VLTOR Modstock review

VLTOR
Modstock

Review
by DumboRAT

Stock
Specifications
RRP ~120USD
Length:
10.0/13.32 (cm)
Weight: 4.9
(ounces)

VLTOR


The
latest craze for the Colt/ArmaLite assault-rifle and carbine
replica enthusiasts is undoubtedly the holy-trinity of highly
anticipated release of the SYSTEMA Law-Enforcement Training
replica and the ISC/AirsoftElite modular mechabox replica, as
well as the new-to-market ArmaLite/Classic Army AR-series replicas
and the slightly “older” Colt M733 from Tokyo Marui. Spurred
on by not only a proud American tradition that continues to
live strong with these arms, the popularity of these replicas
undoubtedly also should give credit to their tremendous modularity,
upgradability, and the sheer number of aftermarket parts – both
real-steel and airsoft – that are available for these items.

Among
the latest craze to hit the real-steel world in this respect
are the new-design retractable/adjustable buttstocks for these
rifles and carbines. In the past few months, the Crane stock,
at a high premium, has made its debut with the brave Special
Operations forces that spearheaded Operation Enduring Freedom
and our war to liberate Iraq. And more recently, we’ve seen
the development of the Magpul Modular Stock System (MSS M93),
at a somewhat more affordable, but still rather dear price (appx.
$270).

Replacing
the rattly and often uncomfortable retractable/adjustable buttstock
for the M4 carbine or overhauling the full buttstock of the
M16 full-sized rifles has even become something that airsoft
hobbyists and skirmish players have started more and more to
look into. Certainly, fitting an item that easily costs as much
as the AEG replica itself as an accessory would give even the
most well-funded hobbyist pause, but in the airsoft world, were
we’re limited to virtually just the stock Colt-type replica
adjustable buttstock or the standard full stock, many of us
are amazingly willing to pony up considerable sums for what
is essentially just a cosmetic accessory.

Items
such as the various “tactical/law-enforcement”-type adjustable
buttstocks made by FIRST Factory, ICS, and Guarder/IS, hovering
around the $60 to $130 range, are as sought-after by airsoft
hobbyists as their real-steel counterparts made by DPMS and
other marques. And despite its known shortcomings, the thumbhole-type
RIGHT Sniper Stock is still in high-demand by players seeking
to convert their long-gun replicas into airsoft “sharpshooter/sniper”
rifles.

Highly
priced and often without much practical benefit, these items
have been, over the past year or so, the only alternatives for
hobbyists who didn’t want to dump in hundreds of dollars, but
yet still wanted something “special” to decorate their AEG.

Enter
the latest player in this market, the VLTOR
Modstock
. I won’t waste your time, for the low-down on this
particular stock, you’re going to want to read my friend MilitaryMoron’s
assessment, found here.

Here,
I will present only an Airsoft-specific view of this item.

As you
can see from MM’s detailed presentation above, there’s not much
for me to say about the ModStock that he hasn’t already detailed.
My review below, therefore, will server only to compliment his
writing, and will parallel its structure.

First,
I can confirm that on the Tokyo Marui replica, this stock provides
a near-perfect fit. Wobble/rattle of the stock around the tube
is virtually nonexistent, and the fit is superior to that of
the stock TM unit seen on their M4 model (I unfortunately do
not own the M733, and did not have access to one during this
review) and is akin to what I observed with the FIRST Factory
Law-Enforcement (“LE”) stock. Molding is excellent, with each
part literally snapping-in with a precision that you’d be hard-pressed
to find even on the best Japanese airsoft aftermarket parts.
Just putting the various components of the Vltor Modstock together,
you’re going to be instantly convinced that it is an ultra-high-quality
piece.

The
only disappointment, if one must be found, is the rather large
mold-line along the “spine” of the stock body.

But
honestly, that’s nit-picking here – and if your friends and
team-mates on the skirmish field points to your stock and cites
this as a fault, you can just turn up your nose and tell them
to shrug-off, as your Vltor is a real-deal, not some El-cheapo
Korean or Taiwanese knock-off. Besides, show them the precision
molded interlocking fingers along the top edge of each Modstock
Accessory Compartment or Cheek Weld Adaptor, show them the nifty
“VLTOR” trademarks – that should have them drooling.

Like
MM, I had decided to install an Accessory Compartment to each
side of the Modstock. This is so that I could maximize my battery-carrying
capability. As a guy who goes into the fray with the time-honored
martial proverb of “two is one and one is none” well in-mind,
my usual load-out of various sighting devices, weaponlights,
and even just handheld torches of various types, especially
for CQB and night-games, the ability to carry a few extra power
cells in a non-awkward and easily accessible spot is always
appreciated.

Unlike
MM, though, I did not feel that there was much need to alter
the design of the Modstock Accessory Compartments’ sealing caps.

In so
much as airsoft-specific use is concerned, the likelihood that
we, as airsoft players, would be changing out the battery in
our electrically powered sights and/or flashlights in-the-field
is virtually nil, and IMHO, the extra security granted by the
Modstock’s twist-lock camming mechanism is a worthy trade-off
for security and weather/splash-resistance. But if you do engage
in long time-span scenarios with a low likelihood or even outright
no-return to safe-zone/rest-area, tethering the endcaps as MM
did in his “Modstock Mods” section would be a good idea.

In agreement
with MM, I, too, felt that using the Modstock’s Accessory Compartment
instead of the Cheek Weld Adaptor provided a better surface
for my cheek to nestle. It’s not that the Cheek Weld Adaptor
is uncomfortable – to the contrary, it is quite well suited
for just that task, particularly if weight/streamline is a concern
for you – but I found, as did MM, that the larger angle and
enlarged contact area of the Accessory Compartment provided
both of us with better ergonomics. While that is necessarily
a personal-preference issue, what is undeniably true is that
by using the Accessory Compartment on the cheek-weld side, you’ll
also definitely gain that much more usable storage space.

Like
MM confirmed, Vltor’s claims of the “seam” along which the interlocking
fingers run parallel to their interface on the stock tube being
unobtrusive and un-noticeable is very much true. To my face,
the stock felt completely smooth. I actually wouldn’t be surprised
at all if, with my eyes closed, I’d not be able to tell the
difference between the Vltor Modstock and the Crane’s profile.
Overall, the cheek weld area is much, much more comfortable
than what you would feel with conventional stocks. Oh, and no,
that top spine seam I spoke of above? Your cheek won’t ride
high enough to feel it, trust me.

Moving
on, I also share MM’s sentiment regarding the angle of the Modstock’s
butt-plate. This is definitely an improvement over the standard
Colt design used on the TM M4, and was something that I greatly
preferred when I first switched over to the FIRST Factory LE
stock.

The
weight of the stock isn’t much different from any of the other
items, and will not appreciably alter your carbine’s handling
characteristics. A few batteries won’t change things much, either.

The
Carbine Modstock’s length is actually also very similar to that
of the stock TM’s. This means that if you are using the extended
6-position tubes which FIRST Factory or ICS offers, you’ll have
a bit of a problem in that the shortest position will result
with the tube protruding uncomfortably and un-acceptably from
the end of the buttstock when the stock is in its most retracted
detent. But otherwise, if you can remind yourself not to go
so far “in,” you’d have no problem using this stock with the
tubes above.

[
You can see by the two pictures above that even with some “foreshortening”
of the pictures’ perspective, you can still quite readily make
out that the FIRST Factory “LE” stock is just a tad longer.]

Oh,
and yes, the new ArmaLite’s from Classic Army also use Colt-dimensioned
receiver/buffer-tubes, and therefore will also provide a perfect
fit. Although the fit of the Modstock to these new replicas
has not yet been confirmed first-hand, it is pretty locked-in
as Pikachoad, site Admin of AirsoftPlayers, was recently able
to confirm that the stock TM Colt-design retractable stock is
a drop-in compatible fit on the ArmaLite.

For
those of you with TM’s SR16 or other full-sized M16 rifle replicas,
you’ll need to retrofit your replica with the various aftermarket
airsoft receiver extension/buffer tubes before you can hope
to install either the Rifle or Carbine Modstock.

As for
sling attachment, with either the provided Uncle Mike’s Q/D
swivel or the loop that’s provided at the top rear of the stock,
you won’t have a problem finding something that’s just-right
for you.

Best
of all, at around $120, this part won’t break the piggy bank,
is ultra attractive, and will add a good degree of versatility
and practicality to your current system.

Give
the designer, Eric Kincel, a call or an e-mail. He’s an excellent
guy with a very personable attitude who respects input even
from the airsoft crowd – and doesn’t look down at us just because
we’re not Delta operators or giving him high-dollar military
contracts.

=)

Allen
aka DumboRAT

PS:
There is continuing discussion about whether it would be
possible to convert this stock to house batteries to power the
AEG itself.

The
answer is yes – but you’ll need to snake your wiring through
the receiver tube and then out into the stock’s Accessory Compartments.
That’s going to mean that when you want to change-out a battery,
it’s going to be one hell of an operation, and likely something
you’ll only want to do in the safe-zone, off-field. This assessment
doesn’t come just from me, but rather, comes also from MM, who
demonstrated the product to the talented AEG-guys over at AirsoftExtreme
(who, I’ve been told, along with the crowd that was there during
their beginning-of-May Torrance-branch Grand Opening, all rather
slobbered over this product) and some very experienced hobbyists.

In addition
to this little problem, you’d also do well to get the Rifle
Modstock instead of the Carbine. Due to space limitations, with
the Carbine, you’re simply not going to be able to get anything
more than “mini” cells into the compartments in cell numbers
high enough to get to 8.4 or 9.6 Volts. The Rifle length will
be a minimum-requirement in this area.

But
hey, if enough of us start purchasing this stock, I’d well bet
that we might eventually even convince Eric to design a specific
“Airsoft Battery Compartment!”

PPS:
Update as of 06/2003
Eric
has expressed interest in doing a specialized airsoft battery
compartment, but that will definitely have to wait until he
can get over the current craziness that’s going on with his
orders due to military and law-enforcement demands.

The
main problem with having a compartment large enough to house
at least a 9.6V high-mAh capacity Sub-C (“large”) pack would
be that its physical size will mandate that it be used on the
weak-side. This still would present a problem, however, when
and if you transition from strong-side to weak-side shooting
(which is something that while all soldiers and law-enforcement
practices, few airsoft players do – but should as it confers
quite a bit of tactical advantage under both cover and in indoor
CQB/CQC situations), as the larger compartment, even if contoured,
would likely interfere with sight alignment when you have a
full paintball mask on for protection.

Actually,
for those of you who are looking at the BoomArms Airsoft Crane
Stock clone, you’d do well to keep this in-mind, as the much
larger profile of the cheekrest area on each side will definitely
be problematic should you use a full paintball mask, whereas
the Vltor Modstock, using the cheekweld insert or even no insert
at all, will work to obviate or at least minimize this concern.

Comment
on this review in the forums


Last
modified:
Friday, June 13, 2003 7:49 PM
Copyright 2003 ArniesAirsoft




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