DPMS Lite 16" vs. Bushie SuperLight vs. RRA CAR A2 ?


January 22, 2004, 06:48 PM
All right...that other poll decided it for me. If a bunch of people say the AR-15 works fine, I guess it works fine :p . So I'm going to get my very own, American-made "black rifle."

I'm thinking of three options:

DPMS/Panther Lite 16"


Extremely attractive price. Does anyone actually have one of these? I looked at some of the old THR posts, but they center mostly around varminters/competition rifles.


Bushmaster SuperLight Carbine


Closest to mil-spec. Also around 835 bucks NIB at my local gun shop (that's with the A2-type handle, though...). Does anyone have anything to say about this rifle?


Rock River Arms CAR A2 16" Carbine


Pretty good reviews for these rifles. The mid-length handguard looks awful sharp to my eyes...any comments? These are probably somewhere between the Bushie and the DPMS in terms of price.

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Bartholomew Roberts
January 22, 2004, 07:23 PM
I'd have to go with the Rock River as the best value of the three and I own two Bushmasters. I like Bushmaster and they are the closest to military rifles; but the Rock Rivers I've seen lately have looked very good and I like the midlength option.

DPMS in my experience can be hit or miss. Great price if its a hit, not so great if it misses. They do stand behind their product though, so whoever you buy, you won't have to worry too much as long as you buy it from a reputable dealer.

I'd really recommend the flattop version with a detachable carry handle or other detachable rear iron. It is a lot more versatile in the long run unless you absolutely know you'll never use optics.

January 22, 2004, 09:30 PM
i have the dpms panther lite. i love it. it is the only AR i own or have shot in years so i have no way to compare it to others. my experiences:

only one failure to extract. that was in the very first thirty rounds.
i bolted a red dot to it. it is very fun and very fast. i can put a whole bunch of .223 sized holes in a small area VERY quickly.
i am amazed at the accuracy. it usually shoots about 1" groups if i do my part. i think the barrel is a wilson.

January 22, 2004, 10:35 PM
I have a Bushmaster Superlight 16" bare muzzle with the pinned telestock per AWB regulations. Many people think the entry stock is too short, and I agree. There will be a real tele-stock on there the morning of Sept. 14th.

The superlight is the lightest barrel profile made by bushmaster... I'm not sure how it compares to others' really light rifles, or what the overall weight differences are, but I can safely say that mine is the lightest AR I've ever held. I've actually been able to hit a B27 target fairly consistently from 50 yards away while firing one handed, at one round per second.

Swinging from one target to the next is effortlessly quick and easy with the superlight barrel... the front of the gun feels weightless in comparison to an HBAR or AK.

I don't have any experience with the others, but wouldn't have any problem recommending the superlight... mine has never missed a beat.

January 22, 2004, 11:21 PM
Thanks guys.

When the AWB sunsets (hopefully), won't the fixed-style tele-stock be next to worthless? Shouldn't I get an entry stock now, and sell it when real telescoping stocks are available?

January 22, 2004, 11:50 PM
The pinned telestock itself will be so worthless that I wouldn't even bother trying to sell one.

However, a used stubby stock isn't exactly going to be worth a fortune either. I HIGHLY recommend that you hold a rifle with the stubby entry stock attached before you decide to buy one.

To me, being able to comfortably shoot the rifle between the time I bought it and the AWB expiration was much more important than any potential difference in resale value of two used stocks. If the entry stock gets you going, then have at it... just know that many people don't like it, and it would be a very good idea to try before you buy, in that case especially.

Badger Arms
January 22, 2004, 11:52 PM
Bushmaster's "Pinned" tele-stock is actually a full-length tube that is heavier than an A2 stock. You need a real light stock with such a lightweight gun. I think that the OlyArms stock is a true short tube with pinned telescoping part.

January 22, 2004, 11:56 PM
The pinned telestock uses a full size buffer/tube, but I would be surprised if it were as heavy as a full-body A2 stock... are you sure about that, Badger?

Badger Arms
January 23, 2004, 12:10 AM
There is a block of aluminum (Well, part of the stock but a substantial volume of metal) in the back of the stock where the plastic spacer would go. That and the aluminum rail on the bottom of the buffer tube combine to make it heavier. I didn't have a scale, but didn't need one it was that noticeable to me. I don't think they've changed the design either.

January 23, 2004, 08:38 AM
Hmm. The entry stock does look pretty short. Maybe I'll just wait until the AWB sunsets.

January 23, 2004, 11:22 AM
The DPMS uses a cast lower versus a forged which I wouldn't want at all. Bushmaster uses a higher grade 4150 steel barrels over both other makers that use 4140. Bushmaster also has chromed barrels and chambers that the other makers don't except the M4 barrel of Rock River. A 1:7 twist rate is also available from Bushmaster on certain barrels. I believe you can get some different twists on some of Rockriver's also. Last I heard DPMS only offers 1:9.
I like my Colts the best but I am about to purchase a Bushy lower to build a new one on.

Badger Arms
January 23, 2004, 12:58 PM
DPMS does not use Cast lowers on the guns it sells. They sell cast lowers... investment cast by Ruger IIRC... but all of their guns are made-up on their forged lowers. 4140 and 4150 are two DIFFERENT grades with different qualities. One is not better or worse, they are two different grades. Barrel steel is not an exacting science and each metal has a different property. Since 4150 has a higer carbon content, it can be hardened more than a barrel. BUT there is a reason why barrels are softer.

Agreed on Chrome lined. DPMS, however, does offer many different twist rates to include 1:9, 1:10, 1:7, etc. just like the other manufacturers.

January 23, 2004, 01:34 PM

January 23, 2004, 06:09 PM
Badger Arms, I have to disagree with you. Unless they just came out, DPMS did not offer 1:7 twist barrels for the heavier bullets. And not one of their Complete catologed guns specs claim to use forged lowers on their web site or brochure that i saw. They do use forged uppers according to their specs. A few of their catologed models do claim to use cast lowers and the others just leave that part out. They do sell forged lowers and stainless lowers seperately so maybe you can get them.
I'll take 4150.:)

By the way, the gun Mulliga was interested DOES have a cast lower. Check the specs on his link that he posted.
http://www.dpmsinc.com/10Expand.asp?ProductCode=RFA2-L16 That is exactly why it is cheaper than RockRiver Or the Bushmaster. Both of which are fine guns.

January 23, 2004, 06:18 PM
On the DPMS Lite 16 they do indeed use a cast lower, says so right their catalog. They did do a special run of M4 uppers with 1:7 twist barrels that are chrome lined. CMMG is the dealer that has them.

Badger Arms
January 23, 2004, 06:34 PM

They've cataloged 1:7 twist barrels for at least 5 years. Not that anybody would need one unless they were shooting VERY heavy bullets. BTW, do you know what weight you'd need to make 1:7 required? Seems to me I'd heard 75gr or 80 gr. The reason the Military uses the faster twist is because the much-longer tracer round requires them. The twist rate is too fast fot 62gr bullets, but they were willing to compromise, I'm not.

As for the Cast Lowers, I stand corrected. It seems that their new bargain rifles are coming with Cast Receivers. Given the small difference in cost, I don't know why anybody would want a cast receiver. They look cheesy. Perhaps they are burning up old stock on cheap rifles, don't know.

At any rate, I don't think I ever gave my recommendation:


January 23, 2004, 06:40 PM
Yea, for 75 gr. and up for the 1:7. I think the heavier bullets are going to become more popular in the future. I personally don't need one, at least right now. Also by the way Bushmaster may do a run of 1:7 M4 barrels. What ever the military rifles have, there will be a demand from many in the civilian market to want them too I think.

January 24, 2004, 09:49 AM
Thanks for the recommendations, all. Badger, I slept on it and I realized everyone makes mistakes - Bill Ruger was wrong on the magazine ban, but his heart was in the right place. He did donate a million bucks to the NRA, after all. I was shocked, but I think now I can forgive him. Rest in peace, Mr. Ruger.

January 24, 2004, 10:59 AM
I will not debate the different manufactures, but I would recomend a flattop with a regular stock and no muzzle device. Although I think it is best to get good with any rifles irons first a flattop will give you more options latter, the bushy in your link did not have it. The ar doesn't have any recoil to speak of, and the various muzzle devices only serve to make it loud. No you may say you like the looks, but they you can wait until after the ban and have the end of the barrel threaded, then you will be able to install whatever you want. IT will be harder to remove an ungly ak brake.

January 24, 2004, 06:25 PM
My unbiased opinion =



My soon to be new toy.


With EOTech red dot sights.

August 7, 2004, 02:53 AM
Just curious, but the Bushmaster Superlight with telescoping stock weighs 6.25 pounds, while the DPMS Lite version weighs 5.7 pounds. What causes the 1/2 pound weight difference?

Also, I noticed Olympic Arms Lightweight rifle is 4.7 pounds (with telescoping stock). Does it use plastic or carbon fiber recievers?

August 7, 2004, 09:09 AM
UPDATE: Well, decided on the Superlight. :D This rifle is my favorite gun now...


DPMS has a cast lower receiver, and its CAR stock doesn't use an A2 buffer tube I believe. Its barrel profile is also very slightly thinner than Bushmaster's.

My A2 Superlight is 6 pounds almost exactly. I've never handled the Olympic FAR rifle, and Oly's website and catalog do little to shed light on the matter. Maybe we should e-mail them. :)

August 7, 2004, 11:33 AM
Superlights are fine rifles, aren't they? :D Excellent choice.


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