Buying Guide: Stocks
Believe it or not, the Stock of your gun plays a much larger part in the functionality and operation of your gun than you might think. The stock is typically where your battery is stored, so having a larger stock will allow you to house a much higher capacity battery, however in doing this you may sacrifice looks and aesthetics, so really it's all about finding a balance between something that's functional while maintaining nice form.
What is a Stock?
A stock is a piece of equipment that is located to the rear of your gun, it is designed to be pulled into your shoulder cavity to provide a secure and stable brace when firing.
What's a Buffer Tube?
Throughout this guide you may see the term Buffer Tube thrown around a lot, if you're unsure what this is, a buffer tube is the long alloy cylinder like tube coming out of the back of your M4 / AR platform, this is what the stock is mounted to and is most commonly where your battery connector is found.
A Crane stock is a multi position style stock that fits onto the rear of your gun, AKA the Buffer Tube. The primary feature of a crane stock that makes it stand out is the ability to house a large capacity battery via two cylindrical tunnels down either side of the stock. If you were to take off rubberised pad on the back of the stock you will see the space for the buffer tube in the middle and two smaller tunnels on the left and on the right, it's designed this way so you can leave your wiring in the middle and position the battery cells down the sides of the stock. The space within these channels is quite large, large enough to fit a 7.4v 2200mah Crane Stock Battery in there, which is one of the highest available on the market.
Crane Stocks are favoured typically in the Airsoft universe due to their battery capacity accommodation, most guns come with them pre-fitted, especially beginner guns.
CTR/MOE Style Stock
A CTR Stock, short for Compact Type Restricted, is a slimline stock most commonly found on M4's and AR-15 variants. They are extremely popular in modern AR setups as they provide a slim, low profile footprint while remaining effective and practical. Unlike the Crane Stock style we mentioned above, the CTR / MOE style stock doesn't provide any extra battery space, which means your wiring and battery needs to be able to fit inside your Buffer Tube, ideally you will need a stick battery no higher than 1450mah, the voltage of which depends on your gun. CTR style stocks are a great way of keeping your rifle slim and ergonomic while maintaining practicality and of course most importantly looks.
A PDW stock is typically a super compact, slim and retractable stock which derives from the weapon platform in the title: PDW, short for Personal Defence Weapon. PDW stocks are most commonly found on compact AR builds and Sub machine guns like the ARP-9 and the Specna Arms E20. They're mounted to a small rail guide system that attaches to the rear of the gun, and two rods along either side of the stock are mounted through the frame, which allows the user to adjust the stock backwards and forwards allowing you to make the gun regular length or super compact. A PDW Stock would be great for someone who loves running and gunning or getting themselves in tight scenarios. Do note though that the frame which the stock is secured to doesn't provide a whole lot of battery space, so if your gun is rear wired and you go for a PDW style stock you're gonna' struggle getting any higher than a 1000mah stick in there.
So now you're all up to speed in the realm of Airsoft Stocks, you can go grab yourself some ammo, load up and get ready for your next skirmish!