With the guns field-prepped, measured, and initially assessed, we next began to shoot them for accuracy and to assess their function and reliability. Each gun was fired with 100 rounds of three types of ammo. Tests were conducted on six separate days at three different gun ranges, using the same shooter to ensure consistency. We fired three different bullet weights from three different manufacturers. The test rounds were Hornady’s 168-grain 308 Winchester Boat-Tail Hollow Point (BTHP) Match round; a 173-grain M118 Match round made at the Lake City plant; and a bulk-packaged Austrian 7.62x51mm NATO round, with 146-grain HP-74 nomenclature. We used the same scope on both guns, transferring a Sightmark SM13017 4-16x44 Tactical Scope in a set of 30mm rings between the rifles. We also used a new device to capture velocity data, the MagnetoSpeed V3 Ballistic Chronograph.
The POF P308 rifle achieved the best groups across all three ammo types. The POF shot a 1.0-inch group average with the Hornady Match 168-grain boattails, followed by 1.3-inch groups from the Lake City M118 173-grain load. The largest groups were recorded by the Austrian HP-74 NATO at 1.8 inches. Although the POF P-308 did shoot the tightest groups by about a quarter-inch per load, the POF P308 periodically had trouble cycling the Lake City M118. There were no failures encountered with the other two types of ammo. The DPMS completed the tests without any function failures; however, during range testing, the ambidextrous selector switch became loose and fell off the gun. Off the bench, two Gun Tests testers new to the AR platform felt comfortable with all operational aspects of the DPMS LR-308 AP4 carbine.