Friday, January 3, 2014

San Tan Tactical STT-15 AR15 Lower Receiver Review

San Tan Tactical STT-15 AR15 Lower Receiver Review

For those that exclusively scourer the internet for the cheapest AR15 parts in existence to cobble together a blem’ed $70 AR15 lower receiver, this San Tan Tactical SST-15 is probably not for you. On the other hand if you appreciate a flawlessly made AR15, loaded with well executed details and demand the best and don’t mind paying for quality then read on.

Despite AR15s being arguably outselling shampoo, some companies are struggling that offer nothing more than clone ARs with a different logo.  On the other side of that coin you see companies that are doing it right, setting a new bar for quality, features, and value and maybe even offering something we never knew we needed like San Tan Tactical’s SST-15 AR15 Lower Receiver that is dripping with precision and features.

San Tan Tactical is starting out small and growing smartly under the ownership of Dennis Harless. They have created a catchy brand with a site, marketing and product packaging that all scream the super premium that their lower receivers deliver. Thier Mission Statement was simple:

“At San Tan Tactical we want to leave a proud legacy of American Made firearm design. By innovation, superior performance, and value. American Made, through and through is the core value at San Tan Tactical. San Tan Tactical wants each and every shooter to be completely satisfied! Giving them absolute pride of ownership in each product we design and manufacture.”

San Tan also has a strong drive to rebuild the American dream one receiver at a time made on the finest quality American Made machine’s with the highest quality American made materials and all backed with unparalleled customer service at the heart of everything they do. Their company is driven on American chest thumping which I love.

Although this is a newer company, my buying experience was smooth and quick and in less than a week, my FFL dealer was calling me to pick up my new SST-15 receiver. After quite the drool fest at my FFL dealer we were all convinced that this has to be one of the finest quality and most detailed machined billet AR15 receivers made and certainly the most full featured.

When you have a show stopping gorgeous top of the line feature rich receiver like this, you can’t just install stock parts, you need to step it up a bit. By the time the build was complete I only ended up using two stock parts and one of those was thanks to the UPS 2013 Christmas shipping delay. 

I picked up a HiperFire HiperTouch 24C competition trigger with adjustable trigger shoe and mounted that with KNS Anti-Rotate Pins and also used KNS precision machined detents, springs, and Quick Release Pivot & Takedown pin set. 

The clean looking Ace Ultralight Stock was the obvious solution sold complete with tube, buffer, and spring from Model1Sales for around $90. The selector was supposed to be a BAD A.S.S (Battle Arms Development Ambi Selector Switch), however it still remains stuck in shipping limbo so I reached in the parts bin and used a standard selector for the build… just imagine it superimposed with your mind.  

You may have noticed the stock and grip look a little different. I had some time over Christmas to get creative with some the help of’s vast paracord selection. The result was using a survival bracelet cobra stitch to cover the stock tube loop and secure on a ranger bead pace counter with little skulls instead of beads and some significant custom work on a stock A2 grip.  

The grip finger wedge was ground off on the A2 grip and the entire grip was sanded flat. I then cut paracord slots on each side of the grip. The entire grip was then hand stippled with a ball tip wood burning iron and then the grip was laced up with paracord. The last little touch was a magazine paracord leash tipped with a stainless Niteyes S-clip at the bottom of the grip… its an Israeli Mossad thing that involves a coupled magazine and takes more explaining that I have here. 

The lower was paired with a YHM - Yankee Hill Machine Upper with 20" custom fluted YHM barrel. Other upgrades to the upper were a FailZero AR15 Bolt Carrier group, Nordic Components charging handle, and Nikon P-223 3x32 BDC optic.

YHM Upper w/ 20" Barrel, Nikon 3X Carbine BDC Scope
Just as there are different quality levels of traditional forged lower receivers, there are plain jane machined billet lower receivers and then there are the unique feature rich billet versions. I have seen some companies go just a bit too far delivering a lower with lines that do not match up well to the looks, lines, and styles of your average generic forged upper, but the San Tan Tactical SST-15 makes a $60 clearance upper look great.

Billet just offers the firearm manufacturer the ability to think and create outside of the box, however usually that means a beefier design, more flared magazine well, and cool unique looks with the same exact functionality as a regular lower forged receiver. In the end most billet receivers just deliver cool custom looks with the same old functionality and features. A few manufacturers have gone the extra mile to offer partial or ambidextrous functionality, and ergonomic improvements, however no manufacturer has ever taken design to this level.

Each SST-15 is miled from a solid chunk of 7075-T651 aerospace grade American aluminum on our brand new Haas CNC machinery which assures consistency and precision tolerances. Once milled, the finished receiver is then MIL-A-8625 Type III hard anodizing to assure the best corrosion resistant anodizing possible.

The HiperFire HiperTouch 24C Trigger Installed
The overall fit and finish is impeccable including the pitch black hard anodized receiver.  Stylistically, San Tan wanted to avoid the typical bulky billet look and instead develop an overall receiver that had a similar overall size as a forged lower.  Instead of a heavy extended magwell lip, they have created a huge funnel without adding much extra bulk. 

The extended trigger guard is thin and contoured that actually flows into the grip instead of the unnecessarily thick .25” guards like I have seen some lowers. The San Tan Tactical SST-15 has been lightened and strengthened in key strategic areas to retain strength but minimize weight.  Ergonomics were enhanced with a lot of extra contouring and radiusing and mitering of angles to deliver a more comfortable fit in the shooters hand.  

Look at the that HUGE magwell funnel
And then comes the barrage of features. A huge magazine well, integrated QD-Sling mounts on each side of the receiver with 45-degree anti-rotate stops, integrated ambidextrous bolt and magazine releases, ambi-selector switch bullet pictograms, Shooter Ready trigger finger rest just under the magazine release, oversized winter trigger guard, dowel/grub screws (no pins) assembly and extra grip on all the ambi releases, but the features do not stop there.

If you are into higher end AR15s you are probably familiar with receiver tension screws and their ability to tighten up a worn or loose upper. San Tan has gone about it a little different with a small nylon tipped screw that is barely noticeable looking into the receiver.  The tension can be adjusted via hex wrench after removing the grip. 

Yes that is actually just a customized A2 Grip
Also adjustable while the grip is off is the unique trigger overtravel adjustment which can make an OK stock trigger feel pretty good and tune up minute slack on a drop in match trigger. The trigger overtravel adjustment is a cool feature but probably the least used feature. if you are dropping $330 on this billet receiver then you are probably springing for a high end trigger like a Geissele, Timney, CMC, or in this case a HyperTouch which generally negates the use of an overtravel adjustment.

The final design delivers a true ambidextrous AR-15 \ M4 platform without a bunch of add-ons. Having been an occasional user of some of these bolt on Ambi-releases and levers, I feel passionately that this integrated SST-15 design is a far better way to go.  Usually all the add-ons just get in the way, on the San Tan SST-15, they are naturally accessed but clear of the trigger area.

San Tan Tactical designed the SST-15 to be the final answer in the AR/M4 platform with every feature the shooter could possible want in a design and finish quality that is executed with Swiss watch precision. This SST-15 is by far the most detailed and intricate of any AR15 receiver I have tested or seen with all the additional angles and finishing.

Sure the bargin buyer will be able to buy around five to six blemed clearance special standard forged lowers for the price of just one San Tan lower receiver, however then again I can buy about 100 watches for the price of my Tag Heuer or Resco timepieces. I enjoy the finer things in life and in this case, San Tan Tactical has delivered the billet AR15 lower that everyone else should aspire to.

Model:STT-15 L
Caliber: 5.56 NATO \ .223 REM, 300 BLACKOUT, 22LR, Multi-Cal, Custom Caliber Markings Upon Request
- Huge 1.38” Integrally Machined Magazine Well Flare
- Ambidextrous Quick Attach \Detach Sling Swivel Points With Anti-Rotation Stops Every 45 Degrees.
- Ambidextrous Bolt Release.
- Ambidextrous Magazine Release.
- Bullet Pictogram Safety Selector Markings.
- Set Screw Trigger Creep Adjustment.
- Set Screw Upper Takedown Tension Adjustment.
- Shooter Ready Finger Rest.
- Oversized Winter Trigger Guard.
- Dowel Screw Assembly.
- Ultra Grip Texture On All Controls.
- Action:Semi-Auto
- Weight:9.4 Ounces /268 Grams With Ambidextrous Controls 8.4 Ounces / 238 Grams Without Ambidextrous Controls.
- Dimensions:Length: 7.69” Width: 1.490” Height: 4.015”
- Material:Billet 7075-T651 Aerospace Grade Aluminum, Cast A-2 Tool Steel
- Finish:Aluminum – Matte Black MIL-A-8625 Type III Hard Anodize, Steel – Black Oxide
- Butt-Stock:Works With Any Mil-Spec or Commercial Buffer Tube and Stock.
- Magazine Compatibility:(Lock In, Drop Free Additional Magazines Will Be Added As Tested)
- Factory tested magazine function - 100 Round Beta Mag, 100 Round Surefire,60 Round Surefire, 30 Round Magpul P-MAG Any - Generation, 20 Round Magpul P-MAG Any Generation, 10 Round Magpul P-MAG Any Generation, 30 Round Mil- Spec Mag, 20 Round Mil-Spec Mag
- Component Compatibility:Works Will All Mil-Spec AR-15\M16 Components*.
MSRP $329.99

San Tan Tactical -

Other Products Featured
HiperFire HiperTouch -
Ace Stocks - -
YHM Upper w/ 20” Fluted Barrel -
Precision Reflex Carbon Fiber Forend -
FailZero Bolt Carrier Group -
Nordic Components -

No comments: