By William C.
There seems to be an unspoken race in the AR-15 market to come up with the smallest, lightest and most compact rifle stock that can be used on a rifle designed Close Quarter Battle (CQB) or as a Personal Defense Weapon (PDW). That race may have just been one but the latest offering from Strike Industries in the form of the Viper CQB Stock. The engineers at Strike Industries took a long look at traditional stocks and then put their own twist on things to come up with what many people consider to be the smallest, lightest stock on the market
In other styles and brand of PDW / CQB stocks often companies require a proprietary buffer tube, and assembly using non-mil spec components. This is not the case with the Strike Industries Viper CQB stock, the only mandatory component is a Mil-Spec diameter buffer tube. No moving parts or special tools needed to assemble or maintain the Viper CQB.
Length: 6.64 “
Height: 4.43 “
Weight: 5.8 oz.
Colors Available: Black & Flat Dark Earth
Installing the stock was exactly like installing any other adjustable AR-15 style stock, no surprises there. One the stock was securely place on the mil spec buffer tube I began to examine it and how the forward angled bottom section of the stock fits against the shoulder. The information I was given was that the forward angle of the lower section would help when shouldering the rifle while wearing body armor. Since I have no body armor or any intention to getting any I was unable to test this theory.
The Viper CQB stock also comes with two quick detach sling swivel mounts at the rear of the stock so shooters can mount their sling from either side of the stock. Strike Industries didn’t forget the traditionalists and added a slot neatly positioned so you can feed your sling loop through the stock also. While I was checking out the overall features of the stock one thing caught my attention more than the sling swivel mounts, and that is the rear butt pad section of the stock. It’s all one piece of polymer, which isn’t abnormal, what is odd is how slippery it is.
The stock section seen in the pictures is well defined and features several raised panels that should provide plenty of surface area to dig into the shoulder. It has a great amount of surface area but when shouldering my rifle over and over the stock and rifle want to slide around. I tested this wearing a regular cotton T-Shirt and repeated the tests while wearing a long sleeve flannel over shirt and I was shocked with the results, repeated slippage. It’s interesting because I can’t ever recall an AR-15 stock slipping around this much.
The slippage issues notwithstanding the stock feels very small and compact, and appears as well built as anything manufactured by Magpul or the United States Military. There is one disclaimer that Strike Industries put out about the Viper CQB stock and that is if a user must perform a “mortar clearing” procedure the user should have the stock completely collapsed. I assume this is to ensure that the walls of the stock itself don’t sustain any warpage from the violent maneuver of the clearing action.
Adjusting the length of pull of the stock was simple using the long adjustment lever located on the underside of the stock. I found it to be easier and quicker to operate than several other popular AR-15 stocks I have tried in recent years. Overall the adjustment is simple and uncomplicated, like any stock should be. It’s not a space shuttle, it shouldn’t take more than a few seconds to ever adjust a rifle stock.
The big question to this review is would I buy the Strike Industries Viper CQB stock with my own money? My preliminary response is Yes. The minor issues with slippage can easily be fixed my roughing up the texture of the raised section with either sandpaper or a soldering iron. It’s a simple fast fix that shouldn’t stop people from considering this stock at all. If you intend to use your rifle for CQB or PDW work I would take the time to consider the Strike Industries Viper CQB. It’s light weight and compactness will also be beneficial to anyone who might use a rifle in vehicle operations as well, such as patrols on ATV’s or UTV’s.