FREE e-Newsletter
Important News - Hot Topics
Get them Now!

Tactical Pants - Galls
A popular choice for public safety professionals, the Galls Tactical Pants are...

Reviews : Arsenal

DPMS Panther Mini SASS Rifle

Developed from a MIL-SPEC design, this smaller sniper rifle is nothing to sneeze at.

August 01, 2008  |  by Mike Detty - Also by this author

On the Range

Before shooting the rifle at the range, I took stock of its accessories. As part of the Mini SASS package, DPMS includes a Harris Swivel Series Bipod with nine- to 13-inch adjustment attached to the bottom rail with a Command Arms adaptor. While this is a fine setup for field shooting, I was going to do all of my accuracy testing from a cement bench using a rifle rest for support. I fired all of my groups from a seated rest, five shots to a group, and did not allow the barrel to cool between shots.

For accuracy testing I mounted a Trijicon 3-9x40 AccuPoint scope. I used an Armalite scope mount and, unfortunately, the rear of the scope sat too low and required that I remove the detachable Mangonel rear sight. Using a scope with extended eye relief would have cured this problem, as would taller rings. Of course, the Armalite mount can be easily and quickly removed in an emergency and the rear sight could be attached in just seconds.

I like the clarity of the Trijicon AccuPoint and find the brilliance of the amber-aiming chevron to be just what my aging eyes need. Its eyepiece is adjustable for focus and the brightness level of the aiming point is also adjustable. In low-light situations its tritium backup ensures you'll never lose your aiming point. I took an IPSC cardboard target and put 12 one-inch target pasters on it so that I wouldn't have to walk down range and change targets continually. I fired all groups with the scope set on its 9-power magnification.

I fired a variety of loads through the Mini SASS and was very pleased with the results. Black Hills 69-grain Match King turned in the single best five-shot group; it measured just .63 inches center to center. Hornady's 75-grain BTHP TAP also recorded a respectable group at just .66 inches, but what really surprised me was Black Hills' 50-grain V-Max group that printed a .82-inch group. I would have guessed that the projectile was too light to be stabilized with that degree of accuracy from a 1:8-inch barrel.

Throughout the T&E I was impressed with the Mini SASS' trigger pull. Even though my trigger gauge read 4.5 pounds, it was so crisp that it actually felt much lighter. DPMS uses the excellent JP trigger on the Mini SASS and it has very little take up and virtually no overtravel.

DPMS technicians adjusted the trigger at the factory and I did not feel the need to monkey with either the engagement or overtravel screws. But just in case you'd like to make your own adjustments, a short manual and a CD with movie instructions are included with the package.

Final Thoughts

Like its heavier caliber brother, the DPMS Mini SASS possesses more than adequate accuracy for its intended mission. In fact, I am sure that with continued load experimentation the rifle may even be capable of one-half MOA accuracy. One thing is certain; during my 400-round evaluation I experienced zero malfunctions or stoppages. Every load I fed the rifle chambered, fired, extracted, and ejected without a bobble.

Assembled with top quality parts, there isn't any reason other than maybe personal preference that you would need to replace parts on the Mini SASS. If you were to add up the cost of all the custom features like the stock, rail system, and match trigger, you'll discover that the suggested retail price of $1,599 represents a tremendous value.

Mike Detty is an NRA-certified rifle, pistol, and shotgun instructor. A certified rangemaster and competition shooter, Detty served as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps and holds a degree in criminal justice from the University of Arizona.

«   Page 2 of 2   »

Request more info about this product / service / company

Comments (2)

Displaying 1 - 2 of 2

John Flanagan @ 1/14/2012 5:10 PM

Mike had all the info I was looking for about this rifle, I'm having trouble finding a dealer that has one in stock?

gary adams @ 11/9/2013 2:12 PM


Join the Discussion

POLICE Magazine does not tolerate comments that include profanity, personal attacks or antisocial behavior (such as "spamming" or "trolling"). This and other inappropriate content or material will be removed. We reserve the right to block any user who violates this, including removing all content posted by that user.

Other Recent Stories

Police Product Test: Lotar Combat Akrav Gen II Knife
This high-end folder was designed to be a serious defensive weapon and survival tool for...
Firearms 2018
Makers of long guns and handguns for law enforcement operations will be marketing a broad...
Ammunition 2018
Ammunition manufacturers are starting the year off with new product offerings.
Blowback Laser Trainer: The Practice Gun
Featuring the ergonomics of a duty gun and significant felt recoil, the Blowback Laser...

Get Your FREE Trial Issue and Win a Gift! Subscribe Today!
Yes! Please rush me my FREE TRIAL ISSUE of POLICE magazine and FREE Officer Survival Guide with tips and tactics to help me safely get out of 10 different situations.

Just fill in the form to the right and click the button to receive your FREE Trial Issue.

If POLICE does not satisfy you, just write "cancel" on the invoice and send it back. You'll pay nothing, and the FREE issue is yours to keep. If you enjoy POLICE, pay only $25 for a full one-year subscription (12 issues in all). Enjoy a savings of nearly 60% off the cover price!

Offer valid in US only. Outside U.S., click here.
Police Magazine