One constant in the firearms world is gun owners modifying their rifles. From triggers to handguards many people spend as much on after purchase transformations as they do the original gun. One specific item that owners contemplate is the stock. There is a plethora of options in the stock world and educating yourself about them is a wise choice before you part ways with your hard earned cash. There are essentially two divisions when we discuss stocks. One is in the AR platform and the other is in bolt actions. We will look at both and give you some food for thought.
The number of stock available for the AR rifle is huge. They can however be compressed down to a collection of types. First up is the original style that was found on the first M16s to hit the field so many years ago. The fixed A1/A2 stock was a plain looking polymer stock that affixed to the rear of the receiver just like all modern day stocks. These are still popular and have even seen an increase in use as retro style guns have become popular. There are other options in the fixed stock division as well. Magpul makes a good looking fixed stock called the MOE. It provides you with an additional sling loop, quick attach options and a rubber buttpad with internal storage compartment. Another option for a fixed stock is the VLTOR ARM. This is similar to the MOE with sling attachment and battery compartment, but it is also angled to help with a good cheek weld. Another stock from Magpul is the popular PRS stock. This is a precision style stock with adjustable length of pull as well as cheek rest. This is a very popular stock for those interested in using their AR rifles in a precision application. The last fixed stock we will look at is a little more unique. Some rifle owners live in rights restrictive states and have to find legal ways around laws to allow them to keep their guns “compliant.” One such item is the Thordsen Customs AR-15 FRS-15 Butt Stock Kit. The FRS-15 Stock and Buffer Tube Covers allow for the AR-15 enthusiast to comply with state regulations, while still maintaining a functional rifle. It has a very unique look and actually works well.
The next type of stock we will explore for the AR are adjustable stocks. These are what are most commonly found on modern ARs and there are about a billion to choose from. Here are a few to consider. The VLTOR IMOD (Improved Modular Stock) is a great choice. It allows for six different lengths of pull, includes a small storage compartment and is designed to better support a good cheek weld. Any list like this requires the Magpul MOE. This is a lightweight adjustable stock with a great non-slip rubber pad and friendly price tag. One other I will mention is also very popular. The Mission First Battlelink Minimalist. It has decent surface area to support a good cheek weld and shoulder placement while losing some of the material on the underside of the stock. It is a good option when you want to reduce some weight on your gun.
The next types of stock we will look at are those dedicated to bolt action rifles. Like the AR market, there has been a huge growth of options available to the everyday shooter. No longer are we relegated to the plain Jane stock that came with the gun. We will first look at fixed stocks then move on. While most guns come with fixed stocks, there are options in that style that allow us to better fit our needs and style of shooting. One such stock is the McMillan A-4. This fixed stock has an adjustable cheek piece on it as well as an angled almost pistol grip design to help with accuracy. McMillan is one of the kings in this space and their stocks are top notch. Like the McMillan, the Manners MCS- T2A offers an adjustable cheek piece and more ergonomic design for precision shooting. Manners is also well known for their folding stocks. These are a bit of a departure from fixed stocks, but when opened up they serve the same function. The folding aspect simply allows for greater portability. In this design, their TF4A really shines and gives us the features of the MCS-T2A with the added bonus of being foldable.
Beyond fixed stocks we now venture into the world of rifle chassis. These are well designed stocks that offers shooters almost unlimited adjustments and features. One of the most popular is the Masterpiece Arms’ BA chassis. It allows shooters to create almost a perfect fit to their body regarding length of pull, cheek weld and other fine tuning. Another option here is the KRG Whiskey 3 chassis. Like it’s relatives in this field, it is highly adjustable and helps the shooter melt in behind the gun. One last chassis we will touch on is the JAE-700 chassis from J. Allen. This is a solid performing chassis that offers a mix of exceptional rigidity with modularity. Used by a number of elite shooters, it is a winner!
Like anything in the firearms world, you can spend days and weeks reading about your options. This is not wasted time when it comes to choosing a stock. While some AR stocks will set you back $40 there are some rifle chassis that get close to the $2000 mark. Take your time and educate yourself on not only what you want, but what you really need as well. Having to circle back around and buy yet another stock after suffering buyer’s remorse is a heart breaker for sure. Read up and choose wisely!