When building or buying a new rifle, no matter the type, the stock of the rifle should fit its usage. A target rifle shouldn’t have a folding or collapsible stock. A CQB rifle probably shouldn’t have a fixed stock. Each type of stock has its advantages and disadvantages.
Fixed stocks are by far the most common type of stock. Most hunting rifles, shotguns, and semi-auto rifles have them. They have a set length, are the sturdiest option, and are by far the best choice for accurate shooting. They have a few disadvantages too. They’re by far the heaviest, that set length can make operating in heavier clothes or while wearing a vest troublesome, and they can limit your maneuverability.
Folding stocks come in two varieties: Wire and a regular stock that just folds. Wire stocks are most often see on AK pattern rifles and they really help to lessen their weight. Regular stocks that fold are common on many different semi-auto rifles and help the maneuverability of rifles that normally can be clunky when getting out of vehicles. Think FN FAL. Folding stocks can become loose with prolong use and nobody likes a shaky stock. They can also fold at the wrong time and the results can be devastating. Overall with proper maintenance they’re a solid option.
Collapsible stocks are relative newcomers on the stock market and have become much more prevalent with the “rise of the AR”. They’re so common some states have banned their use, don’t know why, so don’t ask. They’re most common on ARs but can be found on most types of rifles and shotguns as well. Collapsible stocks are great when you might need to operate all year long because they can be shortened in the winter and lengthened in warmer months. Their ability to shorten also helps when a smaller person or lady friend wants to shoot your gun. Their disadvantages are similar to those of folding stocks but with proper care and regular maintenance they’re a great option.
So when building that dream gun remember to have the proper stock. Your Remington 700 probably doesn’t need a folding stock but your FN SCAR might!