Tuesday, March 24, 2015

DPMS GII Recon G2 Redue

DPMS GII Recon G2 Redue


Ok, I liked the DPMS G2 immediately after introduction and even after a bit of time there are some things I fell in love with about the new platform. It feels in weight and size like an AR15, the recoil is a bit less than most comparable .308 AR formats. Even the trigger is decent right from the factory and of course DPMS has been famous for its out of the box accuracy. There is definitely a lot to love about this format.
DPMS G2 Recon As Factory Equiped

Those loves noted, I had some annoyances with the DPMS G2 Recon. The G2 is an awesome format .308 packaged in an AR15 sized format, however I saw room for improvement.

OPTIC CHANGES
You may set up your .308 semi-auto a little different, however I already have several 0-500, and 200-1000+ yard AR .308 configurations, so I changed my mind to push this .308 G2 thumper to a shorter range hunting and defensive engagement firearm.

The original Konus Pro optic was flexible however not as fast as I would have liked when distances were really close under 25 yards. The result is I had slipped on a Bushnell TRS-32 for a while which delivered a great inexpensive optic but lacked the faster circle-dot reticle was was wanting.

Once I saw the new Eotech 518 at SHOT show 2015, I knew that old circle dot AA powered goodness was what I wanted on this build.  The new Eotech 518 delivers all the AA powered reliability of the old 512 including the auto off (4 or 8 hours) features, but with a quick release mount and side operation buttons.  These two upgrades may seem minor, however they are two upgrades we have all been asking for… and asking for… and asking for.

The quick release option allows users to remove and install a high powered optic as needed without losing zero. So if I did want to clip on my very nice Bushnell first focal plane optic for some precision shots, I could at some point and just swap back quickly as the need dictates.


The side mounted buttons on the Eotech 518 get the buttons out of the way where triplers and back up sights made changing settings challenging on the original 512 rear-button unit. Everything is better with side mounted buttons and a quick release base, however most importantly the famous Eotech Circle-Dot reticle sight is much faster on target for my eyes.

STOCK CHANGES
The included Magpul MOE stock fit seemed to be getting worse as time went on or at least it became more annoying for me. It wasn’t necessarily the fault of the stock or the buffer tube themselves. Even if the buffer tube and stock are both Mil-Spec or Commercial sized, this situation often occurs where the stock and buffer tube are on opposite ends of the “specification” range and not hand matched during assembly. As this was one of the first 100 G2s to roll off the line, it had a bit of a sloppy fit. I swapped the Magpul MOE out for the Rogers SuperStock which I consider to be the best adjustable polymer AR stock on the market today.

The Rogers SuperStock is the only stock which offers a perfect fit via a selection of included shims and cam-lock system which tightens down and eliminates all slop between the buffer tube and stock. The Rogers SuperStock also adds two QD mount mounts and a few extra web sling mounts. The shooter gets a rock solid stock platform with no slop or rattle while still delivering a smooth stock length adjustment. Installation is as simple as just slipping off the old stock and slipping on the new Rogers SuperStock. Once you try one of these after having a loose stock, you will never want anything else.

GAS PORT TUNING

Very early on, the very first G2 rifles (like the first 100 or so) to roll of the assembly line had gas port sizes which were a smidgen too small. This under gassed issue caused functional short stroking issues only with sticky steel cased ammo which was on the low end of the pressure standards. I noted this in my initial review that some of the inexpensive steel cased ammo was causing short stroking problems on the DPMS G2. With only high quality ammo, I have not had any functional problems, however despite allowing a pretty extended break in period and heavy lubing and I was still having some issues with cheap steel cased .308 ammo ...which unfortunately is what I like to screw around and blast away with at the range.


I decided to remove the gas block and ever so slightly increase the gas port size on the barrel. This was a simple task of slipping a dowel rod into the bore and using a drill bit which was just marginally larger than the existing hole. Once the gas port hole was opened up, I reassembled and tested. Joy! Even the cheap steel case ammo cycles the G2 just perfectly. DPMS did note this problem to me after the first couple editorial units were shipped and made a tweak, however I would not jump in on this modification with a new gun that has less than 500 rounds through it. In most cases these .308s need a little break in to cycle the softer spec’ed .308 rounds. So is the penalty as a writer sometimes to be the first to get your hands on a rifle too early in the process.

BRAKE/COMP CHANGES
At this point I do not own a supressor, so the rather inefficient recoil reduction and incredibly loud AAC Supressor compatible tri-prong flash hider was not fitting my needs. After being impressed with the almost magical sound redirection capabilities of the Krink style PWS CQB brake on my AR15 pistols, I decided it would be a perfect option to push the boom away from me on this DPMS G2 .308.


Bottom line is that even with hearing protection, I would not shoot a .308 indoors or inside a blind without a PWS CQB on the end of the gun unless you enjoy repeating “what, I can’t hear you the rest of your life”. The thump is still there, but the BOOM is just redirected away from the shooter. It makes the DPMS G2 more fun to shoot in tight confined areas like blinds and indoors.

HANDGUARD UPDATE
The factory 1.05 lb heavy weight DPMS billet quadrail forend was a quality made piece but not comfortable for me and was way too heavy for its length. I personally like very long handguards and the Recon Quadrail was not really doing it for me especially at over 1 lb.
The problem is that this DPMS G2 uses a proprietary barrel nut exclusive to the DPMS G2.


The G2 barrel nut is somewhere dimensionally between a AR15 and a DPMS LR-308 barrel nut so that makes finding a new handguard option challenging. At SHOT show, I saw that Midwest Industries was now offering a few specific DPMS G2 handguard options including their slim SS and Keymod series handguards complete with a compatible barrel nut. I ordered a 15” Free-Float Keymod handguard which comes complete with a GII spec barrel nut. The factory handguard and barrel nut was spun off and replaced with the MI Keymod handguard in about 10 minutes.



The handguard is covered with keymod mounting points as well as a couple QD-sling mounts all in a very slim profile.  I did order two extra short rail sections and a Keymod Handstop/Panel kit. The .308’s do heat up quick after emptying a magazine or two, so my hope was that the panel kit would help provide a cooler handguard surface even when things heated up and it does to a point. The Midwest Industries Keymod handguard offers a significantly slimmer profile with a complete de-horned (rounded edges) design which is actually comfortable to hold.

SLING ADDITION
Any good rifle deserves a nice sling and one which I have been playing around with lately is $45 paracord based Beachin Tactical sling. Hey, having a few extra yards of paracord never hurt and these slings are made extremely well by Jacob Beach, a military Airborne Infantryman who was tired of complex sling systems.


He designed a simple but beautiful paracord 2-point sling which adds just the right amount of give with a centered buckle and length adjustment. The Beachin Tactical sling is made from 100% US made components and hand made in the US all backed by a lifetime warranty. Judging from the quality of the sling, I doubt it will ever fail. I added two QD sling mounts and can clip the sling in at various point on the Rogers SuperStock and Midwest Industries Forend.

FINAL THOUGHTS
I love the DPMS GII format rifle design, size and weight, but now it fits how I shoot, is lighter, more comfortable and even quieter for the shooter. For all practical purposes it feels like a marginally heavier AR15 but packing heavyweight .308 punch.  That noted, no firearm in my possession ever stays stock simply because I can and do change things around to my liking and this DMPS G2 was no exception. 


In the case of my DPMS GII Recon, I wanted lighter, tighter, more comfort and a shorter range focus ready for everything from stalking brush hunting hogs and deer to a format that will tip over steel targets with authority. The best part is every time I slip a full .308 magazine into the G2 and light it up, it makes be feel all happy inside like the first time someone gave me a piece of chocolate double layer birthday cake.

SPECS
Eotech 518 - $499 Street Price
Rogers SuperStock - $79.00 Steet Price
PWS CQB .308 Compensator - $144.00
Midwest Industries Keymod Forend - $229 + $18 Panel Kit + $18 Extra Rail

SOURCES
DPMS - http://dpms-gii.com/
Eotech - http://www.eotechinc.com/
Rogers - http://www.rogersshootingschool.com/products/superstoc.php
PWS - http://primaryweapons.com/
Midwest Industries - http://www.midwestindustriesinc.com
Beachin Tactical - https://www.etsy.com/search?q=Beachin%20Tactical

4 comments:

Daniel Tepper said...

I looks like you upgraded the mags too? Is that a magpul I see?

Michael Weeks said...

How heavy is this beast?

Michael Weeks said...

How heavy is this beast?

Major Pandemic said...

I think it was around 9.5 lbs if I remember correctly.