By Chris Heuss
Magpul is about as hard to avoid as gluten. So if a gluten-free hipster owned an AR-15, you have to believe he’d equip it with a LaRue Tactical RAT Stock in UDE, pared with matching grip, rail covers and Lancer mags. LaRue obviously didn’t design their RAT stock with hipsters in mind as they often catch a bad case of PTSD from the sound of a bolt going into battery. I, however, am not a hipster and love gluten…but still prefer the collapsable LaRue RAT over other offerings.
The quality of the LaRue RAT is amazing. The fit and finish are by far the best of any collapsable stock I have seen. Lateral movement is expected as with any collapsable stock, the RAT keeps this to a minimum. The majority of the stock is made of a glass filled polymer. The internals are actually CNC machined, with critical comments made of metal. The polymer is smooth and feels very solid.
Installation, removal, and adjustment of the stock is done by using a built-in metal two-stage trigger located in the middle of the stock. No really. A two-stage trigger on a stock seems like overkill but it’s actually a great design.
The first stage of the trigger allows you to adjust the length of pull. The second stage lets you remove the stock.
To install or remove the stock you turn a knob located towards the front, pull the trigger to the second stage and slide the stock off or on. You can lock the stock on by turning the knob to the lock position. This prevents the trigger from going into the second stage when you don’t want it to. The trigger mechanism is very tough. I mortared my first RAT stock a few times and it took it like a champ.
The RAT stock is very thoughtfully designed. A lot of stocks have a small hole on the top that is used during the assembly process. Those small holes are magnets for facial hair and other dirt. The rubber butt pad has the perfect amount of grip.
The stock has a QD sling mount on either side towards the rear of the stock. If you prefer a traditional webbed sling like I do, the RAT stock has you covered there with a one-inch slot.
A very well made cleaning rod is broken down into four pieces and slides into two carriers.
To access the cleaning kit you press a metal tab through a hole in the butt pad and slide the butt pad off.
You can get a RAT stock in any one of eight colors. I prefer UDE because it just blends in perfectly with the prominent limestone rock of my central Texas home.
Lancer mags in UDE are even available on Larue’s website. I am not one of those guys that insists on having my mags match my furniture, but if it’s an option why not? LaRue also sells a great matching pistol grip, rail covers, and vertical grip (reviews to come).
Overall the LaRue RAT stock has it all. It’s tough, even possibly over built. The design is very well thought out. Larue customer service is even amazing, I have had products arrive the next day! They might cost a little more than some stocks, but to me it’s well worth the extra money. I really do not know why they are not more popular.
Specifications: LaRue Tactical RAT Stock
Material : Glass Filled Polymer with metal Internals
Colors : Black, Blaze Orange, FDE, OD Green, Foliage, Pink, UDE
Price: $115 but always on sale for $57 cleaning kit is $25 extra
Ratings (out of of five stars):
Functionality * * * *
It is tough and works. I would give it five stars if the storage area under the butt pad was just a little bigger. Squeezing a bore brush into it is very hard.
Quality * * * * *
Like all LaRue products the quality is amazing. The RAT is tough and can handle whatever you throw at them.
Overall Ratings * * * *
I have owned three RAT stocks. Whenever I am building a new AR with a collapsible stock I typically use a LaRue RAT. I like how Mission First stocks have an angled bottom on their stock, I would like that on my LaRue stock, but its not a big deal.