Army buys SOPMOD AR-15 stocks for just $12.28

sopmod_stock-tfb

Have you ever purchased a plastic gun part and felt like you were charged far more than it cost to manufacture? Maybe you were. The Army has purchased 25,000 SOPMOD stocks for just $12.28 a piece. This is the same AR-15 stock sold by The Lewis Machine & Tactical for $200 – $300! How did the Army get such a good price? They bypassed LMT and went with another manufacturer [PDF Link], B5 Systems, Inc of Xenia, OH.

LMT SOPMOD Stock

LMT claims to be “the sole provider of the SOPMOD Buttstock to the US Special Ops Command, US Army, US Navy, US Air Force, US Marine Corps and other government agencies and bureaus.” That claim appears to be no longer true. They also claim, on their homepage, that non-LMT SOPMOD stocks are counterfeit. LMT did not design the SOPMOD stock, they licensed it for commercial production from the Navy (Crane). Any SOPMOD stock produced to the mil spec, under license from the government, is very much legitimate.

Apparently surplus B5 stocks can be found for about $68 retail, which is a lot more expensive than what the government is paying (go ahead and buy 25,000 and you will also get a discount), but a fraction of the cost of a “genuine” LMT stock.

[ Many thanks to jdun1911 for emailing me the link. ]

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Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • Erik

    So where do we find surplus B5 stocks for $68?

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/ Steve (The Firearm Blog)

      Erik, I am not sure. I have read about them, but I could not find any site selling them. Anybody know?

  • Andrew (European Correspondent)

    Makes the “blowout prices” of $100 on LMT SOPMODs (made by KAC, by the way) at the LMT booth at SAR 2010 seem a little high…I much preferred the $25 Vltor Modstocks at the Vltor booth.

  • Erik

    That being said, IMHO all AR parts are way overpriced. Out of all of them, the Magpul CTR/MOE series is the best deal (Unless I’m wrong), and even there I believe them to be overpriced.

  • Gerald

    I hate to say it, but a large majority of firearm parts are hideously overpriced with the claim or superior testing and quality control. Take scope rings for example; a single ring is 3 pieces of metal and 3 screws. I can’t imagine how some of these manufacturers are getting away with charging $200+ for a set of rings.

  • Keith

    Steve, a quick search yielded this link about the $68.00 sale of B5 Systems buttstocks. The link from ar15.com surplus sale has ended. But from reading other sites the SOPMOD buttstock was a gen 1, and needed to be shaved a bit to fit; but I know nothing about installing a buttstock, so don’t go by my word.

    http://www.ar15.com/lite/topic.html?b=7&f=125&t=877177

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/ Steve (The Firearm Blog)

      Keith, thanks for the info.

  • jdun1911

    I’ve bought a B5 stock for $68 including shipment on Arfcom. The seller had a lot of them but now sold out. He is the only person that I know that had them.

    http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=7&f=125&t=877177&page=1

    These are 1st gen sopmod. 2nd gen sopmod have one quick detectable mount. 2nd gen sopmod won’t be procure anytime soon because kids are kids and they will lose the swivel the first chance they get.

    If you look at it, B5 probably cost them $8-10 to make a sopmod stock. LMT retail at $200. That’s a lot of profits and only in the firearms industry can you get away with that much margin.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/ Steve (The Firearm Blog)

      jdun1911, thanks J

  • snmp
  • http://www.tigertailor.com Robert

    This price is correct for a bulk order of airsoft stocks made in China… either the Chinese stocks are good enough for real use or somebody messed up really good. Some time ago there was a similar procurement problem with Eotech sights bought under 100USD apiece.

  • Ben

    The same goes for rail systems and other parts. A Daniel Defense Omega rail goes for $250+, but they allow another company to make the same part, same logos but intended for airsoft and it sells for $50. Sad thing is you cant tell a real one from a airsoft repro

  • Anton

    Does that mean that when these are going to be replaced, they will sell for 12 cents?

  • TCBA_Joe

    Erik, there was a guy on AR15.com selling them, but I think he’s out now.

    Good to know for once the government (ie: taxpayers) aren’t paying insane costs for something.

  • Mike

    Not really surprising given that the army pays ~$700 for an M4, from what I’ve heard. They’re not going to put a $200 stock on a $700 gun. Plus it’s no more complicated to make than a Magpu CTR or MOE and neither, which both sell for much less, so the civilian sales price is nothing but capitalism at work.

  • tincankilla

    great scoop! would be really interested to read what you can dig up about the economics of gun/ammo prices since 2008 or so.

  • Phil

    Does any place price match?

  • Davey

    Cool! One crack in the overpriced system. Now, we need to get the price for rail handguards down where they ought to be. Oh, and let’s discuss Magpul’s “Minimum Advertized Price” policy that keeps $5.00 magazines at $17.05.

  • Bill

    Discussion on B5 Systems SOPMOD here on ARF

    http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=3&f=66&t=538888

  • Spade

    You often get a price break when you buy a couple ten thousand of something.

  • Jason

    http://www.ar15.com/lite/topic.html?b=7&f=125&t=877177

    It appears they’re fresh out, though. Shocking, I missed out on the awesome deal =(

  • charles222

    Yeah, I’m curious as well, although I think most magpul stocks blow the SOPMOD out of the water; the SOPMOD isn’t any tighter on the tube than the regular stock is, at least the one I had wasn’t.

  • Martin (M)

    I’ve always thought the price of AR’s and their accessories were way too high. They’re simple, easy to manufacture, and are churned out by the truck-load. $12.28 finally feels like the right price for the government, and $25 would feel right for the commercial consumer.

  • Lance

    Looks sweet wish they price that for us commercial buyers like that too.

  • Big Daddy

    I hope it doesn’t say made in china on the bottom. I really hope it is indeed made in the USA.

  • brandon

    Group buy! Let’s get 24,999 other people and we too can have Crane stocks for $12.28.

  • http://www.thegunzone.com/556dw.html Daniel E. Watters

    If you do some more digging in Google, you’ll find that there were quality issues with B5′s delivered product. Entire shipments have required reworking.

  • Rignerd

    Sounds like we need to get a group buy going!

  • nick

    Lewis Machine and TOOL??

  • Gun snob

    Made in China goodness prevails!

  • Matt G.

    Waitwait, you mean it might not actualy cost magpul 50 dollars more than an MOE stock to mold the plastic clamp used on CRT stocks?!
    UNPOSSIBLE!

    Surely It didnt cost much less than 250$ to mold a PRS stock?!

    What about optics?! Surely reputable companies like aimpoint and trijicon don’t charge several hundred dollars more than it costs to machine alluminum tubes and fasten lenses and LED units to them?!

  • Matt G.

    Though i must confess to being surprised they got these stock for quite that cheap. This raises two questions for me. One; do these “enhanced sliding buttstock assemblies” include the buffer tube or just the buttstock.

    And two; why the he’ll can’t the defense department get a deal like that on anything else? All the other weapons and gear acquisitions we hear about seem to go completely away from reason.

  • jdun1911

    First thing they aren’t made in China. Second it doesn’t take much effort to make a stock. You have to go full retard to screw up manufacturing a simple plastic stock. Both of these defense for a very overpriced product is silly.

    25k stock isn’t a large order compare to how many AR is in the US military. With that said I believe this order either replace the current stock or new AR will have them. Whatever the case I think the current M4 stock will diminish/replace overtime.

    There are two difference between LMT and B5.
    1. Marking. LMT has LMT logo and patent numbers. B5 has CAGE numbers.
    2. Lever. LMT has texture grip on the lever. B5 is smooth.

    Matt G.

    Only the stock. No buffer/extension tube, buffer spring, and buffer.

  • http://www.apexgunsmithing.com/ Tom W.

    Davey,

    That’s simply the way of the world in the firearms industry. Many, perhaps most manufacturers have a MAP which defines the rock bottom price dealers such as myself are permitted to sell things at. If you go against the policy they’ll refuse to sell to you in the future.

    Glock recently updated their MAP and raised most of their required pricing. I think of the big names they’re one of the most stringent about minimum prices.

    • http://n/a BikerDad

      Tom,

      “MAP” stands for “Minimum Advertised Price”. The manufacturer can prohibit you from advertising a lower price, but they cannot prevent you from selling for less than the MAP.

  • cc19

    Or, just get yourself a near invincible Vltor stock.

    “All buttstocks (including the LMT SOPMOD) failed the testing first drop except for the VLTOR EMOD stock. The VLTOR EMOD stock survived all drops
    from all angles and remained completely functional.”

    http://vuurwapenblog.com/2010/04/15/lwrc-iar-drop-test/

  • jdun1911

    Gerald,

    On scope rings. About 15 years ago I was at the range. There was a gentleman that asked my help scoping his rifle. I lend him my spotting scope and told him where the bullet was hitting. It was a new rifle and his new scope ring cost him over $150. He was hitting all over the place and we couldn’t figure out why until we noticed that the new 150 scope rings broke in half. He was happy to said the least.

  • Bryan S

    Tom w.- I think that has something to do with the idea that most people will only buy the best, and it has to be the best if it costs more. Thats a crappy mentality, and it bites us all in the rear.

  • jdun1911

    I think I have complete lower that have Vltor stock. One of them is an Emod. They are good stock and I think their basic model still available for $50 on bravo company. Very good deal if you ask me. The Emod model is heavy tho.

  • godanov

    Companies that try to screw the government this way should be banned.

  • recce556

    I’d be willing to jump in on a group buy…at $12.28 each, I’ll take 20 just for myself…strike that, I’ll take 100 units and resell them for $25 each and not only get my 20 for free, but I’ll make some profit…who else is in? If we each bought 100, it would only take 250 of us. :)

  • George

    First of all, the government makes contracts. Each company is trying to win the contract by having first of all ( THE LOWEST PRICE PER UNIT) and also mean while but 2nd (to have a reliable product). There are many politics in how each gov. contract is won which includes favoring some of the individuals who favor a company or are promised a cut if they win the contract ;) ;) all systems have corruption.

  • David