Friday, 21 Sep 2018

12 Best AR-15 Stocks [Hands-On]: Adjustable, Light, Precision

12 Best AR-15 Stocks [Hands-On]: Adjustable, Light, Precision


Looking for the best AR-15 stock to upgrade or finish a new build?

It’s an important decision.

One that will impact cheekweld, weight, and most importantly…looks (duh).

Best AR-15 Buttstocks

I’ve built, bought, and shot a lot of AR-15s…from general builds to lightweight, pistol caliber carbine (PCC), and precision rigs.

If you want to know the best buttstock for your specific purpose…read on!

I’ll break everything down with a bazillion pictures.

Table of Contents

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Best Adjustable Stocks

Adjustable AR-15 Buttstocks
Adjustable AR-15 Buttstocks

1. Magpul MOE

This bad boy set a baseline from the mil-spec (military specification) buttstock which did its job.

Mil-Spec and Magpul MOE Buttstocks
Mil-Spec and Magpul MOE Buttstocks

The Magpul MOE (Magpul Original Equipment) was on my first rifle…and as you’ll see coming up…I like to rattle-can my AR furniture.

The cheekweld on the MOE vs the Mil-Spec is roughly the same.

Mil-Spec and MOE Cheekweld
Mil-Spec and MOE Cheekweld

But it just looked so much cooler…plus had a bunch more places to place a sling.

If your first rifle comes with one too…you can’t go wrong.

But if you’re looking for my new favorite “standard”…keep on reading!

  • Weight: 8 oz.
Magpul MOE Stock

Magpul MOE Stock

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Compare prices (3 found)

  • Brownells (See Price)
  • Rainier Arms (See Price)
  • Optics Planet (See Price)

Prices accurate at time of writing

2. Mission First Battlelink Minimalist

Pretty new in the AR-15 buttstock world…but the Battlelink Minimalist is already taking over with lightweight builds.

Battlelink Minimalist Stock
Battlelink Minimalist Stock

It probably gives up a little structural integrity by losing the triangle shape…but you lose a few precious ounces.

And if you find it snagging on equipment…you can bungee or paracord something together.

MFT Battlelink with Paracord
MFT Battlelink with Paracord

Cheekweld is an upgrade from the Magpul MOE but nothing to write home about.

Battlelink vs MOE Cheekweld
Battlelink vs MOE Cheekweld

And how about a back shot?  You get a little more traction on your shoulder and I like that little curve in.

Battlelink vs MOE Back
Battlelink vs MOE Back

If you’re thinking of a lightweight build but don’t want to go ULTRA light weight (and heavy on price)…this is the one to get.

  • Weight: 5.8 oz
MFT Battlelink Minimalist

MFT Battlelink Minimalist

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Compare prices (2 found)

  • Brownells (See Price)
  • Rainier Arms (See Price)

Prices accurate at time of writing

3. B5 Systems Bravo

My go-to for a competitive/speed build where you still want to have a great cheekweld is B5 System’s Bravo.

B5 Systems Bravo Stock
B5 Systems Bravo Stock

It’s lightweight for the extra amount of space to get that perfect and repeatable cheekweld.

Bravo vs MOE Cheekweld
Bravo vs MOE Cheekweld

If you’re used to “regular” buttstocks, then switching over to one with a great surface like the Bravo stock will change your life.

Check out my bottom two rifles rocking the Bravo.  Full Slickguns Review PSA 5.56 AR-15s.

PSA 5.56 & .223 Wylde
PSA 5.56 & .223 Wylde

The back is pretty normal and gives a good grip without snagging.

Bravo vs MOE Back
Bravo vs MOE Back

PLUS…it’s not too bad on the wallet at under $60.

My overall favorite for the best adjustable buttstock at a reasonable price.

  • Weight: 9.6 oz
Editor’s Adjustable Stock Pick
Bravo B5 Stock

Bravo B5 Stock

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Compare prices (2 found)

  • Brownells (See Price)
  • Rainier Arms (See Price)

Prices accurate at time of writing

4. Magpul MOE-SL

Next up is another Magpul creation…the MOE-SL…or slim line.

Magpul MOE SL Stock
Magpul MOE SL Stock

It’s a definite upgrade from the MOE and close to the Bravo in terms of cheekweld for me.  But still not better.

MOE SL vs MOE Cheekweld
MOE SL vs MOE Cheekweld

It matches up the Bravo in weight and price too.  So if you want a better cheekweld than normal and love the look over the plainer Bravo…get the SL.

  • Weight: 9.6 oz
Magpul MOE-SL Stock

Magpul MOE-SL Stock

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Compare prices (3 found)

  • Brownells (See Price)
  • Rainier Arms (See Price)
  • Optics Planet (See Price)

Prices accurate at time of writing

5. Magpul STR

The Magpul STR has my favorite cheekweld of all the adjustable stocks.

MOE STR Stock
MOE STR Stock

It comes in a little heavier at 12.5 oz but the STR (storage type restricted) also has water resistant battery tubes on the side.

Oh…and did I mention the cheekweld?

MOE STR vs MOE Cheekweld
MOE STR vs MOE Cheekweld

It’s huge…you could land a plane on that thing!  And for your face…it makes it super comfy and repeatable for whatever optic you’ll be using.

It came on my PSA AR-10 .308 (full Slickguns Review) and it was great shooting a larger caliber.

PSA AR-10 .308
PSA AR-10 .308

Back has the same footprint as the regular MOE…but again you can see that nice slope for storing batteries and giving you comfort.

MOE STR vs MOE Back
MOE STR vs MOE Back

My favorite cheekweld buttstock if you don’t mind the larger size, weight, and price.  Also great for precision builds if you want something easily collapsible.

  • Weight: 12.3 oz
Best Cheekweld
Magpul STR Stock

Magpul STR Stock

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Compare prices (2 found)

  • Brownells (See Price)
  • Rainier Arms (See Price)

Prices accurate at time of writing

6. VLTOR IMOD

One of the first buttstocks to have an expanded cheekweld was the VLTOR IMOD.

VLTOR IMOD
VLTOR IMOD

I’ve shot this bad boy probably the most…and it shows.  However it’s stood the test of time and thousands of rounds.

Plus it has has probably given me a lot of paint on my face.

VLTOR IMOD vs MOE Cheekweld
VLTOR IMOD vs MOE Cheekweld

It’s very comparable to the Magpul STR in terms of cheekweld (edge still to the STR)…and it has battery compartments as well.

VLTOR IMOD vs MOE Back
VLTOR IMOD vs MOE Back

And for about $20 more…you’ll shave off some ounces.

So if ounces = pounds, and pounds = pain…but you still want an awesome cheekweld…the IMOD is for you.

  • Weight: 9.5 oz
VLTOR IMOD Stock

VLTOR IMOD Stock

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Compare prices (3 found)

  • Brownells (See Price)
  • Rainier Arms (See Price)
  • Optics Planet (See Price)

Prices accurate at time of writing

Best Fixed & Lightweight Stocks

7. Strike Industries Viper Fixed

I really wanted to like this one for my featureless builds (AR-15 Featureless Guide).

Strike has been one of the most innovative and affordable companies out there…and I love their featureless grips.

Strike Industries Viper Fixed Stock
Strike Industries Viper Fixed Stock

But their Viper Fixed Stock is a miss for me.

Price was right but the large screw inside messed up somehow and I couldn’t install it for the life of me.  Many forums and YouTube videos later…I gave up.

AND it’s taking a buffer tube down with it…

  • Weight: 12.8
Strike Industries Viper Fixed Stock

Strike Industries Viper Fixed Stock

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Prices accurate at time of writing

8. Magpul MOE Fixed

Magpul’s entry into the fixed stock world is the MOE Fixed Stock.

Not an original name…but very decent for the price.

Magpul MOE Fixed Stock
Magpul MOE Fixed Stock

Installs very easily and has the same cheekweld as a regular MOE.

MOE Fixed vs MOE Cheekweld
MOE Fixed vs MOE Cheekweld

If you want a fixed stock with no trouble such as pinning or buying another gadget…the MOE fixed is the way to go.

  • Weight: 9.5 oz
Magpul MOE Fixed Stock

Magpul MOE Fixed Stock

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Compare prices (2 found)

  • Brownells (See Price)
  • Rainier Arms (See Price)

Prices accurate at time of writing

9. ELF Ultralight

A very cool entry from ELF which makes some kickass triggers (Best AR-15 Triggers) is their Ultralight stock.

ELF Ultralight Stock
ELF Ultralight Stock

Other than the very large “USA” on the side…it looks super cool.  Even the wife said so!

It’s design lets you adjust the length while being ULTRA light.  Just make sure to fully release the knob or else you can scratch your buffer tube (ask me how I know).

ELF vs MOE Cheekweld
ELF vs MOE Cheekweld

You also have to know that the cheekweld is going to not be great.  It’s not on a plain buffer tube…but now you’ll have to content with those two metal rings.

It’s good for a super fast competition gun where you’re keeping your head high.  And for temperate climates only…I wouldn’t want to use that in sub-zero or 100+ degree heat.

ELF vs MOE Back
ELF vs MOE Back

If you want to look cool, save a couple ounces, and can spend the extra coin…get the ELF.

  • Weight: 5.2 oz
Best Lightweight Stock
ELF Ultralight Stock

ELF Ultralight Stock

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Prices accurate at time of writing

10. Battle Arms Development LBS

Another entry into the ultralight arena is BAD’s LBS (lightweight butt stock).

Battle Arms Development LBS
Battle Arms Development LBS

It’s stupid light at 3 oz.

And gives you a smooth buffer tube as a cheekweld.

LBS vs MOE Cheekweld
LBS vs MOE Cheekweld

Just be sure that you’re ok with the short length of pull…you’re basically stuck with your buffer tube length.

LBS vs MOE Back
LBS vs MOE Back

Great for a SBR with a more vertical-angled pistol grip which will help with the short buttstock.

  • Weight: 3.0 oz
Lightest Stock
Battle Arms Development LBS

Battle Arms Development LBS

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Compare prices (2 found)

  • Rainier Arms (See Price)
  • Brownells (See Price)

Prices accurate at time of writing

Best Precision Stocks

11. Luth AR

If you want something heavier and really adjustable for not just length of pull…but cheekriser too.  Luth’s AR stock does so at a reasonable price.

Luth AR
Luth AR

Both the rear and cheekweld section are able to be minutely adjusted and locked to suite your scoped rifle needs.  Here it is on my Aero M5 .308 (full Slickguns Review).

Aero M5 .308 AR-10
Aero M5 .308 AR-10

Cheekweld is better than the MOE but not approaching the others that have a slanted edge.

Luth AR vs MOE Back
Luth AR vs MOE Back

However the name of the game is adjustability and rear weight.  In that area the Luth AR excels.

Plus…it’s more affordable than the current gold standard that is coming up.

  • Weight: 19 oz for rifle length version
Luth AR Modular Stock

Luth AR Modular Stock

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Compare prices (2 found)

  • Brownells (See Price)
  • Rainier Arms (See Price)

Prices accurate at time of writing

12. Magpul PRS

The go-to for a precision AR stock…Magpul’s PRS Gen 3.

Magpul PRS
Magpul PRS

It definitely feels more quality than the Luth with its construction and easier adjustment knobs that have a satisfying click.

Cheekweld is also slightly better.

Magpul PRS vs MOE Cheekweld
Magpul PRS vs MOE Cheekweld

Plus it can fit on both rifle and carbine length buffer tubes.

PRS vs MOE Back
PRS vs MOE Back

This is what you get when you’re serious about precision in the AR-10 and AR-15 platforms.

It has the weight and price tag to warrant it.

  • Weight: 31 oz
Best Precision Stock
Magpul PRS Buttstock

Magpul PRS Buttstock

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Compare prices (3 found)

  • Brownells (See Price)
  • Rainier Arms (See Price)
  • Opticsplanet (See Price)

Prices accurate at time of writing

Conclusion

There you have it…a dozen of the most popular AR-15 buttstocks out there.

Hopefully you’ve figured out which one is right for your purpose and budget.

To sum it up…

My favorite overall adjustable stock is the B5 Systems Bravo:

Editor’s Adjustable Stock Pick
Bravo B5 Stock

Bravo B5 Stock

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Compare prices (2 found)

  • Brownells (See Price)
  • Rainier Arms (See Price)

Prices accurate at time of writing

While the one with the best cheekweld is Magpul’s STR:

Best Cheekweld
Magpul STR Stock

Magpul STR Stock

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Compare prices (2 found)

  • Brownells (See Price)
  • Rainier Arms (See Price)

Prices accurate at time of writing

And the no-frills fixed stock of the day is the Magpul MOE Fixed:

Magpul MOE Fixed Stock

Magpul MOE Fixed Stock

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Compare prices (2 found)

  • Brownells (See Price)
  • Rainier Arms (See Price)

Prices accurate at time of writing

If you’re going ultralight and want adjustability…go with ELF’s Ultralight:

Best Lightweight Stock
ELF Ultralight Stock

ELF Ultralight Stock

See It

Prices accurate at time of writing

And for the gold standard in precision stocks…take a look at Magpul’s PRS:

Best Precision Stock
Magpul PRS Buttstock

Magpul PRS Buttstock

See It

Compare prices (3 found)

  • Brownells (See Price)
  • Rainier Arms (See Price)
  • Opticsplanet (See Price)

Prices accurate at time of writing

How did we do?  Any popular stocks that you want to see in a future article update?  Want more AR-15 upgrades?  Check out our AR-15 Ultimate Guide.

The post 12 Best AR-15 Stocks [Hands-On]: Adjustable, Light, Precision appeared first on Pew Pew Tactical.

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