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Panther Arms DPMS A15

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Overview: First off, when you receive the package or buy it from a store the first thing you notice is that the box looks a tad corny but overall is very appealing. Upon opening the box you are confronted with the loading tool, your mag, your new A15 of course, and 200 .12g bb’s (yellow ). The packaging is very sturdy and it is doubtful that the gun would get damaged during shipping even if it didn’t have another box surrounding it.

Appearance: The finish is well beyond that of your average plastic gun. Every gun expert that has seen it thus far reached down and looked entirely surprised that is was plastic and not metal. Just about everything on the gun looks very nice with the exception of the inner retractable stock tube and the muzzle flare. Yeah, all muzzle flares are ugly but this goes will beyond your standard, the flare is actually about 2-3” in length. The tube is ugly due to the fact that the paint job was rather poor on the only real metal part visible. It looks as though the paint was rubbed off because the tube was used right after being painted, leaving pieces of the tube showing. When picked up this gun feels really solid. The A15 weighs in at about 6 lbs, which is the weight of its RS (real steal) counterpart. This to me adds a lot to a replica gun when not only does it look like the RS but it also feels like it, so this easily earns an 8/10 in appearance.

Performance: I have skirmished this gun about five times now, so it has been through a good number of situations. After playing it through the first game and getting hit by it I have decided that it actually has a higher FPS than a UHC MP5 SD3 this is something that bodes very well in the springer world, as the UHC is known as a bench mark for which almost all springers are measured against. Accuracy is also not a problem for the A15. The A15 has a very long barrel (major minus for CQB) and much to my surprise an inner that runs the full length of it. The accuracy is greatly improved by this addition along with the very nice hop-up unit. After taking apart my gun the first time I cleaned out the hop-up unit of all its travel grime. Originally the .2g bb’s I bought traveled perfectly with the hop-up provided but after the cleaning it consistently hops about 1-2’ before dropping back down into a normal flight path. This is both good and bad, but I would recommend .25g bb’s, at least, for this gun. Lastly the cocking mechanism is put in a very nice place as it accommodates both lefties and righties(However, it doesn't cock as fast-Shriak). Because of these boons I give the A15’s performance a 9.5/10.

Build Quality/Upgrade ability: I have taken apart the A15 twice now and I must say despite all the things going good for it this is not one of them. It is a royal pain to get this thing apart. To get at the spring and hop-up mechanism you must take apart the entire gun. I’m not talking about just pressing a few buttons and lifting the cover, instead you have to take out at least 50 screws of eight different sizes (hope you have a full screwdriver set!) and jimmy apart more than anyone’s fair share of hidden latches. Upon opening the gun you find there are actually next to no metal parts. The only things metal in the gun are the inner barrel and the weights. I personally found the two extra weights barrel to make the gun front heavy so I took one out. I decided to bring the power of my gun up to 1J instead of stock .8J (mind you most good quality springers are .7J tops) I added 4.5 coils of custom spring that when compressed releases .2J of energy. Since the piston and spring guide are both plastic it is not smart to upgrade much more than a M120 spring. This could pose problems to those that want to upgrade farther as both the spring guide and the piston are proprietary to this model of A15. Another words you can’t just buy AEG upgrades and fix the problem. Not surprisingly the sear is plastic, however the thickness of it was something to be amazed over. Being so thick and using a plastic much stronger than the norm it wouldn’t surprise me to see it handling a M160 or more without a problem. Since the piston and spring guide are both proprietary and the spring guide can’t be reinforced without buying a metal body, I would only give the A15 a 4/10.

External Mods: Being an assault rifle with a handle, scopes that fit it can be a little hard to find. After looking around for rings, I found those for an actual A15 or any assault rifle for that matter are a minimum 24.95! After scrounging up enough money for both of these I was informed that they were so bad that upon the first impact to them they would most likely break. Of course I asked if there were any others available to use but bottom line for these were in the range of 150-300 dollars for just the mounts (YIKES!!) Having this lovely experience with mounts I decided to go with a scope that simply fit on w/o the use of rings. I checked out our local assault rifle store (yeah we actually have one for those that don't know) that carries a huge selection of external mods for ANY assault rifle. Once again the baseline was far beyond my price range being 400-2300. While thinking about what else I could possibly put on my A15 I happened to remember the scopes on Shorty USA. These scopes were much more reasonable, being on sale for $30. The scope was no trouble at all to install,just screw it on. To say the least I am very happy with the scope that Shorty sold me. It has a good field of view while also having good magnification (4x30mm).

As far as stock guns go you really can’t go wrong with the A15 but if you plan to upgrade, don’t bother with this gun.

Appearance: 8/10

Performance: 9.5/10

Upgrade Ability: 4/10

Build Quality: 7/10

Overall: 8/10


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