Vltor Weapon Systems is probably best known for its excellent AR stock series: the original Modstock, the EMod (Enhanced Modstock), and the IMod (Improved Modstock). It’s also known for the MUR and VIS AR-15 upper receivers and the CASV handguard. What many people don’t know is that they make an astonishing variety of other products – to include PKM machine guns for foreign militaries, handguards, components, and stock adapters for other weapons, and so on. I considered myself familiar with their product line before a recent visit, but was, frankly, astonished to see how busy they have been, and how many new products they have.
This is pretty brief, as I’m preparing for a rather exciting adventure at the moment, but here’s an overview of some unknown Vltor history, as well as photos of some of their new products.
One of the oldest Vltor products actually originated under ASAR, or Abrams Small Arms Research, before Abrams Airborne acquired Vltor years ago. That product is the CASV, which received several modifications for functionality and durability before being sold under the Vltor name. What you see here on the left is an original CAS-V prototype – made of titanium! – next to one of the newest CASV models, the split-level CASV-ELS.
The titanium prototype is rather heavy, as well as being expensive to produce, so the current aluminum CASV is a much more useful product to most end users. Thousands are currently in use by various US Navy units, among others.
Here are the new split-level versions, the CASV-ELS for carbine length ARs and the CASV-S for midlength ARs. The bi-level version allows for cowitness of optics mounted on the forward portion of the handguard. I’ve been using a CASV-ELS for several months, and love the profile of the newer handguards – they’re ideal for “thumb-forward” support hand shooting.
Vltor still manufactures standard level CASVs, such as this CASV-M, shown with the optional front sight.
From oldest in the background to newest in the foreground, here’s a glamor shot of some AR CASVs.
Vltor also manufactures quite a few M1A components, including the stock and handguard shown here. I was surprised to find that this weapon didn’t feel too heavy and balanced quite well. Please excuse the poor framing of this shot.
Other AR type stocks are compatible with the tube shown here.
One weapon that definitely hasn’t escaped the touches of Vltor is the SCAR. Here’s a SCAR-H with the full treatment – a CASV-type handguard (extended beyond the factory handguard length, and allowing for better heat dissipation) and an AR stock adapter that has a very nice height adjustment system – which, unfortunately, I did not photograph very well.
Vltor’s HK416 handguard – the exact designation of which I am unsure – is one of my favorite products, though I’m not really sold on the 416. I found it intriguing that the HK416 emitted a low, pulsating hum and fluoresces under UV light – no, just kidding.
You will soon be able to buy an AR that’s almost entirely Vltor, as they’ve started manufacturing AR-15 lower receiver assemblies (they’ll be sold as you see here for $379 starting in a few weeks). The three stand-out features are an enhanced magwell, an enlarged magazine release button, and a receiver endplate with side QD sockets that are tucked in close to the receiver.
Hopefully, in a month or so, I’ll be able to report on some other Vltor news.