Stag Arms 3G Review

If you are a fan of AR-15′s, you likely know about Stag Arms.  After making their name manufacturing left-handed AR’s, Stag has slowly forged a reputation for quality and innovation in the ultra competitive AR market.  When they announced their new factory-customized 3G model, I was intrigued.

The guys at Stag Arms Canadian distributer, Arms East, hooked me up with this great rifle.  If you are interested in any Stag Arms products, I highly recommend you give them a call as they are both knowledgeable and passionate about their products.  For your convenience, I have included a link to their website on the right corner of this blog.

While I know my AR’s, I know little-to-nothing about competitive 3-Gun shooting.  I have absolutely no idea what makes a good 3-Gun rifle…  Thankfully, the nice folks at Stag Arms have taken all the guess work out of the equation with their new 3G AR-15.

Fit and Finish:

When it comes to overall finish, an AR need not be “military rough”.  Personally, I love a nice overall polish on my  rifles.  I like to think the manufacturer put a little “care” into making a gun before I drop $2K worth of my hard earned money on it…  I have owned many low end rifles that have worked fine, but the overall fit and finish has always let me down.  This in not the case with the Stag Arms 3G.  The 3G has a uniform black finish throughout and is complimented by a very attractive stainless barrel.  Cap this off with the slick Samson Evolution Handguard, Magpul furniture and the Stag Arms 3G specific compensator and you have one hell of a beautiful AR15.

The Equipment:

The 3G looks and feels like a quality piece.  The standard Stag Arms milled lower is compleminted by a Magpul ACS Buttstock and MOE Pistol Grip.  (Pretty much the industry gold-standard these days).  I particularly like the ACS Buttstock which provides a very nice curved cheek rest that always seems to fit, regardless of shooting position.  I recommend one of these to anyone building a new AR.  As for the MOE Pistol Grip, it is nicely textured and provides a very engaging lower grip.  Stag Arms claims the Grip was specially selected for the Giselle 3-Gun trigger and, whether or not this fit was intentional, it seems to work nicely.

The Samson Evolution handguard is free floating and features a nice round shape, unlike the standard AR “cheese graters” we all know too well.  At 15 inches it is much longer than the standard AR handguard and is meant for the far forward grip favoured by the top 3-Gun Shooters.  With included picatinny “segments” to add accessories and customize as needed, this is one of the slickest rail systems I have encountered.  Light, smooth and highly customizable.  Need I say more?

The 18” stainless steel fluted heavy barrel is as beautiful as it is practical.  Chambered in .223 Wylde, its 1/8 twist rate should stabilize a wide variety of bullets.  (Especially useful for those of us who shop for bulk ammo bargains and often don’t have a lot of choice in bullet weight.)  Accuracy didn’t seem to be affected by barrel temperature.

The Barrel is capped with Stag Arms 3G compensator which is specifically designed to reduce muzzle rise and allow for quick follow up shots.  After placing just under 200 rounds down-range, I can honestly say this claim is more than just hype.  Nice to see a muzzle break that actually does what the manufacturer says.

To top it all off, Stag Arms has installed a Giselle 3-Gun specific trigger which is as smooth as butter and really lets the user make near instant follow up shots.  While I didn’t use a trigger gauge to measure the overall trigger weight, I would say the trigger weight is between 3.0-3.5 lbs overall.  The Giselle trigger has absolutely no slop or play.  While the hybrid trigger pull takes some getting use to, 100 rounds in I was wondering how I ever did without it.  It is seriously that good…


A pretty gun is no damn good if it can’t shoot…  I expect a $2K rifle to be sub-MOA.  So, I slapped on an Aimpoint Comp M4s and headed to my local gun range.  (Stay tuned for a review of both the Aimpoint Pro and Comp M4S in the coming weeks).  With heavy winds and snow, this wouldn’t be a day for pinpoint accuracy.  That being said, I put the 3G to my standard playing card test.  (The ability to hit a playing card at 100 yards 4 out of 5 times.)  This should be more than enough accuracy for any dedicated 3-gunner.


300 Rounds with no FTF’s, FTE’s or malfunctions of any kind using cheap American Eagle bulk ammo.  Given it was snowing heavily and -3 degrees Celsius, I would consider this 100% reliability.  I am also happy to report that 2nd Generation Magpul P-Mags function flawlessly in this rifle.

A closer examination of the rifles internals also make me think this is a rifle that will provide reliable results for a long time to come.  With a heavier bolt carrier than standard AR’s, it seems Stag intended this firearm to last a very long time.


While I originally felt two grand was a lot to pay for a dedicated 3-Gun rifle, after some discussion with Stag Arms Canadian distributer Arms East, it is clear that you get a lot for the MSRP.  With a Giselle trigger, Samson handguard, Magpul fixtures, custom compensator, stainless barrel and stag upper/lower, it would be diffficult to build this gun yourself for less than $2,000.

The only down-side I can see is availability.  I was lucky to get this rifle.  How lucky?  After the recent “run on guns” in the US, Stag Arms has over a year of back-orders to fill and have stopped taking orders for the 3G.  That being said, this gun is worth the wait…

Posted in AR-15, Reviews, Rifles, Shooting Sports | Leave a comment

Looming Gun Ban Increases Prices, Decreases Innovation…

According to a press release by Kel-Tec CNC, the looming US gun ban has caused an increase in the MSRP of the Kel-Tec KSG shotgun.  A January 11th, 2013 Kel-Tec press release reads:

Pump-action shotguns, like many law-abiding citizens use for duck hunting and self-protection were not expected to be part of the upcoming Assault Weapon ban proposal. Kel-Tec has been made aware that the KSG is going to be one of the Pump-action shotguns included in the upcoming Congressional Assault Weapon ban bill.  The KSG is Kel-Tec’s first pump shotgun and large amounts of resources were put towards its development and production.  The distributor price of the KSG has been increased due to this likely ban.  If the threat of a ban is removed, the price will come back down to normal levels.

It is truly sad that an innovative company like Kel-Tec is forced to increase prices in order to compensate for over zealous law makers.  This sets a poor precedent for other companies who may want to stray from the norm and provide unique products for law abiding firearm owners.  Serious firearm innovation costs serious dollars…  In a world where knee-jerk firearm bans are possible, there will be no firearm innovation.  It is that simple.

I have been trying to purchase a KSG for almost a year.  Looks like it will cost a little extra once I finally do get to the top of the wait list…

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Kimber Rimfire Super Review

For the past 3 years, the Kimber Rimfire Super has been my “Go-To” range gun.  In fact, it has been so loved, that this past fall it finally surpassed the 10,000 round milestone!  (I posted an earlier Pro/Con review of the Rimfire Super on the old Gun Diary page, but it is time for an update…)  Now that the leaded smoke has settled, I figure it is time to break down the pro’s and con’s of this rimfire gem:


  1. Accuracy - Whether you love or hate the venerable 22 LR cartridge, there is no denying the accuracy of Kimber’s rimfire pistol.  Capable of 1 Inch groupings from a rest at 25 yards, it is hard to blame your shooting on the Rimfire Super’s accuracy.
  2. Fit and Finish – It is hard to deny that the 2-Tone Kimber Rimfire Super is one sexy little pistol.  The black finish on the slide is nicely understated and the aluminum frame is perfectly textured.  Top this off with nice cocking serration’s and 30 LPI checkering and you have one nice looking 1911.  I own quite a few 1911 Pistols, and this is definitly one of the best looking in any caliber or finish.
  3. Trigger - Measuring in at just 3.7 pounds, the Rimfire Super has an amazing trigger pull.  (Even by high-end $2K+ 1911 standards.)  The break is crisp with just a minuscule hint of trigger creep.
  4. Sights - The plain black adjustable rear sight lines up perfectly with the plain black front sight.  While most $1K+ guns these days have some form of coloured or outlined sight, the standard target sights are still a classic for this sort of pistol.  The rear sights adjust with a very nice “positive” click and will not accidentally move.
  5. Durability - While I was originally worried about the Kimber’s aluminum frame wearing under the friction caused by the 1911 design, this has turned out to be a non-issue.  No wear of any kind is noticeable. That being said, I never holster this gun, so you might want to watch out for some holster wear if you think you will be carrying this pistol.
  6. Reliability - While my first 500 Rounds with this gun were somewhat hit or miss, (one failure per 50 rounds on average), since the initial break-in period, the Rimfire Super has ran flawlessly.  Just make sure you use high-quality, high-velocity rounds.  I recommend CCI Mini-Mags.  As long as you use Mini-Mags, this pistol will eat 500 rounds in a single day without cleaning or oil
  1. Weight - While I rarely say this about a pistol, it is a little too light.  The Rimfire Super lacks the weight of a full sized .45 1911.  Weighing almost 10 ounces less, the Rimfire Super does fail to replicate the heft of a full size 1911, thus slightly limiting its application as an alternative training aid for its bigger brother.
  2. Price - At approximately $1,200, this is an expensive rimfire pistol.  (Easily surpassing S&W Model 41 prices.)  This is especially true when compared to the much cheaper offerings like the GSG 1911.
  3. Magazines - While they seem to work flawlessly, they are completely synthetic.  (Not so great considering the price…)  This is even worse when you consider the fact that Kimber only incudes one with the Gun.
  4. Magazines cost between $50 and $60 a piece, IF you can find them for sale!  Plan on spending another $300 for Magazines if you want a Rimfire Super with a few spare mags…  5 Magazines cost almost as much as a standard GSG 1911 22lr…
How much do I love the Kimber Rimfire Super?  Well, the picture at the top of this page is of my Wife firing mine…
Posted in Handguns, Reviews, Rimfire | Leave a comment

.17 Winchester Super Magnum

It looks like 2013 will be a good year for Rimfire Fans…

Winchester has just announced a new rimfire cartridge called the .17 WInchester Super Magnum.  Hoping to dominate the market with a new super fast .17 caliber, Winchester has looked to a very unique source; their commercial fastener division.  The case is based off a .27 caliber nail-gun blank, which was modified and necked down to take the .17-caliber bullet, allowing for a stellar 33,000 PSI internal pressure.

Winchester VP of Sales, Bret Flaughter has said:

Our engineers have been developing the top-secret .17 Win Super Mag caliber for more than three years and the rimfire revolution begins now…At 3,000 feet per second it’s the fastest modern rimfire cartridge on the planet. The downrange energy deposited by the .17 Win Super Mag will be a game-changer for varmint and predator hunters everywhere.

Capable of pushing a 20-Grain projectile roughly 3,000 fps, the .17 WSM will be the hottest rimfire round on the market today.  Coupled with a claimed drop of only 4.1 inches at 200 yards, this should strike terror in the heart of squirrels everywhere…

Savage hopes to have rifles chambered in this range by mid-April.  At least 2 other manufacturers are said to be onboard.  (Here is hoping CZ is one of them!)  Look for a review of the early rifles here!

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Airport Stupidity…

So, turns out over 1500 people “forgot” they were carrying a gun while trying to board a plane this year…

Don’t get me wrong, I am a supporter of all carry laws, but who in their right mind tries to board a plane with a gun in today’s world?  According to USA Today:

The Transportation Security Administration found more than 1,500 firearms at airport checkpoints in 2012, according to a new report.  Passengers are not allowed to carry guns onto planes. Yet screeners at airport checkpoints found an average of four weapons a day last year, TSA spokesman David Castelveter told CNN.

In a world where everyone wants to take away our gun rights, carrying a firearm to a TSA checkpoint is not helping our cause…  Be a responsible gun owner.  Think before you holster.

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Old World Cool…

While I do love most tactical rifles, I have always had a real soft spot for Custom Wood Stocks.  While I do own a few “luxury grade” rifles, Evan at Northern Riflestocks is in a World of his own…

From insane 10/22 stocks to amazing carbon/wood hybrids, Northern Riflestocks has a flare for the exotic.  I am particularly struck by their custom bench rifles.

Check our Northern Riflestocks Website at the “Friends” link to the right.

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Back and Changing Our Core Values…

So, after laying dormant for over a year, The Gun Diary is back to business!

While originally intending to post 5 times per week on my own, I have now “focused” my goals and enlisted some help. Stay tuned for more updates and gear reviews in the coming days, weeks and months…

As always, we still want guest writers. Just submit your gun, shooting and gear review/testimonial/rant/story and we will likely post it!

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