Looking for the best AR-15 stock to upgrade or finish a new build?
It’s an important decision.
One that will impact cheekweld, weight, your wallet, and most importantly…looks (duh).
I’ve built, bought, and shot a lot of AR-15s…from general builds to lightweight, pistol caliber carbine (PCC), and precision rigs.
If you want to know the best buttstock for your specific purpose…read on! We also have a separate article for Pistol Braces.
I’ll break everything down with a bazillion pictures.
Table of Contents
Best Adjustable Stocks
1. Magpul MOE
This bad boy set a baseline from the mil-spec (military specification) buttstock which did its job.
The Magpul MOE (Magpul Original Equipment) was on my first rifle…and as you’ll see coming up…I like to rattle-can my AR furniture.
The cheekweld on the MOE vs the Mil-Spec is roughly the same.
But it just looked so much cooler…plus had a bunch more places to place a sling.
If your first rifle comes with one too…you can’t go wrong.
But if you’re looking for my new favorite “standard”…keep on reading!
- Weight: 8 oz.
2. Mission First Battlelink Minimalist
Pretty new in the AR-15 buttstock world…but the Battlelink Minimalist is already taking over with lightweight builds.
It probably gives up a little structural integrity by losing the triangle shape…but you lose a few precious ounces.
And if you find it snagging on equipment…you can bungee or paracord something together.
Cheekweld is an upgrade from the Magpul MOE but nothing to write home about.
And how about a back shot? You get a little more traction on your shoulder and I like that little curve in.
If you’re thinking of a lightweight build but don’t want to go ULTRA light weight (and heavy on price)…this is the one to get.
- Weight: 5.8 oz
3. B5 Systems Bravo
My go-to for a competitive/speed build where you still want to have a great cheekweld is B5 System’s Bravo.
It’s lightweight for the extra amount of space to get that perfect and repeatable cheekweld.
If you’re used to “regular” buttstocks, then switching over to one with a great surface like the Bravo stock will change your life.
Check out my bottom two rifles rocking the Bravo. Full review PSA 5.56 AR-15s.
My first Bravo stock now lives in my accuracy testing lower.
The back is pretty normal and gives a good grip without snagging.
PLUS…it’s not too bad on the wallet at under $60.
My overall favorite for the best adjustable buttstock at a reasonable price.
- Weight: 9.6 oz
What’s your take on the B5 Bravo?
4. Magpul MOE-SL
Next up is another Magpul creation…the MOE-SL…or slim line.
It’s a definite upgrade from the MOE and close to the Bravo in terms of cheekweld for me. But still not better.
It matches up the Bravo in weight and price too. So if you want a better cheekweld than normal and love the look over the plainer Bravo…get the SL.
- Weight: 9.6 oz
5. Magpul STR
The Magpul STR has my favorite cheekweld of all the adjustable stocks.
It comes in a little heavier at 12.5 oz but the STR (storage type restricted) also has water resistant battery tubes on the side.
Oh…and did I mention the cheekweld?
It’s huge…you could land a plane on that thing! And for your face…it makes it super comfy and repeatable for whatever optic you’ll be using.
It came on my PSA AR-10 .308 (full review) and it was great shooting a larger caliber.
Back has the same footprint as the regular MOE…but again you can see that nice slope for storing batteries and giving you comfort.
My favorite cheekweld buttstock if you don’t mind the larger size, weight, and price. Also great for precision builds if you want something easily collapsible.
- Weight: 12.3 oz
6. VLTOR IMOD
One of the first buttstocks to have an expanded cheekweld was the VLTOR IMOD.
I’ve shot this bad boy probably the most…and it shows. However it’s stood the test of time and thousands of rounds.
Plus it has has probably given me a lot of paint on my face.
It’s very comparable to the Magpul STR in terms of cheekweld (edge still to the STR)…and it has battery compartments as well.
And for about $20 more…you’ll shave off some ounces.
So if ounces = pounds, and pounds = pain…but you still want an awesome cheekweld…the IMOD is for you.
- Weight: 9.5 oz
Best Fixed & Lightweight Stocks
7. Strike Industries Viper Fixed
I really wanted to like this one for my featureless builds (AR-15 Featureless Guide).
Strike has been one of the most innovative and affordable companies out there…and I love their featureless grips.
But their Viper Fixed Stock is a miss for me.
Price was right but the large screw inside messed up somehow and I couldn’t install it for the life of me. Many forums and YouTube videos later…I gave up.
AND it’s taking a buffer tube down with it…
- Weight: 12.8
8. Magpul MOE Fixed
Magpul’s entry into the fixed stock world is the MOE Fixed Stock.
Not an original name…but very decent for the price.
Installs very easily and has the same cheekweld as a regular MOE.
If you want a fixed stock with no trouble such as pinning or buying another gadget…the MOE fixed is the way to go.
- Weight: 9.5 oz
9. ELF Ultralight
All for “USA” but would have preferred it smaller or subbed out with an ELF logo on the side. But overall it looks super cool…even the wife said so!
Its design lets you adjust the length while being ULTRA light. Just make sure to fully release the knob or else you can scratch your buffer tube (ask me how I know).
You also have to know that the cheekweld is not going to be awesome. It’s not just on a plain buffer tube…but now you’ll have to contend with those two metal rings.
It’s good for a super fast competition gun where you’re keeping your head high. Or if you’re aiming mostly with visible or IR lasers.
And don’t forget to factor in temperate climates…I wouldn’t want to use that in sub-zero or 100+ degree heat.
It’s also held up fine with normal but I haven’t (and wouldn’t) mortar this during malfunctions…just in case.
In the end, if you want to look cool, save a couple ounces, and can spend the extra coin…get the ELF.
- Weight: 5.2 oz
10. Battle Arms Development LBS
Another entry into the ultralight arena is BAD’s LBS (Lightweight Butt Stock).
It’s crazy light at 3 oz.
And gives you a smooth buffer tube as a cheekweld.
Be sure that you’re ok with the short length of pull on a regular buttstock…since now you’re stuck with your buffer tube length.
Tension has been great and it should be able to handle a mortar since its directly against the buffer tube. However…I haven’t tried and wouldn’t recommend doing it.
Great for a SBR with a more vertical-angled pistol grip which will help with the short buttstock.
- Weight: 3.0 oz
Best Precision Stocks
11. Luth AR
If you want something heavier and really adjustable for not just length of pull…but cheek rise too. Luth’s AR stock does so at a reasonable price.
Both the rear and cheekweld section are able to be minutely adjusted and locked to suite your scoped rifle needs. Here it is on my Aero M5 .308 (full review).
Cheekweld is better than the MOE but not approaching the others that have a slanted edge.
However the name of the game is adjustability and rear weight. In that area the Luth AR excels.
Plus…it’s more affordable than the current gold standard that is coming up.
- Weight: 19 oz for rifle length version
12. Magpul PRS
The go-to for a precision AR stock…Magpul’s PRS Gen 3.
It definitely feels more quality than the Luth with its construction and easier adjustment knobs that have a satisfying click.
Cheekweld is also slightly better.
Plus it can fit on both rifle and carbine length buffer tubes.
I also like the flat bottom so you can get a good sandbag base under there.
This is what you get when you’re serious about precision in the AR-10 and AR-15 platforms.
It has the weight and price tag to warrant it.
- Weight: 31 oz
There you have it…a dozen of the most popular AR-15 buttstocks out there.
Hopefully you’ve figured out which one is right for your purpose and budget.
To sum it up…
My favorite overall adjustable stock is the B5 Systems Bravo:
While the one with the best cheekweld is Magpul’s STR. It can also function as a precision stock if you’re looking for lighter weight and maneuverability at the cost of minute adjustments.
And the no-frills fixed stock of the day is the Magpul MOE Fixed:
If you’re going ultralight and want adjustability…go with ELF’s Ultralight:
And for the gold standard in precision stocks…take a look at Magpul’s PRS:
How did we do? Any popular stocks that you want to see in a future article update? Want more AR-15 upgrades? Check out our AR-15 Ultimate Guide.