DPMS Panther Arms AR-15, any good?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by bang_bang, Jul 14, 2006.

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  1. P0832177

    P0832177 member

    Jun 8, 2003
    If you really want a gun to go to war then get http://www.slr15.com/ but I am sure that mc223 will have an opnion about these guns, too!

    Opinions are like a$$ holes everyone has one!

    Every mfg has skeletons in the closet!

    MC 223 obviously has such a great deal of money to spend on guns, so let him spend it! WOA is great stuff, John Holliger knows his stuff about competition and varmint rifles! Sully knows his stuff about putting your life on the line! To each his own,

    But, within the confines of going to war vs playing keyboard commando well let your pocket book be your guide!

    DPMS is good serviceable goods! Are there better!
  2. jem375

    jem375 Member

    Jan 4, 2003
    Mc223...man, you are really something...I shoot XM193, Winchester Q3131A through my DPSM 223 20" SS Bull barrel and have yet to have it fall to pieces like you are inferring...as far as competition, DPMS rifles have won many competitions and if you don't believe it, there is a competition coming up at the DPMS manufacturing facility and I am sure you can enter it if you think your rifle can outshoot some of DPMS shooters there...
  3. rbernie
    • Contributing Member

    rbernie Contributing Member

    Jan 21, 2004
    Norra Texas
    Now that's a load of crap.

    Y'know, I don't mind differences of opinion. They're good and healthy. But spreading bullscat around like this does NOBODY any favors - it scares the uninformed without teaching them anything, and it doesn't makes the writer look overly informed to those readers who's experiences span more than one product line.

    Point of record - my Bushy was a lemon in so many ways there isn't enough room to list 'em all. My RRA was picky about magazines and had a horrid trigger. My Armalite worked reliably but wasn't the most accurate. My DPMS rifles have been the best of the lot in terms of being forgiving of ammo and mag differences, and being reasonably reliable. But would I say that DPMS is *better* than the others due to my experiences? No.

    Look - DPMS gets their build materials from subcontract sources, same as just about everyone else. (Nobody - not Colt nor Bushy nor anyone else, makes all of the parts for their rifles themselves.) I know, thru an acquaintance, one of the DPMS receiver subcontractors and I know the QA and QC that these receivers go thru. I have reasonable faith in that subcontractor, but that's only one sub out of dozens that DPMS and others will use for their AR bits. Sometimes the asssembler (e.g. DPMS, Bushy, Colt) will get in parts from a supplier that are less then perfect, and sometimes the OEM's build QA ain't what it could be. But that's true for ANY of the big OEMS (Armalite, Bushy, Colt, DPMS, or RRA).

    If I were shopping for a new AR that I was not going to build myself, I would probably shop among the big four/five for the rifle that was in the configuration I wanted. Trying to second-guess which of them has the best lot of parts at a given instant is a difficult task at best, and statistically doesn't have a huge return-on-investment for most shooters.
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2006
  4. wally

    wally Member

    Jan 2, 2004
    Houston, Tx
    You misunderstand the real genius of Stoner's design -- its not the direct impingement gas system, which to me is clever, but not all that great since it makes the gun poop where it feeds thus requiring very clean burning powders.

    The real genius is how the bolt and barrel lock up taking the reciever out of the loop for containing chamber pressures. Prior to the AR the reciever had to take the full thrust loads of the locking lugs and thus had to be very strong and durable. The AR bolt locks into the barrel leaving the reciever little to do but hold the moving parts in alignment, thus it can be aluminum or carbon fiber plastic. The original design was 7.62 NATO, the AR10.

  5. copaup

    copaup Member

    Mar 5, 2004
    Memphis TN
    Hey MC223, way to take what I said out of context. It had trouble feeding ONE load, SB 62 gr with a copperwashed steel bullet. It feeds everything else, including Wolf and some less than savory surplus without issue. The front sight base was canted just enough to throw off the windage, but not enough that it could be visibly seen, or not corrected by adjusting the rear sight. It isn't a "pretty" rifle as far as fit and finish goes, but neither is anything after I've beat on it for 5 years. As far as the second rifle goes, it has never had a misfeed, regardless of ammo, has displayed remarkable accuracy, gone bang everytime I pulled the trigger, and other than the slight catch in the trigger that I could fix myself in about 15 minutes with a little polishing compound and elbow grease applied to the disconnector, has been flawless. Neither of these rifles has displayed any "problem" that couldn't be quickly fixed or that would lead me to not trust them for "serious" work. If my department would let me I would gladly replace the shotgun up front with me with EITHER of these rifles, though I'd prefer the newer one as it is a flat top and wears an EOTech.

    In contrast I had a Bushmaster that's mag well was out of spec and wouldn't accept USGI mags, only Orlites. The GI mags were too tight and the mag catch was too high in the well and wouldn't lock the mag in with the bolt forward. Feeding was iffy even after they "fixed" it. Does this mean I think Bushmasters are bad guns, no, it means THAT bushie was a bad gun.

    I don't think that the quality difference that would justify the $200 in price between comprable models is there between BM and DPMS and will therefore continue to reccomend DPMS to anyone looking for an AR that is reasonably priced. For those who are willing to spend significantly more money I suggest RRA or having a rifle built on parts of their choosing.
  6. Euclidean

    Euclidean Member

    May 24, 2005
    My Franken-AR is built on a DPMS lower. No problems. No experience with the uppers though.
  7. Drakejake

    Drakejake Member

    Dec 31, 2002
    Nashville, TN
    DPMS makes such a variety of rifles that it would be hard to evaluate all on the basis of a few. Also their product has changed considerably over the years, example: apparently they started out with cast uppers and lowers and now they are forged.

  8. Rabbi

    Rabbi Member

    May 11, 2004
    My DPMS Panther was/is my first AR-15, my second is a build with mostly Bushmaster parts. I love them both.

    The DPMS is in my opinion, a work of art and I'm mostly an AK-47 guy.

    My DPMS trigger beats my match Bushy trigger three to one for clean break.
  9. mc223

    mc223 Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Just Down the Road
    Now that your are all wound up,think of all that honesty of info you gave to Bang-bang.
    And wally I also think Stoners original design was ingenious. The design was never an issue. It's about questionable materials used by XYZ subcontractor and the true quality controls in place. There is a big difference between it'll work and it's made to specification and there are even differences internal to the individual specification used by each of the manufacturers.

    I work hard for my money and when I choose an AR-15, it will not be based on the price. It will be chosen based upon historical accuracy and potential of accuracy, proven reliability and corporate stability, features that I want, and no I really don't care if you think it is "cool".

    And for jem, nothing to worry about with your MIL marked SAAMI 223 ammo.

    And copaup, there was no out of context, you stated it.

    This has been an interesting thread, keep it up.
  10. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    The manufacturer is a lot less important than the dealer you buy it from. All the manufacturers (including Colt) put out the occasional lemon. The dealer has a lot more pull than you do in getting something fixed because he buys more rifles from the manufacturer than you do. Buy an AR from a dealer who will take care of you and you won't have a problem regardless of the brand.

    Personally, I am not a big fan of DPMS; but I have looked at several from Tac-Pro Shooting Center and wouldn't hesitate to buy any of the DPMS rifles they sell because I know that they will stand behind their product.
  11. Cpl Punishment

    Cpl Punishment Member

    Aug 3, 2005
    People don't seem to realize that you can't compare the older DPMS rifles to their new ones. Manufacturing processes have changed, they are different rifles.

    The military-style DPMS rifles (their A2 models) come with chrome0lined barrels and chambers, and are chambered in 5.56x45mm, not .223. Their target/competition guns are mostly stainless steel and not chrome lined and are chambered in .223.

    The 1:8 twist rate is an option on most rifles.

    FWIW, My DMPS has run perfect out of the box, and is plenty accurate. It's an A2 model HBAR, and I don't use it for benchrest, so I couldn't care is brand X shoot .25 MOA better.

    Also, most people tell yuo to stick to your ABC's (Armalite, Bushmaster and Colt). Most people have added the D to that (DPMS), also RRA. I heard complaints by owners of ALL of those brands, the only one that had significantly fewer complaints was Colt. That could be that they are better overall, or the guys just paid so much more for them, they won't admit there are problems.

    IMO, rifles are machines. Machines break down and some are just lemons, buy the one you like and go from there.
  12. Onmilo

    Onmilo Member

    Jul 26, 2004
    I build AR15 rifles and frankly have had better luck with small parts from DPMS than Bushmaster.
    DPMS AR15 bolt carriers are much better than Bushmaster Bolt carriers.
    I prefer to use Colt made bolts, expensive as they are they are the best made unless you can get ahold of a less common FN produced bolt which is just as good as the Colt bolt.

    You can't say a DPMS barrel is bad unless you know exactly how it was installed.
    If it was overtorqued or undertorqued to the receiver this will cause accuracy problems.
    As far as I know DPMS does not produce their own barrel blanks, they purchase them from Douglas and final finish them in house.
    Douglas rarely releases a bad barrel.

    Bushmaster has had their own issues with incorrectly installed barrels too.

    Rock River produces an excellent two stage trigger that will stand up to heavy combat type shooting.
    I don't know of any match type trigger besides this one that will stand up to a lot of combat type abuse without breaking.

    If the upper and lower receivers have been milled correctly and finished per Military requirements then it really doesn't matter who made them and all the manufacturers will make right on a poorly machined upper or lower.
    Buy mil-spec forged and milled, do not buy the cheaper cast products, they are cheaper yes, but they just won't stand up to heavy duty use.

    All manufacturers produce some really good parts.
    Best Idea if you want a truely exceptional rifle is to handbuild using parts from a number of different manufacturers and suppliers.
  13. AgentOrange

    AgentOrange Member

    Aug 3, 2007
    ill tell you what i find HILARIOUS......

    ive owned the cheapest AR lowers money can buy, and ive owned the most expensive money ca buy....you know what i found?.....99.9% of them are virtually identical, and the quality on them is generally virtually identical. as long as the receiver is forged for strength, and everything is correct as far as fit and finish goes, what difference does it make what names on it?...my brother in law is a sergent major in the army, and a ranger. when i spoke to him about it, he told me that his guys over in iraq have a variety of different lowers on their guns, and very rarely have any issues, and they use the chit out of them as im sure you can imagine. be more attentive to the barrel and upper you buy. those are the parts that take the abuse. ive got a couple of ARs i built cheapo, one ive only got around $250 bucks in, lock stock and barrel, and believe it or not, its one of the best shooters ive got. if you want to put alot of money into something, thats up to you, but if you can put a rifle together for pennies and have it be reliable and accurate, *** is the difference?....ive seen DPMS,stag,colt and others go to ****, sometimes faster than the cheapies. if the parts you put in fit good and tight like their supposed to, and everything mates up nice and tight, i dont worry much about "brand name" stuff,cause most of the time, your paying for a name. i was a firearms dealer and gunsmith for 17 years, and theres alot of stuff as far as guns go that the publics not aware of.

    as an example, (i wont mention names) there are something like 7 different brands of 1911 45 acp handguns built in the same exact factory, from the same exact parts, same quality control,ect....only difference is the name on the slide. you can put all 7 of them side by side, leave the grips off and c over the names, and you literally cant tell one from another, until you look at the price tag, and those range from around $350 bucks all the way up to near $800+, for the exact same gun........

    when it comes to AR-15 rifles, like i said, as long as everything mates up and works like its supposed to, whats in a name?......also,how much are you actually going to SHOOT the gun? there was a survey done about 10 years ago ( ill see if i can find it) that discussed how many actual rounds the average civilian ran thru their AR style rifles. it showed that generally when the users got them, they were sort of a "novelty" and the average shooter put between 500 and 1500 rounds thru their AR, and then it went into the safe, closet,ect. they said that the average lifetime rounds fired the the average persons AR rifle was between 3000 and 5000 rounds ( ive been known to run 500+ thru mine at a sitting)

    also, i see mention of anarchy situation, and SHTF. well, if it did, do you figure your gona be out in the middle of it, or are you going to do your damnest to get your family out of harms way? do you have the balls to be shot at and return fire?...to shoot another human being?.....believe it or not,even though most reading this will be saying to themselves, "yea, i could do it", fact is, when presented with a situation like that, a very VERY small percentage of people can actually pull the trigger. also, you see guys hording ammo, sometimes hundreds of thousands of rounds.....let me ask you this. if SHTF, what would you do with it if the bad guy landed, say 20 miles from your house and headed your way? you couldnt move it, and when you EVAC youd be leaving all that ammo for the enemy troops to use against US. alot of the time, invading forces will use the same caliber ammunition they would find in the country they are invading...why?...so they can collect ammunition and use it up on the battlefield. 223 and 308 are the most common, as well as 9mm, 40S&W and 45 acp.

    put yourself together a good reliable accurate AR with a decent upper and barrel,get yourself a dozen or so good quality 20rd and/or 30rd mags ( the less ammo in the mag, the least chance of malfunctions...most magazines sold with guns, even high $$$ guns are crap) and change the followers and springs to something decent, and about 1000 rounds of good ammo thats reliable thru YOUR gun. that way, if SHTF, you can throw it all in your rig and bail. if something did happen and we were invaded, the regular joe by himself couldnt stand up and have a firefight with combat trained military personel anyway, so your be stupid to try. youd have them up your arse in one hot second with alot bigger guns than you have. believe me, i know where your coming from, and i know you want to protect your family, but some of these guys go completely overboard out there.

    my advise like i said is built yourself a nice accurate rifle, get the mags and ammo, some general supplies,ectand keep them all where your can access them in a hurry if you had to bail. also, look around your area and join up with the local militia, and get some training.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2009
  14. wishin

    wishin Member

    Nov 20, 2009
    The jury is still out for me since I've only put 80 rounds through it since it was purchased recently. So far works fine, good accuracy and the price was right. I don't anticipate any problems insofar as I concur with Agentorange's overall assessment.
  15. Quentin

    Quentin Member

    Jul 30, 2005
    NorthWest USA
    Old threads and zombies, ya just can't kill them! :D
  16. AgentOrange

    AgentOrange Member

    Aug 3, 2007
    shoot quentin, maybe it takes some of us longer to ponder our responses!

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