Magpul MOE SL Polymer Slim Line AR-15 Furniture

Timothy G. Yan
by Timothy G. Yan

Magpul updated their MOE series of AR-15 furniture a few months ago. I have been using the new MOE SL furnitures on two of my AR-15 builds for a while now. This is a long term testing report of those. I have to say, the new MOE SL handguard, collapsible stock and grip are really good updates of the original MOE versions.

The SL designation stands for Slim Line. The SL handguard and SL grip both feel notably slimmer on my hand than the original MOE models. The SL stock on the other-hand, is a completely new design.

The MOE SL handguard features the new Magpul M-LOK modular interface for direct mounting of weapon accessories such as a weapon light, forward grip or just additional 1913 rail section. There are 3 rows of M-LOK slots on the MOE SL handguard. The top two rows are located at the 2 and 10’O-clock positions with 3x M-LOK slots each. The bottom row has 4x M-LOK slots for direct-mount weapon supports like the popular Magpul AFG and bipod mount. Having a lot of direct-mount accessories for the original MOE slot? No problem, Magpul offers a M-LOK to MOE slot adapter kit.

Granted that Magpul has clearly stated that the MOE SL handguard’s top cutout only clears the stock A2 front sight base. I have encountered a small clearance issue with the Yankee Hill folding front sight gas-block. This YH combo fits original MOE handguard but the front sight won’t fold all the way down with the longer SL model. All it needed to fixed was was just some quick trimming of the polymer material.

Besides the slimmer size compared to the original MOE handguard, the SL model is also longer. The front extension wraps around the A2 front sight base. The design allowed a longer mid-length size handguard on a carbine-length gas system. Please noted that in order to install the MOE SL handguard, the sling loop has to be removed from the front sight base. My friend Gus Norcross of Angus Arms, he’s also one the resident gunsmith writers for Shotgun News, had shown me the quickest way to remove the sling loop is by useing a power drill to carefully drill out the retaining pin.

The lockup of the SL handguard is tighter than the original MOE handguard. The downside is that it’s also harder to install. Even with the aid of a Brownell handguard removal tool, I felt I really needed at least three hands to do the installation. Just remember top piece goes in first. Once installed, the MOE SL handguard feels very solid with no movement, even more so than the orignial MOE handguard. Even so, I still wouldn’t recommend mounting optic or any kind of aiming device on the handguard.

Magpul MOE SL Handguard Carbine-Length Spec:
Length: 8.9 inch
Width: 1.8 inch
Height: 2.4 inch
Weight: 6.7 ounces
Color: Black, FDE, Gray and OD
Price: $34.95 MSRP

I think the best of the three in the MOE SL update is the completely new MOE SL stock. The original MOE stock is basically a simplified version of the Magpul CTR stock with the elimination of the buffer tube tension locking mechanism. The original MOE stock is known for having a good bit of ratting. The MOE SL stock’s major advantage over the MOE stock is the addition of a locking mechanism with an internal buffer tube tensioner. Even after months of usage, my MOE SL stocks remain rattle free.

The MOE SL stock has also added a small angled wedge-shape cheek support and it feels great. It is not as wide as those found on my ACS model or the LMT SOPMOD stock. As for the external shape of the new SL stock, I like the small slanted surface on bottom of the buttpad that allows for a faster rolling up or down of the weapon on the shoulder. However, I still somewhat prefer the skeletonized look of the original MOE/CTR over the new slim club-foot design.

Magpul MOE SL Carbine Stock Spec:
Length: 7.2 inch
Weight: 9.6 ounces
Buffer tube size: Milspec and Commerical
Sling Attachment: QD swivel and sling loop
Color: Black, FDE, Gray and OD
Price: $59.95 MSRP

Out of all the Magpul AR-15 grips available, the new MOE SL grip together with the rubber over-molding MOE+ grip are my favorites. The MOE SL features the reduced grip angle of the MOE-K model plus a beaver-tail backstrap. The grip texture is what Magpul called the “Trapezoidal Surface Projection”, I just call it the Glock Gen 4 like grip texture.

Magpul MOE SL Grip Spec:
Height: 4 inch
Thickness: 1.1 inch
Weight: 2.8 ounces
Color: Black, FDE, Gray and OD
Price: $19.95 MSRP

For those TFB readers that are going to ask, the selector is the Iron Viper Products Viper Switch Mk1 ambidextrous selector. Yes, I have set it up that way with the selector pointing forward on safe. This way allows me to just flip the lever up with my right index finger to put the weapon in the “Fire” position.

Overall, I like the new Magpul SL line. If your AR-15 comes with the milspec CAR handguard, CAR stock and A2 grip, it’s a no-brainer to upgrade to the Magpul MOE drop-in replacement. So, what about if your AR is currently equipped with the original MOE furniture and should those be upgraded to the new SL models? I’m recommending upgrade to the better SL stock for sure. The grip is a tough call but the SL grip is the most affordable of the three SL components, so give it a try.

The MOE SL handguard is currently only available in the carbine-length and i’m unsure if Magpul would ever produce a longer SL version. Some may also prefer the thicker feel of the original MOE handguard or require a longer length. Even the original MOE hanguards are being updated too with the incorporation of the new M-LOK slots in the new MOE M-LOK handguard model.

Timothy G. Yan
Timothy G. Yan

Writer and gear editor with articles published in major gun publications. A five year combat veteran of the US Marine Corps, Tim is also part of Point & Shoot Media Works, a producer of photography, video and web media for the firearms and shooting sport industry. Tim's direct contact: Tyan.TFB -at-

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  • Salty Salty on May 05, 2015

    my only prob wit magpul is that EEEEVVERYONE is using it. therefore, there is no "customization" going on, if everyone winds up at the same place. "you can have any gun you want, as long as it black and says magpul" says great granpappy Ford

  • West West on May 05, 2015

    And I just updated my SBR with the old stuff. Oh well, I still think it worked out OK.