• Manufacturer: DPMS Inc.
  • Model: LRT-SASS
  • Caliber: .308 Win (7.62x51mm NATO)
  • Barrel: Stainless steel
  • Barrel Length: 18" (457mm)
  • Twist: 1:10" RH, 6 grooves
  • Magazine: 19 Round Detachable Box Magazine
  • Trigger: JP Adjustable Trigger, 4.5 lbs
  • Stock: Magpul PRS Fully Adjustable Stock
  • Metal Finish: Hard coat anodized with teflon
  • Weight: 11.5 lbs (5.2 kg)
  • Overall Length: 38.75" (984mm) - Extended Stock
  • List Price: $ 2179 (2014 prices)

A while back we took the opportunity to review a DPMS Panther LR-308B which proved to be a decently capable shooter, though with a few items that could be improved. But the rifle did shoot well and was a good performer for a lower end 308 AR rifle. The opportunity came up a bit later to review DPMS’s full blown sniper rifle, in fact, the top of the line long range 308 semi-auto, the LRT-SASS. For those of you that may not know, SASS is an acronym for Semi-Auto Sniper System and you can read about the US Army’s adoption of the M110 SASS and its capabilities. DPMS submitted their own version of the rifle to the US Army during the trials and while not ultimately selected as the M110, a version of the Knight’s Armament Company (KAC) SR-25 was selected, DPMS decided to offer their SASS on the commercial market. We placed an order for the SASS during the semi-auto craze after the 2008 elections and it literally took us 1.5 years to get the rifle from DPMS. Rest assured that the wait time today is much less.

DPMS has a wide range of 308 based AR platforms to choose from, typically on the lower priced spectrum of the AR market, and the SASS is essentially a preconfigured rifle with the options that DPMS saw fit to include on a Semi-Auto Sniper System. The heart of the system is the same action that is used on the standard Panther LR-308 rifles offered by DPMS, which has been in production for a number of years now. We have fired several of these LR-308 rifles over the years of different variety from DPMS and they have all been reliable and fairly accurate rifles and we expected the same, if not more from the SASS.


Overall the rifle is very similar to any AR platform in both appearance and operation. If you are familiar with the AR-15, AR-10, SR-25, etc, then you are familiar with the DPMS LR-308 series of rifles and their variants. The upper and lower receivers are both aluminum; the upper receiver being extruded from 6066-T6 aluminum and the lower receiver being milled from a solid billet of 6061-T6 aluminum. Both the upper and lower receivers are anodized and then a black Teflon coating is applied to help with corrosion protection. The black Teflon finish has a dull matte finish and is quite effective for a tactical rifle.

The upper receiver is a flattop style receiver referred to as an A3 by DPMS and as with all the A3/A4 flat top style AR receivers, there is an integrated rail built into the top. The LR-308B we reviewed earlier is more of an entry level rifle that is focused on keeping the cost down which meant removing some of the features from such as a dust cover over the ejection port, a forward assist and a shell deflector. These are all basic features on a standard AR rifle but can be argued that they are not completely necessary. It does not matter what side of that argument you are on, those items do provide functionality and are a standard part of the DPMS SASS. The charging handle is an extended tactical style charging handle to aid in charging while a Day Optic Sight (DOS) is mounted on the rifle.


The pistol grip on the SASS is DPMS’s own Panther Tactical grip which is made of hard plastic, not unlike the standard hard plastic M-16 grip, but contoured with finger grooves and a pebble texture that is suppose to help with gripping and there is a large bottom platform to help support your hand. The plastic grip was a bit too hard and slick for our liking and I do not know how much the platform really helps or is needed, but it does give an aggressive tactical look to the rifle if you are into that. The platform is fairly large and bulky and may get in the way when operating in tight spots, but it can be removed if needed. The rifle also comes with two standard 19 round box magazines that snap into the rifle with a positive click and functioned well throughout our tests.

The lower receiver had the standard operating components of an AR rifle with an ambidextrous two position selector switch for safe and fire and a bolt release button on the left side. The magazine release button is located on the right hand side of the action and is properly located to be easily reached and press with the trigger finger when prepared to drop the magazine. Besides everything being slightly larger on the 308 action, the rifle will immediately feel comfortable and normal for anyone with AR-15 or M-16 experience.


The forward handguard is a four rail unit with rails on the top, sides, and bottom. The top rail is setup to be a continuation of the top rail on the upper receiver and the slots are properly spaced between the hand guard and receiver to allow the use of mounts that would bridge the hand guard and receiver such as scope rings on forward mounted scope. The side and bottom rails on the handguard come with soft plastic rail covers that convert the handguard into an actual handguard you can hold without just grabbing rails. There are four plastic covers per rail on the sides and bottom and they can easily be removed individually to allow for the attachment of various accessories as needed. We did not put the little covers through heavy abuse to determine how durable they will be over time, but they can easily be replaced with new ones if needed. The forward most section on all the rails is exposed and the rifle came with a Harris bipod and rail mount adapter attached to the bottom rail.

Part of the SASS requirement for the US Army was to have backup auxiliary iron sights to be used when needed or when the sniper does not have a choice, such as when their DOS (scope) has a failure. The DPMS SASS comes equipped with Mangonel Front and Rear flip-up sights for just such use. The sights are high quality and precise enough, once zeroed, for use at visual ranges. The clicks on the rear sight were positive and the system worked well with 300+ meter capability for combat use, especially if you know your ballistics. Depending on how you have your DOS mounted, it may be able to keep the rear sight mounted with the DOS mounted. The scope and mounts we used for testing were low and did not allow for us to keep the aux sights attached with the scope.

The barrel is a fluted stainless steel barrel that is 18″ long and has what DPMS calls the Panther flash hider attached. The barrel has six lands and grooves and a 1:10″ right hand twist to stabilize the heavier bullets. The barrel is finished in a matte black finish to match the rest of the rifle.


The rear butt stock is a Magpul PRS that has become popular with AR precision rifles over the past few years. We believe the stock that was used for the US Army trials was the VLTOR Modstock, but we may be mistaken on that. The PRS offers an adjustable cheekpiece as well as adjustable length of pull via two wheel style controls on the stock. There is also an adjustable plate on the bottom that allows the use of a sand sock and being able to slide that plate forward a bit was and is helpful. The quality of the PRS stock is okay, sometimes adjusting the clicks of the wheel adjustments is difficult due to stiffness in the knob and it being hard to get a good grip on it, but once you get them set they seem to stay put. The feel of the stock is a kydex plastic feel that works okay, though sweat and face paint can cause things to get slick with your cheek weld. Though on the whole the stock seems to work well enough and allows us to adjust it to fit the shooter fairly well.

The trigger is a JP industries adjustable trigger that is set at the factory in the range of 4.5 – 5 lbs. While this is heavy in terms of normal high precision long range rifles, it is good compared to the last LR-308B we tested which had over a 7 lb trigger pull. In fact, this particular trigger measure 4.25 lbs when it arrived. The trigger is adjustable for take-up and over-travel and while we did not play with the adjustments, it needed them. There is not-so-smooth take-up that can be distracting while striving for good accuracy. While this trigger is a lot better than the standard LR-308 trigger, it is still not up to the quality that most factory bolt action triggers have, which was a bit disappointing for a rifle that costs several thousands of dollars.


For the shooting portion of the evaluation we mounted a Hawke Frontier 4-16x42mm Side Focus scope with mildot reticle. This scope offers good quality glass and enough magnification for good accuracy tests as well as enough elevation adjustments for long range shooting. Like all AR platforms the scope needs to me mounted higher off the receiver than normal and a good amount forward in order to get a good cheek-weld combined with the proper eye relief. The full rail along the top of the rifle combined with the adjustable stock did allow this to be accomplished easily.

For the short range (100 yard) accuracy evaluation we used Federal Gold Medal Match 168gr and HSM 168gr Match ammo. All shooting was shot from a bench with bipod attached and a sandsock under the rear butt stock. We tried initially to shoot without the bipod and to use a sandbag for the front which is our normal accuracy test procedure, but the round forward hand guard with rails did not give us as stable of a support as the bipod did, so we switched over. Honestly, the rifle took a little getting used to and during the initial zeroing of the scope we were not getting good groups at all; we feel this had to do with initially using a sandbag up front and with the trigger. Once we switched to the bipod and then got used to the trigger we, and the rifle, started to settle down some, especially on the second trip to the range after the first did not go so well. The averages presented in the table below do not include some fairly horrendous groups (1.5+ inches) from the first day. The averages only include groups that were shot once the rifle and shooters settled down, which is not a normal practice for our evaluations, so keep that in mind. As you can see from the data, the rifle shot well, but perhaps not as good as we were hoping. In fact, with the Federal Gold Medal Match ammo, the accuracy was right about the same as the LR-308B with its terrible trigger and much lower price. This is one of those things that may not be able to be explained. The accuracy with the HSM ammo was more consistent and better.

Ammo Average Best
Federal GMM 168gr .723″ .559″
HSM 168gr Match .568″ .466″

For the longer range shooting evaluation we used primarily the HSM 168gr and shot at ranges in the “mid-range” category from 400-600 yards. The performance was about what you would expect and the one area where a semi-auto excels at, rapid follow up shots, the rifle perform admirably. As a test we fired a rapid fire group at 100 yards with HSM ammo and it measured an impressive .611″ which was as good as when we took our time. Recoil was dampened well, which Stoners design has always done well, and we did not experience any malfunctions, though admittedly we did not torture test the rifle to try and make it fail. Overall the rifle handles fairly well though weight is moderately heavy and some of the controls are stiff to manipulate.


So how does the SASS rate? The DPMS rifles have somewhat of a reputation of being built to a lower price point and as such some of their components are not as high of quality as other AR based rifles from higher end manufacturers. That does seem to play out on both the LR-308B and this SASS rifle we evaluated here. The pistol grip was not that great and fit and finish were acceptable, though not top notch and the performance of the rifle was fine, though not as good as we were hoping compared to the much lower priced LR-308B So as a final grade, the SASS slots in about where you would expect it to when comparing it to a Knights Armament Company (KAC) or other higher end 308 base AR platform that costs twice as much, it just doesn’t have the same quality, but still performs acceptably for what you paid for.




Did you break in the barrel before shooting for groups? I’ve been told that even a new rifle will shoot large groups until things smooth out in the bore and it reaches it’s copper equilibrium state.

Mel Ewing

Typically no. There has not been any proof that a barrel break in definitively helps, but for our own rifles, we know it certainly does not hurt and there is a chance it can help, so we recommend doing it. But the process is long and slow and as such, we cannot take the time to perform a proper break-in on every rifle we review.


Not breaking in the barrel on any new firearm is nuts. Especially Stainless. Shoot a round, let the barrel cool, and so on. Doesn’t take that much time. Do it right and you have a more accurate firearm for its entire life. Do it wrong and you have, well, nothing can count on to always get the job done. Im 73 and I been around the block a few times, kids.

Christopher Jackson

I bought one in 2014. I got my scope zero’d in and probably need to get out more when it cools off a bit here in Reno. I can take it to an armorer and get a new pistol grip if I want to. but I like the PSG-1 style grip to rest my hand on as I shoot. It is an acquired taste. But she can take 149 – 180 grain rounds as per my question to DPMS by email. The Army uses a 178 grain round for their 7.62x51mm rounds.


Yep, that is the beauty of the AR/MSR platform, it is easy to swap out parts if you do not like something. The military uses a 175gr Sierra Matchking Bullet. Check out the history of the M118LR ammo.


I have a G2 SASS and I shoot the 168gr Berger bullet. I had to change the feed ramp for it to cycle correctly due to the long ogive of the bullet after breaking the barrel in I am shooting 7/8” 5 shot groups at 200 yards pretty easily.


I’m thinking about buying the sass. Is there a different one you guys suggest for me to consider and price before I buy? Don’t know much about guns but owned and shot all my life. Don’t hunt but need to drop some hogs occasionally. Also I live in south Florida. Any suggestions on where to buy? Thanks

Mel Ewing

If you are specifically looking at the DPMS model, then you should be pretty good with the base rifle, though an improved trigger could be helpful. The SASS as it sits is pretty good


Mickel : I must add, I own this exact rifle. I use a Hawkeye bore scope to evaluate each barrel on all the rifles I own. In my SASS barrel it took about 80 rounds before it stopped coppering. Now all I do is run a couple wet and then dry patches through it and it is clean. Accuracy is improving the more rounds I send through it. I have seen time and time again in my rifles that running rounds down the tube will ” lap” out the imperfections. Right now my SASS is averaging 1/2″ moa.


Mathew, when firing those first 80 rounds that you mentioned before your SASS stopped leaving copper traces, did you use some form of a barrel break in procedure, or did you just load up a few magazines and go shooting?

I’m not asking that question to judge, but as a learning tool for myself. In the past when I shot in competition I was always a fanatic about breaking in a barrel round by round, which is really tedious. I’ve never tested doing it any other way, and with most of my ARs I’ve simply gone shooting and had fun.


Do you break it in each outing or just when the rifles new? Im looking at buying a used one but it will be my first rifle.

Mel Ewing

You only break them in when they are new. Check out our FAQ page, we have some additional information there about the break-in procedure.

Chris J

I just wanted to inform anyone who owns this or intends to purchase this system that, I got an email response that, this SASS can shoot 150-178 gr rounds through it.

Michael Mankin

I actually own the gen 2 of this weapon and only seems to want 180 grain or better .
All lower grain seems to cause failures
Once broken in
My groupings are sub 1″ at 400-600 yards
It’s a cheaper rifle however I truly wouldn’t want to be down range from a capable carrier

Chris J

Sorry the response was from Panther in Minnesota. 178 gr rounds might be a tad too much pressure on the chamber.

Mel Ewing

Actually, there is a SAAMI spec for each cartridge that dictates the max pressure that the ammo can be loaded to. So even if a 178gr bullet is used, the ammo manufacturer has to keep the powder load low enough to keep pressures from going over max. This allows the rifle manufacturers to insure that their rifles are safe for any proper ammo shot in it. For some gas guns there are limits to allow the gas systems to operate correctly (such as the M1), but standard AR platforms should be good. If DPMS said its good to 178gr, should be no problems.

Ronnie Z

I”m thinking of buying aaDMPS 308 Oracle can someone give me the good and bad on this rifle


I picked up a plain Jane DPMS .308 Oracle in February. I put a few things on it including a better grip and a full length free float rail. I also did a simple trigger job including polishing the trigger / sear and the cock notch on the hammer. I did the DPMS barrel break in as they recommend. So far I’m getting 1 1/4″ 100 yard groups and 2 3/4″ groups at 200 yards. I’m hoping for better as it settles down.

All in all, I love the rifle. It’s not super high end but it shoots great. Rock solid. If you can actually find one don’t hesitate. Grab it.


I built a .308AR from an 80% lower and mostly other dpms parts (lpk, bcg, buffer & spring). In addition to the barrel breaking in, shooting a bunch of rounds through it must also serve to “wear in” some of the other moving parts, and generally smooth everything out. Practice helps the shooter get better, too. How much of a gun getting more accurate is the barrel, and how much is “everything else?”

Mel Ewing

It is true that those moving parts do break in. The sharp edges from freshly machined parts will wear down, and things become smoother. It is the same on bolt actions as well. For instance, the Remington 700 action becomes very smooth after several hundred rounds are fired. A majority of the accuracy though, comes from the barrel, so while breaking in the other parts makes a difference, the barrel getting broke in tends to be more impactful on accuracy. (Keep in mind, this is different than the barrel “break-in” procedure, which is intended for other benefits not relating to accuracy)


Just a follow up to my first comment:

With 200-250 rounds through my DPMS .308 the barrel break in is pretty much done. It has certainly made a difference in the accuracy. (From 1 1/4″ 100 yard groups before the break in to 3/4″-1″ groups as the norm) So yes, as barrels break in, they do become more accurate.

I’m adding the trigger adjustment screw and lighter weight hammer springs as a final touch. If anyone has used these on their 308’s I’d love to hear if they helped.




I just bought a dpms Gen ll 308 with a stainless 24 ” bull barrel. I own alot of guns but nothing on a Ar platform. How should the barrel be broken in . I have not shot it . Waiting on the Scope to get here. And info would be appreciated. Thanks

Mel Ewing

If it has already been fired a bunch, then the break in is done. If it is a new rifle, take a look at our FAQ page, we describe the process that we use there.



I picked up a new DPMS 308 and re-did it a while back. You can see what I did in my comments from the past. I followed the suggested break in process pretty closely. Without doubt the accuracy improved as I went through the process. It’s worth it to do it right. One thing is for sure, accuracy varies greatly with different ammo. I shot 3/4″ groups with one brand, 1″ groups with another and 3″ ++ groups with yet another. During your break in don’t worry too much about accuracy. Once you get through your 1st 100 rounds or so you can start playing with different loads to see which one works best. The best thing you can do is learn how to polish your trigger sear & hammer notch. It made a huge difference in the horrible stock trigger that came with the gun. It’s not hard to do. Just take your time.

Good luck. Carry on.



I purchased this rifle in early 2012. I read the articles about the new S.A.S.S. system and knew I could not afford a KAC or a GAP-10 or the Larue OBR. I put a Leopold 4.5 X15 LRT with MIL Dots as a scope on there. I work in Law Enforcement and purchased this as a work gun. I’ve been very happy with it. In SWAT shooting we seldom ever shoot over 50 yards and anything 100 yards and under this platform has served me well. I know everyone see the movies where police marksmen shoot from way off like 400 yards but that doesn’t happen in real life.


They are a little slow to get (several months) but we are a DPMS dealer and we can help you out. Just shoot us an email or call us.

Eugene Murphy

I’m breaking in a brand new DPMS SASS right now. So far my groups at 100 are about 2 inches. I suspect that when I have 100 rounds through it they should be around 1 inch, not because the barrel settled down but because I hope I’m a better shooter by then. I haven’t put the 6.5×20 Leupold on it yet since it’s just an annoyance cleaning the barrel after every shot and I might as well wait until I finish curing the barrel. I also expect to be able to take the rifle apart blindfolded by the time I’m done. This procedure certainly makes disassembly and cleaning second nature. It’s going to be some time before I can blame the rifle for any inconsistencies. It is a sweet looking rifle though. I put a 3D USMC emblem on the magazine well too, this poser look instantly increases rifle accuracy by 1/2 MOA alone. Have fun shooting folks.


Greetings All,
I, as several here have one of these rifles (gen 1), I did run it through a decent barrel break in though many say a waste of time but this was my first AR10 style platform about 10 years ago and thought it worth the effort. I have now stripped all the GUCCI SASS stuff off and have a TROY forend, GL Shock buttock (Awesome) and traditional Hogue grip and decent Tactical scope, Lightened it up and made it a great tactical rifle. The Rifle will easily shoot .5 MOA and with my custom reloads can achieve much greater.
I find this rifle though heavy my go to for both hunting and tactical purposes. I now build these things and service them as a profession to include all the high end ones like KAC owning 3 additional 308’s and most calibers that will fit through a Lr-308/sr25/ar10 from 243 to 300 wsm and still find this in my hands more than all the rest. Just bought a replacement barrel to make sure the fun continues.

Fight Wise, Play Hard and Never underestimate the Capability of a Practical American Lawful Gun Owner.


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