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Thread: DS Arms ZM4

  1. #1

    Default DS Arms ZM4

    I have to do a Sec 16 reapplication for my ZM4 that is currently licensed under another section (See http://www.gunsite.co.za/forums/showthread.php?14868-DS-ARMS-USA) due to change in regulation.

    Since I have to do a completely new application anyway, I have to consider if I should keep the ZM4 or apply for something else.

    I haven't shot it much, and had no issues whatsoever, but would like to hear from those of you that have used it more extensively what your opinions of it are?

    It seems the DSA is not considered one of the Top Tier AR's in the USA, although some of its components are mil spec (however the barrel it seems is not mil spec - 4140 if I'm not mistaken, 1:9 twist, and it has a mid-length gas system).

    My question is, although a mil spec / Top Tier AR is desirable, and of course there would be a difference in quality, and cost, in your opinion should I go through the trouble or just keep the DSA (assuming it has satisfactionary reliability and service life)?

    Application would be DSS and training.
    Last edited by 47; 11-03-2019 at 09:04.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: DS Arms ZM4

    Keep the DSA. Mil-spec means nothing. Mil-spec is what is keeping AR's stuck in the70's.

    If you have read any of the volumes of Book of the AR by Patrick Sweeney you will realise that "Mil-spec" is a good starting point, but there are many commercial AR's that outperform "Mil-spec" in terms of quality, durability, accuracy and reliability.

  3. #3
    Moderator SSP's Avatar
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    Default Re: DS Arms ZM4

    Mate of mine has a ZM4.

    Runs just fine. Never seen it have a stoppage. Shoots plenty straight.
    Cattle die, kindred die, every man is mortal:
    But I know one thing that never dies,
    the glory of the great dead.
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    User Paul's Avatar
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    Default Re: DS Arms ZM4

    DSA has a VERY checkered reputation for build quality. Some of their stuff seems to be innovative and excellent. Some just plain sucks. This is mostly with their FAL builds. They also tend not to deliver on time or at all on many things... even stateside.

    On the other hand... it seems difficult to screw up an AR15 build, and some folk have really tried hard.

    Your mileage may vary.
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    Default Re: DS Arms ZM4

    Their AR15 are great guns. And the mid length makes it quiet desirable. If keep it if I were you.

  6. #6

    Default Re: DS Arms ZM4

    Thanks for the responses guys - appreciate it!
    Life shouldn't be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving with a well preserved body...

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    Default Re: DS Arms ZM4

    The DSA ZM4 is one of the guns tested in AR15 vol 3.

    DSA are one of the few manufacturers that make their own uppers and lowers. And they do it well. The ZM4 barrels are not "Mil-Spec" (ie. stuck in the 70's), they are made of better steel and nitrided (think Melonite / Tennifer).

    Accordingly a ZM4 barrel should have a useful service life of roughly 10K rounds more than a Mil-spec chrome lined barrel. Not too shabby...

  8. #8

    Default Re: DS Arms ZM4

    The US military did extensive testing on nitride vs chrome. Nitride is cheaper so would make sense to use if equal or cheaper. Under hard use the chrome held up better according to the test papers I read. Not sure if this stuff is still publically available though.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: DS Arms ZM4

    Simply due to the unpredictable and arbitrary way SAPS/CFR is handling semi-auto licence application I would advise against selling the DSA just to buy and licence another AR. You are not shooting much as per your post so I predict that the gun will last you a lifetime and it being AR it can easily be maintained.
    Speed is important, but not at the sacrifice of accuracy, but being accurate needs to be fast enough.
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    Default Re: DS Arms ZM4

    Quote Originally Posted by Khumba View Post
    Simply due to the unpredictable and arbitrary way SAPS/CFR is handling semi-auto licence application I would advise against selling the DSA just to buy and licence another AR. You are not shooting much as per your post so I predict that the gun will last you a lifetime and it being AR it can easily be maintained.

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