REVIEW: FAB Defense Gear - PTK and VTS -
Ease of Installation7
In any hobby there are things which divide hobbyists into opposing camps, and in airsoft it’s safe to say that the thumb forward elbow out shooting stance is one of these. Much publicised by Magpul with the invention of their Advanced Forward Grip, or AFG, brought about a revolution in US competitive shooting.
We got hold of the FAB Defense kit from UKMCPro and when it arrived I gleefully opened the packaging and got to installing them on my rifle. They are usually priced at £32.95 (PTK) and £11.99 (VTS) but are currently 10% off.
As with all innovative products, imitations and improvements soon follow, and one of these “thumb over bore” grips is the FAB Defense PTK, Ergonomic Pointing Grip. It is considerably more sculpted than the AFG2 (which I shall be comparing it with), and really is designed to work best with the FAB Defense VTS (Versatile Tactical Support).
As someone who has been using a Magpul AFG2 and a LaRue Thumb Stop (cut down with a dremel) for 9 months or so I’m used to skirmishing with a thumb over bore grip, in woodland, CQB and building clearance, so I was eager to try out FAB’s offering.
The PTK comes simply packaged, with an allen key included so you don’t have an issue installing/removing the bolt. The grip is very well moulded, with minimal injection lines and very very comfy contouring. Similarly, the VTS comes in a pack of two, and again an allen key is included. Once again the moulding quality is top notch, with a good quality steel nut and bolt finishing them both off.
The VTS really can be used in many many ways, the three that I am going to cover are probably the most common ones. First off you can mount one facing forwards on your bottom rail, and a second on your off-side rail facing back. You then have a very flat thumb over bore grip, which is fantastic for holding the weapon with one hand. This is (in my opinion) great for very long weapons, but I would find it uncomfortable after a short time.
The second is with a vertical grip – again this is very comfy, personally I prefer this setup on a shorter gun – and the third is with the PTK, which is where the two really work together (seen above).
With these installed the gun just sits comfortably in my hand – no rubbing, no sore points/stressed joints. Pointing the weapon feels natural, and I can whip the front end about and hold it steady (for airsoft purposes anyways), meaning that if I’m shooting in woodland I’ll be accurate, and if I’m shooting in buildings I’ll be able to switch aim quickly. As an added bonus the PTK has a neat little slot in the bottom that allows you to store some batteries.
They are comfortable, and they look absolutely gorgeous on the gun, but with lots of things like this whether you like it or not is personal. I think it’s an absolutely cracking bit of kit, and for a little bit more than a Magpul PTS AFG2 the jump in quality is outstanding – i didn’t have to spend an hour trimming flash off this, I did with my AFG2! One of the two places in which the AFG2 is better than the PTK is in the finger shelf. In the AFG2 the finger shelf is removable/reversible, allowing you to fine tune the grip to what you want, whereas it is fixed on the PTK.
Installing the grip and the thumb stops on a rail system takes a bit of elbow grease if your rails are on-spec, which is what you want – rattling attachments is never a good thing. Once they are on the bolts drop through the VTS and you can tighten them down very easily. Unfortunately the PTK required a bit of forcing to get the bolt to pass through the slot in the rail, and this did mar the finish on the rail. I like my rail systems dressed, even if it is just a set of covers so it’s not too big a deal, but it is a little bit upsetting. Whether this is down to the dimensions of my rail or the PTK I can’t say.
To conclude: If you want a grip that is similar to the AFG, but stands out a little bit, this could be for you. If you want something that is incredibly comfy to hold, and won’t leave you with blisters at the end of a day’s skirmish, then the VTS and the PTK are definitely for you.