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Posted: 8/6/2004 11:59:27 AM EDT
Saturday July 31st I took my new DPMS Panther LR308 out to the range. I love this rifle! I had the dealer that I bought the rifle from black teflon the barrel and install a RR two stage trigger. This is my first AR type rifle and I am impressed. I fired thirty rounds of Federal 168 match cleaning after each round for the first approximate 25 rounds. Somewhere between 20 and 30 rounds I had two three shot 1" groups. I think the rifle will just improve as I continue to shoot it.
Overall fit on the rifle is good and I have mounted a Nikon 6.5 X 20 illuminated mil dot scope. It is a good looking package. I am waiting for DPMS to come out with their metal magazines before I spend money for Stoner's.

Can anyone offer their advice on continuing the break in cleaning. How often are you cleaning the barrel between shots. I am currently using Sweets and plan on cleaning after every 3rd round until I get to 100 rounds through the barrel.

Also, how are you current owners mounting the sling. Did you use the stud arrangement supplied by DPMS or is there something better? Sorry for the long post. I am new and have a lot to learn.
Link Posted: 8/9/2004 6:07:38 AM EDT
Glad to hear you're liking your new rifle. I've had a 24" for close to a year now, and I LOVE it. I just got a 16" upper (had some growing pains, but it's all good now). I put my sling on by drilling a hole in the forend and installing a stud. Just make sure your forend is good and tight before you do this, or it'll be off center!
Link Posted: 8/22/2004 2:36:36 PM EDT
Overall how reliable would you say this rifle is? Is it ammo sensitive? I`ve been looking at these for a while, would like any input you can provide.
Thanks, DAVE
Link Posted: 8/23/2004 10:44:15 AM EDT
Hi Dave:

Overall I am happy with the rifle. I now have about 100 rounds through it. 1" groups are very common with match ammo. I had one 1/2" group this week end with some of my Lapua handloads. I do believe that the trigger is still breaking in. I was very careful with the barrel breakin. The first thirty rounds I cleaned after ever shot. I then went to cleaning after every third shot and now I am cleaning after every 5th shot.

The only thing crappy with the rifle is the magazines. They are plastic and they have a failure to feed when loading three rounds. The second does not feed correctly. I am waiting for DPMS to come out with their magazines next month.

this is my first gas gun and I am having fun. Currently I am working up a hunting load for hogs. I am taking the gun deer hunting in October. It is heavy but I will be shooting out of a stand. If anyone has worked up a good accurate hunting load for this rifle please let me know.

Link Posted: 8/24/2004 2:37:11 AM EDT
once I got some decent mags (SR25 steel 20 round), I haven't had a ftf or fte yet. I have well over 2K through my 24". I had a really frustrating short stroking problem on the 16" upper I bought, but after polishing up a few hard angles on the bolt carrier and mag catch and installing a Fulton Armory adjustable gas tube, it runs very reliably. (over 500 rds now without a problem) I've only gone as heavy as 168 grain, but Aussie 144 gr surplus, S African 147 grain surplus, Portuguese 147 grain surplus, 150 grain Federal (soft point) 150 grain Winchester (also soft point) and 168 grain Winchester Silvertips all feed/extract reliably. I got my best groups in the 24" with Federal 168 gr Match, at just under 3/4" at 200 yds using a NF 5.5-22X56. With the 16" upper--my hog hunting rig--best group came from the Winchester 168 gr Silvertip. I got a tight 3 shot group under 1/2" at 100 yds. I am VERY happy with my purchase, but remember that I had to do some tweaking on the short upper to make it run. No problems whatsoever with either configuration on ammo sensitivity.
Link Posted: 8/24/2004 8:27:43 AM EDT
Hi Colt 45:

How many shots did it take for your 24" to break in? Also how often are you cleaning between shots now that you fired it a lot? Whose 2 stage trigger are you using and how many shots did it take for it to break in?

I am still learning how to breathe with my gas gun. I am doing better.

Link Posted: 8/30/2004 11:24:47 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/31/2004 6:02:57 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/31/2004 6:10:56 AM EDT by Colt45guy]

I was cleaning per DPMS instructions for the first 100 rds until I read a thread written by Gary McMillian about his match barrels and his idea of how to break in a barrel. Basically, he said that cleaning as often as recommended by the manufacturer actually wears out a barrel faster. He seemed to feel that the copper that gets into the microscopic pits/valleys in a new barrel smooths it out and makes it more uniform which leads to increased accuracy and scrubbing it out after every few shots just means it takes longer to season the barrel...I figure he has more experience at this game than I ever will, so I took some of his advice. After I hit the magic number of 100, I pretty much stopped doing much more than a few passes with a bore snake and a few shots of CLP to the recievers after each shooting session and a detail cleaning about once/month...and I shoot every day. I haven't noticed any loose groups that I can't attribute to myself or a loose scope mount--after 2K rounds, it holds nice, tight 1/2 inch groups at 100 yds with quality ammo and I do my part. There's all kinds of conflicting stories about cleaning the bore on this site and over at SnipersParadise--basically there's the "Uber Clean Nazi" mentality and the "Shoot until it loses accuracy or reliability" mentality. I used to be the former and now lean to the latter. Mine seems to hold tighter groups when it's been fouled with a few shots, so what I've been doing lately is popping off 5 rds AFTER cleaning the bore and before putting it away for the night. I shoot it so regularly, I'm not too worried about rust or corrosive effects of surplus ammo because nothing sits in the bore for very long. When I do my monthly detail cleaning, I use Sweets and a bronze brush. DON'T use any bore paste, because that just wears down the edges of the lands/grooves--same goes for steel or nylon bristle brushes. If you don't believe me, just look at an old fishing pole eyelet to see how abrasive nylon can be!

I was using a RRA 2 stage, but put it on my wife's AR15. I had some problems getting used to it and decided to clean up the original factory. I polished up the original sear, hammer notch and disconnector and have been using that for about the last 1000 rds. For some reason, I like it better. It's still a little stiff, but it works for me.

I used to be really anal retentive about cleaning my guns after shooting. When I moved out to the country where I can shoot to my heart's content, I realized that I was spending more time cleaning than I was shooting. Don't get me wrong, I still ensure my guns are reliable and operating smoothly, and I always wipe them down after use with an oiled rag, but I don't waste a lot of time cleaning when it really isn't necessary--no white glove inspections on my personal weapons!

edited for clarity
Link Posted: 8/31/2004 1:32:56 PM EDT
Hi Colt 45

I am now cleaning after 5 ro 6 shots and have shot about 150 rounds. I do believe that the barrel is broken in and I am getting used to the RR trigger. Last Saturday I had several 5 shot groups with 3 of the shots in one large hole. I am getting used to the rifle.

I will be going out again on Saturday to put the finishing touches on my hunting reloads. It looks like 180 grain partitiions with 43 grains of Varget is accurate and I know it will punch a hog or deer.

My next job is to install the sling post. Are you using the factory supplied sling or have you purchased an aftermarket sling?


Link Posted: 9/1/2004 5:21:48 AM EDT
yours came with a sling? hmph...I got my DPMS only about a month after they were introduced, and it only came with the 2 cheezy plastic mags. I'm using an aftermarket sling (Quake Inc Claw) and a swivel that I got at Wally World (slightly modified). I made sure my ff tube was good and tight, drilled and threaded a hole where I wanted the sling to mount and put a nut on the inside to keep it from pulling out of the soft aluminum. (I had to grind down the top of the nut to get it to clear the gas block when screwing the ff tube back on) I just took my time, and it looks like it belongs there.

Keep us posted on how your rifle works out!
Link Posted: 9/1/2004 7:01:02 AM EDT
Colt 45:

My rifle came with a cheap!!! sling and the mounting stud. My serial # is in the 2400's. I plan on mounting the stud this weekend. From looking at the directions the threaded portion of the stud goes through the aluminum hand guard and is secured by a nut on the inside of the hand guard. Since it is not threaded into the hand guard I will be using some blue locktight.


Link Posted: 9/8/2004 10:26:28 PM EDT
Hi All!
Thank God I found this thread. I have been an AR guy for years and still have several that are my preferred Fun Guns, but I got rid of a Cetme I had and still have a "hankerin" for shootin' something with that .308 Punch... plus I got a couple of cases of Aussie / Portugese ammo that didn't go with the Cetme! I have had my eye on the DPMS .308. Mainly because of cost, but having built and used several DPMS AR's I am very happy with the quality. The one I am buying is a flat top 18" floated chrome moly Bull Barrel. A friend has it, bought it new and has only fired 10 rounds thru it. He has a 24" and now wants to sell the "short one"! So here I am with some questions if I may ask.
Will this use other mags besides the SR-25's and the DPMS mags? Also I saw some mention above about installing a RR two stage trigger. I was wondering if this was a direct swap with no modifications.
Thanks again for your posts and for some great info.
see ya
Link Posted: 9/9/2004 5:03:50 AM EDT

nope...mags are the biggest (and only) bitch I have about this rifle. SR25, OLD STYLE AR-10 waffle mags, and the cheezy plastic DPMS is all that fit this gun. The RRA 2 stage fits in just right. I had to use a heavier hammer spring (Wolff extra power AR15...about $3.00) to make mine ignite primers reliably, but no problems putting it in.

DPMS is supposed to have steel mags coming out real soon, but I haven't heard a definitave answer on date yet. With the AWB sunset, I'm expecting DPMS to start marketing 20 rd mags pretty quick.

If you had a CETME, you're gonna LOVE the DPMS! It doesn't seem to matter what barrel length you get, they're all tack drivers.
Link Posted: 9/12/2004 2:41:54 PM EDT
Hello all, I'm new to this too. tomorrow I'm ordering a Panther Deluxe Bull 24" special and I'm thinking about getting the Leupold VX-III 3.5- 10x40 scope. Do you guys think this is a good match? Is there anything else I should need? I want to target shoot on average 200 yards and maybe get some deer since I'm at it.
Link Posted: 9/13/2004 1:19:08 PM EDT
When looking at scopes do not overlook the Nikon. I put the 6.5 to 20 mil dot illuminated on my DPMS and am very happy. Old eyes and 20 power at 100 yards is great. The cost is reasonable for the quality and I believe the optics are as good as my VariX III on my bolt gun.

I spoke with DPMS today about the mag situations. They will first be selling the 20 round mags with 10 rounders coming later in the year. Manufacturing is in progress and I am on the waiting list. They are duplicating the Stoner magazine since it works so well. The plastic mags supplied are real junk.

I have the RR two stage trigger and belive that is is finally breaking in. I have about 240 rounds through my rifle and love it.

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