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Old December 1, 2012, 12:51 PM   #1
ratshooter
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DPMS Rifles

I don't have an AR but do have a Mini-14 I like a lot. I really don't like the way ARs look with all the rails and stuff on them. I like the original look they had when you see them in the old vietnam war movies. I found this on the DPMS site and wanted opinions on their rifles. Thanks in advance.

http://www.dpmsinc.com/A1-LITE-20_ep_109-1.html
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Old December 1, 2012, 01:25 PM   #2
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I have a DPMS rifle that I accurized. it is a pre-Cerberus model meaning it was manufactured prior to remington purchasing the company so I can not vouch for current stock. however it is easily an MOA rifle with the cheapest of the cheap ammo, SUB MOA with the best of the best. I have never had a part break or a single failure that was not ammunition induced(IE double charged rounds sticking in the chamber). for a baseline rifle that costs less than $600 this is a great gun. I do not shoot more than 1,000 rounds a month, in fact I don't even shoot that in a year anymore and since there is no corrosive 5.56/223 ammo, a chrome or melonite lined barrel is not necessary for my uses. I also hate the look of rails but I also hate the way that a "cookie cutter" AR feels in hand so I opted for a free floated tube hand guard from badger ordnance and upgraded the trigger to a rock river arms 2 stage. it will be very hard to get me to part with this rifle. I wholeheartedly recommend them to new users that are just getting acquainted with the AR platform and when you have determined your likes and dislikes you can either trade up for a higher end model or you can do the cheaper option and just swap out the parts that you do not like and keep the ones that you do. you'll save hundreds in the long run.

two other options in the same price range would be the palmetto state armory PSA15 or smith and wesson MP15 although I kindof have a bug up my rear about S&W ARs and their fan base but they do have a cult following there may be something to it, there may not.
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Old December 1, 2012, 03:20 PM   #3
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I'd keep looking. DPMS will do the job but like many others they cut a lot of corners along the way. Areas affected are the barrel (steel, testing, twist, lining, etc.), bolt/carrier, sight height, buffer weight, receiver extension diameter and alloy grade ... and more.

PSA makes an excellent AR for under $800, I'd look at them. Or if you're going super lowball the S&W M&P-15 Sport gets good reviews.

I haven't compared prices recently but they seem to be creeping up across the board since the election - so you may have to pay more and wait longer for a better rifle than a DPMS already on the rack. It's up to you.
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Old December 1, 2012, 03:25 PM   #4
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tahunua thanks for the reply. Lots of veiws with just one reply. Makes me wonder if these aren't very good guns and nobody wants to say anything bad. Thats never stopped anyone from saying something in the past LOL.

That rifle has what I like in an AR. A 20" barrel, fixed A-1 stock, bayonet lug and fixed carry handle. I like longer than a 16" barrel and want light weight. A 9 pound AR does not appeal to me.

I load for 223 already and have a question about a statement in your post about "double charged" rounds? How do you double charge a 223 round? Most loads fill the case up to the bottom of the neck or are slightly compressed.
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Old December 1, 2012, 03:34 PM   #5
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Quentin2 I remember reading a bunch of threads a few years ago and it seemed like no one built a perfect AR. Everyone could find a flaw or lack of quality with every rifle made it seemed like.

The rifle I posted has the look I like. Is there something wrong with 4140 barrel steel? Are the upper and lower castings inferior? I really don't know much about ARs. Other rifles yes, ARs no.

Does anyone else make a lightweight 20" barreled gun with the fixed buttstock that would ba a better choice? I have no desire to build a gun for my first rifle. All imput is appreciated.
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Old December 1, 2012, 03:41 PM   #6
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I have no idea. I know that this particular batch of ammo was loaded so hot that on multiple occasions the casings swelled so badly that you had to allow them to cool to extract them and in one case the casing split. I took it back and got a refund and that was the only problem I ever had with the rifle. perhaps they loaded the wrong propellant into them or these were just ultra compressed loads. I have no idea.
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Old December 1, 2012, 03:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tahunua001 View Post
I have never had a part break or a single failure that was not ammunition induced(IE double charged rounds sticking in the chamber).
That is most likely a magazine or less likely a buffer/ buffer spring issue, not remotely an ammunition issue. If at anytime an AR starts acting up, the magazine is the first suspect.

As for the OP. I wouldn't buy a DPMS unless I had no or very few other options. I certainly wouldn't pay more than $6-650 for one. As mentioned above... To sell rifles for what they do, corners are cut.
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Old December 1, 2012, 03:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tahunua001 View Post
I have no idea. I know that this particular batch of ammo was loaded so hot that on multiple occasions the casings swelled so badly that you had to allow them to cool to extract them and in one case the casing split. I took it back and got a refund and that was the only problem I ever had with the rifle. perhaps they loaded the wrong propellant into them or these were just ultra compressed loads. I have no idea.
Well I spoke too soon then, my apologies... I thought you were talking about double feeds.

I've heard of DPMS's having out of spec chambers, you could be a victim of that.
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Old December 1, 2012, 04:08 PM   #9
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tahunau I have some 30-06 Barnaul steel cased ammo that I won't shoot anymore of because it feels way to hot compared to my other 30-06 ammo. I pretty much just load my own stuff. I do have several thousand 223 and 7.62x39. It was just too cheap to pass on it.

By the way, where is that famous chart for AR rifles? Is it even currant anymore?
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Old December 1, 2012, 04:17 PM   #10
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I have a dpms. Nothing wrong with at all. No problems. This summer I picked up a rock river arms AR and I will say that the fit and finish are far superior to the dpms. The RRA is also a bit more accurate but this could be because the rra has a 1:9 barrel where the dmps has a 1:7 twist. And I tipically shoot 55gr ammo. I dont know. Also the stock rra trigger is way better too. So these days I tend to favor my RRA over my dpms.

That said, I trust my dpms 100% to be a reliable rifle that will last for years.

If you find one you like, buy with confidence.

Last edited by droptrd; December 1, 2012 at 04:35 PM.
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Old December 1, 2012, 06:00 PM   #11
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Quote:
By the way, where is that famous chart for AR rifles? Is it even currant anymore?
I'm afraid that I am unaware of the chart that you are speaking. if you are refering to the one that shows where certain companies contract to have their recievers made I'm afraid is grossly outdated. there are several that have switched fabricators and others that have been introduced since then. it can usually be found on AR15.com. if that is not the chart you are talking about then I am very sorry for adding useless information.
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Old December 1, 2012, 06:34 PM   #12
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tahunau at one time there was a chart with all the makers listed and boxes under their names that were checked for each feature they offered. I don't remember anyone having all the boxes checked. All makers were lacking in some area of desired features no matter if the features were real or imagined bonuses for the potential buyer.
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Old December 1, 2012, 07:21 PM   #13
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I've never seen said chart but with the ever changing world of AR15s I would not imagine that it would remain up to date for long.
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Old December 1, 2012, 08:30 PM   #14
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I'm guessing you guys are talking about the TDP chart, which is in reference to the mil-spec requirements, not features. I think at the time it was made only Colt met all of the specs. Since then it has been updated a time or two... Anyway, here is a link to the author of said charts webpage.

Edit... The link looks like it isn't there anymore. Anyway the author is Rob_S and he has been around many forums for a long time. His actual website is tacticalyellowvisor.net
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Old December 2, 2012, 04:27 AM   #15
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I have three different DPMS rifles, the most recent being a MK 12. All functioned flawlessly. They also exhibit incredible accuracy. My brother just added another to his collection as well, but in 308.
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Old December 2, 2012, 07:35 AM   #16
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I think a lot of the DPMS bashing comes from people that have never owned one. You hear the same about RRA, Bushmaster, Windham and others.

At least half of the AR15's being used today do not meet the mil-spec, they have 4140 barrels, 8620 bolts and commercial size RE's, but they still run fine. They may have a higher failure rate if you are shooting 2k rounds a weekend at some class.

Think MEAL.

The AR needs quality..

Mags
Extractor
Ammo
Lube

The rifle the OP is looking at is $820, I think you can get into a PSA for slightly less and have a rifle made from better materials, but you have to deal with ordering and ffl transfer.

For my Viet Nam era look alike I found a cheap Bushmaster A1, I changed out the furniture set to the early style and changed the flash hider. Close enough for the girls I know. It's been 100% reliable for years.

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Old December 2, 2012, 09:39 AM   #17
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Quote:
At least half of the AR15's being used today do not meet the mil-spec, they have 4140 barrels, 8620 bolts and commercial size RE's, but they still run fine.
Per DPMS
Bolt= Carpenter 158
Carrier= 8620
Barrels= Depends on model, but they do use 4140, 4150, and 416 SS
Receiver Ext.= Depends on model. (My MK 12 came with mil-spec receiver ext. and SOPMOD stock.
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Old December 2, 2012, 10:15 AM   #18
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Rob96 thanks for the real life experience with DPMS guns. There is a stocking dealer listed on the DPMS website right here in Ft Worth name Panther City Firearms. They are closed on moday so I think I will slide over there tuesday and see if they have one in stock or can order one and how much. I found the model want on GB buts its a little more than what I want to pay.

Madcratebuilder thats what I'm talking about. Nice rifle. I just like the retro look. Plus I prefer the 20" barrel. The lightweight one. Thanks for posting that.

I tried to find PSA but all the site showed was handguns. Do you have a link?

Never mind. I did a search here and found palmetto state armory. I didn't see any rifles like I am looking for. It looks like you have to put your own together. I just want to buy and shoot.
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Last edited by ratshooter; December 2, 2012 at 10:25 AM.
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Old December 2, 2012, 11:48 AM   #19
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John Farnam has some in field reports from his many instructional classes, from around the country.
Check there for AR recommendations as to what holds up and what doesn't.
http://defense-training.com/quips/quips.html
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Old December 2, 2012, 02:44 PM   #20
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I've been looking at palmetto state. all of their A2 build it yourself kits are sold out and none of their pre-assembled rifles are A2 designs.

since smith and wesson likes to cater to the tacticool mall ninja crowd they do not make an A2 style rifle either.

I guess DPMS is the only game in town for under $1,000. the main gripe people have with DPMS is the bolt carrier group and the barrel. the bolt carrier is not rated for fully automatic fire and the barrel is not lined with chrome so it is going to go bad after 25,000 rounds instead of 100,000 rounds.

if you honestly plan on shooting that much then by all means buy a Colt since they are the only upper tier AR manufacture that I'm aware of that makes an A2 style AR15 however if you plan on being like the vast majority of AR15 owners and shoot a couple hundred rounds every few months then there is nothing wrong with a DPMS. I think that madcratebuilder summed them up quite well. they may not be milspec but from what I noticed on active duty, milspec is crap anyway.
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Old December 2, 2012, 03:14 PM   #21
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I have a DPMS A15 A2 Lite 16", I got it on a trade about eight years ago, I have less that $600 in it, a case and four magazines. I was issued, Colt M-16a1's in the Army. Other than that, I hadn't had much experience with different manufactures. In the 80s and 90s I used a semi-auto Galil ARM and HK91 as my own personal military type rifles. I fired hundreds of rounds without a problem through my DPMS, before I ever learned on the internet that they were sud-standard. I've checked mine now and for what its worth, my example has M-4 feed ramps, staked gas key, and 5.56 chamber. It also has shown no signs of problems. I really would prefer an A3 upper, but I do okay with aperture sights and looking over the top of the front sight post at short range(less than 50 meters), not the best, but it works for me.

All I can do though, is relay my limited experience with one example. If others with lots and lots of AR experience say they have seen certain DPMS rifles that were out of spec, or failed in high volume fire, I have no reason, or bases to doubt them. If shooting rifle courses that require 3000 rounds in a day, or a weekend are on the agenda, then buying a more expensive rifle, of higher quality is obviously the thing to do.
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Old December 2, 2012, 04:35 PM   #22
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The biggest thing I've seen with DPMS is their QC or lack thereof. At the LE agency where I am employed, we are issued DPMS rifles. I am one of the armorers for those rifles. None of the castle nuts on our rifles are staked, some of the gas keys are and some are not. It also not uncommon to have quad rails spin loose on the range. My rifle in particular is a 2004 model, and the only issue I've had was the castle nut which allowed my stock to spin free on the range. Otherwise, yes, it has been a decent rifle. But I still wouldn't pay over $600 for one.

I paid $1000 for my last Daniel Defense rifle... That was money much better spent.
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Old December 2, 2012, 10:24 PM   #23
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Quote:
the bolt carrier is not rated for fully automatic fire and the barrel is not lined with chrome so it is going to go bad after 25,000 rounds instead of 100,000 rounds.
Thats sorta funny. If a barrel last 25,000 rounds thats impressive. I would think 10-15,000 would be good barrel life for a gun that gets popped off fast most of the time. I don't see full auto in my future. Plus it seems like a 1000 round case of ammo goes for $400 plus shipping these days. Twenty five cases (25,000 rounds) works out to $10,000.00 bucks in ammo not counting shipping or taxes. If I have that much scratch to waste on ammo to shoot targets and plink I can afford a two or three hundred dollar barrel ever so often.

And like you said I would be like most people and doubt I would shoot more than a case of ammo a year.
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Old December 3, 2012, 03:45 AM   #24
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Quote:
the bolt carrier is not rated for fully automatic fire
A better way to put it is that it is not capable of full auto as the lug on the underside of the carrier is machined back just enough that it can;t trip the sear for full auto.

Quote:
the barrel is not lined with chrome so it is going to go bad after 25,000 rounds instead of 100,000 rounds.
You can't really say this. Denny Hansen had an Oly Arms AR that went 80,000 rounds with an unlined barrel. There have been tests where unlined barrels had the chrome start to flake off under 10,000 rounds and fail.
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Old December 3, 2012, 12:01 PM   #25
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there are going to be outliers in every group. I was merely pointing out the general consensus. some are made better than others and everyone throws a couple lemons every now and again. but as the OP pointed out. if you are shooting $10,000 dollars worth of ammunition out of a single gun then odds are you have the money to replace a barrel and bolt carrier group. as crazy as it sounds there are people that do shoot that and more per year but they often times reload so it's actually costing them around $6,000 but I would agree. if you are going to be doing that then you may as well fork out some extra money on a Seekins Precision or Larue Tactical rifle. for the 95% of AR owners that do not shoot that much then a DPMS is just fine.
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