Build of the Month

Build of the Month: Designated Marksman Stag

By Alex Fanning


Since 5.56 and .223 have taken over as the primary caliber of fighting rifles, .308 has been pushed to the designated marksman rifle (DMR). Bridging the gap between infantry rifles and precision snipers, the DMR can reach distances beyond standard AR15s while shooting faster from larger magazines than bolt guns with similar accuracy, making them ideal for a variety of applications and environments.

Though some will say the battle rifle is dead, we believe it has merely transitioned into a DMR role. To prove it, the high-performance STAG 10 Marksman serves as the foundation of our March Build of the Month.


Stag Arms Stag 10 Marksman

Chambered in .308 Win and sporting an 18” barrel, the Stag Arms Stag 10 Marksman was designed to ease long range shooting with lightweight ergonomics. While utilizing the DPMS .308 pattern for parts compatibility, the Marksman rifle sets itself apart in the AR10 category with precise construction and high-quality features.

The barrel is topped with a VG6 Gamma Compensator and clad in an M-LOK handguard. The nitride-treated bolt carrier group aids reliability while a Magpul MOE grip and MOE SL-S stock provide a stable and comfortable shooting platform.

On its own, the Stag 10 Marksman is a versatile, mission-ready rifle. It offers power, range, and precision at a comfortable weight. But to really be classified as a DMR, it needs a high-power optic to match.


Swampfox Warhawk 4-20x FFP

Though not our highest magnification riflescope, the Warhawk 4-20x is more than equipped for long-range use. Built on a 34mm tube with large, multi-coated 50mm objective lens, Warhawk delivers superior light transmission and glass clarity, further complemented by an adjustable rear diopter and side parallax turret for crisp focus throughout its entire zoom range. Every Warhawk comes with removable and interchangeable magnification throw fins for low-profile or quick-adjustment shooting, while push/pull locking turrets allow for accurate and protected adjustment on the fly with 0.25 MOA clicks and zero reset.

Available with two reticle options, we chose our Sharpshooter MOA featuring a glass-etched and illuminated 36 MOA holdover tree. With plenty of ranging to account for Colorado’s ever-changing weather conditions, the reticle makes accounting for elevation and wind shift easy when maneuvering from target to target. And its fully illuminated red reticle is easy to pick up when shooting in shadows or into the low light hours of the day.

Warne QD XSKEL Mount

Holding the Warhawk to the rifle is Warne’s QD XSKEL Mount, designed for modern sporting rifles. Machined from a single piece of 6061 aluminum, its one-piece cantilever design and skeletonized body provide balance to the rifle when combined with an optic with over 2” of forward cant for the perfect eye relief. Lightweight but durable, the mounted optic can be easily mounted and unmounted for transport or scope swaps with dual quick-detach levers.



We believe every rifle should be suppressed. Not only because we enjoy a quieter shooting experience, but because the right suppressor on the right host weapon can improve performance. And if you’ve been following along with our Build of the Months, you’d know we’re big fans of HUXWRX.

While not explicitly seen in our photos, the HX-QD 762 Ti suppressor is a key component of the Designated Marksman Stag build. After all, .308 is a full power round that throws a lot more force out of the barrel than 5.56. The 762 Ti addresses this by moving gas back and forth inside the can before slowly releasing it out the front at a cooler temperature. Equally durable and lightweight with Grade 5 Titanium and heat-treated stainless steel construction, the suppressor requires no weapon modifications, like an adjustable gas block, maintaining the rifle’s original components.

MODTAC Suppressor Shield

After a few mag dumps or full day on the range, any suppressor will get hot. Anyone who owns a suppressor knows the pain that is hitting their leg or touching a well-shot can. But have no fear, the MODTAC Suppressor Shield offers a 60% reduction in surface temperature and suppressor cool-down time thanks to its unique air gap and venting design. Made from carbon fiber, the cover withstands temperatures up to 1200-degrees Fahrenheit, ensuring it will survive any day on the range or in the field.

Simply slide the shield over your suppressor (up to 1.7” in diameter) and mount it to a front rail section of your handguard using the Universal Rail Attach Coupler (U-RAC). Shields are available in lengths from 5” to 9.5”.


Drew Meyer Defense Rail Covers

We kept accessories light on this build again, but every rifle can benefit from added grip and heat mitigation. Drew Meyer Defense M-LOK Rail Covers are our go-to, adding aggressive omni-directional texturing to an otherwise smooth handguard for a better grip when running and gunning.


Two Vets No Name V2

When not on the move, a tripod makes a stable platform, and the Stag DMR benefits significantly from shooting atop the No Name V2 Tripod with Area 419 Arcalock ballhead. The combination offers a secure, compact, and lightweight platform for quick stabilization and easy deployment from a backpack or range bag.

The Area 419 Arcalock Ballhead provides a steady mount for the rifle, preventing unwanted movement for precise shots on target. Its compatibility with Arca rails and fine-tuned dual tension ballhead enhances the tripod’s versatility and functionality, making it a key component of the build for accurate, reliable shooting.

Why We Like It

While the AR15 may get all the fanfare, there is still a place in our heart and gun safe for the AR10. The Designated Marksman Rifle is a purpose-built weapon for long-range speed and precision that outshoots both standard rifles and bolt guns in different ways.

Putting this build together, the Stag 10 Marksman served as the ideal DMR platform. Ready to go right out of the box, it provided ample firepower for reaching out to extended targets with our Warhawk precision riflescope. And though it’s a lighter build, the Two Ves tripod ensured we never had to feel the rifle’s true weight on the range.

If you don’t already own and shoot an AR10, we hope our “DMS” encourages you to build out your own.