DPMS LR-308 AP4 7.62x51mm NATO/308 Win., $1399



For the money, there's a lot here. Our gun came with an optional quad rail which adds a little to the price. We think this would make a great hog gun — maneuverable enough to get in and out of pickups or Jeeps, with lots of punch.

The DPMS LR-308-AP4 16-inch carbine was equipped with an upgraded Panther flash hider, whose tips were distinct and sharp for puncturing glass and other light barriers. The barrel had the distinct M4 barrel contour, topped with an older A1-style front sight post/gas valve, which is pinned to the barrel. It appeared to be correctly installed and was secure. The DPMS came with a factory-installed free-float quad rail, which was also well attached, and our team noted that everything was tight and lined up correctly with the upper receiver. Atop the M1913 rail sat a detachable A3-style carry handle with A2-style rear sight. This item appeared well made and held out the promise of good shooting accuracy. We found the A3 carry handle/A2 rear sight assembly clamped directly to the upper receiver's flat-top M1913 Picatinny rail. Removal was easy, requiring two knobs be loosened. The assembly lifted right off the rail.

The buttstock again was familiar; DPMS uses a standard AR-15 6-position carbine stock. It functioned properly and had a considerable rage of adjustment. However, if this were our gun, the team agreed that upgrading the stock would be a vast improvement over the original.

The DPMS test gun came equipped with an upgraded Ergo pistol grip and an upgraded ambidextrous selector switch. In our view, the grip was a definite improvement over the stock A2 pistol grip, in part because the Ergo grip also came with a compartment, which had its own cover/plug. The upgraded ambidextrous selector switch uses a hex-style screw to attach the secondary switch. On arrival, this was loose and had to be tightened. This option produced mixed opinions among the testers. The AR shooter was opposed to redundant controls, while the other two testers liked all the bells and whistles.

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