First a little political background: In this Post-Ban era, the AR-15 still sets the standard for quality, function, and performance in semi-auto rifles. This in spite of the Politically Correct modifications forced upon it. We can all laugh at the intellectually bankrupt morons who saw "end of the earth evil" in pistol grips, flash hiders, bayonet lugs and hi-capacity magazines. Their mental simplicity of thought went beyond the pale. But they managed to make it stick. Ever since, we have lived with the minor limitations such bans have imposed on our rifles of choice and as most Americans involved in marksmanship pursuits, we have continued to use these products as designed. We compete. We defend. We practice. We plink. We hunt. We get on with life. In terms of actual performance, nothing changed. If anything, the lack of a flash hider has made the AR-15 MORE accurate.
We understand how those in office often want to "appear" effective and will adopt any law if it "looks" like they are doing something, anything, because it is easier than truly trying to fix a problem or facing a reality. This is life. This is the political circus in which we live. As gun owners, we often find ourselves at the mercy of those who know less about what they legislate then a fly knows about the Unified Field Theory. Sadly, with the adoption of the ban on supposedly evil looking, but more or less harmless features on semi-auto rifles, these hysteria driven people have, at times, impacted on the utility of these firearms in ways they did not foresee. How on earth a pistol grip ever hurt anyone is beyond me. But the loss of a collapsible stock certainly took away some of the utility of the rifle for CQB training.
The one truly worthwhile feature of an AR-15 Carbine for instance, is that its size lends itself to home defense, team tactics, dynamic entry and over-all handiness. Whether you are in Law Enforcement, a competitive civilian engaging in tactical type matches or training, a sniper student, a hunter, or even a home owner, a small, portable, and lightweight AR15 has been an excellent option for an all purpose rifle. It will not do it all. But it will do many things well. Law Enforcement personnel may still purchase AR15s with collapsible stocks. But trainers and students in the civilian market are left out in the cold. You can buy a useless fixed skeletal stock that looks like a collapsible, but other than being marginally shorter than an AR-15A1 stock it does nothing for you. It provides no value. A waste of cash.
Today, a new AR-15 related product exists that will give you a real benefit on your carbine, or full-length rifle for that matter. Those looking for a carbine set up (M4, CAR or similar) no longer need fret over the loss of a fully collapsible stock. While we have all had to modify our room entry technique to accommodate a standard length stock, this product now gives us something BETTER. I loved my old Flat-top pre-ban M4 Carbine derivative. In typical fashion, I sold it when I needed the money and have regretted it ever since. To replace it, I would have to go with a post-ban model with a fixed stock, which under normal circumstances, would piss me off since I used the M4 for CQB amongst other training endeavors. However, with the advent of this new product, the sting of being forced to go with a fixed stock on a carbine length AR is greatly lessened. In fact, the new utility of this product makes the loss of a collapsible stock meaningless for most uses.
RASE Industries Inc, of Melbourne Florida, has created a new stock for the AR-15 series that simply yet ingeniously allows the shooter to carry a spare 30 round magazine in the stock. It is carried in such a manner, that if you are performing a speed reload, you can have the rifle back into action in seconds. It's far faster than digging a magazine out of a standard military-issue magazine pouch. In fact, once you master the simple technique, the reloading process is about as fast as any that I have tried with the AR-15 series.
The RASE stock provides several benefits over the standard stock and the collapsible stock. You do give up the buttstock storage area, found in a standard length stock, but this is a minor thing in my view. Besides securely holding a spare metal or plastic 30 round magazine in an easily accessible location, the RASE stock will allow you to perform extremely fast reloads in just about any firing position. It allows totally ambidextrous loading. It matters not a bit which hand you prefer to shoot with. This is doubly important if you actually use your firearm in a real life and death situation. If you are a "door kicker", part of an entry team for your departments SRT, or SWAT team, with the RASE stock you have the ability to keep going after losing the function of an arm. Many have practiced off-hand shooting and reloading with the handgun and AR-15. You know how tuff it can be to dig a mag out of an enclosed pouch under stress. This stock allows for very simple reloading no matter what your situation is. In addition, the feel of the rifle is not greatly changed. You will definitely notice the longer stock if you have trained with a collapsible stock, but those switching out standard A1 or A2 stocks (as found on post-ban ARs) will not notice any difference at all. The RASE stock also allows you to have available, for instant access, several types of ammunition. Depending on the role you are employed in, you can simply keep this spare mag loaded with any tactical load you need on call.
In use, reloads are performed far faster than I can relate. Keeping the weapon on target and your shooting hand on the pistol grip, you dump the empty mag, reach back with your off hand, release the spare mag and moving your hand forward, insert it into the magazine well. It's about that quick. It takes a little practice at first to get the concept, but in short order it is possible to dump the old mag, grab the new one, and be back in action in seconds. Timed against pulling a magazine from my web gear, I could not come close to the speed possible with the RASE stock.
The method of operation is clearly stated in the provided instruction sheet. You will of course modify them slightly to fit your own style but the basics are simple. The short of it is that with the magazine installed in the stock, with top of the magazine facing your shoulder, you reach back, grasp the magazine and draw it forward, using the edge of your index finger or the web of your hand to catch the magazine retention latch. This pushes the retaining latch forward allowing you to rotate the magazine down and out of the stock. As it drops down, you rotate your hand so that you palm the bottom of the magazine. Moving the magazine, which is now vertical, out of the stock, allows the spring-loaded retention latch to spring up out of the way and all that is left to do is sweep your hand forward and insert the magazine in the magazine well on the rifle. Like I said, it takes far longer to describe than to perform. If you visit www.rasestock.com they have a gif sequence that does a fairly good representation of the loading process. It takes a while to download, but if you are interested in the product its worth the short wait.
The magazine, fully loaded, is held firmly in position. It will not shake loose or vibrate out of position. When you first insert the magazine into the RASE stock you will notice a certain amount of resistance. Once installed, this keeps everything tightly in place. However, when you begin the process of drawing the magazine out of the RASE stock, you will be amazed at how quickly you can pull it free with just a moment's practice. Fast and reliable.
Installation of the RASE stock is simple. Remove your original stock by unscrewing top stock retention screw. Remove the old stock from the recoil spring tube. If your old stock used a spacer on the recoil tube, you may need to use it again. Slide the RASE stock into place, making sure your you do not damage the small spring that keeps your rear receiver pin in place. Tighten the top stock retention screw and head for the range.
If you currently use a collapsible stock and want to convert, you will need a standard length recoil spring tube, buffer and buffer spring. These can be found at any number of AR-15 parts outlets.
RASE Industries is also said to be working on a 20 round magazine stock, or possibly including a block in the current stock to allow the use of a 20 round magazine. Retail price, if purchased directly from RASE is $89.95.
To contact RASE you can call their sales department at 321-544-5141 or visit their website.
Impressed by its simplicity and function, we will also be carrying this product on the PX.