By Mike Searson
The Armaspec XPDW stock gives you the PDW look without the hassle.
USA – -(Ammoland.com)- PDW (Personal Defense Weapon) stocks have been growing in popularity among the AR crowd for the past few years. This is mostly an outgrowth of people seeing them on the weapons of SPECOPs types and wanting them for themselves.
However, just about every PDW stock has its own set of inherent problems.
We found one that is extremely easy to install, works well and is probably the most cost effective: Armaspec’s XPDW.
The goal of building a PDW is to make the weapon as short and as light as possible. With the AR platform that means shortening the barrel and its gas system. Unfortunately this means making other accommodations in order to preserve accuracy and reliability.
Problems compound with the buffer system of the AR. When you go as low as you can with a barrel and gas system, you need to go to the rear end of the rifle to remove more length if that’s your goal. This involves going with a shorter buffer tube or bolt carrier to bleed off precious inches.
Shorter buffer tubes, receiver extensions and bolt carriers often affect reliability. It does not matter if you’re the kid with the shortest rifle on your block if it will not function.
Armaspec XPDW Stock
The Armaspec XPDW stock is an aluminum 5 position stock with hardened steel extension rods. It has an ambidextrous latch to allow the shooter to adjust the stock from either side and has a single point sling attachment.
It may not get you to that “as short as I can possibly get” moment, but this is primarily intended for those who want the look of a PDW stock as opposed to having an AR with a “20-inch overall length”.
Armaspec XPDW Stock – The Good
We installed our Armaspec XPDW on a Sharp’s Bros. Jack Lower which is built by Spike’s Tactical. The metallic Cerakote on the front half of the lower was masterfully done by Nevada Cerakote out of Minden, Nevada. www.nevadacerakote.com
Building this lower gave us a few challenges due to the front half and at first we were concerned with adding an unconventional stock, but it installed with no problems.
Armaspec XPDW Stock – The Bad
We did hit one snag on the build. Our end plate had dual sling loops and would not allow the stock to completely retract. We simply replaced it with a standard end plate with no extensions. The lack of additional sling points may be a negative factor to some, but the single point location on the XPDW was fine for our purposes.
This stock is only rated for use on 5.56/223 rifles. If you were planning on doing a 6.5 Grendel, 300 Blackout, 7.62X39, 458 SOCOM, 308, 500 Beowulf or other build, you need to go with another stock. Excessive recoil on some of these calibers may damage your stock or hinder performance and will likely void the lifetime warranty.
The only other complaint we can see from some shooters is that the unit does not make the rifle as compact as a true PDW. It is about as compact as a standard CAR-15 type stock at 6.875” when fully collapsed and 10” fully extended.
Armaspec XPDW Stock – The Reality
If you like the look and feel of a PDW stock and do not want the hassles of changing out parts, modifying your receiver or experimenting with different buffers, this may be the ticket. This is especially true if your rifle is not an SBR.
One of the problems with PDW stocks is that they do not seem to look right on most rifles with barrels longer than 10”. We found the Armaspec XPDW to look “just right”. This probably has more to do with the fact that a MILSPEC buffer tube is used, so the overall length is not thrown off, too much.
As for comfort, we are always skeptical when we hear complaints of shooters using retractable or folding stocks on various rifles. We hear everything from “impossible to obtain a proper cheek weld” to “rips the hairs out of your beard”.
We disagree wholeheartedly with that and have been shooting folding metal stocks on Uzis, HKs and AKs for decades without a problem. The Armaspec XPDW is no exception, either. True it is not a MAGPUL UBR or PRS and is minimalist in its design, but it worked out well for us. Best of all is the price at $179 MSRP, which is easily ½ to 1/3 the price for the other PDW stocks we have seen out there.
For more info on the Armaspec XPDW Stock visit : www.armaspec.com/product/xpdw/
About Mike Searson
Mike Searson’s career as a shooter began as a Marine Rifleman at age 17. He has worked in the firearms industry his entire adult life as a Gunsmith, Ballistician, Consultant, Salesman, Author and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1989.
Mike has written over 2000 articles for a number of magazines, websites and newsletters including Blade, RECOIL, OFF-GRID, Tactical Officer, SWAT, Tactical World, Gun Digest, Examiner.com and the US Concealed Carry Association as well as AmmoLand Shooting Sports News.
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