MKM Vertical Crossover Grip: Adding Control and Comfort

Intended as a grip for use in precision shooting or daily duty, the Vertical Crossover Grip (VCG) by MKMachining offers an ergonomic angle, large surface area, and an anti-slip texture that provides the end-user added accuracy and performance over extended periods.

Within the VCG family; MKM further diversifies the grip into several different models that address the more specific needs of various end-users. The VCG includes a “Recce” version, and a VCG-L (that incorporates an added beavertail on the grip itself). Both are made from a Nylon 12 material using a multi-jet fusion 3D printing process.

The VCG “Recce” itself is similar to the precision version (with thumb shelf), and offers a near-vertical 5-degree cant, and a 1.45” width with a slightly tapered lower ledge and rear profile. An anti-slip texture to the front and rear strap are ideal for precision shooters and help mitigate any moisture or slippage. 

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The primary differences between the VCG “Recce” and the VCG-L are nuanced, but have a direct purpose in design. The “L” is a joint development between MKM and Driven Arms Co. whereby it includes a beavertail (for a heightened grip posture), and the larger presentation of the grip is moved backwards 0.2” for a more direct alignment of the hand behind the trigger for those with larger hands, or desiring more purchasing space.

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About the Process

MKM uses a 3D printing process known as Multi-Jet Fusion (MJF). This industrial-level printing process is like a CAT scan, whereby each layer is printed as one contiguous pass, and multiple products can be printed via a single sheet, into multiple complete products. Then a separate pass fuses the product only for that specific layer being printed, and a very thin layer of polymer is also added. The process repeats itself in each sequential layer and allows for far more product to be printed in the time it would take a traditional printer to produce one. Some examples of MKM’s MJF printing include:

The MKM VCG series of rifle grips are available in a matte Black (featured), Grey, Tan, or OD Green.

Product Evaluation Scores:

  • CostAverage (3/5): Between $39.95 and $54.99 the Vertical Crossover Grip price point varies based on version (i.e. between VCG “Recce”, Precision, or the VCG-L) and configuration selected at the time of purchase. Additionally, an up charge of $10 is applied if other colors other than black are chosen. This price reflects MKMachining’s approach in applying its legacy of precision-stylized grips to mid and long guns. Made from Nylon 12 material, the VCG design allots for larger hands to have a larger coverage/surface area with a greater palm swell, and a more ergonomic angle off the rifle. Additionally, the material aspects that make the VCG a premium grip in terms of cost, are the same factors that also make it one of the lightest grips on the market. In contrast, the MOE K2-XL ($23.95) from Magpul, the Hexmag Tactical Grip ($34.99), the Ergo Grip w/Suregrip ($26), the P23 Grip (19.95) from B5 Systems, and Hogue’s over-molded rubberized grip ($26.95) demonstrate that the VCG is the more expensive—however it is appropriately (or of average) priced as the only one 3D printed with stronger nylon material vice traditional mold compression using polymers.
  • ComfortGood (4/5): From a comfort aspect, the VCG variants (both the “Recce” and the VCG-L) came down to the grip’s overall increased width and its palm swell over the traditional A2 style, and its higher approach angle off the lower receiver. The VCG-L had the added benefit of a beavertail at the top of the grip which allowed for a higher grip presentation. Over the course of 30 days, on both a 13.9” rifle and an 18” rifle, the longer length and non-slip surface texture did give a more tactile feel in the palm, with a good level of comfort for end-users with larger hands (mostly men) on the grip. Those with smaller hands (such as women) may find a longer purchase surface with the VCG than their ham-hand counterparts. There was no discernable edges or seams, and all surfaces were clearly smoothed down so as the grip appeared as a singular piece. Elsewhere, because of the near vertical five-degree angle to the lower receiver (steeper than most aftermarket grips), the wrist fell easily in-line with the trigger, and the wrist didn’t fatigue as easily when the firearm was held aloft over an extended time.
  • DurabilityAverage (3/5): Both the VCG “Recce” and the VCG-L were made from the same Nylon 12 material that is frequently used in the 3D printing of outdoor products, and is a sturdier material than other traditional materials—particularly with its notable ability to resist brittleness from UV exposure. For the purposes of this review, both VCGs were dropped from equal shoulder height onto finished concrete ten times before being mounted to a rifle. They were also subjected to magazine strikes and contact with hard surfaces during stressor drills. The grips themselves held up appropriately (or of average) as other grips with regular use, weapon manipulation, and field stressors. The surface of the VCGs did not significantly wear or deteriorate along contact areas or overall—with only minor surface marring noted due to contact to hard surfaces.
  • FunctionalityGood (4/5): Simplistic in design; the function of the VCG “Recce” and VCG-L came down to both improving the principle comfort (addressed above) of the end-user with relation to presentation on the firearm (as is the intent of many in the MKMaching grip line) and precision—especially if holding a full-length rifle aloft over time or while on a bench. Both VCG grips had a tangible upswell in the palm (with a slightly more pronounced girth in the VCG-L), with slightly increased mass at the top of the grip. This filled the palm more completely, allotting more surface contact between the grip and the hand, and thus more tactile control. As the grip tapered towards the bottom, the near-vertical design also provided more control over the “roll” of the rifle (movement side to side) as it enabled the end-user to have a better sense of the rifle’s balance while being held. By steepening the angle of both the “Recce” and VCG-L to a more vertical angle, the end-user was able to keep a more direct line in grip on the trigger—thus alleviating stress and fatigue on the wrist. The VCGs provided a good alternative for those with larger hands that may find A2-style grips too narrow or more difficult to use. The thumb rest groove in the VCG was not as pronounced as other precision grips, but MKM does offer a precision version of the VCG (not featured) for those more interested in that design. Additionally, the non-slip ledge at the bottom of the grip provided a good base that supported the rest of the overall hand. The diamond surface texture and front/rear serrations also ensured a solid grip was maintained with, or without gloves. The only real difference between the “Recce” and VCG-L from a functional aspect was the VCG-L’s inclusion of the beavertail at the top of the grip and allowed end-user to get a much higher posture of the hand behind the fire controls that was more beneficial for rested precision shooting. The “Recce” in contrast lacked that feature and was more suitable for shooting styles whereby a variety of positions, stances, or settings would otherwise be encountered.
  • WeightExcellent (5/5): At 1.76 ounces (or 50 grams, w/o mounting hardware) both the Vertical Crossover Grip versions were very light weight due to the use of the Nylon 12 material materials that comprise the grip’s overall design. Moreover, the grip was not of enough weight to cause the overall rifle to become unbalanced or distracting. In contrast, the MOE K2-XL Grip (3.3 ounces), the Hexmag Tactical Grip (2.6 ounces), the Ergo Grip w/Suregrip (4.48 ounces), and Hogue’s over-molded rubberized grip (2.8 ounces) demonstrate that the VCG clearly capitalizes on its Nylon 12 material that keeps its weight minimal while sacrificing little in strength, and places the MKMaching grip excellently amid the market and competitors.

Overall Rating – Above Average (19/25)

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I am reviewing this product as a courtesy to the manufacturer and via High Ground Media, so that I can evaluate it and provide my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give positive reviews. All views are my own, and based off my personal experience with the product.

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