Stag Arms Pursuit Bolt Action

By Jeff Johnston, FE Hunting & Shooting Editor

Stag Arms, the maker of budget-priced AR-15s.

That was yesterday. Today, the transplanted Wyoming company makes affordable ARs by the truckload, high-end ARs to show off, and now a do-all truck/backpack/tactical/target/ranch rifle that is as practical as any that has slipped through this grubby gunwriter’s hands in a coon’s age.

The Pursuit Bolt Action is built around a 700-style receiver with a pic rail top and an 18-inch fluted barrel in .308 Win., a 20-inch barrel in 6.5 Creedmoor or a 22-incher in 6.5 PRC. I chose the .308 because I’m not legally handicapped. The barrel is threaded and protected with a thread cap that I will surely remove and lose moments after I screw on Silencero’s Scythe suppressor. The bolt head is modular, as is the barrel, making this rifle capable of being rechambered without a gunsmith.  

Good job, Stag, for going with an AICS-pattern, 5-round detachable box mag. Bad job, Stag, for only providing one. Action-wise, though, this thing is solid.

That said, I lose count of the times I get all fired up about a new rifle because it looks the part and has all the features I want, but then I try the trigger and it feels as if I’m poking a cold colostomy bag with a rotten stick. It’s like building a custom 4×4 Jeep then putting Sam’s Choice tires on it. I’m not sure how such travesties are allowed to happen time after time, but I have a hunch it has to do with the manufacturer’s bottom line. Stag, on the other hand, sprung for Trigger Tech’s Primary Trigger, and it’s spectacular. It’s user adjustable from 1 to 4 lbs and mine measured 2.8 out of the box. For reference, Gunwerks uses Trigger Techs on its $12,000 rigs. 

Believe it or not though, the trigger isn’t the Pursuit’s claim to fame; its stock is. To describe it, I’d have to string a bunch of adjectives together such as synthetic, modular, Magpul-esque, tactical, rigid, adjustable and peg-boardy. Peg-boardy? Yea, it’s got recessed M-LOK rails, an Arca plate (think of a tripod mount for a camera) and QD cups embedded everywhere.There’s even a forward pic rail so you can hang all kinds of stuff from it. I screwed an M-LOK adapter for a Spartan Precision tripod on it immediately. The chassis-style stock is also adjustable for length of pull and comb height. Most notably, the buttstock is removable via an AR-15-style takedown pin and a dovetail joint so that the entire rifle can be stowed, in two parts, in a bag, truck hold, small travel case or—on exceptionally rough days—the bossman’s orifice.       

The Pursuit is versatile and just all-around handy. It would be a damn shame if it didn’t shoot. 

It does. I put three types of ammo through it including Hornady’s 168-gr ELD Match, 155-g. A-Max, and 165-gr SSTs, and all printed between a half-inch and an inch for a .75-MOA average. (The 168s shot the half-inch.) With accuracy like that, the Pursuit is quickly becoming my favorite rifle for everything. $1,800

Pros: versatile, take down for easy stashing, target-rifle accurate, modular, adjustable for fit

Cons: on the heavy side at 8.5 lbs, wish a spare mag fit in the recess of the stock 

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