The AR-15 has over six decades of history as being one of the most important firearms in the world. Armalite sold the rights and design specs to Colt Firearms in the late 1950’s. The AR does not stand for assault rifle, as many believe; it is named after the creator, ArmaLite. The AR-15 platform is a modern day sporting rifle used for anything from small game to national target matches.
Colt’s patent expired in 1977 and since then a huge number of manufacturers have built their own versions. Colt Firearms still holds the AR-15 trademark. The varied designs by each builder carry different accessories suited for each rifle.
As firearms became more sophisticated, so did the component parts. Larger and larger calibers increased the amount of recoil. Manufacturers soon realized to improve comfort and accuracy, better technology had to extend to the buttstock. The beauty of the AR-15 is the compatibility of component parts across different manufacturers.
The most basic form of an AR 15 stock is either one or two-piece. A one-piece stock will extend to the fore-end of the firearm. A two-piece stock is broken down into one piece before it reaches the fore-end stock. There is also the Magpul, which is a direct buttstock replacement for the AR-15.
The one-piece AR 15 stock design is generally a complete lower assembly of the firearm, no magazine. The design is varied among builders, with a full-length stock attached to the upper portion of the rifle, extending to the fore-end. Extender tubes are available, with other accessories such as swivel mounts and padded end plates. The materials used to build the one–piece are mostly hard-anodized aluminum.
When you start shopping for a buttstock, have some idea of what your needs are FIRST! There are hundreds of designs with dozens of different colors and materials, in all the calibers on hand. Some configurations allow for the complete change-out of all components, other configurations do not. Be prepared and shop your heart out.
A popular option among AR-15 enthusiasts is the build kit. There are plenty of different designs available. Shop and compare on the internet before feeling out at a gun shop.
Turning your rifle into a pistol is a great conversion, do it piece-by-piece or buy the entire kit. The kit will give you a full conversion all the way to a different trigger assembly. Most of the packages available include grips, guards and new pipe assemblies. If that conversion is a bit much, try just the trigger assembly or maybe a shortened stock and pistol grip.
Become an enthusiast of the AR-15 platform to discover an unbelievable amount of customizations available.
One of the more recent developments is the Magpul. The Magpul Company first developed their product from the NATO and U.S. Armed Forces. Users were pulling magazines out of their pouches. Characterized by a short assembly, is the Magpul design. The assembly attached to the rest of the platform by a buffer tube. The buffer tube has two configurations, Mil-Spec and Commercial. Buffer tubes house the recoil buffer mechanism. The difference in buffer tubes is how the recoil mechanism cycles to the next round.
The Magpul stock will generally sport an A-frame profile in a host of colors and configurations. The profile can be a solid design or pass-through look, with built-in release latches. The AR 15 stock will also have a host of adjustments available the more money you want to spend. The stock designs are minimal to reduce weight and full cheek support. These designs have the same type of accessories as the single profile stock, including storage spaces. Colors include dark gray, dark earth/black, drab green and even pink is available. The popular Magpul stock is a true drop-in replacement.
The collapsible stock is a great choice for the enthusiast who needs the perfect fit. Adjustable cheek plates along with butt plate extensions that can be raised or lowered are a few of the alterations you can make. Standard accessories include swivel mounts and padded butt plates. These stocks are usually very lite, some weighing just 18 ounces. The size is similar to the magpul stock.
Have fun when shopping for the AR-15!