Building a new AR-15 even without a professional gunsmith’s guidance is not a new thing in the shooting community. As gun enthusiasts, we’ve all set out to build and upgrade our existing AR-15 rifles on our own.
While AR-15 buttstocks may seem pretty simple, there are a lot more things to consider when looking for the best AR-15 stocks. Aside from the prices, we’ll show you what features to consider, as well.
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Table of Contents
- 1 Top 10 Stocks for AR 15
- 1.1 1. Magpul Industries STR Mil-Spec
- 1.2 2. Mission First Tactical Battlelink Minimalist Stock
- 1.3 3. Magpul Industries MOE Rifle Stock
- 1.4 4. Armaspec XPDW Stock
- 1.5 5. Magpul Industries MOE Fixed Rifle Stock
- 1.6 6. B5 Systems BRAVO Stock
- 1.7 7. Strike Industries Modular Fixed Stock
- 1.8 8. Elftmann Tactical Ultralight Aluminum Stock
- 1.9 9. Fortis Manufacturing Lever Action Stock
- 1.10 10. ODIN Works Zulu Adjustable Stock
- 2 Complete Guide to Buying
- 3 And the #1 AR-15 Stock is...
Top 10 Stocks for AR 15
1. Magpul Industries STR Mil-Spec
The Magpul Industries STR Mil-Spec is one of the best AR-15 buttstocks you can purchase for your new AR-15 build. This buttstock is a drop-in replacement stock for AR-15 and M4 carbines through your rifle’s mil-spec receiver extension tubes. The Storage/Type Restricted buttstock also provides two water-resistant battery storage tubes on either side of the stock and are accessible through a removable rubber plug.
This STR stock also provides a supplemental friction locking system and a shielded operation lever to prevent accidental operation. These features would also minimize excessive movement, providing the shooter enhanced weapon stability and accuracy. This go-to stock upgrade also comes with a reversible push-button QD sling mount and two incorporated integral sling loops.
Stock Type: Collapsible
Weight: 12.3 oz/0.77 lbs
The Mission First Tactical Battlelink Minimalist Stock is another best AR-15 on our list. This minimalist buttstock offers maximum function in a compact form. It also comes with an angled non-slip rubber buttpad and rubber recoil pad for easier maneuver on the pistol grip. It also helps with a faster presentation, even when you’re wearing body armor or tactical gear.
This Mission First ambidextrous buttstock is also outfitted with multiple sling mounts/slots to ensure a more stable aim. Its upper section even provides a comfortable cheek weld. This Mission First go-to stock upgrade can also serve as a slide-on replacement for the original collapsible AR-15 buttstock.
Stock Type: Minimalist
Weight: 5.8 oz/0.36 lbs
3. Magpul Industries MOE Rifle Stock
The Magpul Industries MOE Rifle Stock is another AR-15 stock that installs easily on Mil-Spec-sized carbine receivers. You can also adjust its length of pull up to 3.3 inches. Like the MOE SL, this MOE fixed mil-spec buttstock also provides a sloping cheek weld giving it a slim profile and a more comfortable stance. It has a secure and premium chrome-silicon lock spring that can provide a longer service span and positive locking.
This MOE fixed buttstock assembly also comes with a removable rubber butt pad that increases shoulder impact protection whenever you take a shot. You can use this MOE fixed buttstock assembly to build your favorite AR-15 and M16 with great function, fit, and durability. This fixed stock also comes with a shielded release latch that can prevent snagging and accidental operation.
Stock Type: Collapsible
Weight: 12 oz / 0.75 lbs
4. Armaspec XPDW Stock
The ambidextrous Armaspec XPDW Stock is also one of the best AR-15 stocks that promise to improve your aiming comfort and provide a more accurate aiming shot. This buttstock is constructed from durable but lightweight anodized aluminum, highly resistant to corrosion and wear.
This PDW buttstock product is also adjustable up to five positions for optimal fit for your Ar-15s. It also comes with a QD sling attachment point that you can attach to any Mil-Spec buffer tube to improve the shooting experience.
Stock Type: PDW
Weight: 14.29 oz / 0.89 lbs
5. Magpul Industries MOE Fixed Rifle Stock
Magpul Industries MOE Fixed Rifle Stock is a tactical rifle stock designed to provide every shooter with more stable and on-target shots. This rifle stock also offers a high-quality and economical alternative to most standard weapon parts. This precision fixed carbine buttstock also provides a simplified feature set while maintaining high-quality Magpul engineering and material.
This precision product also provides a non-collapsing buttstock option for all carbine-length buffer tubes. Like the MOE SL, this rifle precision stock for tactical rifles also comes with an improved cheek weld, slim profile, and multiple sling attachment options. It is even compatible with the PRS Extended Rubber Butt-Pad and ASAP Plate. Like the MOE SL, it is also easy to install, as it is a non-armorer and does not require the lock plate or the castle nut to be removed.
Stock Type: Fixed
Weight: 9.5 oz / 0.59 lbs
6. B5 Systems BRAVO Stock
The B5 Systems BRAVO Stock product is another AR-15 stock that features a quick detach mounting system, providing easier installation and removal. This precision minimalist buttstock also provides extreme reliability and durability. It also comes with a comfortable but light lock-up system. This precision buttstock is also slimmer than the enhanced version of this precision buttstock.
Stock Type: Minimalist
Weight: 8.25 oz / 0.52 lbs
7. Strike Industries Modular Fixed Stock
The Strike Industries Modular Fixed Stock is also one of the best AR-15 stocks that features an adjustable length of pull. This fixed AR stock allows shooters to lengthen or shorten their length pull using the included set of shims. Shooters can also use a monopod to fit it solidly to have a more consistent and more solid firing stance for every shot.
This precision buttstock product can also be installed easily using a Phillips head screwdriver and an Allen wrench. Shooters can install this to many mil-spec carbine guns or Strike Industries advanced receiver extension, as long as it has a seven-position buffer tube. It also features a snap hook attachment and sling loop.
Stock Type: Fixed
Weight: 12.8 oz / 0.8 lbs
8. Elftmann Tactical Ultralight Aluminum Stock
The Elftmann Tactical Ultralight Aluminum Stock product is the lightest all-metal adjustable stock on the market today. It only weighs at least 5.2 oz. It also comes with innovative features, including ease of adjustment over the entire buffer tube length and silent operation.
You won’t even have to click into detent holes and would only use a simple turn of the knob to adjust and tighten it fully. This adjustable buttstock is rock solid without any rattle. This buttstock is constructed from durable aluminum, ensuring a long-lasting life.
Stock Type: Adjustable
Weight: 5.2 oz / 0.325 lbs
9. Fortis Manufacturing Lever Action Stock
The Fortis Manufacturing Lever Action Stock is a lightweight, robust, and durable AR precision stock. It is constructed from 6061-T6 aluminum that utilizes mil-spec buffers. It comes with a patent-pending lever-action design that clamps it down to the buffer tube without any rattle or movement.
This all-aluminum buttstock weighs 15.8 oz and features a military specification Type III hard coat anodized finish. It also comes with a real carbon fiber cheek weld/piece and a sleek and slim design. Furthermore, it provides three QD sockets for your various needs. You can easily remove this buttstock off the buffers without any additional tools or any increase in their prices.
Stock Type: Collapsible
Weight: 15.8 oz
10. ODIN Works Zulu Adjustable Stock
The ODIN Works Zulu Adjustable Stock is one of the best AR-15 adjustable stocks. When combined with the ODIN Works padded pistol buffer tubes, this adjustable AR stock becomes suitable for rifle or carbine builds. This buttstock is constructed from 6061 aluminum infused with unique ergonomics and function.
This ambidextrous and adjustable AR stock also comes with a reversible QD adapter, allowing every shooter to set it to their needs. This aluminum buttstock also comes with an ambidextrous Includes sling and QD Plate.
Stock Type: Adjustable
Weight: 12.9 oz / 0.81 lbs
Complete Guide to Buying
Prices aside, every part of your AR-15 build is considered an added weight. Hence, you must also consider buying an AR-15 lightweight butt stock. Generally, weight is a critical factor in your AR-15 rifle’s performance, as it plays a vital role in keeping the balance of your weapon. Buyers usually consider the materials used, the design and construction of the buttstock to determine its weight factor.
This AR fixed stock has no room for any adjustment. One example of a fixed stock is the classic M16 stock. Furthermore, this stock is generally every shooter’s basic option. Fixed AR-15 stocks feature small compartments for small tools such as small containers for lubricants and extra batteries. However, a fixed stock is also durable enough to withstand any harsh weather conditions.
The collapsible AR-10 stock is adjustable but only to add to the stock’s length of pull. Generally, these AR-15 stocks are collapsible and expandable. These AR-15 stocks provide more comfort in every shooter’s stance when used in shooting or firing because of your arm length or when you have any additional gear.
However, our team suggests that you always do your research when using or buying collapsible stocks. Some states do not allow folding stock/collapsible stocks, as they declare these buttstocks illegal.
Adjustable stocks can be adjusted in ways other than how collapsible buttstocks extend the length of pull. These precision stocks are like fixed stocks but may have an adjustable butt padding or a cheek riser. These precision stocks may also provide a small compartment to hold small tools or necessary items.
Folding stocks make it easier to carry or pack your AR-15 rifles. However, these buttstocks may or may not be allowed to be used in your state, so our team suggests that you verify the existing laws in your state. In some states, rifles that fold under 26 inches are already considered short barrel rifles (SBR).
The minimalist type is an extremely lightweight AR-10 stock. Thus, it is the gold standard for carrying for long-distance hunting escapades or in tactical situations. If you like to hunt long distances or opt to hunt for a longer time, this type is perfect for you. This could be a fixed stock/ collapsible stock, but it provides a low profile.
The last stock product is an extremely compact AR for CQB or any other tactical situation. It comes with its own AR-15 buffer system and accommodates a shorter buffer tube. However, some PDW stocks are mountable to a standard mil-spec buffer tube. This stock is more durable and more compact than any standard polymer stock.
Most first-time builders consider the installation process one of the most crucial factors before buying an AR stock. Based on our research, AR-15 stocks may become a little tricky to install for first-time builders like pistol braces. Therefore, we always suggest finding a buttstock that is easy to install and easy to remove, like the MOE SL. See our comparison between Magpul SL and SLK here.
Generally, the materials used in an AR stock determine its durability. Based on our team’s research, the most popular choice for an AR stock material is a polymer.
Synthetic polymer materials have many attractive properties, such as monodispersity, biocompatibility, controlled composition and chain length, and tunable chemical properties. 
Therefore, the polymer is extremely durable and lightweight compared to aluminum materials or any nylon rifle stock.
The design options are also an essential consideration that buyers should always take note of. We suggest that you look for stocks with a sleek design but fit perfectly, as it drastically improves the overall performance of your AR-15 rifle. Like pistol braces, it is also best to look for design options that provide comfort and balance, matching your shooting preferences at affordable prices. Check out the best SKS stocks here.
Although prices can climb higher when there are more special features, it is still essential to look for special features when buying an AR stock. Additional storage is commonly found on stocks, which is very handy when storing small tools such as optics, extra batteries, and lasers. You can also look for stocks with a built-in 10-round magazine carrier or similar storage compartments, which could benefit your shooting activities.
You can go to any local stores near you to check the products one by one for more options. You can also go to the official website of each company to learn more about the special features and prices of these stocks.
And the #1 AR-15 Stock is...
Our team chose the #1 AR-15 stock to be the Magpul Industries STR Mil-Spec based on extensive research and testing. This collapsible stock comes with two water-resistant battery tubes, giving you extra storage located at a more accessible place. It also provides a supplemental friction lock, minimizing the wobble and maximizing the accuracy of your every shot.
This buttstock is also constructed from a premium chrome-silicon lock spring, which ultimately gives it a more extended service life. You can also find more comfort when using its sloping cheek weld, as it provides a wide contact surface. And lastly, it comes with a shielded release stock latch and a rubber buttpad that adds protection against shoulder impact and any accidental operation.
Our #1 Recommendation
Magpul Industries STR Mil-Spec