Stag 3G AR
Purpose: 3 Gun Rifle- Tactical Rifle, Competition Rifle, Plinker, Varmint Rifle
Caliber: Cal. 5.56 NATO or .223 Rem
Detachable Magazines: 5-10-15-20-30-100!
Optic: Burris MTAC 1-4 30mm scope
Unit Replacement Cost: $1250 bare
Smarting from our HEMAN 3Gun experience, Jade figured that she likes 3 Gun but is not a fan of the 12lb M1a Battle rifle’s recoil and heft. She voiced her displeasure of using that beast even though she got first round hits at the 250 and 400 yard gong and a running shot at a 70 meter gong. I did find her panting in the middle of the stage lifting the gun to fire at an array of 3 targets.
Given the excuse, I took the opportunity to get an AR to use for 3GUN Tactical Optics class. First pick was another bargain we found in CDNN, a VTAC M&P 15 paired with a Millet 1-4x DMS scope held by a Warne RAMP mount. It is a solid gun, with a JP speed trigger and the only upgrade was to put in the flat shooting SJC compensator versus the stock Surefire flash hider/suppressor adapter. After shooting the AR-15 3Gun Pro-Am in Rock Castle, Kentucky; and X3 Multi-Gun in Piru,CA – it was evident we needed a rig with a slightly longer and more accurate barrel and better optic for the 400+ yard shots. So we retired the VTAC and asked our 3 Gun guru and pro shooter Patrick Kelley what his recommendation was. His professional opinion for the combination of performance and a modest budget is the Stag Arms 3G.
The Stag Arms 3G has all the stuff a 3 gun gamer needs but none of the fluff. It comes with a Samson Industries fore-end with a full length Picatinny on top and attachment points at other parts of the rail that need it. Not a fan of stocks with 360 degrees of picattiny rails since it is rough on the hands, rough on the barricades, makes the for end needlessly heavy. Shooting a cheese grater is no fun and adds weight.
The primary purpose of this rig is to shoot 3 Gun great and to do so you have to keep the weight down if shooting against the clock, no point attaching a laser designator, a Surefire or a zombie annihilator 37mm grenade launcher when shooting a 3 gun tournament. The gun comes with an adjustable VLTOR stock and other doodads standard, but what I love about it was the Geiselle Super 3G trigger. It has extremely short but positive reset for those really fast double taps and breaks so smooth for the aimed and deliberate long distance dialing, it is almost Perazzi smooth, and a heavy fluted 18″ barrel in 1:8 twist for stabilizing the heavy stuff. It came with a muzzle break from Stag but I swapped it with a bigger one I had lying around my parts bin from an aborted AR build, the Dreadnaught F2 Compensator.
It is built just to pass USPSA limited class regulations by the millimeter and have recoil dissipating technology of a howitzer tank break. The creator is reputedly a fluid dynamics person in the defense industry, I guess the one who figures out what jet turbine or sub propeller blade pitch to use. The Dreadnaught compensator is one flat shooting compensator that makes an AR feel like its shooting .22 LR. Lord have mercy on any fool that is standing directly alongside the compensator as it has some considerable side blast but not as bad as the SJC that has a 30 degree back blast to the shooter. I guess this is why muzzle compensators are not standard issue amongst troops that may have to fire along a berm, squad style, or from the confines of a Humvee.
The stag supplied factory compensator seems usable in a tactical or multi operator environment with gas porting to the front and top of the compensator such as Smith Enterprise’s Coast Guard Muzzle break for the M1a
To top of this rifle, a low power variable scope was installed, given our Christmas gift constrained budget we chose the Burris M.T.A.C 1-4x 30mm tube that can deliver good golf ball sized groups at 300 yards with a 4x scope. The scope is a Philippine made, US marketed Burris MTAC scope. Very solidly built and built by US friendly non communist country. The dots on the scope reticule are accurate and have scored hits on the gongs and range detritus found in the Grand Junction, Colorado public range. Very similar to the Burris TAC 30 with the occular bell that doesn’t move when you crank it up and an improved control switch for the illuminated reticule.
The combination of the Stag 3G, Hornady Steel match and the 4x scope we were able to squeeze golf ball sized groups from the bench. We had our sight in session a high mountain desert free for all range run by BLM that suspiciously looks like the Hindu Kush mountains in Afghanistan. Using Federal Steel Match 55 grains bullets, it hit where it was graduated to. Big dot at 100, bottom of big dot at 200 second dot 300 third dot 400 and the 550 yard target gong was hit holding over the middle of the of the 600 yard reticule donut hole. We verified 550 yard hits by switching ammo to 64 grain tracer rounds from Federal and saw the tracer rounds splatter on the steel gong half a Km away.
Be careful when firing tracer rounds and absolutely do not use it if there is a risk of igniting vegetation. I heard of stories of soldiers flushing out rebels by igniting the bushes with prodigious amounts of tracer fire. ( There was no fire danger or vegetation in the range and light snow on ground because it was winter). Tempted to use the PEPR mount or the Warne RAMP mount, but the eye relief afforded by the MTAC allowed the use of more conventional scope rings, went this route and saved some weight and $$. Chose the solid permanent WARNE scope rings. WARNE is a promoter and supporter of the 3Gun sport and awesome customer service, I visited their factory in Tualitin OR to utilize the gift cert won as a prize in the Area 1 USPSA championships in Albany Oregon. Cool people, gave me a scope wrench for visiting and accepted a set of banged up QD rings for replacement because it felt “wobbly”.