Subverting Expectations: First Impressions Of Die Free CO’s Kung Fu Grip


News|First Impressions

How It All Started

Earlier this year, Bruce from Die Free Co (DFCO) contacted me to examine one of their initial product releases. Initially, I believed he wanted a review for a microblade intended for EDC use, and though hesitant, I agreed to take a look. However, he surprised me by introducing the company’s upcoming product, the Kung Fu Grip, a newly developed pistol grip for the AR platform. At first glance, the grip’s clean and attractive design caught my eye, but I was apprehensive about its extreme backstrap angle. Despite reservations, I had committed to reviewing the product for Bruce. Over the following months, I actively avoided evaluating Die Free Co’s Kung Fu Grip, as, like most people, I’m resistant to change, significantly when altering a finely tuned AR build with established go-to accessories.


In August of this year, as I geared up for Ohio Range Day 2023 (ORD) hosted by Achilles Heel Tactical, anticipation built for the three-day event featuring top firearms instructors covering various disciplines. From pistol and rifle shooting to concealed carry, long-range shooting, competition, and vehicle dynamics, ORD promises an immersive training experience. Despite my growing reservations about Die Free Co’s Kung Fu grip, I committed to evaluating it during two rifle classes with Mark of First Defense USA and Kagwerks. Before heading to the event, I swapped my BCM MOD 3 grip for the Kung Fu during a lunch break at work before heading to the airport. However, upon trying the grip, my immediate reaction was one of disgust, accompanied by an audible “Mmm…that’s disgusting.” The initial five minutes with the grip proved unpleasant, confirming my apprehensions. Convinced it wouldn’t suit me, I promptly removed it, reinstalling the BCM MOD 3 grip to my rifle. Despite this setback, the lingering question remains: “Will I give the Kung Fu grip another chance in the coming months?”

The Final Countdown

Approximately a month and a half post-ORD-2023, I found myself in my final class of the year, AHT’s Vehicle Dynamics class. This unique course involved shooting both inside and outside of a vehicle, offering insights on how to operate in emergencies within that environment. Recognizing this as my last chance to evaluate the Kung Fu Grip, I embraced the challenge, telling myself, “If I die, I die.” Prepared to face the consequences, I reluctantly swapped my BCM MOD 3 for the Kung Fu grip, taking it with me to the class.

During the initial drill, AHT’s D.O.P.E. Drill, on Day 1, I used my rifle to test the Kung Fu grip for the first time. To my surprise, the grip felt incredibly natural. The angle was unexpectedly comfortable, allowing me to maintain proper grip and wrist articulation without deviation. It proved surprisingly intuitive, providing a comfortable and high purchase on the grip, allowing my wrist to rest naturally. Throughout the two-day vehicle course, navigating various positions within and around the car, the Kung Fu Grip consistently felt natural and easy to use, from drawing the rifle in confined spaces of the car’s interior to assuming positions like urban prone, prone, kneeling, and more, outside the vehicle. The Kung Fu grip excelled, particularly in the prone position.

Contrary to my expectations, the Kung Fu Grip seamlessly integrated into the training environment, and by the course’s end, I was astonished at its performance. I had misjudged the grip entirely. Plunging into the deep end was the best decision I made. I look forward to incorporating it into future builds, recognizing its usefulness in specific cases.

Caveats & Use Cases

The Kung Fu grip managed to defy my expectations, altering my perception of its viability. However, there are a couple of caveats worth mentioning. Firstly, I don’t view the Kung Fu Grip as a suitable general-purpose grip. In my opinion, the BCM MOD 3 grip remains a superior all-around choice, capable of handling various shooting disciplines, including competition, CQB, and long-distance scenarios. While there might be specialized grips for each discipline, the BCM grip proves versatility across different scenarios, providing a solid purchase on the grip with good wrist positioning.

Secondly, I see the Kung Fu Grip excelling in specific use cases. It seems well-suited for a DMR, SBR, or PCC rifle. The extreme grip angle aligns with DMR/PRS discipline, offering optimal wrist positioning in prone or shooting off barricades. On an SBR, it shines in tight spaces, allowing ample wrist articulation. Surprisingly, when working in the interior of a car, the deeper angle provided more movement while maintaining comfort. In CQB environments, mobility is crucial. The Kung Fu Grip offers an advantage in confined spaces and narrow hallways. While it defied my expectations, it still has its strengths and weaknesses. For me, it’s not a general-purpose grip but one tailored for specific use cases.

Final Thoughts

The Kung Fu Grip by DFCO not only defied my initial expectations but emerged as a game-changer in the realm of rifle grips. Its ability to subvert preconceptions, not just for me but potentially for others, speaks volumes about its unique qualities. While it may not be the go-to choice for an all-encompassing grip like the BCM MOD 3, the Kung Fu Grip found its niche in specialized applications such as DMR, SBR, or PCC setups.

As my skepticism transformed into admiration, I now recognize the Kung Fu Grip’s potential to reshape perceptions and enhance performance in specific shooting environments. While it may not be the one-size-fits-all solution, its ability to excel in distinct use cases marks it as a valuable addition to the arsenal of those seeking specialized advantages.

Hello, everyone and welcome to The Loadout Blog. The purpose of this website is to share educate, inform, and build a lasting culture around firearms. I want to create a hub of reliable, cohesive, and relevant material for today’s shooter. I am seeking to appeal to all demographics so from the novice, to experienced, along with LE and military communities. I am here to be transparent and honest on all matters discussed or chronicled on this site. I will post content once a week at minimum or more often if time allows.

Now, a little bit about me. I served six years in the Marines Corps as an 0311. I was in 2nd BN 4th Marines, 5th Marine Reg, 1st Mar Div. I was in Golf Company while in 2/4. I was deployed twice during my time in. I did one deployment to Afghanistan and my second was on apart of 31st MEU. I departed the military in September of 2015. I currently work as an RSO at a local range in Vegas.

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