Review: Bilson Arms Pivotal Buttstock

Keep your cheek on your rifle while your eyes are on your sights.

posted on April 24, 2023
Bilson Arms Pivotal Buttstock

The rise in popularity of the low power variable optic, or LPVO, has changed the way we think about AR-15s. By adding an LVPO, what was once a rifle that was used for engagements at under 300 yards can now shoot out to 500 yards with relative ease, and even 1,000 yards is not out of the question. In practice, however, those longer distances are only reachable at the maximum magnification of the optic, and switching between full power for longer range shots and 1x for close in work takes time and forces the shooter to move their hands on the rifle. This is why many top 3-gun competitors and elite military units often run a second set of sights on their rifles, These sights are typically either iron sights or a non-magnifying red dot optic, set at angle so the shooter can quickly twist their rifle and switch between one sighting system to the other. 

However, this sets up another problem, as twisting your gun in this manner means that your rifle is moving out of the “pocket” in your shoulder and is breaking your cheek weld. This means you’ve got to reset your sight picture every time you switch from one set of sights to another. While that may not seem like that big of a deal, it can make a significant difference in any situation where saving a few seconds can be a world of difference. 

This is where the Bilson Arms Pivotal Buttstock comes in. The stock is made from anodized aluminum and fits a standard carbine buffer tube. The most important feature on the stock is an adjustable ball and socket joint that holds the buttplate in one place on your shoulder as you rotate between one set of sights to the other. There is a small lever lock on the bottom of the stock to adjust the length of pull and the butt pad is lined with a neoprene-like material for added comfort. 

sight transitionOn the range, I found the Pivotal Buttstock to do exactly what it is meant to do. I was able to quickly transition between a Swampfox Tomahawk 1-4x low power variable optic that was zoomed out to four power to the set of Dueck Defense Rapid Transition iron sights. Best of all, my cheek never left the stock of my rifle, allowing me to instantly re-acquire a sight picture each time I switched between my iron sights and my magnified optic. 

What surprised me the most about this stock, however, was how much I liked it when I was running just one optic. Because the buttpad can rotate in the stock, I was able to get a great cheek weld on my rifle, far better than running a standard collapsible stock. This stock is not a gimmick and it’s appeal isn’t limited to people who shoot 3 Gun competitions. Rather, this is a stock for anyone who wants the last word in comfortable, consistent and customizable stocks for their AR-15. 

MSRP for the Pivotal Buttstock is $249, and more information on this item and other products is available at



Crossbreed outrider
Crossbreed outrider

Review: CrossBreed OutRider MultiFit Modular Holster and Magazine Pouch

A leather outside the waistband holster from a company known for making hybrid holsters.

First Look: Taurus GX4 Carry 9 mm Pistol

Taurus expands the GX4 family with an even bigger brother to the GX4XL.

First Look: Burris BTS V2 Thermal Optic

Packed with features, including streaming, multiple reticle ad color palette options and a nifty QD mount.

Honoring Our Veterans

Two separate industry events honor those who serve.

Winchester USA Ready Defense

Winchester’s USA Ready Defense ammunition looks to be a reliable and effective option for use in self-defense handguns.

Review: Taurus Judge Executive Grade

By now, you’d have to be living in a cave (digital or otherwise) to not know about the Taurus Judge revolver.


Get the best of Shooting Illustrated delivered to your inbox.