I recently took the opportunity to test and evaluate DoubleStar Corporation’s (DSC) Patrol Carbine, this being my first experience with any of their firearms. For those not familiar with the firm, DSC is the sister company of J&T, a “black rifle specialist” that has made and sold parts, kits, and accessories for AR15s for over 25 years. DSC itself has been a producer of AR15 rifles since 1999.
Arriving in a padded Doskosport hard case with one 30-shot magazine, a preliminary look revealed it to emulate an M4 carbine, perhaps the most popular of configurations both among police and the shooting public. To that end, the gun sported a 16-inch barrel with a flash hider and short gas system and short quad-rails, a six-position telescoping stock, standard A-tower front sight and a folding back-up iron rear sight in a desert tan furniture contrasting with the black anodized finish of the gun.
DSC upper and lower receivers are CNC-machined from 7075-T6 forgings and hard coat anodized black. The DSC dragon logo is engraved on the left side of the magazine well. Captured cross pins join the receiver halves, and there was very little play between the upper and lower. The patrol rifle is available with a flattop upper receiver, as seen here. Bolt carrier is machined from carpenter 158 steel, as is the bolt itself. A hardened extractor is used.
The barrel is a 16-inch lightweight unit of chrome moly with a 1-in-9-inch twist, and is button broached. All barrels are randomly magnetic particle tested. A screw-on five-slot A-2 phantom flash hider caps the barrel of the Patrol Rifle. Chrome-lined barrels are optional. These guns are chambered in 5.56mm NATO, which means the weapon will withstand the higher chamber pressures of the military ammo, as well as the lesser .223 round.
Our sample came equipped with one of DSC’s own quad rails, cut from 6061 aluminum and they also bore the company logo. The rails are numbered for reference, and desert tan rubber “ladders” were included for shooting comfort. The front sight tower has an elevation-adjustable post, and mounts a sling swivel and bayonet lug underneath. Rear sight is a GG&G MAD flip-up with a large Hampton-style knob for windage adjustment, again, bearing the DSC logo. The sight features multiple apertures, readily switched by turning the knurled knob mounted vertically in the sight itself.
The six-position telescoping DS4 buttstock is also DSC’s own, constructed from a fiberglass polymer mixture. A soft rubberized pistol grip contoured with finger grooves is made by ERGO Grip for DSC with the DoubleStar dragon logo molded into its side. The ERGO grip also has a rubber bottom plug with a lanyard and battery storage compartment. The buttstock bears the company logo as well. We found it unique that this maker is employing its own “custom” components such as the quad rail and telescoping buttstock rather than outsourcing them. Not only does this give the buyer a range of options, but producing all of these parts in-house gives DSC complete control over quality.
The Patrol Carbine features all of the normal controls and accoutrements, to include a brass deflector, forward assist, a hinged triggerguard for gloved fire and a mil-spec thumb safety with a tic mark on the right side, highlighted in red for at-a-glance safety position from either side.
Several options are available, such as the type of handguards/rails, pistol grip, trigger and bipod upgrades, and so on. We found the gun to be well fitted and the finish smooth and even.
The day we had allotted to test the Patrol Carbine gave us clear skies, about 49 percent humidity, temperatures that ranged from 55 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit and, unfortunately, 15-mph wind gusts that seemed to actively seek out our perch on the rifle platform. We stapled up our 8-inch VisiColor targets from Champion Traps & Targets 100 yards downrange, as well as a slightly smaller-than-life-sized silhouette. The silhouette was for dialing in the sight. Considering that most cops will employ a reflex-type sight, and taking advantage of the flattop receiver, we affixed a Trijicon TA31 ACOG (Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight) 4x scope to direct our fire during the tests.
We packed ammunition selections from Black Hills, CorBon, Extreme Shock, Federal, Hornady, Remington and Winchester. The plan was to fire three-round groups to test the DSC’s accuracy, but first, we had to zero the TA31. We fired a total of about 12 rounds at the silhouette, all the while dialing in the ACOG’s chevron until our hits were centered. Finally, we moved our point-of-aim from center mass to the tip of the nose. By the end of the day, this group on the face of the silhouette would end up being among the smallest: a 1.25-inch pattern attained with Federal’s TRU 77-grain Sierra MatchKing BTHP ammunition.
In fact, the tightest group of the day came with Remington’s 62-grain HP Match load, with all three rounds crowding into just 0.75 of an inch. All told, the average accuracy of all ammunition we tested was only 1.26 inches with the largest pattern going a mere 1.81 inches. This was in spite of the constant fight we waged with the wind gusts.
Average velocities ranged from 2307 fps (feet per second) from the Federal 77-grain TRU to 3002 fps with Winchester’s 50-grain Ballistic Silvertip. Accuracy is important, but reliability is imperative, and the good news is that the gun ran smooth and functioned 100 percent throughout all of our tests.
After testing the gun for accuracy and muzzle velocities, we decided to have some fun. Taking a shoulder-width tactical stance, strong-side foot a few inches to the rear, we began firing controlled pairs from about 7 yards, easily getting the tight pairs off relatively quickly as is the norm for an AR15. We then sped things up, trying double taps or “hammers,” easily keeping our pairs only a couple of inches apart.
We continued the controlled pairs and double-tap drills out to 25 yards, double-tapping two rounds only about 3 inches apart in some instances, assuming we did our part. The beauty of the AR platform, in conjunction with the 5.56mm round, is that the recoil is very comfortable to shoot and easy to control, even during the aforementioned rapid double-tap drills. The spongy, finger-grooved pistol grip added to shooting comfort, as did the rubber ladders supplied with the fore-end quad rails. The DSC stock allows the gun to transition instantly from shooter to shooter, in terms of length-of-pull (LOP); this also translates to varying layers of gear, such as tactical vests and the like.
The Patrol Carbine’s trigger had about 0.13 of an inch of take-up before resistance was felt, then a clean break at 7.5 pounds with no discernable overtravel. Lighter, slicker triggers can certainly be had, but this one was sufficient, and in many ways appropriate for a tactical rifle.
We gave the DSC Patrol Carbine high marks in accuracy, handiness, and for being resoundingly reliable. The gun is ready to go from the box; all we would add is a tactical light, such as the SureFire Millennium M910A Vertical Fore Grip and a dependable reflex scope such as the ACOG. Admittedly, even the scope could be considered optional. We also liked that DSC manufactures so many of its own components that would normally be farmed out to other vendors, giving them the most control over these parts.
There are so many manufacturers of the black rifle today, it can be difficult to sort through the good and the bad, and discern what makes one different from the next, but if this specimen is any indication of the rank-and-file rifle from DSC, it is one more that we can add to our list of well-made and properly functioning and serviceable tactical rifles for the field.