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View Poll Results: WHICH DO I BUY?
DPMS .308? 0 0%
M14? (SEMI) 17 70.83%
SPI? 7 29.17%
Voters: 24. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-04-2003, 12:05 AM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,048

A local gun shop is having to move due to losing his lease. Anyhow, the less he moves the happier he is. So heres my predicament.

He has two Colt SP1's, both older five digits in really good shape. And he still has one of the DPMS AR type in .308 w/ 18" barrel, that I posted about earlier.

The price dropped about $300+ on the Colts and down to under $900 on the DPMS. Which do I get?????

I have plenty of AR's, well you never have enough. But I have more than one per family member anyhow. And if the ban lifts????

But the DPMS will probably only get cheaper in time.

And then theres this FED. ORD. M14 at another shop.................


LNL Airborne
Lock_n_Load is offline  
Old 11-04-2003, 06:07 AM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Northern Georgia
Posts: 9,290
Depending on condition, the SP-1 is worth about a grand, to a collector. There is one a dealer here is selling on consignment for an older man who has been diagnosed with Alzheimers (no, it's NOT Vanhahner). I helped him research the value. The weapon has been used so little that the mag well isn't even scratched or brushed. Pre- forward assist, too.

As a collector item, it won't take as much of a hit if the AWB sunsets. The DPMS weapon has a good rep, but you've got to like the FAL platform to make it worthwhile.

Fed Ord has a spotty record of QC, so it's buyer beware on that particular weapon.

JR is offline  
Old 11-04-2003, 07:00 AM   #3
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 5,839
I voted for the SP1 as I don't trust a Fed Ord. product... and I don't like a AR style rifle in 308..... just my preferences...
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Old 11-04-2003, 11:34 AM   #4
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,048
Thanks guys, I too voted on the Colt SP1.

That was my first stop. I sold my AR-10 a few years back, and after holding the DPMS I figured I need an M14 instead. I think I will probably get one from West Texas Ord.

So, anyhow I went ahead and bought the SP1. It is the slabside, no FA, large front screw pin and the A1 stock. It was manufactured in 1973, SP21XXX. It is in probably 90%+ cond. I think the ch. handle was replaced though. (looks a little newer than the rest). Other than that it is all correct for that vintage of SP1.

So, my next purchase will be the M14.

LNL Airborne
Lock_n_Load is offline  
Old 11-06-2003, 08:20 AM   #5
Posts: n/a
Have ta say the Sp1 just in case yah get tired of it then Ill buy it off yah if not I still get ta shoot it
Range umm say sunday
Old 11-06-2003, 08:28 AM   #6
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,578
Not the DPMS
TB is offline  
Old 11-06-2003, 10:54 PM   #7
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,048
Not the DPMS
Why not? Share your thoughts with us.

I bought the SP1 na dam thinking of buying the other one too. An M14 is next up. But I would like to hear your expieriences with DPMS.

LNL Airborne
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Old 11-07-2003, 12:00 AM   #8
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,578
Iíve got one of the Panther Bull 20 rifles and a friend has an identical rifle. They both shoot just fine and function now but itís been a long road to get everything to work right and I certainly wouldnít do it again.

On my rifle the bolt had to be replaced. The hole in the bolt for the extractor pin was drilled too far inboard, thus, the extractor didnít have enough room away from the bolt to pivot causing it to not be able to latch over the rim of a cartridge. A new complete Colt bolt took care of it.

Metal is flaking off the but end of the carrier.

The gas block is a very poor fit, secured by two rivets. Itís supposed to be secured by two tapered steel pins. It leaks gas from the gas block something awful.

The bolt carrier is of the Sporter type with an exposed firing pin. Because of this the firing pin is making contact with the hammer when the weapon cycles. The firing pin is supposed to be made of tough steel and hard chromed. It is getting chewed up like it's aluminum,it's sharp to the touch.

The receiver is soft coat anodized unlike Colt, Bushmaster, Armalite and Knight, other companies probably also hard coat anodize but these four are the top of the line in my book; their hard coat anodizing is very tough. The finish and the quality of the aluminum also hinders in the scope mounting department. My rifle (and that of my friends) have the hi-ryder upper. When you go to clamp down some good solid, steel scope rings they just chew into the aluminum (havenít had this happen with Colt or Bushmaster) then try to lap the rings; the rings wind up tearing up the rail. I think this is beyond the anodizing and more into the quality if the aluminum itself. As I understand it, the hi-ryder uppers are made of extruded aluminum, not forged or even cast. I donít know if aluminum is supposed to get heat treated maybe thatís it.

Both of the rifles my friend and I own have had feeding and cycling problems, this may be due to all that gas leaking out of the gas block.

The extractor on my friends rifle broke early on, it was a cast part and was replaced with a machined from billet Colt extractor ($29)

For what the rifles are supposed to be, they arenít all that great. I can keep five rounds in about ĺ of an inch at 100-yards. Thatís a pretty good group to be sure, but if I put the same scope on my bone stock Colt 6601 I can do the same thing. Some target rifle.

I like arfs and I donít usually question their reliability but this one canít be trusted. I also think of the arf as a bit on the delicate side, but this one seems like it will break it you look at it wrong.

For my money I will only ever buy Armalite, Bushmaster, Colt (ABC) or Knight, defiantly not the cheapest but all those folks use high quality parts and build great rifles. You get what you pay for. I get a lot of grief from some folks who have DPMS, RRA, Oly or other builderís rifles or kits or whatever that run just fine and cost half what mine do. Thatís great for them, Iím just going to stick with what works well for me. Iíve got a little Bushmaster with just over 8000 rounds through it now and the weapon works like a dream and looks almost new. Sure it was a little stiff the first few hundred rounds but it hasnít given me any grief to speak of. I usually carry a few spare parts just in case, but have never had the occasion to fix this weapon.

So my game plan is a follows.

Arf = Colt first and the other second

308 AR = Armalite or Knight

FAL I really like he DSA parts and Iíve got a op notch builder

Garands = USGI

M14 Iím really liking these Chinese rifles

AKs still learning a lot about them. I like the OOW receivers and the Bulgarian rifles.

1911 Colt

so on and so forth

If youíve read all that, thanks for taking the time to listen to my whining and completely biased opinion. Flame suit on.

Best regards, T
TB is offline  
Old 11-07-2003, 12:50 AM   #9
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,578
A couple pertinent quotes found here.

Originally Posted by Pat _Rogers
ÖColt continues to be the most efficient of the AR's. Of the remainder, Bushmaster may be a distant second. When you get one that works, it runs great, but many don't. DPMS is very spotty, and we see things like bolts fracturing at the cam pin hole. Of the others, a good one may squeak through, but i'd be hard pressed to see a pattern.
Originally Posted by Robe
ÖI too have personally had an overall bad experience with DPMS parts of all kinds and have seen various problems in other guns using DPMS parts. I have mainly seen poor quality barrels with improper sized gas holes, poor quality bolts and carriers. I have seen Colt and Bushmaster parts and complete rifles to be the most dependable out of the box.
This is just the stuff I picked out that is slanted hard one way. If youíve got some time, check out the thread, thereís a lot of good info, and not all of it is like this.

Best regards, T
TB is offline  

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