Are you looking for a new AR-15 stock to complete a build or upgrade your favorite rifle?
The good news is that there are countless options available on the market. But you need seriously consider your upgrade goals and shooting preferences before making any pricey decisions.
After all, the model you pick will play a critical role in determining the accuracy, weight, and ergonomics of your firearm.
When a stock can make or break your experience with a rifle, how do you know which type or brand is right for you?
The team at Firearm Review has built, purchased, and shot hundreds of ARs over the years. We’ve also tested every stock available in an increasingly saturated market.
Whether you’re upgrading for fun, hunting, or competition, we can help you pinpoint a stock that delivers an exceptional shooting experience by enhancing your rifle’s greatest strengths.
Today, we’re going to examine the different types of stocks available for the AR-15, the features you need to consider before equipping specific upgrades, and a list of what we consider to be the best stocks on the market.
Best Adjustable AR-15 Stocks
To start, let’s review a few adjustable mil-spec (military specification) style stocks for the AR-15. These are great all-around options for shooters looking for a dependable multipurpose stock.
1. Magpul MOE
The polymer Magpul MOE is the gold standard if you’re looking for a basic, adjustable AR-15 stock.
While it’s based heavily on the standard mil-spec design many people are familiar with, this drop-in stock also features several improvements over that battle-tested model.
The Magpul MOE has a striking A-frame design that is both lightweight and comfortable.
This impact- and heat-resistant stock provides shooters with optimum support, a consistent cheek weld, and a spring-loaded release lever that ensures quick length-of-pull adjustments.
In our experience, you’ll never need to worry about the lever digging into your hand or snagging on your clothes. The synthetic rubber butt pad also prevents inconvenient and dangerous slippage.
Visually and ergonomically, the Magpul MOE is very similar to the mil-spec stock and even has the same latch underneath the cheek rest for length adjustments.
2. Magpul MOE-SL
The Magpul MOE-SL (“slim line”) is a direct upgrade from the standard MOE version.
This model is lighter, slimmer, and provides a better cheek weld than the Magpul MOE. It’s also more aesthetically pleasing than the standard option.
The Magpul MOE-SL is equipped with a chrome-silicon locking spring, anti-rattle features to minimize wobbling, a non-slip rubber butt pad for easy shouldering, and two sling mounts.
Plus, the lighter, slimmer profile serves as a good middle ground between the beefier military-style stocks and the ultralight options that aren’t designed to take a lot of abuse.
3. Magpul STR
The Magpul STR has the comfiest cheek weld out of all the adjustable stocks on our list. It’s recommended for budget precision builds, particularly if you’re working with a .224 or a Grendal gun.
It’s a little heavier than the other Magpul options at 12.5 oz, but its unique features make this an excellent stock choice for your AR-15; in fact, many consider the Magpul STR to be an outstanding upgrade over the standard and SL models.
Comparatively, the Magpul STR has a much wider cheek rest with a well-designed slope that props up your head for a proper and comfortable shooting position.
STR stands for “Storage Type Restricted” because it has water-resistant battery tubes on both sides of the buttstock. This is a useful feature if you’re planning to equip a red dot or holosight to your rifle because you’ll always have extra batteries on hand.
Of course, you don’t need to use this storage space specifically for batteries. You can also fit small tool kits, maintenance items, and survival gear in the dual compartments.
4. Mission First Battlelink Minimalist
The Battlelink Minimalist from Mission First Tactical is quickly becoming the go-to stock model for minimalist builds.
It may not be the ideal stock for mortaring a rifle into the ground to clear a malfunction, but we don’t recommend doing that anyway.
The manufacturers at Mission First Tactical clearly prioritized functionality and weight over aesthetics when designing this stock. More specifically, they removed the bottom portion of the standard “triangle” shape that’s present on most models.
They succeeded in dropping the weight down to 6 oz, but I won’t pretend that the Battlelink Minimalist has the same visual impact as other options on this list.
Fortunately, this stock has other features to recommend it.
Because the Battlelink Minimalist is manufactured with durable, military-grade polyamide, it’s just as strong as a standard stock or the Magpul MOE—minus the heft.
There is a nice curve to the butt of the stock that serves as a comfortable anchor point when shooting. It also helps your rifle point very nicely for that perfect shot.
Overall, the Battlelink Minimalist is a great choice for anyone trying to build a lightweight rig that’s also well-balanced.
5. B5 Systems Bravo
Are you planning to assemble a high-speed build? If so, the B5 Systems Bravo may be the perfect stock for your rifle.
The B5 Systems Bravo is the go-to stock upgrade for competition shooters. If you participate in a shooting event or competition, like 3-Gunners, you’ll likely see many competitors using firearms equipped with the B5.
It’s also pretty popular with the military.
Despite having a wide top, this polymer stock is fairly lightweight, which is great if you’re carrying your rifle long distances or running it in a carbine class.
The B5 Systems Bravo was also designed with streamlined contours, which prevents the stock from snagging on clothing or gear.
It features a Sure-Grip stock latch for convenient length-of-pull adjustments, an anti-slip rubber recoil pad, and a stainless steel QD swivel mount.
Best of all, the B5 Systems Bravo is priced around $60, so you won’t break the bank with this upgrade.
6. VLTOR IMOD
The VLTOR IMOD is one of the first buttstocks to feature an expanded cheek weld.
It’s a decent model that is often compared to the Magpul STR due to their similar cheek welds and battery compartments.
However, the VLTOR IMOD is half a pound lighter (9.5 oz) than the STR, and is recommended for shooters who like the extra storage space but not the additional weight.
The VLTOR IMOD is a nice-looking, reliable, and durable stock that will probably last longer than you’ll ever need it.
More importantly, the butt of the stock and the riser are super comfortable. Equip the VLTOR IMOD to your rifle, and you can shoot all day.
Best Fixed and Lightweight Stocks
Adjustable stocks aren’t for everyone.
Fortunately, there are plenty of options available if you’re in the market for a traditional-style stock, want a super lightweight model, or need something cheap for a budget build.
When compiling this portion of the list, we decided to include three stocks that are great for shooters (especially hunters) who want to cut ounces off their rifles without sacrificing functionality or accuracy.
7. Magpul MOE Fixed
From Magpul, we have the MOE Fixed stock. This model is basically just their MOE adjustable stock without the adjustable features.
Anecdotally, many shooters like the length, but tolerate or straight-out hate the bargain-basement cheek weld.
The MOE Fixed stock is a standard, no-frills, traditional stock. That’s it. It’s cheap and lightweight, which are its only advantages in a saturated market.
But it’s a great model for anyone trying to construct a budget build. By settling for the Magpul MOE Fixed stock, you can put your money towards a better barrel, trigger, or BCG, ultimately improving the performance of your gun.
The aluminum ELF Ultralight has a unique and striking design that is slim, sleek, and lightweight. In a way, it looks almost fragile, like it could break with one well-placed drop.
But it likely won’t. The ELF Ultralight is surprisingly hardy and reliable for such a trim, adjustable stock.
During testing, the ELF Ultralight ended up being one of our favorite super lightweight options. It only weighs 5.2 oz and is so minimalist that it barely counts as a stock.
The ELF Ultralight has a large “USA” printed on the side, which can be hit or miss, and a knob that allows for quick and silent adjustments.
This stock is highly recommended for shooters assembling high-speed competition firearms or super-compact, lightweight survival rifles.
Unfortunately, this stock does have one critical flaw: The cheek weld is not comfortable in the slightest, which could affect your precision.
This is not the stock for match-grade accuracy, long shooting sessions, or extensive hunting adventures. It’s a shame ELF didn’t include a rubber end plate or other features that could improve the cheek weld.
9. Battle Arms Development LBS
The Battle Arms Development LBS is the last lightweight option to make this list. At 3 oz, it’s even lighter than the ELF model and perhaps a bit more comfortable as well.
This odd stock “upgrade” is a great choice for anyone trying to shave a few ounces off their build.
Unlike more conventional models, the Battle Arms Development LBS is just a cap that attaches to the end of the buffer tube by a screw.
The good news is that the screw never came loose during testing, so you won’t have to worry about the stock falling apart while you’re shooting.
Theoretically, the Battle Arms Development LBS should be strong enough to handle a mortaring into the ground, though we didn’t feel the need to test this idea in practice.
There is one detail that you should keep in mind before purchasing this model, though it isn’t really a flaw so much as an obvious side-effect of the stock’s intended design.
This is a fixed stock, and because your cheek rests on the tube itself, you’ll have a really short length-of-pull to work with. Depending on your needs and preferences as a shooter, this may or may not be an issue for you.
Overall, the Battle Arms Development LBS is an excellent option for someone who wants to construct an ultra-light or minimalist build.
Precision AR-15 Stocks
Unlike lightweight models, precision stocks are known for their heft, adjustability, and customizable features.
They tend to be a little pricier than other options on the market, but the cost is absolutely worth the results. By equipping a precision AR-15 stock, you can augment your rifle’s greatest strengths, specifically its accuracy.
10. Luth-AR Modular Stock
If your goal is to assemble a precision AR build on a budget, look no further than the Luth-AR Modular Stock.
The Luth-AR Modular Stock is one of the heaviest rifle-length models on the market. And when you’re shooting for precision, that 19 oz weight is just what you need.
This glass-filled nylon rifle stock features textured rubber recoil pads, two QD sling sockets, an adjustable and comfortable cheek rest, butt changes, and an adjustable length-of-pull.
Best of all, it’s fairly inexpensive for a precision stock and is half the price of our favorite pick, the Magpul PRS.
All-in-all, the Luth-AR Modular stock really shines if you’re looking for a relatively inexpensive upgrade for a precision AR-15.
11. Magpul PRS
Finally, we have the Magpul PRS, the go-to stock upgrade for anyone aiming to get maximum accuracy and performance out of their precision AR.
There is no doubt that the Magpul PRS is a high-quality stock upgrade. It’s weighted at 31.7 oz and designed to deliver the best possible long-range or precision shooting experience.
In terms of construction, the Magpul PRS is leagues above the Luth-AR Modular.
It fits both rifle- and carbine-length buffer tubes, features adjustment knobs that produce satisfying and audible clicks, and has a nice, flat bottom to stabilize your gun. Plus, the bottom M-LOK slots ensure that you’re not limited when it comes to mounting possibilities.
Also, because the Magpul PRS comes with an adjustable butt plate, length-of-pull, and cheek riser, you can achieve a comfortable and consistent cheek weld no matter your body type or shooting style.
And that concludes our list of the top 11 AR-15 stock upgrades.
There should be something here for everyone: mil-spec style stocks, ultra-lightweight options, competition-worthy models, precision stocks for long-range setups, and even some cost-effective options.
Hopefully, one of these excellent models fits your personal needs, shooting preferences, and budgetary limits.
Which one of these stocks do you like the best? Do you have a favorite that we left off the list? Let us know in the comments below! Check out the best AR-15 magazines, too!