6 Different Support Hand Holds for the AR

Posted by RailScales on Jun 21st 2021

6 Different Support Hand Holds for the AR

Despite what the movies show, it takes both hands to fire a firearm accurately and safely. This holds true for handguns, pistols, shotguns, and rifles. In fact, the support hand plays a very pivotal role in your control, accuracy, and safety of shooting.

RailScales offers the best rail covers, angled foregrips, and handstops on the market today. We only use the highest-quality materials CNC-machined so you are guaranteed a great product that can withstand the wear and tear shooting often brings. We began in 2014 out of the need we saw for better rail covers on the market. The result has been our top-performing RailScales made for MLOK and KeyMod rails that come in many colors and styles to meet your needs. Below, we'll take a look at six different support hand holds you could try as you practice to see which one is best for you. Browse our AR-15 accessories, and order online today!



This one probably goes by many names, but traditional is what we will use here. This is the support position where your non-shooting hand holds the rifle beneath the barrel wherever it is most comfortable for you with your elbow bent. This one is great for shooting while sitting, kneeling, or prone. It is also what you would consider the most natural because when you shoulder a rifle, your support hand naturally finds this place. Most beginner shooters start with this support hand hold since it is very secure and stable.

Over-Exaggerated Thumb Over

This support position is where shooters stretch out their arm fully, locking their elbow, and then reach their thumb around to the top of the barrel near the muzzle. This technique is not often used. It doesn't help much with recoil and can be awkward to shoot and control the barrel with. This hand support method can block some of your view, too. If you have a carbine-length handguard, this method won't work so well.

Locked Elbow

Similar to the over-exaggerated thumb over hold, the locked elbow has the support hand extended all the way until it's locked with the thumb either forward or with their index finger extended. This position mimics the way to grip a pistol. It is a very effective way to help with muzzle control and recoil. It is great for barricades and while kneeling. However, it can be cumbersome while kneeling. If you are shooting off your back, this is a great hold to employ.

Magwell Hold

The Magwell hold is one of the most preferred holds for your support hand. Your support hand grips the lower receiver at the magwell near the balance point, while the primary hand is on the grip. Your arms are close to the body while the weight of the rifle can then rest against your torso. Recoil is limited in this position and is great for shooting targets at close range. This hold position can be hard to balance, but it works well for small-stature shooters with a short stock.


This AR hold was invented by competitive shooters. The goal is to reduce recoil and muzzle rise while ensuring the line of sight is unobstructed and ensuring quick transitions between targets. Similar to the locked elbow hold, the C-Clamp grip involves your support arm fully extended and your hand underneath the guard. Your palm will be face up and your index finger points toward the barrel's end without touching the barrel. Your thumb can either wrap around on top of your rifle or stay alongside your palm whichever you prefer. You can use this hold with vertical or angled AR foregrips.

AR Foregrips

Foregrips attach to the rail. The beauty of AR foregrips is that you can attach them to any point on your rail for the perfect fit. They allow you to control the recoil and pull the AR into your shoulder better while firing. AR foregrips don't impede your view and are great for any shooting position. RailScales makes great AR vertical foregrips in many different types and sizes for you to choose from. Many, such as our Anchor vertical foregrip, is bi-directional, meaning it can be used for either a 90 degree grip or a 70 degree grip angle. Compatible with both the MLOK and KeyMod, this AR vertical foregrip is CNC machined and extremely strong and durable. Order today.


Ultimately, which support hand hold that is the best is the one that works best for you. You may even have a different one in mind than the ones listed here. These are just ideas and suggestions for you, as well as tried techniques that work for a lot of shooters.

In the world of AR accessories, there are lots to choose from. What you need to look for is quality and consistency. RailScales has been making the best AR-15 accessories since 2014. Our rail covers are the best in the industry, made from G10, a composite fiberglass laminate that is thin, lightweight, and super strong. We've incorporated a great attachment method so once installed, these rail covers won't move. We offer a variety of AR vertical grips and foregrips for your use, as well as iron sights, sling mounts, 1911 grips, and more. Our top-notch products carry an excellent warranty and exchange program.

If you are interested in any of our AR-15 accessories, browse and order online today!