By Dan Meadows, TheShootingChannel.com
As a pro-gunner, veteran shooter and firearms instructor, I have used different names to describe an AR15 like; a modern sporting rifle, a modern day musket, a hunting rifle, patrol rifle, and even a carbine. Never once have I ever called the AR15 an “Assault Rifle”. Quite frankly, my collection of AR15’s has never assaulted anyone in all of the years that I have owned them.
The AR15 Modern Sporting Rifle is without a doubt a great firearm to hold, shoot targets with, hunt with, or to own. Of course, as you all know, owning one is just half the fun. Shooting one, well now, that’s truly when the fun really begins!
Our “Shooters Review” article is for everyone. From the “Spec/Tech’s” to the “Pro’s”, or from the new shooter to a veteran shooter like myself, the AR15 has something here for everyone to enjoy. What is also great about the newer models of the AR15 is that they now come in a variety of colors, calibers, sizes, makes, models and of course manufacturers.
For our article and review here today, I have chosen the DPMS Panther Arms AR15 “Sportical” as my test model. You will find the specifications for this rifle model, its sights, and our range results at the end of this article.
So let’s get ready to “Lock and Load” on the range everyone!
It’s time to go shoot a few downrange, and to “Put It On Target!”
Familiarization with the DPMS Panther Arms AR15 Sportical
- In today’s world of technology and information, you just can’t help but find what you need to know about a specific firearm, or a shooting gear product. If you purchase any firearm (legally) from either a private sale or from a reputable gun dealer, always ask for an owner’s manual. Once you get your copy of the owner’s manual, read it, use it and understand it. The owner’s manual will list warranties, maintenance, service locations, usage and cleaning instructions, ammunition requirements, and safety tips to be reviewed and followed by a new owner of your DPMS Panther Arms firearm.
- Additional resources of information are provided by the DPMS Panther Arms website (updates, information, dealers, warranties and training dates) and is located on the world wide web at: www.dpmsinc.com
- In respect to our firearms product review, I have read and have familiarized myself with this particular DPMS Panther Arms AR15 product, and all manuals for this firearm.
- Whether you are using your own personal range, or you attend a private or public gun range, a shooter should review and orient themselves with any and all established safety policies and range rules.
- The range that I used for this DPMS AR15 Product Test is the Camp Dodge (US Army) and Iowa National Guard Base, located in Johnston, Iowa.
- I was given a range safety briefing by their Chief Range Safety Officer on gun range policies and procedures, and was given an orientation for both the small arms and the long range “rifle” shooting ranges accordingly.
- Once the range was safe and cleared of all personnel, and with the range flag hoisted, I was released from my range safety briefing and then I set up my shooting bench, firearm, optics, ammunition and equipment for our tests and firearm product review.
- Proper eyewear and hearing protection was used during all shooting sequences.
DPMS Panther Arms AR15 Sportical Review and Workmanship
(1) Stage One – Firearms Safety and Inspection
- The firearm was once again checked for a safe and unloaded firearm, before proceeding.
- The firearm was then disassembled completely and laid out on the shooters bench for inspection.
- The firearm was checked for cleanliness and serviceability.
- The firearm specifications and machining were measured and compared to a provided manufacturers specifications chart.
- All baseline data was documented in a range tester’s journal and was used for reporting and reviewing purposes at a later date/time.
(2) Stage Two – Bench Shooting – Static and Stable Foundation
- Zero and Sight-In of DPMS Panther Arms AR15 Sportical & EOTech Model 512 Holographic Sight – (Stable bench with shooters rest used)
- Zero at 25 yds – 3 to 5 shot groupings were made for allowances of zero adjustments (Sight adjusted to zero @ 12 rounds total)
- Shooting results at 50 yds: Accuracy + 0.52”
- Shooting results at 100 yds: Accuracy +1.4”
- Muzzle @ 3240 fps
(3) Stage Three – Field Conditions and Practical Range Shooting
- Prone – Left Pitch Off Angle, Rt. Hand
- Sitting – V Shape – Left Angle Lead – Knee Supported, Rt. Hand
- Kneeling – Left Leg Rt. Angle, Right Leg Kneel, Rt. Hand
- Backpack – Supported / Left Pitch Angled Prone, Rt. Hand
- Standing – Unsupported / Unslung – Left Leg Lead, Rt. Hand
- Grip – Horizontal Handguard – Left Handed Grip
- Stance – Left Forward Leaning – 65% (L) Front Leg / 35% (R) Rear Leg
- Sight Alignment / Sight Picture – 3 Distinct Areas of Engagement / Centered (Head, Throat, Chest) w/ EOTech Holographic Sight w/ 1x magnification present.
- Trigger Control – Direct, Steady Rearward Pull, Release and Repeat Cycle (each round)
- Follow Through – Maintain Focus on Round to Target Delivery and Repeat Cycle
- Breath Control – Controlled Repetition, Shallow Breathing
- Shooting Rhythm – 3-5 Round Groupings, Rapid/Quick Fire
- Reloading & Resume – 30 Round Magazines x 5 – Reloaded Upon Empty Cycle
- Shooting Positions – Stable Bench Sandbags and Shooters Rest (Stage Two), Standing, Kneeling, Sitting, Prone, Backpack Supported (Stage Three)
Shooting Drills Performed
- As a matter of putting this firearm through its paces, I performed a variety of shooting scenarios and shooting drills as to test the dependability and functionality of this DPMS Panther Arms AR15 Sportical.
- The following drills were performed on this firearm; dry-firing, malfunction, stress, reloading, shooting scenarios, multiple target engagements, rapid fire, and short to long range marksmanship drills.
- No problems noted and this firearm performed without any flaws reported.
Maintenance, Cleaning and Storage
- As with all firearms, it is imperative to maintain proper cleaning and maintenance of your DPMS Panther Arms AR15. I performed a complete field stripping, with attention to details made for all carbon and powder deposits, bolt, barrel and bore, muzzle, upper and lower receiver groups, action and trigger housing, extendable stock, handguards, rail covers, sling and all magazines were cleaned, dried and/or lubricated as per manufacturer’s recommendations.
- The EOTech Optics/Sight was removed and cleaned as per manufacturer’s recommendations. The batteries were removed from the sight and housed in a separate plastic container. Batteries are rotated as needed.
- The DPMS Panther Arms AR15, Magazines and EOTech Optics/Sight was encased and secured in a foam-lined, heavy black plastic gun case and was secured with the appropriate locks.
Several years ago, I chose the DPMS Panther Arms AR15 Sportical as one of the many guns I have added to my firearms collection over the years. I carried this same firearm on assignments with me throughout the United States and to other places around the world. When I go out to shoot my DPMS Panther Arms AR15 Sportical, I feel comfortable in knowing that it will deliver exactly what I want in a semi-automatic AR15 platform styled firearm.
The sight that I chose for my AR15 is an EOTech 512 Holographic CQB Sight. This firearm was zeroed at 25 yards previously, and was re-checked on the day of this particular shoot. Although successful at the 25 yard and at the 50 yard range (distance) at zero, I cranked out a target to 100 yards from point of shoot. There were no other optics added or used, and no additional magnification was added onto this sight, or on my AR15 Rifle.
The end results, as seen in the picture was made at a distance of 100 yards, and was taken from a standing, unsupported, and unslung position in full tactical gear, that included; all vests, full duty gear, tactical firearms and a ballistic vest. Other conditions are added in the description accordingly.
Below you will find all of the specifications and technical data for the DPMS Panther Arms AR15 “Sportical”, as well as the EOTech 512 Holographic Sight and Range Shoot Data for our target shoot and product review. The rating system and shooters review notes are listed below for each product reviewed.
I highly recommend this DPMS Panther Arms AR15 Sportical and the EOTech 512 Holographic Sight for the budget minded target shooter, hunter or tactical rifle enthusiasts. Its fun to own, and definitely fun to shoot!
Enjoy the range and shoot responsibly everyone!
FIREARM: DPMS PANTHER 5.56 NATO/.223 – “SPORTICAL”
5.56 NATO / .223 Rem
6.3 lbs (Empty)
32.5” / 36.5”
16” Lightweight 4140 Chromemoly
|Upper Receiver|| |
Extruded 7029 T Stick Sided Flattop
1 x 9
|Lower receiver|| |
Forged 7075 T6
Pardus, Com. Tube
|Fire Control|| |
|Pistol Grip|| |
|Front Sight|| |
Railed Gas Block
|Rear Sight|| |
|Flash Hider|| |
Source: DPMS Inc. and Shooters Review
Comments: Well made product for the budget minded.
S.R. Product Rating:
SIGHT: EOTech Model 512
This model of the optics works very well for close quarters and for moderate to semi-long range shooting.
Quality Sight, Economically Priced
Transmission Holography – Parallax Free
|Eye Relief|| |
5.4 “ (137mm)
2” (50.8 mm)
2.25” (57 mm)
10.9 oz (309 grams)
-40 to 150 F (2 lithium batteries); -20 to 140 F (all o/batteries)
Submersible to 10ft depth
Fogproof Internal Optics
|Adjustment (per click)|| |
.05 MOA (1/2 “ x 100 yds)
|Adjustment Range|| |
+/- 40 MOA travel
1” Picatinny (MIL-STD-1913 or Weaver Rail
|Return to Zero|| |
Repeatable to 1 MOA After Re-mounting
Heads Up Display Window
|Optical Surfaces|| |
|Window Dimensions|| |
1.20″ x 0.85″ (30 x 23mm)
|Front Window Material|| |
1/8″ solid glass
|Rear Window Material|| |
Shatter resistant laminate (3/16″ thick)
|Field of View (100 yds)|| |
30 yds (28m) at a 4″ eye relief
|Brightness Adjustment Range|| |
110,000:1 Brightest to Lowest
|No Night Vision Compatibility|| |
Source: EOTech and Shooters Review
Editor Comments: Well made product with ease of use.
S.R. Product Rating:
TARGET PICTURE: Target Range Results at 100 yds
Camp Dodge – Johnston, Iowa (US Army)
Long Range and Small Arms Ranges
Silhouette TSR II Blue
|Zero Range|| |
|Target Distances|| |
25 yds, 50 yds, *100 yds
EOTech 512 Holographic Sight (CQB)
DPMS Panther Arms AR15 Sportical
Hornady .223 Rem – 55 gr V-MAX / Muzzle 3240 fps
30 Round x 3
Standing, Unsupported, Sling (Unslung)
|Rate of Fire (ROF)|| |
Semi Automatic Fire
Quick Fire, Semi Auto x 1 min.
Windy 10-15 mph, 93*F, Sunny
|Dress / Attire|| |
Full Deployment Tactical Gear with Vests
|Target Zones Engaged|| |
Head, Throat, Center Mass
Comments: Well Done and Great Shoot!