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Magpul STR Stock: For Function and Utility

Introduced in 2012, the Magpul Storage/Type Restricted (STR) Carbine Stock is intended to provide an option for shooters looking for improved cheek weld and storage capacity. Today the STR remains a mainstay of Magpul’s diverse product line and continues to find service among recreational and professional shooters.

The STR Stock was developed to be among the many in Magpul’s line of polymer buttstocks that combines the minimalist function of the CTR stock, with added utility storage for power sources along both sides.


These water-resistant storage compartments are sufficient enough to allow for two CR123A lithium batteries, or two AA batteries to be stored by the rear-facing, hand-removable rubberized plugs. In turn, these storage compartments give the STR a broader area for an angled cheek piece which translates to a greater cheek weld with the shooter.

The reinforced and compact A-frame design of the STR includes a shielded operation lever that “unlocks” the stock from the buffer tube. The corresponding friction locking system then allows the STR to move to any position of the buffer tube, and once a position is determined, to maintain a positive position with minimal movement.

A reversible QD mounting cup, a 0.30” thick replaceable rubberized buttstock, and two integral sling loops (to accommodate a sling up to 1.25” wide) finish off the additional features to the STR.


  • Accommodates AR10, AR15, M4, M16, M110, SR25 platforms
  • Stock dimensions 7.3” (L) x 2.6” (W)

The STR Carbine Stock is available in Black (featured), Stealth Grey, FDE, and OD Green.

Product Evaluation Scores:

  • CostAverage (3/5): At $79.95 the STR represents a perfect balance of materials over cost wherein the efficient design allows for some essential storage, improved function, at a minimal increase over the more basic CTR ($59.95) stock. Magpul has made its products synonymous with aftermarket rifle products and the STR has a lot to offer shooters from the basic to more advanced. In comparison VLTOR’s IMOD ($89.95) is perhaps the closest comparator in both material and function, followed closely by B5 System’s SOPMOD ($58.99). Given that the STR’s price falls roughly between these, that gives its cost an average rating within the market. The one aspect Magpul has to offer is a very diverse product line and the STR sits within the middle of its lineup so if the STR isn’t quite what the consumer is looking for then Magpul almost certainly has an alternative.
  • Comfort Good (4/5): The biggest aspect of the STR’s comfort was its improved dimensions for a larger cheek weld over the more basic A2-type stocks. The tube itself was angled with a wider base that gave it a quasi-triangular appearance. This design not only gave the shooter more real-estate for contact when shouldering, but sufficient space for the two storage compartments that run the length of the stock. The two rubberized plugs had a comfortable fit inside the storage tubes, and were easily removed with the fingertip. Internet research illustrated that some variances in buffer tube dimensions may result in a minor amount of wiggle between the STR and buffer tube, but there are a number of personalized and simple remedies to resolve that issue.
  • Durability – Excellent (5/5): The STR was made from the same polymer material as Magpul’s magazines, this gave it a good degree of resiliency and durability throughout evaluation. The thickness of the stock’s tube and A-frame help ensured any force or tension was transferred throughout the design and mitigated. In addition to several drop tests, the STR was used for several stressor iterations going from prone to standing while using the STR as a means to brace the movement. In all cases the STR supported the pressure and was never compromised beyond some minor surface marring.
  • Functionality Good (4/5): Functionally the STR’s operational and friction lock both provided a solid connection to the buffer tube and the stock, keeping the overall STR in place. Movement along the various positions was solid and the operational lock avoided any accidental slippage. As noted, the biggest aspect of the STR was the improved cheek weld over the CTR or other A2 style buttstocks. While there was a little added bulk due to the angled sides of the tube and its storage compartment, it is minimal at most. The ability of the QD cup to be moved from either side was accomplished simply by unscrewing the hardware and reassembling on the opposite side. The only noted negative from a functional aspect was the removable plugs for the storage tubes did not have any type of attached lanyard or connection, making them very susceptible to loss when removed.
  • Weight Fair (2/5): Coming in at 12.3 ounces, the STR is in the mid-rage of the Magpul family with the lighter CTR weighing 8.8 ounces, and the UBR being 23.36 ounces. But for its advantages; improved cheek weld, storage and adjustability the STR is one of the more logical options for those looking for an appropriate blend of lightweight function and form. In comparison however, the VLTOR’s IMOD (9.5 ounce) and the B5 System’s SOPMOD (10.25 ounces) both come in under the weight of the STR making it the heavier option. The weight of the STR will aid in absorbing some of the recoil, but it is still a fair weight amid similar competitors.

Overall Rating – Above Average (18/25)

Product Link: https://magpul.com/firearm-accessories/stocks/ar15-m4-m16-sr25-m110-ar10/str-carbine-stock-mil-spec.html?mp_global_color=118


I am reviewing this product as a courtesy to the manufacturer and via STL Shooting Enthusiasts, so that I can evaluate it and provide my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give positive reviews. All views are my own, and based off my personal experience with the product.

The views and opinions expressed on this website are solely those of the author. The views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the administrative staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

Fort Scott Ammunition (Rifle): Hitting Far and Fast

Spun from a single bead of solid copper or brass, and machined to near CNC precision, the 5.56mm cartridge from Fort Scott Ammunition is among many on the market that offers penetration and stopping force. But with its unique Tumble Upon Impact™ (TUI) design, the 5.55mm NATO or .223mm projectile ensures maximum cavitation once it strikes a soft target. This unique feature is available in 55gr. and 62gr. projectiles in both metals, and is ideal for hunting, professional, or self-defense applications.

Made to meet SAAMI specifications, the .223mm/5.56mm TUI cartridge has the following characteristics:

  • Caliber: ……………….223mm/5.56mm
  • COAL:……………….….2.256” (for 55gr) or 2.224” (for 62gr)
  • OAL:………………….…0.867” (for 55gr) or 0.949” (for 62gr)
  • Projectile Weight:…55gr or 62gr
  • Projectile Type:…….Solid Copper Spun (SCS) or Solid Brass Spun (SBS)
  • Powder Type:……….Flattened Ball
  • Charge Weight:……..2.73gr (for 55gr) or 2.63gr (for 62gr)
  • Primer Pocket:….….Boxer Pocket w/Crimp Primer
  • Crimp…………………..Light

A process of three ladder tests were completed using a Millennium 2 Chronograph from Competitive Edge Dynamics for each caliber with the first being for record and the remaining two for confirmation. The averaged results were as follows:

Performance Test #1: 10.5” AR Pistol

  • Caliber:………………..5.56 NATO / SBS / TUI
  • Projectile Weight:…62 grain
  • Rounds Fired:……….8
  • Velocity:………………..2578 fps.
  • Velocity:………………..2537 fps.
  • Velocity:………………..2558 fps.


Performance Test #2: 16” AR-15

  • Caliber:………………..5.56 NATO / SCS / TUI
  • Projectile Weight:…62 grain
  • Rounds Fired:……….8
  • Velocity:………………..2864 fps
  • Velocity:………………..2819 fps
  • Velocity:………………..2837 fps


Performance Test #3: 16” AR-15

  • Caliber:……………..…5.56 NATO / SCS / TUI
  • Projectile Weight:…55 grain
  • Rounds Fired:……….8
  • Velocity:………………..3101 fps
  • Velocity:………………..3025 fps
  • Velocity:…………….….3065 fps


Post-Mortem Observations:

None of the rifle cartridges nor primers fired showed any evidence of overpressure with either budged cases, strained case necks, nor flattened primers. During life-fire stressor drills the ammunition performed consistently and did not fail to fire.

.223 Remington SCS Product Link: https://fortscottmunitions.com/collections/rifle-ammunition/products/223-rem-scs-brush-hog-rifle-ammo

5.56 NATO SCS Product Link: https://fortscottmunitions.com/collections/rifle-ammunition/products/5-56-nato-scs-brush-hog-62grain-rifle-ammo

5.56 NATO SBS Product Link: https://fortscottmunitions.com/collections/rifle-ammunition/products/5-56-nato-sbs-brass-hog-rifle-ammo

Product Evaluation Scores:

  • CostAverage (3/5): The price for Fort Scott rifle ammunition varies based on caliber, projectile type, and box count. For the purpose of this review, a box of 20 cartridges for 5.56 NATO ranged in price from $23.67 (for 55gr.) to $24.14 (for 62gr.). In comparison, some of the market “gold standards” in ammo include a 20 round box of 55gr. range ammo from PMC Bronze ($8.89), a specialized brand like Hornady Critical Defense FTX ($22.89), or a performance hunting round like Nosler’s Varmageddon ($28.10). As such the cost for Fort Scott’s 5.56 NATO caliber is well within the average range for performance ammunition and the overall market.
  • Comfort Good (4/5): From a comfort aspect the Fort Scott ammunition proved to be neither excessively smoky or projected an excessive amount of carbon. Despite firing approximately 200 rounds no carbon fouling was noted and the rifles continued to perform without error. It should be noted that the 55gr. NATO ammunition did give a notable harder recoil than the 62gr. and that is likely due to the lighter projectile and higher velocities.
  • Durability – Excellent (5/5): All ammunition arrived from Fort Scott appearing to have already undergone annealing from the manufacturer—a process that extends case life and ensures consistent diameters. After firing no brass exhibited signs of overpressure or case failures with no visible cracks in case-necks, case bulging, or flattened/popped primers.
  • Functionality Good (4/5): Functionally, the option of a solid copper/brass projectile is done so to provide maximum penetration. Unlike traditional BTHP hunting projectiles that “flower” outward and transfer that velocity into the cavity, the conical SBS/SCS projectile will retain its shape until it encounters a denser material (such as steel). There was some thought during evaluations to utilize watermelons to simulate the approximate water/tissue ratio that could be encountered, but once measured on a chrono, it was realized the projectile was simply moving too fast for a melon to offer much notable effect that could speak to Fort Scott’s TUI effect. The design to Fort Scott’s projectile is what gives the TUI ammunition its unique “tumble” effect after encountering tissue. In essence the projectile retains stability/accuracy in flight, but once it enters a soft target becomes unbalanced and falls end-over-end and will transfer much of that kinetic energy into the cavity. In addition, with the 55gr. ammunition consistently moving over 3k fps, it also would have the ability to defeat ¾” AR500 steel or Level III body armor at the standard distance by which NIJ evaluates protective body armor. It should be noted that at longer distances than the evaluated 25 yards, velocities will drop off significantly but the SBS/SCS projectiles will still retain their penetration ability on thin-skinned targets such as wild pigs, deer, and bear.
  • Weight Average (3/5): In terms of ballistic weights, the 55gr. projectiles offered better performance in barrels utilizing a 1:10 or 1:12 inch twist ratio and can be somewhat destabilizing in barrels outside of those ranges. In comparison, the heavier 62gr. projectiles performed better in barrels using a 1:9 or 1:10 inch twist ration simply because the heavier projectile will need less spin to maintain stability as it travels downrange. The 55gr. ammunition is perhaps one of the more common training ammo weights on the market simply because it is traditionally the more inexpensive. Having the option to pick the correct balance of projectile for your individual barrel gives Fort Scott’s ammunition an appropriate (or average) weight within the current market of performance ammunition.

Overall Rating – Above Average (19/25)

Product Link: https://fortscottmunitions.com

IMG_2889_TackenbergI am reviewing this product as a courtesy to the manufacturer and via STL Shooting Enthusiasts, so that I can evaluate it and provide my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give positive reviews. All views are my own, and based off my personal experience with the product.

The views and opinions expressed on this website are solely those of the author. The views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the administrative staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.


Streamlight Racker Forend Shotgun Light: For the Bump In the Night

Released for SHOT Show 2020, the Racker by Streamlight is a new edition for the company’s line of weapon mounted lights, and its first integrated design for the Mossberg 500/590 line of shotguns.

Intended as a drop-in replacement for the Mossberg’s forend, the custom light optic produces a focused beam with peripheral illumination that reaches 283 meters before dispersal.

In front of the optic, the Racker included Borofloat glass is designed to have a high degree of heat and impact/abrasion resistance.


The Racker’s integrated weapon light produces 1,000 lumens (20,000 candela) off of two CR123 batteries that give it 1.5 hours of run time.

Along both sides of the Racker, the 4.5” ambidextrous pressure switch allow the operator to select between momentary and continually on function.


The impact-resistant housing of the forend is almost 8” long and made from a polymer/nylon resin that provides ergonomic handling for the support hand.

The Racker is Mossberg compatible to the 7 3/4″ Action slide 500® and 590® series, or works with Remington 870s (with the exception of the Remington 870 Express Supermag).

With its sealed rubber gasket endcap and enclosed housing to provide waterproofing the Racker is IPX7 rated; waterproof for up to 30 minutes.

The Racker comes in Black (featured) and Orange.

Product Evaluation Scores:

  • CostExcellent (5/5): Coming in at an MSRP of $225, the Racker is a larger, intergraded WML for the more common shotgun styles on the available market. With a light source throwing out 1k lumens, the Racker gives as much light output, or more as other long-gun weapon lights. The closest comparator would be Surefire’s line of forend lights for the Mossberg 500/590 ($399-$599) and Remington 870 shotguns ($399-$599). For a short time EOTech also did offer its Integrated Forend Light ($243.70) forend light, but has since discontinued it. Regardless, as technology has developed, Streamlight’s new Racker is an inexpensive alternative to Surefire’s dominance in the market for intergraded shotgun lights.
  • Comfort Average (3/5): For its textured grip and rigid chassis, the Racker proved to be a very comfortable fit in the support hand that, combined with the angled housing of the light module, served as a good hand stop by which to control the forend. The switch module ran nearly the full length of the grip; however, there wasn’t much of a raised or textured surface on the switch to delineate the tactile feel between that and the chassis. The result was sometimes having to look down to check the position of the thumb on the switch. A recommendation to Streamlight would be to improve the comfort of the switch would be to raise the switch’s surface into a rounded or rubberized feel.
  • Durability – Excellent (5/5): The ABS polymer housing of the Racker took a good beating yet never failed. The chassis was struck against the wooden frame of the nearby shooting bench five times each side (10 total strikes) before loading and firing the shotgun, and at no point did the material separate nor become compromised beyond minor surface marring. The light module itself remained firmly inside the chassis and it and the switch module continued to function as normal.
  • Functionality – Average (3/5): Functionally, the Racker was designed to be a drop-in replacement for the stock Mossberg forend while adding an integrated weapon light. Its installation was easy and straight forward; however, it would have been nice to have an included forend removal tool, similar to what was included with the Magpul MOE M-LOK forend replacement. Users should take care in ordering the correct Racker for the Mossberg line of shotguns as the 500/590 variant of the Racker (Part # 69600) is slightly different than the 590 Shockwave (##69602) Racker. The latter will still fit on the full-length 500/590, just with the chassis’ shorter overall length it required a spacer to accommodate for the difference. The 1,000 lumens thrown by the Racker made illumination of interior spaces very easy, with a solid central beam for getting into dark corners. The hand strap of the 590 Shockwave variant did not have any adjustability, and did little to secure the forend to the hand. The switch module did have a tangible feel to it that denoted the Racker’s ON/OFF operation. The battery endcap was a little tricky to remove because of its position/angle, but with a wide flat-end screwdriver it was removed to allow access for the CR123 batteries. The Racker did lack the “Safe ON/OFF” feature as found in its other pistol WMLs, such as the TLR-7 and would have made for a nice feature. All of these gave the Racker an appropriate (or average) score with some room for improvement in function.
  • Weight Excellent (5/5): Depending on the model selected (the Mossberg 500®/590® weighed in at 10.78 oz. while the Remington 870 will weigh in at 11.08 oz.). The weight will vary due to the overall size of the chassis and associated ABS polymer. The switch and light modules are the same in both versions and thus had the same mass. In comparison, the DSF-500/590 forend replacement from Surefire (with 600 lumens) weighed approximately 18.2 ounces and its heavier mass is due to the thicker chassis and rubberized features for added grip. When in production, the IFL from EOTech (with 250 lumens) weighed 12.2 ounces and with its integrated light and design was a closer approximation of Streamlight’s Racker. However, in both alternatives the Racker (with 1,000 lumens) was still the lighter option and demonstrated the excellent lightweight design with current LED technology to deliver superior light output.

Overall Rating – Good (21/25)

Product Link: https://www.streamlight.com/products/detail/index/tl-racker

IMG_2889_TackenbergI am reviewing this product as a courtesy to the manufacturer and via STL Shooting Enthusiasts, so that I can evaluate it and provide my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give positive reviews. All views are my own, and based off my personal experience with the product.

The views and opinions expressed on this website are solely those of the author. The views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the administrative staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.


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