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  4. Stag Arms Stag 15 Pursuit Review: Not The AR-15 You’d Expect
Stag Arms Stag 15 Pursuit Review: Not The AR-15 You’d Expect preview image
Aug 03 2023
8 min read

Stag Arms Stag 15 Pursuit Review: Not The AR-15 You’d Expect


Stag Arms is not a new player in the firearms space, as it has been pumping out guns since 2003. But, over the last several years, it has seen a lot of change due to being purchased by a private equity firm and moving its headquarters to Wyoming.

It’s often a hit or miss when it comes to acquisitions and rebrands, so I was excited to check out the latest and greatest from Stag. I got some trigger time with a Stag-15 SBR chambered in 5.56, and a Stag-15 rifle chambered in 6.5 Grendel.

Stag Arms prides itself on being one of the few major AR brands that offer left-handed configurations for every single product in their lineup, catering to the needs of all shooting enthusiasts.

This inclusive approach is further enhanced by their newer products coming standard with ambidextrous safety selectors, breach charging handles, and other features, ensuring maximum accessibility and ease of use for both right-handed and left-handed users.

I had fun shooting both the rifle and SBR, so let’s take a closer look at them as I give my honest impressions and thoughts.

Stag Arms Stag 15 Review

Stag Arms Stag 15 Pursuit Rifle For Sale

stag 15 65 grendel

Specifications – Pursuit Rifle (6.5 Grendel)

Caliber6.5 Grendel
Capacity5 Rounds
Barrel Length18 Inches
Barrel Material/Finish4150 CMV – Nitride
Handguard Length16.5 Inches
Handguard Material6061 Aluminum
MuzzleThreaded – 1/2×28 RH

Stag 15 SBR

Stag Arms 15 Pistol

Specifications – Stag 15 SBR (5.56 NATO)

Caliber5.56 NATO
Capacity30 Rounds
Barrel Length10.5 Inches
Barrel Material/Finish4150 CMV – Nitride
Handguard Length9 Inches
Handguard Material6061 Aluminum
MuzzleThreaded – 1/2×28 RH

Pros & Cons

  • Reliable and accurate
  • Free-float rail system
  • Upgraded furniture
  • Quality fit and finish
  • No iron sights
  • Some basic mil-spec controls

Shooting Test

stag arms stag 15 pursuit rifle range test at show show industry day at the range
Locked in and about to send some 6.5 Grendel down range.


The true reliability is going to be difficult for me to speak on since I had a limited time with both models. However, both were being shot ALL DAY long in some moist (off and on rain) and sandy conditions, and I still didn’t experience any malfunctions with either.

Through some slow and methodical distance shooting and a quick mag dump, every round went down range with no issue. So far, so good.


Mounted on the 5.56 model was an EOTECH holographic sight and magnifier, while on the 6.5 Grendel model was a Maven RS.1 scope.

Both gave unfair advantages against the targets down range. With the 6.5 Grendel, we were ringing steel easily 100+ yards away (not sure of the actual distance), and with the 5.56, we were honed in more around 50 yards and just kept on beating up those steel gongs.

stag 15 pursuit rifle range test
Trying to explain which target I’m shooting at when there are dozens out at 100 yards.

I’m confident that either rifle would remain accurate to a few hundred yards with the right optics ,like we had. You don’t have to be a sharpshooter with these to see some great shots being made.

Overall Feel

Not too heavy, not too bulky, and a smooth handguard gives the rifles a solid but average feel in hand.

The handguards are slimmer than some I’ve recently used, which seemed to improve my control while transitioning between targets, despite not having any sort of foregrip.

One other interesting aspect is that Stag has leather on the stock of their Pursuit rifles which has been a very popular feature.


Free-float Handguard and Rail System

I really like the free-float handguards on both of the firearms. They are Stag’s Slimline models and feature M-Lok slots at the 3, 6, and 9 o’clock positions, with a rail on the top extending the entire length.

stag 15 pursuit pistol barrel with suppressor
The slim handguard fits the aesthetic perfectly.

The 6061 aluminum that they are made out of is a great base for a beautiful Cerakote finish. With the finish on point and the smooth/slim nature of the entire handguard, these are ones I would actually run on other rifles.

Magpul Furniture

These days, many companies choose to add Magpul furniture to their builds. It’s an upgrade from your basic furniture, without breaking the bank.

On these Stag 15s, the pistol grips, buttstocks, and even the trigger guards are all Magpul furniture.

The buttstocks are adjustable with various attachment points, and the pistol grips are definitely more ergonomic than the basic A2 style.

When it comes to the trigger guard, Stag went with an enhanced version that has a slight flare to it, which, if you like to shoot with gloves or just enjoy a bit more room, is much preferred.

stag 15 pistol stock and grip
All in all, not having to rush and change any of the furniture is a huge pro.

Mil-Spec Controls

I found the controls to be lacking the most with the Stag-15. Thankfully, these types of things are easy to replace.

The charging handle, magazine release, safety selector, and bolt release are all your basic mil-spec parts. They all function fine and get the job done, but outside of your “budget” ARs, I believe you should have  ambidextrous controls on any rifle.

I’d like to note the Pursuit model does have an ambidextrous charging handle and safety, though.

stag 15 pistol grip trigger eotech holographic optic
There would definitely be some control upgrades if I was to buy this particular Stag 15.

How We Tested

As you can see in some of the photos, we hit the range located in the middle of the desert to shoot these rifles at short, medium, and long-range distances.

With the ammo being supplied, we didn’t have to hold back and could shoot as much as we wanted until we decided the next person in line deserved some shots!

stag 15 pursuite rifle range test with magazine
The Maven scope made it feel like we were using a cheat code.

Ammo Used

Nosler supplied the ammo at the booth and did not skimp one bit.

We were able to shoot some of the 70-grain .223 match ammo, 55-grain .223 ballistic tip varmint ammo, and then finally some 123-grain 6.5 Grendel competition match-grade ammo.

I don’t have a ton of experience with Nosler ammo, but I was impressed with what I saw that day.

nosler ammo for stag 15 review
I’m going to continue experimenting with some other Nosler ammo after this range session.

Score Card

Reliability (10/10)  

Both rifles performed flawlessly.

Customization (10/10)

Rail space, M-Lok slots and no proprietary parts limiting you make for an easily customizable firearm.

Appearance (9/10)

Upgraded furniture and various finishes are available to really make the rifles pop.

Value (8.5/10)

For the quality and performance the Stag 15 delivers, the price point seems to be in line with the competition.


Magpul MBUS Pro Sights

Magpul MBUS Pro Sights

I will always run my rifles with backup sights.

The reason being, optics can fail, and you don’t want to be stuck with no way to aim. The Magpul MBUS line is a staple in the shooting community.

The MBUS Pro Sights are made out of a corrosion-resistant steel, making them slightly more expensive than the polymer ones, but you get that extra durability.

They are low-profile and require no tools to adjust.


EOTECH EXPS3 Holographic Weapon Sight

Iron sights are great, but optics can give you a huge advantage.

EOTECH sets the standard for holographic sights, with the EXPS3 being one of my personal favorites.

While pricey, you get what you pay for. You can choose between different reticles and color finishes, but they will all provide you with the same exceptional performance and reliability. They are night vision compatible, water resistant, and give you the ability to truly shoot with two eyes open.


Sig Sauer M400 Tread

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The M400 Tread is a great intermediate rifle. It comes with a free-floating handguard, ambidextrous controls and upgraded furniture. It features a 1:8 twist rate and is very reliable. Best of all, you can find it for under $850 on the right day.  

For more info, check out our SIG Sauer M400 Tread review.

PSA 16” Mid-Length Lightweight MOE EPT


Want to save some money for ammo and that new optic?

Palmetto State Armory’s Mid-Length 16” Lightweight AR is a great one to look into. It has a 1:7 twist rate, a chrome-moly vanadium steel barrel, and a free-float handrail. It even comes with Magpul MBUS Sights and furniture.

Coming in closer to $600 when on sale, you’ll have plenty of cash money left to treat yourself.

treat yo self gif


With the Stag 15 line having several models ranging from its standard “Classic” all the way to the upgraded  “Elite,” I can see the appeal to almost all of them.

Given some of the alternatives that are out in the market, I don’t see a Stag 15 being my “go-to,” but I definitely wouldn’t be mad at owning one, either.

With how well the two models I got to shoot performed and were finished, I’m excited about what’s coming from Stag. I think they are definitely worth keeping tabs on.

Have you had the opportunity to shoot a Stag 15? If so, what did you think about it? What comparable would you recommend?

Written by Ryan Domke
Ryan Domke photo Ryan Domke is a freelance writer, photographer, and social media consultant with a passion for guns and tactical gear. He works with some of the largest manufacturers in the firearms industry, allowing him the opportunity to continuously learn from and knowledge share with the 2A community. Ryan has contributed his writing expertise to numerous reputable publications, including Guns.com, Cheaper Than Dirt, Springfield Armory's 'The Armory Life,' Smith & Wesson's 'The S&W Bench', and The Mag Shack. When he’s not spending time with his family, you’ll likely find him at the range or starting a new DIY project.


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