How to remove and AR Buttstock

One Stop Guide – How to Remove an AR Stock

One of the main advantages of an AR platform is the level of customization available for the weapon. Yet another one of these areas has to do with available butt stock options. SO lets take a look at removing the butt stock to change it out.

Why you Might Want to Remove Your AR Stock

There are several reasons why you might to remove the stock on your ar style weapon. 

Some of the reasons to remove your stock might include:

  1. Cleaning
  2. Repair
  3. Replacement with a different style of stock
  4. Adding a side sling ring
  5. Or for Some other modification such as a replacement of the buffer tube
  6. Just because you like knowing every aspect of your weapon

Regardless of the reason that you might want to remove the stock on your AR, it is a relatively uncomplicated task that most people can accomplish on their own.

Keep in mind though, that being uncomplicated does not always mean it is the easiest task. With that being said you will learn all of the tips you need here to be able to remove your stock without damaging your AR. 

The following guide is pretty much the same regardless of whether you have an AR-9, AR-10 or AR-15. These are all relatively the same design in their makeup, with only the size of the parts varying. 

Tools You Might Need

With the knowledge that swapping out or removing your AR stock is a task you can manage on your own, let’s explore some of the tools you may or will need to accomplish this. 

  1. Penetrating Oil
  2. Cleaning Cloths
  3. Stiff Bristle Brush
  4. Castle Nut Wrench
  5. Small Metal Punch
  6. Nylon/Brass Tipped Hammer
  7. Replacement Stock ***If it is being swapped out.*** 

Depending on your particular AR you might not need the punch and hammer. But there is a fairly high probability that the Castle Nut on your AR has been staked. If so, then the punch and hammer will be needed to remove it. 

Types of Stocks You are Likely To encounter

When dealing with an AR platform, they come with one of several types of stocks. For an AR this is almost always going to be either a fixed stock or a collapsible stock. 

While folding stocks do exist for an AR, they require extensive modification of the rifle such as in these folding ARs.

Very rarely will you encounter a folding stock on an AR, with that in mind we are not going to cover those in this article. 

A fixed stock or traditional stock use to be the standard, however the majority of ARs sold today are sold with collapsible stocks. These are stocks that will slide down the buffer tube to either shorten or lengthen the pull length of the rifle and the overall size of the rifle. 

Removing a Traditional Stock

A fixed stock which you may think of as a traditional stock is what the original AR rifles were designed with. These feature a stock made of a specific size that is non-movable and does not have any adjustments. 

Some of these may have had small compartments in the rear of the stock to hold cleaning kits and other similarly sized items. 

To remove one of these styles of stocks follow the steps below.

  1. Ensure a safe and empty weapon
  2. Remove any slings on the weapon
  3. Remove the upper from the rifle
  4. Remove the buffer and spring from inside the buffer tube
  5. Remove the flat head screw at the rear of the butt stock. 
  6. Capture the lower spring from under the butt stock.
  7. Screw the buffer tube out, being careful not to loose the buffer retaining spring.

Fixed Stock Removal Video

Removing a Collapsible Stock

If you are removing the entire collapsible stock and replacing it with a different design or brand it may be necessary to follow the same steps listed above. 

However, more commonly you are just removing the portion that slides and not the buffer/slide assembly. 

In these cases look for a small release, normally on the bottom of the butt stock or inside of a cutout that allows the stock to move. Pull it away from the tube and the butt stock should slide off the end of the tube. 

Here is a short video that demonstrates this process. Often times the new buttstock can be slide back on without the need to change the buffer tube. 

Collapsing Stock Removal Video

Removing the Buffer Tube to Swap a Collapsible Stock

There may be a time when you choose to replace the buffer tube along with your adjustible butt stock. This may be necessary in some cases where the new butt stock doesn’t fit on the old tube.

In these instances a few more steps are required.

  1. Ensure the weapon is empty
  2. Remove any slings on the weapon
  3. Remove the upper from the rifle
  4. Remove the buffer and spring from inside the buffer tube
  5. Remove the collapsing stock as demonstrated above
  6. Examine the castle nut and surrounding thread for damage or staking
  7. It is likely the castle nut is staked, this is a small indention where the metal has been pushed into the castle nut to prevent it from loosening.
  8. Use a punch to push the staking clear of the castle nut. (See Video Below)
  9. Use an armors wrench to loosen the castle nut. If there is any confusion on which direction you should turn the nut, look closely at the threads. At the point where the threads begin you will turn the nut towards the opening to loosen it. (Picture below)
  10. Once the castle nut is released you can rotate the entire stock/buffer tube assembly and un-thread it from the lower receiver. 

Removing a Staked Castle Nut Video

While you can remove the stock from your weapon, and even fire it so long as the buffer tube remains you must be aware of the overall length of the gun. Federal regulations require that any rifles be at least 25 inches in total length.

This is measured from the rear of the butt stock in its collapsed position to the front of the barrel or permanently affixed attachment on the barrel.

If you were to remove the butt stock and the weapon falls below this maximum length then you could face heavy fines and possible jail time if you actually used the weapon while in that state.

However, simply removing it to clean or replace is not an issue.

Similar Posts