Collapsible stocks are nice. They let the shooter adjust the rifle’s length of pull to fit their body and their shooting position quickly and rather quietly. But not everyone likes an adjustable stock — for some, the solid feel and rugged reliability of a fixed stock is superior. And then there are those unfortunate souls who live in places that don’t have things like freedom and can’t enjoy the pleasures of an adjustable stock. For them, a fixed stock is a requirement. And for those who feel the need for a fixed stock, Magpul has a brand new product that just started shipping last week . . .
Magpul made its name through its adjustable stocks (and some nifty magazines) for the AR-15 and M4 platforms. In a market where the status quo was the rather awful looking “milspec” stock, Magpul brought some of their now famous design and styling skills to bear and produced a stock that’s currently as popular as it is recognizable.
So when Magpul announced that their brand new AR-15 product for the year was going to be a fixed stock at the SHOT Show in January, I was a little…underwhelmed. There isn’t really anything sexy about a fixed stock, and it didn’t help that the prototype felt a little flimsy on the show floor.
Oh, how I was wrong. Turns out I just had it too early in the pre-production lifecycle and in the wrong context.
A few weeks back I asked Drew at Magpul for some .308 PMAGs for the McMillan CS5. And, much to my surprise, when I opened the box there was a MOE Rifle Stock in there, too. And I knew exactly where to put it: on my hunting rifle.
There’s a huge difference between a good, solid fixed stock and a collapsible stock in how a gun feels and handles. While the collapsible stock has some advantages, they can feel a little flimsy. Like you can never get a good solid shooting position. Which, for precision shooting, is kinda important. That’s where the fixed stock comes in, giving the shooter a solid point of contact for the butt of the rifle and keeping wobble to a minimum.
That’s where I had the wrong context on this thing. At SHOT I was imagining it in a typical Magpul Dynamics style gunfight. In reality, though, this thing is more at home when you’re reaching out and touching something at distance.
Which is exactly why I have Magpul’s UBR or Utility Battle Rifle stock on my go-to long distance rifle — it gives me a solid shooting platform that feels far better than the standard flimsy collapsible stock, AND adds some balance to the front-heavy rifle. There is one drawback though: the thing costs approximately one firstborn son. I do believe it is in fact the most expensive product they sell. Which is where Magpul’s MOE Rifle Stock fits into the equation.
The production version of the stock fixes all of the pre-production hiccups I saw at SHOT. What we have here is a solid-feeling piece of equipment, as highly polished as the rest of Magpul’s offerings and with the same familiar texture on the surface. It looks and feels like it can take a beating in the field, or at least more than its adjustable counterparts.
Speaking of looks, one of the things I hate about the AR-15 design is that it was styled to work with a fixed buttstock like the A1 or A2. As such, there’s a ledge on the back of the gun similarly designed to accommodate the stock, and when that stock isn’t there (like in a collapsible stock setup) it just looks terrible. Magpul’s fixed stock fills that space quite nicely, offering a much more polished and balanced look to the gun. At least, in my opinion.
Then again, the standard A1 and A2 stocks will do that same thing and feel about the same. The difference with Magpul’s version, and their “value added” features (beyond the modern styling), are the sling attachment points. Not only does the stock have a slot in the rear for the standard web sling, but it also has removable QD mounts for single point and other sling configurations. They’re easy to install, quick to change, and adaptable to the mission at hand.
Another nice feature is the storage compartment in the rear. It is both bigger and more accessible than the A1/A2 style stock, which lets you put more stuff in there (giggidy). For me, I’m using that space as a convenient way to keep my hunting license, hunter education card, and Form 4 for my silencer in one convenient location that I won’t lose or forget when running out the door. The less paperwork I need to remember the happier I will be.
A side effect of the storage compartment design is that the screw holding the thing together is hidden. For the M4 style collapsible stocks, the buffer tube and endplate are held in position by a castle nut and some friction, but on the original design Stoner simply had a screw at the end of the buffer tube tied directly to the stock to hold it in place. On the A1/A2 designs, the screw is permanently exposed and any replaceable buttpads need to be designed to let the end user access that screw. But because Magpul placed the screw on the inside, they can use the same replacement pads as their existing PRS line of rifle stocks. So, from day 1 there are replacements available.
The stock works great, but I have one cautionary statement about this product. The “MOE” moniker stands for “Magpul Original Equipment,” a designation that means it is designed to fit on existing milspec firearms of similar design. So if you’re expecting to buy this and swap it for your existing collapsible stock, be aware that you will need to buy a NEW extension tube / buffer tube, a NEW buffer, and a NEW spring. Specifically the old style. This was designed to be a drop-in replacement for the A1/A2 stock, and as such uses their mounting equipment. The M4 requires a drastically different setup to get the collapsible stock to work, and it is not backwards compatible.
If you’re looking for a fixed rifle stock for your AR-15, look no further. Magpul’s MOE Rifle Stock provides the best balance of rigid stability, adaptable functionality and balance for the money. Plus, it just looks so damn good.
Magpul MOE Rifle Stock
MSRP : $69.95
REQUIRES: Full “rifle” length buffer tube / extension, buffer and spring
Ratings (out of five stars):
Design: * * * * *
There’s not much you can do “outside the box” to a standard AR-15 stock, but they did just enough to bring it into the sleek and streamlined 21st century while adding a bunch of extra functionality.
Functionality: * * * * *
I was going to say that they could have changed the compartment configuration around a little to make it a touch bigger, but in reality its good enough as-is. Just the right combination of added bells and whistles while keeping the stock sleek.
Overall Rating: * * * * *
For roughly the same price as a standard A1/A2 stock you get an improved storage compartment, tons of options for sling attachments, and that Magpul “special sauce” that gives all their stuff a modern look. If they think they’re getting this back they’ll be waiting a long damned time…