It came to my realization that I’ve had my LR-308 for roughly one year now and so far haven’t actually written a review about the gun. Since I’m writing canned posts for your amusement I figured this is as good of time as any to finally write my review.
For those of you who don’t know the LR-308 is DPMS’s AR pattern rifle chambered in .308. While many often refer to it as an AR-10 it’s truthfully closer to an SR-25. Like the SR-25, the LR-308 shares many common components with the AR-15 including the trigger group, buffer tune, and stock. The LR-308 also uses SR-25 magazines so you can get inexpensive quality magazines from Magpul (which works perfectly in my rifle) instead of having to track down the far more expensive proprietary magazines used by the AR-10.
For reference this is a picture of my rifle:
I know it’s not the best picture but it was taken with the camera on my iPhone is less than ideal light. Since taking this picture I’ve removed the Magpul pistol grip and replaced it with the original A2 grip. Unfortunately the storage compartment in the Magpul grip kept falling out every time I fired the gun. Some people may ask why I didn’t just continue using the Magpul grip without the storage compartment and to those people I can only reply that I’m somewhat obsessive compulsive and if something doesn’t work 100% I don’t want to use it at all. I’m not actually a fan of the standard A2 grip as I find it a bit small for my hands, which are more accustomed to the large grip of the Glock .45 pistols. In time I plan on swapping out the grip with a Hogue but for now I’m just leaving well enough alone.
Beyond that I also replaced the standard DPMS trigger group. The stock trigger was extremely gritty and not at all uniform in its pull weight so I decided to replace it with a Geissele SSA. The SSA is an amazing trigger that breaks clean and requires little in the way of pull weight. Of course for the price they’re asking it should be making me breakfast in the morning as well but as they say buy once, cry once.
You can also see that I attached a Magpul Angled Fore Grip 2 (I first purchased an first model Angled Fore Grip but the wings wouldn’t allow me to slide it one past the front sling attachement point). The vertical fore grips I’ve played with before have left me wanting whereas holding onto a Picatinny rail is nothing but an exercise in pain so I went somewhere in between. I have to say I really like the angled fore grip as it offers several different methods of gripping onto it and the angle is more comfortable to me than placing my hand against the hand guard flat.
Finally I swapped out the standard DPMS charing handle for a BCM Gunfighter Mod 4. While the AR style charging handle ensures one will always have to remove his face from the butt stock to charge the rifle I can at least do it with one hand easier. I like the larger latch as it allows me to manipulate the handle while wearing gloves much easier than the stock one.
Beyond the above mentioned modifications my LR-308 is basically a DPMS affair. The upper has a forward assit (which I’ll never use but it looks kind of neat), free floating quad rail hand guard, and a 20″ heavy barrel. What may not be apparent is the fact that the upper receiver is a flat top with an attached sight/carry handle combination. Why not fancy optics on a .308? It’s because I setup the rifle for use in 3-gun heavy metal division, which requires a .308 or larger caliber and iron sights only. I can always unbolt the carry handle and drop an optic onto the rifle if I so desired.
Now that I’ve talked about the features of my rifle you’re probably wondering how it shoots. I one word beautifully. While I’m not sure on the maximum accuracy of the rifle since I only have iron sights and nowhere beyond 200 yards to shoot it I can say it’s more accurate than I am. Without issue the rifle holds 1 minute of angle at 100 yards (the best I can do with iron sights).
Recoil is very mangeable. While my M1A SOCOM 16 isn’t very difficult to shoot I can say I notice the recoil on that rifle more than my LR-308. Most of this is probably due to the fact the M1A is a far lighter rifle but part of it is also likely due to the way an AR pattern rifle operates. Since the bolt goes straight back into the butt stock and is inline with your shoulder you don’t get the rifle attempting to pivot up at the grip.
With all this said the rifle isn’t perfect. One ding against it is the sheer weight, the gun probably weighs between 11 and 12 pounds. This isn’t a big deal for a 3-gun competition since you’re only moving with your rifle for a few minutes at a time but carrying this monster around in the woods during deer season wouldn’t be a lot of fun. Most of this weight can be attributed to the 20″ heavy barrel. Although I fully admit the barrel is heavy it also doesn’t heat up to the point of throwing rounds as quickly as my M1A SOCOM 16 does (once you dump a magazine through the rifle the barrel has heated up an absurd amount).
Beyond that there isn’t much to say. If you’re familiar with the AR-15 platform you’ll be right at home with this rifle. The only major difference is size, the LR-308 is scaled up to accomodate the larger .308 round. The controls including the magazine release, bolt release, and safety all function identically to a standard AR-15. Like a standard AR-15, the LR-308 also utilizes direct gas impingement, a system many mall ninjas revile for its lack of tacticoolness. Then again the people complaining about the gas system are also likely the people complaining about the rifle being a DPMS, a cardinal sin to the mall ninjas who feel the quality of the rifle directly correlates to the price.
Those looking for a quality .308 that won’t bust the bank I can highly recommend the LR-308. While I admit it isn’t as wizbang cool as a SCAR 17 it also won’t cost you even half as much and you can actually find magazines for this rifle (with that said I really want a SCAR 17 so if you’d like to donate one please e-mail me and I’ll let you know where to send it).