By Mike Searson
Mike Searson reviews the Stag Arms 3T-M Rifle and highlights the Good, the Bad and the Reality of this carbine.
USA –-(Ammoland.com)- It may seem like ARs are a dime a dozen these days, but wait until this election cycle nears its end.
If you think prices are low right now, think again in early November. It will get much worse if a certain candidate takes office next year. So we are going to take a look at various AR-15s between now and then in case you are looking for a first time rifle of your own.
This week it is Stag Arms. ( www.stagarms.com )
Stag Arms came to prominence for producing left-handed AR pattern rifles. However their “normal” rifles provide a lot of value for the money, too. We recently had a chance to take a look at the Stag Arms 3T-M Rifle ( https://www.stagarms.com/model-3t-m/ ) and ended up really liking this rifle.
In what seems like a sea of hundreds of AR manufacturers offering close to one thousand configurations, most companies are going with a unique hand guard or rail to set them apart from the rest.
Stag Arms 3T-M Rifle
Stag went with the Diamondhead VRS-T Hand Guard that free floats the barrel and offers an interesting feel to this rifle. They capped it off with a set of aluminum Diamondhead Low Profile Sights for a complete package.
The flash suppressor is a standard A2 type (not that there’s anything wrong with that!) and they went with a Mil-spec single stage trigger that is non-adjustable.
For the business end you get a 16″, 4150 steel, chrome lined, government profile, manganese phosphate coated button rifled barrel with a 1 in 7” twist. Upper and lower receivers are forged and mil-spec 7075 T6 aluminum with type 3 hard coat anodizing and this is a direct impingement rifle.
Stag Arms 3T-M Rifle – The Good
We really like the “keep it simple” concept of Stag’s builds. We pride ourselves on the ability to disassemble and reassemble an M16 or AR-15 blindfolded and hate when some manufacturer throws a curve ball as an enhancement. Fortunately it is not the case with the Stag models.
The Diamondhead low profile sights have a solid feel and a unique look. We questioned it initially (being more used to round apertures) but found that they drew our eye to the front sight and aligned quite easily. We prefer metal back up sights to plastic any day of the week!
On first glance we had mixed emotions about the Diamondhead VRS-T hand guards, but quickly warmed up to them on the range. We are probably not at that stage where we are going to replace the hand guards on all of our rifles, but this seems like a very good candidate for that purpose.
Diamondhead’s hand guards make extensive use of the Key-Mod system that allows you to bolt rail attachments to them where you need them without the unnecessary weight of a Picatinny quad rail. Apart from that we found the semi-triangular shape that lent really good ergonomics to the rifle. We don’t go for the “Full Costa” method of shooting, but this rail will let you do that with ease.
The butt stock was a Magpul ACS Stock, which we liked a lot for its comfort and adjustability.
Accuracy was as to be expected with a Stag rifle; we went 20 for 20 on the steel and our three shot groups at 100 yards were within 2” with open sights. We suspect this could be tightened up with a good Ar15 optic and maybe a better Ar-15 trigger. Sadly we kind of overlooked these rifles for years due to the left-handed models. However recently we have grown to like their offerings as a well-made and robust modern sporting rifle.
We had no issues at all with a variety of ammunition types from our good friends at Freedom Munitions.
Stag Arms 3T-M Rifle – The Bad
While ARs may be Legos for adults, we are often saddened by the cast off A2 flash hiders and pistol grips we see abounding everywhere. For the price of this rifle we would have liked to have seen something a little better than “standard issue” for a flash hider. The A2 flash hider is a solid design, but the rail and the sights on this model (not to mention MagPul stock and grip) beg for a little more spice to crown this rifle. While completely functional it is doomed to become a “take-off” part for any one of these better Muzzle Breaks.
If you toted an M16 or M4 in the military and just got out, you will not mind the factory trigger. If you have shot higher-end rifles you will probably hate it. Three-gunners or those who want to squeeze as much accuracy out of their black rifles as possible will need to go to the aftermarket. It was not atrocious, but we would have preferred something a little better and would have been willing to pay a little more. If you order a 3TM from Stag you can have a two-stage or hybrid trigger installed for an extra cost.
Stag Arms 3T-M Rifle – The Reality
For an entry level “plus” carbine, this rifle has it all. The trigger can be improved, but half the fun in owning an AR is in making it your own. Stag has done the heavy lifting with a great stock from MagPul, rail and sights from Diamondhead and we think they completely nailed it with this build.
Stag had some problems in the recent past, but the new company that has emerged this past year seems to really be on top of quality control and customer service.
Stag Arms 3T-M Rifle Build Specs:
About Mike Searson:
Mike Searson’s career as a shooter began as a Marine Rifleman at age 17. He has worked in the firearms industry his entire adult life as a Gunsmith, Ballistician, Consultant, Salesman, Author and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1989.
Mike has written over 2000 articles for a number of magazines, websites and newsletters including Blade, RECOIL, OFF-GRID, Tactical Officer, SWAT, Tactical World, Gun Digest, Examiner.com and the US Concealed Carry Association as well as AmmoLand Shooting Sports News.
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