One of my personal dislikes of the basic AR-15 platform is the fact that they don’t have folding stocks. I’m not talking about rifles like the SIG 556 or other variants, I’m talking about true ARs. The issue, of course, is the need for the buffer system located in the stock. Without the buffer system engaged, the life of your AR15 wouldn’t last past the next shot probably. So I did some searching around the web and came across a folding stock adapter for AR-15s made by Law Tactical. According to the company, it’s “The only folding stock adapter compatible with AR platform rifles.” I was curious enough to go ahead and buy one and see if it’s worth the money . . .
After reading the instructions and studying the thing for a couple of minutes, the mechanics began to make sense. The key element to the adapter is the bolt extension that engages with your buffer when the stock is in the unfolded position. When the stock is folded, the adapter is held in place by a fastener. Likewise, the buffer is held in by the traditional buffer retaining pin.
With this in mind, it’s important to note that the rifle CANNOT be fired when the stock is in the folded position. With the buffer system disengaged, it is not capable of functioning properly and may cause serious damage to your rifle or yourself.
So why would a person want to install a folding adapter on a rifle if it can’t be fired in the folded position? The simple answer: portability. With the stock folded, you save enough length on your rifle that you could transport it in a decent size rucksack or tactical bag (depending on the overall length of your rifle). Some may argue that if you can’t fire it folded, it’s useless. I disagree. Any amount of length I can shave off my rifle for ease of portability is a positive in my book.
Installation of the CNC machined aluminum add-on was straightforward enough, though dealing with the recessed castle nut presented a minor challenge. Once installed, though, the adapter works exactly as billed with no change to the function of the rifle. Keep in mind, though, that it will add 1.3″ to your gun’s length of pull.
Overall, I highly recommend the adapter to any AR owner. It’s fairly easy to install, minus the castle nut which is recessed and a little difficult to tighten (I found using needle nose pliers make this easier). A compact AR is a more portable AR, and one you’re more likely to have with you. And that’s always a good thing.
Compatible with direct impingement or gas operated rifles
Works with all standard bolt carrier groups, 5.56 to .308, semi- or full auto
Ratings (out of five stars):
Ease of Installation: * * * *
The only hitch is that recessed castle nut that required a little improvisation. Otherwise, simple.
Function: * * * * *
The stock locks up solidly in both extended and folded positions. When extended, if you hadn’t installed it yourself, you wouldn’t know an adapter had been attached.
Overall: * * * * *
The adapter is solidly built and works as advertised. It adds to your rifle’s portability without hurting function at all. A great addition.
Mike blogs at defensefirearms.wordpress.com and a version of this article previously appeared there.