Best All Purpose DPMS AR 15 – AP4 Carbine Review

DPMS AR 15 – AP4 Carbine

DPMS AR 15These days, it seems as if AR-15 variants are a dime-a-dozen.  With new AR manufacturers popping up on a fairly regular basis, everyone seems to claim that they have some super tactical superior model to the usual brands –usual, being DPMS.  However, are these claims actually substantiated?  With what we know about AR-15 platforms, the system itself is something that needs somewhat regular care and maintenance –so I decided to have a look at the DPMS AP4.

While this may not necessarily be a ‘range review’, my theory is that all AR-15 variants are fairly standardized in terms of function, accuracy, and reliability.  Of course, you may not want to buy some random off-brand whose manufacturer says they are based in Kentucky –but really, they are made somewhere in Kazakhstan.  One rifle that has been around for ages the DPMS AR 15, making it ideal for a review to see how the classic AR stacks up against the newer, tacticool AR brands.

Track Record?

It is no secret that DPMS has been around for quite some time.  In fact, they’ve been around long enough to secure an ironclad contract with the US military.  According to the DPMS website:

“DPMS (Defense Procurement Manufacturing Services) was founded in 1985 by Randy Luth as a small government contract consulting company. The company served as a precision machine shop manufacturing M-16, M-14 and M203 parts for Army contracts. During this time, Mr. Luth also brokered M-16/AR-15 Mil Spec parts for the commercial markets.”

dpms ar 15

Knowing this, one reason for the distrust in the DPMS AR 15 is due to its long history in the field.  When the boots on the ground take that C-130 home, their stories about their GI AR’s may have fueled some of the distrust in rifles from major manufacturers.

Considering the fact that all ARs require maintenance, and the fact that the DPMS AR 15 rifle has seen pitched battle on more than a few occasions –it’s like comparing apples and oranges when looking at the track records of DPMS and other smaller AR manufacturers.

In effect, the US military will not settle a contract without looking at every possible alternative.  The troops absolutely depend on an accurate, working, reliable rifle, and at the same time, the price point needs to fulfill the ratio of good value vs. good quality.  Thus, the US government chose the DPMS AR 15 to fulfill this mission.


Which brings us to the reason why I feel that the DPMS AP4 is a solid piece of weaponized machinery.  We know that the US military sees DPMS as a manufacturer that produces good rifles at a good value.

DPMS AR 15 with Bipod

Thus, The DPMS AP4, with its carry-handle/flat top upper, standard birdcage flash hider, and standard hand guard, makes it one of the best all-purpose AR15 variants on the market.  These features have been proven again and again at flashpoints from Tripoli to San Diego.

At the same time, the DPMS AP4 allows for mounting optics, and even changing to a free-float hand guard with the proper tooling.  Like always, the furniture can be customized, and of course, it will accept any 5.56 NATO magazines you decide to feed it.  For this quick DPMS AP4 review, I can’t help but feel as if this is a solid all-purpose rifle, that will do just about anything reasonably well with a track record and government contract to prove it.

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