Crosman DPMS SBR full-auto BB gun: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Crosman DPMS SBR
Crosman’s DPMS SBR full auto BB gun.

This report covers:

  • What is it?
  • Watch the video
  • The gun
  • Blowback
  • Controls
  • Disassembly
  • Stock
  • Forearm
  • Loading
  • Shot count
  • Bolt holdopen
  • Sights
  • Summary

Today we begin looking at the Crosman DPMS SBR full-auto BB gun. First — the acronyms. DPMS = Defense Procurement Manufacturing Services. WHAT??? It’s a shop that was initially in Osseo, Minnesota and opened in 1985. It started manufacturing parts for military weapons like the M16. It’s now part of a larger conglomerate that’s located in Huntsville, Alabama. SBR = Short Barrel Rifle. Another name for a carbine, and, in this case, the rifle that was shortened was already a carbine.

What is it?

The DPMS SBR is Crosman’s select-fire BB gun that shoots 25 BBs per magazine. Select fire means both full and semiautomatic fire are available via the conventional M16 selector switch. Gun bashers will tell you that AR-15s are automatic, but in fact that is incorrect. Civilians in the U.S. may not purchase full auto firearms without a lengthy process that vets the owner, tying the gun to him by serial number, and costs $200 per firearm so registered. AR-15s are semiautomatic, only, so a selector switch applies to the full auto military platform, only.

Watch the video

I’m going to recommend that any of you who are interested in this gun watch Tyler Patner’s video review. You have to scroll down the page and click on the video that’s on the right side. It’s concise and addresses all the questions you might have. I watched it because, frankly, I cannot read the owner’s manual. The manual is printed in 1-point type that I cannot read even with bifocals and a magnifying glass. But the video addresses everything you need to operate this gun. Watch it.

The gun

The DPMS weighs 6.5 lbs. which is heavy, but feels good. The frame is made of glass-filled polymer that feels similar to the synthetic receivers found on many AR-15s these days. You wouldn’t want it to be made of aluminum because it would be too heavy and would cancel a lot of the blowback impulses.

Blowback

Yes, the DPMS is full blowback, so you feel the pulse of every shot. The bolt cycles back and forth just like a firearm bolt. At the NRA Show several months ago I watched as dozens of people stood in line to shoot it at the airgun range. I know the Pyramyd Air employees who ran that range spent a lot of their time reloading the DPMS, because everybody wanted to shoot it.

Controls

All the AR controls operate exactly like they do on an M16, with the single exception of the forward assist (the button on the right side of the receiver that pushes the bolt forward so the extractor can grab the rim of a cartridge). Since a BB gun doesn’t use cartridges there is no need for a forward assist.

Crosman DPMS SBR forward assist
Forward assist (arrow). The 6-position buttstock is fully forward in this photo.

Disassembly

The DPMS disassembles very similarly to an AR-15/M16/M4. Two pins connect the upper receiver to the lower receiver and when they are out the receiver halves come apart. Then the parts of the bolt can be either removed or pushed back out of the way to clear jams in the barrel. You rod through the muzzle and the BB(s) fall out of the breech. There is no other reason to disassemble the gun, though I know many owners will want to, for old time’s sake.

Stock

The buttstock is adjustable to 6 positions. The length of pull runs from 11-inches to 15-inches, so you are bound to find a setting you prefer. A spring-loaded button under the butt unlocks the stock for adjustment.

Crosman DPMS SBR stock
The 6-position buttstock is extended all the way.

Forearm

The forearm has 1911 Picatinny rails on all 4 sides. You can mount optical sights, flashlights, lasers, bipods, coffee grinders and other grips if you like. Think of this gun as a motorcycle that’s ready to be accessorized!

Loading

Now we come to the interesting part — the magazine. I told you that all the controls work like an M16. But not the magazine. It doesn’t drop free. Push the release and pull on the mag to get it out.

Once out, move to the bottom of the mag and pull off the side cover. The directions are written on the magazine floorplate.

The mag takes two 12-gram CO2 cartridges. And, the order you install them is important. The left cartridge goes in first. If you try to install the right cartridge before the left one, all its gas will leak out. The Allen wrench you need for piercing the cartridges is inside the mag. Crosman also includes a BB speedloader with the gun that I will show you in Part 2.

Crosman DPMS SBR CO2
Install the left CO2 cartridge first. The Allen wrench is stored inside the magazine.

Shot count

I know you are concerned about the shot count when two CO2 cartridges are involved. Pyramyd Air saw 125 to 150 good shots on either semi- or full-automatic fire in their testing, so it’s okay. I will test it for you as well.

Yes you will go through a lot of cartridges but I’m guessing most of you will use this primarily as a party gun. So, at every holiday and gathering plan on burning through a pile of cartridges and BBs. Buy ‘em in bulk.

Bolt holdopen

After the last BB has been fired the gun stops shooting because the bolt is held open. This is a marvelous way to save gas!

Sights

Now we come to the fun part. The DPMS has back-up iron sights — BUIS. That’s where we are in 2018 — iron or non-optical sights are considered for backup use, only. The front sight does not adjust and the rear adjusts for windage, only. The rear sight has two leaves — one with a fine peephole and the other with a large battlesight hole. I plan to shoot with these sights.

Of course the Picatinny rail on top of the gun means you can install a real pair of BUIS that do adjust, if you prefer. Or you can install an optical sight, which I plan on doing. The sight I will install is one that Pyramyd Air does not stock at this time. I hope to change that if it tests out. It’s that wee teeny holographic sight I showed you from the SHOT Show.

Crosman DPMS SBR UTG dot sight
The UTG Reflex Micro-Dot sight is small and capable — I hope. We shall see.

Summary

This DPMS is a hot one. It’s not unlike the MP40 I tested for you (and subsequently purchased) last year. It’s full-auto and it really works. For those who want full-auto, this is one of the very few games in town.

33 thoughts on “Crosman DPMS SBR full-auto BB gun: Part 1

  1. B.B.,

    As Tony Montana would exclaim, “Say hello to my little friend!”

    “Black rifles” do not make my heart sing, but I am an old fogie who’s heart rate goes up at the sight of a Chief’s Special, 1911A1, or M1 Carbine (and of course all cowboy guns). I know that anyone under 40 loves this look in a big way, and I respect that. It all has to do with what one grows up with, in TV, movies, toy soldiers, and so on.

    If these are a good value, they will sell like proverbial hotcakes.

    Michael


    • Michael,

      Fogie here, too. BUT — I do own an AR. Most accurate rifle I own, but only as a single-shot because the special ammo that makes it shoot is too long to fit in the magazine.

      However, this one seems to be accurate, as well. Watch the video. If so. it has my vote.

      B.B.


  2. B.B.,

    Very nice and you can’t argue with the price. Looks like it would be a lot of fun. I see the bb loading port is exposed when the magazine is installed. If I had one, I would lie awake at night trying to figure out a way to adapt the magazine to accommodate 150 bb’s. Spring fed or air fed tube. Some quick math shows it takes about 5.67 bb’s to make an inch. 150 divided by 5.67 = 26.78, or 26.78″ of ammo storage required. A follower spring is out of the question. Pressurized air/bb pushed tube? Block the load port and come in on the bottom. Something like a flexible PVC tube, pressurized by a Co2 cartridge?, follower sealing ball,… pushing the bb’s.

    Coffee grinder ehh? Fed into a micro expresso machine,… fed into a micro expresso shot cup (insulated, of course)??? 😉

    🙂 Sorry,.. that is just the way my mind works! Scary huh? 😉

    Good Day to one and all,….. Chris



      • B.B.,

        I was thinking along the lines of gallery guns. I had thought that some of those were fed bb’s in a hose that had air pressure pushing them. So that is the basic idea.

        A Co2 pusher would have to have a valve, reg. to step it down? and a bleed knob to bleed off the line pressure. Solid tube through the mag.. Fill 170 bb’s for a 150 finish/use. The Co2 would make it mobile and non-tethered.

        The tube and “tank” could be rail mounted or belt worn. You know that a 170/150 shot “plug and play” “tube magazine” would sell. This thing has rails all over it. In fact,… sell one mag. as is and another that is set up/modded for the “ultimate” in full auto experiences.

        I do wonder though,…. could the materials in the gun even handle that abuse?

        Now,…. what was that you were saying about just leaving things alone? 😉

        Chris


    • Chris, I react the same way.

      Think that decades of being in an engineering environment triggers a “how does it work/can I make it better” response anytime an interesting item is seen.

      … Oh, for the micro espresso attachment – the espresso could be fed directly into the body through needles in the grip that were controlled by the semi/full-auto switch.

      ;- Sorry,.. that is just the way my mind works! Scary huh? 😉

      Hank


  3. On a note unrelated to today’s review, I’ve recently (as in just today) picked up a Diana Model 24 Compact as my first airgun. Does anyone know what the exact relation this has with the Diana 240 Classic?

    It looks to have the same sights and barrel, but the trigger guard is metal, and the stock does not have a rubber button or buttpad. The stock shape is also different with a comb that curves downwards and a slight convex left side instead of the flat side in the photo in Tom’s review. It looks a bit like the stock on the Lux model of the CZ 455.


  4. B.B.,

    Just curious what is this 1911 Picatinny rail specification on the forearm you mention? Was that a typo or is there a specific version? I can just imagine somebody thinking how this can be converted into a low pressure PCP (about 850psi) with a proper adapter. Probably could increase the magazine capacity while he is at it.

    Overall this is promising to be a fun gun!

    Siraniko



  5. DPMS SBR BUIS??? DPMS SBR BUIS!!! …nudge, nudge, wink, wink – know what I mean? Know what I mean? …And now for something completely different! 🙂

    Definitely a party-animal! A real good looker but can she cook? (Time to view the video.)

    Not much into military-style stuff but the DRMS would be fun for blasting feral soda-pop cans – like the semi/full auto modes. Who says that old fogies can’t learn new tricks eh? 🙂

    Cheers!
    Hank


  6. BB,

    When you fire this gun, will you please comment on the ease of firing short bursts and compare the single shot cycle to the MP40’s single shot characteristics. Since you own an MP40, you know that a lot seems to be going on when you fire a single shot. It sounds and feels like you are firing a burst and I find that it makes single fire accuracy a little tougher to come by than it might, were there less movement in the gun. At the same time it feels cool because , well, it feels like you are shooting bursts. Would just like to hear them compared and I know that, as a rule, you avoid that.

    Third word in opening sentence, ” begin” ?

    Half


  7. B.B.,

    This seems like a nice replica. Watching the final test in the video I felt like I was shooting at the red star again.

    While I am here, I want to ask you if you have any thoughts on the Nitro Piston Elite.

    ~ken



  8. Watched the video. The full auto shots were cool.

    Definitely see this as a get together gun. I’m sure the kids will have fun as well as the adult kids. 😉

    But the only thing I don’t like about these types of bb shooters is the small amount of bb’s the mags hold. I need like 30 or so ahots at least. That way I can select back and forth throughout the run of full or semi-auto as needed. Like you would do the n firearm situations.

    But all in all cool gun. And to me anyway a good shot count for the gun on Co2. Everytime I see one of these guns I see a HPA regulated HPA bottle conversion. A 30 shot mag and tetherd hpa bottle would be the S••t


  9. Can’t believe you guys have not mentioned the obvious … a drum mag, or even better, a dual drum.
    Electric or wind-up. Think Airsoft.
    Even two dummy feeder mags permanently mounted on both sides of the main mag feeding through a simulated triple mag clamp.


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