DPMS Rifles From Iraq, Slightly Used


Center Fire Systems is offering up to several hundred of these DPMS AR-15 A/3s that were apparently imported back from Iraq. They are going for $449.99 albeit with “Minor Issues”. Similar to how the contracting company Triple Canopy currently uses Bushmaster carbines in Afghanistan to guard Camp Leatherneck, these rifles were probably used by similar contracting companies overseas. They most likely were not bought back from the Iraqi Army as many of these units were issued with surplus M16A2s and Colt M4s, not DPMS rifles.
Direct link to the web page:

A thread started on m4carbine.net about the re-imported rifles. Some of the posters mention that the company was already sold out on rifles, but if a customer attempts to go through the online process, there is no mention of a backlog.


Infantry Marine, based in the Midwest. Specifically interested in small arms history, development, and usage within the MENA region and Central Asia. To that end, I run Silah Report, a website dedicated to analyzing small arms history and news out of MENA and Central Asia.

Please feel free to get in touch with me about something I can add to a post, an error I’ve made, or if you just want to talk guns. I can be reached at miles@tfb.tv


  • bbmg

    “Only dropped once”?

    • Grits.N.Jowls

      And fired a few times at the range.

  • dp

    These guns were apparently found un-suitable for Iraq military needs. What they were replaced with? There is only one possibility….

    • Michael R. Zupcak

      hahahaha. I love you for that. I’m not going to start a big debate here but I’m sure many people would have to agree with you.

  • michaeljball

    I was a trainer for the Jordanian Armed Forces for some of my time in Afghanistan. Their infantry units were issued dpms rifles with old beat to shit M68s and magnifiers.

  • Wetcoaster

    I bet the ‘minor issues’ happens to be ‘sand in places where you didn’t know there were places’

  • Dan

    They were probably purchased from the Iraqi government. Most of Triple Canopy’s Bushmasters from Iraq were turned in to the Iraqis, they weren’t sent back to the States. I would imagine that other contractors had the same issue but TC is the only one I know for sure.

  • BillC

    Why buy these when you can get PSA rifles, new, that are still better than a new DPMS rifle for the nearly same price?

    • BryanS

      Because we have laws that prevent cheap (affordable) good firearms in this country. If these were military contract, why not CMP?

      • BillC

        These apparently were not military contract. They belonged to a corporation that was contracted by our government, but that doesn’t make them military surplus.
        Still, why would one pay for one of these, when you can get something newer and better for just a little more scratch?

        • Eric S

          Cause sometimes you want your toys to have character. Not everything in life needs to be practical. If I hadn’t spent my allowance I’d get one.

          • pogie bait

            For some reason I’m opposed to buying pieces of junk with a little bit of Iraqi sand, courtesy of the Third Country Nationals paid less than minimum wage to defend our bases – I respect the Ugandans and other contractors for toughing it out, but how much “character” do these rifles even have?

          • Dutch Orange

            Almost all of the contractors I’ve heard of working with oil companies, etc, in Iraq have been ex-British or American army. Ugandans?

        • valorius

          Better how?

    • n0truscotsman

      PSA, while being similar in price, will spin circles around DPMS in terms of quality.

      I wouldn’t touch these “surplus” rifles with a ten foot pole.

      • John

        How is the PTAC line btw? I noticed them and they were too absurdly cheap for me to not wonder what the catch is.

        • n0truscotsman

          I cannot say. Others have told me to avoid the PTAC line and just go for the “premium” ones, which I did. I hear differing things honestly.
          In the near future, im going to do a build with one and run it hard line i did the premium ones. Im curious myself.

        • Ergo

          i’d avoid the ptac. the psa premium or freedom uppers are better pieces of kit.
          The ptac lpks had a really gritty trigger and craptastic springs. The rifling on the ptac barrels was acceptable but not as well done as the wilson or fn barrels that psa sells.

          These observations are from mid 2013 when i assembled parts for friends. Ptac may have upped their game and improved the product since then.

    • john huscio

      Because it takes PSA months to ship anything?….not to mention their abysmal customer service….

      • john huscio

        Also I bet I could get an lmt lower, a Daniel defense/BCM stripped upper, BCG, charging handle, mags and furniture/rails, put it all together and have a better rifle that what I would’ve gotten from PSA in the time it takes for them to mail me a complete upper….

    • valorius

      Got a,link to where i can get a complete psa-15 for $450?

      • n0truscotsman

        you cant. You CAN get a premium upper for 270$ (16″, M4-type forged upper) complete lower for 150$, and BCG (110$) and CH (25$) seperately, with a total of 555$ for a AR15 built to the same specifications as FN-contract M4 carbines.
        So basically, for a extra 100 dollars, you have a military-specification Ar15 versus a “surplus”, beat to shit hand me down of a already bottom of the barrel AR15

        • valorius

          A “bottom of the barrel” Combat proven AR with a neat historical background, that could be modified with the “premium” gee wiz parts for a few bucks, if so desired.

          Seems like a good purchase to me.

          • n0truscotsman

            “premium” parts aren’t a “few bucks” and there is no point in putting them on a DPMS if anything if you want to retain the historical value, the only redeeming aspect of these ARs.

            It reminds me of the money people were spending on Bushmaster and Windham AR15s last year. The prices greatly exceeded a Colt you can buy at walmart, except the Colt was three times the gun.

          • valorius

            I had a bushmaster for 3 yrs. xm15e2s. Until i started reading online commando forums i had no idea it was “junk”, because it never jammed on me even a single time in probably 3000rds when using xm193 or m855, which is all i ever used in it.

            When i was in the infantry I had an m16a2 that served me equally well. Sake for the colt 6920le trade in a bought all beat up for 600 a few years back, in 07.

            I’d have gladly gone i to combat armed with any of them.

            To me, short of the properly staked gas key, which takes 90 seconds to fix on an gun, there is little actual real world useful difference in ar15s.

          • n0truscotsman

            My point is that they certainly aren’t worth 900 plus because you can get a better rifle for the money. I would rather somebody spend their hard earned money on a carbine more aligned with military specification than commercial (in terms of barrel twist, the steels used, etc).
            I disagree about them being little in difference, especially after hard use . Among average gun owners, there is some truth to that. In defense of bushmaster, the Lucky Gunner “Brass Vs Steel” test was not only a testamony of the excellence of Federal ammunition, but also that Bushmaster rifles were surprisingly good despite much controversy generated online.

          • valorius

            I thought these carbines were $450?

            For 900 i agree no used ar is worth it imo.

          • n0truscotsman

            They are, but I was addressing people paying 1200 and up for a Bushmaster.

          • valorius

            No way id pay 1200 even for a new bushie.

            I got my xm15e2s lightly used with 10 mags and about 500rds of m855 with a tactical case for 800.00, back in around 2004ish.

          • itsmefool

            Preach it, brother, and AR snobs, get over yo’self!

    • Zachary marrs

      Some of use like projects, fixing up mosin after mosin can be boring, this would be a nice change of pace

  • BryanS

    May have been used as hammer once.

    May or may not contain all necessary parts for firing.

  • Lance

    Still cheaper to build a brand new DPMS M-4.

    • I’m a newb to rifles – where could I get an M-4/AR style in 5.56 for less than $450?

      • bucherm

        You couldn’t, not unless it was truly bottom of the barrel stuff. Somehow, I suspect these aren’t.

      • If you found one that cheap you really wouldn’t want it.

        • Palmetto State Armory has some for $550, or $510, if the lower and upper are bought seperately:

          http://palmettostatearmory.com/index.php/ar-15-05/barreled-upper-assemblies/psa-m4-16-cmv-cl-stripped-upper-with-bcg-and-charging-handle-1.html ($359)

          http://palmettostatearmory.com/index.php/ar-15-05/lowers/psa-ar-15-complete-lower-oif-15-iraq-blackhawk-edition-no-magazine.html ($149)

          http://palmettostatearmory.com/index.php/firearms/rifles/psa-16-stainless-mid-length-freedom-carbine-2.html ($550)

          I’ve done more reading over the past two years than I really should need to. Polymer lowers = iffy. Trigger is going to be blech. You should want a chrome lined barrel. etc etc etc.

          Still, for a “first” AR, these are tempting prices.

          • n0truscotsman

            Go for any of the “premium”-marked stuff. I built a 16″ AR and have had really good luck with it. For a sub-600 dollar rifle with a magpul MBUS (more counting the sling, optics, and surefire), it has kept up with my Colt and BCM ARs without any trouble.

            I have over 6,000 rounds through mine, with intermittent cleaning comprised of wiping down and re-lubrication with wheel bearing grease, with only 1 double feed associated with a USGI mag i ruined by stepping on it. It has been exceptional in quality given the money I put into it.

            So you probably wont get anything acceptable for 450 bucks, although for less than 700, PSA is your best bet for what you get: a military specification, not commercial grade, carbine.

          • Ergo

            if you want a good ar15 you can bet your life on and your on a budget don’t go cheap on the rifle. Roll your own by purchasing quality components one piece at a time. You can save between 100 and 150 bucks on labor and taxes doing it yourself.
            If your not comfortable assembling your own upper drop 40 bucks and ship the parts to a company like adco or ranier arms and they will assemble it for you.

            Those cheap ar15’s are great until you actually use them and they fail under moderate use. They are cheap because the mfgrs cut corners.

      • P.S. This was more of a hypothetical question than reality, seeing how I know to build an Oracle style M-4 would be closer to the $600-700 range.

  • Dave The Great

    So I have an either/or question. Are the Iraqi users of these rifles issuing semi-automatics for combat use, or is Center Fire Systems re-importing full-auto/burst rifles?

    Both of these seems like odd concepts. There aren’t many customers in the USA who can buy FA weapons, and not many customers outside the USA that should need to settle for non-FA weapons.

    Or are they converting them? Swapping out bolt carriers and sears so “sporterize” them?

    • r

      They are semi auto rifles that were sent to Iraq, used, and then sent back to the US. Swapping out the bolt carrier and removing the sear on an FA gun would not be sufficient to make it semi auto; the receiver would have to be removed/destroyed as well due to the ATF’s “once a machine gun, always a machine gun” rule.

      • Dave The Great

        That’s what it sounds like. So I guess I’m wondering why the units in Iraq bought semis in the first place, when they could have probably bought FA for around the same price and have no legal blocks preventing it.

        • valorius

          Because full autos are are for cod fan boys

          • Dave The Great

            And most of the militaries in the world. (Admittedly, when I was a soldier, the three-round-burst was the standard).

          • valorius

            No one uses the full auto setting. It should honestly just be removed, its pointless.
            Full auto is for machine guns.

            Pdw’s make a little more sense in full auto, but even there its unnecessary.

          • Dave The Great

            I understand the concept behind the small-arms full auto. The whole “make ten feet of wall uninhabitable” thing makes sense in a very limited range of uses, though you are right in that PDWs do it better. The reasoning behind FA infantry rifles has a lot to do with the fact that infantrymen don’t want to carry a PDW for clearing bunkers and a rifle for outdoor combat, so they kinda try to get both in one package with select fire. It’s a soldier thing, not a cop thing, as cops are generally not supposed to intentionally focus on the lethal concepts (they “shoot to stop,” not “shoot to kill.” It’s largely a matter of semantics, but still).

            But if the goal is to make ten feet of wall uninhabitable in an infantry setting, like clearing a bunker … well, grenades. Safer for the user, more likely to work, can be used without direct line-of-sight, etc. A decent rifle with a good optic and a pocket full of grenades would be superior to a select-fire rifle that is deployed in a confined space or a PDW that is used to engage targets at a distance. Or carrying both (and both kinds of ammo, and dealing with the mistakes and stress that may well lead to a soldier reaching for his spare PDW magazine when he meant to grab a rifle magazine).

            /// note: recreational full auto is a whole different beast. When you are owning up to the fact that not all guns are for combat or hunting, the sheer fun is a totally legitimate reason to have full auto capability. A MAC 10 and some pumpkins is a fun afternoon.

          • valorius

            Im ex infantry. I subscribe to the “grenades are for clearing buildings theory” as well.

  • j


  • Michael R. Zupcak

    Would any of you veterans here have felt comfortable going into battle with a semi-auto-only AR-15? Just curious.

    • seans

      Yes. Personally never actually seen somebody fire full auto with a rifle. It’s a waste. And have brought my personal semi only rifles on deployment before and used them.

    • USMC03Vet

      Many of us did. Although we had a burst fire option on our rifles, it was never used. Automatic fire is for fire suppression by machineguns. The only legitmate and effective use for automatic fire from a non machine gun is immiedate action from a close ambush to gain fire supperiority. Since you’re rolling with M249’s in a fireteam already there is no purpose for it.

      We had a squad get close ambushed from an elevated urban position once. The 3 M249’s that opened up to gain fire superiority did great work and the result was dead baddies, no Marines hurt.

    • Marshall Price

      Absolutely. As others have stated the burst option is available but was rarely used by anyone in my outfit at least.

      Aimed shots are far more effective at dropping targets than burst or auto unless you have the ammo, feed mechanism and stability to shoot a whole LOT of ammo (i.e. a proper machine gun).

      A very good question in this post-COD, operator wannabe gun culture we see so much these days, thanks for bringing it up!

    • dan citizen

      When you’re waving the gun around over a wall or around a corner it’s not really a key issue….

      Oh, were we not talking about real life?

    • John

      Straight from Brandon Webb (retired SEAL Instructor and sniper):

      “I’ve been thinking lately about how many Nine Balls (“Nine Ball” or “Niner”: not quite a window licker or fuzz eater, but an enthusiastic military liking civilian person that is uninformed) I have run into lately who don’t understand that fully automatic small caliber weapons arent’ that cool or effective in a gun fight — only in movies like the Predator.

      It seems like every time I’m on the range some niner is excitedly telling me about their full auto experience — “full auto” this and “full auto” that… Enough already niner!”

      http://kitup.military.com/2011/01/full-au to-not-the-way-to-go.html”

    • valorius

      I am a former us army infantryman, i would have no qualms going into battle with a .357 magnum lever action, let alone any good quality semi auto.

      The main weapons of an infantry squad are the radio and the machine gun, personal weapons inflict very few casualties.

    • ensite

      Yes, I carried several semi-only small arms, and besides ammo is quite precious when your the tip of the spear

    • DiverEngrSL17K

      Most of the replies you’ve gotten so far are quite correct. Proper aimed fire is far more effective than letting it all go in full auto. I distinctly remember this hard lesson being drummed into us ( with very good reason ) when we were carrying L1A1 SLR’s ( i.e., British licence-manufactured FN FAL’s ), and the same lesson carried over into our use of M-16A2’s and AKM’s.

    • Ergo

      that is the wrong question.
      The correct question is would vets be comfortable with civilian ar15’s not built to mil-spec.

      That answer is no.

      There is no magic in a burst trigger or fully automatic weapon. The magic of the weapon is in durability and reliability.
      Durability and reliability are not something you are going to find in a bottom feeder ar15 built cheap by cutting corners.

      • Michael R. Zupcak

        …someone doesn’t like DPMS

        • Ergo

          a dpms is a decent rifle for plinking cans. As a rifle to bet your life on it is substandard.
          If you life is depends on the rifle you want the most reliable and durable rifle you can get.
          You don’t get durability or reliability by skimping on the testing or materials.

    • Jim

      Semi all the way.

  • 7n6

    I heard that these had been used by some african contractors. There are also some AES10B’s with similar history , covered is sand/dirt

  • SPQR9

    A new line for the ” … only dropped once!” marketing?

  • John

    I see a DPMS-is-just-as-good-as-_____ fan raving about his “battle-proven” rifle from the sandbox….

  • Jow Blow

    Seems Apex has picked a bunch of the night vision stuff that was with the contractor DPMS rifles. Which may mean we make actually finally start seeing a real surge in military surplus at gun shows again. We can only hope and dream right? Real surplus at cheap enough prices we can buy and collect it again. So much so the hoarders and flippers don’t think they can make money quickly enough to snatch up all of it. Making a lack of ability. How many people have stopped shooting regularly because of ammo costs? How many kids didn’t get a new /used firearm because of the cost? So a $500 DMPS that may not be a great rifle but is great for teenager to start with is a good thing for all of us.

    Maybe the flood of used gear might just bring the prices back down on new and used to more sane and affordable options. Even the poorer working class deserve the ability to own firearms and often they live in rougher neighborhoods where they do need a gun for home defense more than the upper middle class. that price break point is very important.

    Everyone is so used to paying the higher prices, they become suspicious of anything priced cheaply. Which sadly has been the case with most deals having been junk and off loading bad gear on the under educated consumer who just wants to enter the market. Which is something we all need to work on, no one should be taken advantage of as they are entering the hobby. If you have to bean pile someone’s sale so be it.

  • Jeremy Hatley

    I worked in Iraq and Afghanistan as a contractor. They have numerous companies running around carrying a lot of different arms. I was issued a Bushmaster M4 in both countries. I remember the Iraqi army being issued Armalite M16’s. I do not remember seeing any DPMS’s floating around, but they were probably issued to some third world country guy guarding a checkpoint.

  • ensite

    I recently acquired a new Poly AR for $450 in trade, Black Scorpion is selling 100% Poly lowers for $20-25. and considering that the AR is NOT the finest infantry rifle ever developed,,,I’ll pass

  • Andrew

    Hmm…pay $449 for a DPMS that looks like it’s been hit by a loaded dump truck…or get a brand new rifle for $500. That’s a tough one.

  • SNNN

    “How many kids didn’t get a new /used firearm because of the cost? So a
    $500 DMPS that may not be a great rifle but is great for teenager to
    start with is a good thing for all of us.”

    Folks need to ponder this comment long and hard…and then do it again. You LIKE your
    2nd Amendment….? I remember how hard it was as a working class kid scrapping by
    in college who liked to shoot. That very good grade Lee Enfield MkIV and that Norinco
    SKS allowed me to hunt and shoot. Those of you making fun of Mosin owners need to
    ponder how many folks I bump into at Cabalas lugging off a Mosin and some boxes
    of 7.62x54r as their 1st rifle…one of them I shoot with now. That’s one more pro gun
    vote in the next election. Think about it….

  • Steve_7

    AR-15s are prohibited from import, I think more accurately a private contractor bought them, took them to Iraq, came back and then sold them off. They weren’t imported from Iraq, they were used in Iraq.

  • CScout

    With the lower prices and deals going on right now, there’s simply no more excuses to buy DPMS or PSA products…