New Rifle: DPMS Lite 16M

DPMS Lite 16M

Some would argue that the current firearms market is oversaturated with AR style rifles. This may be true, but this will generally lead to a situation where prices on existing models are driven down, making them more affordable. I know I have seen quite a few sub-$500 AR-15 rifles lately. I suspect you have also.

Another consumer benefit to supply exceeding demand is innovation (or at least variation) by manufacturers. Typically, we might expect to see more colors, calibers and other options as companies try to differentiate themselves from the competition when trying to earn your dollars.

DPMS has a new rifle that is moderately priced and slightly different. It is called the Lite 16M.

DPMS Lite 16M

The Lite 16M is a 5.56 NATO rifle with, as the company states, “everything you need and nothing you don’t.”

Here are the basics of the gun:

  • forged 7075-T6 upper and lower
  • mil-spec fire control group
  • 16″ barrel made of 4150 steel with 1-9″ twist
  • carbine length gas system
  • AAC Blackout flash hider (does not mount suppressors)
  • M-111 modular, free floating handguard
  • A2-type pistol grip
  • Pardus stock
  • one Magpul 30-round PMAG
  • no sights/optic
  • 7.5 pounds (unloaded), 32″-36″ OAL
  • MSRP: $869

So, what do you think? Did DPMS come up with a gun that is priced right for the current market? Does it stand out from the competition? Does it truly have “everything you need and nothing you don’t?” I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Richard Johnson

An advocate of gun proliferation zones, Richard is a long time shooter, former cop and internet entrepreneur. Among the many places he calls home is


  • Edeco

    How they make it weigh that much pounds?

    • Arie Heath

      The gigantic picatinny rail system perhaps?

  • Lead Kisses

    I have an open mind but fail to understand who you’d want to sell this to. Sooooo it’s an Oracle with a free floating handguard?…. which is kinda short….

  • Vaquero357x2

    16″ Barrel and carbine length gas system needs to die! Today there’s no excuse to not use mid-length gas systems.

    • valorius

      Carbine length is a little lighter. It also looks better IMO.

      • The Dude (Noveske Fan)


        • valorius

          The weight is not subjective, but the looks, yep- subjective.

          • The Dude (Noveske Fan)

            The weight is negligible.

          • valorius

            Depends on the handguard setup you’re using. Also, if you’re trying to build the lightest possible field gun, the carbine length setup is the way to go.

            To me the carbine setup’s drawbacks only manifest them-self if you’re going to be in some kind of major extended fire fight, which none of us are.

        • mosinman

          what makes a mid length gas tube better?

  • JD

    It appears to be another Vanilla AR and $869 puts it in the price range of SIG, Springfield Saint, and Savage MSR; which are arguably better guns.

  • plumber576

    Can the carbine-length gas on 16″ 5.56/.223 rifles just go away already?

    • valorius


      • rklk

        mid length is better

        • valorius


          • The Dude (Noveske Fan)

            It’s not subjective, it is better.

          • valorius

            Heaver is better? Is that the new math?

          • A.WChuck

            I think they mean mid-length gas system instead of carbine length on 16″ barrels.

          • Independent George

            The main advantage of mid-length gas is a smoother recoil impulse. The effect is real, but the actual benefit is subjective.

            The biggest advantage of carbine length gas is that there actually is a spec for gas port diameter, so (theoretically) you get more consistent function out of it.

            The weight difference from 1.5″ of gas tube is negligible. 2″ of handguard might or might not matter, depending on what style is used.

          • valorius

            It’s a small difference in weight, agreed, but if you’re trying to build the lightest possible rifle, every ounce matters.

            I honestly dont notice any real difference in the recoil between a mid length and carbine length, all other things being equal.

          • Independent George

            True. Of course, this ‘Lite’ rifle is already 7.5 pounds…

          • valorius

            I like that new Inrange WWSD carbine they built, 5.3lbs i think? Would’ve been even lighter with a carbine gas system though.

          • Paul White

            recoil isn’t noticable but the gas in my face..bleh. Give me mid range all day. I’ll take the extra few ounces. I don’t get the fascination with super light AR’s to begin with though

        • Herp

          I’m with Val on this one. As I understand it, the concern about the shorter system is that residence time beats up on the reciever and bolt group, but increases reliability in the near term.

          For a fighting gun, I’d think reliability>durability.

          Am I off base on this? I’m not really an AR guy so I’d like to hear the pros and cons fleshed out a bit.

    • Hoplopfheil

      I don’t think I’ve had the chance to shoot a mid or longer gas system AR.

      Maybe I should build one…

      • plumber576

        Sounds like the perfect excuse.

      • Porty1119

        Build an 18″ or 20″ SPR or full-length rifle. They shoot like recoilless laser rifles compared to carbines.

        • Hoplopfheil

          Badass. I’m always torn between a super light or super heavy build.

          What would you recommend in terms of stock (fixed? Adjustable?) Or handguard (extra long, or something more sensible?).

          • Porty1119

            It depends on what you’re planning on using it for, and your preferred LOP. For a precision rifle, a fixed stock is the way to go for rigidity and consistency. The heavier weight will also balance out the longer barrel, especially if you’ve selected an HBAR. I’m partial to the MOE rifle stock or a surplus M16A1 stock.

            A precision rifle should have a freefloat handguard, maybe a 15-inch M-lok unit. No need to do an extra-long 3-gun-style handguard unless that’s what you prefer.

            My 20-incher is my take on a modernized M16A1. It has a C7 upper (A1 with brass deflector; I’m a southpaw), standard FSB, pencil barrel, and Magpul MOE fixed rifle stock and handguards. While not quite “ultralight”, it’s a very handy rifle to tote around in the woods, and shoots around 2MOA with PMC Bronze 55gr.

          • Hoplopfheil

            I like a long LOP (6’4″ tall, yo). I have one of those Doublestar ACE fixed stocks on my 16″ rifle, and I’ve been thinking I’d make a new lower w/ an adjustable stock for that rifle.

            That would leave the fixed stock (very heavy) lower to be paired with a rifle length upper. So then a heavy 20″ barrel, and a long free float tube. Could be fun. 🙂

            Thanks for the advice!

    • Charlie Victor Alpha

      How about the NFA goes away instead.

      • plumber576

        Sure, but they’re 2 separate issues.

  • glasspix

    The carbine length gas system on 16″ barrel has not caused an armageddon as far as the Colt 6920 is concerned, they still manage to be one of the most popular rifles out there. The MSRP on the DPMS is a bit steep though, although they seem to have a better handguard and stock than most budget ARs.

  • The Dude (Noveske Fan)

    Oh boy, another out of spec rifle from dpms! Did they finally learn to stake things?

  • Gary Kirk

    “Everything you need and nothing you don’t”..

    Yep, it’s a DPMS.. That’s all I need and nothing I don’t to know not to bother with it..

    Oh, and sights?? May need those..

  • Major Tom

    Whee, another AR. /sarcasm

    Let me know when somebody actually ya know innovates.

  • Independent George

    A ‘Lite’ 16″ AR that weighs 7.5 pounds empty and with no iron sights? I don’t think that word means what you think it means.

    • Jeff

      Lotta nerve to call this thing “Lite.” IMHO, a light AR stops at about 6 lbs. This is not even light for a .30-06 or a 12 ga.

    • Hoplopfheil

      Probably partly because of that huge fat picatinny gas block, and a heavy handguard.

      Very expensive for a featureless, heavy rifle.

      • Art out West

        Rifles should come with iron sights.
        Most people will add an optic, but I still expect irons to be included. A rifle without sights just isn’t a complete weapon. It’s like selling an auto loading pistol, and not including a magazine.

        • supergun

          For that kind of money, yes, sights should be on it.

    • supergun

      Marketing for dumb folks.

  • RSG

    The ONLY thing going for it is it’s freefloated. The delta ring needs to die. Along with fixed front sights. Since it’s already well over 7 pounds for a”lite” (fail), they should’ve extended the handguard 2 more inches and made the gas mid length. Anyway, at $869, it’s a complete fail.

  • Docduracoat

    As others have said the only thing this rifle has going for it is the free float handguard
    free float should make it more accurate
    Mid length versus carbine length gas system is meaningless to most shooters
    Looks like pencil barrel, not a government profile
    That has pros and cons, but does make it lighter
    That stock looks ugly to me

  • Porty1119

    What does this do that a lower-priced rifle from PSA or Del-Ton won’t? Because it’s Freedom Group, it may or may not even function anyways.

  • Joe

    The DPMS .308 Gen II isn’t a lot heavier.

    Maybe they need to take a look at that platform before designating this carbine as “light”.

    • sp;fksdlfjjkl

      To be fair, they designated it as “Lite”. Likely to signify the lack of features, rather than as an indicator of mass.

  • Don’t

    • AHill


  • Bierstadt54

    Remember Kate? “Here’s a paragraph from an ad I saw and I want the comment section to provide the meat of this post” Kate?

    This gun weighs 7 1/2 pounds, sports a carbine length gas system, no sights, and is nearly $900 MRSP. No, no one want this thing. This is not quite a Kate post, but it comes closer than anyone should wish to be.

    • Rocket Doc

      Hell, I built the same rifle for less than $400! It’s a better one than that…

  • supergun

    You can buy an AR 10 for that kind of money now.

  • J Bolan

    I have been dealing with this company for many yrs now on the wholesale side and I can tell you the company is run by a gaggle of morons.

  • LilWolfy

    They need to break the molds for that Tardus stock and stop producing it. They snap like toothpicks, especially in the cold.

  • Richard Lutz

    Members of the unorganized US militia need to get a rifle that is like the one used by the US Army. Namely the FN 15 Military Collector M4, NOT the DPMS Lite 16.

  • Rogertc1

    MY $400 ATI Omni Hybrid MAXX Limited AR-15 weighs 6.5 with out magazine. Nuff said