The original old-school A2 fixed stock worked well—I still use one on my AR-15 deer rifle—however, there are times when other stocks are better suited for the situation.
Collapsible stocks allow an operator to adjust the rifle’s length of pull (LOP) to suit various shooters in T-shirts, full kit, or somewhere in between. And as a survival or bug-out option, the collapsible stock can be adjusted for various family members’ stature. In addition to LOP variations, some stocks have comb-height adjustments to lock-in cheekweld locations for better long-range shooting.
Swapping out a stock on a lower receiver is straightforward as long as you have the correct tools. Following are the first five stock-replacement options that will transform your rifle or carbine.
Ace LTD (HMR) Hammer Stock
Machined from heat-treated aircraft-grade aluminum, the (HMR) Hammer Stock is tough and rugged while being completely user adjustable. Ace LTD says its product is the world’s toughest AR stock. Laser-etched marks on the tube feature seven length-of-pull positions, so it will fit most statures. The Hammer Stocks use spring-loaded ball bearings to ensure collapsing and expanding the stock is smooth and effortless. The cheekpiece adjusts for height, so an operator can set it to the correct elevation to use most scopes and optics. The strike plate is aggressively knurled so the stock will not slip when steadying for a long shot. A rear sling swivel is included. The manufacturer’s stock number is #A126A, $279.94.
Boyds’ Wood Laminate Stocks
Old-school feel in a high-tech wood laminate, the Boyds’ AR stocks give the black rifle the look of a classic hunting rifle. Each stock is unique due to natural variations in wood. Stocks are designed for a drop-in installation to lower receivers with an A2-style buffer tube. No fitting is required. These wood stocks are equipped with a leather-look rubber recoil pad, so the stock stays put when shouldered. Finishes are weather resistant are well as chemical resistant and come in three standard colors: Forest Camo, Nutmeg or Pepper. Custom options are also available. These items are currently not stocked by Cheaper Than Dirt! The manufacturer’s stock numbers are Forest Camo (5E9981D-35-110), Nutmeg (5E9981D-35-111), and Pepper (5E9981D-35-112). All are MSRP $64.
FAB Defense GL-MAG
With the FAB Defense’s GL-MAG M4/AR-15 Survival Buttstock, you will always have a spare magazine available because the stock has a magazine carrier built in that can hold a standard M4 10-round magazine. The stock design is sleek and snag free as well as adjustable for length of pull. Made of high-grade polymer that’s durable, reliable, and lightweight, the stock’s ergonomic design uses a quick-release button that allows an operator to keep the carbine shouldered during a magazine change. These items are currently not stocked by Cheaper Than Dirt! The manufacturer’s stock numbers are Forest Camo (5E9981D-35-110), Nutmeg (5E9981D-35-111), and Pepper (5E9981D-35-112).
Hogue OverMolded Rubber AR Buttstock
The Hogue OverMolded Rubber Collapsible Buttstock is made of reinforced polymer and features an OverMolded rubber cheekpiece. The rubber/polymer hybrid buttpad provides snag-free shouldering. A rubber friction fit joint eliminates rattle. Designed for both Mil-Spec and commercial-size AR buffer tubes, multiple swivel sleeve and sling-mounting locations are built in. Available finishes include Black, Ghillie Green, and Ghillie Tan. Cheaper Than Dirt! stocks the Ghillie Tan model, 2-HO15340, $47.07.
LaRue Tactical R.A.T.
The R.A.T. stock from LaRue Tactical has a two-stage trigger mechanism that allows an operator to adjust the stock’s length of pull while in a variety of shooting positions. Six locking-position adjustments can be made quickly and easily. Constructed of glass-filled polymer with metal internals, the R.A.T. features ambidextrous swivel sockets and integrated 1-inch slots for numerous sling-point attachment options. The locking buttplate slides open to expose an internal compartment. Cheaper Than Dirt! stocks several models, including Black, Flat Dark Earth, OD Green, Foliage, and Urban Dark Earth starting at $33.80.
Additional models covered in the next two installments will be the BCMGunfighter, Daniel Defense Adjustable Buttstock, Law Tactical Gen3 AR Folding Stock Adapter, Vltor IMOD, Ergo F93 Pro Stock, Luth-AR MBA adjustable stock, Magpul ACS Carbine Stock, TacStar AMRS “Adjustable Match Rifle Stock,” and MFT Minimalist Stocks with Paracord.
Would you make any of these mods to your AR? Why? Why not? Tell us in the comment section.
Robert Sadowski has written about firearms and hunting for nearly 15 years. He is the author of four gun books, editor of three others and is a contributor to numerous gun-enthusiast magazines, including Combat Handguns, Black Guns, Tactical Weapons for Military and Police, Gun Tests, Personal and Home Defense, Gun Hunter, SHOT Business, and others. He has a personal affinity for large-caliber revolvers and the AR platform.
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