One of the biggest tragedies of building a precision AR-15 or AR-10 rifle is how much a good precision rifle stock (PRS) costs. The Magpul PRS will hit you for about $275, after taxes.
You could almost build a complete upper receiver for that price. A budget upper receiver, sure. But an upper receiver, nonetheless.
The point is that good precision stocks are expensive. And most of the popular options on the market are really expensive.
The FAB Defense RAPS (Rapid Adjustment Stock) is still a bit pricey. However, it will save you about $100, compared to many of the competing options.
But saving money is only a good thing if you’re still getting what you need from the product.
Which leads to the question, “Is the FAB Defense RAPS any good?”
That’s what I wanted to know. So I tried it out.
The leading precision rifle stock on the market right now is the Magpul PRS. I’m pretty familiar with the PRS. So I’ll use the PRS as a sort of baseline for comparison.
The Basics: FAB Defense RAPS Features and Design
I’ll admit: I’m not all that picky about stocks. I’ve used a ton of them. And there are very few that I can’t stand.
But there are three areas in which any precision stock needs to be at least okay:
These three things are pretty much the whole point of using a PRS. If a PRS doesn’t perform in one of these areas, it’s just a carbine stock (or worse).
So the first thing I did when I got the RAPS out of the box was played around with it to make sure it was configurable and adjustable.
Good news! It does both of these things.
However, it does one of them slightly worse than the Magpul PRS. And I found that one aspect of the design was a bit better than the Magpul PRS.
This is where the RAPS beats the PRS.
The RAPS has the same two QD sling sockets at the front at the rear. But both of the QD sockets on the RAPS are molded into the stock body, which I like better than the bolt-on QD sockets Magpul uses on the PRS.
Then the RAPS has a mounting point for a monopod.
However, the RAPS uses a picatinny rail for mounting monopods, which is the most universal mounting system for accessories.
Yes, M-LOK is fairly ubiquitous. But it’s most popular on forend rails. And I find that it’s much easier to find accessories like bipods and monopods with a picatinny mount.
My only struggle with the picatinny rail on the RAPS was the included rail cover. It’s really difficult to take off. And once it’s off, it’s very tricky to put back on. I opted to just leave it off, since the picatinny rail section looks cooler anyway.
Also, the fab defense comes with three adaptors to fit rifle length receiver extensions and carbine receiver extensions.
The installation may be slightly more complex if you have to change out the adaptor. But it makes for a much more precise fit on your rifle once it’s installed. It’s a much better mounting system than a traditional one-size-fits-all design.
Also, I installed it on a rifle with a non-standard castle nut, and it still fit just fine (albeit with a slight gap between the lower receiver end plate and the stock).
Overall, the RAPS definitely takes the cake on the configurability front. It does everything you’d need. And it does it better than its main competitor.
Although the RAPS is quite adjustable, and there’s a lot to love about the RAPS adjustment design, I did find a few things to complain about when adjusting the stock.
First, here’s what worked well:
The length of pull adjustment is excellent. The spring loaded system is super quick. And there’s absolutely no wiggle once you’ve got the lock secured.
Also, you can set the length of pull where you want it, then turn the locking screw on the bottom so that the butt plate pops out to exactly where you want it every time you unlock the LOP adjustment latch.
Overall, the length of pull is easy to adjust and set. And it’s quick to use.
The comb height is plenty adjustable. And it works fine. I just found the adjustment system to be a bit less user friendly than the adjustment system on the Magpul PRS.
On the RAPS, as you can see, you unlock the latch and slide the cheek piece up and down. It took me some time to get it right where I wanted it, because I kept accidentally sliding it too far up or accidentally moving it while I was locking the latch.
The Magpul PRS comb height adjustment is just a knob that you turn. And it’s super easy to put your cheek against the stock and turn the knob till the comb height is where you want it.
Is this a deal breaker? No. The RAPS comb height adjustment works just fine.
It was just a bit tricky to get it where I wanted. And, the cheek riser would move if I unlocked the latched to collapse or change the length of pull. I prefer the adjustment knob on the Magpul PRS.
I didn’t use it much. But the rubber recoil pad also adjusts up and down. It doesn’t cant, like the PRS does. So, technically, the PRS has slightly more adjustment there. But I find canting the recoil pad to be a bit of a frivolous adjustment.
Ultimately, the RAPS is perfectly adjustable.
The length of pull adjustment is very well designed. Adjusting the length of pull is impressively simple and repeatable.
Unfortunately, the comb height adjustment isn’t super user friendly. But it’s still totally usable. It just takes a bit more tinkering.
Interestingly, I’ve never found a stock that truly enhanced my precision with a rifle. And the RAPS was no magic bullet.
However, having a super adjustable stock certainly makes it much easier to get your sights lined up and maintain a stable sight picture. Customizing the points of contact on your rifle just gives you a more natural point of aim.
So it takes less effort and energy to get your sights on the target and keep them there through the trigger press.
The RAPS certainly made it easy to keep a stable sight picture through the entire trigger press.
Also, I found that the RAPS body shape gave me a great place to put my free hand when I was shooting from the bench or a prone position. I could use my free hand to push the stock into my shoulder, which was nice for adding stability, if I needed it.
I mounted this stock on a home built AR-10, which shoots pretty smoothly already. But the RAPS produced a very comfortable and manageable recoil impulse.
Yes, the recoil pad is thinner than the recoil pad on the Magpul PRS. However, I probably wouldn’t be able to tell the difference in felt recoil between the two.
And I think that’s the key thing here. The RAPS is notably less expensive than the Magpul PRS. And—when you’re shooting—the two stocks feel pretty much identical.
So, from what I can tell, the RAPS is an excellent value in terms of shootability. It’s more affordable. And the performance is at least equal to a more expensive stock, which means the RAPS delivers superb shootability per dollar.
From my experience, the RAPS is quite durable. It feels very sturdy. It mounted very securely. And there was never any wiggle in the parts.
Unfortunately, I’ve only used it for a handful of weeks. So I can’t assess the long term durability. I simply haven’t had the stock for years to find out how it holds up over time.
Also, I find arbitrarily dropping or banging equipment around and calling it a “durability test” to be disingenuous.
However, during my ordinary use, the RAPS didn’t develop any rattles. Nothing broke. It held up just fine. And there aren’t any parts on the RAPS that seem like they’d be a weak point.
All in all, the RAPS appears to be very durable. And I believe it will hold up for a very long time. But I haven’t had it for a long time to verify my belief.
Overall, the main thing I wanted to discover about the RAPS was whether or not it’s a legitimate contender to other, more expensive, precision rifle stocks.
My conclusion is that the RAPS is an excellent Magpul PRS alternative. It’s more affordable. And, aside from a slight struggle with the comb height adjustment, it’s just as good as the PRS, and even better in some respects.
So, if you’re looking for a precision rifle stock that’s easier on your budget than the most popular PRS on the market, the FAB Defense RAPS is definitely a stock you should be looking at.