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View Full Version : "M-4's in .308": Input Requested


Doc Intrepid
October 3, 2012, 11:07 AM
Allow me to apologize in advance if I've missed any past threads - I've used the TFL Search function with no real success.

I'm looking at buying a .308 carbine that is essentially an M-4 in .308 caliber.

Three that I've looked at have included DPMS, Rock River, and Bushmaster. Each of these appears below:

http://www.dpmsinc.com/308-RECON_ep_93-1.html

http://www.rockriverarms.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=category.display&category_id=400&CFID=249529875&CFTOKEN=56609397&jsessionid=f030d2714b3140586436

http://www.bushmaster.com/electronic-documents/2005Catalogv1/Page%206-7%20308%20Rifles.pdf

While each of the manufacturers offers more than one carbine configuration, in general terms I'm looking for a 16" bbl, flat-top receiver, with a foregrip incorporating rails.

Noveske doesn't appear to offer any .308 carbines similar to these, nor does Bravo Company or most of the other usual suspects. (If they do I couldn't find them on their websites.)

I have experience with numerous 5.56mm AR rifles, and the Remington R-25 in .308, but no experience with any of the 16" .308s.

I'm interested in input from folks on the forum who may know of any other manufacturers offering 16" (M-4 type) .308 carbines; and particularly those who already own them and have fired them. Are there any performance characteristics to these short .308s that would cause you to select one over another? Of the three listed, does anyone have any personal experience that would eliminate a manufacturer from consideration?

Thanks again for any input, and I'm sorry if this topic has already been beaten to death!

Doc

cmdc
October 3, 2012, 11:53 AM
I have a DPMS AP4 with the 16" barrel. DPMS sometimes gets ripped on the forums, but mine is a good shooter. It is accurate, with mild recoil, and has never failed me.

RyeDaddy
October 3, 2012, 01:53 PM
Colt 901 fits your description of what you're looking for.

I own a POF P-308 16.5" and it's amazingly accurate and stone cold reliable.

Both of the above options use DPMS/KAC pattern 308 mags, ala Magpul. this is a big plus to me for reliability and price.

Only downside to a 16" 308 is the sound level, LOUD!! Perhaps velocity loss also, but I've had my 16.5" out to 600 yards without issue.

Crow Hunter
October 3, 2012, 02:19 PM
What are you wanting to do with it?

Target shoot?

Hunting?

Personal defense/duty rifle?

I have shot a DPMS in .308, 1 round. The extractor froze and wouldn't eject the case. The bolt wasn't machined correctly. It was exchanged for a new bolt and then it was fine according to my brother. He sold it right after that.

I have 100 or so rounds out of a Larue PredatAR in .308 with a 18" bbl. Both suppressed and unsuppressed. Not a single bobble.

buckhorn_cortez
October 3, 2012, 02:39 PM
Les Baer Mid-Length Monolith .308 with a 16-inch barrel. JP Rifles LRP-07 with a 16-inch barrel. Knights Armament SR-25 with a 16-inch barrel. LMT .308 Modular Weapons System with a 16-inch barrel. LaRue Tactical makes several .308's with 16-inch barrels.

Then there is always the FN SCAR 17S with a 16.5-inch barrel. Not an "M-4" configuration, but is a .308 with front rails.

Destructo6
October 3, 2012, 02:55 PM
Check out the Colt SP901.
EATURES SP901
CALIBER .308 Win (7.62x51 NATO)
BARREL LENGTH 16.1" Heavy
BORE Chromed, 4 Grooves, 1-12" RH Twist
FRONT SIGHT Flip-Up, Adjustable Post for Elevation
REAR SIGHT Flip-Up, Adjustable for both Windage and Elevation
EXTENDED LENGTH 37.5
COLLAPSED LENGTH 34.24
Weight 9.4 lbs
Action Semi-Auto, direct Gas System, Locking Bolt
Finish Matte Black
Special Features 1-Piece Upper Receiver
Full Floated Barrel
Bayonet Lug and Flash Hider
Ambidextrous Controls
Accepts Mil-Spec 5.56 Colt Uppers

FrosSsT
October 3, 2012, 04:31 PM
Then there is always the FN SCAR 17S with a 16.5-inch barrel. Not an "M-4" configuration, but is a .308 with front rails.

If you got the $ I'd go with the SCAR 17s - Amazing rifle and by far better than most if not all .308 AR platforms

Doc Intrepid
October 3, 2012, 04:51 PM
Thank you gentlemen, that is exactly the sort of input I was looking for.



(Special thanks to RyeDaddy and Destructo6 for the smack upside the head over the Colt 901. For some reason I'd gotten the idea that the Colt 901 came out with a 20" bbl rather than the 16.1" bbl.)

Crow Hunter, the intended use is a personal defense/duty weapon.

buckhorn_cortez, I appreciate the list of other manufacturers.

I now have my work cut out for me to start researching the other options!

By the way, I've no familiarity with the FN SCAR 17S. Do any of you guys have some anecdotal information about these rifles?

Thanks guys.

RyeDaddy
October 3, 2012, 05:13 PM
By the way, I've no familiarity with the FN SCAR 17S. Do any of you guys have some anecdotal information about these rifles?

Not to down it, it's a good shooting rifle, but there's only one thing that really stands out in memory when I shot the SCAR 16 and 17. I thought "Man, this is super-plastic-y, I don't like the feel of it."

RT
October 3, 2012, 08:11 PM
LaRue Predatar 16
http://www.laruetactical.com/16%E2%80%9D-larue-tactical-predatar-762

KAC SR25 carbine
http://www.knightarmco.com/sr25.html

LMT MWS
http://www.lmtstore.com/complete-weapon-systems-firearms-guns/308-modular-weapon-system.html

buckhorn_cortez
October 3, 2012, 09:03 PM
I own a Les Baer .308 sniper. it is, without a doubt, the most accurate rifle I've shot and that includes my custom 30-338. That being said - it weighs a lot - nearly 14 lbs with the scope. It is NOT a field rifle, although you can shoot precision tactical rifle competition with it.

The SCAR 17 is a field rifle. If you want a rifle that is accurate, but you can carry in the field all day - that would be the semi-auto rifle I would choose in .308. I've shot them and they work really well.

tahunua001
October 3, 2012, 10:47 PM
alright well there's a couple issues with an M4 in 308.
1. the M4 is an AR15 type rifle while you need an AR10 type platform to chamber 308.

2. the M4 has a 14.5 inch barrel making it an SBR so none of those factory rifles come with the proper barrel length and you need to file some spendy paperwork with the ATF to make it such.

3. M4 is a select fire assault rifle, all AR15s and AR10s for civilian use are semi auto only, sporting rifles unless properly licensed and registered with the ATF.

now that the technicalities are out of the way. DPMS, remington and Bushmaster rifles are all the exact same so if I were to pick one of those three I would get the DPMS and save myself $500 on the name stamped on the side. rock river arms is a good company and I would pick one up in a flash if I could get a good deal on them but being Obama Scare 2012, prices on everything is outrageous.

availability on all of those are iffy most of the time at best, my bother has been looking for a DMPS ar10 for about 16 months and none of the LGS here can seem to get them in. DPMS stopped taking orders for a while on certain models (probably while the same factory was cranking them out with bushmaster and remington stamps instead) so I would say go ahead and get on a waiting list for a RRA, you might get it before they are outlawed.

nyc71
October 4, 2012, 12:42 AM
" mine is a good shooter. It is accurate, with mild recoil, and has never failed me"-cmdc
Same here
84043

Crow Hunter
October 4, 2012, 07:13 AM
Crow Hunter, the intended use is a personal defense/duty weapon.

Then based on my very limited experience and research I wouldn't pick any on your original list.

For a "duty grade" .308 AR type you are going to have to spend north of $2,000.

LMT, SCAR and KAC are the only ones that have ever actually been used in combat, if that is important to you. (It would be for me for a "duty grade" rifle)

I have held a LMT. (Actually it was ordered for me but I decided I didn't want it) It was VERY heavy.

I am currently babysitting a SCAR 17 and I have fired it quite a bit.

If it is something you are planning on carrying around, I would choose the SCAR 17 over any of the AR versions that I have handled or shot.

My reasoning is it is combat tested, and it is quite a bit lighter than even it's closest competitor.

The Larue PredatAR (one of the lightest AR .308 variants) that I am also baby sitting is a little bit heavier and quite a bit more nose heavy. However, it is signficantly easier to shoot and more accurate than the SCAR.

Belve
October 4, 2012, 07:20 AM
i have the dpms ar-10 and i love it, it takes all mags unlike the aramlite and it was around the 800 range.

RangerHAAF
October 4, 2012, 07:26 AM
I agree with your choice of Rock River as I own and hunt with an LAR-8 A4. The Elite Operator is slightly more expensive but I presume is just as accurate as the LAR-8. The Bushmaster is more expensive for the same quality, so I'd go with Rock River.

Belve
October 4, 2012, 07:27 AM
i have the dpms ar-10 and i love it, it takes all mags unlike the aramlite and it was around the 800 range.

lmccrock
October 4, 2012, 07:44 AM
i have the dpms ar-10 and i love it, it takes all mags unlike the aramlite
DPMS uses the same pattern as some others, but it does not take "all mags", not Armalite, and not FAL (like Rock River). Oh, Armalite just introduced a model which uses the KAC/DPMS/Pmag pattern (but in their case they are just going back to their original pattern)

Oh, DPMS does not make an AR-10; it makes a 308 AR-style rifle, but only Armalite makes the "AR-10"...and they have the lawyers to prove it.

Anyway, I have a DPMS, although it is a 20". No problems that were not of my doing (knocking loose the gas block on a prop during a match).

If money is no object, then LaRue PredatAR or OBR depending on weight tolerance and features. On a budget, DPMS is fine, but be sure it has a trigger upgrade - I have no good things to say about the stock DPMS trigger.

Doc Intrepid
October 4, 2012, 10:40 AM
The LaRue option(s) certainly appear to fit the bill nicely. They also appear to be top shelf product, with prices at or above $3K for the models I'd be interested in.

The Les Bauer rifles looked super accurate, but even in their spec lists they appeared heavy relative to the other options. There were other options, including Hogan Arms, that offered a more ideal platform at the same price.

http://www.hoganguns.com/firearms/firearms.html

Unfortunately, while I'd like to say "price is no object" that isn't the case. I've got to weigh price against other factors and select something that will meet the need, not necessarily the most ideal option. (Like the government, going with the lowest bidder! ;) )

Thanks for all the comments and recommendations, I appreciate the benefit of your various experiences and insight into the different platforms. It makes the decision less of a crap shoot, considering that its unlikely I'll have much of a chance to shoot many of these before making a decision.

FrosSsT
October 4, 2012, 08:18 PM
By the way, I've no familiarity with the FN SCAR 17S. Do any of you guys have some anecdotal information about these rifles?

The SCAR is one of the most extensively tested rifles in US history prior to being put in the field. There is a reason why the US special forces chose the MK17 as a battle rifle. The recoil is almost non exsistant for a .308 (It shoots almost as soft as my M4 in 5.56) It is very reliable, durable, and is very light for what it offers. The only complaint coming from operators overseas is the stocks (they are a bit flimsy because of all the adjustable features) If you do some research on the SCAR17 you will soon find yourself looking into buying one - and then you will become addicted. Its no tack driver, it was never meant to be, but it is an amazing all around battle rifle. The going rate right now is around $2600 with magazines at about $40

SVO
October 4, 2012, 10:06 PM
As I understand it, the Colt SP901 comes with a 20 inch barrel. The Colt LE901 comes with either a 16.1 inch barrel or a 13 inch barrel. I have not seen a SP model but I do own a the LE 16 inch model. No mention is made in the owner's manual of the LE model being able to accept 5.56 uppers, The Colt uses 20 round pmags, which can be had for around $20. The SCAR magazines I have seen are going for around $90-$100 each.

madcratebuilder
October 5, 2012, 07:35 AM
Oh, Armalite just introduced a model which uses the KAC/DPMS/Pmag pattern (but in their case they are just going back to their original pattern)

Those mags are called SR-25 pattern.

ArmaLite has the AR-10 16" carbine available in both SR-25 and M14 pattern magazines. The pre ban M14 mags are legal in ban states.

The best bang for the OP's buck well be the ArmaLite AR-10A (SR-25) A4 carbine.

http://www.armalite.com/ItemForm.aspx?item=A10A4CBF&ReturnUrl=Categories.aspx?Category=594408c2-b03e-4c8b-8713-83959df8252d

Forged upper and lower unlike some others, chrome lined barrel, C158 bolt, under $1500 street price.

griff383
October 5, 2012, 01:57 PM
I prefer having a rifle buffer vs the carbine. They do a better job of reducing recoil due to the size and weight difference. Just my .02 YMMV

FALshootist
October 6, 2012, 06:59 PM
If I can find a Colt 901, I plan on selling off most of my other rifles.

Crow Hunter
October 6, 2012, 07:07 PM
http://www.gandrtactical.com/cgi-bin/commerce.cgi?preadd=action&key=LE901

Supposedly in stock.

Doc Intrepid
October 7, 2012, 10:48 PM
Thanks Crow Hunter! Appreciate the link...

FALshootist
October 8, 2012, 03:32 PM
Thanks crow hunter, if they were able to get one they'll be able to get others.

Crow Hunter
October 8, 2012, 03:59 PM
Glad to help.

I saw where Grant posted it and thought I would share.

:D

moose fat
October 10, 2012, 02:13 AM
Another maker, http://www.cmmginc.com/category_s/1517.htm

I don't know about their .308's but their .22 uppers are fantastic and excellent service.

MikeGunz
October 10, 2012, 09:51 AM
Dont forget to check out the sig 716, been hearing good things about them.

gunfighter48
October 11, 2012, 06:33 PM
I have a DPMS LR 308 Oracle and love it. The DPMS Recon comes with a lot of what I put on my Oracle. I have 200 rds down the barrel and never had a failure of any type. Plus it's a sub MOA out of the box!! Here's a couple of targets and I'm not the best shot anymore at 64 years old. On the TAP FPD target the 4 shot group in the bullseye measures .655". the two "4" shot groups in the AMAX target measure .655 for the 3 shot small group by the bullseye and .757 for the other 3 shot group. The recon should do this well or better out of the box.

http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e11/gunfighter48/TAP168gr100yrd-1.jpg http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e11/gunfighter48/100yrdAMAX168gr.jpg

sailskidrive
October 11, 2012, 10:55 PM
How about a SIG 716? I previously owned a Bushmaster LR308 MOE 16" mid length carbine and the fit and finish on the SIG is far better.

In reality, the long action ARs are pretty impractical in the carbine format as you get all the extra weight of the platform coupled with the loss in velocity of a shorter barrel. If you must own the platform in 308 buy a full length precision gun as the 16" version really doesn't have any advantages over the 5.56.

Here is my SIG716 with a pic of the old Bushy below.


http://i669.photobucket.com/albums/vv54/sailskidrive/AR15/83cc42bf.jpg

http://i669.photobucket.com/albums/vv54/sailskidrive/1398658b.jpg

raimius
October 12, 2012, 05:43 AM
Playing around with Hornady's online calculator, it looks like their 168grain match ammo should stay above 1200fps until past 800 yards, when launched at 2300fps. Correct me if I'm wrong, but accuracy really drops off when it drops below supersonic (just under 1200fps at sea level). So, other than having a greater drop to compensate for and less energy at impact, why would 16in barrels perform so much poorer?

RyeDaddy
October 12, 2012, 08:08 AM
16" barrel doesn't perform poorer, that's just just his opinion. I completely disagree. Despite losing SOME velocity, it's still quite potent and capable of long range. It's 3 times the bullet of a 5.56, and 5.56 loses velocity out of 16" barrels too. My 155 grain loads are 2650 FPS at the muzzle out of my 16.5" P-308, same loads clocks 2850 from my 24" bolt action.

sailskidrive
October 12, 2012, 10:22 AM
Yeah... you're correct. I just reread my comments. The US Army competition team has pretty much proven that barrel length is irrelevant within 500 yards.

So the quality of the barrel is probably more important than length. I still prefer my SIG over the former Bushmaster...

If I was going to do this all over again I would buy a POF with a 20" barrel.