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Reptilia Awarded Prestigious Contract to Supply Weapon Accessories for the Alternative Individual Weapon System for the UK MOD

Reptilia is proud to announce that we have been awarded a prestigious contract, in partnership with our UK distributor Edgar Brothers, to supply the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) with a range of specially designed, battle-proven weapon accessories for the new L403A1 Alternative Individual Weapon System.

Project Hunter demanded weapon accessories that not only met high standards of durability and functionality, but also pushed the boundaries of innovation, ergonomics, and weight savings. We are proud to have exceeded these requirements.

Steve Allen, CEO of Reptilia, spoke about the commitment to providing the absolute best products to our customers. “At Reptilia, we constantly strive to deliver excellence and enhance the capabilities of those who defend our freedom. Working closely with our UK Distributor, Edgar Brothers, our mission was to design and deliver innovative weapon accessory solutions that would further enhance the end user’s capabilities.”

Project Hunter involved extensive, rigorous, and competitive testing, driving innovation within our industry. We are honored that Reptilia weapon accessories are now part of the finest personal weapon system in the world today. Congratulations go out to our industry counterparts and Edgar Brothers who have also played a crucial role in securing this contract win.

This contract not only reinforces Reptilia’s position in the industry but also enables us to invest further in new employees and future innovation. We are excited about the opportunities that lie ahead.

Reptilia will be at London DSEI, booth H2-588, showcasing our battle-proven weapon accessories. 

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Reptilia on the Live Q or Die Podcast!

Live Q or Die Episode 66

Last year Eric and Nick visited our friends at Q to join the Live Q or Die Podcast. What many of you don’t know is that our team has been friends with Kevin and his crew for nearly 20 years, damn, we’re getting old. 

Live Q Or Die

We dive into a bunch of fun stories, talk about business, industry trends, and the good old days of our time at Magpul, Advanced Armament, and more.

Spoiler alert: Eric helped design the Honey Badger with Kevin long before Q ever existed.

Live Q or Die Podcast: Episode 66

Check out the podcast below and drop your questions in the comments, or shoot us an email to [email protected] if you want more info!

Thanks for watching!

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The Reptilia Discount for Military, Law Enforcement, and First Responders

NYPD Header for Reptilia Discount article

At Reptilia, we’ve been crafting top-notch products for those who carry firearms on duty for nearly two decades. We’re honored to know that every day, Americans and our allies trust our equipment when they’re in harm’s way. It’s not just something we say – we genuinely appreciate your service and sacrifice. Let’s talk about the Reptilia Discount for Military, Law Enforcement, and First Responders.

YouTube recruiting advertisement for the United Kingdom Royal Marine Commandos featuring a Knight’s Armament KS-1 carbine with Reptilia AUS Scope Mount and Reptilia ROF MRDS Mount for Aimpoint ACRO

Our design philosophy is simple but crucial. We believe that anything we create must be fit for professionals who rely on their weapons to protect others and themselves. Whether you’re using our gear for duty or recreation, you can trust that it was designed with the utmost care and attention to detail, ready for more than just a trip to the range or a deer hunt.

Reptilia Discount for Military Personnel

To show our gratitude, we’re offering a standing 15% Reptilia discount for:

  • All active duty military,
  • Law enforcement,
  • Retired military,
  • Law enforcement, and
  • First responders

This Reptilia discount applies to those who register on our MIL/LE portal. If you run into any issues with registration or have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at [email protected] or call us at (910) 356-1776. For department or unit purchases, please contact [email protected].

Reptilia Discount for First responders

About Reptilia

Our team at Reptilia has a rich background in the firearms industry, having worked in product design, marketing, and business development for some of the most innovative brands, including Magpul, Advanced Armament Corp., SilencerCo, Crye Precision, Radian, and others. We always knew that we would eventually strike out on our own, using our experience to build our own brand, creating products that we believe in, the way we want to make them, for the people we want to serve.

Our Philosophy

In an industry where every new product is hailed as a “gamechanger,” we’re taking a different approach. We value honesty and integrity above all else. Whether a product is intended for combat or just a weekend on the range, our philosophy is consistent: design high-quality products that are effective, intuitive, simple, and fairly priced. No hype, no spin.

We take pride in listening to our customers and collaborating to develop solutions tailored to specific end-user needs. Unlike some industry giants who may have become too large to be agile or support smaller units, Reptilia is structured to serve this sector effectively. We encourage our American and Allied service personnel, as well as Law Enforcement agencies, to reach out to us so we can help meet your equipment needs and address any gaps in capability.

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Is the Reptilia AUS Optic Mount right for you?

Why the AUS magnified optic mount?

Let’s be very clear: there are a number of quality unibody AR scope mounts on the market today from brands such as Reptilia and others. So as long as you stick to a reputable manufacturer, the question is less about quality, and more about features. What scope mount does what you need it to do?

This article is to help you determine if the Reptilia AUS scope mount is right for your applications.

Reptilia 30mm AUS Optic Mount in Flat Dark Earth anodized finish.


Let’s get the biggest elephant out of the room: price. Any high quality scope mount is going to be cut from 7075-T6 aluminum or other exotic alloy. The best mounts are cut from solid blocks of billet material, where a 2-pound bar of aluminum is reduced to no more than a few ounces of metal in the finished part. On Reptilia mounts, deep laser engraving is done prior to metal finishing to ensure a subtle aesthetic on all logos and text. The aluminum parts are coated with MIL-STD Type III Class 2 Hardcoat anodized finish. All steel hardware is custom machined and finished with corrosion-resistant Ferritic nitrocarburizing (FNC), also known as black nitride or “Melonite”. The spring-loaded hardware is installed, inspected, packaged, and shipped without a single process taking place outside the United States.

All of that to say these mounts are not cheap to produce. We are not making Chinese airsoft parts.

Diameter & length.

This seems obvious, but it isn’t to everyone: choose the make and model of your scope before choosing a mount. This is important because the diameter of the main tube of each scope is different, generally 30mm, 34mm, or 35mm depending on the exact scope. With a unibody scope mount you want to make sure the spacing between the rings matches the scope you have chosen.

Dimensional drawing of Vortex HD Gen II 4.5-27×56. Photo credit: Vortex Optics

Attachment method.

One of the most hotly contested features of scope mounts is quick detach (QD) vs. not. In reality, there are exceptionally few real world use cases for QD mounts outside of clip-on electrooptics. If an optic is removed from a weapon and re-installed, it should always be double checked to confirm zero. The argument that you might need to quickly remove an optic if it malfunctions in a fight is even more unlikely.

The Quick-Detach C-Note iron sights by LaRue Tactical are a curious product, indeed.

Miniature red dot sight (MRDS) compatibility.

Recent years have seen an explosion in the use of MRDS at secondary sighting devices in conjunction with magnified optics. Some of the most popular variants are the Trijicon RMR/SRO, Leupold Delta Point Pro, Aimpoint Micro T-2, Aimpoint ACRO, Steiner Optics MPS, and more.

The reason MRDS are becoming more popular is two fold: 1) reliability and durability of MRDS optics has reached the point where they are arguably on par with non-battery powered back up iron sights (BUIS), and 2) the advent of low variable power optics (LVPOs) has necessitated a solution for rapid engagement of close-range targets. Simply put, attempting to engage a moving target at short range with a magnified scope is quite difficult, so the ability to rapidly transition to a non-magnified red dot adds significant close-quarters capabilities.

The Trijicon 4x ACOG with RMR MRDS piggyback optic was one of the first examples of a magnified optic being supported by a non-magnified red dot back up sighting device.

The AUS provides two options for MRDS mounting. First, the shooter can replace the top ring of their AUS or Geissele Super Precision mount with a Reptilia ROF MRDS mount at the 90° or 45° position. This requires the shooter to simply break their cheek weld and raise their head slightly to find the dot either above or between the turrets depending on user preference. The Reptilia ROF are available for the most common MRDS optics including the Trijicon RMR, Aimpoint Micro, Aimpoint ACRO, Leupold Delta Point Pro, Steiner MPS, and more red dots that utilize this footprint.

Reptilia AUS Mount with Reptilia ROF-90 for Aimpoint ACRO MRDS Piggyback Mount.

The second option for MRDS mounting on the AUS is to utilize the AUS Offset Mounts to position a red dot at the 45° position on the left or right side of the scope. This solution maximizes rail space, and simply requires the shooter to rotate the rifle 45° to the side in order to acquire a sight picture. Currently available for the Leupold Delta Point Pro and Aimpoint ACRO footprints, the AUS Offset Mount line will be expanding significantly in the coming months.

Laser range finder & laser designator compatible.

Long range shooting technology has progressed dramatically over the last 10 years. One such advancement is compact weapon-mounted laser range finders such as the Wilcox RAPTAR S. Designed at the request of a US DoD customer, the Reptilia ROF-Diving Board is fully compatible with both the Geissele Super Precision and Reptilia AUS family of mounts. Optimized for the NightForce ATACR 7-35, the ROF-Diving Board positions the RAPTAR S or other laser designator at the 12 o’clock position as low as possible without interfering with the ADUNS clip-on device.

Reptilia 34mm ROF-Diving Board with Wilcox RAPTAR-S laser range finder.

Installation & Leveling

The AUS utilizes two simple nitride coated cross bolts and spring loaded locking clamps to securely attach to any M1913 Picatinny rail. The installation process goes as follows:

  1. Attach the AUS mount body to the M1913 Picatinny rail using a flat head or T25 Torx and torque the cross bolts to 45 in-lb. Note: Threadlocker is not required, but Purple Loctite 222MS Low Strength, Purple can be used. Take care not to fully remove the cross bolts, as the springs and clamp can be easily lost.
  2. Position your scope in the AUS base with your preferred eye relief and loosely install the top rings, taking care to ensure the scope can be easily rotated in place.
  3. Using a bubble level, ensure the Picatinny receiver rail on the rifle is perfectly level. Make adjustments to your vice or fixture as necessary.
  4. Using a bubble level, adjust your scope to be level relative to the rifle receiver. Carefully tighten the top rings in an “X” pattern to 15 in-lb., ensuring the gap between AUS mount base and top ring is equal on both sides. Note: No threadlocker is recommended on this step.

The best for you.

Keep things as simple as possible, and in the end, decide what features and functionality are necessary for your application. Do you really need a $5000 laser range finder? Probably not. Do you need a back-up MRDS? Quite possibly, yes. The beauty of the AUS lies in its modularity – you can start with the basics, then add functionality as necessary. Ultimately, it’s your money and you should buy whatever equipment is best for your needs, then get outside and use it!

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AR15 Stock Considerations & Selection

Choosing the right AR15 stock can be overwhelming considering the number of options available. Prices range from under $25 to more than $300, there are modularity and sling attachment considerations, buttpad design, receiver extension and buffer system, the list goes on. So let’s break it down into simple, bite-size chunks that are easy to understand.

Let’s start with some legal considerations and general knowledge, then dive into the different applications you may have for an AR15 rifle. Here we go!

Legal Considerations

First things first: let’s talk about legality. The National Firearms Act of 1934 defined a number of new firearm categories based on features and function of certain firearms. Generally speaking, among these new classifications were:

  • Machinegun: fully automatic firearms capable of firing more than one bullet per pull of the trigger
  • Silencers: any muzzle device capable of reducing the decibel (dB) level of a firearm
  • Any Other Weapon (AOW): The term “any other weapon” means any weapon or device capable of being concealed on the person from which a shot can be discharged through the energy of an explosive, a pistol or revolver having a barrel with a smooth bore designed or redesigned to fire a fixed shotgun shell, weapons with combination shotgun and rifle barrels 12 inches or more, less than 18 inches in length, from which only a single discharge can be made from either barrel without manual reloading, and shall include any such weapon which may be readily restored to fire.
  • Short Barreled Shotgun (SBS): shotguns with a barrel less than 18” in length and/or overall length less than 26″
  • Short Barreled Rifle (SBR): rifles with a barrel less than 16” in length and/or overall length less than 26”
Colt M16 A1

Transferable fully automatic Colt M16 A1 Machinegun. Photo credit:

$200 Tax Stamp

In addition to defining these new categories of firearms, the NFA imposed a $200 per item tax stamp and other bureaucratic hoops that an American citizen would now have to jump through to own an NFA weapon. When adjusted for inflation, that tax is now more than $4,500 in 2023 dollars. This non-refundable tax is paid to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Explosives (BATFE) along with the appropriate form to manufacture or transfer the NFA item:

  • ATF Form 1: Application to Make and Register a Firearm (ATF Form 5320.1)
  • ATF Form 4: Application for Tax Paid Transfer and Registration of Firearm (ATF Form 5320.4)
National Firearms Act (NFA) Tax Stamps

National Firearms Act (NFA) Tax Stamps. Photo credit: Recoil Magazine

As of February 2023, 44 states allow civilian ownership of SBRs. If you intend to manufacture, transfer, or convert an existing AR15 “pistol” to an SBR, I strongly recommend starting with the Silencer Shop FAQ here.

In simple terms, DO NOT install a stock on any rifle or pistol with a barrel shorter than 16” unless it is a lawfully registered Short Barreled Rifle or Machinegun under the National Firearms Act. Penalty for violating the NFA is up to 10 years in jail and up to $250,000 in fines.

AR15 Stocks vs. Pistol Braces

The ATF defines a stock as “…the portion of a firearm that is designed to be held against the shooter’s shoulder and provides support and stability to the firearm while aiming and firing. It typically includes a buttplate or buttstock at the rear, a section for the shooter’s shoulder to rest against, and a forward section or forearm for gripping the firearm.”

Using this definition, for many years some shooters chose to simply not install a stock on their AR15, or use a foam sleeve over the receiver extension as a cheek pad, thereby making it legally classified as a “pistol”. This allowed civilians to purchase AR15 style firearms with barrels shorter than 16”, but did not require registration under the NFA due to their legal classification as a handgun, which does not have the same minimum barrel length regulations as SBRs.

AR15 pistol receiver extension

AR15 pistol receiver extension with foam sleeve covering. Photo credit:

In 2013, a company called SB Tactical took the AR15 pistol concept even further and introduced a product they call the “stabilizing pistol brace” or “arm brace”, available exclusively through Sig Sauer. This polymer device allowed effective one-handed manipulation of heavy AR15 pistols by strapping and stabilizing the pistol on the shooter’s forearm. These brace products were not designed to be fired from the shoulder, and therefore were approved by the ATF Technology Branch for sale. Note that the ATF initially made a statement that shouldering the brace would constitute the manufacture of an illegal SBR, but then quickly recanted the statement, allowing the user to legally shoulder an AR15 pistol with stabilizing brace.

This new ability to purchase an AR15 pistol with a short barrel that didn’t require an NFA Tax Stamp revolutionized the AR15 market in the United States. Overnight the majority of AR15 firearms sold in America had sub-16” barrels, and were legally used for sporting and defense purposes across the country.

SB Tactical HBPDW Pistol Stabilizing Brace

SB Tactical HBPDW™ Pistol Stabilizing Brace®. Photo credit: SB Tactical

On January 13, 2023, the US Attorney General signed ATF final rule 2021R-08F, amending the ATF’s regulations about stabilizing pistol braces, effectively re-classifying every legally purchased AR15 pistol in America as an illegal Short Barreled Rifle under the NFA as of June 1, 2023 unless previously registered.

At the time of publishing this article, there are multiple legal challenges and injunctions issued by Federal Courts. While the legal status of stabilizing pistol braces is still in question, it is not currently advisable to install a brace on any AR15 firearm. If you have an AR15 with pistol brace and are not party to the federal injunctions, the ATF advises you to remove and destroy or surrender the brace or complete firearm.

General Knowledge

This part is intended to give you some basic information and terminology of the stock and weapon system.

Receiver Extension & Buffer System

The receiver extension, also known as the “buffer tube”, contains the action (buffer) spring and buffer. This assembly is collectively known as the “buffer system” and is what allows your AR15 to cycle in a semi-automatic manner, automatically chambering a new round after the pull of each trigger.

The two primary styles of buffer system are rifle and carbine. There are different variations of these systems which we will get into later, but for now let’s start with the basics.

Buffer "tube" system

The Carbine Receiver Extension, Carbine Buffer, Carbine Action Spring, Castle Nut, and Lock Plate comprise the most common AR15 buffer system available today. Photo credit: Aero Precision

The rifle buffer system was designed with the original M16 which had a fixed A1-length stock and 20” barrel with rifle-length gas system. This longer, cylindrical buffer system was optimized to minimize recoil and keep the cyclic rate of fire down to a controllable speed, around 600 rounds per minute.

Buffer "tube" stystem

The Rifle Receiver Extension, Rifle Buffer, and Rifle-Length Action Spring used on A1 and A2 M16/AR15 style weapons.

As soldiers began wearing more equipment and smaller, often female warfighters entered the service in larger numbers, it became apparent that a fixed M16 rifle stock was too long for effective use and a shorter, adjustable replacement should be selected. 

The Vietnam war sparked a flurry of innovation in the realm of compact and subcompact weapons due to the nature of jungle and close quarters combat. Both the barrel length and buffer systems were shortened to create a more compact weapon for easier maneuverability in confined spaces. Several shortened receiver extension designs were tried, but the most widely adopted features a keyway on the bottom with holes for simple length of pull adjustment. The CAR15 and its variants were born.

Colt XM177 Carbine

Colt XM177 Carbine. Photo credit:

Rifle-Length Stocks

While not as popular as collapsible stocks, there are a couple applications for which rifle-length stocks excel: long range precision and historical clone building.

The dramatic increase in popularity of large-frame .308 and 6.5 Creedmoor AR platforms has driven a spike in development of precision-oriented AR stocks. While generally heavier than collapsible stocks, these products offer a wide range of precise adjustability, generally through dials, spacers, or risers. The Magpul PRS, for example, is very popular among both civilian precision shooters, law enforcement marksmen, and military snipers.

Magpul PRS Stock

Magpul PRS Stock on Armalite Super SASS .308 AR10 rifle. Photo credit: Small Arms Defense Journal

Collapsible Carbine Stocks

With the expiration of the Clinton Assault Weapons Ban in 2004, the civilian market exploded with the newfound ability to use collapsible stocks and other once-prohibited accessories. In a market where the only option was a cheap, standard M4 stock suddenly appeared companies like Magpul, VLTOR, LMT, ACE, and more. The commercial viability of these products finally made innovation in the AR15 market possible. Let’s dive into some of the features and considerations you’ll have to address in choosing your perfect stock.

Magpul M93B collapsible AR15 stock

Magpul M93B collapsible AR15 stock. The M93B was one of the first truly unique collapsible stocks brought to market after the expiration of the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban.

Stock Features, Functionality, & Considerations


The elephant in the room. AR15 stocks can cost as little as $20 or more than $300 depending on the brand, feature set, and quality. If you’re worried about spending hundreds of dollars on a premium product, don’t sweat it, there are plenty of great U.S.-made options for $60 to $160. Plus, that’s the beauty of the AR15: you can always upgrade later as your taste and budget evolves.

Receiver Extension & Ease of Installation

If you already have an AR15 with carbine receiver extension, it does not require any tools whatsoever to remove your existing stock and drop a new one on. If you are unfamiliar with the AR15 platform or do not have the specialized tools to perform armorer-level tasks, this is by far the simplest way to upgrade your rifle.

If your AR15 stock requires removal and re-installation of a carbine receiver extension, lock plate, and castle nut, consult your armorer’s manual or qualified gunsmith for assistance. Note: make sure to identify whether your rifle has a “commercial” or “milspec” carbine receiver extension before purchasing a stock. This guide is useful.

MILSPEC vs. Commercial Receiver Extension

MILSPEC vs. Commercial Receiver Extension comparison. Photo credit: Magpul

One benefit to round rifle-length and proprietary receiver extensions found in stocks like the Magpul UBR and Reptilia RECC•E™ Stock is they do not require timing of the receiver extension or use of a lock plate or castle nut. This minimizes the number of tools required for installation. Check our our RECC•E installation video for a detailed walkthrough of the process.

Reptilia RECC•E installations

The Reptilia RECC•E installs with a simple torque wrench, no castle nut, lock plate, or timing required. Photo credit: Reptilia Corp.

Sling Attachment

The founder of Magpul, Richard Fitzpatrick, believed that every rifle, no matter what, should have the ability to attach a sling. At Reptilia, we happen to agree. The two main considerations for sling use are attachment type and location.

Today, one of the most common types of sling attachments is push-button quick detach, or “QD” for short. QD slings gained popularity post-9/11 when soldiers needed the ability to quickly remove equipment to exit vehicles that have been crashed or attacked. A simple push of the top button (or pull of a cable with some designs), and your sling falls freely from the weapon.

Push-button QD sling attachment

Push-button QD sling attachment point on the rear of the Reptilia RECC•E Carbine Stock. Photo credit: Reptilia Corp.

While not as convenient as push-button QD, a loop or other clip-in style attachment is sometimes mandated for weapon retention, particularly for military and law enforcement who operate on or above water or in aerial platforms.

Specter Gear sling with Magpul CTR Stock

Specter Gear sling with Magpul CTR Stock. Photo credit: Specter Gear

The location of sling attachment points is user preference, but commonly found at the upper rear portion of the stock, just in front of the rubber buttpad, near the front of the stock body near the receiver, or on the carbine lock plate itself. There are benefits and drawbacks to every location, and it is recommended you seek formal training to determine the best sling configuration for your application.

Reptilia RECC·E Carbine Stock QD Front End. Photo credit: Reptilia Corp.


Recent years have seen an initiative to minimize weight wherever possible on the weapon, mainly driven by the increasing number of accessories, optics, and electronics being added to rifles. Be honest with yourself about what you are doing with the weapon and what you truly need. If this is a benchrest gun that will be carried from the car to the firing line, extra weight will help mitigate recoil and facilitate faster follow-up shots. If this gun will be carried on patrol or on hunting trips, additional weight should be avoided when possible.

For reference, a basic CAR-15 collapsible stock weighs roughly 4.2 oz., whereas a Magpul PRS Gen 3 weighs 28 oz, or roughly 1.5 pounds more. The difference between the lightest and heaviest is meaningful and should be taken into consideration.

Length of Pull

The primary advantage of a collapsible AR15 stock is the ability to adjust length of pull (LOP) to accommodate different clothing, equipment, or shooter body sizes. The ability to fit the gun to yourself while wearing a t-shirt, body armor, or allowing your smaller stature family members makes the platform extremely versatile. Additionally, this capability helps with transport of the firearms and concealability for tactical applications.

Stocks like the Magpul PRS allow for precision LOP adjustment in very fine precision increments up to 1.4” in length. The most common adjustable stock utilizes a carbine receiver extension with 4, 5, or 6-positions spaced evenly over 3.0” – 3.5” of adjustment range. This method is less precise, but much faster and far more economical to produce.

For a more detailed explanation of LOP, visit our friends at The Firearm Blog.

Magpul PRS Stock

Magpul PRS Stock at maximum length of pull setting. Photo credit: The Firearm Blog

Cheek Weld

The cheek weld is critical to shooter comfort, not just in terms of shape, but also the stock’s tendency to grab and rip beard hair. Like everything, there is no free lunch: the more comfortable a cheek weld is, the larger and heavier it tends to be. So again, ask yourself this: what purpose does this rifle fill? The most common types of cheek weld you will encounter are precision, carbine, and subcompact.

Precision Cheek Weld

The best examples of this are found on the Magpul PRS and B5 Systems Precision Stock. These stocks feature vertically adjustable cheek pieces to better position a shooter’s head behind a magnified scope. These stocks utilize dial mechanisms for very fine adjustments required for long range precision shooting and sniper applications.

Precision stocks are generally used on guns with 16”-22” barrels, often chambered in long range calibers such as 6.5 Grendel, 6mm ARC, .308 Winchester, 6.5 Creedmoor, or others.

B5 Systems Precision Stock

B5 Systems Precision Stock. Photo credit: The Armory Life

Carbine Stock Sloping Cheek Weld

Part of the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) Special Operations Peculiar Modification (SOPMOD) weapons accessory program was an AR15 stock with angled cheek weld that became known as the “SOPMOD Stock”. Produced by Lewis Machine & Tool (LMT), the SOPMOD Stock paved the way for other sloping cheek weld designs such as the VLTOR EMOD/IMOD and Magpul ACS/STR.

LMT SOPMOD Buttstock

LMT SOPMOD Buttstock with sloping cheek weld. Photo credit: Lewis Machine & Tool

While the sloping cheek weld can be more comfortable, one thing many shooters don’t consider at first is their beard. A common complaint about the VLTOR stocks is beard hair catching uncomfortably in the cheek weld area.

Standard Carbine Cheek Weld

This is the most common design: a basic M4 minimal cheek weld. Nothing fancy, you probably already own a Magpul MOE Stock or basic CAR-15 stock. These stocks are generally slimmer in profile, lighter weight, and less expensive. These are highly recommended for basic hobby, defense, or duty builds: everything you need, nothin you don’t.

Sub-Compact Weapons

This niche category has become very popular over the past 10 years, primarily driven by the advent of rifle-caliber subcompact weapons like the Q Honey Badger, Maxim Defense PDW, and SIG MCX. This category requires historical context before talking about the sub-compact rifle stock options.

Military special operations and law enforcement SWAT have always had a need for subcompact weapons that operate efficiently in close quarters. Traditionally, this role has fell on pistol caliber submachineguns such as the Thompson, Sten, Grease Gun, HK MP5, IMI Uzi, and more modern platforms such as the HK MP7, HK UMP, B&T APC, and 9mm AR15 variants. These were chambered in pistol calibers such as .380, 9mm, .40, .45, and 10mm, and featured a fully automatic rate of fire, short barrel, and often a silencer for use in buildings and on ships.

When America went to war after 9/11 we quickly realized that pistol caliber submachineguns were severely lacking in accuracy, range, and overall lethality for the mountains of Afghanistan and the streets of Iraq. Simply put, the MP5-SD at best was shooting dinner plate-size groups at 100 yards, and enemies would “dance around like they were getting stung by bees” when shot with the anemic subsonic 9mm bullet. Special operations needed a quiet, compact weapon that actually killed bad guys. Enter the 300 AAC Blackout (300 BLK).

In the early 1990’s JD Jones of SSK Industries was ahead of the trend and invented a cartridge called “300 Whisper”. For all intents and purposes, 300 Whisper is a 5.56×45 NATO case necked up and cut down to 7.62×35 and optimized to shoot heavy, accurate subsonic 30-caliber bullets from short barrels. Unlike the 9mm MP5-SD, which fired 115-147gr bullets with poor accuracy and even worse terminal ballistics, the 300 Whisper fired .308 rifle bullets accurately and with far superior wounding characteristics.

In 2009, Advanced Armament Company (AAC) was approached by a special operations customer seeking to replace their aging fleet of HK MP5-SD weapons with a new platform and caliber that was lighter, more accurate, more ergonomic, and had superior terminal effects on man-size targets. AAC standardized this .30-caliber cartridge with the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute (SAAMI) as the “300 AAC Blackout” or “300 BLK” for short, and started mass producing ammunition at the Remington and Barnes ammunition plants.

Advanced Armament Corp. Honey Badger

Prototype Advanced Armament Corp. Honey Badger compact weapon. Photo credit: Ten Pound Monkey

The 300 BLK cartridge reenergized an entire category of firearm: subcompact assault rifles. These new weapons were not only lighter and more ergonomic than the previous generation of pistol caliber submachineguns, they were far more accurate and lethal. Companies like Q, SIG, Maxim Defense, LMT, and others developed shortened barrels and buffer systems to further miniaturize the platforms. For the first time it was possible to put the firepower of a full size rifle into a backpack. Make no mistake: these weapons were made for efficiency and concealability, not comfort or precision.

300 BLK ammunition comparison

300 BLK ammunition comparison. Photo credit: 80 Percent Arms

From this renaissance came a new crop of subcompact AR15 stocks with proprietary buffer systems. Note: there is no standardization on subcompact stocks, and every one has been tuned for a complete weapon system. Each of these systems has their own proprietary receiver extension, action spring, and buffer that may or may not function reliably with your AR15. For that reason, it is not advisable for new AR15 owners to experiment with subcompact stocks unless purchased as part of a complete firearm.

Buffer Systems

Most AR15 firearms currently in production will come with a carbine receiver extension, carbine action spring, and carbine buffer, but there are actually a range of buffer options on the market to fine tune your rifle for the best reliability and lowest recoil. 

Within the standard carbine buffer design the commonly available options only differ based upon weight. Each carbine buffer has 3 independent moving weights inside, each made of a specific material depending on the weight desired. These weights are free floating and act as a “dead blow” hammer for the recoil system, with heavier weights being chosen for weapons with higher cyclic rates and larger gas ports.

The commonly available carbine buffer types are carbine, H, HH, H2, H3, and the US Army’s H6 developed by Picatinny Arsenal, designed to optimize reliability of a carbine buffer system on a full-size 20” M16 rifle. As a rule of thumb, most AR15 weapons will function reliably with an H buffer, but shooters may choose to increase the weight to H2 or heavier on short barreled rifles and rifles with silencers.

H1, H2, and H3 carbine buffers.

H1, H2, and H3 carbine buffers. Photo credit: Geissele Automatics

In the late-2000’s, the US Marine Corps identified a need to equip their M16A2 and M16A4 rifles with collapsible stocks to better fit smaller stature Marines. After fielding the Trijicon ACOG 4x optic it became very clear that a proper eye relief was almost impossible to obtain for many warfighters. They began evaluating M16 reliability with the US Army’s Picatinny Arsenal while VLTOR Weapon Systems independently developed the A5 buffer system. This A5 design was roughly ¾” longer than a standard carbine buffer system, which reduced cyclic rate and bolt bounce while maintaining weapon reliability.

M16 rifle with VLTOR A5 buffer system

M16 rifle with VLTOR A5 buffer system. Photo credit: American Rifleman

Due to the popularity of this system, many AR15 stock manufacturers, including Reptilia, have made accommodations in stock designs to ensure A5 compatibility. For example, the Reptilia RECC·E™ Carbine Stock has a modular front portion that allows for use of standard carbine, VLTOR A5, or Knight’s Armament Company SR25 buffer systems by swapping the receiver extension and forward section of the stock body.

Weapon Uses & Applications

Generally speaking, the AR platform can be broken down into four primary use cases, each of which has some level of capability and use case overlap:

  1. Sub-Compact: Designed for personal defense and concealability, generally chambered in a pistol caliber or 300 BLK, 5”-9” barrel length. Intended for targets from 0-100 yards. Examples include the Q Honey Badger, SIG Rattler, or Maxim Defense PDW.
  2. Carbine: General purpose carbine, a “Jack of all trades” gun, generally chambered in a military caliber such as 5.56 NATO, 10.3”-16” barrel length. Intended for targets from 0-400 yards. Examples include the Colt M4, HK 416, SIG MCX, or KAC SR16/KS-1.
  3. SPR/RECCE: The “Special Purpose Rifle” or “Reconnaissance” rifle is an intermediate range precision rifle, generally equipped with a magnified optic and silencer, chambered in 5.56 NATO, 6.5 Grendel, 6 ARC, or similar. Intended for targets from 100-800 yards.
  4. Precision/Large Frame: Long range semi-automatic system, generally chambered in a wildcat cartridge like 6ARC, 6.5 Grendel, or larger rifle caliber such as 7.62 NATO or 6.5 Creedmoor. Intended for targets 200-1000 yards. Examples include the Knight’s Armament M110, Armalite AR10, Seekins Precision Havak, LaRue OBR, and others.


These are the least comfortable, but most compact and lightest AR15 stock options available. These stocks utilize proprietary buffer systems and are generally engineered for use on extremely short barrel carbines, generally under 10.5” barrel length. Some good options for your sub-compact AR build are:

Shorty Stock by Q

Shorty Stock by Q. Photo credit: Q, LLC


The general purpose carbine is a blend of performance and practicality. The gun should be capable of taking accurate shots at intermediate distances, but also useful in close range engagements. For this task, barrel lengths generally range from 11.5” to 14.5” in length. This means compromises must be made in terms of comfort, weight, and features, but not to the same degree as a subcompact stock. Some good options for your carbine AR build are:

Omaha Outdoors stocks.


SPR/RECCE configurations shine at intermediate distances from 100 to 800 yards depending on cartridge selection. Comfort and precision are a higher priority than weight, and often times longer buffer systems are utilized such as the VLTOR® A5 or full-size A2 rifle-length buffer for recoil mitigation and reduction in weapon cyclic rate. Barrels on SPR/RECCE weapons are generally 14.5” to 18” in length, and sometimes utilize niche cartridges such as the 6.5 Grendel or 6 ARC. Some good options for your SPR/RECCE AR build are:

Reptilia RECC·E Carbine Stock, custom colors by Omaha Outdoors. Photo credit: Omaha Outdoors

Precision/Large Frame

The last 10 years have seen an explosion in popularity of long-range AR platforms such as the Knight’s Armament SR25, Seekins SP10, LMT MWS, and others. These weapons generally have barrels between 16” and 22” in length depending on caliber and application, and often use extended buffer systems such as the KAC SR25 Carbine Buffer or full-length A2 Rifle Buffer. Long range precision out to 1000 yards is the main objective, so these weapons are often heavier and larger than the previously mentioned configurations, and chambered in calibers such as .308 Winchester, 6.5 Creedmoor, or .260 Remington. Some stocks offer a range of precision length of pull (LOP) and cheek piece height adjustments for further customization to each shooter. Some good options for your precision AR build are:

LMT MWS with LMT Precision Stock

LMT MWS with LMT Precision Stock. Photo credit: Lewis Machine & Tool


This may seem like a lot to take in for new shooters, but it’s pretty simple once you decide for what purpose your rifle will be used. Try not to force one gun into multiple roles if you can avoid it, but the Carbine and SPR/RECCE configurations tend to be the most useful across a broad spectrum of applications. If you have any questions at all, shoot us an email at [email protected] or drop a comment on our Instagram or Facebook!

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Reptilia ROF “Piggyback” Miniature Red Dot Sight Mount (MRDS)

Reptilia ROF “Piggyback” Miniature Red Dot Mount

The days of your father telling you that a red dot sight will get you killed in a gunfight are almost over. The fact is miniature red dot sights (MRDS) have become so durable and reliable that many operators have chosen to remove iron sights from their carbines all together in favor of a top-mounted or offset MRDS. For perspective, the Aimpoint T-2 has a battery life of 50,000 hours when left on in a daytime brightness setting. That is over 5 years.

In 2016, a small military group had recently transitioned to Vortex Razor HD II 1-6x Low Power Variable Optic (LPVO) scopes on their primary carbines. This increased magnification had a profound effect on the soldiers’ lethality at longer ranges, but came at the cost of slower acquisition of close-range targets. Simply put, it’s very difficult to engage a moving target at 10 yards with a scope dialed up to 6x or more.

Additionally, many snipers and RECCE troops are tasked with vehicle interdiction operations which require accurate shooting from unstable helicopter platforms. Acquiring a sight picture through a non-magnified red dot for aerial shooting is far easier than trying to utilize the magnified day optic.

To solve this problem, the end user requested Reptilia manufacture a replacement top ring for their Geissele Super Precision scope mounts. The specific request was to mount a Trijicon RMR or Leupold Delta Point Pro on top of the 30mm Vortex scope, and thus the Reptilia ROF-90 was born.

Vortex Razor HD II 1-6 with Reptilia AUS 30mm Mount and Reptilia ROF 90 for Trijicon RMR piggyback MRDS.

Vortex Razor HD II 1-6 with Reptilia AUS 30mm Mount and Reptilia ROF 90 for Trijicon RMR piggyback MRDS.

While most shooters prefer the 90° position due to the simplicity of a vertical head movement, we understood that other scopes with higher turrets would also be utilized. As such, we created the Reptilia ROF-45 that tucks the MRDS neatly at the 45° position between the windage and elevation turrets.

Reptilia 30mm ROF-SAR for Trijicon RMR/SRO mounted to Vortex Razor HD II 1-6. Photo credit: Reptilia Corp.

For shooters who prefer the 90° position, we also make 2.5mm and 10mm risers to clear taller turrets.

Reptilia ROF-Riser for Trijicon RMR & SRO in Flat Dark Earth.

Reptilia ROF-Riser for Trijicon RMR & SRO in Flat Dark Earth.

As the 30mm ROF-90 for Trijicon RMR grew in popularity, we started to receive requests for other MRDS options, diameters, and heights. The most common request was from customers seeking an “enclosed emitter” optic such as the Aimpoint Micro T-2, Aimpoint ACRO, Steiner Optics MPS, and more.

For shooters not using Geissele or Reptilia AUS mounts, the Reptilia ROF-SAR clamps directly to the scope tube for near universal compatibility.

Reptilia ROF-SAR for Trijicon RMR/SRO in Black.

In 2020, Reptilia launched the most interesting ROF product to date: the 34mm ROF-Diving Board. Designed at the request of a US DoD customer, the ROF–Diving Board allows the user to mount a laser range finder (LRF), laser designator, or MRDS at the 12 o’clock position above their magnified optic. Optimized for the NightForce 7-35x ATACR and Wilcox RAPTAR, the Diving Board is compatible with the Geissele Super Precision and Reptilia AUS family of mounts.

Reptilia ROF-Diving Board 34mm for AUS & Geissele Super Precision Mounts in Flat Dark Earth.

Reptilia ROF-Diving Board 34mm for AUS & Geissele Super Precision Mounts in Flat Dark Earth.

In 2021, Reptilia released the AUS unibody scope mount, which is not only backwards compatible with all ROF products, but has additional modularity, allowing for attachment of 45° offset MRDS mounts directly to the body of the AUS. With attachment points at both the front and rear of the body, this is not only the most modular, but also the most compact offset MRDS mounting solution possible.

Reptilia 30mm AUS Scope Mount, 1.54″ Height in Flat Dark Earth

So how do you choose the best MRDS mounting solution for you? Talk to your friends, watch some YouTube videos, but most importantly, go shoot your guns and figure it out for yourself. If you need any help or advice, drop a comment below or shoot an email to [email protected]!

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LPVO Mount Considerations by Kinetic Consulting

Reptilia ROF “Piggyback” Miniature Red Dot Mount
30mm Reptilia AUS Mount with Reptilia ROF-90 piggyback MRDS mount for Aimpoint ACRO or Steiner MPS.

30mm Reptilia AUS Mount with Reptilia ROF-90 piggyback MRDS mount for Aimpoint ACRO or Steiner MPS.

Our friend Jon Dufresne at Kinetic Consulting knows a thing or two about Low Power Variable Optics (LPVO) and their applications for your AR15 or AR10/SR25. In this video, he goes into detail about two optics, the Vortex® RAZOR® HD GEN III 1-10x and Steiner Optics® T6Xi 1-6x, and how to utilize these configurations with piggyback Miniature Red Dot Sights (MRDS). The two MRDS utilized in the video are the Aimpoint ACRO P-2 and Steiner Optics MPS on the Reptilia ROF-90 MRDS mount.

Check out his video below for some great information on how to select and use your gear! And as always, if you have any questions, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or shoot a note to [email protected].

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MLOK Accessories & History

Socket mlok qd sling mount

We at Reptilia have a range of mounted Picatinny & MLOK accessories, so we wanted to give you a little history about weapon accessories and how they have evolved over time. So without further delay, let’s get into it!

Small arms didn’t always look like something out of the Call of Duty video game. Until 9/11 and the Global War on Terror (GWOT), any accessory or weapon attachment was generally reserved for special operations. If you look at photos of US Navy SEALs and US Army Special Forces from the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s, you’ll notice a high degree of improvisation with regard to their equipment and weapon accessories. Big D-Cell Maglite flashlights attached to carbines with hose clamps, slings made from rope, pistol grip drilled into hand guards with wood screws, spare magazines attached to the buttstock with duct tape, etc.

Replica of the CAR-15 carried by Delta Force Operator Gary Gordon during Operation Gothic Serpent, Somalia, 1993. Photo credit: Recoil Magazine

Replica of the CAR-15 carried by Delta Force Operator Gary Gordon during Operation Gothic Serpent, Somalia, 1993. Photo credit: Recoil Magazine

The Picatinny Rail

Seeing the writing on the wall, in February 1995, the U.S. military published MIL-STD-1913, establishing the “milspec” Picatinny rail accessory interface. NATO adopted a nearly identical version of this drawing as the “STANAG 4694 NATO Accessory Rail”. These standards were a significant step forward in small arms technology, allowing the standardization of accessory attachments for weapon lights, optics, lasers, bipods, and other equipment commonly found on carbines today.

Partial drawing of MIL-STD 19134 Picatinny Rail cross-section. Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Partial drawing of MIL-STD 19134 Picatinny Rail cross-section. Photo Credit: Wikipedia

As the U.S. military upgraded and replaced their aging fleet of M16 rifles and M4 carbines, they equipped over 1 million weapons with Knight’s Armament Company (KAC) Rail Adapter System (RAS) and Rail Interface System (RIS) Picatinny rail hand guards. Combine the Picatinny rail, GWOT, and the boom of the U.S. commercial firearms market, and suddenly your average enlisted soldier now looks like a special forces operator. Infrared laser, night vision, magnified optic, vertical grip, and weapon mounted light; standard issue equipment that was all science fiction only a few years ago.

Knight’s Armament Company (KAC) M4 RAS (Rail Adapter System) Picatinny rail hand guard. Photo Credit: Knight’s Armament Company

Knight’s Armament Company (KAC) M4 RAS (Rail Adapter System) Picatinny rail hand guard. Photo Credit: Knight’s Armament Company

Enter Magpul

Since the early 2000s, the founder of Magpul, Richard Fitzpatrick, had the idea of replacing the Picatinny “cheese grater” rail with something lighter and more streamlined. The first expression of this idea was seen in January 2006 when Magpul debuted the Masada modular carbine. Part of this system was a pill-shaped slot interface for attaching accessories. This interface was deemed the “MOE Slot” as part of the Magpul Original Equipment (MOE) line of value-based accessories.

Original Magpul Masada 3D printed prototype at SHOT Show 2006. Photo Credit: Defense Review/David Crane

Original Magpul Masada 3D printed prototype at SHOT Show 2006. Photo Credit: Defense Review/David Crane

The MOE Slot saw further adoption on the Magpul MOE hand guards, and a limited line of MOE Slot accessories were introduced, including Picatinny Rail sections, sling attachments, and dedicated flashlight mounts. Magpul never pushed to license or open source the MOE Slot, likely because it had some design shortcomings that could be improved upon.

In 2011, John Noveske worked with Eric Kincel at VLTOR Weapon Systems to develop an open-source accessory interface called KeyMod. The goal of KeyMod was to reduce weight and manufacturing costs and provide a smooth, clean interface for the shooter. KeyMod saw limited use with companies like Noveske, BCM, VLTOR, Geissele, KAC, Daniel Defense, and others. Still, without a single company to drive its adoption and produce high-quality accessories, it never reached critical mass.

KeyMod logo. Photo Credit: Wikipedia

KeyMod logo. Photo Credit: Wikipedia

During this same time, both Remington and Geissele attempted to use TIME-SERT threaded inserts on hand guards made for the Heckler & Koch 416. While very effective, the cost of the threaded inserts and the time to assemble each hand guard were not commercially viable. Q, LLC continues to pursue the threaded insert design with far greater success than Remington or Geissele had with the 416.

Handguard on The Fix rifle by Q, LLC featuring “Q-Cert” threaded accessory attachment points. Photo Credit: Kit Badger

Handguard on The Fix rifle by Q, LLC featuring “Q-Cert” threaded accessory attachment points. Photo Credit: Kit Badger

MLOK For the Masses

In 2014, Magpul introduced the latest iteration of the MOE Slot, now dubbed “M-LOK” for “Modular Lock.” This new system was engineered by Magpul from the ground up to be the strongest and simplest accessory attachment system on the market today. Its simple bolt and T-slot nut design is simple to use, cost-effective to manufacture, and outperforms KeyMod in repeatability, drop testing, and failure load testing conducted by NSWC-Crane for USSOCOM.

Knight’s Armament Company (KAC) URX 4 AR15 hand guard featuring Magpul MLOK slots. Photo Credit: Knight’s Armament Company

Knight’s Armament Company (KAC) URX 4 AR15 hand guard featuring Magpul MLOK slots. Photo Credit: Knight’s Armament Company

In addition to creating the interface, Magpul introduced an entire line of MLOK accessories to support the new standard. Rail sections, sling mounts, light mounts, vertical grips, etc., all contributed to a complete weapon ecosystem launched by Magpul over the last eight years. 

Furthermore, Magpul actively promotes the MLOK standard via its free license. This allows access to anyone who wishes to use the MLOK technical data package (TDP) but gives Magpul some measure of control and recourse if a licensee violates the TDP in a way that is unsafe or otherwise harmful.

Magpul aluminum Picatinny rail section for MLOK hand guards. Photo Credit: Magpul Industries

Magpul aluminum Picatinny rail section for MLOK hand guards. Photo Credit: Magpul Industries

As the U.S. and our allies upgrade and replace weapon systems, MLOK will be the new standard for accessory mounting. The Special Operations community is leading the way for MLOK adoption, but it is now being fielded with the big Army on the M110A1 and soon on the new M7 service rifle and new standard-issue machine guns.

Sig Sauer MCX-SPEAR rifle chambered in 7.62x51. Photo Credit: Sig Sauer

Sig Sauer MCX-SPEAR rifle chambered in 7.62×51. Photo Credit: Sig Sauer

Reptilia MLOK Accessories

Like most Reptilia products, the TORCH Light Body and SOCKET QD Sling Mount were designed at the specific request of a military customer who was in the process of replacing their service rifle with a state of the art combat carbine. The new weapon has an MLOK handguard, which means all their existing Picatinny rail accessories are obsolete. 

Specific design requests included: First, the strongest, lowest profile M-LOK mount for single-cell CR123 SureFire Scout Lights. To achieve this, we machine the entire light body and mount it out of a single piece of aircraft-grade billet aluminum. The customer wanted to position the weapon light as high and tight as possible next to a 12 o’clock aiming lasers such as the ATPIAL, NGAL, DBAL, or others, which is what we did: as close as possible, not closer!

Reptilia TORCH CR123 weapon light body, Tobacco color, with SureFire bezel and tail cap. Photo Credit: Reptilia, LLC

Reptilia TORCH CR123 weapon light body, Tobacco color, with SureFire bezel and tail cap. Photo Credit: Reptilia, LLC

The TORCH line has since expanded to include two-cell CR123, 18350, and 18650 body options to cover all standard SureFire, SureFire Dual Fuel, and Modlite bezel variants. Reptilia uses all authentic Magpul MLOK mounting hardware, and all Reptilia products are designed and manufactured in the USA.

Reptilia TORCH 18650 weapon light body, black, with Modlite bezel and tail cap. Photo Credit: Reptilia, LLC

The second accessory request was the strongest, lowest profile MLOK QD sling mount. In order to be as low profile as possible, we canted the sling cup rearward, therefore lowering the position of the swivel itself. This also causes the sling swivel to contact the rail, serving as an inherent anti-rotation feature to help prevent sling binding.

Reptilia SOCKET QD sling mount, flat dark earth color. Photo Credit: Reptilia, LLC

Reptilia SOCKET QD sling mount, flat dark earth color. Photo Credit: Reptilia, LLC

The Future of Weapon Modularity

MLOK is here to stay for the foreseeable future. Many companies are making heavy investments in product development, tooling, and inventory of MLOK compatible accessories. The U.S. and international military communities have embraced it and begun transitioning from Picatinny to MLOK across the board for non-optical accessory mounting.

The next real question is who will be the first to integrate power to the system. Track lighting for your hand guard, anyone?!

Thank you for everyone who took time to read this post. If you have any questions, comments, or want additional information, shoot an email to [email protected] or leave a comment below!