DPMS Panther Arms
|Headquarters||St. Cloud, Minnesota, United States|
DPMS (Defense Procurement Manufacturing Services) Panther Arms manufactures a wide range of military and civilian rifles in St. Cloud, Minnesota. The rifles are chambered for the .223 Remington, 5.56×45mm NATO, .308 Winchester, .260 Remington, .300 Remington SA Ultra Mag, 6.8mm Remington SPC, and .204 Ruger cartridges, among others. The company also manufactures several unorthodox rifles based on the AR-15 design, including pump-action and single-shot models, and also licenses the M16A1 Spring Airsoft Rifle produced by Soft Air.
Randy Luth founded Defense Procurement Manufacturing Services (DPMS) in 1985 in Becker, MN as a precision machine shop for manufacturing M-203, M-14 and M-16 parts for U.S. military contracts. He also developed many patents. In the later 1990s he employed 30 people selling Colt 1911 and AR-15 parts and accessories. Luth later worked with a manufacturer of lower receivers and began producing AR-15 modern sporting rifles (MSR).
Luth moved DPMS into a St. Cloud facility next to the Del-Tone/Luth Gun Club in 2004. In 2007 the firm was named one of The Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal's "50 fastest-growing privately held companies." DPMS doubled its revenue between 2004–07 and employed 65 people in 2008.
Freedom Group purchased DPMS Panther Arms on December 14, 2007 which is a consortium of firearms manufacturers and part of Cerberus Capital Management which is a New York private equity investment firm. Cerberus combined DPMS with Bushmaster Firearms International, Remington Arms and Cobb Manufacturing to form the Freedom Group.
The company attracted attention within the firearms industry with its version of the AR-10, the Panther LR-308, earning the NRA Publication's magazine Shooting Illustrated 2005 Golden Bullseye Award for Rifle of the Year. In 2006 the "Panther LR-308AP4" earned the NRA Publication's magazine American Rifleman Golden Bullseye Award for Rifle of the Year. In 2008, DPMS introduced the LR-338 chambered in the .338 Federal cartridge.
As of December 20, 2012 Cerberus announced they are selling their Freedom Group brands, including DPMS, based on pressure from a prominent investor. This transaction has of yet failed to appear as of May 2014.
DPMS's St. Cloud, MN production facility will be closed and production will be taken over by Remington's new state of the art facility in Huntsville, AL which will employ 2,000 people in 10 years. Remingtom's Ilion, NY production facility closed down two production lines for their Bushmaster AR modern sporting rifle (MSR) and R-1 1911 pattern pistol and moved them to Huntsville. The reason for the move from Ilion, NY was the recent NY gun restrictions placed on pistols over 7 round capacity and MSR's. Remington is seeking to consolidate its production in Huntville to increase efficiency and to reduce production costs. It should also be noted that the closure of this plant will eliminate approximately 100 jobs from the central MN area, in addition to removing more than 100 years of combined AR manufacturing experience from Remington's knowledge pool.
- DPMS Acquired By Cerberus. Joins Bushmaster and Remington. « AccurateShooter.com Bulletin
- NRA 2006 Golden Bullseye Awards
- "DPMS LR-338: An AR-Style Rifle Chambered in .338 Federal For Serious Hunting".
- In Unusual Move, Cerberus to Sell Freedom Group, a Gun Company - NYTimes.com
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