The stock. Everyone focuses on cool optics, pistol grips, sights, lasers, flashlights, muzzle brakes, suppressors, charging handles… Pretty much every other part. I don’t blame them – you shove a stock into your shoulder and it doesn’t DO anything but… well, sit there near your armpit and let you put your cheek on it. Any stock that doesn’t move and lets you get a cheek weld is fine, right? Maybe. But maybe not.
Looking to replace my basic collapsible stock, I settled on an MFT Minimalist stock. First, it looked pretty damn sexy. Second, it was very light – about 5.5oz. My AR is a light rifle and I wanted to shave a bit more weight from it and this stock fit the bill. This thing is so light that it is very noticeable on my build. The lack of a lower strut removes a ton of plastic, but it gives it a hook shape – that made me nervous. If it’d catch on my webbing, gear, car door, tree branches or anything else then it would be a No-Go from the get go.
I borrowed a chest rig and battle belt (my stolen battle belt is being rebuilt) and tried getting this stock to snag on stuff, and I really couldn’t. Even climbing in and out of my car went fine. The only time it dragged through material slowing me down was when I went climbing through my neighbors bush – and to be fair, EVERYTHING was getting in the way while doing that (no bushes were harmed during the making of this review). I think the success of the snagless hook design is the thickness, combined with the shallow curve; there’s just not enough there to actually get caught.
Now that the snagging fear was out of the way, I needed to check the other important factors that a stock’s worth is based on.
Stability. This stock is pretty much rock solid. There is very, very little play between it and the buffer tube. In comparison, the TI-7 stock it replaced (since it was moved to my .308 AR) was just as solid, but the Magpul MOE carbine stock the .308 had mounted had a relatively large amount of play. Excellent.
Cheekweld. My TI-7 had extra protrusions to give excellent cheekwelds, but this Minimalist stock doesn’t have them. Despite that, it gives a good weld. I had no problems locking my cheek down when using a scope, Aimpoint Comp M4, nor my BUIS. I wouldn’t mind if the tube of the stock were slightly wider, being spoiled by the TI-7, but really that’s just nit-picking.
Maneuverability. This stock is comfortable in all 6 positions, and even if dropped in closer to the receiver for use with armor or not, it’s easy to shoulder this stock. The slight hook at the bottom of the stock aids in getting the stock into place, and the rubber padding at the rear helps keep it there.
Strength. I was worried about how strong the stock would be, missing the bottom strut normally found on stocks, but my fears were unfounded. I wouldn’t try to smash in a door with the stock, but if you had to do a buttstroke to the head on someone, it’ll do in a pinch.
Internal storage. There is none. No battery compartments, chewing tobacco hideouts, tool storage, etc. None. I run an Aimpoint so no need for extra batteries there and flashlight spares are stored in my pistol grip, and I quit tobacco a decade ago, so that wasn’t an issue for me. YMMV.
One more really awesome detail is that it has a rotating QD sling mount socket on the bottom of the tube, forward of the release lever. This lets you hook up a sling, ambidextrously, in a great position to keep the sling out of your way. I ended up liking it more than traditional positions at the rear of most stocks and endplates. In fact, I stopped using my QD endplate completely.
The more I play with this stock, the more I like it. Not sure I’d put it on my .308 (but I’m willing to try!) but for a light weight AR15 build? Absolutely. And I gotta say, this stock is a perfect match for a SBR build – I can’t think of a better one for that kind of build, actually.
This stock is staying on my rifle. And as good as it is, as inexpensive as it is at only $50, I will absolutely be getting more for future builds.