Hera Arms introduces a new buttstock for AR-15 rifles with a thumb hole along with a matching front grip. For a first look, the new stock parts were attached to a handy AR-15 carbine in .300 caliber Whisper.
The market for new buttstocks, but especially for the CQR rear stock is most likely to be found in the USA.
This is because even in the USA, semi-automatic pistol carbines or rifles can be purchased and equipped in all the ways that the weapons market would allow. Depending on the state, there are different legal requirements as to which equipment details or modifications are permitted on an AR-15. States such as New York and California are particularly strict. There, they do not like to see parts such as pistol grips, bayonet lugs, flash suppressors and the like on semi-automatic rifles. If a semi-automatic has one or more of these features, it might no longer be compliant. Or the rifle has to be modified with regard to magazine capacity. A buttstock with a thumbhole would not fare much differently there than a buttstock with an additional exposed pistol grip. That’s why Hera Arms offers the CQR stock for a few dollars (or euros) extra as an alternative, complete with a thin plate that completely closes the thumbhole. The omission of the thumbhole maintains the military-futuristic look of the new stock.
Hera Arms the 15th:
As a basis for the new stock parts, the manufacturer from the Franconian town of Triefenstein supplied a carbine in caliber .300 Whisper. The 15th series from Hera Arms is technically no different from other AR-15s, a gas pressure loader with direct gas transfer to the bolt carrier (DI: Direct Impingement) and rotary head bolt. The variant shown has a barrel with a mere 7.5” length.
The company offers a total of five different upper parts in .300 Whisper, with different features and barrel lengths of 7.5, 10.5 and 14.5 inches. As with comparable models, these uppers are produced in .223 Remington is also combined with seven differently equipped lower receivers. There is considerably more choice of various tops. The mounted red dot sight from the Swedish brand Aimpoint AB is not part of the standard equipment, nor is the folding mechanical sight. The 15th series from Hera Arms is characterized not only by its clean workmanship, but also by its modern lines.
Close Quarter Rifle:
The new CQR buttstock for AR-15 is primarily characterized by the combination of a futuristic look with a thumbhole. The length of the polymer stock, does not differ much from standard, fully extended AR-15 telescopic stocks, with a trigger distance of 32 centimeters from the trigger blade to the narrow rubber butt cap. Alternatively, the CQR can be extended by using aluminum spacers. The supplied spacer measures 15 mm, but Hera Arms also offers spacers of 30 and 45 mm in length. In terms of workmanship, the stock left a good impression. There is also no lack of accessories. On both sides of the stock, there are both holders for straps as well as quick-release fasteners.
The latter are made of metal. In addition, there is a sling eyelet at the lower end of the pistol grip. Behind the pistol grip hides under a plastic hood a Picatinny interface for mounting a monopod.
For the assembly of the stock it needs as a base basically a housing extension in Carbine length. The manufacturer recommends the carbine buffer tube with mil-spec dimensions. The assembly is not particularly tricky, but the Hera Arms manual recommends the use of an extended hexagonal wrench with a ball head for fastening the CQR to the housing. Also, before screwing on the stock, make sure that the detent of the safety lever is in the back of the lower receiver, where it belongs. The safety spring is the last thing to be mounted. It is located on the right side of the shaft in a small, swing-out rubber housing.
CQR Front Handle:
The CQR foregrip is also produced in Triefenstein to match the new buttstock. The grip with thumbhole is reminiscent of the forend of the P90 from Fabrique Nationale. At 170 grams, the foregrip is lighter than it looks. However, the component allows itself a generous 18 centimeters of mounting space on a Picatinny rail. Like the buttstock, the foregrip also has an eyelet for straps and two metal bushings for attaching quick-release sling swivels. The rear bridge of the thumbhole has a plastic insert on the side facing the magazine well, the size of a thumb stud, which can be removed if necessary. This would be the case, for example, if instead of a conventional rod magazine would like to use the 60-round drum.
On The Firing Range:
At 50 and 100 meters, the test rifle in .300 Whisper was tested both with the supplied Aimpoint Micro and for precision using a telescopic sight. Originally, the rifle was to be shot at the 100 meter range with a 3 to 12x magnifying riflescope. As an alternative, a compact driven hunt scope from Lu- ger (1-4 x 26) in ARMS quick-mount rings was used. For the appropriate eye relief, the scope had to be mounted on the Picatinny rail of the handguard. The best grouping at 100 yards measured 39 mm, achieved with the Hornady lab with 110 grs lightweight V-Max projectile. On average, this combination produced hits of just over 50 mm. The comparable supersonic cartridge from RUAG with 140 grs projectile averaged 60 mm. Recoil with regular supersonic factory ammunition is slightly greater than with a comparable 5.56 x 45 mm caliber weapon. Subsonic cartridges shoot noticeably smoother despite the bullets weighing over 200 grains, but they also only produce the same recoil as a comparable rifle.
The CQR piston is not fundamentally different from a typical AR fixed stock without a thumbhole. Subjectively, the foregrip feels good in the hand. And it allows both a classic grip – using the thumb hole – and a safe and comfortable stop with the thumb resting on the side Picatinny rail. In addition, even with the CQR grip mounted, the rifle can be held fairly comfortably.
Both CQR stock with thumbhole and the matching fore-end grip from Hera Arms are convincing due to their good workmanship, which comes at a fair price.
The test weapon came directly from the manufacturer Hera Arms (www.hera-arms.de), for this many thanks!