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Review Of The DPMS Panther 3G1

January 13th, 2011 | Posted by Tobias in Gear | Reviews

I first heard of this rifle in the Frontsight review which really piqued my interest since I have been looking to add a race gun to the safe and the JP was somewhat cost prohibitive for me. I’m used to shooting more of a traditional battle rifle type AR and was looking for something that was substantially lighter and more maneuverable with a single stage trigger or at least a 2 stage with less travel than my RRA. So after an evening of google’ing for reviews of the 3G1 I thought I’d give DPMS a shot and ordered a 3G1 from Nelson Tactical. Now technically it was a Christmas gift so although it showed up a few days ago I was forbidden to touch it until the wrapping was torn off.

So yesterday I finally got my paws on my new 3G1 and I’d thought I’d share my initial thoughts on it with you all. As I pulled it from it’s shipping container I instantly noticed that the case it came in is not the nice DPMS case that Bikedoctor’s rifle came in, my 3G1 showed up in one of the flimsy $9 throwaway cases. It did contain roughly the same rifle and accessories as you can see from the picture.

As you can see in the next picture is the nice big Tac latch is mysteriously missing from the charging handle which makes it difficult to operate with my Trijicon TR24 mounted. You can also see that the ambidextrous thumb safety isn’t on my rifle either. Although not mentioned in the rifle’s description on DPMS’ website, it is clearly visible in Bikedoctor’s photos as well as mentioned in the Frontsight article.

As far as fit and finished are concerned, I rate it as fair to good. There is more play than I am used to between the upper and lower receiver but it isn’t nearly bad enough to send back to DPMS. I really like the finish of the VTAC handgaurd which has a slight texture to it that should provide a reliable grip even in rainy/muddy conditions which is important to me being in Oregon. The Miculek compensator is a nice touch for an inexpensive rifle as well as the JP trigger which feels heavier than I imagined it would be, but breaks super clean without all of the play and a really short reset. I’ve very excited to try that out at the range!

As others have noticed it is just a touch nose heavy due to the non-fluted 18inch barrel but the extra couple of inches over my existing AR should help with reaching out a little further. The gas block provides the only platform for a BUIS to live so my set of Magpul BUIS will have to be replaced with something that won’t melt under the heat the block will generate.

After the better part of a month churning over which optic I would put on this rifle I selected the Trijicon TR24 with the red triangle. Not requiring batteries broke the tie between the Trijicon and the Meopta Kdot. The TR24 lives in a LaRue LT-104 which looks to be damn near perfect for placement and function.

Although I haven’t fired it yet I do have great expectations for my new 3G1. Based on what I’ve seen so far and if it shoots like I’ve read it will I would definitely rate this as a “Buy” and a great value for the money I paid for it.

I’m going to gather up some various types of ammunition and some Pmags and head to the range later today to sight in the scope and see how she performs so I’ll update the thread soon. I’ll also let you all know what DPMS says about the lack of a Tac latch and ambi-safety. Although I’ve never dealt with them before being my first DPMS, I’ve heard very good things about their customer service so sure they’ll try and make me happy.

Please see the follow up links here:

1st Outing – Range Report

Range Report – Part 2


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4 Responses

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  • Jason says:

    So where’s the review???? This is just a dope getting his rifle out of the box and putting a sight on it. The very fact I wasted 2 minutes reading this nonsense should say something about “recoilsports”… Sheez.

  • Tobias says:

    Whoa, Mr. Manners, if you spent the time it took to troll and hit the reviews link or searched, you would have seen the rest of the reviews/range reports. Granted, I probably should have added the follow up links to this post so it would be easier to find, but a little shocked you took the time to be rude to a fellow shooter. I sure hope I never have to squad with you next time I shoot in IL.