The new DPMS 300-AAC Blackout merges a DPMS A-15 (A-15 is DPMS’ receiver model name) lower with an upper chambered for .300 BLK. The M4-style adjustable stock, A2 grip and Mil-Spec controls won’t make headlines—but the new chamber should.
The upper receiver is fitted with a 16-inch heavy barrel. It’s formed from 4150 and chrome lined. Surrounding the barrel is the new DPMS M111 modular free float tube. It appears to have been inspired by the RAHG forend developed by DPMS’ Freedom Group-cousin Remington Defense, and joins a trend toward modular handguards that allow three sides to receive various-length rail segments. The user can choose to place rails anywhere along each side, or nowhere for tube-like handling. Not only do mounting screws lock rail segments in place, but strips of serrations cleverly work to better secure the add-ons against recoil that can loosen torque-set screws.
This DPMS is either equipped with an AAC Blackout suppressor adapter, or an inert, slipover mock suppressor. As a result of this 2012 introduction, DPMS hopes to gain attention on dealer shelves with the inert suppressor model and clear up common misconceptions and educate its customers about the advantages of legal suppressor ownership.
DPMS gets high marks from us for its modular M111 handguard system. We used a six-o’clock rail to attach a bipod for prone shoot- ing, and it never loosened or bent when the bipod was loaded.
Though we can appreciate the fact that DPMS has introduced a model with an inert slipover mock suppressor for “educational purposes,” we can’t imagine a lot of the AR-crowd will go for it. Though it may seem cool to have an SBR-looking suppressed rifle, most of us realize that one pull of the trigger on a covered range screams I HAVE A FAKE CAN OVER HERE!
Book of the AR-15 has spent the last 10 months evaluating this DPMS model featuring a 16-inch barrel with AAC suppressor adapter. DPMS should really develop a forend that extends nearer to the muzzle in order to balance the rifle’s profile. As if an unshrouded barrel without front sight block isn’t long enough, when you ratchet the AAC 7.62 suppressor to the muzzle, the suppressed barrel length appears as if Pinocchio was caught telling another lie. Consider this: The overall length of the barrel with AAC suppressor attached measures 243⁄8 inches. If you consider that the M111 free-float tube measures just 91⁄4 inches, you can imagine that the length of barrel beyond the forend is like adding a whole other barrel. (Well almost, 15 1⁄16 inches to be exact.)
With suppressor attached, supersonic shooting was very pleas- ant. Subsonic rounds are hardly noticeable. Try and do anything else besides punching small holes from a fixed position and you’ll succumb to the effects of its overall length. Offhand shooting is a tiring affair after a few shots, and we suspect that your local SWAT officer won’t be clearing rooms with this 24-inch pipe. Take the suppressor off and it performs like a .30-caliber AR-10 in the reduced size of an AR-15.
Fit and finish is top notch. No gaps exist between the upper and lower receiver. Rails are cut to exacting specs and are without burrs. The M111 forend fit is perfectly married to the upper’s sight rail. Though the model with inert can arrives with an elevation- adjustable A2 front sight assembly, the suppressor-ready model has no sights. It will be a bit of a disappointment for those at the retail counter needing to shell out some extra money for BUIS or optics, but most DPMS customers with flat top rifles are already accustomed to this.
Unless you enjoy practicing trigger manipulation, we’d guarantee that you’ll want to replace the factory “Mil-Spec” trigger. It feels like it has five stages. Pull through one crunch, hold, take a breath, exhale slowly, and pull through another stage. Then repeat. If you haven’t lost count or tired out, after about five little crunches, you’ll finally arrive to the sound of a gunshot.
Yes, while the .300 Blackout isn’t supposed to require special bolts and magazines, we’ve found that the DPMS 300-AAC is magazine sensitive. It would run from it’s own aluminum magazines and most of our Magpul PMAGs. Beyond that, it was hit or miss.
When using the DPMS-supplied magazines, this rifle proved extremely reliable. When using Remington-brand OTM ammunition, this rifle proved extremely accurate. It didn’t matter if the ammunition was of the subsonic or supersonic type. If you can overcome the poor trigger, this rifle could be a one-MOA hole-puncher all day—except with polymer-tipped ammunition.