I gave the rifle a work out by shooting two magazines, 20 rounds each, as fast as I could acquire the target and then letting 3 other people shoot the rifle several more times. There were no malfunctions. The rifle stayed on target through recoil, allowing me to see hits. That is a highly important feature in a rifle in my opinion. The addition of a Miculek brake reduces recoil further as well as helps keep the rifle returning straight so the shooter can keep his eye on the target.
The Hunter is fitted with dust cover, forward assist, and a G27 Tactical Pistol Grip. I added a Leupold 3-10x tactical scope to evaluate the Hunter on the range. Yes, the rings are too short, but the only ones available at the time.
The 3.4 pound reduction in weight of the LR Ė 260L over the original LR Ė 260 makes it more easily carried. While velocity is reduced by going from a 24" barrel to an 18" barrel, its ability is still substantial at 300 yards. The table below uses a 139 grain Lapua Scenar bullet at standard conditions.
Again, Leupold was kind enough to lend their Vari-X III, 3.5-10x40mm LR with 1/4" click adjustments to the project. I only had one set of rings available for a Picatinny rail that were a bit short for an AR, but they sufficed for the test. This scope has target adjustment dials, which gave me the ability to dial for the longer shots and is equipped with side parallax adjustment.
The rifle came stock from DPMS and is fine as supplied. On my current ARís, I have changed the stock triggers for better triggers offered as an option from DPMS or the new drop in model from Timney. The new Hunter Series, however, comes with a JP adjustable trigger. Of course, the rifle can be tricked out in any number of ways with other items available at DPMS. All things considered, if you are looking for a long range AR with great accuracy, light recoil, and a bullet in the 123 to 140 grain area, the DPMS LR Ė 260L Remington will not disappoint you.
The Hunter version is simple and efficient. However, DPMS has myriad add-ons to trick the rifle out in any fashion the owner wishes. Designed primarily as a hunting rifle and not a battle rifle, most of that is just added weight.
The Hunter Series rifles are also being offered in .308 and .243.
Panther Long Range, LR Ė 260 Specifications:
Barrel: 24", 416 stainless steel bull barrel, 6 groove, 1-7.5 twist, Button rifled
Bolt and Carrier: Phosphated 8620 steel bolt, heat treated and plated per mil spec., 8620 steel bolt carrier, heat treated and plated per mil spec.
Sights: None (mounting optics only)
Chamber: 260 Remington
Weight: 11.3 lbs empty
Method of Operation: Gas operated rotating bolt
Handguard: Ribbed Al free float tube, 2.24" outside diameter
Upper receiver: A3 flattop, Thick walled 6066-T6 Al, Hard coat anodized per mil spec and Teflon coated black, Picatinny rail, Dust cover, Shell deflector, Forward assist, right hand ejection
Lower receiver: Milled from solid billet of 6061-T6 Al, Hard coat anodized per mil spec and Teflon coated black, Standard AR-15 trigger group, Aluminum magazine release button
Stock: Standard A2 black Zytel mil spec w/trap door assembly
Handguards: Ribbed aluminum free float tube
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