If you follow Modern Rifleman on Instagram, you’ve probably seen that I recently received my approved Form 1 to turn my Aero Precision AR-15 lower receiver into a short-barreled rifle (SBR). Though I’ve always wanted to build a Mk18 Mod 0 clone of sorts, I also felt the urge to change things up with this built using different furniture and accessories than I have in the past. Because of this temptation, I kept a close eye on Palmetto State Armory’s daily sales and hopped on a Magpul MOE lower build kit as soon as the sets went on sale.
Once the kit arrived and I had it assembled into a rifle, I found that I wasn’t pleased with the MOE stock. While the contoured butt plate was surprisingly comfortable, the stock’s narrow profile offered little in the way of cheek real estate once the rifle was shouldered. Moving between my SOPMOD-equipped SR-15 and my MOE-toting Mk18 build meant significantly altering my hold and I simply couldn’t get comfortable with the Magpul part.
The only problem I faced, or thought I faced at the time, was that legitimate SOPMOD-style stocks tend to be very pricey. Though it came complete with the buffer and buffer tube, my LMT SOPMOD set me back $200 just six years ago. More recently, B5 Systems versions of the SOPMODs have come to market, but they still fetch $100 or more, which was beyond what I wanted to pay.
While searching for deals on the B5 and LMT stocks, I stumbled upon a discussion at AR15.com where some users recommended a $23 version of the SOPMOD stock made by JE Designs and sold through Delta Team Tactical. I had never heard of JE Designs, and I still know very little about the company. They’re made in the United States and come with all the features of the B5 and LMT versions. At Delta Team’s asking price, I felt I had little to lose and sprung for one of these mysterious buttstocks.
It took around a week to get it, but soon as I opened the package from Delta Team, I knew the stock was a legitimate SOPMOD. It looks and feels almost exactly like my LMT branded model, but with a slightly rougher texture and more defined mold lines. The rubber butt pad is the same material on the JE Designs part as the LMT one and sports only a minimally different checkered pattern. Like my LMT example, the JE Designs stock features a QD sling mounting point.
Dimensionally, the stocks are the same. The JE Designs SOPMOD fits my LMT and PSA milspec buffer tubes in precisely the same way that the LMT stock does. As such, the JE SOPMOD wobbles some on my PSA tube, which seems to be at the very low end of spec as every stock I’ve tried on that receiver extension exhibits significant side-to-side play. According to my postal scale, both stocks weigh 11.6 ounces.
Now, there are some notable differences between the JE Designs SOPMOD and the LMT version. Firstly, the JE stock features an additional retention tab for the butt plate that can be found on the stock’s heel. The LMT only sports two tabs, found just behind the QD sling mount. These are also present on the JE Designs SOPMOD.
Elsewhere, the JE Designs stock sports two small holes near the front of its body. Tabs on the storage tube caps slip into these holes to prevent the compartments from opening during use. This is a different approach than the one taken by LMT, where two small, internal arms extend in front of the caps to keep them securely in place. In both cases, the stocks must be removed from the rifles in order to access the on-board storage.
In terms of durability, I really see no reason why the JE Designs stock wouldn’t be every bit as trustworthy as the LMT or B5 branded versions. It’s made of what looks and feels to be the same polymer, weighs exactly the same, and is dimensionally identical. The only thing it lacks is a sexy rollmark and a hefty price tag. Like any polymer (or metal) part, if you abuse the stock enough, it will fail. However, this stock should be expected to handle the same milspec testing that the LMT and B5 Systems models successfully completed.
After spending some time with the JE Designs SOPMOD, I cannot see myself dropping the extra coin for the B5 or LMT versions ever again. The stock fits my rifles’ receiver extensions just like my LMT SOPMOD and the storage tubes, though slightly different, work just as well.
When you consider that the JE stock costs $23 plus shipping, compared to $100+ for the aforementioned alternatives, the choice, in my opinion, is quite clear – go with the JE Designs product and use the money saved on ammo or other accessories for your rifle.