DPMS REPR Review
America’s love affair with the AR platform is a relationship that isn’t losing its steam anytime soon. Since the USMC’s adoption of Knight’s Armament’s M110 for a Semi-Automatic Sniper System, America’s fondness has only grown for Armalite’s original .308 AR design that they presented to the DoD over 50 years ago. Although the 7.62 AR-10 didn’t win the contract, and instead went to its smaller cousin the 5.56 AR-15, the 7.62 platform has found a renewed use. The ability to reach out and touch multiple Taliban at over 800 yards has finally given the AR-10 a long awaited and respected place in our Military’s arsenal. And as always, what the military uses, the civilian shooting community’s demand usually follows.
There’s an almost endless variety of AR-10 flavors; already we at Gunblog.com have reviewed 2, the Bushmaster ORC .308, and the DPMS Panther LR-308 (which are basically the same rifle). We’ve had another Freedom Group AR-10 on our hands for the last 3 months, the DPMS REPR or Rapid Engagement Precision Rifle. At first look, one may say, “Ok, it’s an AR-10 with a tactic-cool tan paint job,” but that assessment would grow exponentially if they were given the chance to fire it. Shooters like to build their guns up as mentioned in the Bushmaster ORC .308 review, but the DPMS REPR at its price point should be considered “finished.” This flagship 7.62 rifle from DPMS has a lot to offer a shooter who’s looking for a precision AR-10. While the DPMS REPR satisfies the shooters’ desires of military tacti-cool looks, it supplies the attributes that truly matter—worry-free reliability, ergonomic features, and sub MOA accuracy.
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Tan is the new black; excuse me, I meant field dark earth, which is the color the DPMS REPR is almost completely finished in. DPMS did a good job of trying to match the hue of Magpul’s FDE finish, there’s only a slight variation that is barely noticeable. The paintjob makes the DPMS REPR an exceptionally handsome rifle. From its skeletonized picatinny railed handguards, to the Magpul PRS stock, the REPR delivers a tactical look that is destined to impress, but offers the shooter more than just getting jealous double takes at the range.
The features of the REPR offer little room for needed add ons. The upgraded AR-10 comes with a Harris Bi-Pod, AAC flash hider, Magpul PRS Stock, Hogue grip, the aforementioned beautiful field dark earth finish, and the lower receiver features an ambidextrous safety and magazine release. So out of the box it’s almost complete, and being that shooters are paying a premium for the rifle, it should be. Each DPMS REPR comes with two 19 round magazines, and a nylon web sling.
The finish of the REPR held up pretty well during our 3 months of testing. I can tell you, that we weren’t exactly nice to the REPR during our desert excursions, but the DPMS REPR’s paint job showed to be quite resilient against scratches. Although after an 8 foot drop off a rock one small scratch did appear, but I doubt there is a firearm finish where it wouldn’t.
Handling the REPR is a familiar affair for any AR owner. Everything is exactly where you would expect it and it all functions as anticipated with the addition of an ambidextrous safety and magazine release. I really enjoy the ambi-safety. When available, I find myself disengaging the safety as I would traditionally with my thumb, but after firing I like to reengage the safety with my shooting finger. I find it easier and more convenient, and I’m sure lefties will find the ambi-safety and magazine release even handier.
The DPMS REPR features an 18” barrel with a 1×10 twist. Besides the Hogue Rubber grip handle and bipod, it’s the only component on the rifle that isn’t in coated in Flat Dark Earth. Finishing the barrel off is the AAC Blackout Flash Hider which will allow a shooter to attach an AAC 762-SD or 300-SD suppressor. The rifle weighs 9.5 lbs empty, and with the US OPTIC 1.8×10 SN3 we used while fully loaded the total weight came to be a little over 13 lbs.
Most shooters are very familiar with the included upgrades with the REPR, mainly the Magpul PRS stock and the Harris Bi-Pod. Both accessories are common place on the range. The Magpul PRS stock offers an adjustable comb and length of pull giving REPR a personalized cheek weld. The Harris bi-pod (or equivalent) would be an automatic purchase for any long range shooter, so it’s nice that DPMS included it with the REPR.
A potential drawback for shooters and the main difference between DPMS’s REPR and the other REPR (LWRC’s) is the gas system. DPMS used a traditional AR gas impingement system as opposed to the more popular gas piston system that we’re continuing to see more with AR platforms. During our testing, we didn’t find this to be a hindrance on the REPR’s reliability, but more on that later. It would have been nice if DPMS included an adjustable gas block, especially since more and more shooters are shooting suppressed these days.
The DPMS REPR has some great out of the box features, but I feel there should have been a few more. Given its considerable price tag, the REPR is more than likely to attract an advanced shooter with an advanced pocketbook. Couple that with the fact it comes with an AAC flash hider, it’s reasonable to assume an owner of the REPR will one day, if not immediately, put the AAC suppressor/silencer made for that flash hider. The gas impingement systems on traditional AR platforms aren’t exactly the most suppressor friendly systems. Shooters, me included, usually complain of a face full of gas when shooting an AR suppressed due to the increased gas pressure coming back and escaping from the upper receiver. Companies have circumvented this annoyance by producing a charging handle that can divert gas away from a shooters face. So given the price the DPMS REPR is set at, and the clientele it’s bound to attract, it would be nice to have included the upgraded charging handle, especially since the gas system is not adjustable.
The 80 dollar upgrade for a changing handle is a pretty small knick against an otherwise perfect AR-10 setup (unless you’re one of the shooters who absolutely hate a gas impingement system). We found the DPMS REPR a joy to handle, and if you’re going to put a suppressor on it, then the charging handle is only a recommendation for comfort and not a necessity for function. Since it is a gas impingement system, then an adjustable gas block would have been much appreciated.
Bells and whistles are nice, and the DPMS REPR has plenty of them, but they’re irrelevant if the gun doesn’t perform as it should. There’s nothing tactical about a rifle that doesn’t shoot, or shoot straight. The REPR achieves both feats in an exceptional fashion. We had 3 months with the DPMS REPR with 1200 rounds of various types of .308 and 7.62, and every day we went out with the REPR to lessen that ammo count, was a good day.
The AR platform’s ability to transfer felt recoil in a way to where it is completely manageable is the true genius of its design, and the DPMS REPR is no exception. Although the .308 does have considerable more power than the smaller .223, and that power is noticed while shooting the REPR, it’s nowhere near uncontrollable despite its lighter weight. I would say the most contributable factor for keeping the REPR’s recoil down is the Magpul PRS stock; its ergonomics is the best compliment a precision AR-10 can get. Controllable recoil would have to be a prerequisite for justifying DPMS’s name for the rifle—your rifle is not going to be rapid and precise if the muzzle is jumping all over the place and the lack of recoil produced by the REPR make swift, accurate follow up shots a breeze.
Reliability would be another requirement for the REPR—who wants to spend over 2 grand for a rifle that malfunctions? Even while shooting in windy, dusty conditions out in the desert for extended periods of time, the DPMS never produced one malfunction of any type. From cheap military surplus rounds to Black Hills 175 grain match grade .308, whatever we put in it, the DPMS REPR shot it flawlessly. We didn’t do any “throw some dirt in the chamber” tests, but I can say dirt did get it in especially after the aforementioned drop. I did fire it after that drop and to no surprise, the REPR shot with no compromise to its reliability.
A defining attribute of a precision rifle is accuracy, and by today’s standards it must be sub MOA (1” at 100 yards). The DPMS REPR easily meets this requirement. The best results we were able to achieve was a .91 group using 175 gr Buffalo Bore Sniper Ultra Match Grade. We saw similar results with the Black Hills 175 gr. When we moved down to 168 gr the DPMS was still able to maintain the desired 1” groups. I would say the 1:10 twist rate enjoys the heavier bullets. When we used anything less than 168 gr, the typical group we would see would be a 1.5” group, which would be a group we had to work particularly hard to achieve. Nonetheless, if using match grade ammunition, the REPR will not disappoint, and even if you’re using lesser quality rounds the accuracy the REPR provides should fulfill most shooters’ appetite for accuracy.
The REPR features a two stage match grade trigger which is another component the REPR can give credit for its outstanding accuracy. The trigger has a very smooth and consistent pull with the first stage being about 4-5 lbs and the second being a barely noticeable 1.5-2 lbs. The brake of the trigger is clean and crisp without the hint of any type of slap. Everyone has their own opinion on triggers and what trigger is suitable for a precision rifle; I prefer a light single stage trigger, but the two-stage match trigger on the REPR is a good fit being that the rifle is semi-automatic. I can see most shooters having the consensus that there is little room for complaining about the REPR’s trigger.
Breaking out the DPMS REPR at the range is a real treat, shooting it was an even tastier one. For $2,520 the REPR is not an entry level AR-10, it is aimed towards those who do not wish to build up an AR-10 and want an out of the box rifle with all the bells and whistles. Almost all the angles were covered with the REPR in regards to what the typical shooter would want if looking for a premium AR-10 with a few exceptions.
I know some shooters are going to be turned off by the gas impingement system, or at least, disappointed that the gas system isn’t adjustable. Since the audience of which REPR is destined to attract, I’m willing to bet a majority of them own silencers, or at least have the desire and means to obtain one. So couple that with the fact the REPR features a flash hider that is specifically designed to accommodate a silencer, it would have been prudent for DPMS to include a more suppressor friendly gas system.
If I was forced to add one more small complaint, it would be the lack of a back up iron sight system. A similar DPMS rifle, the LRT-SASS, features great low profile back up iron sights which I would have liked to see on the REPR.
These small grievances about the gas system or the lack of iron sights fade away quickly when they’re stacked against all the items in the pro column for the REPR. Not one malfunction with over 1,200 rounds comes to mind, not to mention sub moa accuracy and a plethora of aftermarket accessories that a shooter would end up putting on their rifle anyway. If there was another complaint someone might add, it would be that the REPR is expensive. But when comparing the REPR to similar rifles on its level, the LWRC REPR and the Knight’s Armament XM-110 SASS, the REPR comes in at over $1,000 dollars less than both of them. So, depending on one’s perspective, the DPMS REPR could be considered a deal.
The DPMS REPR proved that its paint job matched its performance, which was nothing short of spectacular. Shooters seem to be more and more attracted to what the military is using, and the DPMS REPR can give them a close enough feel to that desire. The precision accuracy and dependable function make it worthy of being dubbed a “tactical” precision rifle. Ambidextrous features coupled with upgraded ergonomics give the classic AR-10 a 21st century make-over. Shooters fortunate enough to own a DPMS REPR are destined to be satisfied with the pleasure of owning a rifle with exquisite looks, sniper-like accuracy, and frustration free reliability.