Skip to main content

DPMS Panther 3G1

DPMS Panther 3G1

The folks at DPMS are no strangers to competitive shooting and have held more than their share of 3-gun matches.

While plinking at the range is fun, few things can compare to competitive shooting, and the big game in town these days is 3-gun competition. These matches involve the high-speed use of a pistol, rifle and shotgun at point-blank ranges out to 300 yards (and sometimes beyond), at cardboard silhouettes, reactive steel targets or both.

Up until a few years ago, it was almost impossible to find a rifle specifically made for practical shooting competition by a major manufacturer. Things have changed.

The folks at DPMS are no strangers to competitive shooting and have held more than their share of 3-gun matches. So it seems only natural that they would be the first mainstream rifle company to introduce a rifle purpose-built for 3-gun competition: the DPMS Panther 3G1.

The 3G1 sports a Viking VTAC free-float fore-end and a railed gas block.

DPMS started with the same button-rifled 18-inch stainless steel heavy barrel its uses on its DMR (Designated Marksman Rifle) models. Eighteen inches has been found to be short enough to maneuver quickly through courses of fire but long enough that the bullets still retain the velocity needed to knock down heavy steel at 300 yards.

This barrel has a 1:8 twist, which means it can handle anything from varmint loads to the heavy bullets favored by a lot of competitors. The barrel has a full-length gas system, which makes it very soft shooting.

At the muzzle, the 3G1 sports a Miculek Compensator, designed by famed shooter Jerry Miculek. While he is better known for his skills with a wheelgun, Miculek is a successful 3-gun competitor as well.


The barrel is coated with black Teflon and is free-floated inside a VTAC (Viking Tactics) handguard. I liked the VTAC, as it is slender (two-inch outside diameter) and doesn't add a lot of weight (151„2 ounces).

The 18-inch, 1:8 twist barrel features a compensator designed by top shooter Jerry Miculek.

The 3G1 doesn't come with sights, but the gas block has a rail, so bolting on your choice of iron sights isn't a problem. The VTAC handguard comes with two pre-installed QD sling swivel mounts, so you can use a sling and mount a bipod if so desired.

The oversize Tac Latch charging handle is designed for easier manipulation under stress.

Inside the lower receiver sits a JP adjustable trigger, which was a pleasant surprise. The single-stage trigger was set at a crisp four pounds, which is heavier than I've seen on some competition rifles but still much better than the average factory trigger. It will probably lighten up with use as the bearing surfaces smooth out.

The pistol grip on the rifle is an Ergo Sure Grip, which is made from a slightly tacky rubber, and the selector switch is ambidextrous. The charging handle has DPMS's oversize Tac Latch for positive manipulation under stress.

The 3G1 comes with a Magpul CTR collapsible stock with a rubber buttpad. The CTR looks simple, but like most Magpul products it's well-designed and very tough, which is what you want on a competition gun.

A review of the 3G1 wouldn't be complete without shooting it at some 3-gun matches, and for that I equipped it with Nikon's new 1-4X M-223 scope, designed specifically for use on AR-15-type rifles and budget priced. It features a duplex reticle with a tiny dot at the center of the crosshairs, has a one-inch tube and flip-off scope covers. I also used Nikon's M-223 ring/base mount, which places these scopes at the right height on flattop ARs.

The 3G1 is purpose built for 3-gun, which can present fast, up-close shooting to precision long range.

The 3G1 is heavier and longer than M4-type rifles and will really come into its own shooting at speed at longer distances. The extra weight of the rifle keeps it steadier while shooting, and the longer barrel will give you the few extra fps you'll need if you attend a match with falling steel targets out past 200 yards. Off the bench, the 3G1 was capable of sub-m.o.a. groups with the right ammo.

I've shot a lot of 3-gun matches, and while I wouldn't have chosen all of the exact accessories on the 3G1 if I had built it for myself, I can't deny it's a heck of a package for a suggested retail of $1,499--and even more impressive when you consider that buying the VTAC handguard, CTR stock, JP trigger and Ergo grip separately would cost a minimum of $430.

Even if you have no plans to shoot a 3-gun match, the 3G1 proved itself a great all-around rifle: accurate enough for distance shooting while still being quick-handling enough for close targets. The rifle performed flawlessly, and I doubt you'll find a rifle with the combination of features that the 3G1 offers for anywhere close to the same price.

WARNING: The loads shown here are safe only in the guns for which they were developed. Neither the author nor InterMedia Outdoors, Inc. assumes any liability for accidents or injury resulting from the use

or misuse of this data.

NOTES: Accuracy results are averages of four five-shot groups at 100 yards off a sandbag rest. Velocities are averages of 10 shots measured on a Shooting Chrony F-1 Alpha chronograph 12 feet from the muzzle. Abbreviations: BTHP, boattail hollowpoint; FMJ, full metal jacket; HP, hollowpoint

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Recent Videos

Scott Rupp gets a chance to talk to Aaron Oelger about a few new products from Hodgdon and why reloading store shelves are empty.

Hodgdon Reloading

Beth Shimanski of Savage introduces their all new straight-pull rifle. With an Accu-Fit stock and left hand adjustable bolt, this rifle is a perfect choice for anyone!

Savage Impulse

RifleShooter Magazine editor Scott Rupp breaks down all the features of the Mossberg Patriot Predator rifle chambered in 6.5 PRC.

Mossberg Patriot Predator 6.5 PRC Rifle Review

Introduced in 1965 with the .444 Marlin cartridge, the Model 444 was the most powerful lever action of its day.

Marlin Model 1895 in .444 Marlin

J. Scott Rupp takes a first look at the Springfield M1A Loaded rifle chambered in the popular 6.5 Creedmoor.

Review: Springfield Armory M1A Loaded Rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor

If looking to acquire an automated powder-charge dispensing unit to speed up precision reloading, don't judge the RCBS ChargeMaster Lite powder scale and dispenser by its name; the Little Green machine packs a heavy-weight punch with speed and accuracy.

RCBS ChargeMaster Lite Review: Not 'Lite' on Ability

The new Sako Finnlight II sports an innovative stock and Cerakote metal paired with the terrific 85 action.

RS Sako Finnlight II

The Remington Model Seven is ready, willing and able to handle just about any task.

Remington Model Seven SS HS Bolt-Action Rifle Review

RifleShooter Magazine Covers Print and Tablet Versions

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


Buy Digital Single Issues

Magazine App Logo

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the RifleShooter App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Rifle Shooter stories delivered right to your inbox.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All RifleShooter subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Enjoying What You're Reading?

Get a Full Year
of Guns & Ammo
& Digital Access.

Offer only for new subscribers.

Subscribe Now