Right up front – I LOVE THIS RIFLE!
I originally started looking at the DPMS G2 series rifles at SHOT Show 2014. I followed the rifle threads I could find; reading every review and gazing longingly at the images. I really liked that they were .308’s.
I continued to follow the G2’s for years, revisiting their booth at SHOT 2015 and continuing to consume reviews and such. I finally pulled the trigger (pun intended) to purchase the G2 Hunter during the 2016 elections. I was concerned that if Hillary were elected, the G2’s and their ilk would rapidly be regulated and become unavailable. I convinced my wife that the G2 Hunter would be a perfect combined birthday/Christmas gift.
I was always interested in the Hunter models as I figured that I wanted an AR platform .308 rifle that I would actually use for something more than targets and range work. All the reviews indicated that it was a sub-moa rifle and that it was one of the lightest at 7.75 lbs.
The light weight was particularly important to me as I had just come from an elk hunt in the Colorado Rockies, carrying a rifle-scope-ammo beast that weighed in at around 12.5 lbs. I intend to elk hunt again, but I want to be able to survive the ordeal and the .308 G2 Hunter makes that possible as it is just under 10 lbs. fully loaded.
I went to Cabela’s and helped my wife pick my birthday/Christmas present and was even able to save quite a bit of money by using their credit card and with an additional military discount. All in, the rifle was just over $1000.
I’m sure I terrified motorists on I-35 South as my wife drove and I “examined” the rifle in the car – drooling over it. As soon as I got home, I mounted an old Swarovski 3x-9x scope on it that had just come back from the shop being repaired (zoom stopped working). I dug out a laser bore-sight and got the rifle ready for some range time.
A few weeks later, I finally got the opportunity to take her out to the range and see if she was as wonderful as what I had built up in my mind. I was not disappointed!
Zeroing the rifle took about 12 rounds before I was happy with it. I then tried several brands of ammo and several different bullet weights. Not surprisingly, Black Hills Ammo 175 grain bullets grouped the best. I’m not the best shooter but I can hold my own and consistently put meat on the table. The G2 Hunter grouped around .75 MOA. I was extremely happy with the two-stage trigger as it was crisp and broke at around 5.5 lbs. Recoil was fairly light – only slightly more (to me) than a 5.56 mm AR 15. The Magpul fixed buttstock and the round, carbon fiber free floating hand guard made for a nicely balanced, easily pointed rifle.
During the initial session, I put 100 rounds through the rifle with no failures to feed or extract. It ran everything I put in it although it didn’t group as well with the American Eagle 150 grain Whitetail bullets (just over 1.75″).
Since then, I have taken this rifle hog hunting, target shooting, and deer hunting. If anything, the rifle is grouping tighter now than when I first got it (now consistently around .5 MOA). It is an absolute hammer for hunting and the accuracy has contributed to several feral hogs, a large 8-point whitetail, and a bobcat being dropped in their tracks.
I haven’t taken it out to extremely long range yet, but that is a limitation of the optic. I have been able to consistently ring steel at 500-600 yards. I did replace the 30 year old Swarovski 3x-9x with a Cabela’s AR 3x-12x ($160 when I purchased it, includes mounts), zeroing it in 3 rounds. The BDC in the new optic works out to 800 yards but I’m already looking for a better optic so I can attack the 1000 yard + targets. I did try for a 12″ gong at 1000 yards recently but had to apply Kentucky windage and Tennessee elevation; missing every time for about 10 rounds. Although my shooting is mostly to blame for the misses, it was also around 30 degrees and there was a 15-20 mph cross wind that made it feel like it was around -30 degrees.
Now for the downside
The rifle does not use all AR platform parts. A couple of minor notables are the charging handle and the dust cover. There is no Picatinny rail on the hand guard for a bipod (the Blackhawk Swivel Stud Adapter in my picture was added later). Initially, ejection was so aggressive that my brass had a minor dent on one side where it would hit the brass deflector on its way out. That has since disappeared as the barrel gets more and more broken in. Mine definitely prefers a heavier bullet, with 175 grain hollow points being the favorite. Also, the rifle is a tad heavy at a hunt ready 10 lbs. You could lighten it a little by choosing an 18″ barrel or even a 16″ barrel and a lighter scope.
I LOVE THIS RIFLE! I would buy it again and it has quickly become my favorite. It is fairly lightweight, has a great factory trigger, and has been utterly reliable. The .308 caliber makes it very versatile, allowing me to use it for targets, varmints, deer, and elk. For a sub-moa gun, it is affordable. I just wish that DPMS had used standard AR platform parts. I also wish that there had been a factory cerakoted option.