Last year, Magpul announced they were releasing the PRS Lite stock and, honestly, I wasn’t too excited about it and had no plans to buy one. My thinking was that if the AR was designed around iron sights and a height-over-bore of 2.6”, and if my magnified optic is at about the same height, I shouldn’t need all the features of this stock.
Looking back on it, I was wrong. Frankly, that mindset was narrow-minded. So, after some consideration, I paid way too much for one from my local gun shop so I could give it a chance and see what the hubbub was all about. This is my story.
Details and Installation
As the name implies, the PRS Lite was designed and built for precision rifle applications as a lighter, less expensive alternative to the Magpul’s venerable PRS stocks – one of Rob Leatham’s favorite stocks for his PRS competition builds. The stock retains the ability to adjust for cheek height, length of pull, as well as butt pad position, similar to the PRS stock.
Unlike the PRS, though, the knob-style adjustment mechanisms are gone and replaced with hex head screws, which I’m sure saves a ton in costs and overall weight. The stock was further streamlined by getting rid of anything along the bottom of the stock, like any extraneous sling or accessory attachment points.
The installation of the stock was very simple. Only one screw needs to be tightened for a rock-solid install, but this is where I ran into a caveat. Magpul states that the stock will only work on mil-spec carbine and A5 receiver extensions for the AR-15 and SR-25, and it is not designed for A1/A2 receiver extensions.
At first I thought, “No problem, I run mil-spec receiver extensions, I’m good to go.” But the caveat is that the mil-spec configuration extends to the castle nut and end plate, too. When I went to install the stock on my SAINT Victor, the factory end plate with the QD mount wouldn’t allow the stock to slide forward enough. If you have the parts and tools, swapping out an end plate takes just a few minutes and is something that future owners need to keep in mind when purchasing this stock.
Once I had the stock installed, setting it up wasn’t difficult at all and only required a 5/32” and ⅛” Allen wrench for the adjustments. Did I mention the stock doesn’t come with those wrenches in the box? Another caveat — make sure you have a set of SAE Allen wrenches when buying this stock.
I’m 5’-10” with, I suppose, normal-length arms. For me, the correct length of pull (LOP) was with the stock fully collapsed, which put it right at 13.75”. A key feature of the PRS Lite, and similar to the Magpul UBR Gen 2, is that when you do adjust the LOP, the cheek riser and forward part of the stock remain in place for consistent cheek contact.
Adjusting the height of the cheekpiece is done by loosening a tension screw at the back of the riser and manually raising or lowering it as needed. The riser has about ⅞” of an inch of total rise, which was more than enough for my optic set-up and should be plenty for even the tallest one-piece mounts.
Although Magpul scalloped the top of the stock, I had issues getting my wrenches to actually engage the screw. My work-around was to extend the LOP and then adjust the cheek riser. My setup had a height over bore of about 2.6” so I only needed to raise the cheek piece up a couple notches to get perfectly behind my Vortex PST Gen II 1-6X24.
Another feature that I really appreciated was that the rubber buttpad could be adjusted up about ¾” and canted to the left or right a maximum of 5°. It may not seem like that big a deal, but these adjustments go a long way to helping fit the rifle to the shoulder pocket for better comfort. I ended up leaving the height of the pad neutral and canting it to the left the full 5°, although I wish it’d had a little more adjustment in that area.
At The Range
I probably picked one of the best, worst days to head to the range, as it was mostly covered in snow and mud, meaning I’d have it to myself. But, it also meant that I wasn’t leaving that place clean. The first thing I noticed when dropping down behind the gun was that it felt remarkably solid compared to a collapsible stock. Those stocks can wiggle on the receiver extension a little bit, but the PRS Lite felt like an extension of the rifle. I will also admit that I started to appreciate the adjustable cheek riser and, although I had only raised it about ⅛”, I was much more comfortable settling into position.
Confirming my dope on targets from 160 to 474 yards, the long bag rider portion was very stable on my TAB Gear rear bag, and with the adjustments to the butt pad the stock felt melded to my shoulder. I like to get up off the ground and shoot, too (this time partially motivated by the snow and mud), so I shot a couple magazines from a cattle gate prop.
In the past, I’d hit a barricade like this and need a few seconds to settle in and steady my reticle on the target. That didn’t seem to be the case with the PRS Lite; the solid feel seemed to help me get stable faster, reduce my wobble zone and stay on target through recoil.
I’ve been trying the stock out on a couple of different rifles over the course of a few weeks, and there is a lot more about it that I like than I don’t. The things that I don’t like are minor, though, such as the stock could’ve been ½” shorter on the LOP and the adjustment for the cheek riser could have been a bit easier to use.
At the end of the day, I think the PRS Lite fits the bill for a simplified yet functional stock for precision applications. The MSRP of $119.95 also makes it very attractive when similar options start out at $30 more. This is a great stock at a great price.
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