Picking the Right Stock Model

If you’re hung up on which stock model to order for your rifle, know that you’re not alone.  Here at AG Composites, we hear that from customers all the time. 

Before we dive into stock design and ergonomics, there are two things to note:

  1. Be aware that ALL of our stock models have a length of pull option (LOP). LOP is the measurement from the trigger to the back of the recoil pad.  Standard LOP is 13.5 inches, but we can provide options anywhere between 12.5” and 16”.  This range accommodates most shooters, from children to very tall individuals.
  1. If you’re struggling to choose between a fiberglass or carbon fiber stock, or if you’re wondering how much of a factor stock weight should play in your decision, please see our blog article that covers these topics in detail: Carbon Fiber vs Fiberglass Stocks
  1. With those two items out of the way, let’s figure out which stock model is correct for your gun. Our stock can generally be divided into two categories: vertical grip and sporter style. 

Vertical grip

By and large, vertical grip (or nearly vertical grip) stocks are designed to provide an uncompromisingly stable platform for the rifleman or riflewoman that intends to do the bulk of their shooting prone, sitting, or positional (think PRS type shooting).  If you plan to shoot off a front bag, a bipod or a tripod, a vertical grip stock might be right for you.

Vertical grip designs also tend to have higher stock volume.  That is, they’re larger than sporter style stocks.  This inherently makes them slightly heavier.  But greater volume, and in some cases more weight, does tend to make the rifle easier to control while firing. 

Most vertical grip models also feature a buttstock that’s designed to ride well on a rear bag or other rear support.  How a stock rides on a bag is determined by the profile of the underside of the buttstock, as well as the angle of the toe.

In many cases, vertical grip stocks also have a higher comb than sporter style stocks.  The comb is the part of the stock that’s in contact with your cheek when you’re on the rifle.  The height of the comb is measured from the boreline, either above or below.  Higher combs help accommodate proper eye alignment with large riflescope objectives. 

For example, a scope with a 56mm objective must be mounted on taller scope rings than a 44mm objective in order to maintain clearance between the scope’s objective and the top of the barrel.  Of course, if you opt for an adjustable comb, the height of the comb can be set well above the boreline. 

The list of AG Composites vertical grip stocks are as follows, along with the comb height of each.   If an adjustable comb is available on that model, this is also noted.  The list also includes some information on what makes each stock unique from the others.

Alpine Hunter:  The Alpine hunter is our most popular stock design.  It has a moderately long forend to help stabilize the rifle when shooting off a front rest.  The flat bottom forend has rounded edges.  Drop from boreline to comb is .2 inches.   This model is available with an adjustable comb.  Alpine Hunter Stock Specs

K2:  The K2 is our newest stock model and has gained popularity quickly.  It’s similar to the Alpine Hunter, though with some notable differences.  The wrist of the stock includes a thumb shelf, which offers a good place for the thumb of the trigger hand to rest, instead of the thumb being wrapped around the wrist of the stock. The underside of the forend and the comb are faceted, unlike the Alpine Hunter.  Drop from boreline to comb is .2 inches.     This model is available with an adjustable comb.  K2 Stock Specs

Chalk Branch:  The Chalk Branch has two main distinguishing features.  The toe of the buttstock features a notch, which can be used to pull the stock into the shooter’s shoulder with the off-hand.  The notch also offers a dramatic change in point of aim when a rear bag is being used in conjunction with a front rest or bipod. The forend on the Chalk Branch is the shortest in our vertical grip offering.  The side profile of the forend also rises close to the underside of the barrel.  This lowers the rifle’s center of gravity when shooting prone from a front rest. Drop from boreline to comb is .2 inches.  This model is available with an adjustable comb.  Chalk Branch Stock Specs

Armor:  The Armor is one of the highest volume stocks in the AG Composites lineup.  It features a broad forend with a flat underside and rounded edges.  Its buttstock is similar to that of the Chalk branch, featuring a notch on the toe.  Drop from boreline to comb is .2 inches.     This model is available with an adjustable comb.  Armor Stock Specs

Visigoth:  The Visigoth is a vertical grip stock with some sporter attributes.  Most notably, the comb of the rifle includes a “hump” that’s usually attributed to Monte Carlo style stocks.  This raises the height of the comb.  The toe of the stock is also steeper than any of the other vertical grip models in the AG Composites lineup.  Drop from boreline to comb is .2 inches.  Visigoth Stock Specs

Ferrata:  The Ferrata is the only thumbhole stock in our product offering.  Fans of thumbhole designs quickly fall in love with the Ferrata, as our engineers spent a great deal of time perfecting the ergonomics of the grip.  It features one of the widest, flattest and longest forends among our various models, making it a favorite among shooters who prefer to shoot off a front bag.  The long forend helps stabilize the rifle when a front rest is used.  The toe of the buttstock includes a notch in the toe, similar to the Chalk Branch and Visigoth.  Drop from boreline to comb is .2 inches.   Ferrata Stock Specs


Privateer:  The Privateer is the smallest and lightest stock in the AG Composites lineup.  This makes it a favorite among sheep hunters, youth shooters, and customers looking to build a truck gun.  Drop from boreline to comb is .625 inches.       This model is the quintessential sporter-style stock with a shorter forend.  Privateer Stock Specs

Sportsman:  The Sportsman is identical to the Carbon All Terrain except is does not have the cheek rest on the side of the buttstock.  Drop from boreline to comb is .625 inches.        If you want to build a super light rifle but chamber it in a high recoiling magnum, the Sportsman would be a great choice.  Sportsman Stock Specs

Carbon All Terrain (CAT):  Despite its name, the CAT can be ordered in fiberglass instead of carbon fiber.  Drop from boreline to comb is .625 inches.  This stock is identical to the Sportsman, but it features a cheek rest on the off-hand side of the rifle. Carbon All Terrain Stock Specs


We’ve already discussed a variety of design features, like how the size of your riflescope objective may influence how high of a comb you may want, and we’ve talked about how a longer forend can help make a rifle steadier when shooting off a front rest.  We’ve covered the fact that flatter forends promote stability when placed on a sandbag. 

Here are a few considerations that may help you choose a rifle to fit your body.

Some shooters find they prefer thicker grip widths based on the size of their hands, and some like palm swells while others do not.  This is entirely personal preference, and everyone’s experience is different.



The following list includes grip widths, and the models with palm swells are noted:

Privateer: 1.40” grip width.  No palm swell.

Sportsman: 1.42” grip width.  No palm swell.

CAT: 1.42” grip width.  No palm swell.

Alpine Hunter: 1.94” grip width.  Grip includes a palm swell.

K2: 2” grip width.  Grip includes a palm swell.

Chalk Branch:  1.98” grip width.  Grip includes a palm swell.

Visigoth: 2” grip width.  Grip includes a palm swell.

Armor: 2” grip width.  Grip includes a palm swell.

Ferrata: 1.91” grip width.  No palm swell.

Length of pull

The vast majority of shooters between 5’6” and 6’1” feel perfectly at home on a rifle with a 13.5” standard length of pull.  That said, God made many of us shorter and taller than that.  As mentioned, we can provide any of our stocks with LOP options from 12.5” – 16.”

If you’ve ever felt cramped or stretched out on a factory rifle, you may want to consider ordering a length of pull other than standard.  Some shooters like to ride up on their stock, others prefer to hang back just a little further.  It’s very much a “feel” thing and is also dependent on where your riflescope is mounted. 

With that said, one method of getting a rough LOP measurement is to grip the rifle with your shooting hand as though you were about to fire it.  After ensuring that the rifle is completely unloaded, place your finger on the trigger.  Keep your elbow at a 90 degree angle and roll your forearm so that your palm is facing up.  Measure from the trigger shoe to your bicep and subtract one-half inch.  This is roughly the correct LOP for you.

Keep in mind that if you primarily use your rifle during cold weather, the thickness of your clothing may impact the optimal LOP. 

Avoid paralysis by analysis

At this point, you’ve probably identified some features you want in your rifle stock, and now you know what your LOP should be.  If the features you prefer are provided in a stock model you like the look of, you’ve found a winner.  Deliberating between two similar models can be draining.  Let’s say you’re hung up between the K2 and the Alpine Hunter.  We’re confident you’d be happy with either one. 

Know this, too:  Every one of our stock models can be ordered with flush cup sling mounts, texturing on the grip and forend, a picatinny rail or an Arca rail.  The picatinny or Arca rail can also be easily added later if desired.   Step by step instructions to do so can be found here:   Rail Install Blog


6 Easy Steps to the Best Stock on the Market