When the team at MOTUS told me they had a special project in mind for me, they definitely got my attention. When Mark wouldn’t tell me exactly what it was, he had me hooked. I’m not patient and Mark knows that, but I was still eager to see what they had in store. It was well worth the wait!
It’s not often that someone drops off a rifle and a box full of Magpul’s newest goodies at my house, and then says, “Have fun and get it back to us without too many scratches on it.” I didn’t really know what to play with, I mean look at, first. Sure, the rifle was cool; it was a stock looking M-4 with one super cool addition, a MOTUS Forged Lower Receiver with MOTUS emblem on the mag well. But I hadn’t had a chance to check out Magpul’s new MOE SL line in person yet, so I popped open the box right away and started examining the hand guards, pistol grip, and stock, along with all the new M-LOK accessory rails and an AFG-2.
Magpul recently released the MOE SL line of accessories. SL, which stands for Slim Line, is a complete line of firearms accessories that bring a new look and concepts to the traditional MOE lineup Magpul is known for. Everything in the MOE SL product lineup features a sleeker profile and are more geared towards modern field use.
I’ll admit that I’ve been a fan of Magpul’s equipment and philosophy for some time. Great American-made gear at great prices seems like a pretty solid business plan to me. I’ve been running the MOE stock and various Magpul pistol grips (MOE-K2) on my personal rifle for years, and love them. I even switched from a free-float quad rail hand guard to the Magpul mid-length hand guard a few years ago, in an effort to shave some weight on my heavy-profile 16” barreled AR. It worked well, and again, I was extremely happy with Magpul’s products.
I decided to try the Angled Fore-Grip 2 (AFG-2), but didn’t like how far the standard Magpul rail removed it from the hand guard when using it on the Magpul hand guard. The AFG-2 worked great on quad rail hand guards, but the thickness of the rail section threw off the ergonomics on the Magpul hand guard. So I went back to a standard Magpul Vertical Grip and got along just fine. I honestly use it more as a reference point than a vertical grip anyway, because I watched the Magpul Art of the Dynamic Carbine videos, and had the opportunity to train with a few high speed-types who corrected my support hand grip early on in my Marine Corps career.
That being said, I was impressed by the new MOE SL line. The new MOE SL Grip is similar to the MOE-K2 Grip that I now run, but with a slightly better texturing on it. The texture is what Magpul refers to as TSP, or Trapezoidal Surface Projections.
I much prefer the steeper grip angle of the MOE SL Grip as opposed to standard A2 grips, since I tend to keep my stock at a short LOP. This grip allows for a much better trigger squeeze and reduces the risk of sore wrists from being forced to hold it at an awkward angle.
On first inspection, the new MOE SL Carbine Stock had a great look to it. I liked the slightly angled toe of the stock, and the texture of the rubber butt-pad looked to be very effective. One thing I noticed was that unlike many of their other stocks, there was no additional friction lock at the front of the stock. I wasn’t overly worried, since I’m still running an old original MOE stock, but I still found it odd they didn’t include one on their newest stock. That was, until I got it on the rifle. There’s no wiggle, jiggle or rattling on this stock! Movement of the stock is accomplished by squeezing the dual-side release latches, and adjusting the LOP in a deliberate manner. You don’t want the stock to move too freely, and this one definitely will not! I also appreciate the placement of the adjustment latch, which is protected from accidental activation if you’re running a three-point sling or a bunch of combat gear on your plate carrier.
To me, the real star of the show is Magpul’s new MOE SL Hand Guard. As I mentioned, I normally run a mid-length gas system, mainly because I like the extra space to fully extend my support arm for a good solid grip and stable shooting platform for rapid-firing. This is something I can’t normally do with a carbine-length system without fully extending the stock. Among the other great qualities of this hand guard, it mitigates that. It even extends back over the Delta ring on top and bottom, so if you prefer to grip the mag well in CQB situations, you’ll have flat polymer hand guard on your index finger, instead of an angled Delta ring. Normally, to change to a longer hand guard, you’d have to run an extended free float hand guard, change to a low profile gas block, buy a new front sight, and if you’re not overly technically savvy, pay a gunsmith to change most of that out for you. That can add some weight to your platform and take some serious cash out of your ammo fund! This thing has an MSRP of only $34.95, so you’ll have plenty of cash for ammo or other Magpul accessories.
Sure, you get some extra grip space, which is awesome, but you get more than that. This hand guard is rock solid. It’s not a free float, but it is every bit as sturdy as one. I got a little frustrated putting it on the rifle, because there is a bit of a trick to it, but once it locked in, I could see, or rather feel, why. There’s zero movement – zero! It actually has teeth that lock the upper and lower sections of the hand guard together. Much like the MOE SL Stock, there’s no wiggle, jiggle or rattle at all. If they made one for a mid-length gas system, I’d stop typing right now and order it this instant.
If all of that doesn’t have you convinced to part with less than $40, you also get the added versatility and ease-of-use of the new M-LOK system. M-LOK is a modular, locking mounting system for the direct attachment of accessories and it is very simple to use. I actually had to read the instructions when mounting the AFG-2 M-LOK Adapter Rail, because I was trying to make it way more difficult than it actually was. I really hate to admit that, but it’s the truth. M-LOK is designed to use the negative space on Magpul’s, as well as other companies’, rails and hand guards. It attaches like the diagram shown above. You don’t even need to take the hand guard off, but I mounted this one before I put it on the rifle. Look for more information on the M-LOK system in an upcoming article.
I mentioned the M-LOK AFG-2 adapter rail, and I’m going to have to order one for myself to run on my Remington 870. Magpul completely addressed my issue with running the AFG on their hand guards. Molded of the same high quality material as other Magpul Polymer Rails, the AFG-2 M-LOK Adapter Rail has the same footprint as the AFG-2 and a lower profile than a standard Picatinny rail to ensure a seamless transition between the components. It works extremely well at doing so. Gripping this rifle with the AFG-2 attached is now completely ergonomic.
Overall, the Magpul MOE SL line appears to well thought out and intelligently designed. I like the profile and positioning of the MOE SL Grip. It’s very comfortable and a nice improvement over earlier versions. The MOE SL Carbine Stock is rock solid with zero rattle. Placement of the latch is on point, the action is smooth, and the rifle is very comfortable to fire using it. As I stated earlier, the new MOE SL Hand Guard is definitely something you should consider if you’re in the middle of a rifle build. For the price it’s hard to beat. Plus, when combined with the M-LOK system, it provides ample options for placement of accessories or other attachments. For more information on Magpul’s MOE SL product line, please visit their website.