New Review - September 2005
By Chris Choat


The Panther Long Range .308 gets a facelift. DPMS Panther Arms, with its continued commitment to customer service and philosophy of providing shooters with new and innovative products has answered customers’ requests for a LR-308 rifle with standard iron sights by introducing the new LR-308C, an AP4 Panther Carbine. This new LR-308C features many of the same qualities that have made the Panther LR-308 series successful; similarities that include the milled 6061-T6 aluminum lower receiver, the ribbed aluminum free float tube, and outstanding accuracy and reliability. What has changed and what makes this a military-styled rifle is the new thick-walled, extruded A3-style upper receiver with ejection port cover, shell deflector, forward assist, and a standard height Picatinny rail. Additional features include a standard A2 front sight assembly, a 6-position telescoping buttstock and a heavy barrel styled after an AP4 contoured barrel. Hard coat anodizing and black Teflon coating along with a 308 Panther flashhider completes the package. Customers will recognize the new military-styled .308 rifle by its looks and will know it is a DPMS LR-308 by its reliability, accuracy and affordability. The AP4-style 308 Carbine Rifle from DPMS is available now and retails for $1,249.95. For more information, please contact D.P.M.S. Inc., Panther Arms, Dept. SAR, 3312 12th Street SE, St. Cloud, MN 56304. Phone: (320) 258-4448. Fax: (320) 258-4449. They can be found on the web at www.dpmsinc.com.


Heckler & Koch Defense Inc. was awarded a competitive contract to produce the new add-on grenade launcher for the U.S. Army. The U.S. XM320 40x46mm Grenade Launcher Module (GLM) may replace the inventory of M203 grenade launchers currently in use by the Army, including those launchers used by Army units in Iraq and Afghanistan. This award marks the completion of a full and open competition among several companies to provide a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) shoulder-fired grenade launcher that met or surpassed all user-developed requirements. The total potential value of this contract is $29 million with a potential purchase of more than 11,000 launchers, day/night sights, and assorted items (tools, parts, and accessories) over the life of the contract. The XM320 Grenade Launcher Module was selected after months of rigorous bid sample testing, including a user evaluation at the Army’s Aberdeen Test Center in Aberdeen, Maryland. The XM320 is a multi-functional single-shot launcher that can be attached to a wide range of current issue U.S. weapons including the M16A2 and M16A4 rifles, and M4, M4A1 and M4 MWS carbines. The open architecture of the XM320 will enable soldiers to easily attach the launcher, in seconds without tools, to current and newly emerging weapon platforms ranging from compact carbines to light machine guns. The XM320 can also be used as a stand-alone weapon when the add-on, multi-position sliding buttstock is added. The XM320 GLM is unique in that it uses a side-opening barrel that permits the use of all current 40x46mm ammunition as well as many longer cartridges that, due to their overall length, could not be fired from the M203 grenade launcher. The use of a double-action trigger system allows the XM320 to be safely loaded and unloaded while the launcher remains in an uncocked condition. The double-action trigger system is controlled by the use of an ambidextrous manual rotary safety lever and also permits multiple primer strikes without the need to open the breech. The sights for the XM320 are attached directly to the grenade launcher’s receiver ensuring the zero (aiming/impact point) of the weapon is retained when it is removed and later reinstalled on another weapon or when it is used in the stand-alone mode. The building block design approach of the XM320 allows for a choice of three distinct sighting systems. A ranging day/night sight produced by Insight Technology Inc. of Londonderry, New Hampshire provides a high probability of 24-hour first round target engagements within 5 meters out to 350 meters. A mechanical ladder sight can also be used in combination on the XM320 launcher. Lighter in weight than the U.S. M203 grenade launcher, the XM320 is a combat-proven design produced by Heckler & Koch based on lessons learned from producing more than 30,000 similar launchers that have been in service since 2000 with the military forces of Britain, the Netherlands, Spain, Germany, and Portugal. During U.S. Army testing the robust HK Grenade Launcher Module received superior marks for accuracy, reliability, and modularity. The XM320 Grenade Launcher Module provides unmatched performance and combat capability for the U.S. warfighter permitting the destruction of point targets and the suppression of area targets under both day and night conditions. Current plans call for the first Army deliveries to begin in early 2006. Heckler & Koch Defense Inc. of Sterling, Virginia is the U.S. affiliate of Heckler & Koch, GmbH of Oberndorf, Germany. HK Defense supplies the U.S. military and federal law enforcement agencies with technologically advanced firearms, logistical support, training, and specialized design services. For more information, please contact H&K Defence, Dept. SAR, 21480 Pacific Boulevard, Sterling, VA 20166. Phone: (703) 450-1900. Fax: (703) 450-8160. Their website is www.hkdefense.us.


B-Square announces a new addition to its serious line of shotgun saddle mounts for the Stoeger 2000 shotgun. The Stoeger 2000 mount promises the same secure fit as other shotgun saddle mounts from B-Square. Carefully contoured to provide a nearly perfect “factory” fit, the Stoeger 2000 saddle mount is easy to install and requires no gunsmithing. Designed to consistently channel recoil back through the receiver and away from the mounting screws, this practical mount also delivers optimum accuracy. It also features full length receiver rails for maximum eye relief adjustments; perfect for your favorite shotgun optics. Retailing for $58.95, this product, along with all other B-Square shotgun saddle mounts, can be found at your favorite sporting goods or firearms retailer or from Armor Accessories at (800) 433-2909 and online at www.b-square.com. For more information, please contact them at B-Square, Dept. SAR, 8909 Forum Way, Ft. Worth, TX 76140. Phone: (817) 923-0964. Fax: (817) 926-7012.


Samson Manufacturing has now introduced a new Modular Rail Forearm System (M.R.F.S.). This new rail system is state-of-the-art at an affordable price. The new rail system is available in six different versions for just about any AR-15 or M16 rifle you might have. There are versions for full length, mid length and carbine models as well as versions for rifles with standard front sight and also versions for guns with low profile gas blocks and no sights. There is also a version (MRFS-CXF) that is notched to go around the front sight on a carbine but has the overall length of a full-size rifle rail system. Samson will also custom make a rail system to your specifications. All of the systems are free floating which means that they do not touch the barrel itself. The rail systems are all made from 6061 T6 aluminum with rails to Picatinny specs. The slots of the rail system are laser engraved with letter/number combinations to help when relocating optics or grips. They are hard coat anodized and match the finish of most perfectly. The top rail of the Samson Rail Systems is the perfect height to form a continuous top rail when used with a flat top upper. The rail system clamps to the rifle’s barrel nut with grade 8 steel screws that screw into holes that have steel helicoils in them so there is no worry about stripped screw holes. The one most innovative feature of the new rail system is that the bottom rail panel is quick detachable by simply pushing a stainless steel detent and sliding the bottom rail panel forward. This allows an M203 grenade launcher to be installed without removing the upper three rails. It also allows for easy cleaning. Another innovation that Samson offers is the ability to engrave anything you want on the Rail System. This includes your name, department name or organization. For more information, please contact Samson Manufacturing Corporation, Dept. SAR, 110 Christian Lane, Whately, MA 01373. Phone: (413) 665-1162. Fax: (413) 665-1163. They also have other innovative products on their website at www.samson-mfg.com.

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V8N12 (September 2005)
and was posted online on April 19, 2013


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