DPMS Panther LR-308 AP4 .308

When it comes to a tactical rifle for SWAT or…


When it comes to a tactical rifle for SWAT or patrol work, I prefer the .308 and other larger caliber weapons for their increased energy and superior ballistics. Were I to arm myself with a gun of the AR platform, I’d choose one chambered in the original caliber of the breed, the .308. After all, the earliest variants of the AR were designed to chamber the round. The 5.56mm guns came subsequently, chosen for their higher ammunition capacity and lighter weight in both weapon and ammo. The rest is history.

dmps2.gifIn law enforcement, we don’t “hump” rifles and ammunition for miles and miles on foot through jungles and rough terrain, nor do we sustain the large number of rounds exchanged in military firefights. We typically drive to the scene of the fight in a patrol car or SWAT vehicle, and don’t have to carry them far. In this scenario, it makes sense to carry a rifle that packs a harder punch, and hauling high quantities of ammo isn’t nearly as big of a concern.

If over-penetration is your concern, let not your heart be heavy. Modern ammunition designs such as those found in Hornady’s TAP (Tactical Application Police), Federal’s TRU (Tactical Rifle Urban), or Extreme Shock’s BTHP, control penetration for practical police purposes.

Load Comments
  • davedirt

    My Dpms tears the paper where as my Rem 700 leaves a hole that you can count the rifling.What am I doing wrong?

  • Shane

    Mine has the 24 ” stainless bull barrel paired with a Ncstar 10-40 X 60. I shoot 1/4″ groups at 800 yards. Fantastic rifle.

  • Hawkeye54

    Comparing a .308 Winchester to a 12 gauge shotgun is like comparing a boar to a bison. I have one of these and there is NO WAY the recoil is even close to that of a 12 gauge, unless your 12 gauge weighs 13 lbs. I’d say Utah’s desciption is fairly spot in in comparing the recoil to that of a 30-30 carbine. Maybe close to a .243 bolt action, but softer and slower due to the buffer and other moving parts.

  • Geo

    Hello. I’m kinda new to dpms panther ap4 rifles my question is how good an reliable are they , an price ? If someone can please help answer my questions thank you …..

  • Bomber

    I have had my AP4 for less than a year and 10 days after I purchased it, I did the thing that I do with ALL weapons that I want to keep on target or minimize muzzle jump for follow up…CALL PWS!!! The FSC30 is a MUST have for this! Goes from under a 12 guage to about an AK 47 in kick and you know those you can shoot all day long! NOT QUITE AN AR RECOIL in 5.56! Not because my 6’4″. 220 lb, ex sniper frame cant handle a bit of a kiss, IT MAKES AN ALREADY FANTASTIC BATTLE RIFLE EVEN BETTER! I have not left target AT ALL with this and it turns this Big Dog into a PUPPY! I have the 16″ AP4 and I have HK91, PTR 91, 9 different versions of AR15s in every configuration (love my custom CMMG/Tactical Inno(WHO I USE FOR ALL OF MY BUILDS) PISTON driven and cant think of a better way to end the AK v AR arguments), AK47, AK74, AK (Saiga who is Kalashnikovs pride and joy) 12, and many handguns and handle and enjoy all weapons, and the PWS Comps are just incredible. I use a lot of Phantoms for my plinkers otherwise. I shot a M24 in the military and this thing allows long range accuracy (sub MOA at 600 out of the box with ATAC by Simmmons and sub MOA with A.R.M.S. matched polymer (yes, find light additions) at 200 open BUS sights! That FSC tamed this thing so much and I LOVE THEM. Its not for passers by, its a shooters comp and that smith vortex end is SICK and limits almost all flash even on this post comp! There is a reason that this is what it is on your AP4! BUY it! I have added many mods including PHASE V EBC (must have), BCM Mod 3 Gunfighter, J&P trigger, VLTOR milspec EMOD, SASS gas block and SASS BUFFER (if you dont know, this is what makes a LR just that!) Quad rail, Troy covers, A REAL Grip pod (mil version and yes you can stand on it NO PROBLEM!) and for a long range 30 that is also capable of CQB comes in SO HANDY!, A.R.M.S. polymer front and rear BUS under 100 for the set and burly for this beast (I use YHM QDS (so small and bulletproof or Troy on all else), MAGPUL MS2 and ASAP and MAGPUL mags! FOLLOW UP your accurate shots ALL DAY AND LOVE YOUR AP4 MORE!!!

  • Gun Crazy

    I love my Panther .308. I had some bad clips come from the factory. Once these were replaced it started shooting well. I have an EoTech Military scope with magnification optics and they work well. I agree with the comments on the trigger. The factory trigger has a heavy pull. recoil is very manageable.

  • Tom Rogers

    Before the DPMS LR308 was known to me to be a quality piece, I bought an FNAR 7.62 20” heavy barrel in 2009. This is a quality rifle but, it bounces up off a sand bag about 8” with ball ammo and yes I flinch. My shoulder was sore for about a week the first two times out. LOUD report indeed, I wear earplugs and headgear when I shoot this puppy.

    I am getting a DPMS LR308 24” SS bull and use the FNAR for an anchor (12+ lbs w/scope and clip). I saw the DPMS 308 with 20” barrel at the range and the grouping was super. This has to be a great tactical rifle for sure it can’t be worse than my FN.

    “BDC” is a special topic. I had a new Nikon 1-9×40 on it and zeroed at 100yds. It hits the mark on 100 and 200-yard targets spot on every time. Any distance beyond that you have to shoot and make notes and scope adjustments for shooting at each circle after that.

    I prefer the 308 TAP 168gr and it will not fly the standard “BDC”. I have a weak shooting eye so I went to the Nikon 4-16x42SF Monarch and it was no better; never saw it hit the berm ever. Later I seen that this scope was available in 7.62 (the recoil will damage a scope) and stamped on the scope as such. However, the grain of bullet will make it a liar. Most things 308 are set up on 148gr and that is just too light for me.

  • Ive had my DPMS for 5 years & it shoots just as accurate as my Remington 700 308 I would love the chance at a terrorist with it !!! Its deadly accurate at 800 yards !! for a semi auto 308 its the best i have ever shot !!

  • Mike

    I bought one 2months ago and shot 200+ rounds already and I think the RECOIL is very minimal compare to firing a .308 bolt action. Let’s just say twice as much recoil as a .223

  • B.Russell II

    To respond to Russell about the recoil of the .308 I have the “Sportical” 7.62 and I’d describe the recoil as slightly lighter than a 12 ga., very loud, which is to be expected , but not the boom of the aforementioned 12 ga. A side note there are two options I’m aware of that can considerably lessen the kick if you’re interested: I saw somewhere an aftermarket device that you can buy that fits right behind the bolt carrier in the stock assembly, (it’s right behind that little pin and after depressing that pin the part pops right out, it’s about 2.5″ long and cylindrical) which has a kind of a dampening/shock absorbing ability and is reputed to be very effective. Very sorry I don’t remember the web-site or even what the part is called but I’m sure you can locate one, (cheap too, under $20). Also, a rubber stock pad combined with the previous device would, I’m guessing make the kick equivalent to a .223 for what all this is worth to you. But it is one FINE piece of hardware.

  • I tinker with alot of rifle plateforms. Shooting target/ Hunting. I beleive the DPMS LR- 308 is one of the finnest shooting 308 (semi- auto’s) on the market. My 18″ barrel prefers 168g Hornady’s over 155g rounds for distance (500yrds) but with 155g standard military ammo will give you a 1″ MOA at 100 yrds. Trigger on my LR – 308 is fine for what I use it for. Boar Hunting it would be a 1st choice weapon off my rack! I shoot a Match springfield M1A and yes they shoot better but the weight size, price of a M1A is about twice the size of the LR- 308. My wife of 100 Lbs wet loves to shoot my LR- 308 but dont like my M1A so that speaks for the recoil & weight. Another nice option w/ the DPMS plateform is push out two pins and you can pop on a 16″, 18″ or 20″ match barrel on em. Cant do that with a M1A. Works Great with the Nikon BDC Scope. Its like they disigned them for the AR 308’s. Perfect match set up. In short Ar DPMS LR-308 18″ barrel would be my choice for wooded hunting area’s . If I was out in wide open land Id choose my M1A. But thats just me 🙂

  • TG

    loose fit upper & lower! Called factory they said buy accu wedge! Very disappointed! Hoped for this amount of money customer service would have been better! Good rifle over all.

  • TG

    The weapon had a very loose fit upper & lower! Called DPMS they said buy a accu wedge! Was very disappointed with customer service but I bought a accu wedge and the weapon shoots great! For that amount of money I hoped the customer service would be better.

  • Gary

    I recently purchased a LR 308 AP 4 and am very pleased with it, with 2 exceptions.

    1. A defective magazine had to be returned. I understand defective parts, but don’t believe the customer should be stuck with the freight. A minor point.

    2. The fatory trigger was crap. I knew this and replaced it with a Timney trigger and am now shooting clover leaf 100 yard groups.

    I think they should ship it with a good trigger.

    All in all I’m very satisfied with the rifle. The recoil is very light.

    I now have have EOTech sights on it and am very pleased with those also.

  • GW Mc Craw

    I’ve had mine about 6 months and like it much better than all my other AP4 based rifles. It’s accurate and has a reasonable recoil. For my eye it came spot on from the factory and I am looking forward to shooting it for a long time. I have let others use it and it sells itself,too bad I only have one .308.

  • GW Mc Craw

    I’ve had mine about 6 months and like it much better than all my other AP4 base rifles. It’s accurate and has a reasonable recoil. For my eye it came spot on from the factory and I am looking forward to shooting it for a long time. I have let others use it and it sells itself,too bad I only have one .308.

  • Utah

    Russell –

    The recoil of my DPMS LR-308 is light and very controllable in my opinion. It is low enough that you don’t risk developing a flinching habit. Compared to my bolt action 375 H&H mag that weighs 10+ pounds the DPMS LR-308 feels like a pea shooter, but it’s certaintly NO pea shooter! Going down the recoil scale comparing a 12ga pump shotgun with 3 and 1/2 inch magnum #4 shot loads, the DPMS still feels almost like a toy, but it’s certaintly no toy. Further down the slap-ya-back scale, recoil of the DPMS LR-308 is much lower than a typical 7mm mag bolt action with elk hunting loads. Recoil of the DPMS LR-308 is even lower than a typical 30-30 lever action in my opinion. I’ve shot all these guns. I am very light boned, thin, and weight ~160 lbs. I can shoot my DPMS LR-308 all day with ease using no recoil pad on the gun or my shoulder and never get tired of it. Based on feel, my opinion is that the DPMS LR-308 recoil sits almost between a typical .223 AR and a 30-30 lever action, and maybe closer to the 30-30. (My assessment here may sound strange to some folks, but I don’t have any other way to describe the recoil.) All around I think the .308 is much better than the .223 in an AR for various reasons. I am very happy with my DPMS LR-308. Recoil should not be an issue for anyone, even a 5’5″ 120lb woman who knows how to shoot should handle it fine.

  • Dion

    I was issued mine to carry in tactical situations for the National Security Agency. I love the power and punch of the AP4 and I get get nice groups at 300 meters. I also have found that this rifle is capable of punching through body armor worn by terrorists. I don’t think I will carry another type of rifle on any tactical mission. It’s worth the bang for the buck!

  • Russell

    Im not asking how you like the gun, Im asking whats the recoil of a DPMS 308 Carbine?

  • Russell

    Whats the recoil for the 308

  • gusgus

    I recently bought one. I am so impressed with the quality, the fit and finish is excellent, and my heart speeds up just looking at it. I can’t wait to shoot it. Maybe this weekend…….

  • I have one and It’s great, I started my zero at 50 yards and I put 10 rounds in the same hole. I looked at buddies and said “DAMN I’m glad I bought this.”