The Bureau of Justice Statistics suggests that, by modest estimates,…

The Bureau of Justice Statistics suggests that, by modest estimates, there are over 17,900 agencies in America employing over 765,000 sworn officers—that’s just state and local agencies. If we estimate that only 10 percent of those agencies have tactical teams, that’s 1,790 teams. Next, consider that, aside from those teams and the officers they employ, there are throngs of individual officers who have enough interest and investment in their duties and personal safety to purchase their own long guns for duty use. Add to that the military veterans with experience and interest in rifles who are reentering the civilian world; enthusiasts and consumers outside of law enforcement who have tactical interests and concerns; and those involved in shooting sports such as 3-Gun competition and you’ve got a huge market for serious tactical rifles. It’s also doubtful that anyone would argue against AR-15-platform rifles as the most popular tactical long guns around.

The Tactical Rifle’s upper and lower receivers are paired together by captured crosspins. The left side of the magazine well bears the STI logo and company name.

There’s no way to predict how many AR-15s the market will support, but I’m personally familiar with at least one popular manufacturer that has all but suspended its production of other firearms (since just prior to the 2008 presidential elections), just to keep up with orders for its wildly popular semi-auto black rifles.

Not surprisingly, a few years ago STI, a company with roots in shooting competition, began offering AR-15 rifles: the Competition Rifle and the Tactical Rifle. It wouldn’t be completely forthright of me to not admit that I’m a fan of STI and that my interest was first piqued by STI’s 2011 and 1911 pistols, including the Tactical 4.15 that I’ve carried in my duty holster and off-duty for the past four years.

The STI Valkyrie Tactical gas block is lightweight and concealed under the handguard and has matching slots for cosmetic reasons and a Picatinny rail on top.

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