Review and Images By: Opie
I will admit up front that I have a fascination with small things and guns especially. All seventh grade jokes aside I have enjoyed building two SBRs with the most recent one being a very compact 9mm that was previously written up here on BlackSheepWarrior. While it has some quirks that make it solely a range gun it is a good platform for testing out new technologies such as the MVB Industries ARC Stock.
With that said I was given the opportunity to make my SBR even more compact by installing a MVB Industries ARC stock that Will sent my way.
If you’re not familiar with them, MVB Industries is a manufacturing shop in Florida. The guys behind the scenes have a broad range of experience in engineering and manufacturing. As you handle the stock you can see that this is a mature design. It no doubt pulls from decades of experience in tearing things apart and putting them back together better than the original product.
The most immediate difference that I noticed between the ARC and other PDW stocks out there is the ability to run it on a 9mm platform. Another system on the market is purely a rifle caliber affair. If that’s what you’re running that’s not an issue. Personally I like to see a product that capable of being used across multiple calibers.
Let’s be honest – ARs are like the “small interlocking plastic building blocks” of the gun world. If you own more than one, chances are you’ve pulled something from one and put it on another. If you have a pistol caliber AR (or plan on getting one) and a rifle caliber AR15 the ARC can be put on either. All you need to do is swap the stock and switch out the buffer.
Which brings up the next point – the buffer. Other systems like the North Eastern Arms CCS (read our review here) require the use of a dedicated bolt carrier group. The ARC lets you run your BCG by using its proprietary buffer. The rifle caliber buffer has an extension that mates into the rear of the BCG. Should you have specific cycling needs based on your gas system, MVB offers Carbine, H2 and H3 buffers.
The 9mm buffer is flat faced similar to factory buffers and is clearly marked. The buffers are supplied with nesting buffer springs and a coupler to ensure the springs stay in their lane.
Installation of the ARC stock was easy. Take off the old buffer tube and REMOVE the buffer detent and spring. This felt a little weird but the ARC stock has an internal buffer catch that is activated by an unobtrusive button on the bottom of the stock assembly. As you pull the BCG to the rear, push up on the buffer catch. The buffer is captured in the stock assembly. Your bolt can tilt forward so you can take-down the rifle for maintenance.
Let’s go back to the installation. With the original buffer tube and detent gone, you then screw the receiver tube into the receiver, attach the stock assembly and then screw on the rear buffer tube and torque it to 10-15 lbs with a castle nut wrench. It takes all of five minutes, if that.
Initial impression of the MVB Industries ARC stock was great. It feels very stout and if nothing else it’s a really sharp looking addition to any SBR. There is a VERY slight amount of play in the stock and really no more than I see in a factory M4 or AR15 stock.
The ARC buttstock itself is aggressively textured, enough so that if you were to shoot this with a rifle caliber wearing just a t-shirt you’d see some red marks on your shoulder. That’s not a complaint by any means. The texture helps keep the stock from slipping off of your shoulder and aids in a keeping a repeatable cheekweld. The buttstock is attached to the stock assembly by two metal rods that when collapsed run over the rear takedown pin and sit just above your safety.
Length of pull is adjusted with a single button similar to the magazine release on an AR lower. The button is located on the right side of the buttstock which oddly enough makes the stock more lefty friendly. When pushed, the button rotates the right rod, unlocking it from the assembly and allows the buttstock to be retracted back to its fully extended and locked position.
I have the two position (collapsed and extended) version and MVB has released a multiple position version. I don’t think there is any disadvantage to having another position to adjust your stock to, but the two position serves me well. Even when shooting a full size M4 stock on this SBR I only adjusted it out halfway. The last couple of positions were totally wasted.
When the ARC is fully extended, my check falls perfectly on the buffer tube. It’s compact enough that when shooting with hard armor you’re right where you’re supposed to be. The difference between the ARC and a stock buffer tube is about 2”. So when fully collapsed the whole stock system is just under 5” long. Fully extended gives 4” more bringing you in just under 9” LOP. The most noticeable difference in size is obviously when the ARC stock is fully collapsed. Those missing two inches really make a difference*.
For most small PDW size weapons a single point sling will be the hardware of choice. To accommodate this, the ARC stock has a QD sling attachment point just to the rear of the buffer catch.
Shooting with the MVB Industries ARC Stock was appropriately uneventful. As I mentioned the checkweld falls in a repeatable spot so my sight picture during reflexive fire was consistent. The texture on the buttstock keeps the rifle where you expect it to be. It is a sturdy, well-built stock. There’s not a lot more that can be said about that.
If I have a complaint, and it’s not much of one, it would be that there’s some difficulty in accessing the safety selector when the ARC stock is fully collapsed. It can be done but you’ll be activating it by pushing down on the very end of the selector. This “problem” would be remedied by the installation of a 45˚ selector. But how many times is this going to be fired with the stock collapsed? Hardly ever? Even so it’s something to be aware of.
Another thing to be aware of is that the ARC isn’t compatible with all lowers. MVB lists the manufacturers and models that don’t work with their stock. That’s not a fault of MVB Industries by any means. There are a ton of great manufacturers out there that tweak a lower, aesthetically and dimensionally to make their product unique. In doing so there will be compatibility issues with products not specifically designed to work with their product. MVB Industries has done a good job of identifying the known issues so you don’t have a bad build experience.
With all that, I can say that I’m very pleased with the ARC stock. It looks terrific, it shoots terrific and it really helps put the “S” in SBR.
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Having played with both the MVB ARC and NEA CCS stocks I feel very confident in wholeheartedly recommending the MVB Industries ARC over the NEA CCS. The fact that the NEA CCS requires a proprietary BCG and also doesn’t allow for tightening of the buffer tube with a wrench, should be enough to help in your purchasing decision.
* Thats what she said (editors note 😉 )