DPMS Panther LR-243

Discussion in 'Non-XD Handguns' started by Raptor1956, Sep 7, 2008.

  1. Raptor1956

    Raptor1956 XDTalk 100 Member

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    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

     
  2. Chapie+

    Chapie+ XDTalk 2K Member

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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+

     
  3. Cuda66

    Cuda66 XDTalk 10K Member

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    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.
     
  4. aubie515

    aubie515 XDTalk 100 Member

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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.
     
  5. Raptor1956

    Raptor1956 XDTalk 100 Member

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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
     
  6. Cuda66

    Cuda66 XDTalk 10K Member

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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.
     
  7. Raptor1956

    Raptor1956 XDTalk 100 Member

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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
     
  8. thejoe

    thejoe XDTalk 1K Member

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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
     
  9. Chapie+

    Chapie+ XDTalk 2K Member

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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.

    Chapie+
     
  10. Chapie+

    Chapie+ XDTalk 2K Member

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    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.

    Chapie+
     
  11. aubie515

    aubie515 XDTalk 100 Member

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    You can use DPMS mags or the SR-25 mags will work in the DPMS. Every company that makes the AR10 platform has proprietary mags because the AR10 platform is not mil spec.

    There is talk that Magpul will be offering polymer mags for the DPMS.

    If you already have the AR15 and you like that sized versus the larger DPMS....look into the 6.5 Grendel. Has awesome ballistics and offers more bullet choices compared to the 6.8 SPC.

    I've been wanting a grendel for a while now, but not sure I want to deal with Bill Alexander. Maybe when I run out of guns to buy, I'll pick up a Grendel.
     
  12. Cuda66

    Cuda66 XDTalk 10K Member

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    Raptor--

    Again, there's nothing wrong with wanting the AR platform in .243. Heck, I encourage that behavior. Everyone should buy more guns, darn it.

    But, I'd like to try and straighten out a few misconceptions you seem to have regarding the .223.

    The problems with the M4 have more to do with their 14.5", 1-7 twist barrels firing the M855 Ball (aka SS109 or Greentip) 62 grn penetrator round. It overstabilizes the bullet, making it NOT yaw after the approx 6" of penetration. It becomes, as some people call it, an icepick--a narrow, straight wound channel.

    Since we as civilians aren't limited to the M855 round, and can use bullets of different weights (a 55 grain bullet fired out of the M4 barrel WILL upset as it was designed, for instance) and even hollowpoint designs...really, the whole M4 stopping power failure is a non-issue.*

    So, definitely buy that DPMS .243...but don't write off a .223 carbine as a poor stopper.

    *--a co-worker came back from Iraq last year, and carried an M4. In the one firefight he was involved in, he said the M4 performed just fine--hits equalled stops. According to him the whole M4 "failure to stop" brouhaha is from troops blaming their weapons when the true culprit is poor marksmanship...
     
  13. Chapie+

    Chapie+ XDTalk 2K Member

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    Brian,

    One more thing - No, you cannot get an upper assembly in .243, .260, or .308 and put that on top of your 5.56 / .223 lower. It is sad, but true. This is, again, due to the difference in size between the 5.56/.223 and the .308 and its related spin offs the .260 and .243.

    Regarding the 6.5 they have excellent long range application. The 6.8 is a very good round too, though not quite as long a range. I typically keep my shots under a thousand yards. You can get an upper assembly in either 6.5 or 6.8 and put that on top of your existent 5.56.

    Chapie+

     
  14. sourpatch45

    sourpatch45 XDTalk 5K Member

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    if you want a bullet to penetrate and then expand in a rifle caliber i would look into a soft point. looking at 223 ballistic gel tests the soft point ammo semed to be the best for penetration and retained weight, they also left a nice wound cavity
     
  15. sourpatch45

    sourpatch45 XDTalk 5K Member

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    why not get a 50 beowulf or if you dont like bill alexander check out the 450 bushmaster. both offer great ballistics for close range.

    ive been toying with the idea of a 50 beowulf SBR, i bet that sucker would be loud! and give off quite the fireball. not for any real purpose but just for sh!ts and giggles

     

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