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DPMS Panther LR-243

This is a discussion on DPMS Panther LR-243 within the Non-XD Handguns forums, part of the Other Handgun Talk category; I've always liked the AR platform and have a very nice Bushmaster Varminter Ar-15 223 with 24" fluted heavy barrel and floating handguard, but I'm ...


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Old 09-07-2008, 10:01 PM   #1
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DPMS Panther LR-243

I've always liked the AR platform and have a very nice Bushmaster Varminter Ar-15 223 with 24" fluted heavy barrel and floating handguard, but I'm thinking of a somewhat shorter package in a more powerfull caliber and I think the 243 is just about idle from a man-stopper.

Yeah, at 20" the barrel is longer than most would want for close quarters stuff but it would still be about 4 inches shorter than my Bushy.

What about bullets for defensive perposses? What make of bullet will provide 12" or so of penetration but also open up to dump the energy.

Lastly, if the 20" barrel works out to be too long for me are there gunsmiths that would be able to cut it down to, say, 16 inches or so? Any law's I need to think about if I do cut it down?


Thanks,

Brian
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Old 09-08-2008, 12:17 AM   #2
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Get the one in .308 - much easier to find than .243 and go with a DPMS they have several .308 models.

Chapie+

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raptor1956 View Post
I've always liked the AR platform and have a very nice Bushmaster Varminter Ar-15 223 with 24" fluted heavy barrel and floating handguard, but I'm thinking of a somewhat shorter package in a more powerfull caliber and I think the 243 is just about idle from a man-stopper.

Yeah, at 20" the barrel is longer than most would want for close quarters stuff but it would still be about 4 inches shorter than my Bushy.

What about bullets for defensive perposses? What make of bullet will provide 12" or so of penetration but also open up to dump the energy.

Lastly, if the 20" barrel works out to be too long for me are there gunsmiths that would be able to cut it down to, say, 16 inches or so? Any law's I need to think about if I do cut it down?


Thanks,

Brian
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Old 09-08-2008, 09:05 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Chapie+ View Post
Get the one in .308 - much easier to find than .243 and go with a DPMS they have several .308 models.

Chapie+
I'd somewhat disagree that .243 would be more difficult to find than .308...sure, there's no surplus .243, but then again, it seems like there's almost no surplus .308 around any more either...

.243 might be a bit more expensive than .308 surplus; but when it gets down to premium ammo....243 might actually be cheaper.

To answer the OP question--a good .243 defensive round? I'd get the heavier weight (70-100grn) varmint rounds...V-max, Nosler Ballistic Tips, Ballistic Silvertips, etc. They seem to feed reliably in semi-autos, and should offer good terminal performance.
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Old 09-08-2008, 06:23 PM   #4
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Just be very careful if you decide to reload for the 243 or 308 using Hornady A/V max. I owned two DPMS LR 308 Panthers and love them, but when you reload...keep in mind OAL because of it being a mag feed semi...the mag can smush the polymer tip.

If you want great ballistics...I'd go .260 over .243. I've been toying with the idea of getting a .260 upper for the past 1.5 years. I already have my .243 rifle, so the 243 upper isn't high on my priority list.

IMO 20" is fine for the 243...why chop it down to 16"...you will lose velocity and not gain anything from the chop.

I think the first question you must ask yourself is what is the max distance you plan on shooting the rifle...and go from there.
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Old 09-08-2008, 09:57 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies...


Thing is, the 223/556 are great but a little under powered, particularly if the BG is large, hyped up on drugs or religion, or wearing some form of body armor. Sure, a 308 would do nicely but I kind of prefer the higher velocity route -- just my preference.

For bullet weight in a 243 I think right about 85gr and 3000fps are pretty hard to beat, so long as the bullet is designed to penetrate and then expand. I don't know if the vmax is the way to go as I'd expect them to open too soon of fragment early and that might deminish the knockdown capabilities. OTH, if it does penetrate at least 10 inches and either expands or fragments, then the knockdown power could be much greater than the 223/556 in any weight.

So, just to close on one last question: how would you rate DPMS and the Panther series in particular?


Thanks,

Brian
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Old 09-08-2008, 10:32 PM   #6
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Please, do a little additional research and try and unlearn the concept of "knockdown power". It's a myth. No round knocks anyone down. You want a round that will drive deep enough to reach vital organs, and cause rapid incapacitation through blood loss. Which pretty much any centerfire rifle round out there is gonna be capable of, especially at SD ranges (I'll call it 50' or less).

FWIW, at those self-defense distances, the 556/223 platform with good defensive ammo (55 grain JHP, or NBT's, for example) placed in the chest/abdomen is gonna be devastating. I have no doubts whatsoever that my AR loaded with 55grn NBT's will stop anyone on anything in their tracks with only a couple of rounds--assuming I do my part and put 'em on target.

But hey--if you want to step up to the .243, more power (pun intended) to you--there's nothing wrong with it at all. The heavier V-max's etc. will have more than enough mass to penetrate deep & do their job.

Now, to answer your second question--I know a few people with the .308 Panthers, and they are happy with them. I don't think the .243 would be any different.
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Old 09-08-2008, 11:24 PM   #7
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I should have thought twice about using the baddly missued term "knockdown power." I know it has taken on many meanings to many people and that, as much as anything, is its problem.

Yes, I'd bet my 24" barrel AR-15 with almost any bullet would get the BG's attention, but recent history in Afganistan and Iraq make it clear the 556 is under powered, particularlly in the short barreled M4. Now they could go back to using rifles with 16-20 inch barrels but we all know that aint gonna happen so why not up the power a bit. And I do mean a bit. There's no need to go crazy and tripple the size/weight of the cartridge, but take the great idea Stonner came up with and make it valid for 2008+. When fielded in Viet Nam the BG's were 130# guys wearing PJ's and against that the 556 was almost perfect, save for some bad decissions by the Army (no chromed lined barrel, ball powder).

The modern threats come in two form as I see it: religion/drug crazed BG's that require there heads to be blown off to stop, and well funded BG's with body armour. Against either of these threats the 556 just aint enough, again, particularlly with the M4. But, up the mass 60% and up the MV a bit as well and you make both threats less of a problem. Sure, the 308 would offer an improvement as well but there is an advantage to smaller faster when it come to penetration of barriers and body armour so for me, the 243 or something in that ballpark would be a better bet even if the cartridge were not much smaller than the 308.

Anyway, I'd like to get my hand on an AR style 243 and give it a whirl...


Brian
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Old 09-09-2008, 10:10 AM   #8
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I like the "religion/drug crazed BG" reference. I didn't think religion made people less susceptible to bullet wounds - crazy sometimes, sure, but a religious nut with a bullet through the chest is going down the same as any regular guy, right? Drugs - sure - PCP will do weird stuff to people and make them almost "invincible."

Sidenote: what kind of mags would an AR-243 use? Standard issue mags, or specially produced?

I think that you've got a great idea for a weapon and I can't wait to see pics!

joe
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Old 09-09-2008, 10:43 AM   #9
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Brian,
If you are wanting greater stopping power than the .223 and you already have an AR15, then maybe you ought to get an upper assembly in .450 Bushmaster? They look to be devastating rounds - though they do NOT have the range of a .243, .260, or .308. So I guess the question is distance and knockdown. Some hunt with the .450 Bushmaster.

Here is the link for the Bushmaster:
Bushmaster - Product Catalog - Hunting Rifles

Cabelas also sells the upper assembly.

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Old 09-09-2008, 10:47 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by thejoe View Post
I like the "religion/drug crazed BG" reference. I didn't think religion made people less susceptible to bullet wounds - crazy sometimes, sure, but a religious nut with a bullet through the chest is going down the same as any regular guy, right? Drugs - sure - PCP will do weird stuff to people and make them almost "invincible."

Sidenote: what kind of mags would an AR-243 use? Standard issue mags, or specially produced?

I think that you've got a great idea for a weapon and I can't wait to see pics!

joe
Joe,

The same DPMS mag fits the .243, .260 or .308. You cannot use standard AR (5.56 / .223) mags as they are too short. A .308 is longer than a .223. The DPMS mags are NOT cheap - but they will likely go way up after Obama is crowned King of the World.

Online Store — DPMS: AR-15 Rifles, Parts and Accessories.

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