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Magpul’s MOE SL – A COTS Option for the M4

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The military, specifically the Army, seems dead set on spending fortunes trying to find a way to replace the M4 rifle. I get it, it’s an old design at this point, but that doesn’t make it obsolete. I would rather the Army take the money spent on these countless tests and looked into commercial Off-The-Shelf upgrades, also known as COTS. One such upgrade should be transitioning away from the old M4 stock to the Magpul MOE SL stock. 

The M4’s stock was designed in 1993, and since 1993 our troops have seen massive improvements in gear and tactics. The old M4 style stocks are okay, but they can be improved. Modern plate carriers add bulk to the shooter, and the MOE SL stock is designed to work with and around armor. Magpul designed the stock for modern fighting rifle tactics that include shoulder switching, modular slings, and lessons learned from the M4 stock. 

Installation is simple. Pop off the M4 stock and put the MOE SL stock in place. No fancy equipment is needed. It’s a drop-in replacement tool that offers an affordable upgrade to a duty rifle or to your at-home AR 15. Magpul was started by a Force Recon Marine, and they employ some of the best experts in the industry to design these products. You can clearly see shooters created the MOE SL once you shoulder it. 

Why The Magpul MOE SL

Well, first, Magpul is the constant choice of professionals. From Special Ops to Infantrymen, Magpul accessories, magazines, and slings are all well-reputed and favored in the field. The MOE SL lives up to Magpul’s reputation. 

As a stock, it attaches with ease and is affordably priced. The stock is fitted with multiple sling points to accommodate QD slings or a standard web sling. Weight-wise the stock weighs slightly more than the normal M4, but by only a few ounces. The MOE SL stock also offers a longer length of pull (LOP) compared to the M4 stock. Tall guys like me will appreciate the max LOP of 14.1 inches compared to the M4’s 13.8 max LOP. 

Like everything Magpul makes, the MOE SL stock reeks of high quality. The stock slides back and forth with ease. Everything is precision-molded and installed perfectly for easy use. The biggest reason to choose  MOE SL is simply due to how well it performs for everyday shooting tasks. 

Putting It In Action 

So I’ve got this glorious beard, and I love it. However, many collapsing stocks are not friendly to men with beards. If I had a nickel for every hair pulled out of my face by a stock, I’d have to go to the bank. The Magpul MOE SL stock doesn’t have that issue. My beard can flow free and be comfortable. 

The MOE SL takes some edge from the original SOPMOD B5 stock with its cheek weld design. Users get a nice sloping comb for a much better cheek weld. It’s low profile, so it stays out of the way of your helmet. Shooting fundamentals require a cheek weld and the MOE SL stock delivers it. 

Users adjust the stock via an ambidextrous lever that is placed on the side of the stock. It’s smaller and protected. The M4 stock has a tab located on the bottom and is in a prime location to take a hit and unlock and slide. No snag issues with the MOE SL lever either. 

Magpul rubberized the butt pad and fitted it with an aggressively textured design. This butt pad sticks to your shoulder whether you want it to or not! Okay, I’m being hyperbolic, but it does cling to your shoulder and doesn’t slide or move when shouldered. A rock-solid locking system means the stock doesn’t wobble at all when locked into place. 

At the bottom of the MOE SL stock is what Magpul calls a rollover toe. This sharply angled toe is designed for easier shoulder transitions and helps you shoulder your rifle when wearing body armor. Popping shots off accurately with armor is quite comfortable. The design of the stocks lends itself well to a modern shooting style and modern tactical gear. 

Over and Out 

Magpul’s MOE SL provides a rock-solid, off-the-shelf option for upgrading your M4. The improvement is noticeable and allows an old weapon to be easily handled with modern shooting gear and tactics. Like all Magpul products, it’s made right here in the good ole US of A. It’s tough as hell and affordable. Make the change, and you’ll feel the difference right away. (Pssh listen up, big Army, little improvements go a long way.) 

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Travis Pike

Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine gunner who served with 2nd Bn 2nd Marines for 5 years. He deployed in 2009 to Afghanistan and again in 2011 with the 22nd MEU(SOC) during a record-setting 11 months at sea. He’s trained with the Romanian Army, the Spanish Marines, the Emirate Marines, and the Afghan National Army. He serves as an NRA certified pistol instructor and teaches concealed carry classes.