Nothing earth-shattering from Stag at this yearâ€™s SHOT Show, but they did have the new Stag Model 8T – Tactical Piston Carbine.Â Alright, before you get too excited, this is a Model 8 with the addition of the modular free-floating VRS-T hand guard.Â Yep, thatâ€™s it!
Before I get too negative with Stag I have to admit that this is a pretty nice hand guard.Â The VRS-T takes on a triangular shape with the base wider than the top.Â This handguard is made by Diamondhead.Â It mimics the original AR-15/M-16 hand guard in a way, but the VRS-T goes way beyond that.Â The VRS-T is a modular hand guard that allows you to deck out your AR-15 to your wildest dreams.Â Just add some rail sections to the pre-drilled holes and youâ€™re ready to go tacti-cool!Â Stag even offers VRS-T rail sections (3â€ for $15, and 6â€ for $22).
In addition, the VRS-T has angled cuts on the bottom portion of the hand guard that allow the support hand to take up a very natural grip on the rifle.Â The VRS-T is made from aluminum, but is also smaller in dimension than many other hand guards.Â Phil White at The Firearm Blog picked up on the fact that the VRS-T has a proprietary barrel nut.Â The VRS-T is bolted to the barrel nut by (2) bolts on the bottom side of the hand guard.Â Although not a big release, this new addition is a very nice one at that.
And I was reminded by their brochure that it has only been 10 short years (in May, 2013) that Stag came into the wonderful world of AR-15â€™s.Â So I give a well due congratulations to a company that has produced some great rifles that the every day man can still afford (or used to).
In case you didnâ€™t know the Model 8 specs, here they are:
- This is Stagâ€™s gas-piston operated system
- Chambered in 5.56mm NATO
- Barrel – 16â€ with a chrome lining
- Twist – 1:9
- Weight – 6.9 lbs.
- Upper Receiver – A3 Forged 7075 T6 aluminum
- Standard safety
- Buttstock – Mil-SPEC 6-point collapsible
- Sights – Diamond Head flip up front and rear
- (1) metal magazine
- MSRP for 8T – $1245
- MSRP for 8TL (left-handed version) – $1275
Oviously that is the MSRP, and in this market you might look as high as twice those numbers – if you can find them at all.Â However, if the market hadnâ€™t gone thermonuclear over the last few months, I think thatâ€™s a pretty reasonable price for a piston-operated AR-15.Â Expect availability delays for the better part of a year.
Iâ€™ll put it out there for transparency that I own a Stag Model 8, and have come to really appreciate how well this rifle is made.Â It has been said before, by people far more knowing than I, but â€œdonâ€™t let the baseline pricing fool yaâ€.Â When you have a company that stamps its rifles with a huge antlered buckâ€™s head, you canâ€™t go too wrong!