DPMS 5.56x45mm Pardus Rifle with Trijicon ACOG Scope


by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn & Boge Quinn

January 9th, 2010




Click links below for video!

640x480 WMV format (24.5 MB)
320x240 WMV format (8.4 MB)

DPMS makes a very wide variety of AR style rifles, probably more different variations than any other rifle manufacturer. I own a few of the DPMS rifles, and find them to be accurate, reliable weapons. My DPMS SASS-LRT .308 is the most accurate rifle that I have ever fired, of any type. It will consistently shoot into one slightly ragged hole at 200 yards, from a good rest, with good ammo.

DPMS makes AR rifles chambered for the .204 Ruger, .223 Remington, 5.56x45mm NATO, .243 Winchester, .260 Remington, 6.5mm Creedmoor, 6.8mm Remington, .308 Winchester, and .338 Federal cartridges.  Hopefully, I did not miss any. The only thing missing from their lineup is a big bore thumper like the .50 Beowulf or .458 SOCOM. Other than that, DPMS has you covered for a quality AR rifle.

The Pardus shown here is a very unique AR style rifle. Operationally, it is pretty much like any modern AR-15. The Pardus has no forward assist or ejection port dust cover. Instead, it has sections of Picatinny rail in that area. In fact, it has Picatinny rail in just about any area that has room for it. Besides the flattop rail, there is a rail on each side of the upper receiver, and the Pardus wears a four-rail hand guard. The gas  block also is topped with an integral rail. There is plenty of room to mount a laser, flashlight, vertical fore-grip, bipod, or whatever else you might want to mount on an AR. In total, there are forty-four inches of Picatinny rail on the Pardus rifle.

Unlike most AR rifles, the Pardus is not primarily black, but wears a desert tan finish on the receivers, hand guard, pistol grip, and buttstock. The magazine, barrel, rear sling loop, charging handle, buttstock tube, magazine release, and bolt release are finished in a dull black.  The trigger and bolt carrier are finished in a satin gold.

The Pardus weighs in at eight pounds, two ounces with an empty thirty-round magazine in place. The barrel is a straight bull profile, with a diameter of .884 inch and a length of eighteen inches.  There is an integral muzzle brake machined into the barrel. In the video, I mentioned that the Pardus has a match-grade trigger. That was not the best term to use. The trigger pull feels much better than a standard AR, but it still takes about five and one-half pounds of pressure to release. It is really somewhere between a match trigger and a standard trigger. I apologize for that statement, and that is why I always urge folks to read the entire review, and to not just watch the video.  The buttstock is of the telescopic style, and can adjust to fit most any shooter in any climate.

The Pardus is built to be a fighting rifle, and for that reason, I mounted a Trijicon ACOG scope atop its receiver. The ACOG is arguably the best fighting optical sight in existence. It is very rugged, very reliable, and has good, clear optics. The reticle is lit by tritium for operations in low light conditions, and the brightness is enhanced in sunlight by the fiber optic tube atop the scope. In use, the reticle glows dimly in poor light, so as to not overwhelm the target, but gets brighter as needed, and can be seen very well, even in bright sunlight. The ACOG is always “ON”, and never needs batteries. In Iraq and Afghanistan, several optics are in use, one being the Aimpoint. However, in talking with soldiers who have been over there, most will trade their Aimpoints in for an ACOG when given the chance.  The TA33-H ACOG shown here has an amber circular reticle, with a black bottom portion marked for long range use with the 5.56mm service cartridge. The TA33-H has three power magnification, and is very compact, having an overall length of six and one-eighth inches, and weighing eleven ounces with flattop mount.  The housing is made of forged aluminum, and the reticle is etched into the glass. I have a couple of ACOGs on my rifles, and have used their 5.5 power model very successfully on targets out to 1125 yards. In my opinion, there is no better optic for a fighting rifle that will used at short, medium, and long range than the ACOG.

As mentioned above, there is no forward assist on the Pardus, and I do not find that to be a problem. I never use the forward assist on an AR. If a cartridge does not fully chamber, there is a reason for that, and I would rather get that cartridge out of there instead of trying to force it in.

Shooting the Pardus was uneventful. It cycled reliably, just as I expected that it would. I have owned and fired a lot of DPMS rifles, and have never yet been disappointed in the performance. The Pardus fed, fired, and ejected every round perfectly.  The adjustable buttstock was a bit stiff to operate, but other than that, the rifle gave no problem at all, and the buttstock operation became smoother as the testing progressed.

Accuracy was very good. The Pardus grouped well with everything fed it, but the Buffalo Bore Sniper ammo turned in the best performance, grouping five shots into less than one and one-quarter inches, repeatedly.

The Pardus comes with two thirty-round magazines, a cleaning kit, and instructions, all packed into a very good hard plastic case.

Check out the DPMS rifles online at www.dpmsinc.com.

To order DPMS rifles online, go to www.lowpriceguns.com.

For a look at the extensive line of quality optics, go to www.trijicon.com.

Jeff Quinn



Trijicon ACOG TA33-H scope.





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Click pictures for a larger version.


DPMS 5.56x45mm Pardus rifle with Trijicon ACOG scope.








Integral muzzle brake.





The Pardus has plenty of rails upon which to mount stuff.





The Pardus proved to be quite accurate from the bench.