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Thread: What ever happened to the Small Frame 308?

  1. #1
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    What ever happened to the Small Frame 308?

    A few years back they were pretty well talked about, got decent reviews. Understandably it was DPMS/Remington, Adams Arms, Mega. Back in 2016ish I picked up a new Adams Arms. Cool rifle, functioned well, lighter weight for a 308.

    POF has their even smaller frame and lighter weight (higher cost) version. But for an interesting change it seems as though they fell out of favor. Thinking about this is their some link to the Freedom Group getting rid of companies or lack of builder parts for these rifles that are holding them back? Seems it to be a better mouse trap. Rainier Arms has barrels and such available but over all they just don't seem to have caught on. Some insight would be appreciated.

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    Aren’t the Colt 901/CM rifles a smaller frame?
    I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery. Thomas Jefferson.

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    Dpms is building them
    I have a revolution
    Mega got bought by zev

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    A few others.

    Savage MSR is a proprietary small-frame (no idea about DPMS G2 compatibility though, if you wanted to do things like swap your BCG, gas, and barrel for DPMS G2 compatible).
    Agree with Jsp10477, the latest Colt CM762 and 6.5 CM offerings seen to be small frame, though again proprietary.
    F4 defense is making actual DPMS G2 "compliant" small-frames out of top-shelf quality components (https://www.f4defense.com/product-category/rifles/). This IMHO is one of the newer, more interesting options for a high quality small-frame.

    Not a builder or any kind of industry insider. But just from observation, the small-frame is a good idea that is SLOWLY gaining some traction. But it's had a challenge overcoming the established market momentum of the large-frame AR's. I hope it does succeed and that more builders get on board. The big question as with the large-frame AR10's, is whether any kind of 'standard' will emerge (not milspec obviously, but more of a de facto industry standard that everyone tries to be somewhat compatible with, akin to the Remington 700 as the 'standard' for bolt actions).

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    Quote Originally Posted by maximus83 View Post
    The big question as with the large-frame AR10's, is whether any kind of 'standard' will emerge (not milspec obviously, but more of a de facto industry standard that everyone tries to be somewhat compatible with, akin to the Remington 700 as the 'standard' for bolt actions).
    The SR-25 is the standard for 308/6.5 ar’s. Small frame 308/6.5’s are a niche market. Everyone wants a better mousetrap but until the major players, (KAC, LMT, Larue, DD), go there, it’ll stay niche. The only way they go smaller will be to meet a contract requirement. Why would they? They already own the market and who’s going to dump their APC or MWS to save what, 4-6 oz? I know I’m not.
    I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery. Thomas Jefferson.

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    Quote Originally Posted by maximus83 View Post
    Not a builder or any kind of industry insider. But just from observation, the small-frame is a good idea that is SLOWLY gaining some traction. But it's had a challenge overcoming the established market momentum of the large-frame AR's. I hope it does succeed and that more builders get on board. The big question as with the large-frame AR10's, is whether any kind of 'standard' will emerge (not milspec obviously, but more of a de facto industry standard that everyone tries to be somewhat compatible with, akin to the Remington 700 as the 'standard' for bolt actions).
    I don't think you'll ever see a standard emerge for these rifles unless the US Government runs a trial, selects a winner, and fields them as a M4 replacement. It's not invented here syndrome. The US Military bought a fair number of large frame rifles from Knights Armament and it hasn't moved the needle when it comes to establishing a standard. KAC, LMT, and Armalite are the companies who've had military contracts and have "some" commonality but even this hasn't been enough to establish a standard.

    The 700 is a great example of manufacturers and consumers benefitting from using one standard. Same goes for the AR-15, 10/22, 1911, and now the Glock platform.

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    Was hoping in some respect that the Small Frame would become more of a standard as a few manufactures licensed it and started producing them. If I were to do it again I think I would go with a POF but their hand guard system is something that you are going to be committed to. feeling it is going to die on the vine unless the owners of the patent opened it up to others to produce.

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    I was excited to try the Mega 308 after seeing it at SHOT a couple years ago, but then it never happened and they were bought by Zev.

    Don't want or need to spend KAC / LMT money, so I bought a Colt CM762.
    - Rhino

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    I just recently purchased a MSR-10, and have it's second range day sometime this week.

    My thoughts on commonality: The AR10 itself is a very low volume rifle. Its fandom here is only because the average poster on this site IS a niche user. The millions of 308's sold every year to deer shooters is a bolt action. The amount of civilian shooters looking for a semi auto 308 that is not a cold war rifle? I'd imagine thats only a couple thousand a year? 308 is very pricey too shoot, and precision ammo through a semi auto? Very small amount of shooters can really swing that stick. I'd bet a majority of AR15's sold never get more than a thousand rounds in a lifetime. I dont have any first hand knowledge; but its pretty easy to speculate that most AR10 sales are in batches or contracts to either military or law enforcement agencies. No single unit or department has identical requirements so it is actually a good thing for them to have semi auto 308 avaialable in different price and weight catagories.

    I was trying to figure out how my chosen rifle has been on the market for 2 years and has had relatively low press besides.... the press. I just figure a very small amount of people need a semi 308 and there are ALOT of options. As for the comparision from the LMT to the MSR? My buddy had an LMT and sold it due to weight and cost of ammo. I had limited range time on it and it's insane how different the guns are. The LMT is a hoss, were as the MSR is an AR15 on steriods. I think remington owns the DPMS gen 2 design and I wouldnt be surprised if military units wearing out SR25's start doing field trials. Again, this is purely speculation; but when I was in we only got new shit when our old gear was worn out unless a new mission requirement popped up.

    As I gain more experience and datata points on the MSR 10 I will be sure to update the thread I already started. I would like to get out and compare the Savage to the Colt or DPMS guns. If any AZ shooters have one: PM me.
    "Just throw Krylon on it"

  10. #10
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    Since OP asked about small-frame, this might be interesting. A while back when considering small frames myself, I talked to Dave, the owner of F4 defense, about why he went the small frame direction. He makes a good case. He has a post on his website that kind of summarizes the design philosophy. From the conversation on the phone, it sounds like there are some good technical reasons to go with a small frame. But, the licensing process with DPMS was lengthy and complicated, and I'm guessing that it's DPMS itself that limits adoption of the G2 design. That's pretty short-sighted on their part. They'd do much better to just 'open source' the design to everybody, encouraging adoption, and then compete fair and square against all the other builders to sell rifles that people will actually buy. Of course they don't want to do that, they think they can 'win' by limiting competition and controlling access to the design. See how that's working out for them?

    https://www.f4defense.com/4112-2/

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