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Hook & Barrel
A Lifestyle Magazine for Modern Outdoorsmen

Stag Arms Pursuit Bolt Action with Silencer Central Backcountry suppressor

Running a Silencer Central-Suppressed Stag Arms Pursuit .308 Bolt-Action Rifle 

In this day and age of the Modern Sporting Rifle (MSR), there is an aura associated with hunting with a bolt-action rifle. The focus of this article is dedicated to the Stag Arms’ Pursuit Bolt Action. Stag makes it clear that the Pursuit is designed to appeal to the long-range precision shooter who also hunts, is not tied to tradition, and appreciates the nuances offered by high-end production rifles.

The Stag Pursuit chambered in .308 Winchester used for this Hook & Barrel review is a well-balanced 8.9 pounds. Other chamberings include 6.5 Creedmoor and 6.5 PRC. The Stag Pursuit .308 Win measures 37.5 inches overall length with an 18-inch fluted 5/8×24 threaded Ballistic Advantage barrel. A five-round AICS-style detachable magazine feeds rounds into the Pursuit’s chamber. 

Stag Arms Pursuit Bolt Action with Silencer Central Banish Backcountry suppressor
Running the Pursuit was enjoyable, especially with the Silencer Central BANISH suppressor attached.

The Stag Arms Pursuit .308 Bolt Action Price Point

The Pursuit’s $1,900 MSRP compares favorably with other similarly-featured rifles in its market sector which command $2,500 + price tags. Aero Precision, Ballistic Advantage, and VG6 Precision are sister companies to Stag Arms. This offers significant collaboration advantages. This pooling of resources is evident in the Pursuit Bolt Action. 

Pursuit Bolt-Action Remington 700-Compatible Features

While the Pursuit uses a proprietary action, it does follow the Remington 700 pattern opening access to a plethora of aftermarket accessories. For example, TriggerTech’s excellent Primary model trigger is installed on the Pursuit. The Pursuit’s action is machined by Stag’s sister company Aero Precision from 416 stainless steel billet. A pinned recoil lug is part of the action. A removable 20MOA biased Picatinny scope base comes mounted. The receiver, bottom metal, barrel shank, and muzzle brake are Cerakoted. The bolt receives coating for extreme durability, as well as its self-lubricating properties. 

Stag Arms Pursuit Bolt Action, Trijicon  Accupoint scope
The Trijicon Accupoint 2.5-12x42mm scope was easy to mount. It’s a solid all-around shooting optic.

Ballistic Advantage (BA) makes the Stag Pursuit’s barrel. The decision to go with an 18-inch barrel will be well received. For me, a 16-inch is just too short, giving away velocity. BA uses the highest quality 416R steel for the Pursuit’s barrel. In preparation for the button rifled process, the barstock is cut to length then drilled, reamed, and rifled. Using custom-designed blanking tools, every production barrel from BA carries match-grade tolerancing with bore uniformity of .0003” or better. It’s normal to see barrels coming off the BA line at less than .00015” variation through the entire blank. The barrel is spiral-fluted and Cerakoted black. 

Shooter-Hunter Friendly Hybrid Hunter Stock Details

The Stag Pursuit’s Hybrid Hunter stock is what catches your attention. It is modular with a billet 7075 center section for rigidity that the barreled action seats into. The forend and buttstock also connect to this center section. Aero Precision manufactures the Stag Pursuit’s stock. The stock has adjustable cheek riser height and length of pull, creating a stable and repeatable rifle fit to the end user.

The buttstock can be removed without tools allowing for convenient pack carry. The Stag’s flat forend comes with an M-Lok compatible rail embedded under it giving users options for sling and/or bipod attachments. A Picatinny rail spigot protrudes out the forend. M-Lok-to-ARCA-rail adapter arrives with the Stag Pursuit as well as an attachable bag rider for the bottom of buttstock all adding to flexibility in using afield. The multiple QD pockets and embedded M-Lok keep the stock clean with no protrusions. 

Stag Arms Pursuit Bolt Action with Silencer Central Backcountry suppressor
Stag Pursuit Bolt Action’s rear stock can be removed via one pin similar to an AR. This is convenient for reducing size for transport in a pack. Note how a Picatinny rail spigot protrudes out the front of the Pursuit’s forend for attaching bipods.

With all that said, the stock’s greatest attribute is the way it feels—both in your hand and when pressed against your shoulder. Thanks to a savvy mating of components, the Pursuit balances near the front of the receiver. This is important for any weapon considered for hunting. Carrying is comfortable when scouting or moving around with the chance of jumping game. 

Trijicon Glass & Silencer Central BANISH Backcountry Suppressor

While fortunate to have handled multiple Stag Pursuit Bolt rifles set up with various optics, my personal rig consisted of a Trijicon Accupoint 2.5-12x42MM optic and BANISH Backcountry suppressor. The Trijicon Accupoint 2.5-12x42MM optic was mated to the Stag’s upper receiver rail with 30MM Talley rings. The Trijicon Accupoint offers versatility with its wide power range while minimizing weight/bulk with a reasonable objective size. The 42MM objective gives you less weight and a lower mounting profile with outstanding glass clarity. The Trijicon Accupoint is one of the best-valued scopes on the market. 

The Stag Pursuit’s threaded muzzle was used to mount a BANISH Backcountry suppressor. The Backcountry is a fixed-length suppressor that measures only 5.5 inches in length and weighs just 7.8 ounces thanks to titanium construction. The compact size and weight translate into minimal interference with the rifle’s handling while still offering a six-baffle design that drops the decibel level down to 135 dB for .308 Winchester. The Backcountry is rated up to .300 RUM. 

Running The Stag Pursuit On The Range

The Stag Pursuit Bolt was sighted in at Echo Valley Training Center’s (EVTC) Range #2 with a 100-yard zero. Different .308 Win loads were fired from the bench to determine a base accuracy level. Various loads from Hornady, Black Hills Ammunition, Sig Sauer, and Federal consisted of a mix of hunting and match loads to illustrate the ballistic flexibility inherent in both the Stag Bolt and .308 Win cartridge. Examples of specific loads were Federal 168-grain Match, Black Hills Ammunition Gold 150-grain SST, Sig Sauer 165-grain CET, and Hornady represented by the 178-grain ELD-X. 

Stag Arms Pursuit Bolt Action
The super-accurate Stag Arms Pursuit Bolt Action is a great example of Stag Arms combining resources with sister companies such as Aero Precision and Ballistic Advantage in the form of action, stock, and barrel.

Other shooting consisted of off a bipod and/or tripod at clay pigeons at 300 yards (Nope, they weren’t in flight). Once the shooting sequence was started the Stag Pursuit was fired with the next 4.33-inch clay pigeon acquired as quickly as possible. The bolt is slick to operate and empties positively extracted and ejected. The Backcountry suppressor was threaded on and left in place for the majority of testing. A suppressor not only deals with noise/blast, but also acts as a very effective muzzle brake. The BANISH Backcountry suppressor allows you to spot your own hits/misses for quick correction if needed. 

Will This Stag Hunt?

The key with the Stag Arms Pursuit Bolt Action is out-of-the-box accuracy without having to resort to a trip to a gunsmith for tuning. It takes a back seat to no rifle in terms of precision accuracy, trigger, ergonomics, and reliability.  Let’s operate under the assumption that closer is better when hunting an animal versus focusing on scenarios more akin to a PRS match. Of course, if a 400-plus-yard shot presents itself as the only option, the Stag Arms Pursuit Bolt Action can handle that too. For more, check out stagarms.com.

Stag Arms Pursuit Bolt Action rifle with Trijicon Accupoint riflescope

Specifications: Stag Arms Pursuit .308 Bolt-Action Rifle

Action: Bolt Action Rem700 Pattern

Caliber: .308 Winchester

Barrel: 18 inches

OA Length: 37.5 inches

Weight: 8.9 pounds

Grips: Alloy/G10

Sights: N/A (Picatinny 20-MOA Base)

Stock/Finish: Tan Hybrid Hunter/Stainless Steel-Black Cerakote

Capacity: 5+1 (AICS mags)

MSRP: $1,900

PERFORMANCE: Stag Arms Pursuit .308 Bolt-Action Rifle

LOADVELOCITYACCURACY
SIG Sauer 165 CET                 2,6520.75
SIG Sauer 150 VenariSP2,6820.63
Hornady 150 SST2,5910.66
Federal 168 Match2,5830.75

Bullet weight measured in grains, velocity in feet per second (fps) and accuracy in inches for best 3-shot group group from 100 yards.

Editor’s Note: The H&B BOTTOM LINE is a rating system combined with useful commentary on the following aspects of the test gun. Each of the seven criteria gets a 1 to 5 ampersand score. Max score is 35. >>>> 30 is the final score for the Stag Arms Pursuit Bolt Action Rifle we tested.

Hook & Barrel Bottom Line box for Stag Arms Pursuit Bolt Action Rifle in .308 Winchester

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