The San Tan Tactical Ambidextrous Lower Receiver
By Christopher R. Bartocci
The AR market is growing every day. Many of the new companies are just producing standard equipment but a select few are redesigning and making the equipment better, stronger and easier to use. Receivers have gone through a very significant change over these past few years. Instead of traditional forgings they have been made from solid billets of 7075T6 Aerospace grade aluminum. This is easier to manufacture, easier to keep tolerances as well as giving the designers and engineers a blank slate to design from.
In August of 2012, San Tan Tactical out of Chandler, Arizona opened their doors. With Dennis Harless at the helm, their goal was to produce the most complete ambidextrous lower receiver on the market. They desired to make one receiver for all that would avoid all the costly add-ons and to make the receiver more user friendly regardless of which hand is dominant. In October of 2013, his vision came to fruition and they introduced the revolutionary STT-15 receiver.
What sets this receiver apart from the norm? Many things actually. Starting from the rear, there are two integrally machined QD sling swivel attachment points machined into the rear of the receiver. The selector markings on the STT-15 are pictograms. Safe is a projectile with and X through it, semi is a single projectile and auto has a projectile with “t” lines behind it. This lower receiver was received with the Battle Arms Development EPS or Enhanced Pin System, which are patent pending. These pins have a better gripping surface without the use of oversized heads. Also, the pins have a bullet detent tip guide and are low profile. This STT-15 was also received with Battle Arms Development Ambidextrous Safety Selector (BAD-ASS). Although these are not a standard item, the STT-15 receiver can be ordered with it. This is a very comfortable and adaptable safety. Additionally, the STT-15 lower receiver features a tensioning screw to tighten up the tolerances between the upper and lower receivers as well as a well thought out trigger creep adjustment set screw that improves the Mil-Spec fire control up to 80%.
The right side of the receiver has the magazine release button in the normal location but the button has an aggressive dimpling on the face making it a no slip surface and easy to manipulate. Above the magazine release is the ambidextrous bolt release. The bolt can only be released with this lever. If you desire to manually hold the bolt to the rear you must depress the lower portion of the bolt catch on the right side. On the left side you have the bolt catch in the traditional location. The bolt catch has the same aggressive dimpling as the other buttons. Below that is the ambidextrous magazine release that is actuated by the left trigger finger on the bottom of the magazine well. This is the ideal location for an ambidextrous magazine location as it is very easy to reach. The magazine well features an STT acclaimed “Industry’s widest magwell flare.” It is opened up so wide it allows for easy insertion of the magazine. This comes in handy for high speed magazine changes under stress and in low level to no light conditions. The front of the magazine well has horizontal grooves for increased hold under abnormal conditions and harsh environments. Thanks to the huge magwell flare you will be hard pressed to lose your grip.
They cut their receivers from aerospace grade 7075-T651 aluminum billets on a brand new Haas EC400 pallet pool CNC machines. STT’s receivers then undergo a hard coat anodize process to Mil-A-8625 Type III specification for a flat black color. The test and evaluation lower receiver was impressively machined and very well thought out with well-defined lines and no visible machine & tooling marks. The lower receiver was assembled with a VLTOR Modstock assembly, Magpul MIAD pistol grip and a HIPERFIRE 24 match trigger. The upper consisted of an Aero Precision upper receiver without forward assist, LMT 16 inch barrel and Otis CRS-2-74 free float rail. The bolt is a custom Colt bolt carrier group without forward assist notches. The rifle performed as intended. The controls were very easy to manipulate regardless of right or left hand operation. The charging handle used was the AXTS Raptor, which also added to the complete ambidexterity of the rifle. The STT-15 is truly a one hundred percent ambidextrous lower receiver and is easier to operate right or left handed than a Mil-Spec receiver.
With a MSRP of $299.99, the San Tan Tactical lower is higher priced than a standard lower but considering what you are getting, the price is very reasonable. The STT-15 has several patents pending as well. San Tan Tactical has informed SAR that they are working on several projects they expect to release this year. They will be offering matched billet upper and lower receiver sets. These will be right handed as well as released in left handed configurations. This will put San Tan Tactical as the only manufacturer in the industry to offer billet left hand upper receivers. These are patent pending as well. Soon to follow will be 7.62x51mm/.308 Win upper and lower receivers with a few San Tan Tactical touches.
San Tan Tactical offers military and law enforcement customers selective fire variations of their lower receiver. Although a very new company, they make a very well thought out and precisely machined receiver. The quality of the feature set as well as the extremely tight tolerances of the STT-15 make this receiver unmatched in value and quality. With the quality, price point, features, and the new products, San Tan Tactical will be a force to be reckoned with in the area of high quality ambidextrous small arms in the industry.
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