Building an AR is Lego's for adults, unfortunately quality aftermarket AR parts are known for their high price tag. In a previous article we talked about the J-Comp Type 89 muzzle device from Strike Industries, the device performed great and the price of around $29.00 made it very affordable for those on a budget or for the builder with multiple fighting rifles that need reliable parts.
We recently picked up a few new aftermarket AR part from Hogue, an AR collapsible buttstock and overmolded AR pistol grip. I'm also trying out one of their new PowerSpeed Automatic Retention System holsters for a Glock 23.....
Lets start off by talking about the holster. The Hogue PowerSpeed ARS holster is a polymer holster, the one pictured is the CF (carbon fiber) Weave model. The holster is designed to automatically engage a retention mechanism when the pistol is holstered. To disengage a push lever is depressed with your thumb during the draw stroke. The retention is rock solid, even having someone tugging on it didn't budge the pistol, I was more worried my pants were going to rip than the holster giving up.
The feature I really like about the PowerSpeed holster is that it fits perfectly with my Glock 23 and a Trijicon RMR mounted. I normally have to make small modifications to holsters in order to accommodate the added RMR. I don't know if this was a design consideration on the part of Hogue or if it just turned out to be my lucky day, either way it fits perfectly.
The release mechanism is smooth, the learning curve is minimal to get a clean and quick draw stroke down. The holster comes with the paddle already attached to the holster, a belt slider attachment comes along with additional mounting screws. Hogue offers and accessory mounting solution for this holster, the MOLLE mount adapter allows you to mount the holster to almost any piece of equipment with sufficient rows of MOLLE available.
The PowerSpeed holster goes for approximately $49.00 and the MOLLE adapter is right at $10.00. For $60.00 bucks you have yourself a reliable holster that can be used for EDC as well as working it in to a home on your kit. We'll keep you updated on how the holster performs during some of the more rugged portions of our classes. We've seen several other manufactures automatic retention holsters completely fail during our training courses.
Now lets look at the AR Pistol Grip and Buttstock. Let me tell ya, these feel great, a nice tacky surface, a really nice positive grip. As with virtually all AR pistol grips the installation of the Hogue grip was a snap. The grip has a design piece I like which seems to give the pistol grip more rigidity as well as prevents hot spots on the knuckle of your "You're number 1" finger.
looking at the above pistol grip from this angle you can see it ties in nicely with the trigger guard and the edges are nicely rounded. I've had issues in the past with pistol grips being too sharp in the area right under the rear trigger guard and would need to remove material with a dremel (dremel aka the armorers best friend).
The accessory "Cargo Management System" is available to stow extra batteries and other small accessories in the hallow of the pistol grip. The Cargo Management System is priced at approximately $13.00. It is a nice little add, especially now that so many fighting rifles have battery powered optics and lights, having extra batteries is a requirement either on the rifle or on your gear, but always have extras.
Samson makes a handy accessory that fits into the hallow space of the Hogue pistol grip. The Samson Field Survivor 1 is an all in one multi-function tool specifically for the AR platform.
The tool has the following accessories:
Last but not least is the Hogue AR adjustable buttstock. This particular model is for the Mil Spec buffer tube. Just a quick note, the Mil Spec buffer tubes are a smidgen smaller than a commercial buffer tubes.
The Hogue OverMolded AR buttstock has a specific design which greatly reduces the shimmy and shake most adjustable buttstocks have. Once this stock was installed on my rifle it had zero sound coming from the buttstock when shaking the rifle vigorously. Moving the buttstock all the way out to the last position, usually the loudest, the Hogue buttstock was still silent. The buttstock also has 3 flushcups for those who use a QD type sling attachment point. After the holster I was most impressed by the stock and how quiet and solid it felt in each position, zero extra movement or play from this buttstock.