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 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. ]