Expert Guide: How to Remove AR Stock – Detailed Steps and Tips

Welcome to our expert guide on how to remove an AR stock! Whether you’re a seasoned firearms enthusiast or a beginner looking to customize your AR rifle, knowing how to remove the stock is an essential skill. In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive step-by-step guide, as well as valuable tips and insights, to help you successfully remove the AR stock with ease.

Before we dive into the details, let’s briefly understand the importance of removing the AR stock. The stock removal process allows you to replace or upgrade your existing stock, change the length of pull, or perform maintenance tasks on your rifle. It’s a fundamental skill that every AR owner should possess to enhance their shooting experience and make necessary modifications.

Gather the Required Tools and Ensure Safety

Before you start removing the AR stock, it’s crucial to gather the necessary tools and ensure your safety. Here are the tools you’ll need:

Punch Set

A punch set consisting of various sizes will help you remove pins and other components.


A small hammer will be useful for tapping pins and loosening tight parts.


A flathead or Phillips screwdriver may be needed to remove screws or fasteners.

Stock Wrench

A stock wrench is a specialized tool designed to remove and install stocks on AR rifles.

Once you have the necessary tools, it’s important to prioritize safety. Follow these safety precautions:

Eye Protection

Always wear protective eyewear to shield your eyes from any debris or flying parts.

Unloaded Firearm

Ensure your AR rifle is unloaded and clear of any ammunition before starting any work.

Safe Working Area

Choose a safe and well-lit working area where you can comfortably manipulate your rifle without any distractions.

Read the Manual

If you’re unfamiliar with your specific AR rifle model, refer to the manufacturer’s manual for any additional safety guidelines or precautions.

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Unload and Clear Your AR Rifle

Prior to removing the AR stock, it’s important to double-check and confirm that your rifle is unloaded and clear of any ammunition. Follow these steps:

Check the Chamber

Point the firearm in a safe direction and visually inspect the chamber to ensure it is empty. Keep your finger off the trigger at all times.

Remove the Magazine

Press the magazine release button and remove the magazine from the lower receiver. Set it aside in a safe place.

Visually Inspect the Rifle

Examine the rifle visually, ensuring there are no rounds in the chamber or anywhere else in the firearm. Confirm that the bolt carrier group is in the forward position.

Confirm Unloaded Status

Once you have visually inspected the rifle, reconfirm that it is unloaded before proceeding with any further steps.

Remove the Castle Nut and End Plate

The castle nut and end plate secure the buffer tube to the lower receiver. To gain access to the stock, you’ll need to remove these components. Follow these steps:

Secure Your Rifle

Place your rifle in a stable position by using a rifle vise, bench block, or any other suitable method that keeps it secure.

Loosen the Castle Nut

Using a stock wrench, insert the appropriate end of the wrench into the castle nut and turn it counterclockwise to loosen it. Apply steady pressure to break the castle nut free.

Remove the Castle Nut

Once the castle nut is loose, continue turning it counterclockwise until it can be fully removed from the buffer tube. Set it aside in a safe place.

Remove the End Plate

With the castle nut removed, you can now slide the end plate off the buffer tube. Be careful not to lose any detents or springs that may be present behind the end plate.

Free the Buffer Tube

Once the end plate is removed, the buffer tube will be free from the lower receiver, allowing you to proceed with the next steps of the stock removal process.

Detach the Buffer Tube

The buffer tube houses the recoil spring and buffer assembly. Detaching it from the lower receiver is the next step in removing the AR stock. Follow these steps:

Secure the Buffer Tube

Using a stock wrench, secure the buffer tube by inserting the appropriate end of the wrench into the flats of the buffer tube.

Unscrew the Buffer Tube

Turn the stock wrench counterclockwise to unscrew the buffer tube from the lower receiver. Apply steady pressure to break any thread locker or resistance present.

Remove the Buffer Tube

Once the buffer tube is fully unscrewed, carefully lift it away from the lower receiver, making sure not to damage any internal components or threads.

Inspect the Buffer Tube

Take a moment to inspect the buffer tube for any signs of wear, damage, or corrosion. If necessary, clean the buffer tube thoroughly before proceeding.

Separate the Stock from the Buffer Tube

Now that you have access to the buffer tube, it’s time to separate the stock from the tube itself. The method will depend on the type of stock you have. Follow these steps:

Collapsible Stock

If you have a collapsible stock, it is typically secured to the buffer tube with a lock or latch mechanism. Locate the release lever or button and disengage it to unlock the stock. Slide the stock off the buffer tube.

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Fixed Stock

If you have a fixed stock, it is usually attached with screws or pins. Use the appropriate screwdriver or punch to remove the screws or pins, allowing you to slide the stock off the buffer tube.

Inspect the Stock

Once the stock is separated from the buffer tube, take a moment to inspect it for any damage or wear. Clean the stock thoroughly and address any maintenance or repairs needed.

Inspect and Clean the Stock and Buffer Tube

Now that you’ve removed the stock, it’s a good opportunity to inspect and clean both the stock and buffer tube. Follow these steps:

Check for Damage

Thoroughly examine the stock and buffer tube for any signs of wear, cracks, or other damage. Pay close attention to stress points and areas that may have been exposed to excessive force.

Clean the Stock

Using a suitable cleaning solution and a soft cloth or brush, clean the stock to remove any dirt, debris, or residue. Pay special attention to hard-to-reach areas and ensure all surfaces are thoroughly wiped down.

Clean the Buffer Tube

Inspect the buffer tube for any dirt, debris, or signs of corrosion. Use a cleaning solution and a cleaning brush to remove any contaminants. Wipe the tube dry with a clean cloth.


Apply a light coat of lubrication to the buffer tube if necessary. Use a high-quality lubricant specifically designed for firearms to protect the tube and ensure smooth operation.

Reassemble the AR Rifle

With the stock removed, it’s time to reassemble your AR rifle. Follow these steps to ensure a proper and secure reassembly:

Attach the Buffer Tube

Align the buffer tube with the lower receiver and carefully thread it back into position. Use the stock wrench to tighten the buffer tube clockwise until it is snug against the lower receiver.

Secure the Buffer Tube

Once the buffer tube is in place, use the stock wrench to apply a final tightening torque. Ensure the buffer tube is securely attached to the lower receiver, but avoid overtightening, which can cause damage.

Install the End Plate

Slide the end plate back onto the buffer tube, aligning it with the notches or holes on the tube. Ensure any detents or springs are properly seated in their designated positions.

Tighten the Castle Nut

Reinstall the castle nut onto the buffer tube, making sure it engages with the end plate. Use the stock wrench to tighten the castle nut clockwise until it is snug against the end plate.

Final Check

Once the castle nut is tightened, ensure that the buffer tube, end plate, and castle nut are properly aligned and secure.

Test and Adjust the Stock

After reassembling your AR rifle, it’s crucial to test and adjust the stock to ensure it functions properly and provides the desired length of pull. Follow these steps:

Function Test

With the rifle pointed in asafe direction and following all safety protocols, perform a function test to ensure that the stock and buffer tube are securely attached and that the rifle operates smoothly. Check the functionality of the charging handle, bolt catch, safety selector, and trigger. Verify that the stock locks into position securely and does not wobble or move excessively.

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Adjust the Length of Pull

If your new stock offers adjustable length of pull, take the time to adjust it to your desired preference. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to extend or shorten the stock according to your needs. Ensure that the stock locks securely in each position and does not slip or move while shooting.

Comfort and Ergonomics

Once the stock is adjusted, shoulder your rifle and ensure that it feels comfortable and ergonomic. Pay attention to the positioning of your cheek against the stock and the alignment of your eye with the sights or optics. Make any necessary adjustments to achieve a comfortable and natural shooting position.

Further Customization Options

Now that you have mastered the skill of removing the AR stock, you can explore further customization options to personalize your rifle. Here are a few ideas:

Adjustable Stocks

If you haven’t already, consider upgrading to an adjustable stock. These stocks offer a wide range of length of pull adjustments, allowing you to find the perfect fit for your body size and shooting style. Adjustable stocks are particularly beneficial if you share your rifle with other shooters who have different preferences.

Attachments and Accessories

With the stock removed, you have the opportunity to attach various accessories to the buffer tube. Consider adding a sling mount, a monopod, or a storage compartment to enhance the functionality and versatility of your rifle. Just ensure that any attachments are securely installed and do not interfere with the operation of the rifle.

Alternate Stock Materials

While most AR stocks are made from durable and lightweight materials like polymer or aluminum, you may want to explore alternate options. Stocks made from materials such as wood or carbon fiber can add a unique aesthetic touch to your rifle. However, ensure that the chosen material meets your requirements for durability, weight, and compatibility with your AR rifle.

Custom Paint or Cerakote

If you want to give your AR rifle a personalized look, consider customizing the stock with a paint job or Cerakote finish. This can add a unique and eye-catching design to your rifle while also providing additional protection against scratches or corrosion. Ensure that the chosen finish is compatible with the stock material and does not interfere with the operation of the rifle.

In conclusion, knowing how to remove an AR stock is an essential skill for any AR owner. By following our expert guide, you now possess the knowledge and step-by-step instructions to safely and effectively remove the AR stock. Remember to prioritize safety, gather the necessary tools, and take your time during the process. With practice, you’ll gain confidence in customizing and maintaining your AR rifle to suit your preferences and shooting needs. Whether you’re upgrading to a new stock or performing routine maintenance, the ability to remove the AR stock opens up a world of possibilities for customization and personalization. Enjoy the journey of exploring different stocks and making your AR rifle truly your own.

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