So perhaps one of your friends has a Stinger II, and you want to get in on the fun. Perhaps you want to be the first of your group to own one and make them green with envy. It really doesn’t matter what your motivation is: what really matters is picking the variant of the AR-6 Stinger II platform that is best suited to you. This blog will summarise the common appeals that each configuration has and some of their relative pros and cons.
The Tactical: the original Stinger II
If you know the Stinger II name, then the Tactical is probably what springs to mind. It is a good compromise in that it performs well in terms of speed, accuracy, and customization potential. As you’ll see from the rest of this blog, if you want speed of operation above all else, you’re probably looking at a Compact. If accuracy is absolutely paramount, with no concerns about rates of fire, the Survival is your best bet. If you simply want very respectable performance in both those areas, without choosing between them, the Tactical is the perfect choice.
The added advantages are that the Tactical is able to handle virtually all the limb strengths that Steambow offers, from 35 lbs CQ limbs all the way up to the 120 lbs MAGNUM limb. Having the distinctive 6-shot magazine, it can carry additional accessories too. Owners can upgrade with tuning parts such as the folding stock adaptor and the quick detach limb conversion. So it really is an incredibly versatile interpretation of the AR-6 Stinger II and, unsurprisingly, the most popular for all the reasons above.
The Compact: fast follow-ups
As mentioned above, speed is the Compact’s defining feature. On YouTube, one Stinger fan put all six arrows on target in four seconds. This speed is the result of three design features. The first is the cocking system. This is a straight pull design meaning you don’t need to move the Compact off the target, and you don’t need to coordinate both hands to load it. Just pull the cocking handle, release, and shoot.
The second is its weight and frame. At 800 g and lacking the shoulder stock of the Tactical, it is so easy to handle and manipulate. And finally, the third is the limb choice: the Compact comes with the 35 lbs CQ limb. That will still send an arrow flying fast enough, but it is far easier to cock. With that said, you can fit the TACTICAL 55 lbs limb to the Compact and still cock it fast, but it’s obviously that bit harder. The new 75 lbs ADVANCED limb should still be operable for most adults. Even at higher limb weights, expect the Compact to still be as fast or faster than the Tactical in standard trim, though the Tactical may have a slight edge in precise shot placement due to the shoulder stock.
The Survival: contingency against the unexpected
The Survival does not come with the 6-shot magazine. Many may cry out, “What’s the point in that?!” But the straightforward, single-shot recurve design of the Survival makes it extremely adaptable. For a start, the Survival is the only AR-6 Stinger II we recommend for use with our top-of-the-line HUNTING limb. At 150 lbs, cocking may be difficult or impossible with the cocking systems on the other Stingers. At a mere kilogram in weight, the Survival becomes an incredibly lightweight and portable hunting crossbow, where laws allow. Add to that accolade two more advantages.
Being a single shot, the rapid cocking system is not as essential, even though it comes as part of the kit. Because of that, you can replace the shoulder stock assembly with the quick detach stock. This means the stock can be removed in 2 seconds. Add to that the quick detach body and limb blocks, and suddenly you have a hunting crossbow that you can break down into three pieces in under a minute.
The other advantage (and also thanks to the absence of the magazine assembly) is that there is a scope rail. Fitted with a crossbow scope, you can achieve greater accuracy potential, especially at longer ranges.
Where each shines
The Survival is a pretty serious tool, as you’ve already read. You could conceivably pack it in a backpack and know you have a proper hunting weapon onboard if ever your thought you might put yourself in unpredictable situations. Beyond that, it can just be plain fun, where you want to have that feeling of calm as you focus all your concentration on hitting your mark in the back yard.
The Compact invites you to challenge your shooting under pressure: against the clock, on the move, trying to beat your friends’ best score. It’s also small enough and mild-mannered enough in 35 lbs trim to be useable indoors without risking passing through a door or wall.
The Tactical can do it all without being single-minded in its purpose. You decide if it’s for fun or serious practice. Are you competing in your garden in a friendly match, or are you practicing good weapon handling and trigger technique without a trip to the firing range? It’s all possible.
So now you have an idea of where each performs best. And if you want to know more, why not write to us and tell us what you want to do so we can let you know if your choice will fit the bill?