Best AR-15 Folding Stock Adapters of 2020 – Buyer’s Guide

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Finding the right AR-15 folding stock adapter might be a challenge. Especially if you have no clue how to distinguish a great one from something that’s considered cheap and crappy in quality. But a stock adapter is definitely a must if you’re looking to add on a folding stock to your current AR-15 or if you’re building a rifle from the ground up. Either way, you’ll need one if you plan on making your AR-15 more compact and easy to store.

To get you on the right path, we’ve put together a list of five of the best AR-15 folding stock adapters that are currently on the market as of today.

Before we get to our list, we’ll talk about whether or not folding stocks are the same or if they are different in some way or another. We’ll talk about what these adapters are, what purpose they serve, plus a list on how you can choose one for your own use. 

Comparison Chart of the Best AR-15 Folding Stock Adapters

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Will fit all kinds of receiver extensions.
  • Best overall AR-15 folding stock adapter.
  • Machined from high-quality steel for solid attachment of any type of folding stock.
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  • Steel locking mechanism.
  • Can be used with your current buttstock.
  • Has one way and two-way locking configurations.
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  • Weighs 4.5 ounces.
  • Made from high-quality aluminum.
  • Can fit with most fixed or folding AR-15 stocks.
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Are All Adapters The Same?

The short answer: no. To give you a more detailed answer, they are different in all kinds of designs. Especially if you’re looking for something that will allow you to fold your stock for more compact space.

However, they do have the same purpose. And that is connecting your folding stock to the AR-15 itself so it will allow it to do its job as designed.

What is a Folding Stock Adapter and What is it Used For?

A folding stock adapter is an accessory that allows you to easily install a folding stock on your AR-15 rifle. Sometimes, installing a folding stock outright may tend to be a challenge. Especially when the rifle itself is designed to not have a folding stock at the outset. An adapter will make your rifle adaptable to one.

Law Tactical LLC - AR-15/M16 Gen3-M Folding Stock Adapter

How to Choose an AR-15 Folding Stock Adapter

As you’re looking for your own folding stock adapter, you may want to take a closer look at the following aspects that are included on this list. These will give you an idea of what to look out for and what makes the difference between a great folding stock adapter from one that's considered to be low-quality. Here's a list of what you need to look out for:

Price

As a budget shopper, you will always hold the price to a high priority. If you find a folding stock adapter that fits your desired price range, you should definitely consider looking at the overall quality of the product itself.

Installation

If you don't have any expert level gunsmithing skills, then you have nothing to worry about. Most of these adapters will be easy to install. It is highly recommended that you choose one that is considered a “drop-in” adapter if you lack gunsmithing skills.

AR-15 Rifle or Pistol

A folding stock adapter doesn’t have to be used for just an AR-15 rifle. In fact, you can use one to attach to your AR-15 pistol. This way, it will allow you to use it along with a good buffer tube and a pistol brace that you can use. Since you won’t be able to use a buttstock on an AR-15 pistol, a brace will be an appropriate substitute.

Quick Take - The Best AR-15 Folding Stock Adapters

Review of the Best AR-15 Folding Stock Adapters

Below are some of the best AR-15 stock adapters that are currently on the market. As you go through each of these adapters, consider taking note of the kinds of features and functions that it may have.

This way, if it checks off any boxes of what your ideal adapter might consist of, you'll know it might be worth the investment. With that said, let's begin our review list with our “best overall” choice:

Pros

  • Easy to install
  • Very easy for transport and concealability
  • Will work with pistol braces if you’re using an AR-15 pistol

Cons

  • Folding position is for storage only, it cannot be fired in the folding position

What Recent Buyers Report

Most users say that this was easy to install and took about five minutes max. Once installed, they were able to tack on their folding stock of choice with ease. One user said that it was just as easy to install the adapter and said the same about his stock of choice.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Leading off our list will be the Law Tactical LLC folding stock adapter. This is designed to allow for quick deployment of your AR-15 rifle while the stock itself is in the folding position.

This adapter is made from high-quality steel to ensure that all of your folding stocks will be sturdy and well-fit. It makes the installation process of your folding stock quick and easy so you can store and transport your AR-15 rifle at any given time.

This is a versatile stock adapter that will fit a wide variety of receiver extensions from your A2 to your mil-spec and everything in between. The one button it comes with will allow for quick deployment and quick folding once everything is all said and done at the range or after a day of hunting.

This adapter is machined from high-quality steel and has the ability to handle any kind of AR-15 rifle. Just add this adapter and you can install any kind of folding stock you choose. If your looking for an adapter that is considered the best of the best, then the Law Tactical folding stock adapter might be right up your alley.

Who Will Use This Most

This will go well with plenty of folding stocks. So compatibility won’t be much of an issue. It’s fitting for multiple purposes and will make the install process for any folding stock quick and painless.

Bottom Line

The Law Tactical LLC Gen-3 M Folding Stock Adapter is the perfect solution for all of your installation needs. Find a folding stock of your choice after installing this and you’ll be good to go for any application.

The Law Tactical folding stock adapter is the best overall for all the right reasons. The fact that it fits almost every receiver extension out there proves its versatility.

On top of that, it’s a solid unit that can handle any kind of folding stock that you can think of. If you’re looking for something that is as close to universal as possible, this Law Tactical adapter is exactly that.

Pros

  • No slop or rattle to report
  • Easy to install, takes minutes
  • Compact and easy to store in a folding position

Cons

  • None

What Recent Buyers Report

This adapter was a hit for most users. One thing that they pointed out was a locking mechanism that allowed for easy operation and a locking ability that kept their stocks in place. One user said that he was able to install this in a few minutes along with a folding stock that took the same amount of time. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

Now we’ll be taking a look at the Modular Driven Technologies folding stock adapter. This is best designed for bolt action style rifles that have an AR rifle interface. This is a two-stage style adapter that will give you the best overall performance for your AR-15 rifle.

If you’re using it in the one-way position, you’ll enjoy the best straight line shooting. The two-way position will provide you with a secure hold while it's in the folded position. If you want, try each position to ensure which one is more comfortable for you.

This adapter is made from steel and will provide your stock with a solid and sturdy support system so you can use it for any stock you choose. If you want something that will allow your rifle more adjustable options, then the folding stock adapter from Modular Driven Technologies might be your cup of tea.

Who Will Use This Most

If you are looking for a stock adapter that might be the closest thing to universal then you may want to consider giving this one, in particular, a closer look. You don’t have to worry about which stocks are compatible with this, but it can be better used with a stock that isn’t considered a factory default.

Bottom Line

The Modern Driven Technologies Folding Stock Adapter will prove itself beyond a doubt that it can function as an adapter that can handle any stock you choose. You’d be quite happy with the amount of support it will provide for your stock of choice (especially the folding stocks). For when you need extra stability or better portability, all it takes is a good quality adapter to make it happen.

If you’re looking for a folding stock adapter that is solid and fits like a glove, you can’t go wrong with something like the Modular Driven Technologies folding stock adapter. Whether you’re using a new folding stock or an existing stock, you’re going to get something that will make usability and storage a breeze.

Pros

  • Easy to install
  • Sturdy right out of the box
  • Does a great job allowing for customizable options for your AR-15 rifle

Cons

  • Lock up when extended may be a little too tight for some users

What Recent Buyers Report

Most of the recent buyers say that the adapter was super lightweight and was super simple to install. Plus, they confirmed that it was able to handle so many aftermarket folding stocks. They also added that this was one of the adapters that were great for budget shoppers.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Next, we’ll be taking a look at the Double Star Ace Folding Stock Mechanisms. This is a lightweight folding stock adapter that's made from super durable 7075-T6 aluminum and is light in weight as well. So, if you install this on your AR-15 rifle, you won’t have to worry about making the rifle heavier.

This is compatible with just about any buttstock that you can add on to an AR-15 (especially folding stocks). If you’re looking for something that will give your stock more adjustability, you’ll definitely need a folding stock mechanism that will make it happen. This will work more effectively if you’re working with Double Star’s Ace receiver blocks. If you don’t have one of those, you might want to consider getting one to accompany this folding stock adapter.

Whether your big and tall or short in stature, this will allow you to use an AR-15 with the right kind of adjustments. If you’re looking for a folding stock adapter that will allow you to easily customize your AR-15 rifle, the Double Star Ace Folding Stock Mechanism should be one thing that you don’t want to pass up.

Who Will Use This Most

This might stand out as a stock adapter that will be the closest you can get to a starter model. It’s excellent in quality and affordable for most budgets. Plus it’s the better option for newbie users so you won’t have to spend too much time finding an adapter without spending an arm and a leg.

Bottom Line

The Double Star Ace Folding Stock Mechanism is the perfect add on part for your AR-15 building project or as part of an upgrade for your rifle. It’s quick to install and will guarantee ironclad stability for your stock of choice.

The Double Star folding stock mechanism does a good job holding up all kinds of AR-15 buttstocks. It’s solid in construction and can easily be installed in as little as a few minutes. Regardless if you’re using a fixed stock or a folding stock, it’s a reliable little unit to have to provide superb support for your rifle.

Pros

  • Super durable
  • Easy to install and takes minutes
  • Smooth movements that allow for a more compact AR-15 rifle

Cons

  • None

What Recent Buyers Report

According to one user, he said that this adapter was perfect for his rifle. He added that it took him no more than five minutes to install the adapter and was able to find a folding stock that was compatible with it. Overall, it did a good job keeping the stock intact.

Why it Stands Out to Us

For our last folding stock adapter, we’ll be taking a look at the Modular Driven Technologies AR-15 ESS Chassis Carbine Buttstock Adapter. 

It’s lightweight but it’s very sturdy. And that’s because it’s constructed from high-quality aircraft-grade aluminum that is guaranteed to take on any kind of impact and damage. But once you install this, it will give your stock more stability and less wiggling and looseness. Further proof that the better the quality, the better the chance it will keep your stock in place.

This is your ticket to making your rifle look more customizable to a point where almost any shooter regardless of height or size will be able to use it. This is designed to work with ESS chassis systems on your AR-15 rifle. If that’s what you have, then you know that this is the perfect choice for you. This adapter has threads that will fit buffer tubes that are measured up to 1 3/16” in diameter.

Who Will Use This Most

This might be an adapter for those who are in the market for a more affordable universal adapter. If it can fit any folding stock, then you’ll be good to go. Now you can just pick one that fits your needs and preferences and you can hunt or shoot targets however you want.

Bottom Line

The Modular Driven Technologies AR-15 ESS Chassis Carbine Buttstock Adapter can be a good adapter that handles all kinds of folding stocks (and probably any other stock for that matter). You will not be disappointed with the adapter once you are able to tack this on. It will turn your rifle into the easy to store, space saver you never thought you’d have.

If you’re looking for something that will be part of a customization project that involves the entire AR-15 rifle, then find a stock adapter like this and a folding stock to go with it so you’ll knock out Phase 1 in a matter of minutes.

Pros

  • Easy to install, takes minutes
  • Quick deployment and folding for compact storage
  • Pistol tube will work great as a standalone for AR-15 pistols

Cons

  • None

What Recent Buyers Report 

Most of the new users were owners of AR-15 pistols that were looking for a stock adapter that got more than they expected. They said that the inclusion of the pistol buffer tube made life a whole lot easier for them. They said install was quick and the buffer tube was perfect for so many pistol braces.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

If you’re looking for a folding stock adapter but want to keep it within a certain price range, then this might be a good adapter to have. This is the Brownells brand AR-15 Gen 3 Folding Stock Adapter. This has a pistol buffer tube, which is great if you’re using this to convert an AR-15 pistol into an SBR.

This will work with almost any receiver extender that you can think of (mil-specs, A2, etc.) This has a one-button operation that is designed to allow for quick deployment and quick folding. If you want something that’s easy to use with one touch of the button, then this is the stock adapter that you’ll want.

You can also use the pistol buffer tube as a standalone if you’re building out an AR-15 pistol. Either way, this folding stock adapter does have its uses. Not to be outdone, this has the ability to handle all kinds of harsh weather conditions. So, if you’re in the blistering heat or the freezing cold, this stock adapter will continue to be just as reliable as if it were a nice sunny day in the 70's.

Most importantly, this is an affordable folding stock that you can get at a good price. If you’re not planning on breaking the bank when finding a folding stock of your own, then the Brownells Gen 3 folding stock adapter might be exactly what you’re looking for.

Who Will Use This Most 

If you own a regular rifle or if you own an AR-15 pistol, then this adapter will be a good fit. Its versatility and ease of installation will leave you impressed and will keep everything in place and maintain a sturdy stock or tube (depending on what you are using). This will work out great for target shooters both casual and competitive.

Bottom Line

The Brownells AR-15 Gen 3 Folding Stock Adapter with pistol buffer tube is a nice package deal that you can get for your AR-15 rifle or pistol. No matter how you use it, you’ll get superb support and stability for when you are firing off many rounds at the range.

This buffer tube is quite solid in quality and is perfect for AR-15 pistols and SBR's. And best of all, it’s a great choice for anyone who is on a budget. Even if you have money to play around with, you might be surprised what a budget folding stock can do.

If you’re looking for something that will work with smaller sized AR-15 rifles, this might be the folding stock adapter that you may need. Once you install this on your rifle or AR-15 pistol, you can add a folding stock or pistol brace that will give you better support and in turn, more accurate and precise shots.

How to Install a Folding Stock Adapter

Installing a folding stock adapter on your AR-15 may not be as easy as you think. But once you know how to do it, you’ll be able to install more of these quickly. If you’re a first-timer with these things, follow these steps below so you’ll know what to do:

  1. First and foremost, always check your rifle to see if it’s clear. Meaning check the mag well and release the magazine if needed. Then check the chamber to see if you have a round inside. Once clear, you’ll be ready to move onto the next step.

  2. Next, remove the upper and lower receivers and set them off to the side.

  3. Remove the buffer tube and buttstock from your rifle. Keep the buffer spring and detent in a safe place so you don’t misplace it. Then remove the buffer retainer and spring.

  4. Remove the side plate cover from the hinge assembly. Remove the screw using a 9/64 hex wrench. Remove the correct screw, not the hinge bolt. Remove the cover and spring from the assembly also.

  5. Hold the hinge in place. Then take the flange and screw it in using a flange tool. Once the flange tool bends, that’s an indicator that torque will be applied.

  6. Tighten the hex screw to lock it in place.

  7. Re-install the button spring cover and screw it into the adapter.

  8. Insert the buffer retainer and spring into the stock side of the adapter.

  9. Insert the buffer tube into the folding stock adapter.

  10. Insert the buffer and buffer spring into the receiver extension.

  11. Replace the lower and upper receiver. Then using the charging handle, depress the button and pull the bolt rearwards so it protrudes from the adapter.

  12. Insert the extension into the first shoulder. Press the button and press the bolt all the way into the receiver.

  13. Double check to see if everything is in place. Once everything looks good, you’re done.

Conclusion

The best folding stock adapter is out there. You’ll definitely want one on hand if your goal is to customize your AR-15 rifle to make it look even more compact and easier for portability.

Most important, a folding stock will be your best friend if you’re having a hard time carrying it from one place to the next discreetly. Find an adapter of your choice and a folding stock that will be most compatible with it and you’ll definitely be in business once it’s all installed. 

About Josh Lewis

Josh Lewis the managing editor at Gun Mann and when he isn't writing about guns he is more than likely tinkering with them. He also enjoys hunting, fishing and spending time outdoors. As a lifelong gun owner he knows his stuff!

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