the grips in units in the Middle East later that year. By 2012, over 900,000 Grip Pods were made for U.S. Forces. In the last four years, the company has been issued 31 patents, starting with patents for the bi-pod design itself in April 2008. According to the Grip Pod website, the grips are now used by the U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. National Guard, U.S. Air Force, British Army, and several other federal agencies.
Currently, three Grip Pod models are available: the 02, LE, and SAW models.
- The GPS-02 (Grip Pod Systems 02) model is the standard military model, and supports M-4 carbines, AR-15s, and M-16 rifles. It weighs 7 ounces, and is made of reinforced polymers, with stainless steel legs.
- The GPS-LE is the law enforcement Grip Pod. It weighs 6 ounces, and consists of the same material as the 02 model, but with polymer legs to reduce weight.
- The GPS-SAW is the heaviest Grip Pod, weighing 8.1 ounces. It is meant to be mounted on squad automatic weapons.
The key to the Grip Pod is the button near the top of the grip. This button connects to a spring-loaded sliding piston in the grip, that sits atop the bi-pod legs. When the button is pressed, the spring is released and decompressed, which pushes the piston down. This action expands the two housed legs out of the grip and into their locked and spread position. The legs are connected to each other by a joint that is fastened by a pin with threading on one end, called a pivot pin. A torsion spring, similar to those used in mousetraps, allows the legs the tension to expand outward, assuming their locked position. A rubber O-ring is in place at the bottom of the grip to catch a ledge at the top of the bi-pod leg mechanism. This prevents the legs from over-extending or leaving the grip completely. The grips are mainly made from reinforced polymer, while the legs are stainless steel covered by polymer. Each Grip Pod is 5.75 inches long with the legs concealed, and 7.25 inches long with the legs deployed. The Grip Pod mounts to a weapon using the Picatinny Rail system.
A primary objective of the Grip Pod was to have a bi-pod that could cant, or rotate side to side. When extended, the fore-grip of the Grip Pod has a 10 degree range of motion to the left and to the right, fixed at the joint of the bi-pod. This allows the user to adjust their aim on uneven surfaces.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "About Grip Pod Systems, International". Grip Pod Systems, INTL. LLC. http://www.grippod.com/about. Retrieved October 23, 2012.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Grip Pod Systems, International". Grip Pod Systems, INTL. LLC. http://www.grippod.com/. Retrieved October 22, 2012.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 "GPSI Distributor Product Dossier". Grip Pod Systems, INTL. LLC. http://www.grippod.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/GPSI_Dossier.pdf. Retrieved 17 November 2012.
- ↑ McClellan, Angus. "Grip Pod Foregrips". American Rifleman. http://www.americanrifleman.org/ArticlePage.aspx?id=2475&cid=10. Retrieved October 23.
- ↑ "Grip Pod Systems, LLC Patents". Patent Genius. http://www.patentgenius.com/assignee/GripPodSystemsLLC.html. Retrieved October 22, 2012.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 "GPS-02 Military". Grip Pod Systems, INTL. LLC. http://www.grippod.com/gsp-02-military. Retrieved October 23, 2012.
- ↑ "GPS-LE Law Enforcement". Grip Pod Systems, INTL. LLC. http://www.grippod.com/gsp-le-law-enforcement. Retrieved October 23, 2012.
- ↑ "GPS-SAW". Grip Pod Systems, INTL. LLC. http://www.grippod.com/gsp-saw. Retrieved October 23, 2012.
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 Gaddini, Joseph D. and Joseph R. Moody. "Canting vertical fore grip with bipod". Grip Pod Systems, INTL. LLC. http://www.google.com/patents?hl=en&lr=&vid=USPAT7421815&id=w22tAAAAEBAJ&oi=fnd&dq=grip+pod&printsec=abstract#v=onepage&q=grip%20pod&f=false. Retrieved 22 October 2011.
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