The best AR-15 stock is out there with your name on it. The question is: are you using it as a quick upgrade or are you using it to add onto a new AR-15 build? Either way, a buttstock is the most important part of a rifle and for good reason.
You need something that will give you the support you need to fire off any shots to accurately land on your target. At the same time, a great buttstock will do a great job of reducing as much recoil as possible. To get you started on the right path, we’ve decided to compile a list of ten of the best AR-15 stocks currently on the market as of this writing.
Prior to unveiling our list, we’ll talk about why you should upgrade your AR-15 stock and how you can choose one based on the criteria we used to determine which would make our review list.
Comparison of the Best AR-15 Stocks
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Why Upgrade Your AR-15 Stock?
Upgrading your AR-15 stock to something much better is always a great idea, especially when you’re trying to upgrade from an ineffective factory stock that does not work well with different frames and sizes of each shooter. Here is a brief list of advantages you can enjoy if you choose to upgrade your AR-15 stock:
Better Length of Pull
A standard stock may have a good length of pull for some shooters. But for others, that really isn’t the case. An upgraded stock may improve the length of pull if your current stock doesn’t feel comfortable. In this case, an adjustable stock could be more to your liking.
Each position will have a different length of pull, so it can benefit any AR-15 rifle user. It will also depend on the number of total positions it has. Most adjustable stocks have six positions while others have about three or four different positions.
Let’s face it, your current buttstock may not do enough to reduce the recoil an AR-15 rifle produces. In that case, you’ll need to find one that will give you more comfort and better support so you can resist as much recoil as possible with your rifle.
Some buttstocks are made from tough materials like polymer to ensure that it is more shock-resistant than any factory stock. Some have rubberized recoil pads that will give you an even greater benefit.
Less Likely to Damage
Most polymer and synthetic stocks are impervious to damage, especially when you’re caught out in a nasty rainstorm. These stocks are proven to be resistant to liquids or even waterproof.
Even when submerged in water, they can survive. These stocks are also resistant to any damage caused by cleaning solvents and oils. In other words, cleaning your AR-15 rifle will be worry-free and easy to do.
How to Choose the Best AR-15 Stock
As you go about finding your own AR-15 stock, it’s important to follow this list if you’re in a hurry to find a great product. It’s important not to grab the first stock you see right off of the shelf (or hit "add to cart"). You’ll need to go deep into what exactly you need in a stock before making a choice.
Otherwise, picking a blind choice may result in buyer’s remorse. You don’t want to end up with a stock that doesn’t fit your personal needs and preferences, do you? Of course not. With that said, here’s how to choose the best AR-15 stock:
Adjustable or Fixed?
The most important question will address whether it will fit you. Are you a big and tall kind of shooter? Are you a short-statured shooter? Either way, you need a buttstock that will give you a comfortable length of pull so you can use it regardless of the application. If you want something that’s easy to use and a fixed stock doesn’t get the job done, you should find an adjustable stock that will have many positions to fit you perfectly.
Price is always an important aspect, especially for shoppers on a budget. It isn’t as important if you have money to play around with. If you’re on a budget, find the best quality stock that you can afford. Even when it’s at an affordable price, the quality can still be top-notch. Don’t settle for the lower end of a price tag without doing some research, as it may be cheap in feel and quality. Choose one to meet your needs, even if it means paying a little bit more. The price may be a little higher, but it’s worth the investment in a reliable, affordable product.
If you don’t have any expert gunsmithing skills, you can rejoice. That’s because all of these buttstocks are easy to install. All it will take is a matter of minutes and the right kind of tools. There are some buttstocks that may require some professional installation, but those are usually few and far between. These days, even first-time or new AR-15 users need something that’s easy to add on and you'll be ready for action in no time.
Review of the Best AR-15 Stocks
The following is a list of ten of the best AR-15 stocks currently on the market. Some of these are hand-picked as one of the best in a certain subcategory. Even if you’re dead-set on finding the best fixed stock or the best adjustable stock, we recommend you look through the rest of the list, since you might find one that is slightly more desirable than your ideal buttstock.
This will be a bit of a long list, so get a cup of coffee ready and take notes on the features and functions each stock has. You never know which ones will surprise you and tick off your list of ideal features in a buttstock. Now let’s begin with our “best overall” choice:
Luth-AR MBA-3 Stock Assembly
First up, we’ll be taking a look at the Luth-AR MBA-3 Stock Assembly. If you’re looking for a stock that will last you years or even decades, this one might be of service. That’s because the Luth-AR brand prides itself in making one of the longest-lasting stock assemblies in the business.
This is made from high-quality, glass-filled nylon that will make this buttstock crush-proof and impervious to any water or chemical damage. This might be your best possible option if you have an AR-15 rifle chambered in .223 caliber shots. This will even work with all kinds of .308 caliber carbine-style rifles.
Either way, this stock is hardcore and will allow full control over your rifle, because recoil shouldn’t ruin your shots. You want to take control over it so you can consistently hit your shots each and every time.
If you have a six position buffer tube for an AR-15 stock, this stock will be able to use four out of those six positions. So if you’re looking for something that will give you a little flexibility in the adjustment sense, this stock might be exactly what you’re looking for.
Plus it’s lightweight, so you won’t have to worry about adding any heavy, unnecessary weight to your rifle once it’s installed. If you’re looking for the best of the best when it comes to AR-15 stocks, you’re looking at it right here with the Luth-AR MBA-3 Stock.
The Luth-AR MBA-3 Carbine Buttstock is worthy of the title of best overall for all the right reasons. It has adjustability, durability, and will definitely fit your AR-15 rifle like a glove. Once you have this bad boy installed, you will have immediate improvement.
Your shots will be much more accurate and there will be a little less recoil with this product. On top of that, this might be yours to use for as long as you live. That’s how tough it is. If you’re looking for that one stock you can stick with forever, then this might be it.
Magpul - AR-15 CTR Stock Collapsible Mil-Spec
Now we’ll be taking a look at the Magpul AR-15 CTR Stock. If you’re looking for a collapsible stock that’s as close to mil-spec as you can get, this might be worth a closer look. What you’ll notice is that the stock is light in weight, but it’s tough as nails, thanks to the nylon polymer material it is made from.
Not only will you get a great deal of impact-resistance from this stock, but it will also do a good job resisting all kinds of heat. And by the way, if you’re a new AR-15 user, you’ll know that it can get hot really quickly after you fire off hundreds of rounds. So if you’re looking for something that will keep the heat to a minimum, this might be your kind of stock.
For a better length of pull, you’ll be able to use the adjustment feature to set it to the right length to fit your comfort level. If you’re a short-statured shooter or someone on the big and tall side, you have an adjustable position that will fit you, no problem. This stock has the ability to accept all kinds of four-position or six-position buffer tubes.
This includes a synthetic rubber pad that will not only provide more shock resistance, but will also prevent the rifle from slipping out of your grasp. To sum it up, this is a collapsible stock that will give you all kinds of control over your rifle. If that’s what you’re aiming for (no pun intended), the Magpul AR-15 CTR stock should be considered your top choice.
Magpul has long been one of the most reliable brands in terms of buttstocks. It comes as no surprise that we see them on top of this list. If you plan on using your AR-15 for any application that involves walking around all day, like hunting, then you can easily attach a sling to your rifle in order to free up your hands.
That’s an added convenience for a lot of users who are tired of just carrying it around with their hands all day. Other than that, the stock is great for its purpose. Expect a lot of support and recoil reduction once you’ve installed this on your rifle. Plus, it’s adjustable for all kinds of shooters so you cannot lose with this kind of stock.
Best for the Money:
FAB Defense AR-15/M4 Stock
Up next, we’ll be taking a look at the FAB Defense AR-15/M4 Stock. This is your best option if you’re looking for a reliable AR-15 stock but want to stick to a budget. It’s also your best option if you’re looking for something that will provide you with the best in versatility.
That’s because it will accept all kinds of mil-spec and commercial aftermarket buffer tubes. Let’s not forget that this stock has a small compartment you can use to store all kinds of batteries and accessories. When you need them most, you’ll have them handy, no matter the application.
This is made from high-quality synthetic materials designed to give you more comfort and durability. If you’re looking for a stock that will last you years or even decades, the FAB Defense could just be what you’re looking for. This will give you a comfortable cheek rest that will allow you more of a chance to up your accuracy game.
That's not bad for something considered a “budget” stock. If you’re looking for a complete package without breaking the bank, this buttstock by FAB Defense might be the one stock you can use for your AR-15. It’s affordable, durable, and useful for just about any shooter who wants to experience the robust power of an AR-15 rifle.
For something considered a budget buttstock, the FAB Defense exceeds the expectations. The storage compartment is a nice added convenience for those who want to take additional items along, whether out in the field or at the range. Just take the accessories you might need most in whatever possible situation.
Other than that, it’s a pretty solid build that does a good job providing you with comfort and a better chance at hitting your shots with a great deal of accuracy. Best of all, it’s affordable for most budgets. If you’re looking for the best buttstock you can afford, you’d be insane to pass up on the opportunity to get the FAB Defense AR-15 buttstock.
Best Adjustable Stock:
ATI AR-15 TactLite Adjustable Mil-Spec Stock
If you consider yourself a fan of the adjustable AR-15 buttstock, you'll want to give our choice for the best adjustable stock a closer look. Bestowed that honor is the ATI AR-15 TactLite Adjustable Mil-Spec Stock. One of the most impressive things about this stock is that it's dang near indestructible. How, you ask?
It's made from one of the toughest kinds of polymer on the planet. It's made from Extreme Temperature Glass Reinforced Polymer that is developed by none other than DuPont. How can you not a material that is developed by the same company that is responsible for the development of Kevlar? At this point, you know for sure that it's pretty good.
But even better are the adjustable positions it has to accommodate any AR-15 shooter. Just find one that best fits your size and length of pull and you’ll be in business. It has a nice little Scorpion recoil pad that will resist all kinds of shock.
Of course, that means you’ll have more control over your rifle and recoil is brought down to a minimum. If you need to put a sling in place, you’ll have an attachment slot so you can make carrying a little more bearable. Sometimes, you need to free up your hands while out in the field (especially if you’re using something like a scope or a pair of binoculars to determine where you want to set up shop for your next shooting spot).
We won’t blame you if you use a strap. An AR-15 rifle can be a little uncomfortable to carry using your hands. This stock won’t snag nor will it cause you any grief because of your size. It’s not the one-size-fits-all fixed stock that most people seem to like. If you’re looking for the best of the best when it comes to adjustable stocks, the ATI TactLite might just be your cup of tea.
The ATI TactLite Adjustable Stock is exactly what you’ll need if you want something that will allow for better adjustability to fit all kinds of shooters. Besides, these stocks offer the best convenience for those who are left-handed or those want to make sure that their AR-15 rifle is useable by just about anyone. If that’s your end goal, this is the buttstock to go with.
Best Folding Stock:
Sig Sauer - MPX/MCX M4-Style Folding Stock
Now we’ll be taking a look at the Sig Sauer MPX/MCX M4-Style Folding Stock. If you’re looking for a folding stock and want the best out of a whole lot of them, the Sig Sauer might be right up your alley. A good folding stock is useful for easily transporting and storing away your AR-15 rifle when you’re done with the day’s shooting session at the range.
This is easy to install on your rifle, so you won’t need any kind of gunsmithing skills. Once added on, you’ll have a folding and telescoping ability that will give your AR-15 rifle a customizable and compact look. The stock is made from high-quality materials that are durable and can handle all kinds of abuse and elements like precipitation and cleaning chemicals, to name a few.
Sig Sauer is a name that you can trust, especially with accessories like this. If you’re a first-time buyer looking for a trustworthy brand, it never hurts to give the Sig Sauer brand a try. This stock is made right here in the U.S.A. and is guaranteed to give you the best quality possible.
Folding stocks might be good to use if you’re looking to make your AR-15 more fit for storage. Sometimes they can take up a lot of room. This folding stock won’t disappoint if you’re looking to save space.
As a note, some AR-15s can still be fired while the stock is in the folded position, giving you better comfort and easy usage. If that’s what you’re looking for in a folding stock, consider the Sig Sauer folding stock to be that solution.
Best Pistol Stock:
SB Tactical - PDW Adjustable Pistol Stabilizing Brace
To give you a heads up, an AR-15 pistol does not have a stock of any kind. If that were the case, it would be considered an SBR rather than a pistol. But worry not, there is something close to a stock for your own AR-15 pistol available. For that, we’ve chosen the SB Tactical PDW Adjustable Pistol Stabilizing Brace.
One of the things you’ll notice at first glance is that a pistol buffer tube comes included with this. This will be convenient to have if you want a brace that is ready to use in a matter of seconds. Plus, it will give you the opportunity to shoulder your pistol so it can mimic the ability of a standard buttstock.
That alone will allow for a more stable control over your pistol and better accurate shooting each time. Make no mistake, even with an AR-15 pistol, you can still do some damage with pinpoint accuracy. If that’s something you’re looking to do, then you’d be hard-pressed to find anything else like this SB Tactical Pistol Brace.
Whether you’re using it as a substitute for a stock or for one-handed shooting, you’ll have an easier time using your AR-15 pistol with this brace. Just adjust it to your exact position and you’ll be ready to go for a shooting session at the range. In fact, you’ll have three preset positions to choose from.
The straps are made from nylon that will not only give you a custom fit but will be comfortable for you. Plus, the straps won’t fray or rip easily. So it passes the test with flying colors in the durability department.
This is the one brace you need to reduce all kinds of fatigue that can set in whenever you have an extended shooting session at the range. If you want to make the most out of your AR-15 pistol, then this SB Tactical Pistol Stabilizing Brace won’t steer you wrong.
If you’re a fan of AR-15 pistols and would love a brace that will give you the best shooting experience each time, the SB Tactical would be our go-to choice for that. Whether you shoulder it or use one hand, it’s a pretty good brace to have and does a good job helping you stabilize your shots.
Plus, if you have a hard time struggling with AR-15 rifles, you can consider using a pistol since it will have similar functions to a rifle. Either way, they’re quite fun to fire off at the range.
Best Sniper Stock:
Command Arms Accessories Sniper Full-Length Stock Tube Fixed Buttstock For A2 Rifle / SR25
If you fancy yourself to be a long-range shooter, then we’ve got a good stock you can use for your AR-15 rifle that can reach out and touch targets from 800 to 1000+ yards out. Our choice for the best sniper stock is the Command Arms Sniper Full-Length Stock Tube Fixed Buttstock. This is a fixed buttstock made from a high-quality synthetic material that provides all kinds of support for your AR-15 rifle.
This rifle has the ability to get the job done from long ranges. If you own an A2 rifle or an AR-style rifle like the 6.5 Creedmoor, this is a stock you can rely on. Even though it says it’s a fixed stock, it doesn’t fall short in the adjustment aspect. You can make adjustments for a better length of pull and even adjust the height to make it more comfortable.
Once you have the right adjustments, you’ll be ready to hit your shots from long distances. It can be while you’re hunting big game or shooting at the range. No other stock can come close when it comes to the long game.
If you’re looking for a stock that will work wonders with your long-range rifle, then look no further than the Command Arms brand buttstock. Although it is a fixed stock, you can still make adjustments to accommodate your exact needs. Other than that, it does a great job being a reliable buttstock that will reduce recoil and eliminate the shock produced.
Best Fixed Skeleton Stock:
Double Star - AR-15 Arfx Skeleton Stock
Up next, we’ll be taking a look at the Double Star AR-15 ARFX Skeleton Stock. Don’t let the design of this stock fool you. It’s still something you can depend on for your regular AR-15 shooting despite its minimalist appearance.
You can install this in a matter of minutes and be ready for any application like target practice, competition, and everything in between. It’s lightweight and made from durable aluminum. Yes, just because it’s durable doesn’t mean that it’s heavy. This also comes with a comfortable cheek pad.
It’s comfortable and will give you a better opportunity to increase the accuracy of every shot you fire. If you want to attach a sling, you can do so using one of the three attachment points. Choose one that’s best for you and you’ll be ready to carry it around all day while using your hands to handle your binoculars and look for a place to sit down while you’re hunting for your next big game target.
A fixed buffer tube that is best fit for A2-style rifles will definitely allow you to attach this stock without any problems. To top it off, it won’t get damaged when it comes in contact with any cleaning solvents and oils. Not to be outdone, no UV radiation or cold temperatures will stand a chance against this stock.
So in essence, you are dealing with a skeleton stock that will take on any and all kinds of abuse. If you’re looking for a minimal stock that you’ll rely on for years to come, the Double Star Skeleton Stock might just be what the doctor ordered.
For an AR-15 stock, this Double Star product might be the most interesting of the bunch. The design is slim, minimal, and surprisingly sturdy. This might be the stock for you if you’re looking for one that will last you almost a lifetime, especially if you’re using an A2-style AR-15 rifle. If this buttstock checks off any boxes on your wishlist, then it’s obvious that you’ll want this stock for yourself.
Best California Compliant AR-15 Stock:
Thordsen Customs LLC - AR-15 FRS-15 Stock Assy Fixed Carbine-Length
Yes, even legality questions come into play when it comes to AR-15 stocks. And California is obviously one of the states with strict gun laws regarding AR-15 stocks or stocks of any kind. If you’re a resident of the state and are in search of a stock that will comply with the state’s gun laws, then the Thordsen Customs AR-15 Stock might be your solution.
The design is quite unusual compared to other buttstocks. But it can definitely fit and function like one. This also has a set of sling points you can use to easily attach a sling so you can carry it while hiking the rough terrain or walking the fields during a day-long hunting jaunt.
This will also work with standard M4 recoil pads if you’re looking to reduce recoil and minimize the shock that goes with it. The design and function are all California compliant and won’t create any legal issues so long as you have this attached to your rifle.
Instead of worrying about whether or not your stock is legal in California or not, you can find one like the Thordsen Customs brand stock. Just like other products, it’s comfortable and easy to use on all kinds of AR-15 style rifles, especially if yours has a carbine buffer tube included.
If you just want a stock for your rifle without having to go through any potential legal headaches in a gun-strict state (where these stocks are allowed), then the Thordsen Customs stock will be your go-to choice.
Best from Magpul:
Magpul CTR Carbine Stock Kit
Lastly, we’ll be taking a look at the best AR-15 stock direct from the Magpul brand. As mentioned earlier, Magpul is one of the most reliable brands as far as stocks go. If you’re a longtime Magpul fan, you’ll love the CTR Carbine Stock Kit.
This stock is an easy to install, drop-in stock compatible with nearly all kinds of AR-15s and M16 rifles. This has a friction lock system that will bring friction to a grinding halt between the buttstock and the buffer tube. That will improve the overall stability of your rifle and do an excellent job at giving you more handling and control over your AR-15 rifle. The result is...you guessed it, better and more accurate shooting.
The rubber butt pad is also designed to help you absorb a lot of the shock produced from recoil. But that’s not all. It’s also designed to prevent slippage while you’re wearing body armor. This will also work with almost any six-position buffer tube that’s out there. So if your AR-15 rifle has something like that, you’ll have no problem fitting this puppy on.
If you’re a fan of Magpul or if you’re simply looking for a brand you might consider trustworthy for years to come, the Magpul might be the go-to brand for you.
The Magpul CTR Carbine stock is definitely the AR-15 stock to have if you want something that’s reliable and works very well with most carbine-style AR-15 rifles. Plus, it’s as durable as it gets and doesn’t cause all kinds of friction. You can use this for just about any application you can think of. This stock might be the closest you can get to universal.
Types of AR-15 Stocks
It’s no secret that there are all kinds of AR-15 stocks available on the market. If you’re looking for a certain kind of stock for a specific purpose, you’ll need to know which one will benefit you best. Here are some of the most popular types of stocks currently on the market:
Like the name says, they are fixed in place. There are little to no adjustments to be made with this kind of stock. The good news is that some of these stocks have small compartments you can use to store away batteries, flashlights, and all kinds of accessories. This is the basic default option if you’re looking for an AR-15 stock.
These stocks are adjustable in terms of height and length of pull. If you want a more comfortable firing position, you can collapse the stock to ensure it fits your size or frame. At the same time, you might be able to use these stocks if you have additional gear on.
However, these collapsible stocks are prohibited in some states. To err on the side of caution, please check the gun laws in your locale or state to ensure whether they are legal or not where you are. This will prevent you from unintentionally breaking the law.
These stocks are also adjustable to ensure that they can fit all kinds of shooters, especially when you’re of shorter stature or are on the big and tall side. These stocks usually include cheek risers that allow for a more comfortable rest for your cheek to allow you to use the stock for better control and shooting accuracy.
Folding stocks will make your AR-15 rifle easier to carry and easier to store away. However, these kinds of stocks can also cause a legal issue if you live in a state with strict gun laws (i.e: California). Once again, err on the side of caution and research your local and state gun laws prior to purchasing one of these stocks.
How to Remove an AR-15 Stock
Removing a stock may not be an easy task if you’re a complete beginner. But if you follow the instructions below, you’ll become a pro in no time. Here’s what you need to do:
- First and foremost, it’s always mandatory to check your rifle. That means removing the magazine from the mag well and checking the chamber for any rounds. Once you’ve got the all-clear, move onto the next step.
- Using the adjustment lever at the bottom of the stock, press down and completely pull the stock off the buffer tube.
- Slide on your stock of choice. It will be the reverse process of what you did when removing your old stock.
If you are still having trouble, check out the video below:
The best AR-15 stock is out there. It’s only a matter of time until you choose one for your own. There are all kinds of stocks for all kinds of applications and needs. Take note of what your intents and purposes are and why you need a specific type of stock.
You can use it to improve accuracy and reduce recoil. Or you can simply get a folding stock for the sake of easier storage. Either way, one of these ten stocks will definitely serve you in the long run.
People Also Ask
To help you along the process of finding an AR-15 stock, we have taken the liberty of adding an extra FAQ section. Use these questions and answers as a guide to help you make the right choice for any buttstock. Here are the following questions asked by newly minted AR-15 owners:
Do Any Stocks Work on Any AR-15?
The short answer: Not all of them. To better explain it, most buttstocks work if they fit with certain types of buffer tubes. Some buttstocks may accept a wide array of buffer tubes like four-position or six-position, but may not work with buffer tubes found in A2-style rifles.
What is an AR-15 Bump Stock?
A bump stock is a kind of stock that can replace classic buttstocks found on semi-automatic rifles like AR-15s and M16s. This device causes your weapon to fire like a fully-automatic, increasing the firing rate significantly. This allows rounds to be fired in quick succession without manually reloading.
How Does an AR-15 Bump Stock Work?
A bump stock harnesses the recoil on an AR-15 rifle. At the same time, it will bump the rifle back and forth between your shoulder and trigger finger. This means that each time the weapon is fired, the recoil bumps back, allowing another shot to be fired instantly.
Are Bump Stocks Legal?
As of March 2019, bump stocks are no longer legal to purchase or own in the United States. According to the ATF, all bump stocks are either to be destroyed or turned in to the ATF. If you wish to do the latter, please contact your nearest ATF field office for more information.