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What Rifle to Buy

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Hey guys. I'm new to the site but figured it was a good place to join to start asking all my unanswered questions. Anyways, I am getting ready to purchase my first "Ar" platform rifle (besides my .22lr). I have reviewed, read, and researched a lot of rifles and I have made my mind up almost all the way. I know I want a 308/7.62 rifle. I like the range and power and I am 99.9% sure I want a DPMS. However the exact model I have not yet decided on. I am trying to find a rifle that sits in the sweet spot for me. Something that I can reach out a ways with to give myself a challenge. I started reloading so I can develop a load for whatever rifle I purchase. however I would like to save weight so I can run and gun a little better. I have been leaning towards the LR 308B. the 18 inch bull barrel seems to be a good choice for long range but short enough to give me mobility. The weight is the biggest issue for me. At 9.75 pounds is this rifle going to be to much to really be somewhat effective at shorter ranges and making quick shots? I have looked at some of the other models with shorter, longer, and lighter barrels but have not found much information on their long range capabilities. Anybody had any experience with long range shooting with the other models? Oh, and lastly, I'm trying to keep the price down. the less money I spend on the rifle the more I can spend on glass…. And beer. 


Thanks Guys!

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Welcome from Iowa, BangPewBang.


Being a DPMS owner, I am naturally accused of being partial to the brand. But originally, I was attracted by the price and general reputation. And the power. I was pretty much a .22lr guy (and occasional Mossberg 590 12-ga.) who wanted something more.


What I've discovered since then is that owning a rifle like this from DPMS opens major windows of opportunity for customizing and improving the factory version. I enjoy shooting my DPMS, incidentally, an LR-308T, but a good part of that enjoyment is getting aftermarket parts that improve the rifle, and my shooting experience.


There are days when I think I should have waited on my DPMS purchase until the Gen II rifles came out. I see you're concerned about weight, and so am I. You'll want to take a hard look at the Gen II units, as they come in at about a couple pounds lighter. Thing is, Gen II hasn't been out very long, and a lot of people are waiting for more reviews. And, while the Gen II lets you use AR-15 handguards, vastly increasing things you can buy for the weapon, I'm not sure about other parts, such as bolt carriers, bolts, and who knows what else. Your aftermarket options might actually be fewer with a Gen II.


I've had a lot of fun with my DPMS Gen I, with the people here helping out on various aspects has been great, and I think eventually you'll grow to appreciate the mystique that comes from shooting this platform and the many variations that are available.


And you'll wind up spending more money that you originally planned on. Which you will enjoy.

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I bought a DPMS Lite hunter in .308 and I take it every where, miles and miles after elk and antelope. The only mods I have made...

Changed out A2 stock for a Magpul MOE A2 rifle stock. It might even be heavier but I like the cheek weld.

I put a Harris bipod on it.

Just put a Geissele DMR in, yet to shoot, but the two stage that came with shot great.


Mine has an 18" barrel and a Mikulec brake.

Some of the newer ones have a 20" barrel and no brake.

Edited by .308LiteHunter
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Thanks for the replies guys! I will definitely give the Gen II stuff a good hard look. Gnatshooter, your 308T is right about the same weight as the 308B I've been looking at. Has the weight been a huge factor in the close range or "nimbleness" of the rifle? 


The weight of my DPMS lr-308T is a big factor in 'nimbleness', and it would be hard to find anyone who disagrees. Or, on the other hand, try to find someone who claims a heavier rifle is more 'nimble'.


There is however a trade-off. There will be more recoil from a lighter rifle. A heavier rifle will absorb recoil better. The lower the recoil, the more likely it will be that your follow-up shot is on target. Luckily, the platform you've chosen offers a compromise. You can put a heavier buffer in your buffer tube, and greatly reduce the recoil without greatly increasing the total weight of the weapon.


Someone here might know if a heavy buffer is available for Gen II or not. All I can say is, I haven't seen it. So you may be stuck with massive recoil from a Gen II and nothing to do about it.


Or nearly nothing to do about it. There's also muzzle brakes. The brakes that reduce recoil the best are also vicious on concussion, for the shooter and people nearby. So, that's yet another tradeoff.


I personally have settled on a combination of a heavy buffer from Slash, which cuts recoil, and a 'linear compensator', which sends the noise away from you and everyone you're not trying to kill. But that's me, you'll want to try different things.


Wait for other people in the forum here to chime in, but I'd say, you have more options with the Gen I than the Gen II.

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I have a DPMS LR308B and I like the rifle but damn that thing was heavy! I took the barrel off and had a friend turn it down from the gas block forward to .750 dia. and thread the muzzle for a muzzle device. I then re-parkerized it and reassembled it with a Goodiron muzzle break. Just as easy as before on the recoil and not so muzzle heavy. I like it much better now.

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Why not build you own?  You don't need to lay out all the cash at once (getting parts when they are on sale helps a lot).  You can customize it the way you like.  You'll have a better appreciation for the platform.  There's a bit of fun in the research, crafting your build, shopping, etc.

My $.02

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Sorry for the inactivity guys. Something was up with the inter-web. Thanks for the response. I went and checked out a few rifles this weekend. Nothing I was really interested in but got some ideas. I honestly didn't feel like any of the rifles (ranging from 7.75 to 10lbs) felt all that heavy. That may change after optics and ammo is added haha. The real difference in weight and for lack of a better word, nimbleness was the muzzle weight. I picked up a Remington R25 (the only 20inch they had) and damn was that sucker barrel heavy. More of a hunting rifle but still. 


Im still kinda leaning towards the DPMS 308 B and then possibly getting a smaller barrel down the road. That ways I have a precision barrel and a light weight barrel I could switch between if necessary. I do like the idea of having the stock bull barrel turned down, but would it be better to just go with a Hbar from the get go? 


I did some research on building a rifle, but after some of the things I read it seemed more expensive to build. Any thoughts on building, where to start, and whats a good budget to start out with? 

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So I'm whittling the list down on what rifle to buy. However, length of the barrel id something I am kind of interested in. Its between a 16 inch barrel and an 18 inch barrel. After A LOT of research the ballistics really are no that different on the two and in many cases the shorter barrel was more accurate. Anyways, big thing I am wondering about is the blast. Is a 16 inch barrel that much louder? I understand you can get a pretty good fireball coming out the end but I will be putting on a flash suppressor. So simply, how much louder is a 16 inch barrel over an 18 inch barrel? 

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Anyways, big thing I am wondering about is the blast. Is a 16 inch barrel that much louder? 


If you're worried about muzzle blast, you should consider a Kaw Valley Linear Compensator. It works by sending the blast downrange, away from shooters and bystanders -- I've found their claims to be true. I don't know what this does for flash suppression. I don't notice flash during the daytime, whereas I have seen daylight flash with a muzzle brake. I haven't shot my .308 at night. I should probably do that thing, for SHTF planning purposes.


P.S. I have a 16" barrel on a DPMS LR-308T.

Edited by gnatshooter
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Does the  Kaw Valley Linear Compensator increase felt recoil if the blast is directed forwards?  


That's a valid concern, and I went into the process of buying and shooting it with the expectation that it would increase recoil. In the world of physics, and action/reaction, nothing is free. Even so, I didn't notice any increase in recoil with the Kaw Valley unit.


In fact, it worked so well that I sold my because the Kaw Valley unit worked so well.


The reason for that is that I want to use the rifle for hunting with naked ears. If my whole point was to kill recoil, the JP brake would be my go-to muzzle accessory.

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You can also try out a few brakes. I've used fsc30 brakes, Surefire brakes, battlecomps, and AAC stuff. They all work really well, some do small things better, but all work well. There is no device, even the"Kaw Valley lineal comp" that is the answer for what you may be looking for.

One thing though... anything works better than nothing. Going without increases felt recoil and increases muzzle climb. Period. I would try a few out, and if you decided you liked one over the rest get it and use it.

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