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B5 Systems: SOCOM Quality for All

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Rare is the company that secures a large military contract after only just entering the firearms market. Even rarer is a company that stays grounded regardless of their government success, and still serves its traditional consumer market. The history of the gun world is littered with companies that landed military gigs and became “too big” for the market that got them there. Oh, they may throw the average Joe a bone every now and then, but it is clear that they are above the fray. There are exceptions to this cycle, however, with perhaps the best example found in B5 Systems. Soon after they entered the market, they landed a large military contract, yet they never abandoned their original core customers. In fact, they have continued to not only stay active in the civilian commercial market, but also expand and offer new products. This humble attitude and the quality of their work have made the B5 Systems team favorites among American shooters.

Founded in 2008 by Judd Burke, B5 Systems has earned a good reputation in the firearm accessories and equipment industry. Based in Xenia, Ohio, the company is dedicated to producing innovative solutions for both general gun enthusiasts as well as serious professionals. They produce a wide range of AR-based components including stocks, grips, handguards, and other accessories. Made with high-quality materials such as aluminum and polymer, their products are based on the need for functionality and durability. This commitment to quality and innovation was the key factor that landed them a prestigious government contract for the SOPMOD kit project.

B5 Systems produces a variety of grips, stocks, and handguards. Smaller add-ons like triggerguards, cheekpieces, and buttpads are also available.

Launched in 1989, the Special Operations Peculiar MODification (SOPMOD) kit project was designed to allow U.S. Special Forces the ability to customize their individual weapons. This was not only to better fit the operators physically, but also to allow customization for specific mission requirements. This would be the first program of its kind and was intended to address the “special” Vietnam- and Cold War-era weapon modifications that Spec Ops was known for, especially those involving duct tape, zip ties, and hose clamps. B5’s contribution to this project was its well-known SOPMOD stock. Since 2011, B5 Systems has manufactured the SOPMOD buttstock for the U.S. Department of Defense. As a tip of the hat to their dedicated customers, they offer the exact same stock to the public.

Even with this success, the company was still trying to navigate a competitive and evolving market. Enter local attorney, Mark Keller. Keller took an interest in the company and brought along both a passion for firearms and a business plan that would improve the position of B5 Systems within the firearms industry. In addition to its existing consumer and military business, B5 focused on selling directly to manufacturers. This allowed them unique exposure opportunities in the firearms world without having to deal with traditional distribution. It also allowed them more time to focus on developing new products for their clients and partners. The initiative was a success, and many major manufacturers now offer firearm models that use B5 components as standard equipment.


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Stocked Up

Product-wise, B5 Systems maintains a diverse catalog, with their stocks being the flagship offerings. To date, B5 Systems has the most government-approved and purchased rifle stocks of any firearm accessory company. While they have multiple models, there are three that truly stand out.

First up is the SOPMOD. This is the stock that in many ways put B5 “on the map.” The SOPMOD is the standard stock for all U.S. SOCOM rifles and B5 Systems has held that exclusive contract since 2011. The SOPMOD is feature-rich while still being compact. It has color-matched steel hardware, no slip-cushioned buttpad, and dual water-resistant storage compartments. These compartments are perfect for batteries, small tools, or any little extras the operator would need. By design, the SOPMOD is made of Mil-Spec materials and finishes. As I mentioned earlier, this identical stock is available to the public.

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SOPMOD stocks are standard for all U.S. SOCOM personnel.

Next on the list is the Bravo Stock, which maintains its position as the stock selected for use on the Army M4/M4A1 family of carbines. Building upon the success of the B5 Systems Enhanced SOPMOD, B5 took all the features end users demanded and made improvements. The Bravo stock is a lighter, more compact, and stronger buttstock. Despite its trimmer profile, the Bravo stock retains characteristics such as the popular SOPMOD cheekweld, one-piece anti-rotation quick-disconnect sling mounts, the no-slip cushioned buttpad, and the secure stock latch. B5 did remove the storage compartments on the Bravo model to slim the overall dimensions down and to refine the angle the rear of the stock, ensuring quick and consistent stock placement against the shoulder and cheek.


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Multiple colors and camo patterns are available for B5 stocks, as seen with the Bravo stocks above.

The last stock in this trifecta is the Collapsible Precision Stock. This stock is designed primarily for precision rifle work and is very adjustable. The CPS is the stock selected for the military’s M110 rifle, in use by the U.S. Army and SOCOM. Like their other stocks, the CPS builds on the cheek profile of the B5 SOPMOD and Bravo stocks. The CPS, however, goes even further and includes dials for fine adjustments of comb height and length of pull. Of course, it also allows for gross length-of-pull adjustments using the pull-down lever. There are also fixed and quick-disconnect sling mounts, an M-LOK accessory mount on the bottom, and color-matched hardware. With all the features, the stocks are still built to fit Mil-Spec carbine receiver extensions. On a side note, the CPS still provides clearance for the M4 charging handle when fully collapsed. While this seems to be a trivial point, it is a major concern for weapons in the theater of battle. There can be no impediments to functionality, and B5 Systems made sure the gun would operate in all configurations.

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B5’s Collapsible Precision Stock comes in three sizes- small, medium, and large. Even the cheekpiece of the small version clears an AR-10 charging handle when fully collapsed.

Sling Up

A great example of B5’s attention to detail is their quick-detach (QD) sling mounts. B5 Systems is the only company in the industry that overmolds its Quick Disconnect sling mount. This means the metal receptors are placed in the mold while the polymer is being filled and formed. While this is a more complex and expensive process, it is also more durable as the molten polymer forms around the QD mount, creating a permanent bond. Gone are the days of a rifle turning into a lawn dart because the QD mount worked loose, and the sling fell away allowing the rifle to drop. The QD mounts are one piece on the SOPMODs and Bravos, and all B5 mounts have a machined flange so it’s impossible to separate them from the stock body. B5 Systems was the first in the industry to introduce limited rotation QD sling mounts in their stocks as well. This is a major plus for anyone who consistently runs a sling on their rifle. Without the limited rotation feature, slings spin free and end up notoriously tangled. This is not even a concern with B5 Systems hardware.

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The Quick Disconnect sling mounts are overmolded on B5 products, making them much more durable than mounts that are added to the stock after the molding is complete.

Get A Grip

Another product from B5 Systems that has become commonplace in the rifle world is their grips. Rare is the day that I get a rifle in for testing that does not have a B5 grip on it.

First up we have the P-Grip 22. This grip offers an increased vertical angle to improve ergonomics and ensure proper trigger index. In layman’s terms, the grips are significantly more vertical than traditional AR pistol grips. This is not only more comfortable, but it also allows the hand to be slightly closer to the trigger and allows for a more straight-back trigger pull. This grip is also unique because it doesn’t have the traditional backstrap at the top. The lack of a backstrap places the hand higher on the grip for improved engagement.

For those looking for something a little more classic, they offer the P-Grip 23. Like the 22, this offers an increased vertical grip angle. It also has an extended tang to improve ergonomics and ensure proper trigger index. Both of these grips perform well and offer solid purchase. With a good balance of texturing, they facilitate a secure grip without grating flesh off your hand. B5 Systems has taken time to remove harsh edges, making them some of the best grips on the market.


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An extended tang is present on the P-Grip 23 to assist in proper trigger index.

Customer Focused

The continued B5 Systems lineup is extensive, with everything from cheekpieces and buttpads to rail covers and handguards. Many things have changed in the 16 years since the company opened up shop. This year, 2024, marks another big leap for the company. For the first time, B5 Systems will begin to focus on direct-to-consumer sales. Many, if not most, consumers today know B5 because of products that came standard on their rifles or carbines. As it stands, B5 has more than 70 OEM partners. While the name is associated with reliable quality in the rifle world, B5 Systems aims to better educate individual consumers on its products and the brand.

B5 Systems shared with me, “To those who know us, we are the best, everyone else just doesn’t know us yet. We are a company that prides itself on quality, made in the USA, and limited lifetime warranty-backed products.” This new angle for the company is nothing less than a win for the industry. B5 Systems has and will never measure its success in dollars. It is a company that believes in taking care of its employees, customers, partners, and the 2A community. B5 Systems sees the bigger picture as well. They are well known locally for supporting law enforcement and veteran events. They are excited to extend that reach to support programs like the Second Amendment Foundation. B5 Systems is a role model in the industry for their ongoing and active support of organization working to protect our 2A rights.

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On a personal note, I wouldn’t consider myself fanboy of any specific company. However, I like products from B5 Systems. The reasons are many, but can be boiled down to one specific point – quality. To many people, the quality of something like a pistol grip for our rifle can be tough to define. For me, it’s easy simply because I have run literally thousands of rifles with a variety of grips. The finishing process on the B5 grips gives me a burr-free surface with no remaining edges or waste from the mold. I can find the same focus on quality in their stocks. You can find the same solid fit and finish seen in the grips, but also a solid function. Adjusting the stock has a precise feel to it. There is no grit in the action and no tugging or hard pull involved. I have been running an enhanced SOPMOD stock on my personal rifle since it hit the market and will not change it. It has served me well and has features and design details that other companies cannot come close to. B5 Systems’ new business angle is certain to be successful, and those of us who want the best parts for our rifles are the real winners.



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