Quality of the DPMS .308 rifles

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Blackwolf, Sep 23, 2011.

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  1. Blackwolf

    Blackwolf Member

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    My latest want has been a "battle rifle" of some type, and I've pretty much decided on an AR-10. The higher-end AR-10s are in the $2,500 range, which will be over my budget for a long time, so I want to know about the DPMS rifles.
    Tell me everything that I might need to know if I buy one of these rifles.
    The rifle will be for range shooting / zombies.

    Thank you.
     
  2. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    I am in the process of building one right now. The reasons I went with the DPMS pattern include that it has been adopted my the military as the M-110, and Magpul makes P-mags for it. It is the most universally compatible pattern.

    I am going to start with two uppers. The first will be a .243, and I will probably buy a DPMS lightweight version. This will be for deer and coyotes. The second will be a heavy .308, probably built with a Krieger barrel. I will set this one up for distance shooting. I will probably eventually set up a similar one in .260 Rem, and maybe one in 7mm-08 if I want a heavier hunting rifle. I look forward to the learning process involved with tweaking builds and loads for accuracy, but that isn't for everyone. These days uppers are so available, it really isn't cost effective to build them.

    All of these cartridges use the same magazine and bolt face.
     
  3. ugaarguy

    ugaarguy Moderator Staff Member

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    They're built extremely well (unlike DPMS AR-15s which are okay to good in build quality). Between the one I own, and the few my friends own, I've yet to see one that won't shoot MOA or better with match ammo.

    Mljdeckard covered the rest: they're the same pattern as the Knights Armament Corporation (KAC) SR-25, which the US Army just adopted as the M110. The LMT MWS uses a proprietary barrel attachment system, but is otherwise DPMS / KAC compatible. The UK MOD just adopted the LMT MWS as their issue .308 semi-auto rifle. With British & US military adoption it's likely that .308 ARs will begin to migrate toward the KAC / DPMS pattern as standard.
     
  4. Roadkill

    Roadkill Member

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    I've got one. Its the carbine version. Trigger really sucked. Didn't like my reloads at first but that was on me. I put a Springfield 1st Gen Sniper scope on it and using the right ammo its now very accurate. Replaced the trigger assembly with a RRA. Intend to use it as a deer rifle this season.
     
  5. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Member

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    The factory trigger works, but that's about it.

    The factory trigger is not much more than a placeholder for whatever better trigger you want.

    The RRA trigger is a good value, but may require some fitting around the selector.
    rockriver07.jpg

    Accuracy is quite good.

    100 yards
    M852smaller.jpg

    Doesn't have to be a fat pig behemoth either.
    DPMSAK-47comparison.jpg
     
  6. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Member

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    I have shot a few different LR-308's and they shot OK, the felt recoil was higher than my ArmaLite AR10's or the LMT MWS I'm looking at. Two things that DPMS does to keep costs down is an extruded upper vs forged in other manufacturers, and they use a standard AR15 RE, to compensate for the longer bolt of the .308 they shorten the AR15 buffer, reducing it's overall weight.

    The ArmaLite AR10 is just a few hundred $ more than the LR-308 and it's much more rifle. The ArmaLite is built around forged 7175-T73 Aluminum upper and lower. The mil-spec RE is 3/4 longer allowing a full size .308 weight buffer the reduces felt recoil. Carpenter steel bolt, lapped barrels in three types, chrome moly, chrome lined, and stainless steel. Two stage triggers in a tactical version and in NM, the NM is about 2lbs less pull and the trigger bow is moved forward slightly.

    There are currently thousands of ArmaLite AR10's in Canadian military service with many being used in the middle east.
     
  7. popper

    popper Member

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    I have long and short barrel version. Trigger sucks. Shoot good, less expensive than others, but it's not a battle gun.
     
  8. sansone

    sansone Member

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    I researched way too long before buying my first LR308/AR10 and didn't like the forward assist/deflector placement on the LR308. Not that big a deal but looked like it was scabbed-on, in the wrong place. The AR10 looked "right" and was only a little more money.
    I also had small concerns regarding the forged vs extruded difference.
    I'm fine with DPMS quality, just that the price was too close to Armalite
     
  9. Z-Michigan

    Z-Michigan Member

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    I've had an LR-308B for approaching two years now. In terms of build quality I can see, it is excellent; in terms of paper specs, madcrate is correct. There does NOT seem to be any indication of material or design failures with the DPMS 308 design, and it's now been around for close to a decade so I think any inherent flaws or weak points would have been discovered.

    The extruded upper is thicker and a bit heavier than a forging, but I'm sure it's plenty strong. They recently changed it from 6066-t6 to a 7129-t5 series alloy which is somewhat stronger, approaching the strength of the 7075 used in AR15 receivers. Armalite has gone a step further with their 7175 alloy (6-8% stronger than milspec 7075) which is great, but doesn't necessarily have any real benefit in use. The lower is a billet 6061, which is not ideal from strength but, again, seems to be more than strong enough for actual use and no issues have been reported.

    The major pluses of the DPMS are:
    -cost - easily under $1000 for a complete rifle, if you shop around
    -relatively standard pattern - while there is no single .308 AR pattern standard, more designs use the DPMS/KAC pattern than any others, and I expect there are more DPMS .308s in civilian hands than any other brand or pattern.
    -more aftermarket parts options, due both to DPMS sourcing and the common pattern

    If you want a .308 AR for fun, hunting, or target shooting I would not hesitate to recommend the DPMS. I would not view it as a mil-quality rifle and would look only at the LMT if you want the utmost reliability and durability (even the KAC has reported issues from Afghanistan).

    Madcratebuilder, I don't doubt your claim about the Armalite in Canadian service, but what's your source? I've never heard that before.
     
  10. sansone

    sansone Member

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    the canadians were using armalite AR10's in Iraq.
    semi auto sniper

    I just want to repeat: anybody buying the DPMS LR308 will surely be pleased, I just thought for the little bit more money the AR10 was more gun
     
  11. Baba Louie

    Baba Louie Member

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  12. Z-Michigan

    Z-Michigan Member

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    Learn something new every day - thanks.
     
  13. EdLaver

    EdLaver Member

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    I have a DPMS Sportical .308 carbine

    http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=505103&highlight=sportical+.308

    It has shot consistently well with very nice accuracy. The furthest I have shot it was about 325-350 yards with 1-4x power optic with decent 5 shot groups. The trigger on mine isn't bad at all for its intended purpose (SHTF,hog hunting), if I was using it as a light sniper/medium range type I might change it, but for a battle rifle its fine.

    I also like that Magpul makes excellent readily available magazines for it. I have about 600-700 rounds through it with absolutely no problem. I have bulk 150 gr Winchester Whitebox that it likes, best groups have been with 165 Hornady Superformance.
     
  14. EdLaver

    EdLaver Member

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  15. Blackwolf

    Blackwolf Member

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    Thanks for the replies, folks! I seriously think that this might be the nicest board on the 'net.

    Back on topic, several people mentioned that the DPMS is an SR25 / M110 pattern rifle, which is the primary reason why I'm considering it over the Armalite or RRA. I've no doubt that both are fine rifles, but having some degree of standardization means a lot to me.

    I'm willing to save my pennies and buy a KAC, or other higher-dollar rifle if it will get me a much better gun, I just want to make sure that I'm not spending an extra $1,500 for nothing.

    Once again, thanks for the replies!
     
  16. lmccrock

    lmccrock Member

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    I have a DPMS LR-308. Yes, the stock trigger was so bad I cannot put an adequate description in polite words. A JP fixed that. The rifle can be ordered with a trigger upgrade from the factory; not sure why they do not put in a decent trigger to begin with. Oh, its heavy, about 11lbs unloaded, no sights. Look at the weight while you shop.

    If I were going to get a high-end 308 AR, it would be LaRue, but they are local and provide significant support to the local shooting community. The 2x price buys accuracy and reliabilty, although my LR-308 has been perfect, except for that time at a match I smacked the gas block on a wall and turned the gun into a single shot. Probably any AR would have done the same.
     
  17. velocette

    velocette Member

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    I've had an LR 308B for about 5 years. The rifle has been totally reliable and accurate. It has over 2000 rds downrange, mostly my reloads, without a jam, FTF, FTE or any other problem. No parts have been changed or replaced thus far due to wear or breakage. Accuracy runs sub MOA consistently with good ammo. Small base dies for reloading are NOT needed and the brass is easily re-sized. (not so with many other autoloading rifles)
    Agreed the stock trigger is awful, just like most every other AR type rifle. Mine was ordered from DPMS with the JP trigger option, well worth the price.
    I use a 4 ~ 16 X 56, mil dot scope & it suits MY shooting pleasure.
    the mags hold 20 rds but will not lock in on a closed bolt, take a round out & they will lock in on a closed bolt. The 10 rd optional mag is very handy and used more than the others.
    Overall, the rifle is and has been a quite satisfactory purchase & I would do it again without hesitation.

    Roger
     
  18. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Member

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    There is no standard now but the SR25 style may become the defacto standard by shear volume of sales. About the only after market part that is platform specific are mags and hand guards and they are easily found for any of the platforms. The sr25 Pmags are fairly cheap, steel GI ArmaLite are just a few bucks more and KAC or LMT steel mags are two or three times as much in cost.

    Personalty I would take a Noveske over a KAC (I did) and would take a LMT or ArmaLite as a battle rifle. I think the DPMS is fine, it needs a better buffer and RE, but they are great shooters.
     
  19. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    I spent a day on the range with one of the SF groups, and I got to shoot a suppressed M-110. (KAC.) I loved it, and it's very easy to shoot accurately, but the guys who owned it said that they had a lot of problems with it. They said of they shot it faster than about 6 rounds per minute, it would start to malfunction. They had been able to test the prototypes as well, and said they were much better, that some quality had slipped in the rifles that had been delivered for service.
     
  20. ugaarguy

    ugaarguy Moderator Staff Member

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    DPMS now calls the same mags 19 round.

    Barrels wont interchange, nor will uppers interchange cross platform. JP says you can use their carrier in an Armalite, but you must use a DPMS / KAC bolt, firing pin firing, pin retaining pin, and cam pin. Hence complete bolt carrier groups will interchange, but individual components thereof will not. The metal DPMS have dropped to $30 or less now, so they're in line with Armalite's modified M14 mags. The KAC factory mags, while overpriced IMO, are still in whole other league from the DPMS & Armalite factory mags. Hopefully that clarifies a few things.
     
  21. FlyinBryan

    FlyinBryan Member

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    ive always been very interested in the 308 AR rifles, so from the looks of this, and from being impressed with what ive seen at the local range, dpms wouldnt be a bad way to go?
     
  22. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Member

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    Barrels can interchange, it's the barrel nut that is different between the platforms, ArmaLite/Noveske are 18tpi and DPMS is 16tpi. ArmaLite/Noveske has a 45* at the back of the upper, DPMS is rounded, KAC is 45* and has a different pin setup.

    This FAQ has a lot of answers and pic's if anyone is interested in seeing the differences between platforms.

    http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_3_62/378850_AR10_FAQ_and_information_Small_Update_Sep_2011.html
     
  23. ugaarguy

    ugaarguy Moderator Staff Member

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    Decent information, but take it with a grain of salt. The author is an Armalite fanboy who openly calls DPMS LR-308 parts cheap junk. :rolleyes:
     
  24. Mags

    Mags Member

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    Mine has been good to me...


    100_0721.jpg

    100_0719.jpg

    Whatver you do avoid the factory quad rail!

    100_0679.jpg

    100_0011.jpg
     
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