We reviewed Charlie Sisk’s STAR rifle a year and a half ago, but Charlie hasn’t been resting on his laurels. Instead of just running with his precision rifles and cranking out the same thing time and again, he’s been hard at work perfecting the stock system he designed and adding a few new bells and whistles. We recently got our hands on one of his latest rifles that is destined to be donated in support of HAVA, an organization that helps disabled soldiers transition back to civilian life, and the differences are night and day . . .
I was planning on making this a full-blown gun review, but in reality the parts that matter haven’t changed. The rifle is just as accurate and just as reliable as when we first reviewed it, but the packaging has changed a little bit. So instead of doing a full review, I’m going to go over the differences in this article and update the original review to reflect those changes. Click here to read the original review.
If you don’t want to read the review, the Cliff Notes version is that it’s an accurate gun that I liked for its unique approach to improving the ergonomics of the rifle. The swiveling buttstock is an great feature, and it makes the gun much easier to shoot especially for people with certain physical disabilities — hence the HAVA tie-in.
The biggest difference, though, is the weight. Charlie’s original rifle was an absolute beast of solid aluminum construction, but using the knowledge he has gained from those early rifles he’s been able to slice out much of the material while maintaining the same rigidity and strength.
One of the tricks he used to make that happen is segmenting the front section of the stock and making it removable — the joint where they meet actually reinforces the stock and allows him to remove more material from elsewhere. It also allows him to offer different options with the same basic configuration, such as a built-in flashlight.
Another place where some weight had been shaved is in the buttstock. Charlie has hollowed out and skeletonized the stock to the point where there is pretty much nothing left. It still feels just as solid, but now there’s a handy compartment where you can put stuff.
I ran into Charlie at KSSF to hand him back the gun since I was scheduled to fly that day anyway, and apparently he has updated the design even more since this gun came off his workbench. There are some legitimately interesting things that he’s working on, and a couple law enforcement agencies in Texas are similarly interested in those improvements.
The reason I like the STAR so much is that it’s an accurate rifle with some innovative design elements, produced by a small shop in Texas. It’s different, and I always appreciate and encourage innovation. It looks like Charlie has continued to refine his design, and I look forward to what he comes up with next.