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ACE ARFX Lightweight Stocks
One new item making the rounds on the gun boards and AR15.com is the new ACE lightweight fixed stocks. I first saw these a few months ago and had some questions about the strength of the stocks and the idea that something that looks like a folding stock but does not fold. Not being a big fan of fake stuff, I figured I would pass on it until someone else I met had one I could check out. ACE used to be known as Stock Options, one of the first innovators of US made stocks for use on imported AKs in order to comply with the Bush import ban of 1989. Bob Weir is one of the first people to be credited with marketing a legal solution to what was then the thumbhole stock "problem" on imported semi-auto rifles. Unfortunately, it did not catch on too well until after the 1994 ban, but there are still a number of legit post 1989 and pre Sept 1994 AKs and Daewoos wearing Bob's stocks.
As it turned out, I recently saw a guy at a gun show in Portland who had one of the new ACE stocks installed on his rifle and I was instantly impressed. It has a hefty feel, but in putting it on the scales in comparison to my A2 stock it is actually lighter. The foam cheek pad is nice for all weather, and the multiple sling mounting points are a real added bonus. What I really like is how the guy was thinking when he made the sling mounts fully ambidextrous, including the single points which are at the front part of the stock. The stocks look good and function well, in my opinion to the point that they have no disadvantages in comparison to the common preban "telestocks". The buttpad is soft rubber and you can remove it if you prefer the shorter stock, or put a thicker one on if you want a longer length of pull. Personally, the standard one is fine by me and I see no reason to change it.
These stocks are not cheap, but you are getting what you pay for and it is not exorbitant. The price structure is a two tier price. You can get the stock cheaper as an upfit kit that does not include the buffer tube or internals that would be on your existing stock, or you can get the full build kit, that has everything behind the receiver. For ease of installation, I recommend that you do the OSI receiver modification that is detailed here. Standard installation of the ACE stocks is not quite as easy as the standard GI stocks, but is still simple enough for the average owner. Many people report that the stock needs to be whacked into place for the last 1/4 inch. I just smacked the butt down on a soft redwood board while firmly holding the receiver and it went into place. I suspect that removing the stock assembly might be a little more problematic. You will also want to use something to lubricate the foam pad when you slide it on. ACE recommends an evaporating lubricant like WD-40 or soapy water. Soaps can have stuff in them that will cause hidden corrosion, so I opt for the WD-40.
Mine came from CMMG, which is one of the more active of the online marketers specializing in AR15 related parts and accessories and some survival gear. Pricing can vary a little bit on the stock kits, but usually the upfit kit is under $100 and the full kit is around $130. That accounts for some fair value pricing on the extra parts in the full kit. You can most likely make a deal for a middle range price without the buffer or spring if you plan on using one of the pneumatic buffer strut assemblies from Field Logic. Which I reviewed in detail last year and have the article here.
Gunsmithing the AR-15 type rifles. - Savvy survivor's main jump off point for information on Gunsmithing the AR12 type rifles.
OSI Receiver Modification - Recommended so you do not lose the rear takedown pin detent and spring during removal or installation of a stock.
CMMG - Online vendor of the ARFS stocks and other AR15 parts and accessories. They usually have stocks on hand and ship at the speed of the internet.
ACE Gun stocks and accessories - Inventors and manufacturers of the ARFX and similar rifle stocks.
Pneumatic Recoil System for AR15 rifles (replaces buffer and spring) - Article related to the best recoil and action spring combo made for the full size AR stocks.
Field Logic Corporation (their website is down, but here is the guys email contact info for the pneumatic buffers) Email firstname.lastname@example.org