It is Friday night and you know what that means here at The Firearm Blog, it is FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS! Earlier we took a look at an obsolete weapon-mounted laser that has gained notoriety in Hollywood sci-fi films. Well, today we look at some more antiquated and obsolete technology from Wilcox Industries. Specifically, Wilcox Grips like the Nightstalker PowerGrip and their Ultimate Control Grip.
Wilcox Industries @ TFB:
Get a Grip With Wilcox Grips!
The first up in this article about Wilcox Grips is the Nightstalker PowerGrip. The Wilcox Nightstalker line comes from the 90s. If you recall they made a Nightstalker light and laser for the H&K MK23 which was a modular system. Well, they also made this Nightstalker PowerGrip for a sort of all-in-one light/laser aiming module (LAM). It is a LAM with a built-in vertical grip with an integrated pressure pad/tape switch which also houses the battery compartment.
There were different versions of these Wilcox Grips. This one has all the bells and whistles. It has both infrared laser and illuminator as well as white VIS light and VIS laser. The selector is on the left-hand side. You rotate it to the position you want for the mode you want.
Just below the main white VIS flashlight is the actual laser aiming module (LAM). The two small holes are for the VIS and IR laser. The right-hand side, from the shooter’s POV, is VIS while the other side is IR. The larger hole in the middle is for the IR flashlight.
In any mode, other than OFF, you can press this VIS FLASH button and the visible light will turn on.
Elevation adjustments are under the LAM, you can see the two holes under the Nightstalker housing.
There is an integrated pressure pad in the Nightstalker PowerGrip.
The Wilcox Grips Nightstalker actually has the ability to orient the pressure pad in three positions: left side, front-facing, or right side.
The Nightstalker pressure pad grip has two contact pins that stick out of it. These coincide with the contact points under the PowerGrip housing. There are four cutouts that index with the four protrusions. This prevents the physical grip from spinning when installed. You can see the three positions. Left, right and straight forward.
You may have noticed there is an LCD display under the Nightstalker PowerGrip. This is a common feature for Wilcox grips and lasers. Even my MK23 Nightstalker has an LCD display. Wilcox likes to program their LAMs with the ability to blink the laser. Both the VIS and IR lasers will blink at a certain frequency. The LCD in the Nightstalker PowerGrip shows you the battery life and which blink rate you have chosen. You can select 1-8 by pressing and holding down the button.
Wilcox Ultimate Control Grip
In terms of these two Wilcox grips, the Ultimate Control Grip is more modular and modern. It is a grip pod with integrated switches and ports to run wires to your weapon light and laser. The wires have threaded plugs that need to be screwed into the Ultimate Control Grip. The hexagonal button below those wires is the deploy button for the built-in bipod.
Unlike the stereotypical GripPod, the Wilcox Grips ultimate control grip bipod legs are a little small in comparison.
The switches for the light and laser are near the top of the Control Grip. I have not been able to figure out what the OFF/ON button does. But the paddles on either side are for activating the light and laser. Depending on which port you screw the cable in is the button you use to activate the device. I have my SureFire Scoutlight plugged into the left side and Insight/Crane plug cable on the right side.
The button for the PEQ-15 will do what a normal Insight tape switch can do. It is momentary but if you double-tap the button, the laser will switch to constant on.
The Wilcox Grips Ultimate Control Grip has a special tailcap for SureFire Scoutlights. It has a backup activation button next to the cable port. Unfortunately, you cannot time the position of the tailcap. So for this particular Scoutlight body, when the tailcap is tightened, the button sits close to the rail and the cable is on the outside. What is neat about this tail cap is that double tapping the onboard button or the button on the Ultimate Control Grip will turn the light constant on. One issue with this setup is the fact that the cables are screwed into the tailcap and Ultimate Control Grip. So if the light is mounted and you turn the tailcap to install it, the cable will twist. So if you do not want the cable to be all twisted up, you need to dismount the light and screw the light into the tail cap, then mount the light to your rail.
Unlike the Wilcox Grips Nightstalker, the Ultimate Control Grip has a small throw lever but the Picatinny grabber only opens just wide enough for you to slide the grip on.
Final Thoughts On The Wilcox Grips
The Nightstalker PowerGrip is so old and obsolete but it lives on in video games and clone builds before GWOT. The Ultimate Control Grip on the other hand is slightly more useful. The SureFire Scoutlight compatible tail cap is the most useful since it will work with modern Modlite bodies and heads. But having a grip pod is not great. The feet of the bipod are metal but they are so wobbly and narrow that they do not really provide much in terms of stability. The wires for the Ultimate Control Grip are very hard to find. Often I see the grip sold by itself while the cables often fetch as much or more than the grip. Prices for these are anywhere from a few hundred to almost $1,000. Possibly more depending on the seller.
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