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Range Report: Stag Arms Stag 10 Pursuit

Built for hunters, this AR combines high performance with a hint of tradition.

Range Report: Stag Arms Stag 10 Pursuit

Collapsing the Stag 10 Pursuit’s adjustable buttstock shortens the rifle for transport in a pack.

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A relative newcomer to the hunting rifle market, Stag Arms was founded in 2003 and initially focused its efforts on the AR platform. Notably, Stag pioneered the development of the first left-handed AR, complete with left-side ejection. Since moving its headquarters from New Britain, Conn., to Cheyenne, Wyo., in 2018, the company has continued to develop American-made, competitively priced rifles for law enforcement officers, recreational and professional shooters, and citizens concerned about self-defense. However, one of Stag’s latest rifles, the Stag 10 Pursuit, was designed specifically for hunting with the goal of being as lightweight as possible without sacrificing accuracy.

Specs

  • Type: semi-automatic centerfire rifle
  • Caliber: 6.5 Creedmoor (tested), .308 Winchester
  • Barrel: 18”; 4150 steel with muzzle brake
  • Trigger: 2-stage Timney; 3 1/2-lb. pull weight
  • Safety: 2-position; rotating lever
  • Magazine: detachable box; 10-round capacity
  • Sights: none; integral Picatinny rail for mounting optics
  • Stock: adjustable Magpul CTR with leather cheekpiece
  • Finish: Midnight Bronze Cerakote, black nitride
  • Overall Length: 36” to 39.3”
  • Weight: 7.81 lbs.
  • MSRP: $2,199.99
  • Website: stagarms.com
Stag Arms Stag Pursuit 10
Stag Arms Stag Pursuit 10

Stag 10 Pursuit Rifle

The Stag 10 Pursuit combines reliable functionality, impressive accuracy and appealing looks to meet the needs of discerning hunters. It is available in 6.5 Creedmoor and .308 Win. chamberings with an 18-inch and 16-inch barrel, respectively, and a mid-length gas system. The barrel is threaded 5/8x24 at the muzzle and comes with a VG6 Gamma brake. The 6.5 Creedmoor version I tested has a 16 1/2-inch handguard, along with a Magpul CTR buttstock and K2+ grip, which includes a compartment for storing small tools or other essentials. A leather cheekpiece, embossed with the Stag logo, on the buttstock greatly elevates the gun’s look and feel while adding an element of tradition.

An integral Picatinny rail runs the entire length of the upper receiver and handguard, providing hunters with numerous options for mounting optics and accessories. The rifle’s controls are ambidextrous. (Of course there is a left-handed version with an ejection port on the left side of the receiver available as well.) Other features include a two-stage Timney trigger and Magpul 10-round magazine.

choate-stag-off-hand
With an 18-inch barrel and adjustable-length Magpul buttstock, the Stag 10 is lightweight and maneuverable.

The receiver and handguard have a Midnight Bronze Cerakote finish, and the bolt assembly and barrel have a black nitride finish. The aesthetics of the rifle, including the fit and finish of its various components, are stellar.

Hunters will also appreciate the ergonomics and function of the Stag 10 Pursuit’s parts, such as the adjustable buttstock, charging handle, magazine release and safety. In typical AR style, the safety lever can be toggled between safe and fire with the right thumb, the magazine can be released with the right index finger, and the bolt can be closed with the left thumb. The rifle’s Timney trigger operates crisply. The first stage requires lightweight take-up, while the second stage cleanly breaks with a bit more pull, approximately 3 to 4 pounds.

Shooting Preparation

For accuracy testing, I used the Wheeler Engineering Professional Scope Reticle Leveling System to mount a Burris Signature HD 3-15x44 mm riflescope in a one-piece Burris P.E.P.R. mount. After bore-sighting and zeroing the optic, I fired three consecutive three-shot groups with Hornady Match and Remington Core-Lokt ammo at 100 yards. The Stag 10 Pursuit produced sub-MOA groups with both loads, demonstrating Stag’s commitment to accuracy in a hunting rifle.




Besides the obvious benefits that come with such precision, the size and weight of the Stag 10 Pursuit make it ideal for field use. With riflescope on board, the test rifle weighed 10 pounds, which is a reasonable compromise for packing around and shooting accurately. With the buttstock fully collapsed, the rifle measures 36 inches from buttstock to muzzle brake. The ability to shorten the overall length of the Stag 10 Pursuit is a benefit to hunters when strapping it to a backpack for entry into the backcountry. The easy length-of-pull adjustment also makes the rifle an option for youth hunters.

Darren Choate holding Stag 10 Pursuit Rifle
Made entirely in America, the Stag 10 Pursuit Rifle is a high-quality firearm.

What I Liked

The extended Picatinny rail allows for a wide range of optics, as well as several accessory options. With a diverse array of big-game optics on the market, the rail space will accommodate a variety of mount styles and heights to match a multitude of riflescopes. That allows hunters to set up and adjust the optic to suit individual preference. The extended rail also permits a two-optic setup for hunting predators, such as a magnifying riflescope for long-distance shooting and a red-dot optic in an angle mount for close encounters.

Darren Choate shooting Stag Arms Stag 10 Pursuit
The author takes careful aim during testing and evaluating the Stag 10 Pursuit hunting rifle.

The bells and whistles of the Stag 10 Pursuit are both impressive and functional. Its coatings provide an appealing look while adding a durable layer of protection to the rifle’s surfaces. The leather cheekpiece provides an appealing element of tradition and ensures comfort when pressed to the cheek. In my experience, the most effective upgrade to increase accuracy is a great trigger, making the two-stage Timney a warranted inclusion. The VG6 Gamma brake will tame recoil for spotting hits (or misses) and making quick follow-up shots if needed—practical for even the 6.5 Creedmoor chambering. The included Magpul accessories improve feel and handling, further increasing the rifle’s overall appeal. Finally, the Stag Infinite Shot Barrel Guarantee and lifetime transferable warranty offer excellent product support and peace of mind.

Recommended


Stag is guided by its mantra, “Great Rifles are Made in America — the Best Rifles are Made Here.” Hunters will see proof in the Stag 10 Pursuit.

Shooting Results

Hornady

  • Load: Hornady ELD Match
  • Bullet Weight: 140 grs.
  • Muzzle Velocity: 2,476 fps
  • Average Group: 0.81"

Remington

  • Load: Remington Core-Lokt
  • Bullet Weight: 140 grs.
  • Muzzle Velocity: 2,523 fps
  • Average Group: 0.79"

Muzzle velocity is the average of three consecutive shots fired through a Caldwell G2 chronograph at 10 feet. Accuracy is the average of three consecutive, three-shot groups fired from a sandbag rest at 100 yards.

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