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Old February 8, 2010, 12:37 PM   #1
KevinBeyerJr
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Should I go the DPMS route.

I have been putting a lot of thought into what I would get first once I purchase my first rifle safe. After seeing a lot of people keeping on raving about the possible ban of assault rifles that seems inevitable, I think I will probably put an AR-15 on layaway right after that.

My neighbor was raving about how great his DPMS brand AR was, and how the neighbor next door to him swore by it when in the Marines. He can be full of it at times, but I haven't heard much terrible about that brand. I am looking for something entry level that I can add on as needed. probably no more than $900 - $1K. I can always buy a scope, light etc afterwards. I am looking at something around .308 caliber, but not too small. I haven't shot a rifle since training in the Navy, so my accuracy won't be great, but I am looking for a good caliber that I can find enough ammo when I do go to the range. I also am curious about how many accessories/add ons would be available after the ban. I don't want to be too late.

Oh, and American made would be preferable.
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Old February 8, 2010, 01:06 PM   #2
geetarman
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I have a DPMS Panther Bull 20 in .223 and a Timney trigger as well as a DPMS LR308 light contour barrel .308.

Not a thing wrong with either rifle. They are stone cold reliable and I would buy them again.
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Old February 8, 2010, 01:32 PM   #3
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There's always impending legislation to ban this firearm or that group of firearms. By the time any legislation gets to it's final draft, it has changed many, many times. Knowing what will or will not be included, or discluded, in a piece of legislation is very hard to keep up with. The NRA-ILA does a pretty good job of keeping firearms owners informed. Check with them.

DPMS seems to have a pretty good rep.
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Old February 8, 2010, 01:45 PM   #4
firespectrum
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Some of the AR elitests will disparage DPMS because it's not ultra expensive, but most of that is BS IMHO. I have no complaints about mine in 5.56. I don't know if this is "too small" for you, but they make a .308 if that's more your style.

I bought mine in response to the Obama rush a while back too, but in retrospect I think the whole thing is a bit over-hyped at the moment. The Democratic majority is deceptive; a lot of the seats they picked up are moderate/conservative Dems in districts with lots of gun owners. As much as the Brady folks and the President would love to do something like an "assault weapon" ban, it would jeapordize a lot of those barely democratic seats they picked up by Bush-bashing. Between healthcare and their economic plans, I think they've got bigger fish to fry for the moment.

If it's an just excuse to get an AR, more power to ya! I love mine and I don't think you'll regret it. Just expect to spend a butt-load even if you get an entry level one, because you WILL want to get all kinds of crap for it and before you know it, you've spent more on accessories and ammo than you have on the gun, but man is it fun!
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Old February 8, 2010, 02:22 PM   #5
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I have the DPMS Panther bull 20 as well. Great rifle for the price. I have the chromoly barrel one.

All manufacturer's have issues from time to time.

I shopped for a long time and had my eye on RRA and Bushmaster varmint models but there was waiting list, I didn't want flutes as with the RRA and Bushy, and I liked the bull barrel profile. The DPMS was cheaper by $200, and has a plain single-stage trigger, whereas the RRA and Bushy had the NM trigger in their varmint models.

I'm upgrading to JP rifle trigger for $200. I'm still cheaper than the other 2 brands.

I've shot some Bushy, a Colt and a handful of mixed parts guns. Mine is the most accurate for the price. It can consistently shoot .5MOA with a variety of loads in 1:9 twist barrel.
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Old February 8, 2010, 03:09 PM   #6
geetarman
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Forneyrider,

I was also interested in the JP trigger for my Panther Bull. I bought mine from an LEO who has an FFL and side business and he ntold me I would be MUCH better off with the Timney trigger.

I am glad I listened to him. He said, and I agree, the Timney is better than the JP.

I have shot some DPMS with the JP trigger and I have to agree.FWIW.

Last edited by geetarman; February 8, 2010 at 03:11 PM. Reason: Spelling
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Old February 8, 2010, 06:17 PM   #7
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DPMS doesn't have a great rep among EBR nuts mainly due to their bolt carrier groups. Their gas keys are usually staked poorly and I've seen a few too many photos of broken bolts at lower round counts. Eventually (shoot enough rounds through them) just about any AR bolt is going to let go due to the heat they experience, but if I bought a DPMS I'd be restaking the gas key and probably buying at least one spare bolt (if not an entire BCG) just for when/if it does let go.

My only direct experience with DPMS is with their lower parts kits- they weren't as easy to install as the RRA kits and the hammer pins liked to walk (even when properly installed).

DPMS would not usually be on my short list of rifles unless I was looking at a varmint style (they seem to be pretty competent for that). It doesn't take much more to get a better rifle.

In the price range you're looking, I would probably look at Rock River for a complete rifle or, if you're willing to do a touch of piecing together, get a Bravo Company upper, BCG, and complete lower and add the handguards and rear sight of your choice.
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Old February 9, 2010, 06:01 AM   #8
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The key pieces I took away from your post is $900-1K and .308. That narrows your field quite a bit.

The rifles in this category are referred to in many circles as "AR-10" rifles, since the receiver is larger than an AR-15 in order to accept the larger .308-length cases and all that comes with it.

In the DPMS offerings, a couple of the LR-308 variants can be had in that price range. Their low end offering is the Sportical in .308 (craniums up, there is also a 5.56 Sportical). It is a no-frills rifle with adjustable stock, railed gas block and receiver, no sights, and a non-free floated handguard. MSRP on them is ~$900 IIRC, but you can find places selling them for less (RGuns shows $840).

From there, the LR-308s vary in barrel contouring, stock config, handguards, etc. I own one, an LR-308B with an 18" bull barrel, free float handguard, A2 stock, and I love to shoot it. I've owned it a couple years now and have no complaints. With a bipod and Nikon 3-9X40, its rock steady and shoots better than I can as proved by a lead sled.

There are a lot of AR afficionados around here and you will get many recommendations for other rifles, but in that price range, I think many of those rifles will be above it.
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Old February 9, 2010, 08:41 AM   #9
Way Tall Whitey
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FYI, I tried to buy a DPMS from Impact Guns, they sent me an email saying essentially that because DPMS was so back ordered they couldn't give an accurate delivery date and recommended that I shop around some more. Of course this means nothing if you're buying off the rack....
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Old February 9, 2010, 08:58 AM   #10
KMO
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Get a Mini-14

Kevin...By your description in the OP and your budget, I think what you really want is a Ruger Mini-14 in .223. After all, why buy a plastic AR when you can own a man's gun?

(Hey guys...It's about time someone reversed the trend here...Try to find a single FL thread about the Mini-14 where someone hasn't posted, "Get an AR instead.")
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Old February 9, 2010, 10:01 AM   #11
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Search is your friend...

Here's a recent non-scientific, likely biased, user poll that may give you some ideas as to the relative popularity of various .308 platforms on this forum. Just in the 'for-what-it's-worth' department:

http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/...d.php?t=390015


There are one or two other threads like this one in the archives.....
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Old February 9, 2010, 10:27 AM   #12
uncyboo
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Quote:
Try to find a single FL thread about the Mini-14 where someone hasn't posted, "Get an AR instead.")
Amen Brother. Good one.
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Old February 9, 2010, 10:47 AM   #13
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The nice thing about the AR platform is how much cool stuff you can do to it cheap. Name brand vs. no name is going to equal how many features you get for under your price point. I like DPMS because they are a fellow UFC sponsor lol. But I am also partial to Rock River Arms because they were one of the first companies to adopt my Guns On Demand system to connect their consumers with their dealers.

I have to say guys that I am amazed every day at how much expertise is freely shared on this board. Y'all aren't always the friendliest bunch, but you sure do help some people out who are trying to figure out our game. It's great to see. You are building the next generation of shooters and voters and doing a great service to freedom in America.
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Old February 9, 2010, 10:54 AM   #14
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I had a DPMS free floating bull barreled 20" AR about 10 years ago...or so...had to buy one of those pieces of plastic to tighten up the fit between upper and lower, scoped it with a leopould (sp?) 6X and a JP interprise trigger. It was by far the heaviest, best trigger pull least accurate AR I have ever owned, but at least I lost money on the deal.
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Old February 9, 2010, 05:24 PM   #15
88KEYS
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AR-15

I think you can’t go wrong with an AR-15, I have several, Colt, 2 Bushy, Alexander Arms, and they are very accurate and just handle very well. I was at the local Cabalas the other day and they had a nice Bushy M-4 for $900.00 and change, (Sale Price) they have frequent sales. The thing about the AR-15 is once you have one you can buy an extra upper and have a different gun.

I think that Rock River is a fine gun, Bushmaster makes a good gun also, the DPMS has change ownership of the company a year or two ago. The early models did have some problems; the new ones are really good. I have seen a new one at the range, also a recent review placed DPMS high on the list. It might take time but one other thing is they allow you to order it like a pizza, different options.
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Old February 9, 2010, 06:25 PM   #16
geetarman
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So. . .Salvadore,

How do you really feel about DPMS? Just curious.
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Old February 9, 2010, 06:26 PM   #17
JDTech
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DPMS

Check out www.nelsontactical.com I just bought my first AR platform from them. A semi-decked out LR308. Very good prices and LOTS of rifles in stock. Very nice people and super fast shipping. I have not got a chance to go shoot it yet due to the weather here , but it is a very impressive looking beast. Will post pics sometime when I can take some.
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Old February 9, 2010, 08:24 PM   #18
KevinBeyerJr
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I just fell in love

I couldn't help but look into the Mini-14 thanks to uncyboo and KMO, and build it in my head before I looked for concept pictures. Strange enough to say, someone built my perfect Mini-14 already. I have been looking more towards the Ruger Mini 14 w/ the ATI stock.

http://www.perfectunion.com/vb/showthread.php?t=74145

No offense to die hard various AR-15/10 fans, but they all look too similar to know what kind without looking for the brand. Call me old fashion, but I love the look and features of the Ruger Mini-14.

Also, if Sfendt is part of this forum as well, thanks for sharing and lots of respect towards you.

If anyone has tips or know where to get the different accessories on the pictures of that, let me know. I will probably go with a different scope, but everything else is what I have in mind.
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Last edited by KevinBeyerJr; February 9, 2010 at 08:26 PM. Reason: Forgot something.
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Old February 9, 2010, 10:15 PM   #19
turbotype87
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AR15

I have a Stag model 4, in 5.56mm built here in Connecticut and is really a piece of art. A real accurate rifle. Ammunition is still cheap enough to buy. I looked at a DPMS rifle and wasn't impressed with it. Personal preference. But everyone has different opinions. I bought mine last year and have put roughly 500 rounds through it and never had any problems with it.
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Old February 9, 2010, 10:25 PM   #20
KMO
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Quote:
If anyone has tips or know where to get the different accessories on the pictures of that, let me know. I will probably go with a different scope, but everything else is what I have in mind.
I can help you with anything you need for a Mini-14. Welcome to the few, the proud...
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Old February 10, 2010, 12:20 AM   #21
KAK
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NEVER jammed my DPMS. It has thousands through it. I planned on buying a LaRue after I killed the DPMS but I cant see that happening any time soon.

Am getting-
Trijicon Reflex
Vortex Flash Hider
BCM gunfighter charging handle
Timney 3lb single stage trigger
CMMG 22 conversion

Its got-
TLR2 on the bayonet lug
Magpul MOE furnature FDE
12 PMAGS
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Old February 10, 2010, 01:39 AM   #22
TheManHimself
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A Mini is cheaper than an AR-15, at first, anyway...

One thing to keep in mind with the Mini, due to differences in overall design, the money you'll have to put into a Mini to make it as accurate as an AR with a good barrel, will generally equal or exceed the cost of buying an AR with a match-grade barrel in the first place. An AR with a quality barrel and scope will often be a sub-MOA rifle out of the box. I dare anyone to show me a factory Mini-14 doing consistent sub-MOA 10-shot groups.
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Old February 10, 2010, 07:07 PM   #23
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I dare anyone to show me a factory Mini-14 doing consistent sub-MOA 10-shot groups.
mm-hmm...I dare anyone to show me an AR that can fire 100 straight rounds without becoming a jam-a-matic...

Accuracy is important, but reliability will save your life grasshopper...
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Old February 10, 2010, 07:18 PM   #24
MosinM38
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^^ Above post^^.

Oh really?

No offence, but paying that much money to get it to shoot "Regular heavy barreled AR15" groups would buy a "Match grade target barrel"?

First, a regular heavy barreled AR15, let's put it at say....$900?
A match grade heavy barreled AR15....ummm let's say $1,000? Maybe $1,100?

Now even with Mini14's going overpriced at around $600 for new old styles, or $500 for lightly used old styles, or even $750 for new style Mini's....

You got roughly $600 to spend differance? Where/how/what can you spend $600 on accurizing a Mini14?

The barrel harmonizers Harbar's,etc.etc. are around $150-$180....
Yeah, it's getting up there, close to $800 for a fully accurized Mini....

But it's not the price of a "match grade ar15". It's more along the lines of a basic AR15.


I'll go on record with this: I own both an AR15 and a Mini14 (And an AR180B but I'll leave it out this time), and like both equally well. Both have their seperate roles.

Dad's Colt HBAR (Heavy Barreled)
Price: $950 (Purchased 14 years ago just prior to 94 AWB)
Accuracy: .5" with handloaded 55 grain softpoints, 3/4" with Sierra 69 grain hollowpoints. 1" with Black Hills Softpoint, 1.5-2" with XM193.

AR15.
Price: $740 assembled from Doublestar lower, Bushmaster upper. 20" flat top.
Accuracy: 3/4" with sierra 69 grain hollowpoints. 1 1/4" with Black Hills Softpoint, 1.5-2" with XM193.

Mini-14:
Price: $450.
Accuracy: 3-4".

Now. Upgrade time: Loosen barrel band. Add Butler Creek Folder at $90
Price: $540
Accuracy: 1.5" with Black Hills Softpoint. 1.5-2" with XM193(Only fired test groups, 7 or 8 times, as 5.56 shouldn't be shot in a Mini).

Even if I added a barrel harmonizer, the price would only be at $700. Equal or a fraction lower than my AR15. And that's including the $90 I plunked down for a tacti-cool folding stock that I wouldn't need.

I AM thinking of getting the barrel harmonizers. If I did, I am pretty sure the groups would drop even more.


I will now apologize and say I sorta got on a rant. it's a pet peeve of mine where people say a Mini is teeeaaaarible and you spend as much getting them to shoot as good as an AR15.

#1. A Mini14 WON'T shoot as good as an AR15. People who buy Mini-14's don't expect to shoot .5" groups all day. Yes, if you try to get .5" groups out of a Mini14 you would spend as much as a match grade AR15. (Note: but .5" groups are usually shot with match grade AR's too).

#2. Mini14's are overpriced right now. I'll admit that. But even then, a Mini14 plus the cost of a barrel harmonizer, Jeeeessstt equals the price of a basic entry AR15.

#3. You also likely won't notice the differance unless you use Match ammo. AR15's suffer from using generic softpoints/HP's more than the average Mini14.

#4. Keeping #1 and #2 in mind. A Basic entry AR15, and Upgraded Mini14 cost roughly the same. Accuracy with the Mini is a little less. But it's not doom and gloom drain $600 to get a Mini14 to basic entry AR15 levels.

#5. Again: Every person, before buying a barrel harmonizer TRY...loosening the barrel band. It's worked on 3 Mini14s owned locally, 2 I've suggested to onliners to try. 2 onliners tried and it didn't work. But 5 out of 7 is good odds.


Edited addon for post #23. Okay , I'll show ya dads Colt HBAR.

Chewed through over 350 rounds shooting praire dogs in one day, not a glitch other than a mag acidentally locking back the bolt with ammo still in the mag.
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Old February 10, 2010, 08:23 PM   #25
mdd
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I have a dpms sportical in .223 i'd be pleased to sell the topic starter. Not because it has performed anything less than flawlessly but because having an 8 month old and the accompanying costs as well as a full time masters' student for a wife means I could use 800 bucks more than a toy in the gun safe.

Last edited by mdd; February 10, 2010 at 08:38 PM.
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