Stag Arms is quickly becoming widely known as a great manufacturer of reasonably priced, quality AR-15 rifles. They are also very well known for making left-handed models of their AR-15’s. When I heard they were going to be releasing a Gas Piston rifle, I needed to get my hands on one to review. Well, thanks to Allstar Tactical, one of our site sponsors, I was able to borrow a Model 8 rifle to check out and review.
The direct gas system of a typical AR-15 rifle has worked well for decades, but it has is drawbacks with reliability and cleaning. The gas tube can become clogged from carbon buildup, especially when used with lower quality ammunition. Many manufacturers have answered this call with a gas piston system, which is exactly what it describes; the action moves based on the gas transferring its energy to a piston, which, in turn, moves the bolt rearward.
There are several other manufacturers of Gas Piston AR-15 rifles, but many of them are fairly pricey and extend upwards of $2000. The Stag Arms Model 8, with it’s MSRP of $1145, comes in a great price-point, and definitely competes very well in the market.
The gas-piston system on the Model 8 is actually quite simple. Gas bleeds off through a hole in the barrel, through the regulator, actuating the piston which pushes the bolt carrier back, cycling the action. There is a spring in the forward section of the piston system which keeps the piston in the forward position until the rifle is fired. The regulator also has two positions, ON and OFF. The ON position allows the rifle to function normally, while the OFF position will allow the rifle to fire, but will not cycle the action. This system is considered a short-stroke gas piston system.
Besides the enhancement of the gas-piston system, the Stag Model 8 is everything you would expect in an AR-15 rifle. From standard carbine handguards to a forward assist A3 upper receiver, this rifle is ready to go right out of the box. Another great benefit of this rifle for us NY residents is that it can be ordered right from the factory as a NY-compliant AR-15 rifle. In fact, the one that Allstar Tactical lent us was already NY-compliant. The benefit of this is that there is no extra costs for pinning the stock or the muzzle brake.
Another great feature for the Model 8 is that it comes with a pair of $200 flip-up iron sights from Midwest Industries. Midwest industries is highly regarded for their Back Up Iron Sights (BUIS) and other AR-15 accessories. Including these with the rifle only makes the price-point of the Model 8 that much more attractive!
We tested the rifle with 55gr Armscor 5.56 surplus Ammo, also donated by Allstar Tactical, and found that every round fired flawlessly. No failure-to-feed’s, no failure-to-eject’s, and certainly no jams of any sort. I was also very surprised at the accuracy of the rifle, even when using surplus ammunition. I was able to average 3-4″ groups at 50 yrds using iron sights, and I’m not that great of a shot!
So, great accuracy and ridiculous reliability combined with an MSRP under $1150 produces the Stag Arms Model 8 Gas Piston rifle, an AR-15 for the masses. Manufactured in the USA (Connecticut), the Model 8 also comes in a hard plastic case, and carries Stag Arms’ standard warranty. I would have to say that I definitely recommend this rifle to anyone looking for a gas-piston AR-15 and doesn’t want to break the bank!
|Caliber:||5.56 NATO Chamber|
|Upper:||Forged and Mil-Spec|
|Sights:||Midwest Industries Front & Rear Flip Up|
|Barrel:||16″ Chrome-Lined, 1:9″ Twist|
|Stock:||6 Position Collapsible (Pinned for NYS)|
Apparently the Ulyanovsk ammunition plant located in Russia had an explosion as soldiers were trying to decommission munitions in one of their arsenals by means of controlled detonations. The Ulyanovsk plant is the manufacturer of Brown Bear and Silver Bear ammunition. This is not supposed to disrupt the manufacture of ammunition because the plant was in the process of being shut down as part of a planned decommissioning. One person was killed and 35 injured in the blast. 3,000 people were evacuated form the area. RTE news has an article on the event.
The 7th annual National Ammo Day is just one week away. Head to your local gun store and pick up 100 rounds of ammunition.
In a typical year Americans buy between 7 and 10 billion rounds of ammunition. In the past year they have bought 12 billion rounds. It’s no secret that ammo is flying off store shelves faster than factories can produce it but it’s nice to see a number put on the hoarding. That equals about 150 rounds of ammunition bought by every gun owner in the United States or about 47 rounds of ammunition for every privately owned firearm in the United States. Not very much when you put it into that perspective.
On 3/9/2009 democrats in the Albany County legislature introduced a proposal to regulate ammunition sales in Albany County. Under THIS LAW buyers would be required to produce identification, make model and serial of the firearm that it is for and its intended purpose. Ammunition registration has been proven ineffective in preventing crime in the past. This law is a back door firearm registration program.
If you’re in Albany County write and call your representative now. Contact information can be found on the Albany County website HERE.
With the boom of the AR-15 in popularity amongst firearms enthusiasts, many people have little to no training in how to use such a firearm in a tactical situation. I have always been interested in tactical training not only because of the cool factor, but it can benefit my shooting, and hone my skills for personal protection.
I stumbled across LMI Inc and their tactical training offerings. Ron Lauinger, owner and instructor at LMI, was extremely helpful over the phone and quickly made my decision for me to give the class a chance. At around $200, the class is very reasonably priced, especially for an 8 hour training class (Try that in the IT world). However, there is a significant expense in ammo needed for the class. I ended up using 750 rounds of .223 ammo which cost me close to $400. Overall, the expense was well worth it.
The class was held at Canandaigua Sportsman’s Club, where many of Ron’s classes are held. The layout at this range is perfect for classes like this and provides a large amount of room to move and shoot.
After a little practice shooting at different distances, and differing body positions, we started really diving into the tactical situations. We learned responding to malfunction and reloading situations as well as a big emphasis on moving while shooting. The concepts are not hard to grasp, but under pressure, it can be very difficult to remember to do certain things. Additionally, we worked with barricades, multiple threats, and working with a partner for room-clearing techniques.
For anyone interested in enhancing their skills and firearms experience, I encourage you to check out the offerings by LMI, Inc. They have a wide range of classes from pistol and rifle training to close quarters combat training. Also, Ron and LMI have recently become sponsors of this site, and are here to help support all of us. I am glad I was able to participate in this class, and I’m looking forward to taking another with LMI.