DMPS BG 2015 Personal Defense Weapon high right
Personal Defense Weapon

It is nice to witness a company and its products evolve over time.

The Defense Procurement Manufacturing Services (DPMS) line-up of ARs is a great example of this. DPMS offers one of the broadest catalogues of AR rifles on the market with a dizzying array of AR model types, calibers and configurations. In general terms, ARs come in two patterns—5.56mm and 7.62mm. DPMS’ variety of AR offerings is too extensive to cover each, so we will focus on a couple of DPMS’ ARs in each caliber. Starting with the DPMS 7.62mm types, we will focus on the GII MOE and LRT-SASS. DPMS 5.56mm rifles will be the Tactical Precision Rifle (TPR) and the Personal Defense Weapon (PDW). The DPMS rifle types chosen cover the gamut in terms of mission profile and adaptability for the user.


Often the 7.62mm AR-pattern rifle is associated with an unwieldy profile weighing over 10 pounds. The recently introduced DPMS GII MOE will change users’ thoughts on how a 7.62mm rifle can be configured. DPMS has made a conscious effort with the GII model to blend typical 5.56mm and 7.62mm components to allow for wider access to 5.56mm accessories while exploiting 7.62mm power. Forged upper and lower receivers are contoured to be more ergonomic while only 0.5 inches longer than a 5.56mm AR receiver and 0.62 inches shorter than a 7.62mm AR model. DPMS’ attention to detail is further born out with a reduced mass bolt carrier that provides a smoother, softer recoil impulse compared to most other 7.62mm weapons on the market. The GII MOE also accepts 5.56mm-type handguards, thanks to a newly designed barrel nut. This pattern is followed with the GII MOE’s 5.56mm fire control unit for more accessory adaptability. Contoured steel feed ramps, a revolutionary redesigned extraction system and a dual ejector design decrease feeding, extraction and ejection malfunctions that can plague 7.62mm designs. This focus on reliability is supported by DPMS redesigning the gas impingement delivery system, the monolithic bolt carrier and optimized gas ring clearances to eliminate the possibility of gas leakage during operation.



The DPMS LRT SASS is on other side of the use spectrum from the GII MOE. The LRT-SASS is a precision semi-auto tactical rifle that produces accuracy equal to most bolt action rifles. DPMS points out that the SASS (Semi-Auto Sniper System) was designed to provide military marksmen a rifle that could accomplish a long-range, precision mission, especially in a target-rich environment, while providing rapid defensive fire for close-range encounters. The SASS features an 18-inch fluted, Teflon-coated, stainless bull barrel, a Magpul PRS stock, Magpul back-up sights, a JP trigger, a Panther tactical grip and a four-rail free-float tube. The DPMS LRT-SASS is more of a typical 7.62mm AR-style rifle in terms of size. Many would characterize it as a 5.56mm AR on steroids with its larger size, larger caliber and heavier weight. The LRT-SASS tips the scales at 12.6 pounds (GII SASS weighs 10.5 pounds). This extra weight helps to minimize felt recoil for the marksman and increase accuracy potential with a stable rifle platform. If you are looking for a flexible multi-mission rifle for yourself or your agency, the LRT-SASS should be among those considered. The LRT-SASS rifle is designed to excel in a fluid task environment by accommodating a wide variety of accessories like lights, IR designators and various types of optics and bipods.

Tactical Precision Rifle

Shifting our focus to the DPMS 5.56mm AR rifles brings us to the DPMS TPR (Tactical Precision Rifle). The DPMS TPR  is one of lighter AR rifles on the market, especially considering that it features a full-length rail and 20-inch barrel; it weighs in at just 7.75 pounds. A minimalist rail design defines the DPMS TPR aesthetics. Not all weapons need rails and an array of accessories to be considered viable. While reliability should never be compromised in terms of cost/performance ratios, other items considered a must for some may not be high priority or worth it for others. KISS (keep it simple, stupid) methodology can pay dividends in terms of budget and allowing for concen-tration on other priorities, such as training for example. The DPMS TPR shows versatility in satisfying customer needs by not using full-length quad rails, but instead offers a lower profile handguard with adjustable Picatinny rail sections. The minimalist approach for rails still allows plenty of room for a vertical foregrip and lights/lasers if so needed. DPMS’ thought process for the TPR was to create a lightweight, simple-to-operate AR rifle similar to Eugene Stoner’s original concept. This counter-intuitive approach involves maximizing the AR’s effectiveness and potential by simplifying it away from current trends of 10-pound-plus, quad-rail rifles festooned with lights, lasers, designators, night-vision optics, etc. The TPR’s overarching theme is evident with DPMS not advocating going retro and breaking out retired M16A1s for use. The DPMS TPR utilizes AR improvements as long as items contribute toward effectiveness. The fact that short sections of Picatinny rails are mounted on the handguard gives a nod to realism in that high-intensity flashlights serve a role and have a place on a fighting rifle.


Personal Defense Weapon

The DPMS PDW is a NFA Class III AR that further shows DPMS’ wide-ranging product line. The PDW’s 7-inch barrel gives it a profile more in line with a submachine gun while maintaining the punch and terminal effect of the 5.56mm rifle cartridge. The PDW firing the 5.56mm rifle round, compared to a submachine gun chambered in 9mm pistol rounds, provides an all-around ballistic advantage. Even at the reduced 2,100 fps velocity, the PDW will be effective out to 150 to 200 yards in terms of penetration and terminal ballistics. The PDW is designed for close-quarters and personal security detail operations. The 7-inch barrel produces approximately 2,100 to 2,300 fps velocities with the 5.56mm round while maintaining enough rail space for solid purchase and accessories as a mission dictates. The key with the PDW is having a 7-inch-barreled AR that works, and works at the same reliability level as longer-barreled ARs. This is where the PDW’s direct impingement system comes into play. The PDW is built to be a true combat carbine. With no unnecessary gas adjustments and only one moving assembly in the form of its bolt group, proponents point to the PDW as one of the most rugged, simple and versatile compact ARs available. The PDW weighs 5.5 pounds and has an overall length of 23.75 inches with stock collapsed and approximately 27.75 inches extended. The PDW’s performance is superior to any submachine gun and it does not take a backseat to full-size rifles in the sub-200-yard arena, which is what the PDW was designed for.

For more information, please visit or call 800-578-3767.

Up Next

Naval Academy Looks to Add Cybersecurity as a Major

Naval Academy academic dean Andrew Phillips wants cybersecurity major accredited in time for 2016...