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Old February 3, 2006, 12:25 AM   #1
Dog Confetti
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DPMS Panther .308 Problems

I picked up a DMPS Panther in .308 not long ago and I am not happy. It's proving to be severly unreliable with all ammo.

Indian surplus will not extract ~100% of the time (I'm not suprised, probably underpowered).

Wolf will not feed ~25% of the time.

Good quality Remington and winchester will not feed ~ 50% of the time.

The rifle is accurate and a familiar system (AR style), but it may as well be an awkward bolt action so far and I'm not too stoked about it. Do they have a serious break-in period (I've put maybe 500 rds through it so far...slowly)? Are they junk (not from what I've heard before)? Should I sell it and get am M1A?

Anyone have any experience with them?
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Old February 3, 2006, 04:06 AM   #2
joshua
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Which magazines do you have? Plastic or metal? There has been talks that the plastic mags are junk and are 99.9% of the reason for malfunction. josh
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Old February 3, 2006, 09:12 AM   #3
John Ringo
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I have been pondering buying one of those actually. Let us know the result. Personally I've never pushed cheap ammo through any of my guns. Sometimes that has something to do with it...not always...but sometimes.
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Old February 3, 2006, 09:27 AM   #4
Chris Phelps
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I have to ask... why is it that when someone gets a lemon, their first instinct is not "hmm, should I return this?" but rather, "what a POS, lets sell it and never look back". I have to ask, why is it always the same response? If I read good reviews on a firearm, and then ended up with one that acted like this, my first step would be to call DPMS... not post on a forum about how much I hated it. I guess I am just wierd like that, though.
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Old February 3, 2006, 11:48 AM   #5
DnPRK
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A better description of the malfunctions would help in troubleshooting.

Does the Indian surplus remain in the chamber (extractor skips over the rim)? Or does it not clear the ejection port (short cycle)?

How does the Wolf/commercial ammo fail to feed? Bullet nose hung up outside the chamber? Cartridge head does not fit into bolt face? Shoulder hung on edge of chamber? Have you tried a different magazine? Metal magazine?

Remember that AR-10 clones are gas-operated guns that like medium burning rate powders with a fairly narrow operating pressure band.
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Old February 3, 2006, 02:41 PM   #6
rn22723
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Call DPMS and get some help! They have good customer service! Please try and work the system before trashing a gun on the boards!
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Old February 4, 2006, 03:18 PM   #7
Dog Confetti
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Steel 20-rnd mags.

The Indian ammo is remaining in the chamber, and extracts manually, so I suspect it is under powered.

The Wolf and Remington ammo extract, but fail to chamber a new round. The bolt goes home without making any apparent attemp to strip a new round off the mag...possibly enough pressure for the empty case to clear, but not enough to drive the bolt far enough back to pick up a new round. Might the recoil spring be too strong, or is it more likely a gas problem?

Wolf is cheap ammo, but I have NEVER had a problem with it in the past. The Remington is not cheap, it is high quality stuff and it doesn't even seem to do as well as the Wolf.

Ast to why I don't call the manufacturer first...well, I don't have an FFL, and I don't want to hear "send it to us and we'll fix it" cause then I'm in for a bad time...I would rather ask around first, and can do without the boiler-plate call center response "contact the manufacturer"...it doesn't help.
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Old February 4, 2006, 03:25 PM   #8
DavidJBlythe
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Sounds like you might have to send it back if its failing that much!!! What are you worried about?

And if you want to sell it, who would buy a rifle that wont shoot right?

What if the fix is something very technical that you wont be able to do at your house unless you have serious machining equipment? Plus you get to keep your warranty intact if you end up sending it back.
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Old February 4, 2006, 03:32 PM   #9
Rob96
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Quote:
Ast to why I don't call the manufacturer first...well, I don't have an FFL, and I don't want to hear "send it to us and we'll fix it" cause then I'm in for a bad time...I would rather ask around first, and can do without the boiler-plate call center response "contact the manufacturer"...it doesn't help.
Call DPMS, they will take great care of you. More than likely they will only require you to send your upper in, which you can do in regular mail. Before you do it, I would try running Winchester through it. They do specifically say not to use Wolf or foreign surplus int heir rifles.
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Old February 20, 2008, 09:19 AM   #10
Gordo70
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DPMS Panther .308 Problems

I know this thread is old but I figured I would let you all know about my experience with DPMS. About one month (Jan 2008) ago I bought a DPMS LR-308 AP4. I was so psyched! I immediately went to the range with a case of ammo and started plinking. Low and behold about 25 rounds into it, cases started getting stuck in the chamber. Once extracted I noticed that the rims were ripping off. I thought it was me so I spent the next several weekends trying different ammo, changing my cleaning techniques etc... no luck. I finally got fed up and called DPMS.
This is where it all counts.. I immediately spoke to service and they suggested I send in the upper..sounds like a gas problem the guy on the phone said. OK.. so I sent in the upper via the fastest shipping method possible (i wanted it fixed asap!). I figured I would have to wait at least a month before I got a response.... I called the following week and to my surprise they tested and fixed the gun immediately! I had the upper back the next week!
Seems the problem was a manufacturing defect in the chamber of the barrel. It was too small. Instead of trying to fix it (which many shops would probably try to do and screw things up even more)..they gave me a brand new barrel!! No questions, no hassles,..nothing!
I immediately went to the range and put about 75 rounds through it (cleaning during break-in as is recommended via the manual) without a single jam.
The point of this is that DPMS really stands behind their work. Though I don't understand why this had to happen to begin with (may be a problem with quality control) they stepped up to the plate and fixed the problem IMMEDIATELY.
THIS IS CALLED CUSTOMER SERVICE!

I can't wait to buy another DPMS..maybe a 7.62x39..or maybe a 5.56..who knows.

Last edited by Gordo70; February 20, 2008 at 10:30 AM.
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Old February 20, 2008, 09:41 AM   #11
hhrgprez
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DPMS customer service

I bought one of the 308 long ranges when they first came out. It cost me less back then than any 223 model. One of the magazines had broken feed lips, early plastic model. I called customer service, and they asked the dealer if the mag had been handled by other customers and possibly dropped. It wasn't in the bubble pack. In the end I was shipped a new mag and allowed to keep the broken one. I cut it down to use as a sled to single feed rounds. DPMS didn't build any short mags that don't extend below the trigger guard, as per match class rules.
This gun has been excellent in reliability and accuracy. If you are going to shoot one of these rifles off hand, buy the 18" model. My 24" model is way to muzzle heavy to balance.
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Old February 20, 2008, 11:52 AM   #12
velocette
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My DPMS LR 308B has been totally reliable with decent ammo. I did try some Indian surplus stuff that would not extract. That is, it stuck in the chamber. The extractor actually ripped the rim off of the fired case.
Any other ammo, Lake city and a wide range of commercial stuff & reloads have been totally reliable.
An interesting aside is that the fired brass from my rifle is very easy to re-size, as opposed to cases fired in other semi-autos (very difficult to re-size) and at least 3 US made bolt action rifles (a bit more difficult to re-size than my brass) Also, brass life is quite good with 4 ~ 5 reloadings per case the norm.
It has been a very satisfying rifle, very accurate & reliable.

Roger
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Old February 20, 2008, 02:51 PM   #13
john in jax
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OP is just over a year OLD but I too want to chime in with the fact that I am VERY happy with my DPMS .308's
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Old February 21, 2008, 09:19 AM   #14
Gordo70
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Reloads

Uh oh! You're going to void your warrantee with re-loads!
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