Colt “N” CAR stock vs. M&A Parts CAR stock

A segment of the AR market that has been gaining in popularity lately are retro/historical AR’s.  A question I see posted on various retro forums quite a bit is for sources of the older CAR style telestock.  Originals can often be found offered up for sale in the various marketplace/used equipment sections of popular gun forums but prices are steadily rising and they sell quickly when offered so you have to be Johnny on the spot to snag one.  The other option is to purchase a new production piece from one of a handful of retailers.  Going that route leads to the question of whether or not new production CAR stocks stack up to the originals.

Having recently been in the market for several CAR stocks I thought I’d show you what I found.

For comparison I have an original Colt N marked CAR stock I purchased used and a new production CAR stock purchased from M&A Parts.  Both are sized for mil-spec diameter tubes.

 

At first glance they appear very similar.  The Colt having a little glossier and smoother finish to the M&A’s more textured matte finish.

(Colt on the left / M&A on the right)

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(Colt on top / M&A on bottom)

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(Colt on top / M&A on bottom)

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Notice in these pics the top sling loop has a slightly different profile.

(Colt on left / M&A on right)

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(Colt on left / M&A on right)

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The checkering appears similar though the Colt’s is worn and has definitely seen some use.

(Colt on left / M&A on right)

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(M&A on left / Colt on right)

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It’s somewhat hard to capture in the pic but the pin appears to be taller or stick up higher in the Colt stock.  I did find with the M&A stock it is occasionally possible to depress the pin enough to cause the stock to be able to be slid completely off the buffer tube when adjusting its length.

(Colt on left / M&A on right)

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Notice in this pic the “T” shaped piece the adjustment lever rests on appears thicker on the M&A stock.

(Colt on bottom / M&A on top)

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(M&A on left / Colt on right)

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(M&A on left / Colt on right)

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Notice in this pic it appears, when rested on their butt plates, the M&A fractionally taller/longer than the Colt.

(M&A on left / Colt on right)

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The butt appears thicker on the M&A stock, however some of this could be due to material having been worn off the Colt stock.

(M&A on left / Colt on right)

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(Colt on left / M&A on right)

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(Colt on left / M&A on right)

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Functionally they are very similar.  The Colt seems to have a slightly tighter lock up to the buffer tube but both are pretty solid and variances in buffer tubes will always cause a bit of wiggle.  When weighed the Colt stock comes in at 4.39oz., and the M&A stock at 4.57oz.  Although when new I would bet the Colt stock was closer in weight, and has lost an oz or so as material was worn away.

For the Colt purists, those looking to make something 100% historically correct, or those wanting to build something really nice I would stick with the Colt N stock.  For those that just want a lightweight stock, or are satisfied with a close enough look to their retro guns the M&A stock is a solid choice.

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