DPMS LR-308 16" or 20"

Discussion in 'Auto & Semi-Auto Discussion' started by XDDoubter, Feb 18, 2010.

  1. XDDoubter

    XDDoubter New Member

    I'm in the market for an AR-10 (.308/7.62x51) type of friend. I've decided on the DPMS LR-308 series. This will be mostly for fun, SD/SHTF, and very, very occasional hunting (if I'm forced to use this for hunting, otherwise I'll get a .30-06 for hunting). I'm really liking the LR-308C (classic A2/A3 styling, iron sights) but I'm hesitating due to the barrel length and weight (11lbs). Knowing what its use is going to be for I'm looking for opinoins on the 20" vs 16" models, advantages/disadvantages.

    I know the 16" will be about 3lbs lighter and a little easier to swing (won't be used in the house, I have another friend for that...) but I've also read you lose some accuracy with the 16" length (at best I might take a 300yd shot). I believe most testing is done with the 20" length but I could be wrong. Just wondering what everyone thinks on this.

    While I appreciate all input please save some time and don't discuss the 5.56 (.223) option - it's not. I want a larger round; more punch downrange, etc, etc. I figure if I have to put lead downrange I want something that will make a little bit of a statement. I hope to God I never have to, but if I do....

    I'm also considering 150g FMJ and soft point rounds - thoughts on the 150g? Too small? Just right? (Remember, not hunting if I can avoid it - punching holes in paper and zombies)

    Thanks for any input!
  2. hunter Joe

    hunter Joe New Member

    It's all about gyroscopic stabilization. The more turns you put on the projectile the more stable it should be in flight. If it were me, I'd go with the longer barrel.

  3. Rexas

    Rexas New Member

    I have the LR308-AP4 with a 16" barrel, some friends I hunt pigs with have the 18" LR308L barrel hunting version and the 20 barrel target version. They both also use them for hunting. The target version is definitely sub moa. very accurate, but heavy to lug around. I knew I would be hiking and climbing with mine, so I gave up some of the accuracy/velocity for portability. I think the best compromise is the 18" barreled version. For accuracy, I do believe the barrels without flash suppressors perform slightly better (crowned barrel). All of them are accurate at 100 yds, but if you are splitting hairs, I think the 18" is a great compromise. The DPMS 24" barrels are like carrying a musket, good for bench rest only IMO.
  4. stalkingbear

    stalkingbear Well-Known Member

    Actually you give up no accuracy with a shorter barrel-just velocity. Considering both the 16" and the 20" have exactly the same rifling rate of twist, the rpm of the bullet will be the same. With all other things being equal, the shorter barrel will be just as accurate as the longer barrel. I was faced with a similar decision when thinking about an AR15 and then my wife bought me a 16" bull barrel DPMS. Needless to say, it instantly became my coyote/groundhog rifle of choice. It groups around 1/2" @ 100 yards with match ammo and when I do my part. I can't imagine a factory AR doing much better for that price range.
  5. Rexas

    Rexas New Member

    I do agree that shorter barrels are not less accurate. We have not run an experiment of comparable accuracy between the guns. I do believe that the lighter barrel of the Ap4 as apposed to the Heavy barrels does make a difference. The other issue with short barrels is since the round has a lower velocity, the bullet drop is more significant at longer ranges. I think all of the LR308 guns from DPMS are excellent, and very good values. Mine has done great, and I do believe that most of the small accuracy difference between the 3 gun I have experience with is the quality of the ammo and or tuning of the load for the specific gun/barrel length. As with all comparisons, the impact of differences in the guns is hard to attribute to only barrel length. They each have different triggers, flash suppressors, stocks, fluted barrel, cryo treatment...
    With all that being said, discussing accuracy is like splitting hairs. They are all 1 MOA or less rifles at 100 yrds. It is likely that the minute accuracy difference I noticed could be attributed to just about anything, or could just be an illusion from limited experimentation.
  6. GreyEclipse

    GreyEclipse New Member

    20 inch is standard. 18 is your compromise. 16 is compromising velocity for mobility. If I were in your position I would go with the 18 inch light barrel.
  7. Wambli

    Wambli Member

    For shooting out to 300 yards there is not enough difference in performance between the two for the decision to be based on anything more than which one you think is prettier. ;)

    FMJ 150 (Federal, UMC and Winchester White Box) is notorously innaccurate in most guns and good mostly to make noise, fun shooting and Zombie problems (nothing wrong with that I have ammo cans full of the stuff). For serious target work with that gun get some Blackhills 168gr Match ammo or Federal Gold. For SD Hornady TAP makes some great .308 ammo.

    Last but not least all things being equal shorter barrels tend to be more accurate than longer barrel because as you take out length you add rigidity. This is not a rule just a generalization and like most of those there are PLENTY of exceptions...
  8. XDDoubter

    XDDoubter New Member


    Thanks everyone. I'll start looking at my options now (I really like that AP4).... Probably end up spending a little more $$ but it'll be worth it.

    And thanks for the advise on the ammo. At $15 a box though it'll be good ammo to punch holes in paper with. I'll get some higher end stuff for the real shooting.

    Time to start saving the $$$$.
  9. sjh1022

    sjh1022 New Member

    I have the .308 in 16" barrel with a flat top upper. I love this rifle and has been very accurate in every situation i have up it in. I just recently got decent scope so I cant wait to take it to the range and actually test it out to 200 and 300 yards just to see if i can do it. Now i must admit that for cost to shoot the .308 has not been cheap and can burn through ammo so quickly its not even funny. The cheapest local .308 is federal for about $13 a box.
  10. Phelenwolf

    Phelenwolf New Member

    Have any of you tried any of the Military Surplus ammo that is on the market? J&G Sales have 160rds of British ammo for $75 and Cheaper Than Dirt had 200rd battle packs of German ammo for $85. I have a couple thousand rounds of ammo that I use in my FAL, Cetme, and other rifles. I am looking at getting a DPMS LR-308 to add to my collection. But I really do not want to have to start purchasing a totally different type of ammo for 1 rifle.
  11. IXLR8

    IXLR8 New Member

    I have had very good luck with

    Prvi Partizan M80
    .308 Winchester
    145 FMJBT
    2009 Production

    Both in my FAL, and my HK91. Very clean and accurate. (and cheap)
  12. Larry in SD

    Larry in SD New Member

    A buddy of mine has a DPMS LR-308B with the 18" Bull Barrel. That would not be my first choice for a Hunting Rifle as it is just as heavy as my .223 DPMS Panther Bull 20 AR-15.

    At any rate we have shot several different brands & types of ammo and a couple handloads through my buddies DPMS LR-308B. In addition we have also chronographed some of the ammo through both my 20" Remington Model 700 .308 and his 18" DPMS LR-308B. Generally there was 13 FPS difference in velocity between his 18" DPMS LR-308B and my 20" Remington Model 700 with the same ammo from the same box. I don't know of anyone that can shoot good enough to tell the difference 13 FPS is going to make in trajectory or wind drift.

    To take the barrel length thing further I have hunted with Speciality Pistols for several years. Typically these had 14" to 15" Barrels. While I have not used a Speciality Pistol in .308 Winchester I have used a host of other cartridges to include the .243 Winchester, 7mm-08 Remington and .284 Winchester to name a few. All of these short barrel Speciality Pistols are capable of accuracy that would make a lot of riflemen sit up and take notice when shot from a bench. This is all based around barrel harmonics with a shorter, stiffer barrel being more stable than a longer, skinnier barrel.

    With that said I have been contemplating a DPMS LR-308. I have been looking over the DPMS web site comparing lengths & weights of the various versions. In the end I am thinking if I do purchase a DPMS LR-308 it will be the DPMS LR-308T with the 16" Barrel and Aluminum Free Float Tube with a Fixed A2 Stock.

    The modifications I would do to start with is a JP Enterprises Adjustable Trigger and Remove the Flash Hider and replace it with a knurled thread protector. Other than that finding the right ammo would be all that I would think would be required to make a dandy hunting rifle.