Survival Gear Review: Crimson Trace MVF-515 Foregrip

Over the years the “Frankenstein” AR-15 has gotten out of control.  A few years back, I was accessorizing my stock “Bushmaster AR” with all of the latest gadgets and widgets.  In my mind I came up with all sorts of wild apocalyptic scenarios where I would need such things for my rifle.

“It’s ALIVE!!!”

I remember my Frankenstein steps like it was yesterday.  First I had to get a flat top rail and a forward hand grip rail crimson trace mvf-515 reviewsystem.  Then, it was downhill after that.  Once you have a rail system, you have to buy things to attach to it.  It would be silly not to, right?  First came the EO Tech Scope .  Then came the FAB Defense Forward Hand Grip after that I decided that I had to have a light so I bought a SureFire light to mount on my rifle.  This was getting fun.  Next it was a LaRue tactical bi-pod, because I might have to lay down and shoot the zombies at distance.  After that it was a new hand grip, butt stock, flash suppressor, and finally Troy back up hard sites.

I got out to the range one day and I was like “Holy Crap, this rifle is heavy.  Way too heavy!!!  What the hell is wrong with me?”  I turned into a AR-15 crack head, which I am sure has happened to a few of you as well.  I immediately went home and got back to basics.  I kept the EO Tech Scope and the Troy back up sites but that was it.  Everything else I didn’t really need and had to go.

So when I saw that Crimson Trace came out with their Modular Vertical Foregrip (MVF-515), I thought to myself “That is Crimson Trace MVF-515 Reviewsomething that I don’t need.”  Then I looked at it a little closer and saw that they had integrated a laser/light combo into a vertical hand grip and with a weight of just 10 oz, now they had my attention.  Also, I have other Crimson Trace laser products for my pistols that I have been extremely happy with and I know Crimson Trace makes quality products and stands behind them.

The Test

One of the first things that I noticed when I put the MVF-515 on my AR-15 was that the laser/light combo was “instinctive”, meaning that when I grabbed the forward hand grip, the laser and light were both easy to turn on and off without having to adjust my hands or fingers.  One of the things that I didn’t like about the light that I had on my rifle before the MVF-515 was I had to swing my thumb up and around to turn it on.  It came with a pressure pad and a cord that attached to the light but I found the pad to be clumsy and didn’t stick very well to my old forward hand grip. The Crimson Trace MVF-515 was a huge improvement over my earlier configuration. Crimson Trace also made the MVF-515 ambidextrous by putting pressure pads on both sides of the forward hand grip.

Then I put it to my first test.  After my girlfriend went to bed and my CTC MVF-515 Reviewplace was nice and dark, I cleared the whole house room by room with the Crimson Trace MVF-515.  I practiced turning the light on and off as well as the laser.  What is cool about this product is that it is programmable.  You can program the pressure pads to be “Hot” on only when you apply pressure to the pressure pads.  Or you can program them to be “On” with one press and then “Off” with the next press.  You can also program the grip to “Strobe” the LED light which would come in handy to blind and confuse the zombies before you take them out.  After testing the different programs, I found the one press “On” and one press “Off” to work best for me.  After I cleared my whole house, minus the room with the Queen Zombie of course (my girlfriend), I practiced a few snap in drills with the grip.  I really liked it.  I liked the weight, I liked the grip, and of course the fact that it has a laser/light combo on it made me smile.

Next I did the mirror test.  I took my rifle into the bathroom, pointed it at the mirror and turned on the light.  I can confirm that the LED light (150 lumen) on this product is very bright and you will see spots momentarily after you shine this into your eyes.

At the range, we put about 250 rounds through the rifle at different targets ranging from 15 yards to 30 yards during the crimson traceday.  The laser was visible at this distance and was spot on for shooting.  Obviously this a low light product and we were unable to test it under “live fire” conditions in low light but I am sure it would work the same.

SurvivalCache Video Review of the MVF-515:


I don’t like adding anything to my rifle because of the old saying “Ounces equal pounds and pounds equal pain” which is very similar to my theory on Bug Out Bags.  This is one product that now officially hangs on my 10 inch PWS AR-15.  I love it.  It is light weight and has three functions – a hand grip, a light to see or blind, a laser for quick target acquisition.  That is a trifecta for a product.  This is a great home defense and SHTF product for your AR-15.  You might be able to find a cheaper product out there that does the same thing but in my experience, you buy cheap – you buy twice.  And really, when your life is on the line do you want to go cheap?


Material:  Polymer
Color:  Black
Activation Location: Dual Side Activation
Attachment:  Accessory Rail Attachment
Weight: 10 oz
Finish:  Polymer Grip Panels w/ Rubber Activation Pads
Laser Battery Life:  Over 48 Hours
Activation Mode:  Momentary, Strobe and Constant-On
Sighting:  Factory Sighted at 50′ – User Adjustable
Laser: Windage and Elevation
Light: Fixed
Warranty:  Three Year Full Warranty
Wrench Size:   0.05
Dot Size:  Approx. 0.50″ at 50′
Light Specs:  150/200 Lumen LED

Photos by Team, Crimson Trace, and Unknown Internet Author

Joel Jefferson
Written by Joel Jefferson

Joel is one of the original founders of After college, he joined the USMC where he served as an (0302) Marine Infantry Officer. Joel is an avid outdoorsman and spends much of his free time in the mountains. Joel’s hobby is researching survival gear & weapons as well as prepping. Read his full interview here. Read more of Joel's articles.

11 thoughts on “Survival Gear Review: Crimson Trace MVF-515 Foregrip”

  1. Great review and observations. Thanks.

    I am of like-mind when it comes to weighing the merits of each gram added to my rifle (pun intended). So I cannot help but question a short-range laser system on an SBR. While CQB within one’s home is a close but non-zero probability, it must be acknowledged that the useful range of the red laser is well within the deadly sphere of a handgun.

    Add to that the swing weight of a rifle at 8-12 lbs compared to a 1-2 lb pistol. Further, the rifle might be impossible to aim without moving into a more exposed position. Further, lasers are worthless at best and an attention-grabbing distraction (for the user) at worst when chasing a moving object especially through an environment with multiple background distance planes causing the laser to jump around in all three dimensions. Your EOTech and light will work wonders if you let them. And all that red-dot stuff in the movies, is just stuff. Any bad guy worth their salt will just move, not freeze up like a deer in the laser lights.

    So this all begs to the question of whether the laser grip has earned its place on the AR?

    Finally, 150 lumens? Really? I have penlights brighter than than. Obviously if you whack yourself in the eyeballs with your own light 150L is going to be easier to overcome then 500L, but given that a homeowner should know where the mirrors are located within their own home, that would be more of a training oversight then a tactical failure. Since the weight of a weapon light seems to be fairly consistent regardless of lumen output (except when pushing 1k lumens), the choice is more of a price and function issue meaning it is a conscious pre-SHTF decision.

    Since all my equipment doubles as TEOTWAWKI equipment, I apply this philosophical/hypothetical question to ever purchase: Would I buy this if it was my final opportunity? In other words, imagine a line drawn in time; once crossed, what you have is all you have, and possible all you ever will have. So if done right, you move towards the future prepared and with confidence. However, if you cut corners, saved money, or burdened yourself with weight of marginal use objects, then when you are forced over that line, you will already be at a disadvantage tactically and mentally.

  2. Will this grip work on any rifle with P-Rails? I am planning to get a C-39 (Century Arms International's US made AK-47) as my tactical rifle. I will be getting the Sporter version which has P-Rails on its foregrip. Also after watching James Yeager's 1000 round test of the C-39 I noticed that the only trouble seemed that for the rail covers and even the grip he installed was that the hand guard did not dissipate heat all that well. The rail covers melted off and the vertical foregrip he was using had polymer parts where it attached and they too melted and the grip fell off. I know I won't be putting mine through that kind of torture test, but seeing the polymer parts melting off of the handguard's rails had me thinking of looking for attachments with more metal where they attached to the P-Rails than what he used.

    • Hi KS,

      The point of the Picatinny rail or MIL-STD-1913 rail or STANAG 2324 rail or tactical rail or P-rail or whatever you want to call it is to provide a global firearm mounting platform standard. So with that said, all Picatinny rails should be the same meaning any P-rail accessory will clamp to any P-rail. At least that's the intent.

      However, using a 1k mag dump as evidence for any decision making is questionable. Metal might not melt under shooting conditions, but it has its own problems including weight, heat conductivity, stress fatigue, price, manufacture tolerances, etc. OEM AKs used wood which is something the gun world couldn’t ditch fast enough when polymers became an option. But consider that almost all AKs in the world have wooden hand guards, and the wood catches fire when enough rounds are fired fast enough. But that was never really a problem in real-world battles.

      So if you actually manage to dump 40 pounds of ammo (blowing $40 per minute BTW), any plastic parts on your hand guard or rail should have been already removed prior to pulling the stunt because I sincerely doubt any 1000 round dump will happen unexpectedly.

      So plan and build for realistic scenarios. Packing 34 loaded 30rnd mags around is not realistic. Nor is 1000 uninterrupted trigger pulls.

      Polymer has its advantages, and it is those that should exploited. Plus, if you ever happen to melt the grip and are alive to notice, you now have one hell of a souvenir!

      • Thanks Prof.

        I kind of thought that he was giving the C39 what the Computer world calls the drop test. You know drop the part and see if it breaks. I actually at this time carry for my Yugo SKS, which when I get the C39 will be my reserve rifle, a little over 300 rounds. For that rifle counting the two pouches on my chest rig which holds eighty rounds in four stripper clips each, the two bandoliers which hold 100 rounds in ten stripper clips each and the stock pouch which holds thirty rounds in three stripper clips I think I have a basic SHTF load out. Now I plan to get a three pocket six magazine pouch for my chest rig once I get the AK and an AK/ SKS stripper clip guide for reloading the magazines. My gear for my Com-Bloc surplus weapon comes from Strike Hard Gear made in Iowa. I don't envision a situation where I will face the need to burn 1K of 7.62×39. I suspect like you most of us when facing grid down situations will likely face a few opportunistic raiders and a few ambushes. Most likely we will experience a situation like my pioneer great grandfathers and great-great grandfather faced in the 1870s in North Central Kansas, the only law is local law and they are often too far away to help in time.

  3. You forgot the most important add-on; the detachable beer micro-brewery, an obvious battlefield necessity! Really, the most important thing to ask yourself, before buying gadgets, is will this make me a better shooter/marksman! 1000 rounds of ammo fired is wasted ammo unless you're hitting your target (hopefully every time). I prefer a S/S shotgun for home defense, two rounds of 12 gauge '00' buck at close range will ruin anyones day, vest or not. The home field advantage means I know where everything is and what shape shouldn't be there, if I need some light then a light switch suddenly turned on will temporarily distract any intruder, and/or a flashlight hold high and to the left or right (depending on your free hand) will be safer than a weapon-mounted light/laser, which only gives any intruder a bulls-eye to shot at.

  4. I have one if these on my AR, I love it. It is light, well made, bright and combines three common AR items into one. It sits solid on the rails and offers a great grip.


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