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Old December 28, 2011, 08:01 PM   #1
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DPMS AR15 Review

I am writing this review of my DPMS rifle as an objective and factual account of the gun's charteristics to provide some hopefully useful info to those considering the purchase of one of these rifles. I have read so many good things about dpms and just as many bad, many without facts, just stereotypic characterisations. so here we go:

I purchased my dpms A-15 16" optics ready complete rifle new for $675 in California on setember 16, 2011. I added a troy folding battle front battle sight, and a dpms detachable a2 style carry handle rear sight. I currently have two mags, one is a magpul p-mag, the other is the stock 10 round metal mag.

Buttstock: the buttstock on the gun is adequate. I would not go as far as to call it great or terrible. It gets the job done. It is a six position dpms collapsable stock. It is countoured in the back to make it more comfortable for the shooter. I find the countour to be farily comfortable, however it comes to a point at the bottom and it digs into my shoulder when shooting. This is one part i am looking to replace in the near future.

Lower Receiver: The lower receiver is your standard AR receiver. I believe it is of very good quality and has a very nice coating that covers the forged 7075 t6 aluminum. It is very nice looking, very functional and easy to clean. I could not be happier with the lower receiver's coating and overall quality. One fault that i should mention has more to do with the mag release in particular. After approximately 400 rounds down range the mag release came loose and would not retract properly after releasing a mag. I would have to release the mag, then set the flange back in to retain the next mag. I have since corrected this issue by tightening the castle nut that holds it in place, a 1 minute repair. The trigger started out a little sloppy but has since broken in very nicely and is now a very crisp and smooth trigger. As for the internals, everything has performed as expected with no issues to report.

Upper Half: As with the lower, the upper half is of good quality with a very nice coating. The barrel is a 16 inch chromoly 4140 barrel without chrome lining. The bolt carrier, and bolt and chamber all function as they should with no issues to report and have your standard phospated coating. A noteworthy issue is that the gas block has come loose twice since i have owned the gun. About once every 300 rounds. It is simple to correct. Their are two allen type machine bolts on the bottom of the gas block that can easily be tightened, and according to DPMS the barrel is dimpled for the two screws. However, it has about 1mm of play when loose and therefore it is a hassle when it comes loose because the gun will have to be re-zeroed. I intend to put lock tite on it next time it comes loose. One other note is that the flash hider came loose at the 650 round mark. I simply retightened it with and ajustable cresent wrench.

Accuracy and Reliability: I could not be happier with this gun as far as accuracy and reliability of operation go. I have mostly done shooting at 50 yards thus far since i am new to rifles. At 50 yards i am achieving average groupings of approximately 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch. My friends brand new stag with chrome lined barrel averaged at best 1/4 of an inch at the same distance. As far as operation goes, i have put 650 rounds of 5.56mm federal m193 through this rifle in a period of 3 months without a single failure to fire or failure to eject. The magazines have functioned properly without any error.

Overall, i am very happy with the operation of my gun. I trust it to function well, and would consider it a reliable gun. It has always fired and the bullets always hit where I aim. I believe that this is a good gun. If it weren't for the mag release and gas block coming loose, i would say it is a great gun. However, the mag release and gas block coming loose did not drastically affect the operation of the gun. I could still eject mags and load new ones, and the gas block only came loose enough to slightly affect the accuracy at 50 yards, not enough to cause the gun to not function. I hope that this review helps anyone who is looking for an AR rifle. This is my first rifle but not my first gun. So overall, if i had to rank this gun on my experience i would have to give it an 8.5/10
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Old December 29, 2011, 10:35 AM   #2
Hunter Customs
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Join Date: March 26, 2005
Location: Osborn, Missouri
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Nice review on your AR microtech.

I also have DPMS Optic Ready AR. They make two models one with forward assist and one without. I purchased the one with forward assist, I don't want an AR without forward assist

The trigger pull in my gun was awful and seemed to be getting worse, so I did a trigger job on mine.

As for the butt of the stock digging in your shoulder try a Tapco slip on rubber butt pad, I put one on mine and really love it.
The butt is no longer so slick and it gave me a little extra length to the stock.
I find the extra length to be a plus when using a scope on the rifle.

I removed my gas block drilled and tapped it for a sling swivel stud. Now I can mount a sling the conventional way.

I put YHM riser blocks on the rifle to get a little more height for the scope.
I also put in a DPMS grip plug, this allows me a little storage in the grip.

My rifle did not come with any 10 round mags so I'm using Bushmaster 10 round mags, they work very well.

The rifle shoots half inch groups at 100 yards using Winchester 45 gr JHP loads. I find this acceptable for a light weight short barrel rifle.

Best Regards
Bob Hunter
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Old December 29, 2011, 12:04 PM   #3
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Join Date: May 29, 2007
Location: St. Louis, MO area
Posts: 4,039
How's the staking on the gas key screws?

The gas block/FSB comes loose every few hundred rounds, requiring re-zeroing? And you don't have a problem with this?

I'd mention the mag catch, but the CA stuff isn't relevant anywhere else. I would have a problem if something as simple as a mag catch was an issue though (although on the DPMS LPKs I've used, the mag catch was just fine... it was the trigger/hammer pins that were problematic).

Out of curiosity, what would it take for you consider a rifle mediocre or poor?

I've little doubt it's a decent plinker, but the gas block issue is what I mean when I say there's a difference between plinker ARs and stuff that can actually be run hard. Try running a thousand rounds (or two thousand) through it in a weekend and that gas block (I would expect it to be pinned into place or at least the set screws staked) is going to require re-zeroing the rifle several times, wasting everybody's time.

I've used DPMS parts in the past, and they're fine for the price, but there's a reason nicer stuff costs more... it's generally worth it. Sorry, but your review underscores the reason I put DPMS at the low end of the commercial tier, both in terms of price and quality. Being able to shoot a few hundred rounds into paper over the course of several months doesn't impress me in the slightest. Anything (well, maybe not Vulcan/Hesse/Blackthorne, but saying a product is better than their garbage isn't much of a selling point) will do that.
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Old December 29, 2011, 12:25 PM   #4
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Join Date: January 29, 2011
Posts: 318
The gas block issue is pretty worrying. My DPMS rifle has a Yankee Hill front sight, so I can't comment on the quality of theirs.

As far as gas key staking, I'd imagine not very well; as mine isn't. One side is okay; but it looks like they barely hit the other side.
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