We’ve all done it – trying to be a super slick, tacticool, operator at the range, and grab just a little too far up on the handguard when trying to move into your stance quickly… and brush the barrel, which is still hot from your super cool mag dumps a minute ago. Well, not me — I’m too smooth for that! Don’t listen to Ryan, I most certainly did not just do that on his 7.5″ AR while testing the S.O.M. muzzle brake; that burn on my hand was just an allergic reaction to something, I swear! But to prevent it from happening to anyone else, we have been checking out different handstops. One that we got our hands on is the Samson Keymod Handstop, which also doubles as a barrier device.
The Samson Evolution handstop is a solid piece of kit, made from aluminum. It is Keymod or backer plate mounted, which is nice. It has a small tab rising out of the bottom that fits into a key slot slightly, to prevent the handstop from easily falling out if the keymod cams were to loosen up on you (hasn’t happened to me, but it’s a nice touch). The handstop takes up two keymod points, so two screws hold it in place. The front flat end is textured to give you good grip against barriers like wall corners, windowsills, fallen tree or whatever you want to jam it against. And it is solid enough that jamming it hard into a solid object won’t ruin it it will – just scratch up the finish.
The flat piece used to mount the unit takes up two keymod holes, which is a double edged sword. The flat part that mounts to your weapon is raised, which doesn’t really get in the way of your hand, nor make it uncomfortable, but it is definitely noticeable. I mount it so there is a small space between it and my rear handstop (I use the Lanco Tactical Grip Stop like a AFG/VFG hybrid) so my finger rests right in between. That lets the Samson Handstop stop my hand from hitting a hot barrel, but keeps it out of the way when holding my rifle at the ready. If the handstop was flat to the handguard instead of raised, I’d like it a little bit more as I could get closer to it without feeling the bump.
As for working as a barrier device, the texture on the front is very aggressive (can’t wait till I have to explain the gouges on the wood post in my basement to my wife), and it is a decent size to allow you to get a good grip on a windowsill, doorway corner, etc. It also has a hole in it for a sling hook (HK Style) but I really don’t see the point in that.
While it is a great handstop, my issues with it are:
- It takes up 2 slots – the second screw should be removed, and the bottom plate shortened since the raised tab on the back would prevent the handstop from twisting, so it is wasting material and slots.
- The raised tab should be put in the middle, not the end, between the screws. That would allow the handstop to be pushed out farther toward the end of the handguard. Currently, I can not get it close to flush with the end and it instead has to be a slot farther back than I want.
- The price.
The Samson evolution handstop costs $55 through their website. That is a lot of money. That is way too much money. If the handstop was only $35, it would be a reasonable value and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it. But at $55, and not being able to mount flush to the end of any of my handguards, it is overpriced. That said, if you can find it on sale, and are OK with it mounting an extra slot back, it’s a great handstop and one of the best I’ve seen that works as a barrier device.
Fit and Finish: