Panther Arms (DPMS) AP4 .308
The US has fought many wars carrying the M16 and M4 and law enforcement and civilian shooters continue to rely on the AR15 family of rifles chambered in 5.56 millimeter. However, many feel the 5.56 millimeter cartridge, especially through a rifle with a sixteen inch barrel, simply can’t get the job done reliably when the chips are down. This issue has led both the US Military in Afghanistan and many shooters around the world to move away from assault weapons and their cartridges, that were intended to deliver “best of all worlds” performance, and back to weapons firing full-size rifle rounds offering maximum power and increased range. While there isn’t much wrong with many of the tried-and-true rifles delivering their bigger bullets, there are new models available and a prime example on the civilian market is the Panther AP4 in .308, a compact AR offering the size and weight of an assault rifle combined with the power of a true rifle round.
Delivered with a sixteen inch barrel and telescoping stock like that found on the M4, the Panther AP4 in .308 offers shooters a weapon practically identical in size and very similar in weight to a short-barreled AR15 chambered in 5.56 millimeter, but in a hard-hitting, time-tested, longer-range cartridge. Shooters in search of a powerful, capable semi-automatic rifle but with a short, carbine-length barrel in a familiar platform would do well to spend some time at the local gun shop getting to know an AP4 in .308.
In addition to the aforementioned sixteen inch barrel and telescoping stock, Panther’s AP4 rifle is delivered with a solid list of standard features. A gas-operated semiautomatic rifle, the AP4’s barrel is made from 4140 chrome-moly steel, rifled with six grooves, features 1×10 right-hand twist rifling and is capped by an aggressive-looking Panther .308 flash hider. The barrel is shrouded by a carbine-length free-float handguard. The top of the 6066-T6 aluminum upper receiver, which is hard anodized and black Teflon-coated, features a Picatinny rail ready for scopes or sights. The lower receiver is made from 6061-T6 aluminum, is also hard anodized and black Teflon-coated and the magazine release button is aluminum. The AP4’s bolt is heat treated and plated along with its bolt carrier. The overall construction, fit and finish of the .308 Panther AP4 is impressive.
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