Best Budget-Friendly AR-15: A DPMS Sportical Review

DPMS AR 15 – DPMS Sportical

DPMS Sportical

When deciding on a possible purchase of an AR-15, you may notice how the dollars rack up quickly.  Once you mount your optics, it is very common to see a sticker-shocking price tag of $1,200.

However, there are alternatives to this problem.  While you may not be getting a nickel boron bolt carrier group, or a decked-out piston-driven upper, sometimes it’s just good to have a rifle that you know will work if you take the time to care for it.  It is with a pleasure, and a wee bit of skepticism, that we introduce the DPMS Sportical.

This AR-15 is about as simple as it gets.  It basically lacks just about any accessories that you might often find on a standard AR-15, such as a gasblock front sight and even a carry handle.  However, for what you would save in cost, this may not be a bad thing.

Customizable After the Fact

DPMS SporticalOne of the nicest parts about DPMS AR-15 rifles is the fact that they will fit just about any standard mil-spec accessory.  Considering most of us usually buy our ARs, take off all the parts we don’t like, and replace them with aftermarket accessories, I’ve often thought that it would simply be easier to buy a rifle with next to no accessories whatsoever.  That way, you save money on the things you’ll be replacing anyway.


What’s the Difference?

The difference between the DPMS Sportical and other DPMS AR-15 models is the fact that they’ve decided to leave out two usually included items: the dust cover, and the forward assist.

However, the other difference is that this rifle is listed on some online shops at $617 to date.  For customizable rifle that simply lacks a dust cover and forward assist – items that many even aren’t convinced they need in the first place– at under $700?  That’s a pretty good deal.

In fact, apparently the DPMS Sportical is a workhorse of a rifle.  They say you’re not supposed to be feeding your AR the infamous-but-cheap Tula 5.56 ammo, but it seems that the Sportical will eat it, and then ask for more.  According to one interesting review, this is exactly what the guy does.  He also says something interesting as well:

First, if the round isn’t chambering, then you probably shouldn’t be slapping the forward assist anyways.  It’s probably best to remove the round, inspect it, and then keep firing.

Second, you probably shouldn’t be shoving your DPMS Sportical in the dirt, which means that if you aren’t crawling through the mud on a regular basis, then you shouldn’t even need the dust cover.

Why The Sportical?

DPMS Sportical with Scope

The DPMS Sportical exists for two very specific purposes:

  • This DPMS AR 15 Sportical is there for folks who just don’t have the cash to drop on an LWRC or Primary Weapons Systems AR-15.
  • The Sportical is designed for shooters in reasonably controlled conditions.

However, the system is excellent for mounting optics of all kinds, from Bushnell red dots to Eotech holographic sights and Trijicon scopes.  Why?  Since you won’t have to remove a front gas block, it just makes things easy.

Of course, you do get what you pay for.  If you want a battle rifle that will work on next to no maintenance, crawling through a Venezuelan jungle, while hitting half-MOA on every single pull of the trigger, you’re dreaming if think that something under $700 will do the job.

For all other purposes, the DPMS Sportical will work just fine.

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