What Is Length of Pull on an AR-15?

Posted by Frankie Chan on 9th Mar 2022

When you use your AR-15, it should feel like an extension of your body. A major part of ensuring a firearm "fits" a shooter is that firearm's length of pull, a measurement of the distance from the end of the buttstock to the middle of the trigger. This measurement should align with your body position when you hold and shoot the rifle.

When you use a gun with the correct length of pull, you'll get better control, improved accuracy, quicker sight acquisition and greater comfort.

How to Measure Length of Pull

You can measure length of pull using a few different methods. The most accurate way to determine length of pull is to use a fit stock. A fit stock is a type of adjustable stock you can attach to a gun that allows you to try different pull lengths until you find the right one. Ideally, you'd see a gunsmith to take this measurement.

Because fit stocks and professional gun fitters can be expensive and hard to find, people typically measure length of pull themselves. Keep in mind that your ideal length of pull depends on several factors, including your size, rifle, shooting position and clothing.

There are two ways to measure length of pull:

1. Hold the Gun

Holding an unloaded gun, bend your shooting arm at 90 degrees and rest your index finger on the trigger. Ensure you have the butt plate nestled in your elbow. If you can't bend your elbow, the length of pull is too long. If there's more than an inch of space between your elbow and the butt plate, the length of pull is too short.

2. Shoulder the Gun

Shoulder an unloaded AR-15 as if you're preparing to shoot. Choose the shooting position you use most often. Be sure to consider your natural sight picture, as it should match your point of aim as soon as you shoulder the rifle.

Once you're comfortably in position, have someone measure the distance from the charging handle to your nose. That distance should be approximately 1/2 inch to 1 inch long. If the distance is more than that, you may want to use either a shorter or adjustable stock. If the distance is shorter, you may need to extend your stock or use a padded butt plate.

Why Does Length of Pull Matter?

Length of pull is crucial to your comfort and accuracy while shooting. It plays a role in your stance, as a longer length of pull may require you to angle your body to hold the rifle properly, while you may have a more squared-up stance with a shorter length of pull.

Length of pull also influences your sight picture. Generally speaking, the longer the length of pull, the farther back your head is on the stock, affecting how your eyes line up with your sights.

You'll know you've found the right length of pull when you shoulder your gun and your finger can easily reach the trigger, you're not straining your neck to rest on the gun's cheek rest and your sight picture is right on target.

Benefits of Choosing an Adjustable AR-15 Stock

An adjustable AR-15 stock helps you achieve the perfect fit. With an adjustable stock in place, you can alter your length of pull to accommodate your arm length or clothing.

The average length of pull for a standard AR-15 is around 13 inches. An adjustable stock works well for shooters whose ideal length of pull doesn't meet this average measurement.

Length of pull can also vary based on the clothes you're wearing. For example, if you typically shoot in a single-layer T-shirt, you may need to adjust your length of pull in winter when you're wearing bulkier clothes.

Adjustable stocks are also ideal when you're hunting or shooting in a group and multiple people will be using the same rifle.

Buy Adjustable AR-15 Stocks From Wing Tactical

At Wing Tactical, we carry adjustable AR-15 stocks that you can depend on to give you the right fit. When you shop with us, you'll benefit from our top-quality products, competitive prices, firearm expertise, next-day shipping and hassle-free returns. Browse our inventory or connect with us online today if you have any questions.