The SOPMOD stock is a quite common design. Companies such as LMT and B5 Systems make them, but so does JE Machine Tech. The JE Machine Tech SOPMOD offering is considerably less expensive than either LMT's or B5's, so how well does it stack up?
What Is The SOPMOD Stock?
The SOPMOD stock was first introduced in the early 21st century as an improvement over the venerable M4 Carbine buttstock. Notable features of SOPMOD style stocks are the battery compartments that double as a comfy cheek weld ledge, the multiple sling attachment points, and the general sturdiness of the stock. I personally have experience with a few SOPMODs, notably the old LMT Crane Navy model, and this JE Machine Tech one.
The primary purpose of the stock is to allow you to shoulder the weapon, and maintain a consistent cheek weld so you can best see through your aiming device. I'd say that this is the biggest thing that the SOPMOD offers over other stocks. I'm not one that deals in absolutes, but you'll be hard pressed to find a more comfortable stock. All of the SOPMODs I've used have been 6 position adjustable. The SOPMOD uses a rubber buttpad, which is present to keep the gun from moving when shouldered.
The cheek ledge is created by the dual tubes inside the stock which can be used to house batteries. I typically don't keep anything in my tubes, as I like to keep my rifle as light as possible, but it's nice to have the option to use them.
The sturdiness of the stock is the last point to hit on. We've all used the basic M4 stock, and are familiar with how cheap it feels. I don't like them, although it's just my personal preference. The SOPMODs tend to have a very tight fit on the buffer tube and are of solid construction. I wouldn't want to have to buttstroke anything with my rifle, but I'd have a lot more confidence doing it with a SOPMOD over an M4 stock.
Where To Find The JE Machine Tech SOPMOD
The JE Machine Tech SOPMOD is available from a bunch of places, but this kit from their website seems to be the best current price. It does include a buffer tube, buffer, spring, castle nut, and endplate as well as the stock.
All prices are current at the time of publication. Please click the link to see the most up to date pricing.
Is The JE Machine Tech SOPMOD Good?
So far, I haven't mentioned a single thing specifically about the JE Machine SOPMOD, but merely the SOPMOD as a whole. The JE SOPMOD is another SOPMOD, just with a few augments to it, and with slightly different build quality.
The JE Machine Tech SOPMOD has two pull-through slots for a sling and a QD point. All current production LMT and B5 SOPMODs will have this too, but some early LMTs,(such as mine), will not. This is a standard feature on any current stock. The QD point does not have "overtravel" stops built into it, so your swivel can spin 360 degrees while inserted. Another oddity is that the buttpad locks through the top of the stock, and the back. This affects nothing but is interesting to point out.
The battery compartments are also slightly different than the other SOPMODs. With a standard SOPMOD, the battery tubes are held in place by the buffer tube, and can only be removed when the stock is off of the gun. The JE Machine Tech is the same, however, they have also added little nubs on the endcap of the compartment that locks into cuts on the stock. This adds a little extra security, but I don't think it is really all that necessary. The caps feature double rubber gaskets, which is the same as the LMT and B5 SOPMODs.
For the sturdiness, the JE SOPMOD feels quite good. The texture of the polymer is a little rougher than my LMT, but not in a cheap feeling or painful way. I haven't scratched up my face on the stock, or anything like that. My only complaint about the fit of the stock is that it is a bit looser on the buffer tube than the LMT and B5 SOPMODs that I have tried. There is about a tenth of an inch of forward to backward movement, which is only really noticeable when you go from the rifle slung, to a high ready. It is bothersome but doesn't affect the function of the stock. To draw a comparison, this is similar to the MAGPUL MOE and CTR stocks that I have used in the past, and the amount of slop they have.
Do I Recommend the JE Machine Tech SOPMOD?
The overall build quality is fairly high on the JE SOPMOD. There are a few things that I don't like, such as the slop when on a buffer tube, and the QD point being a little subpar. However, at half the price of a B5 SOPMOD, and a quarter of the price of an LMT, this is hard to beat. If you are doing a clone Mk18 build, you'll probably want the LMT as the JE SOPMOD has some design differences. However, if you're looking for a new stock for a new build, this could just be your ticket.
JE Machine Tech's products offer a whole lot of bang for the buck, and their SOPMOD is no different. This is an easy recommendation.
The JE Machine Tech SOPMOD was provided at no cost for the purpose of evaluation.
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