DPMS has long been one of my personal favorites thanks to theirquality, reliability and very reasonable price. Over the years theyhave generally been priced $100 less per copy than similarlyequipped competitive models.
First up is their new 7-inch personal defense weapon. In 5.56mm,they feature a way cool looking four-rail free float tube thatgives the PDW a distinct, modern and aggressive look. Like allblack DPMS AR’s, the upper and lower receivers are black Tefloncoated, which not only improves the appearance over Parkerizing,but provides an easy cleaning, non-stick surface-just like onfrying pans (maybe not the manliest analogy for a gun, but itstrue). Another distinct new gun for DPMS, that you won’t findelsewhere, is their full length 20 inch A2, in what I feel is oneof the great calibers for the AR, the 6.8 SPC. A real rifle in areal rifle caliber.
I mentioned competition tactical long guns, and DPMS buildsseveral. One of their newer ones is the Panther 3G1. With accuracyas its hallmark the 3G1 is very accurate with an 18-inch (black)Teflon-coated 1×8 twist MK-12 stainless steel heavy barrel, cappedwith a muzzle stabilizing Miculek Compensator. The lightweight,standard length VTAC modular handguard (there’s that distinctive,cool look thing again) from JP Enterprises provides additionalcooling capacity. The 3G1 also features a tactical charging handleassembly, which makes working with heavy duty optics much easier.www.dpms.com
Ok, here is the big news for the AR world. I got tohandle and work with what I think is the most significantdevelopment for the M-4 carbine family of weapons since thepicatinny rail and vertical foregrip: the IGRS (Integrated GripRail System). I got to see a picture of it the day before the areaproduct rep brought one into Vance’s Shooter’s Supply inColumbus.
The IGRS enlarges and shapes the magwell area, and thus providesan excellent handgrip and area to add pressure switches to. Butthat is not all the IGR does. A major and integral part of the IGRSis the contoured magazine funnel. I really hadn’t thought muchabout the need for mag funnels on my AR’s to speed reloading, but Ido now-and this one works, and works big time. There really is NO,I repeat no need to look at the lower receiver to reload.
The other thing about the system, which is totally cosmetic, isthat it makes the M-4 look, well, really updated. It truly has theCDI (Chicks Dig It) factor. The IGRS is integrally attached withits rail forend, and snaps in place, as I observed, in just acouple of minutes. It adds no significant weight to the system asthe IGR forend rail is less bulky than most.