Folding stocks, why?

Nathan Gravitt

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Jan 23, 2018
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I am very new to any long range or precision shooting. Genuine question, why would anyone want a folding stock? To put in a shorter gun case? Seems the stock would be bulky when folded and would limit what case you could put it in. I had an AR with a folder and I asked myself the same question. For me, it was the “cool factor”
I took it off as soon as I realized that for me, there was no point. What do ya’ll think?
 

want2learn

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while i don't own one myself i recall reading that the advantages of a folding stock include:
proves convenient during transport (smaller case, airline or car trunk size restrictions)
facilitates removal of the bolt for cleaning or maintenance when using a fixed raised comb (cheek piece)
facilitate bore sighting
it does look cool so aesthetics likely play a role as well.

the disadvantages would probably be:
the potential for degradation of lock up over time
more complexity ( one more thing to go south)
higher price
the increase in folded width as you've noted.
 
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Travelor

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I have a MPA folding stock n my Vudoo V22. Love the stock and see no disadvantages of it. Especially like the ability to clean without lowering the cheek piece. The small gun cases is also very handy.
 

hafejd30

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    I have several folders on precision rifles

    One does work nice to fold and fit into an AR case. Keeps it very compact and I carry in the truck during rifle season as a spare. Would be a great platform to pack into a large backpack for hunts where your walking a lot. It’s a 700 AAC SD in folding XLR Evolution. Very lightweight setup

    Any other folders are solely for the benefit of cleaning, boresighting or measuring lands without needing to adjust buttstock settings or remove action from chassis. I consider the ease of cleaning to be the main benefit of any folder on precision rig for my uses

    I know several people who love the “cool” factor of the folders. Personally they do nothing in the “cool” department for me. I see functionality when I see a folder
     

    pmclaine

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    That basement floor though
    Hey, You buy the AI and wait on the new floor covering to replace the tiles you have ripped up.

    Man has priorities that I can appreciate.

    Still Id forgo a box of Lapua ammo and use some FGMM in the meantime until I can afford a set of Merrill MOAB II and save the sandals for the beach with toes free in the air as Jesus intended they be worn.

    Keep that patchoulli Bernie Sanders sock wearing crap in VT where it belongs.
     

    BikePilot

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    Easy bolt removal and storage are the main ones for me with my AX. Also it’s nice that when folded it captures/protects the bolt handle.
     

    NateSavannah

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    When I was in High School, back in the 80s a more civilized era, a friend of mine stopped by the house wearing Birkenstocks and socks. My father looked at them and refused to let him inside.
    bro birkenstock funk is real. there aint nothing like it. that special funk that develops from wearing birks with no socks for too long.
    for real, you took me to a place. mostly growing up in the 80s.
     

    ChadChadson

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    I am very new to any long range or precision shooting. Genuine question, why would anyone want a folding stock? To put in a shorter gun case? Seems the stock would be bulky when folded and would limit what case you could put it in. I had an AR with a folder and I asked myself the same question. For me, it was the “cool factor”
    I took it off as soon as I realized that for me, there was no point. What do ya’ll think?
    Read something somewhere about the founder of the Law Folder working for the secret service, and getting irritated that his super long rifle (sr25 maybe?) wouldn’t fit in a case, making transporting it covertly more suspicious. That’a really the only reason anyone would want it- to better fit in a bag. I was considering buying it for my new ar-10 but i’m not that high speed.
     
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    308pirate

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    Easier to fit it in things that don't like rifle cases: music instrument cases, golf bags, tool boxes, plain brown boxes, innocent looking luggage.......
     

    Strykervet

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    Because it makes my MRAD 7 inches shorter and $2000 more.

    Seriously, if you took out the barrel you could pack it all up in a 27-30" case I guess.

    Every little bit helps when it's four feet long though.
     

    Kamerad

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    Quality folders lock up tight. I’m not concerned my Tikka is going to ‘wear out’ the mechanism.
     
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    keenedge

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    Because it makes my MRAD 7 inches shorter and $2000 more.
    LOL, word. Definitely a first-world convenience not a need (in my case), and tends to ramp up the cost.

    This is my first side folder, so I'm sure I'll figure out more pros and cons as time goes by. But adding it to my XLR Element 3 stock only cost around $115 extra for the folding adapter, so for me the cost wasn't prohibitive. The 2 main things I use mine for make it totally worth it, and I'd do it again, though if I were tight on funds when building a new rifle, this would probably be one of the items on the cut list.

    • Cleaning. It's nice being able to fold the stock and remove the bolt, without having to readjust my cheekpiece height on the buttstock every time.
    • I have a smaller vehicle sitting in a small garage space, so being able to fold lets me use a smaller rifle case that's much easier to get in/out of vehicle in tight places, and lug the bag around, compared to when I used a full length drag bag.
     

    Nathan Gravitt

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    All good points. For me, it’s to the range and home. I don’t travel with my gun and I don’t mind moving a cheek riser to clean. I guess it’s worth the extra coin to some. These are all valid reasons that are given. Thanks for all the input. Even the sock/Sandle advice! 🙄
     

    bluegrasspicker

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    The main reason that I didn't add that option to my Manners T2 is that I didn't want the extra weight. There's also value to me in keeping my stuff simple.

    Yeah, I know, I'm off to hit the gym...
     
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    ACard

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    When slung on body for mobile ops and transport much easier to deal with in aircraft and helo's, and ground transport.
     

    oldfart80

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    Generally a Good Side Folding Stock can give you the same as a Fixed Stock with the added benefit of being easier to transport and conceal the gun. Folding stocks were designed to help shorten the rifle for para troops, as they needed to get around in a plane with a lot of gear on. After they hit the ground, the stock would be opened and not closed again most likely.
     

    Flightmurse

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    Anything I can do to make them fit into smaller gun cases and easier to play trunk Tetris is a win for me. I used to drive a Honda Civic, and by the time you got steel targets, target stands, ammo, guns, a table, shooting rest, etc. in there it took more time to load/unload than it did to shoot.
     
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    alwaywatchyoursix

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    When I was in High School, back in the 80s a more civilized era, a friend of mine stopped by the house wearing Birkenstocks and socks. My father looked at them and refused to let him inside.
    Buddy of mine in high school (late 90s) was known for never wearing shoes and always wearing sandals. He only wore socks during the winter.
     

    Krob95

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    In case you’re still not sure, compactness, ease of cleaning and bolt removal, convenience, looks cool. I can use a small bag for my 27” barreled impact in an AI chassis. I can use a back pack for my vudoo in an ai chassis. Quality chassis’s will have quality lock ups and you shouldn’t expect to wear one out under normal use.
     

    rydah

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    You ever tried to go off roading in your truck one handed because you have to hold your heavy and long ass 26 inch bolt gun in the other hand because you got a baby seat in the back and there’s just no where you can put your stupidly long ass rifle without it relentlessly banging the shit out of it over the bumps because it’s too dam long?
    That’s why folding stocks were made. So it can sit on my lap easier and not smash the muzzle into the passenger window and roof as much.
     

    opeagle

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    In my case, no pun intended, it lets me leave the can on the rifle, and still get it into the pack.
     

    KEbravo4

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    Much smaller footprint in an Eberlestock-style bag. Easier to conceal on patrol. Easier to strap to rucks. On long rucks, having the stock folded on a rifle made the CG more balanced and carrying was easier in the folded config.
    But the most important reason...it looks cool.
     

    StLPro2A

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    while i don't own one myself i recall reading that the advantages of a folding stock include:
    proves convenient during transport (smaller case, airline or car trunk size restrictions)
    facilitates removal of the bolt for cleaning or maintenance when using a fixed raised comb (cheek piece)
    facilitate bore sighting
    it does look cool so aesthetics likely play a role as well.

    the disadvantages would probably be:
    the potential for degradation of lock up over time
    more complexity ( one more thing to go south)
    higher price
    the increase in folded width as you've noted.
    Folding stock to the right (right-handed gun) essentially doesn't increase overall width as the stock encompasses the bolt and equals bolt's width protrusion. See the Barrett MRAD for reference. Folding stock to left, reference the Tikka T3x TAC A1....what were they (NOT) thinking???..... does increase overall width as bolt still protrudes to the right. Folded stock is convenient for packing in a backpack, slipping gun into case on ATV or vehicle, shorter case for airline travel, or even humping it from a sling in dense cover to avoid catching on brush. A quality designed/constructed stock does not become loose in lockup over time or "go south". Price...you get what you pay for.....generally. Maybe not appropriate benefits for all. One makes one's choice, and pays accordingly.
     
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