If you’re planning on upgrading your AR-15 or building a custom one, you’re going to love this article.
A gun’s stock may seem like a simple part, but there’s actually a lot to it. The buttstock can affect how you carry your weapon as well as your transition between firing positions. This single piece can make or break your shooting experience because it contacts both your shoulder and your cheek while you’re firing.
So, how do you find the right stock for your AR-15?
Well, in this article, we’ll explore eight of the very best AR 15 stocks currently on the market 2023. We’ve laid out the top features, pros and cons, and there’s even a buying guide at the end.
So, let’s get straight to it, starting with the…
- 1 Top 8 Best AR 15 Stocks Reviews
- 1.1 1 Strike Industries Mod-1 Stock Black/Red – Best Lightweight AR 15 Stock
- 1.2 2 FAB Defense AR-15 Survival Buttstock w/Built-in Mag Carrier – Best Polymer Composite AR 15 Stock
- 1.3 3 Mission First Tactical AR-15 Battlelink Minimalist Stock BMSMIL – Most Customizable AR 15 Stock
- 1.4 4 Mission First Tactical Battlelink Extreme Duty Minimalist Stock – Best Heavy Duty AR 15 Stock
- 1.5 5 Maxim Defense Industries AR-15 Combat Carbine Stock – Best Premium AR 15 Stock
- 1.6 6 Bravo Company BCMGUNFIGHTER Stock Mod-0 Flat Dark Earth AR-15 Mil-Spec – Strongest AR 15 Stock
- 1.7 7 Leapers UTG Pro AR15 Ops Ready S4 Mil-Spec Stock – Best Budget AR 15 Stock
- 1.8 8 Adaptive Tactical EX Performance Adjustable M4-Style AR15/AR10 Stock – Most Versatile AR 15 Stock
- 2 Best AR 15 Stocks Buying Guide
- 2.1 So, which style of stock is right for you?
- 2.2 After all, more moving parts generally means a higher risk of failure…
- 2.3 Now, not all adjustable stocks are built the same…
- 2.4 Sometimes, weight is all that really matters…
- 2.5 Is your AR-15 used for hunting, or as a personal defense weapon?
- 2.6 The final option doesn’t appear on our list, but they are an option…
- 2.7 There are also those unique little extras to take into consideration…
- 2.8 Will you require a Sling for your AR-15?
- 2.9 Looking for more superb products for your AR?
- 3 So, what are the Best AR 15 Stocks?
Top 8 Best AR 15 Stocks Reviews
1 Strike Industries Mod-1 Stock Black/Red – Best Lightweight AR 15 Stock
If you’re looking for an easy to install AR-15 stock, then check out the Mod-1 Stock from Strike Industries. It’s one of the best lightweight stocks for a few reasons. It also looks rather awesome with the black and red color combination.
How does it install?
This unit is a drop-in replacement buttstock that will fit both the AR-15 and the M16. It does so through the use of mil-spec sized receiver extension tubes.
It measures just shy of 7-1/2 inches long and weighs 6.6 ounces. The width is 1.74 inches at the QD cups, and it measures 4.45 inches high.
Does it feature a rubber buttpad?
It does not come equipped with a buttpad, which will both please and annoy some shooters. However, it does work with the Viper Mod-1 Buttpad, which is, of course, sold separately. And you’ll want it; otherwise, this buttstock tends to slide from the shoulder due to being hard and slick.
The Mod-1 Stock is also equipped with a few features that military professionals will love. Besides being lightweight and compact, it also has an adjustable length of pull. The LOP can be set anywhere from 11.25 – 14.25 inches.
But wait, there’s more…
There are also QD sling mounting points built into both sides. We found these to be well-placed for optimum usage.
The cheek weld has also been enhanced for greater comfort. This all comes together to create one of the best AR 15 stocks for the price.
- Weighs 6.6 oz.
- Slide-on replacement for factory buttstock.
- QD sling mounting points.
- Works with and without rubber a buttpad.
- Enhanced cheek weld.
- 11.25″ to 14.25″ length of pull.
- Not so cheap if you add the rubber buttpad.
2 FAB Defense AR-15 Survival Buttstock w/Built-in Mag Carrier – Best Polymer Composite AR 15 Stock
If you want a stock that does a bit extra, check out this next option from FAB Defense. They make an AR-15 Survival Buttstock that is equipped with a little something special.
Why carry around an empty stock?
This is especially when there’s one that will hold a spare clip for you. That’s right; this buttstock comes with a 10-round spare magazine with a quick-release button. You’ll be able to quickly and easily reload without taking your hands off the weapon.
It’s composed of a fiberglass reinforced polymer composite. This makes it an exceptionally durable and sleek design. Plus, there are no protruding parts to catch on gear.
Will it fit your tube?
This unit has been specked out to fit both Mil-Spec and commercial tubes. It comes with quick detach (QD) sling swivel connectors that are located on both sides. This makes it ideal for both righties and lefties.
It’s not the lightest option on our list, at a hair over one pound. However, we like that you get a very accessible spare magazine. It gives you an edge in the field, plus it doesn’t interfere with your shoulder positioning.
A bit sloppy…
The only complaint we have with this option is the tube fit. It feels a bit sloppy, with more play than we’d expected. It’s not bad; it just doesn’t feel like a precision-cut match.
- Weighs 1.043 lb.
- Spare 10-round quick release magazine built-in.
- Fits Mil-Spec and commercial tubes.
- Ambidextrous QD rear sling swivel connectors.
- Fiberglass reinforced polymer composite.
- Fit doesn’t feel tight over the tube.
Mission First Tactical makes another excellent stock replacement for the AR-15. The Battlelink Minimalist Stock is exceptionally lightweight. It also allows for more customization than many other options.
What do we mean by customization?
This stock can be customized to fit your operational needs. Not only does it feature optimized sling configurations, but it’s also equipped with custom accessory mounts.
There are multiple sling slots. This allows for single-point mounting, which can easily be detached thanks to the QD fittings. We think this is a great option for ambidextrous shooters.
What about installation?
This unit is designed as a slide-on replacement for collapsible buttstocks. It also includes a roll-pin, so there is no need to alter your weapon. Just pin the stock in place, and hit the field.
It also features an enhanced cheek weld. Even better, though, is the angled non-slip buttpad. It’s rubberized to stay in place but shaped not to interfere with clothing or body armor.
- Weighs 5.8 oz.
- Roll pin included.
- Slide-on installation.
- Angled non-slip rubberized buttpad.
- Multiple QD sling slots.
- Enhanced cheek weld.
- Not as durable as some other options.
If the item reviewed just above looks almost perfect, then you might also want to check out the Battlelink Extreme Duty Minimalist Stock. It’s also produced by Mission First Tactical and has some of the same features.
Is it still easy to mount?
Yes, this unit has the same slide-on setup as the item detailed above. It also has an angled non-slip rubberized buttpad. This can be removed for a faster presentation if desired.
It also features the same single-point mounting points in the sling slot’s design. In addition, these rear sling mounting points offer a QD attachment.
So what’s the difference?
This unit is equipped with a modular buffer tube plunger system. It’s reinforced with a metal chassis, making it considerably more durable.
This makes it ideal for larger caliber platforms, like tactical shotguns. It’s also a great choice for those that need something super tough. We think it’s one of the best heavy-duty AR-15 stocks for the price.
- Slide-on design.
- Angled non-slip rubberized buttpad.
- Multiple sling slots.
- QD sling mounting point.
- Enhanced cheek weld.
- Modular Buffer Tube Plunger System.
- More cumbersome than some other options.
5 Maxim Defense Industries AR-15 Combat Carbine Stock – Best Premium AR 15 Stock
If the price is no concern, then you might like our next listing. It’s a fair bit more expensive than other options on our list. But is it worth it?
Made by Maxim Defense Industries, this AR-15 Combat Carbine Stock is a great option if durability is your main concern; in fact, it’s the most durable AR 15 stock you can buy.
What’s it made from?
This stock and its housing are made from 7075 aluminum. This provides for one of the best strength-to-weight performance ratios. It also accommodates any buffer of your choice.
There is a full-length cheek weld, no matter how far you have the stock extended. It also allows you to continue using the existing bolt carrier and spring/buffer.
Is it adjustable?
Yes, this option supplies three positions of adjustment. It also has a built-in anti-rotational sling mount on both sides of the housing.
We also like the hex pattern on the back end of the stock. This gives you better gripping performance and comfort. Plus, there is a maxim collapse lever for one-handed operation. This level is even easy to use with wet or gloved hands, thanks to the knurled design.
The only downside is its slightly heavy, at 19.8 ounces.
- Weighs 19.8 oz.
- 3-position adjustment.
- Built-in anti-rotational sling mounts.
- Composed of 7075 aluminum.
- Full-length cheek weld.
- Most expensive option on our list.
6 Bravo Company BCMGUNFIGHTER Stock Mod-0 Flat Dark Earth AR-15 Mil-Spec – Strongest AR 15 Stock
If you want the strongest lightweight polymer stock on the market, then check out Bravo Company. Their BCMGUNFIGHTER™ stock is available in a flat dark earth color that’s ideal for desert camouflage.
What sets this option apart?
Bravo Company has spent over a year developing and testing this new platform. They have reinvented the stock interface with their new patent-pending latch design.
It’s also equipped with a mil-spec receiver extension, which many shooters will appreciate. All in all, we found it to provide superior strength and durability. This is excellent for mortaring malfunction clearance drills and real-life tactical use.
But wait, there’s more…
It also has a smart snag-free design. There are no sharp edges to get tangled up and cause issues. Plus, this setup has a modular VBOST, or vehicle-borne operations sling tab. This is ideal for those times when you’re operating from within a vehicle. It works by interfacing the shooter’s riggers’ band with the sling when the carbine is not being used.
You also get two types of sling mounting options, both of which are ambidextrous. This includes QD swivel sockets. We think this all comes together to create one of the best heavy-duty stocks for AR-15s.
- Weighs 19.8 oz.
- QD swivel sling sockets.
- Snag-free design.
- VBOST modular system.
- Mil-spec receiver extension.
- Not the most badass looking design.
7 Leapers UTG Pro AR15 Ops Ready S4 Mil-Spec Stock – Best Budget AR 15 Stock
If you’re after an AR-15 stock with a minimal bulk profile, then check out this next option from Leapers. The UTG Pro is an Ops ready S4 Mil-spec stock for your AR15 rifle.
It’s the least expensive option reviewed, but is it any good?
The UTG Pro is molded from impact-resistant high-strength polymers. It’s available in matte black or flat dark earth. We like that it’s lightweight and features a rather compact design.
It also features a unique 4.28-inch length. This is adjustable to four different positions for a comfortable length of pull. It’s also designed to be easy to shoulder, even when wearing body armor.
That’s not all…
The UTG Pro AR-15 stock also features a rubberized buttpad and an ergonomic slanted cheek rest. This will keep you firing all day long with comfort and with ultimate control. The 5.51-inch extended cheek rest is also included and is easily removable.
There is also a reversible sling swivel housing. This makes it ideal for both right and left-handed shooters. They also include a standard sling loop if you prefer more traditional slings.
This option is also designed to work with Leapers Super Slim Handguards. These are sold separately and can provide a superior firearm handling experience.
Overall, we like the low profile and lightweight design. It feels fairly heavy-duty just the same, making this one of the best affordable AR-15 stocks you can buy.
- Unique 4.28-inch length.
- Slanted cheek rest.
- Reversible sling swivel housing.
- High-strength polymer.
- Compact and lightweight design.
- Offers limited adjustability.
8 Adaptive Tactical EX Performance Adjustable M4-Style AR15/AR10 Stock – Most Versatile AR 15 Stock
One of the best M4-style AR-15 stocks is made by Adaptive Tactical. Its EX Performance Stock is a great DIY option. So, whether you’re looking to upgrade or starting a whole new build, this might just be perfect.
Is it easy to install?
Oh yeah, installation is a breeze. It features a covered takedown pin that makes both installation and removal straightforward. It also eliminates the discomfort that can be caused by protruding pins.
The EX Performance also features an adjustable length of pull. This is achieved via the rapid adjust lever, which is strategically placed for easy access.
What about a recoil pad?
Yes, this option also has a rubber recoil pad. It’s vented and has a non-slip design for better control of the recoil. This generates both greater comfort while shooting and helps you maintain accuracy.
The stock is constructed from high-impact polymer. This provides a solid level of durability without adding much weight to your build. It also features integrated QD swivel attachments. This allows you to mount a sling, which makes lugging the weapon around much easier.
- Easy to install.
- Rubber recoil pad.
- High-impact polymer construction.
- QD swirl attachments.
- Rapid adjust lever.
- Provides minimal adjustment compared with some other options.
Best AR 15 Stocks Buying Guide
One of the best things about the AR-15 is how easily it can be customized, and there are many parts that you can swap out very easily. Or, you can always start from the ground-up and build yourself a truly custom rifle.
The stock is the first thing many shooters upgrade because we all have differing shooting styles. We also all have different priorities and expectations of how the stock should feel.
So, which style of stock is right for you?
This is the first thing to consider when looking for the best AR-15 stocks. There are five different styles of stocks to consider: fixed, adjustable, minimalist, compact, and folding. Next, we’ll discuss each one in turn.
First of all, we will look at fixed stocks, which are the most basic of the lot. These offer no real adjustment in terms of length. While this is limiting, it also helps keep down the weight while increasing durability. Fixed stocks tend to be the most durable.
After all, more moving parts generally means a higher risk of failure…
However, adjustable stocks are easily the most popular options. This style of stock generally allows you to adjust the length, and occasionally other features as well. Some options even include an adjustable cheek riser.
This style of stock is ideal for multiple shooting scenarios. No matter what situation you find yourself in, you can easily adjust the stock as needed.
Now, not all adjustable stocks are built the same…
There can be a significant difference in the number of adjustments afforded by each stock. Some offer only a few length options to choose from, while others are considerably more adjustable.
They also tend to weigh more than fixed stocks. Some even include a small compartment for storing tools. This can be a lifesaver in the field if you run into any minor issues with the weapon.
Sometimes, weight is all that really matters…
Minimalist stocks, on the other hand, are generally the lightest option available. These are often lacking any kind of rubber buttpad or other features that might add bulk or weight.
If you’re going to be in the field for long hours, every ounce cut from the weapon matters. It will keep your arms and shoulders from tiring out as quickly. Plus, there are generally fewer features that can fail you.
Is your AR-15 used for hunting, or as a personal defense weapon?
PDW stocks for the AR-15 are generally adjustable, but more compact than other options. They also are often equipped with their own buffer system.
This is because they’ll need to accommodate the shorter buffer tube that many shooters prefer for self-defense scenarios. The adjustability makes them compatible with multiple shooters, while the compact design is ideal for tactical situations and drills.
The final option doesn’t appear on our list, but they are an option…
Folding AR-15 stocks make the weapon far easier to carry or to pack away. These are highly popular in wild game tracking or battle situations. They create less length that can get tangled in brush or on your other gear.
However, they also aren’t legal in many areas. California law states that a rifle that folds to under 26 inches is considered an SBR. We find this rather idiotic as it’s not the barrel your shortening.
There are also those unique little extras to take into consideration…
By this, we are referring to options like the…
…we reviewed. Having a spare clip so easily accessible can really change the game. This is especially if it’s a life or death situation.
Similarly, rubber buttpads are a love them or hate them feature. They can significantly reduce the felt recoil, which is awesome. However, some shooters share that it slows down their presentation. This is because the rubber can easily get caught on your clothes or body armor. It all depends on the materials, pattern, and shape used on the butt of the stock.
Will you require a Sling for your AR-15?
Most of the stock on our list feature sling mounts. This is because the AR-15 can quickly start to feel heavy when you have miles ahead of you to walk.
The best AR-15 stocks feature ambidextrous sling mounts with a quick disconnect mount. This allows you to easily and quickly attach/remove the sling.
Looking for more superb products for your AR?
You may also be interested in our comprehensive reviews of the Best AR 15 ACOG Scopes, the Best AR 15 Lower Reciever, the Best AR 15 Charging Handles, and the Best Scope Mounts for AR15 Rifle on the market in 2024.
Or, if you’re looking for your first, or another, AR, check out our in-depth Palmetto State Armory AR 15 review.
So, what are the Best AR 15 Stocks?
Whether upgrading or starting from scratch, you’ll need the right AR-15 stock for ultimate customization. It’s the one piece that’s directly against your body, so you won’t want to skimp here.
Hopefully, one of the best stocks for AR 15 we reviewed has jumped out as the perfect setup for your AR-15. If not, there’s no need to stress. We’re here to help you all the way through.
We recommend the…
It’s built tough, highly adjustable, and full of intelligent features. What more could you possibly want?
Have a happy hunting and successful AR-15 shooting experience.