DPMS AR-15 or S&W M&P 15?


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tehweej
February 18, 2010, 01:04 PM
I am looking at saving for an AR, and our local favorite pawn shop has a special on DPMS AR's for 700 flat top w/o carry handle (m4 style) or 800 with. I can get an M&P for 950 (M4A3 configuration with detachable carry handle). Are the M&P's worth the extra?

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CoRoMo
February 18, 2010, 01:14 PM
Are the M&P's worth the extra?

In short, and in my opinion, yes.

Are these used guns that you've found at the pawn shop?

Va Shooter
February 18, 2010, 01:39 PM
I have a DPMS AP-4 with detach handle and great rifle, no problems. Get what you can afford, I've handled the S&W great rifles also, might be better than DPMS.

Turbobuddha
February 18, 2010, 01:46 PM
I have a DPMS (2009 production) that is very nice and does what it's supposed to. Only issue, is doesn't like PMAGS. You can get one in the well if you really really try but it wont come back out. From what I can find out, they changed a few things last year. Probably trying to capitalize on thier high mark up mags.

I have one I built from a CMMG lower that loves the PMAGS. Older DPMS also seem to love teh PMAGS. And no, it's not just my paticular rifle. Seems to becoming more common. I know of a few others as well. DPMS claims its just tight tolerences.

The M&P's are nice though. Either would probably be a nice shooter.

MPCO
February 18, 2010, 02:00 PM
S&W and DPMS both have good reputations as do many of the other "Name Brand" AR manufacturers. I'd buy the best rifle I could afford, but above all else, practice once you've got it. Consistently dependable operation will be the "proof" it was worth paying extra for. IMO, I'd opt for the S&W, only because I've seen them work.

possum
February 18, 2010, 02:35 PM
really it depends on what you want it for. if you are gonna shoot a thousand rounds or less a year or so, i would say that you will be fine with the dpms. however if you are gonna run them hard say train hard or put them through the ringer in multiple training courses (high round counts in a short period of time.) i would say go with the m&p. that is how i test my personal guns, gear and myself, in training. so that is what i base my opinion on, whet i have and done, what i have seen, and teh word of those that instruct such courses and see all makes and models in all configurations come through thier classes. dpms has not done so well in some courses that i know of. m&p's ar's and handguns have done well.

Sebastian the Ibis
February 18, 2010, 02:50 PM
Get an M&P for $800. Check out CDNN, I think they had M&P's for that price w a bunch of Freebies.

Zerodefect
February 18, 2010, 02:50 PM
M&P over a DPMS. But at that price I have to ask what twist the barrel is and If it has M4 feed ramps?

shadowalker
February 18, 2010, 02:52 PM
The M&P is the better choice. Much better BCG, and is a step or two above DPMS.

Frankl03
February 18, 2010, 02:58 PM
I would go for the M&P. I have sen them on Gunbroker for around $750. Before New Year they had a special when you bought a rifle you got 5 free pmags. They may be even cheaper now.

Here one that is nib in an A2 setup and it is at $615 no reserve. I could go higher of course:

http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=157423497

HGUNHNTR
February 18, 2010, 03:25 PM
This Smith is worth it. Hey, why hasn't anyone posted "the chart"? :)

Almond27
February 18, 2010, 03:33 PM
Save the Extra for the M&P its worth it.

CoRoMo
February 18, 2010, 03:43 PM
...why hasn't anyone posted "the chart"?

The much maligned chart, that is. For guys like this, who want to know what the extra $150 buys, the chart answers many questions. I'd recommend the OP give it a read.:)

tehweej
February 18, 2010, 03:51 PM
I am new to the AR scene, and I have no qualms about forking over another 150 "better" weapon, in whatever terms "better" is defined. I know to buy as much as I can afford, but just needed a little positive reinforcement that the Smith is the "better" of the two. I am planning on taking some sort of carbine course, funds permitting. Those look like way to much fun to pass up, so a gun that will hold up better under extended shooting sessions would be great.

Even though I could probably get a better deal online, the guy who is selling me the Smith is a local gun nut who give deals and helps people out because he is that kind of guy. So even if the Smith was the full normal retail, I would still buy it from him just to support him. Just my opinion. :D

Thanks for all the info guys!

HGUNHNTR
February 18, 2010, 03:56 PM
Oh all right I'll do it! :)

Check this out:

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=412669

C-grunt
February 18, 2010, 04:03 PM
I look at the M&P as more of a fighting rifle and the DPMS as a target rifle. Ive never shot the Smith but I hear they are pretty darn reliable and made to be treated fairly hard.

I have shot DPMS rifles and feel they are a great target rifle and built as such. They have pretty tight tollerances and shoot VERY accurately. If I were building an AR for distance shooting, I would pick the DPMS over the M&P. For a working rifle for defense and courses, the M&P is my choice.

CoRoMo
February 18, 2010, 04:14 PM
HGUN, that's an old and outdated version. Rob's most up-to-date spreadsheet can always be found here.

http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=pwswheghNQsEuEhjFwPrgTA&gid=5

tehweej:
Read through the spreadsheet in the link. It will give you information on the features and specs of these two rifles.
I can get an M&P for 950 (M4A3 configuration with detachable carry handle).
You'd have a hard time finding a better price online for that rifle. I think Buds has this very one for $950.

tehweej
February 18, 2010, 04:17 PM
I will probably shoot it at distance, just for kicks, but by no means is it to be a target rifle. I am kicking around the idea of getting a 6.5 Grendel upper for some distance work. But that is down the line. So a good fighting rifle is perfect :)

C-grunt
February 18, 2010, 04:22 PM
Man I didnt know Bravo Company was that close to milspec and for a good price.

GPWASR10
February 18, 2010, 04:31 PM
DPMS.

I would go with Panther even if they were more money... fortunately, they aren't ;-). BUT, that being said, S&W AR's are superb as well and it is my belief that you are not going to go wrong either way. I haven’t had any issues running my DPMS rifle hard (Run your AR BCG wet), plus it has that bolt rifle type accuracy which most Panther guns seem to posses out of the box. Plus the Teflon finish of the DPMS line really looks great, is durable and I believe assists with clean up after a range trip.

Anyways, I would go with whatever rifle feels right to you in the hands, and has the features you desire in your EBR.

Gary G23
February 18, 2010, 05:24 PM
Yes the M&Ps are worth the extra.

Runningman
February 18, 2010, 05:26 PM
I have a DPMS (2009 production) that is very nice and does what it's supposed to. Only issue, is doesn't like PMAGS. You can get one in the well if you really really try but it wont come back out. From what I can find out, they changed a few things last year. Probably trying to capitalize on thier high mark up mags.

I have one I built from a CMMG lower that loves the PMAGS. Older DPMS also seem to love teh PMAGS. And no, it's not just my paticular rifle. Seems to becoming more common. I know of a few others as well. DPMS claims its just tight tolerences.
You really need to get DMPS to fix it correctly so it will take PMAGS. DPMS ARs have a history of being finicky about magazines they will take even before PMAGS came out. It is not tight tolerance issue..... If the lower mag well is machined within a tighter tolerance parameter of the proper dimensions than PMAGS will fit. It is more of an out of tolerance issue, that DMPS should take care of.

tju1973
February 18, 2010, 06:18 PM
At that price, go for the S&W-- that being said, you can't go wrong with either....let us know what you get!;)

shadowalker
February 18, 2010, 06:23 PM
You really need to get DMPS to fix it correctly so it will take PMAGSThere was an issue with some PMAGS needing to have the tabs sanded a bit to work well in some mag wells. Google should yield instructions, it is very easy to do yourself. I believe Magpul also ran a body exchange program.

From what I can find out, they changed a few things last year. Probably trying to capitalize on thier high mark up mags.They have modified the designs a bit but they didn't make pmags worse to try to make more money with more expensive products. Some magwells are just very close to spec, M&P rifles had some trouble with some pmags not dropping free as well.

HGUNHNTR
February 18, 2010, 07:44 PM
CoRoMo, Hey thanks for posting the updated chart, I had not seen that one.

wgp
February 18, 2010, 10:13 PM
I have both. I like both. Both work fine. My DPMS might be a bit more accurate, as it has the heavy stainless barrel, but I like the M4 configuration of my M&P. I bought the DPMS a few years ago on advice of a local gun shop with several brands on the shelf. When I wanted another I asked the same shop, again with several brands on the shelf, and this time he thought the Smith might be a bit "better" rifle, so I went that way.
Obvious solution is to buy both.

devildog32713
February 18, 2010, 10:18 PM
DPMS has been doing it a lot longer, I trust their expirence.

shadowalker
February 18, 2010, 10:23 PM
I recommend taking a look at the chart, spending some time on m4carbine.net or ar15.com and taking some time to educate yourself about the features and what they mean.

DPMS builds fine target rifles / range toys but if you intend to use it as a fighting rifle the S&W M&P is a far better choice.

There are lots of reasons but they've been got into a lot the last few days and it'd just be rehashing the same ground.

GPWASR10
February 18, 2010, 11:46 PM
Yes shadowwalker it has been done a 1000 times; DPMS guys saying they are happy with their very accurate and reliable "Range toys", and "Charters" telling us how bad they are, offering up opinion by the bucketful, but not a whole lot of sources or actual failure data of the products they are so passionate about (Not that I have the data either way).

But, like I said earlier, you will like your new rifle be it a Smith, or a Panther and will probably never wear out either one.


However, I have said it a hundred times... if you really want an AR you will love...ROLL YOUR OWN. I did (using a lot of DPMS components) and it's (to me at least) perfect.

But should be so foolish that you buy the Panther, you can spend the rest of the coin you saved on Ammo for it ;-)... (no pressure)

kwelz
February 19, 2010, 12:37 AM
So wait. Rob has spent countless hours collecting data and compiling the chart. Numerous Instructors will comment on failure rates to anyone who asks. And our own Mr. Roberts has posted his own personal experiences. And you claim there is no data? O_o

possum
February 19, 2010, 01:10 AM
So wait. Rob has spent countless hours collecting data and compiling the chart. Numerous Instructors will comment on failure rates to anyone who asks. And our own Mr. Roberts has posted his own personal experiences. And you claim there is no data? O_o
sometimes i wonder why i even reply to these kinda threads, to some people it doesn't matter what you have seen for yourslef, what you have experienced, or top tier instructors say on a daily basis and see come through thier class. It seems that if it didn't happen to the guy making the post then it isn't true. and generally i would assume the ones that say that they love them and they run good etc have em still, and you know no one likes to be told that they could have done better, and maybe they get a little offended.

as well you have to look at the majority of ar owners and shooters. a very small precentage of gun owners ever attend training. very few people have thier ar for more than fun, and "target shooting". For the ones that do and the ones that have been around a while they know what works and what dosen't and even though that is what we are trying to get across to people, it just doesn't seem to sink in to those kinda folks.

there is a huge difference between the guy that has the 100% reliable, ar that puts a couple boxes of ammo through it a month, and that of someone that trains like thier life depends on it, and runs thier stuff hard.(read my sig line)

I don't want to name drop, but there are several good instructors, that will suggest s&w.

GPWASR10
February 19, 2010, 01:13 AM
So wait. Rob has spent countless hours collecting data and compiling the chart. Numerous Instructors will comment on failure rates to anyone who asks. And our own Mr. Roberts has posted his own personal experiences. And you claim there is no data? O_o

No I am not "claiming" cause "claiming" would imply that such a test has been done and that someone has access to the results and that I simply have not seen them yet.

I am saying "that there is no data, end of discussion". I say this because there is no actual data on AR-15 failure rates from the different builders. I work in a lab that does nothing but test products for both civilian and military hardware and I can tell you that unless such a test has been conducted under controlled conditions with random samples of every manufacturer... or second best being, somehow compiling a list of failures from the manufacturers of the defects that they see most, and what percentage of their rifles get returned for warranty service, then all you really have is very circumstantial evidence and opinion.

Like I said before...
If DPMS is the second largest builder of AR-15's in the world and they build an estimated 60,000 rifles in a year and has a 1% failure rate. And LMT builds 10000 rifles in a year and also has a 1% failure rate. Then YES you are going to hear about many more Panther AR's with problems on the gun Boards then LMT problems, because there are MANY MANY times more DPMS AR's then LMT AR's (not to mention Bushmaster), and even if it seems like you hear more things about them failing, the reality is that they are equally likely to fail.

But since NO ONE has actually shown up with verifiable product failure rates of any of these brands, we simply don't know what the real world failure rates are, and it seems silly to pretend that we do. And you would be hard pressed to find any professional doing product testing that would make any judgments without actually seeing some hard data. And I am sure that Mr. Roberts is a good study of the AR-15, but I doubt he does a whole lotta lab time on these guns.

The chart is a fantastic piece of work, and it took a lot of time to compile, and it does a great job of showing what has been done to these rifles, and what has not. But what it does not show is weather or not these features actually effect the chances of a failure. In short, I think it mostly shows what features you need on a gun for it to closely mimic what our military uses in the field for the hobbyist who is interested in such things.

So, for the last time, does anyone here have any actual testing data on AR manufacturers products? Anyone? Cause I would really like to know, hell for all I know DPMS could have the highest failure rate of any rifle builder known, that has not been my experience, but I have not seen all that many examples (25-30 rifles... maybe?) compared to what is out there.

possum
February 19, 2010, 01:28 AM
i would post links about DPMS straight from www.getoffthex.com however you have to be a member and i am sure that you will not want to spend the time that it would take to sign up, use the search function over there, and see all the proof that one woudl need.

what you suggest, do you know how much that would cost? and who wants to spend that kinda money to prove what they already know to be true?

additionally the instructors out there that see these kinda ar's come through thier classes over the years and courses, are gonna see far more examples of the makers rifles than you would be able to gather to do one of these "scientific" test that you seem to want to have done.

how about this, you buy the guns and do the testing, and prove to the us that DPMS is good to go. since there is no "scientific" proof that they aren't good.

GPWASR10
February 19, 2010, 01:48 AM
Possum, there was no data on that site, no "proof", unless you can link me to it. That being said, thanks for the info on the new site, it looks interesting! And no, I'm sorry but you don't "know" until you actually "test". Regardless of cost without that data, you AND me are somewhat less then an expert.

Unless you can say...

GP, you huge ass, according to www.AR-15phailures.com/DPMSblows/axp?reasons/failuredata, DPMS has a 2.7% failure rate, were LMT has a stellar .73%, now stop being such a wussbag and go get yourself a real shootin' rifle.

...then you don't know. this is not really up for debate, I am not saying DPMS is better or worse then Brand X, what I am saying is that no one actually knows and until we do, our "knowledge" is mostly based on opinion.

If you want my personal experience... I shoot the piss out of my DPMS 20", putting an ass load of rounds down the pipe in a single session and have not had ONE failure that was rifle related, I would bring it to a Carbine course without regrets, and my experience in beating this poor pipe into the ground tells me that it will very likely be there in the end. All of my AR shooting buddies shoot either DPMS, Bushmaster, an M&P and a few RR's.

Honestly, they have all ran fine.

Anyways, this is going to be pointless and get this guys thread locked, I still say go DPMS, but you will not be displeased either way in the long run.

Just for gods sake, buy an EBR!

SHvar
February 19, 2010, 02:20 AM
There are very few if any real differences between S&W and DPMS, sure the standard non chrome lined barrel, for $30 more its now Chrome lined. Aside from that the barrel steel is the same, etc etc.
Look closely at both, check the individual rifle.
I have a DPMS, its not an "M-4 model" so the chart does not come close to being accurate, in fact much of whats mentioned in the chart is inaccurate concerning my DPMS rifle.
I have a Bushmaster and it is an M4 variation with POF designs and a gas piston, most of the chart is inaccurate for that model also.
Also Ive heard of many who use DPMS in carbine course with none ever having a single problem. I think user error sums up much of what happens with 1 or 2 examples that someone hears about having problems with.
I personally have put a few thousand rds in the past year through my DPMS and it still shows no more wear, and is extremely accurate.
The M&P looks and feels nice, and has some nice features, for that price difference in the models Ive looked at the M&P usually has some extra accessories (folding rear sights, quadrail etc, depends on the model).
Heck, I put a few hundred rds in a single trip to the range through my rifles, add that up, thats alot per year.

Patriotme
February 19, 2010, 02:29 AM
I've had no experience with the DPMS but I've got a S&W MP15 MOE and really like the gun. The trigger is better than that of my Bushmaster and the S&W has been a great gun. I believe some of the early models had troubles with Pmags but that is not the case with the later models. I've used 5 different brands of mags in mine with no trouble. I usually just use Pmags since I've got a bunch of them.
I'll fess up and admit that I shoot the cheap stuff more often than not. The S&W (mine at least) prefers 55 gr ammo over 62 gr. I shoot brass cartridges every once in a while but I usally just shoot Silver Bear, Brown Bear, Tula and yes....even Wolf. I've put about 700 rnds through the gun with no problems.
Accuracy is pretty good. I'm shooting cheap ammo and still getting decent groups. I'm more of a pistol shooter and I'm sure the S&W will shoot better than I will even if I break down and buy some higher quality ammo.
I'd recommend it. Is it better than the DPMS...I don't know. I'm not going to trash another brand just because I don't own it. They seem to make a quality product and the owners seem satisfied.

WarMachine
February 19, 2010, 02:34 AM
In short, I think it mostly shows what features you need on a gun for it to closely mimic what our military uses in the field for the hobbyist who is interested in such things.

There are many features on carbines that users who depend on their rifle to protect their lives want, not just "hobbyists". Those features were included for specific reasons. Whether hobbyists want them is irrelevant to their original purpose.

tehweej
February 19, 2010, 12:32 PM
Great info guys! Thanks for all the input. I have thought about rolling my own, but decided on buying a complete to start. Down the road I will more than likely start from scratch and build one to my personal preferences.

The version of the Smith that I am looking at is the basic model w/detachable carrying handle, fixed front sight, 6-pos stock. I also might be getting a free Vortex StrikeFire Red/Green dot for free :)

Kingofthehill
February 19, 2010, 01:53 PM
I have a S&W MOE edition AR and I have a DPMS. The S&W is a nicer gun. Tolerences, quality, finish, fit... its just so SMOOTH. The DPMS is a fantastic rifle too though.

You really can't go wrong with either. But in my opinion, you could do a little more RIGHT with the M&P.

I was in your same shoes 6 months ago when i bought my first AR... I almost built my own right off the bat but i don't have anyone around me that could help or give me advice if i had a problem.

Im very very glad i bought my first one complete and i am im process of building my Dream AR as i have learned an awful lot since buying my complete rifle.

Best of luck

JOe

GPWASR10
February 19, 2010, 02:29 PM
Just make sure to post pics of your build when it is complete, Joe. The one thing that has really pushed me towards AR's over AK's over the past couple years is how people personalize their rifles and what their idea of the "right" configuration is.

Va Shooter
February 19, 2010, 02:47 PM
This is the DPMS AP-4A "NOTE A" The Chart list the "C" version

DPMS AP4A Panther Carbine 16" Length w/A2 flash hider (birdcage). 4140 chrome-moly steel AP4 style contour Manganese Phosphated 6 grooves, righthand1x9 twist, button rifled.
Chamber: 5.56x45mm.
Method of Operation:
Gas operated rotating bolt.
Bolt & Carrier: 8620 steel bolt carrier, heat treated and plated per Mil Spec Phosphated steel bolt, heat treated and plated per Mil Spec.
Sights: A2 front sight Assembly.
Upper Receiver: A3 Style with detachable carrying handle and and rear sight adjustable for windage and elevation, FDust cover. Shell deflector. Round forward assist. Right hand ejection.
Lower Receiver: Forged 7075-T6 aircraft aluminum alloy Hard coat anodized per Mil Spec and Teflon coated black. Semi-auto trigger group. Aluminum trigger guard. Aluminum magazine release button.
Stock: AP4 - 6 position, telescoping fiber reinforced polymer.
Handguards: GlacierGuards™. Oval, Carbine length. Aluminum Delta Ring. This rifle comes with 2-30 round magazines, 1 nylon web sling and 1 cleaning kit.

Again I'm very happy playing keyboard commando, and pray all I'll ever need it for is taking out paper zombies and bad guy water jugs. Take care of whatever AR-15 you get and it will take care of you. If not buy a AK-47:eek:

SpeedAKL
February 19, 2010, 03:19 PM
Get the S&W; the M&P-15 has earned a good reputation in the marketplace as a solid, reliable carbine,

grilledcheese
February 20, 2010, 12:35 AM
I like my M&P. Got it from CDNN for $800, and it came with (mostly cheap) extras. I think the sale is still going on. The only extra I kept was the quad rail.

http://i116.photobucket.com/albums/o10/noshpatu/jammy7.jpg



Jeffrey

againstthagrane
February 20, 2010, 03:57 AM
my dpms ap4 has m4 ramps and a PROPERLY staked key. i bought it in 2007 before the obama scare kicked into full swing. $960 out the door at the ft. worth gunshow brand new. :neener: it also came with the $300 factory digital camo finish so i think they may snazz the internals on that particular model.

SpeedAKL
February 20, 2010, 11:35 AM
my dpms ap4 has m4 ramps and a PROPERLY staked key. i bought it in 2007 before the obama scare kicked into full swing. $960 out the door at the ft. worth gunshow brand new. :neener: it also came with the $300 factory digital camo finish so i think they may snazz the internals on that particular model.
Interesting. That tells me they at least have the capability to put those features in a rifle. I don't understand why they don't just baseline those features in and be done with it; staking the gas key in particular is an inexpensive exercise.

possum
February 20, 2010, 03:46 PM
staking the gas key in particular is an inexpensive exercise.
yes it is, and one thing that i wouldn't worry about if i got an ar that didn't have it doen right at the factory it is a quick and easy fix.

CMP
February 20, 2010, 05:35 PM
my dpms ap4 has m4 ramps and a PROPERLY staked key. i bought it in 2007 before the obama scare kicked into full swing. $960 out the door at the ft. worth gunshow brand new. it also came with the $300 factory digital camo finish so i think they may snazz the internals on that particular model.

Mine also has m4 ramps and a properly staked key I bought mine in two places though, my upper from CTD in 2007 before they started screwing people over for $399 and the lower from Rguns for $275 with a CTR stock on it right before obama was elected. If I would of waited 1 more day I would of had to wait a few months to buy a lower at a higher price! Oh and I love it!

GPWASR10
February 21, 2010, 12:41 AM
My 20" has a properly staked key (After viewing it on the work bench), and of course rifle feed ramps.

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