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Thread: Dog's STAG Arms AR15

  1. #1
    I am awesome Dog's Avatar
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    Dog's STAG Arms AR15

    A few years ago while looking at getting back into shooting I was wondering ... just what type of rifle do I want? I had shot other's rifles while growing up but never owned one myself. So I began doing some research and at the time the AR seemed to be all the range. I figured it would be worthwhile to find out what all the excitement was about. In a nut shell the AR is a gas operated semi auto, not much functionally different than any other semi auto. The biggest differences the AR has with other semi auto rifles are in the appearance ... but what a difference that makes. As far as semi autos go one would be hard pressed to identify a more versatile rifle platform. And that is precisely why I settled on the AR for my first rifle!

    Having that settled it was time to figure out which AR to get ... the multitude of choices and options was mind boggling at the time. The amount of information available was staggering ... and that has only increased with the passage of time. Someone new to firearms looking for an AR today could quite possible be turned off by the deluge of information. But while doing research for my AR I happened to cross paths with Dillinger ... and from that point onward my fate was doomed!

    At the time I was looking at buying a rifle the 08' election craze was at ludicrous tinfoil hat speed. If one cold find an AR it was priced 2x what it was actually worth ... or it was backordered 12 months or more! The same reasoning's I had for choosing the AR platform - simplicity, adaptability, reliability were the same reasons why I couldn't justify dropping $2k on a rifle and I wasn't waiting a year or more for anything ... wasn't going to happen! So JD goes and puts the idea in my head to "build your own."



    I mean really now ... here I am with no firearms knowledge of the AR other than what I had read on the internet and seen at the LGS display cases and JD is suggesting I build one? My first inclination was that he was some loon who lived in the sticks of the great northwest. But after exchanging a few messages back and forth with him, hitting up Youtube for some build videos and reading about how others had built there own I figured ... why the hell not!

    And I'm here to tell you folks that it is not as hard as one may think. Nor does one need to drop a small dufflebag stuffed with cash on one to get a high quality rifle. Without any training, gunsmithing experience or special tools I managed to assemble the lower receiver. When the complete upper arrived from STAG Arms it was a matter of releasing the pivot and take down pins and mating the upper to the lower.

    S5031600.jpgS5032722.jpgS5031233.jpgSTAG Arms AR15 Lower Receiver.JPG


    But this thread will not be "how to build your own AR" ... that will be covered elsewhere. What I am going to show you are some of the simple upgrades, modifications and choices I made to really make my AR perform.

    The very first component I changed out was the trigger that came with the Lower Parts Kit (LPK). Upon advice and reviews I went with a Rock River Arms NM 2-stage trigger. The trigger installs exactly the same as a standard trigger but it's performance is completely different. It has a nice smooth and easy initial draw allowing for one to maintain precision shots and a very crisp break helping to maintain accuracy.

    During the assembly of the lower I took a tip from Dillinger and swapped out the grip anchoring screw (a slotted button head screw) for a hex head screw. It makes the installation of the grip sooooo much easier ... thanks JD. Along with the grip screw I upgraded to a Ergo comfort grip ... a marked improvement over the standard GI grip.

    Being that I was living in NY at the time a collapsible stock was not permissible by law. Once I moved out of NY I chose to install a CAA collapsible stock with the cheek riser.

    Another standard component I upgraded was the tactical latch on the charging handle. I installed a Badger Ordinance Generation 2 tactical latch and it has been a very worthy improvement. As mentioned here http://www.molonlabeforum.com/showth...x4-Storm-45ACP I end up with 4-5 months of cold weather where I need to wear gloves. So having a larger latch area for purchase really helps improve operator use.

    In the same line of thought with the charging handle latch when assembling the lower I installed an over-sized winter trigger guard. I can maintain wearing my gloves when shooting and they don't get bound up in the trigger area.

    Another component where oversizing is a benefit are the take down and pivot pins. The standard pins of the AR15 can be burdensome to manipulate ... add in the fact that a few months a year I wear gloves and it becomes damn near impossible. So an aftermarket set of Yankee Hill machine pins and viola ... breaking down the receivers just got that much easier.

    I changed out the standard clamshell handguards that came with the upper for a Sampson 4 rail handguard. This unit is a little pricey when compared to others but it is very solid and very well made. The 4 rails give one a wide range of capabiltiy to attach all manner of accessories.

    Not so much a modification as it is more an accessory but I added a Troy 2 piece front grip. It is a well machined piece of aluminum with good texture for added grip and the 2 piece design allows one to remove a section, thus shortening the overall length. An added bonus is that the grip can act as a storage compartment as well ... matches, string, batteries, etc.

    These simple modifications/upgrades have really made an improvement in the operation and use of my AR
    Last edited by Dog; 02-09-2013 at 08:15 PM.
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    Dog's STAG Arms AR15 build
    Dog's AR458SOCOM build

  2. #2
    Badassery NitroxAZ's Avatar
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    Great info Dog! I went the same route and built my own. I agree it was easier than it appeared and I know my rifle inside and out.

  3. #3
    Doug is currently out Dillinger's Avatar
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    Really great information and the parts you have chosen to "upgrade" are top quality. Nothing wrong with your taste brother!

    I can't take any credit that is offered by my good friend. My goal has always been to remove some of the stigma from gun culture. The AR is an excellent platform, and evidenced by the story above, it's not some black box of mystery that needs to touched only by grand masters of the AR realm. If you can understand how to put parts together and insert pins in round holes, you too can assemble a perfectly customized rifle to fit your needs.

    Great write up Dog!!

    JD

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    Later this year my STAG will be getting an overhaul ... since I built this rifle to operate at all times under any circumstances I plan on evaluating each component and making some "upgrades" ... more later
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    Dog's STAG Arms AR15 build
    Dog's AR458SOCOM build

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    Dog's STAG Arms AR15 v2.0

    it's later ... and a couple of components have arrived


    First up for upgrade is the sling attachment points. I opted to go with quick detach points to allow me to transfer my parachord sling from 1 rifle to another. I picked up these little beauties from TROY Industries in Springfield, MA ... ordered them online, had them at my door 2 days later. A little advert from TROY,

    The Pro Grade Rifle Sling Adapter enhances M4 stock reliability by sliding over the existing receiver extension, eliminating the chance of castle nut rotation. The Troy PGRSA allows the addition of an ambidextrous Q.D. swivel attachments without modifying the rifle. Constructed of hardened aircraft aluminum with a stainless push down button Q.D. swivel, this sling mount installs in less than two minutes with no gunsmithing required. Available in Black and Flat Dark Earth.
    IMG_1085.jpg

    second up isn't so much an upgrade as it is me getting around to properly equipping my AR with an optic. Introducing the EOTECH EXPS3-0 ... a 1MOA single dot holographic sight with night vision compatibility (don't have it but I would rather be able to than not) and operates on a single 123 battery.

    IMG_1087.jpg
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    Dog's STAG Arms AR15 build
    Dog's AR458SOCOM build

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    Badassery NitroxAZ's Avatar
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    Very nice upgrades.

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    Spartan Elite Seven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dog View Post
    Introducing the EOTECH EXPS3-0 ... a 1MOA single dot holographic sight with night vision compatibility (don't have it but I would rather be able to than not) and operates on a single 123 battery.

    IMG_1087.jpg

    Sweet. I got the 2-0.
    “Spartans do not ask how many are the enemy but where are they.” –Plutarch

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