The A1 vs A2 stock for the AR-15 debate is tho relevant and confuses many people looking to select one. Some people view the A2 stocks through a frowny appearance because of their one distinct feature against the A1.

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Whereas the other consider A1 to it is in the appropriate stock because that an AR-style rifle.

The discussion will sheathe in detail what are these factors and how do they affect you in the lengthy or maybe the brief run.


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When to be the A2 stock Adopted?

The A2 share was developed upon the inquiry of the united States naval Corps ~ their fight experience through the A1 share in the Vietnam war. The USMC embraced the A2 as their traditional stock in 1983 i m sorry later followed suit through the army adopting it as their conventional in 1985.

The M16A2 was overall a much more versatile weapon with an ext refinements compared to the initial A1 models. The A2 stock v its longer design was the answer to thicker armor i m sorry was beginning to obtain traction among military units.

Relevant Characteristics in between A1 and A2 Stocks


A1 Stock

A2 Stock


9-⅞ inches

10-½ inches

Materials (Original)

Fiberglass fill polymer

DuPont Zytel glass-filled thermoset polymer

Trap Door / Toolkit



Butt optimal Screw

⅝th of one inch

1-⅛ inches

Plastic Spacer



Similarities and Differences

Steering in the direction of the crux the this article, fine now understand the attributes that do A1 and also A2 stock similar or different. These determinants can be significant or hard to notice, more translation into tiny or large advantages.

A1 and also A2 share Differences

Overall Length

This is the very first and most straightforward difference in between these stocks. The A1 stock has actually an OAL of 9-⅞ inches. This method an A1 design M16/AR-15 rifle will have actually a LOP (Length of Pull) of 12.875 inches.

Hence the A1 have the right to be viewed as a shorter stock that frequently fits better for youth or smaller sized stature shooters.

The A2 ~ above the various other hand has a size of 10-½ inches. This method standard A2 rifles will have actually a LOP of 13.5 inches. That’s what most adult shooters v average elevation prefer.

Spacer, Trapdoor and Butt Screw

Somewhat linked to the over point. Since the A2 share are much longer than the A1, they require a polymer spacer to be an installed on the receiver"s end to accommodate their length.

Additionally, the much longer length likewise calls because that a longer butt peak screw. Never disregard the length of the peak screw if you setup to interchange A1 and A2 stocks. As utilizing the wrong length will impede the buffer tube’s function.

A2 stocks attribute a trapdoor that deserve to be supplied to keep a clean kit. Whereas A1 share are fully solid.


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Material and also Durability

By the time A2 stocks had started being manufactured and deployed. Polymer modern technology had advanced leaps and bounds. While that doesn’t connote in any manner that A1 stocks room not durable. But the A2 stocks room tougher and slightly lighter in weight as result of the progressed polymer.

Additionally, you’ll uncover the butt plate ~ above the A2 share to it is in checkered. A1’s are plain polymer and also sometimes rubberized.

A1 and A2 stock Similarities

Same simple design

The A1 and A2 stocks look pretty lot the same and also showcase differences only once looked upon and inspected closely. The curvature, ergonomics, cheek weld, and other primary style elements room the same.

The ⅝ inch of distinction in the LOP is not a significant difference for plenty of users. Plus, no of these stocks deserve to be adjusted for LOP or cheek weld in their simple form.


A1 and also A2 stocks deserve to be interchanged on one M16/AR-15 rifle there is no the require for any significant refinements or device upgrades. The A2 simply needs a spacer and a longer butt peak screw.

This interchangeable style ensures that you can work with either of these stocks depending upon the choices of the user.


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Advantages of A1 Stocks

The A1 is a more compact and simpler design that suits most shooters. Being a much shorter design, the stock enables the shooter to keep the rifle closer to the body as soon as shooting. Which method that her eye will be closer to the sight.

A1 share are an excellent for combat. Their all at once length means that a shooter doesn’t have to be picky about the length. The stock itself is really durable and often comes through a level rubberized butt finish for comfort.

These share are great for young shooters, women, and also anybody else that has quick hands. The A1 supplies a shorter buttstock screw which have the right to be used with A2 stocks, in case you shed or don’t have one. The rounded corners in ~ the toe and heel space a tad protective because that the shooter.

Advantages that A2 Stocks

A2 stocks are around ⅝ inches much longer than A1. The difference is menial but what the does needs to do v shooting comfort. The longer stock is much better for the compete shooter, especially when shooting from the prone position.

The A2 stock also has a tiny trap door leading to a compartment inside. This space is intended for moving a cleaning kit or any kind of other smaller advantageous piece that equipment.

It is likewise worth noting that A2 was emerged after the A1. The advancement in polymer an innovation gives the A2 an edge with an ext rugged construction. The A1 is a much much better target shoot stock.


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Bottom Line

The A2 stock is a slight alteration of the former A1 stock. Or in various other words, the M16A2 was an upgraded variation of the M16A1 therefore there had actually to it is in a couple of changes in plenty of aspects. The A1 is a more compact stock that helps v easy and quick taking care of regardless of the stance.

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The A2 on the other hand is a tad longer with a tiny storage compartment on the rear and also a checkered polymer buttplate. The A2 was also far better in regards to durability back in the work due to technological advancements. But that’s no the issue anymore. Eventually, it every drills under to your personal preference.