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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys,

I am in the market to purchase a new AR and need some help deciding.

  • This rifle would be primarily for target / plinking
  • I do not want to build a rifle
  • I do not want a 22LR only version, but would like to be able to add a 22LR conversion kit
I have found two rifles that look like they would fit my bill. To start off I just want to purchase a carry handle and not use any optics. I would like to know some advantages and disadvantages to both. Thanks!

Doublestar Star15 - $669



DPMS RFA3L16 - $676

 

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Well, the Doublestar is $7 cheaper.

Either will suit you fine, if it was my money, I'd go Doublestar before DPMS.

DS has a better rep.


IMO the single most important thing is:

Have an AR15
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well, the Doublestar is $7 cheaper.
DS has a better rep.
Everywhere I have read people say that DS has excellent customer service.

I wasn't sure if the internals were better in one than the other. (I do realize that the trigger won't be perfect, but I am ok with that.)

Can I shoot both 5.56 NATO and .223 out of both?

Are extra magazines fairly cheap / universal? EDIT: found em for $12 a mag
 

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If the barrel is labeled as 5.56, you can shoot 5.56 and .223. If its labeled .223 then you can not use 5.56. I am pretty sure all AR-15s are 5.56. I may be wrong though. Its just I have never seen any that were just .223. Someone confirm this please, as to just an .223 model only. My Stag has 5.56 on the lower and also 5.56 on the top of the barrel near the flash hider/ muzzle brake.
 

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Everywhere I have read people say that DS has excellent customer service.

I wasn't sure if the internals were better in one than the other. (I do realize that the trigger won't be perfect, but I am ok with that.)

Can I shoot both 5.56 NATO and .223 out of both?

Are extra magazines fairly cheap / universal? EDIT: found em for $12 a mag
A 5.56 can shoot both 5.56 and .223. .223 can only shoot .223.
On the buds web site it says that you can shoot both out of the DPMS.
buds doesn't say anything about the double star and I couldn't find anything on the double star web site either.
*edit* just did some more digging, every doublestar rifle I can find is 5.56/.223 so its probably a safe bet that this one is too.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
A 5.56 can shoot both 5.56 and .223. .223 can only shoot .223.
On the buds web site it says that you can shoot both out of the DPMS.
buds doesn't say anything about the double star and I couldn't find anything on the double star web site either.
*edit* just did some more digging, every doublestar rifle I can find is 5.56/.223 so its probably a safe bet that this one is too.
Yeah I started looking too after your post, and one of the reviews of the DS said:

I have to say first off the gun looks awsome! And it dnt say 556 but the rifle is stamped 556 with a 1/9 twist barrel.

And other:

THIS RIFLE IS STAMPED 5.56 so don't be confused.


I wonder why they don't put in the description that it is 5.56?
 

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Sometimes people forget to include important info on reviews and write ups. Just like you are doing which is researching and asking questions. Keep doing that and you will always find the info you are looking for. We do not mid helping anyone out here.
 

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Yeah I started looking too after your post, and one of the reviews of the DS said:

I have to say first off the gun looks awsome! And it dnt say 556 but the rifle is stamped 556 with a 1/9 twist barrel.

And other:

THIS RIFLE IS STAMPED 5.56 so don't be confused.

I wonder why they don't put in the description that it is 5.56?
Not sure, seems like important information haha.
To answer your earlier questions, I would lean toward the doubles star. I don't know much about them but they have pretty favorable reviews. I have heard a fair amount of negatives about the DPMS as a whole.
There are alot of .22 conversions out there that are made to fit most ARs so that shouldn't be a problem.
Other than that, put up some pics once you get her in hand:)
 

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Hello snikliw87, and everybody else.

snikliw87, I am curious as to how you've come to narrow your choices down to the DoubleStar and the DPMS rifles your listed. I ask not because I want to push other stuff on you, but because I'm curious as to the reasoning:

-Did you pick those two because you can get them locally and would need to pay a transfer fee?
-Did you pick them based on price alone? Are you trying to stick within a specific budget?
-Did you pick them because you did some basic research and found those two models would meet your needs, and just want help deciding between the two?
-Did you find other similarly price rifles made by different brands, and decided to narrow in on the DoubleStar and DPMS?

Again, I'm not trying to hassle you at all. I'm just trying to learn more about your decision process so that I can provide you with applicable help.


Considering the two rifles you have listed:

DoubleStar - The DoubleStar model pictured at Bud's shows it has an M4 contoured barrel. If this is the case, per DoubleStar's website, it is a model DS-4 carbine, as seem on this page (scroll down): DoubleStar - Basic Rifles. The specs per DoubleStar Corp are as follows:

This lightweight, semi-automatic M-4 style rifle is optimized for high performance, and is specially designed to receive the M-203 grenade launcher. Features a 16” chromemoly steel, 1x9 twist barrel and a precision machine cut M-203 mounting groove. Also comes with double heat shield DS4 handguards and a 6 Position commercial spec stock. If you are looking for a quality M4 style carbine, this is the best option.

FEATURES:
• 16" 1x9 chromemoly match barrel w/ M-4 cut
• A-2 or 6 position commercial spec stock assembly
• M-4 handguards
• A-2 or flattop upper $909.99
• Flattop w/ detachable carrying handle $994.99

UPGRADES:
• Chrome Lining$50.00
• DS416 four rail two piece handguards$130.00
• Phantom Flash Hider$20.00
• Mil-spec buffer tube and stock$20.00
If the picture that Bud's has is wrong, and the rifle is actually the DS StarCar Carbine, it appears that all features would be the same except for the barrel contour (although not stated on their website, it looks like the DS StarCar carbine has a straight gov't profile barrel without the notch for the M-203 grenade launcher).



DPMS - The DPMS rifle you listed and linked to Bud's is the DPMS Panther A3 Lite 16, as seen on DPMS's website here: DPMS: AR-15 Rifles, Parts and Accessories.. For convenience, here are the specs listed on the DPMS page:

Upper Receiver:
· A3 Style Flat Top, Forged 7071-T6 aircraft aluminum alloy
· Hard coat anodized per Mil Spec and Teflon coated black
· Dust cover
· Shell deflector
· Round forward assist
· Right hand ejection
Lower Receiver:
· Forged 7071-T6 aircraft aluminum alloy
· Hard coat anodized per Mil Spec and Teflon coated black
· Semi-auto trigger group
· Aluminum trigger guard
· Aluminum magazine release button
Barrel:
· 16" Length w/ A2 flash hider (birdcage)
· 4140 chrome-moly steel light contour barrel
· 6 grooves, right-hand 1x9 twist, button rifled
Chamber:
· 5.56x45mm
Method of Operation:
· Gas operated rotating bolt
Bolt & Carrier:
· 8620 steel bolt carrier, heat treated and plated per Mil Spec
· Phosphated steel bolt, heat treated and plated per Mil Spec
Sights:
· A1 Front Sight
Weight:
· Empty - 6.5 lbs.
Length:
· Extended: 36 3/8"
· Collapsed: 32 1/2"
Stock
· DPMS Pardus Carbine Stock
Handguards:
· GlacierGuards™
· Oval, Carbine length
· Aluminum Delta Ring

Each rifle comes with two 30-round magazines.

Similarities and differences -

Same - Generally speaking, both rifles are basically the same. Both have 16" barrels with standard Front sight base carbine gas systems, flat top uppers with fwd assist and shell deflector, and your standard 'mil-spec'-type lower receiver assembly. Also note that both do not have chrome-lined barrels. Chrome lining has it's advantages, but isn't an absolute necessity on an occasional use plinking rifle. Also, both have commercial diameter receiver extensions, and both appear to be fitted with an A2 flash hider.

Different - The DPMS rifle has a lightweight profile barrel, vs. the M4 (or maybe standard gov't) profile of the DoubleStar. This difference will equate to the DPMS rifle having an overall lighter weight (maybe 6-8 oz.), and having less weight forward of the receiver will mean it will handle easier and swing faster. This is not to say that the M4 (or gov't) profile barrel is a chunky monkey that is arduous to handle, because it really isn't (for most people; individual mileage may vary). But there will be a noticeable weight difference when handling one vs. the other. If shooting off a bench or off a rest of some sort, it won't make much of a difference.

Also different are the stocks. The DoubleStar has an M4-type collapsible stock. The DPMS is fitted with their Pardus Carbine Stock. Both stocks operate the same, but the M4-style stock has a flat, nubbed buttplate that is angled slightly inward (toward the rifle), and the Pardus has a curved, sawtoothed buttplate that curves outwards (towards the shooter).

My personal thoughts regarding chambers - DPMS states the Panther A3 Lite 16 has a 5.56x45mm chamber. DoubleStar doesn't appear to list a chamber spec anywhere on their website. This info and lack of info bothers me. Just becasue DPMS states they use a 5.56x45mm chamber, I can't automatically assume it is a NATO-spec 5.56 chamber. A NATO spec chamber isn't just a size specification, but also a stamp stating it will handle the higher pressure loads of NATO spec ammunitions. As for DoubleStar, just because they state that their rifle may be "the same design carried by millions of soldiers around the free world," I can't just can't assume that they are running a 5.56 NATO spec chamber. BUT, that's just my opinion. I'm sort of a stickler for knowing exactly what I am getting. If all you plan to do is run easy-to-find-locally .223 ammo, actual chamber specs won't make a difference. If you plan to run military surplus ammo at any point, it would probably be a god idea to know more details about each chamber.


Conclusion - On paper, both rifles are basically the same except for the stocks and barrel profiles. For your use, snikliw87, either should work fine with off-the-shelf .223 ammo..


Notes about brands - Researching the two brands in question on the Internet will likely yield a wide variety of opinions. And depending on where your searching lands you, chances are good that both brands will be poo-pooed; with DPMS most likely taking most of the heat. Personally, i am not too familiar with DoubleStar, so I can't comment on the brand. DPMS is a large company that puts out a high volume of product, which means their prices can be kept low, which means lots of people buy their stuff. But, high volume can lead to poor quality control, which can lead to missed defects, which can lead to unhappy customers. It isn't DPMS's intention to produce and sell defective products, but according to the Internet, it has happened more than once over the years. You may find that DPMS is a favorite whipping boy of many on the Internet, and how you filter and process that info is up to you. I own 3 DPMS lower receivers - two were purchased complete, and one was built with a DPMS LPK. I have had zero fitment or function issues with my DPMS lower receivers/LPKs, and I'd consider the brand again if I needed those items.




If you are open to other basic rifles outside of the DoubleStar and DPMS models you listed, shoot us a rough estimate of what you can spend, and I'm confident we can come with a variety of other options for you.
 

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If the barrel is labeled as 5.56, you can shoot 5.56 and .223. If its labeled .223 then you can not use 5.56. I am pretty sure all AR-15s are 5.56. I may be wrong though. Its just I have never seen any that were just .223. Someone confirm this please, as to just an .223 model only. My Stag has 5.56 on the lower and also 5.56 on the top of the barrel near the flash hider/ muzzle brake.
Just because the barrel is stamped 5.56 doesn't mean there's a 5.56 chamber in the gun; a lot of the lower priced labels don't ream their chambers properly.

With cheaper AR brands, it's good to get a 5.56 headspace guage and verify yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hello snikliw87, and everybody else.

snikliw87, I am curious as to how you've come to narrow your choices down to the DoubleStar and the DPMS rifles your listed. I ask not because I want to push other stuff on you, but because I'm curious as to the reasoning:

-Did you pick those two because you can get them locally and would need to pay a transfer fee?
-Did you pick them based on price alone? Are you trying to stick within a specific budget?
-Did you pick them because you did some basic research and found those two models would meet your needs, and just want help deciding between the two?
-Did you find other similarly price rifles made by different brands, and decided to narrow in on the DoubleStar and DPMS?

Again, I'm not trying to hassle you at all. I'm just trying to learn more about your decision process so that I can provide you with applicable help.


Considering the two rifles you have listed:

DoubleStar - The DoubleStar model pictured at Bud's shows it has an M4 contoured barrel. If this is the case, per DoubleStar's website, it is a model DS-4 carbine, as seem on this page (scroll down): DoubleStar - Basic Rifles. The specs per DoubleStar Corp are as follows:



If the picture that Bud's has is wrong, and the rifle is actually the DS StarCar Carbine, it appears that all features would be the same except for the barrel contour (although not stated on their website, it looks like the DS StarCar carbine has a straight gov't profile barrel without the notch for the M-203 grenade launcher).



DPMS - The DPMS rifle you listed and linked to Bud's is the DPMS Panther A3 Lite 16, as seen on DPMS's website here: DPMS: AR-15 Rifles, Parts and Accessories.. For convenience, here are the specs listed on the DPMS page:




Similarities and differences -

Same - Generally speaking, both rifles are basically the same. Both have 16" barrels with standard Front sight base carbine gas systems, flat top uppers with fwd assist and shell deflector, and your standard 'mil-spec'-type lower receiver assembly. Also note that both do not have chrome-lined barrels. Chrome lining has it's advantages, but isn't an absolute necessity on an occasional use plinking rifle. Also, both have commercial diameter receiver extensions, and both appear to be fitted with an A2 flash hider.

Different - The DPMS rifle has a lightweight profile barrel, vs. the M4 (or maybe standard gov't) profile of the DoubleStar. This difference will equate to the DPMS rifle having an overall lighter weight (maybe 6-8 oz.), and having less weight forward of the receiver will mean it will handle easier and swing faster. This is not to say that the M4 (or gov't) profile barrel is a chunky monkey that is arduous to handle, because it really isn't (for most people; individual mileage may vary). But there will be a noticeable weight difference when handling one vs. the other. If shooting off a bench or off a rest of some sort, it won't make much of a difference.

Also different are the stocks. The DoubleStar has an M4-type collapsible stock. The DPMS is fitted with their Pardus Carbine Stock. Both stocks operate the same, but the M4-style stock has a flat, nubbed buttplate that is angled slightly inward (toward the rifle), and the Pardus has a curved, sawtoothed buttplate that curves outwards (towards the shooter).

My personal thoughts regarding chambers - DPMS states the Panther A3 Lite 16 has a 5.56x45mm chamber. DoubleStar doesn't appear to list a chamber spec anywhere on their website. This info and lack of info bothers me. Just becasue DPMS states they use a 5.56x45mm chamber, I can't automatically assume it is a NATO-spec 5.56 chamber. A NATO spec chamber isn't just a size specification, but also a stamp stating it will handle the higher pressure loads of NATO spec ammunitions. As for DoubleStar, just because they state that their rifle may be "the same design carried by millions of soldiers around the free world," I can't just can't assume that they are running a 5.56 NATO spec chamber. BUT, that's just my opinion. I'm sort of a stickler for knowing exactly what I am getting. If all you plan to do is run easy-to-find-locally .223 ammo, actual chamber specs won't make a difference. If you plan to run military surplus ammo at any point, it would probably be a god idea to know more details about each chamber.


Conclusion - On paper, both rifles are basically the same except for the stocks and barrel profiles. For your use, snikliw87, either should work fine with off-the-shelf .223 ammo..


Notes about brands - Researching the two brands in question on the Internet will likely yield a wide variety of opinions. And depending on where your searching lands you, chances are good that both brands will be poo-pooed; with DPMS most likely taking most of the heat. Personally, i am not too familiar with DoubleStar, so I can't comment on the brand. DPMS is a large company that puts out a high volume of product, which means their prices can be kept low, which means lots of people buy their stuff. But, high volume can lead to poor quality control, which can lead to missed defects, which can lead to unhappy customers. It isn't DPMS's intention to produce and sell defective products, but according to the Internet, it has happened more than once over the years. You may find that DPMS is a favorite whipping boy of many on the Internet, and how you filter and process that info is up to you. I own 3 DPMS lower receivers - two were purchased complete, and one was built with a DPMS LPK. I have had zero fitment or function issues with my DPMS lower receivers/LPKs, and I'd consider the brand again if I needed those items.




If you are open to other basic rifles outside of the DoubleStar and DPMS models you listed, shoot us a rough estimate of what you can spend, and I'm confident we can come with a variety of other options for you.
First off let me thank you for the wealth of information and comment. Much appreciated.

I am indeed on a budget and wanted to spend around $700. I figured one of these two rifles plus a carry handle would put me at the mark. I found these two rifles from looking through the different manufacturers products and also by looking through other threads. They also seem to have good reviews.

As far as the difference in weight- this won't bother me.

Would shooting 5.56 in the rifle cause any problems?

I just found another post on Buds: It has a 1/9 barrel and is chambered 5.56 NATO. It is stamped
on the lower receiver and in the instruction booklet it clearly states it's chambered for the 5.56! Great deal!


I will be out of town for a few days but will check back on the thread when I get back. Thanks again everyone for the replies.
 

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Would shooting 5.56 in the rifle cause any problems?

I just found another post on Buds: It has a 1/9 barrel and is chambered 5.56 NATO. It is stamped
on the lower receiver and in the instruction booklet it clearly states it's chambered for the 5.56! Great deal!
Would shooting 5.56 in the DPMS or DoubleStar rifles mentioned earlier cause any problems? I don't know. I am not familiar with DoubleStar barrels other than the ones I see for sale at places like Brownell's and MidwayUSA all state they are '.223' caliber. The same goes for DPMS. DPMS sells .223 and 5.56 chambered rifles. I have no idea if they ream the chambers themselves, or if they have someone else do that.



Because 5.56 is stamped on the lower receiver and in the instruction booklet does not tell you anything about the chamber specs of the barrel. The best indication off a 5.56 NATO chamber will be '5.56 NATO' stamped onto the barrel itself. As Cuda66 mentioned, there can be variations even in barrels that are stamped with '5.56 NATO.'

If it eases your mind, snikliw87, I do own a Ruger Mini-14 Ranch Rifle that is stamped '.223 Remington,' but in the owner's manual, Ruger states that the Mini-14 Ranch is chambered for the .223 (5.56mm) cartridge, and that it is "designed to use either standardized U.S. military, or factory loaded sporting cartridges manufactured in accordance with U.S. industry practice." I have put 5.56 NATO rounds down the pipe of my Mini-14, and I am alive to tell you this today.

But you're not shopping for a Mini-14....;)
 

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Id go doublestar for sure. Do you absolutely have to have the rifle this minute, why don't you save a bit more and go with something you really want, How much longer would it take you to save $400-$500 more, that would open you up to a ton of high end rifles. I think it would be worth it to wait but thats me. If you are dead set on those two, I would choose the Doublestar... Good luck brotha
 
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