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I just bought a new DPMS 308 and have a problem, help?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by HKUSP45C, Mar 24, 2007.

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  1. HKUSP45C

    HKUSP45C Member

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    So, I just picked up a DPMS LR-308 and I absolutely love it! However, I have a problem. I'm probably just ignorant, so I'm hoping one of you fine folks might be able to educate me.

    So, the problem I'm having is: When I chamber a round of South African surplus 308 the bolt won't go into battery. It closes almost all the way. Then it's darn near impossible to pull the charging handle back to eject the round. I had to use a sock looped over the handle to get a good enough grip to open the bolt on the last attempt.

    The ammo works flawlessly in my 308 Saiga but it appears to be a non-starter in this rifle. I bought the thing new, in box and did nothing to it when I got it home. I just loaded a mag, slapped it in and pulled the handle. The problem showed up after 3 attempts with the same results. I'm, frankly, at a loss. I thought 308 would the same the world over but this stuff acts like it's too big for the chamber or something.

    Thanks in advance for any help at all. I've looked through google but found nothing very helpful.
     
  2. Rem700SD

    Rem700SD Member

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    More accurate guns have tighter chambers, and tighter tolerances. Try some none surplus through it and see if the results are the same.

    Dan
     
  3. HKUSP45C

    HKUSP45C Member

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    yeah, that's what I was gonna try tomorrow. I was just wondering if this kind of thing was common.
     
  4. DWARREN123

    DWARREN123 Member

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    If it has match chamber that may be the reason. Match chambers can be picky.
     
  5. Evil Monkey

    Evil Monkey member

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    I believe the DPMS 308's are exactly that, 308's. On their website they have 223 and 5.56mm rifles, but for 308 they only have 308 and not 7.62mm NATO. Since South African 7.62 is NATO, that's probably why the rifle isn't going into battery.

    And since DPMS 308 mags are around $50 each, I don't know what you were thinking.:confused: :)
     
  6. Ndenway

    Ndenway Member

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    try some blackhills, FGMM, hornaday match ect. and see how it runs, some of these type rifles take a bit of time to break in, also lube the hell out of the bolt and carrier,

    dementionaly the 308win and 7.62x51 nato round are the same,

    however unlike 556 nato and 223rem, the 762.51 nato round is loaded to lower pressures than 308win


    I've got a armalite 10A4, and it took a bit of time for it to break in and run on surplus ammo,

    but if yours isn't running or continues to FTF after a few hundred rounds, give DPMS a call and send it back as it might have a chamber issue.



    as for the DPMS metal 19 rnd mags, you can now find them for around $30ish each when you buy 5 or more, look on the equipment exchange for ar10s on ar15.com plenty of vendors selling them,

    look at 44mag.com also, I think they're selling singles for approx $35.
     
  7. Fingolfin

    Fingolfin Member

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    Make sure you don't have any packing grease or lube in the chamber from the factory.
     
  8. HKUSP45C

    HKUSP45C Member

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    OK, I checked (as well as I could) and the chamber seems clear. Both mags behave the same ... the only thing I can come up with is ammo.

    I'm headed to Gander Mountain to buy some nice 308 and then to a range right by the house that has a very helpful staff. Maybe I'll get my answer by lunch time. I'll post my results.

    Thanks soooo much for the replies and the help. You guys rock.
     
  9. HKUSP45C

    HKUSP45C Member

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    Well, no joy. Same problem with federal premium and winchester Super X .... I'm so sad. The rifle seems so well built and now I'm just kind of disillusioned. I sent an E-mail to DPMS customer service and I guess I'll try to strip it and have a look see. Having never done that before this should be an experience. I'll let y'all know what comes of it.
     
  10. HKUSP45C

    HKUSP45C Member

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    Well, stripping it was suprisingly easy with a little help from some Arfcom instructions. I found no "gunk" anywhere and everything seems to be working. I gave it some lube, re-assembled it and popped in a mag. Yanked the bolt and .... same thing. Wierd. I did drop a round into the barrel while I had it apart and it seemed to slip in then out back out with no fuss. The cam seemed a bit stiff but I lubed it and seemed to loosen up. This did not, however, fix the problem. I'm at a loss. Anyone have any other ideas to try while I'm waiting on DPMS customer service to return my E-mail.

    Sadly since this is my first foray into the AR platform I'm completely ignorant as to what to look for that may be specific to this design.

    I did notice some scratches on the case after ejecting the unspent rounds. Although it could just be marks from the round cycling through the action. They don't seem uber deep but they look a bit out of place from what I'm used to. My Saiga AK in 308 doesn't seem to chew up brass that badly but again this is a platform I'm wholly unfamiliar with.

    I do however appreciate the replies so far.
     
  11. funfaler

    funfaler Member

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    A buddy of mine had a DPMS 308 and it got stuck with South African, Port, Aussie, CAVIM surplus ammo.

    We called DPMS and they said that their rifles are Chambered for 308 match ammo and it is designed to be tight. They also said that shooting ANY surplus will void the warrantee, as well as shooting any hand loads.

    I loved the rifle, and he got a line on some cheaper mags ($20 each, in bulk), and I considered getting one. After this experience, opted for another M1a. The AR 308s, DPMS in particular, are not battle rifles, they are target, hunting rifles at best. They are not designed to handle a variety of ammo and I think they lack the robustness to last.

    Run some match 308 through it, you will find that it runs well and is very accurate.

    All depends on what you want out of your 308 semi auto. If it is rugged, affordable, reliability, then perhaps a platform other that the AR system is in order.

    DPMS said that they, or a good gunsmith, can ream the chamber to 7.62 NATO, and it would function with the surplus, but not guarantee or warrantee.

    Good luck
     
  12. Charshooter

    Charshooter Member

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    forget using the 7.62 NATO, use the standard 308 otherwise you will have to ream it and that would not be that way to go unless you plan on olny using the 7.62 NATO
     
  13. Geno
    • Contributing Member

    Geno Member

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    I have one of the DPMS .308s. The book advises to check the chamber and the locking lugs. Mine, even in spite of the fact that it was NIB...yet unopened, had some rust on the receiver's portion of the lock-up. That somewhat urinated me off.

    Even after I cleaned it thoroughly with the supplied tool and lubed it well, it remains unbelievably tight! Big-time tight! You have to allow the bolt to slam forward under full-force. You can't close it slowly with any ammunition. BTH, mine is extremely accurate! Be sure to follow the barrel-break-in-process to the "T"!!! These rifles are capable of 0.25" up to 1.5" if you break it in properly.

    I'll be having a conversation with DPMS about that rust tomorrow.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2007
  14. Onmilo

    Onmilo Member

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    By chance did you field strip the rifle before you went out to shoot it?
    You may have installed the bolt backwards.
    Ejector to the inside and extractor to the outside or looking down from the top of the bolt, the extractor should be on the right side of the carrier.
     
  15. HKUSP45C

    HKUSP45C Member

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    Doc, thanks for the reply. It's sort of comforting to hear I'm not the only one who may be having a glitch. I tried letting the bolt slam forward from the locked position on the match ammo. Unfortunately all that did was make the bolt that much harder to pull back to eject the round after it still didn't close to battery. I guess I'll try to re-strip it and find what could be gumming it up. I have instructions to field strip it but I have not seen anything on how to break down the upper past that. Frankly, I'm not all that gung ho to pull it that far down if I can avoid it.

    It does chap my butt a bit that a brand new rifle is giving me this many fits. I'm sure that it'll work out to my satisfaction in the end. Until then I'm afraid I can't give DPMS my approval, though. We'll see what we can see when I look at the problem areas you're describing though. Thanks for the direction, it's much nicer than flying blind.

    Omnilo: I hadn't done anything at until it malfunctioned ... then I just stripped and lubed it. I put it back together carefully and had the exact same problem.
     
  16. DnPRK

    DnPRK Member

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    Check the function of the extractor and ejector with the bolt out. They should be stiff, but not impossible to move.

    With the upper separated and bolt/carrier out, color the case of one cartridge with magic marker, then drop it into the chamber. Wiggle it around with your little finger, then remove it and look to see if the magic marker was rubbed off. This will give you an idea if the chamber is too tight for your ammo.
     
  17. HKUSP45C

    HKUSP45C Member

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    OK, something wierd happened. Trying all the suggestions in this thread again and having to setup an intricate system for clearing the jams. It involved an extension cord looped over a rafter on the porch then looped over the charging handle to yank the bolt back .... I'm glad the rifle is well built.

    Anyway the news is ... it suddenly started working. I had to take it apart and put it back together a few times (I'm getting quite good at that) and lubed and scrubbed and fiddled and poked and finally some Winchester super X just fell to battery. So I manually cycled the action and another went to battery. Did that two more times and then the Federal was up next in the stack and it went to battery. Dang, it seems to be working just fine. Course it's too late to head back to the range, but visually it appears to be working. Also I no longer have to yank the charging handle with a sock or cord to clear the unfired round, it's still stiff but at least I can cycle it by hand now. Barely.

    I'm not going to try to feed it NATO for a while. I think it was just "brand spanking new stiff" ... tighter than Dick's hatband as my dad would say.

    Doc, if you come back to the thread and have the time and inclination I'd sure be greatful for a quick rundown of that break in you were talking about.

    Thanks again guys it looks like it just needed some pokin, proddin, pullin, cussin and stuffin to get it loose enough to run right.
     
  18. Geno
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    Geno Member

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    The break-in period is detailed in your manual, page 37:

    Barrel Information

    Step I) Clean the chamber and barrel after every round, for the first 25 rounds.

    Step II) Clean the chamber and barrel after every 10 rounds, up to 100 rounds.

    They caution that it can take up to 200 rounds for the break-in. I add, never, never ever use wire brushes in that barrel or chamber!!! Ever! I use plastic and a non-embedding compound on cloth with oil. Two runs into and out and the barrel is entirely cleaned. Wipe it, dry it, continue.

    After I get mine broken-in, I plan to put my 36X scope on it and give it the "group-test".

    Good shooting!

    Doc2005
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2007
  19. Titan6

    Titan6 member

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    The literature I have from DPMS says you can fire high quality surplus only. I read that as US. It specifically forbids SA, Indian, Paki, reloads and a few others by name. I shoot surplus US and new American commerical ammo and have never had a jam, FTF or any other problem, ever. With the current price of commerical ammo and the lack of current supply of US it is an expensive gun to feed.

    I did follow the break in closely. It was a real pain. The guys at the range looked at me like I was crazy.
     
  20. Geno
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    Geno Member

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    It is unfortunate that one cannot use good-quality hand-loads through DPMS firearms. I have never had one of my hand loads kaboom. I cannot say that for factory loads. I had three, brand new firearms destroyed by factory-loaded ammunition:

    1) a Federal Premium .270 Win, 130 Gn, SP destroyed my Sako, Finn Bear

    2) a Winchester Personal Defense .45 ACP, 230 Gn, HP destroyed my Kimber, Ultra Eclipse

    3) a Remington Thunderbolt, .22LR, destroyed my T/C .22 Classic.

    Again, going back to reiterate one simple fact...I have reloaded thousands of rounds. I have never, in nearly 30 years of reloading, ever had a kaboom with one of my handloads. Why no handloads? When I posed this question of Kimber, they told me, "For you, it's fine. You know what you're doing, and you don't 'hot-rod' the rounds. We say no reloads because some people 'hot rod' the loads, and others just don't know how to reload properly."

    I would seek the same variance from DPMS prior to using reloads.

    Doc2005
     
  21. cheygriz

    cheygriz Member

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    You CAN use good quality handloads. Many manufacturers say "no handloads" because they have no control over what you will use. They're trying to prevent having a lawsuit when "Bubba" fills his case with Bullseye and tries to cram a 220 grain bullet on top of it.:rolleyes:

    USP,

    Did you thoroughly clean the chamber before tryng to fire it?? Sometimes preservatives in the chamber will cause all manner of trouble.

    I haven't had any trouble with Portugese ball and Federal Match in my LR 308 AP4.

    From the troubles you describe, if it doesn't work now, I would send it back to DPMS. Every now and then a lemon gets out even in a Rolls royce!:p
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2007
  22. Geno
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    Geno Member

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    DPMS Owners...Please Help With My DMPS AP4 .308

    I just bought a NIB DMPS AP4 .308 with aluminum upper (they do make steel). Anyhow, I have fired a total of 10 rounds of Win. 308 FMJs through it.

    After firing it, cleaning it, and lubing it, I had manipulated the charging handle a total of probably 10 to 15 times. Even with excessive lubricant, about 80% of the black anodize finish is already worn off the left side of the charging handle.

    In addition, the charging handle feels like there is sand or metal shavings in it. It is very course, even when lubed with M-Pro7, Shooters Choice Gun Grease and NECO Moly Coat. Now, of these tremendous lubricant even reduced the grit, let alone eliminate it. I have had several AR-styled rifles, Bushmasters, Colts, DMPS, and more. I have never experienced a rough charging handle. It get better...it smells! Literally, it stinks when I manipulate the charging handle.

    In addition, the locking lugs in the upper receiver portion are significantly rusted. When I spoke the DMPS, I was advised, "...that is not rust, it's machining oil." If it were oil, it would have come out when I cleaned it with the wire brush, which I view basically as sinful...I prefer to use plastic-only. (But that is a different story).

    So, fellas...do me a massive favor...check your charging handle and locking lugs:

    1) Does it create a foul, burning stench after you manipulate it? (The handle, not the chamber).

    2) Does the charging handle manipulate smoothly, or does it feel like it has sand in it?

    3) Estimate the percentage of anodized finish that has been worn off the charging handle, and how many months have you owned it, how many rounds through it?

    4) Are the locking lugs on your upper receiver "rusted"-colored?

    Don't get me wrong. I like the rifle, and I intend to buy one in .260 Rem some day. Also, DPMS is saying that if I need to return it, they will pay the shipping. So, what is my point? Simple, if it does not need to go back, I don't want to waste time with shipping, and waste DPMS' money for the shipping either. Any assistance you can give will be greatly appreciated.

    Doc2005
     
  23. silverlance

    silverlance Member

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    I have a friend whose gun developed cracks. He tried to send it back and they sent it back telling him that they had done spectrum analysis and found that he used surplus rounds (I guess the powder leaves a signature). Voided warranty.

    Another friend busted his gun using Wolf. The manufacturer fixed it free and shipped free.

    Go figure.
     
  24. Evil Monkey

    Evil Monkey member

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    That's probably because Wolf ammo is newly manufactured ammo for the commercial market whereas the surplus are old left overs that may be not fit for duty anymore. I'm guessing that's how DPMS looks at it.
     
  25. HKUSP45C

    HKUSP45C Member

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    It's an interesting read Doc, where did you find it? I'd be interested in following the disucussion.

    My rifle is performing flawlessly now. I have no complaints. I sent an E-mail to DPMS customer service a few hours before I got it fixed on Sunday and had a reply in my in box at 8am Houston time the following day. No questions asked, just "send it back to this address and we'll fix it, sorry for the trouble." I hopped on the horn with them Monday afternoon and was, essentially, told "well, it's brand new, it needs a little movement to get it locking up right in all the important places" .... "oh, and clean it, if that doesn't work we'll pay the shipping for you to send it in."

    Who can argue with that? The guy on the phone seemed bored with the conversation, I can only assume he has it several times a day. All told, I'm very happy with the rifle now, frankly I was happy before, if a bit frustrated too. The customer service was responsive and efficient, though not dripping with salutations and nicey-nice. Hey, whatdayawant?

    Honestly, I have no qualms with a manufacturer telling you that running X component in thier product will void your warranty. As long as they tell you up front. Once informed, should you decide to purchase anyway, you're on your own and rightfully so.

    I stil haven't made it to the range yet to try out the rifle (damn honey-dos) but as soon as I do I'll provide a detailed range report. Pics too.

    Maybe I'm just easy to please from years of actually having to work retail but so far I'm satisfied. We'll see how my attitude is after the range trip. I honestly think I might be a bit scared to go to the range. I'd hate to have another malfunction while out and about .... talk about the icing on the drama. I know, it's silly; sue me.

    I did learn something VERY important while immersed in this little saga. You know when you see G.I. soldiers slap the bottom of a mag on thier rifles as they're inserting them. Well that is to keep a fully loaded mag from failing to latch and landing on thier little toes, creating a bruise the size of a half dollar and the color of a Japanese fan. Or, so I read ;) :p :what:
     
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