Finally a .308/7.62 Battle Rifle from Daniel Defense – DD5V1 Review – SHOT Show 2016

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Looking for a fully capable .308--one that can reach out accurately and still hammer at close range? Check out the DD5V1.

Looking for a fully capable .308–one that can reach out accurately and still hammer at close range? Check out the DD5V1.

The DD5V1

Normally when people bring up .308 Winchester/7.62 NATO caliber AR-15 pattern rifles, I shrug my shoulders, shake my head, and simply say they are not for me. I’ve shot most and been left with a bad taste in my mouth by some of them. So I just keep my comments to myself. When I heard that Daniel Defense was going to be throwing their name in the hat, I figured it might actually pan out. It’s no secret that I’m a bit of a fan-boy when it comes to Daniel Defense. So when the news broke that DD would be building an AR10 form the ground up, I signed up.

Daniel Defense doesn’t produce sub-par firearms. They wouldn’t release rifles that are half-baked or poorly designed.  I felt confident that the DD5V1 could be the first .308/7.62 AR to truly break the heavy weight mold and address the platform’s shortcomings and issues with reliability. We will get into the facts of that later in the review so keep reading.

I’ve had the gun on the range for the better part of two months now. I’ve done everything from accuracy tests to CQB drills and the DD5V1 did exceptionally well. Better than its competition? I’d say yes. By much? That is debatable. But in my testing, I found the gun to be one hell of a contender. If you are looking for a precision rifle that can also function as a battle rifle, I’d suggest you check out the DD5V1.

The DD5V1 is built from the ground up to meet the exacting specifications Daniel Defense is known for.

The DD5V1 is built from the ground up to meet the exacting specifications Daniel Defense is known for.


  • Caliber: 7.62 x 51mm / .308 Winchester
  • Gas System: Mid-length
  • Weight: 8.3 lbs.
  • Barrel Length: 16”
  • Length: 33 3/8″ – 37″
  • Magazine: Magpul PMAG 20-Round


The DD5V1 was designed to be the best .308 AR on the market. It is designed to be light, accurate, and (most importantly) reliable. The gun has ambidextrous controls. It weighs in well under 9 pounds. The big question for a lot of you reading this will be price. The DD5V1 has an MSRP of $2899. Daniel Defense guns are hardly the most expensive, but they’re not the cheapest either–which brings us to the question of value. Do you get what you pay for with the DD5V1? If it is like the rest of the DD rifles I’ve shot, the answer is an unequivocal yes.

The DD5V1 is Built around a CNC machined 7075–T6 aluminum receiver-set. This gun has a different set of components than the standard AR-15. It has an integrated trigger guard, ambidextrous controls, over-sized mag-well and a monolithic hand-guard that set this gun apart from the crowd.

The DD5V1 broken down.

The DD5V1 broken down.

Another notable difference from most .308/7.62 rifles in this style on the market is the use of a 16-inch barrel and low profile hand-guard. It shaves a little bit of weight off of the front end while only sacrificing around 100fps in velocity. In my testing I found it to actually shoot better than most of the standard 18-20inch barreled variety.

Looking at the furniture of the DD5V1, you can immediately see it is designed for comfort as well as customization. Starting at the back we have the Daniel defense club foot stock with an over-molded check rest. The club style stock design allows the shooter to wrap their hand around the front of the rifle and keep it steady and tight to their shoulder during prone or supported shooting. The stock is adjustable and locks in tight to the buffer tube. One of my favorite features is the over-molded check rest which creates an oddly soft connection between the rifle and the shooter. The stock adds a lot of comfort to the shooting experience, no mater the conditions or situation.

Next we have the standard issue Daniel defense over-molded pistol grip. Following suit with the stock, it is made of polymer and has a rubber section for added comfort and grip. The angle of the grip and the bulge of the pistol grip allow for more leverage than a standard grip and make firing with out the support hand much easier. Though it appears to be the same as the previous DD pistol grips, this one is just a bit different as it doesn’t have an integral trigger guard, but this is actually an improvement as the trigger guard is built into the receiver of the DD5V1.

Check out how DD is connecting the forend to the receiver.

Check out how DD is connecting the forend to the receiver.

Moving forward on the gun you’ll find an unconventional method for attaching a hand-guard and barrel to the receiver. DD has moved away from the standard barrel nut and clamp style hand-guard. Instead, the DD5V1 uses a 4 bolt locking system. It works by running the bolts through the hand-guard, then through the barrel flange, and then lastly into the receiver. It adds a new level of strength as well as a slight reduction in weight.

Lastly you will notice the thin Key-Mod hand-guard. Running the full length of the barrel, it offers mounting positions for accessories in all possible locations. Beyond its mounting capabilities it also does a great job of keeping the heat away from your hand as you fire the gun.

Shooting the DD5V1

Shooting the DD5V1 is a lot like shooting an AR-15. The weight is very close, the length is very close, and the ergonomics are nearly identical. The only noticeable difference in the shooting experience is the amount of recoil and noise. I’m not saying the DD is uncontrollable or uncomfortable to shoot. I’m just making note that it is an .308 and you will be experiencing more noise and recoil than found with an AR-15.

Four representative targets shot with the DD5V1. These are with ZQI's M80 ball.

Four representative targets shot with the DD5V1. These are with ZQI’s M80 ball.

Now that I’ve made my disclaimer lets move on. The DD5V1 is an accurate rifle, as .308/7.62 AR-15 pattern rifles go. With this grade of ammo, under these shooting conditions, I found that the rifle is at least as precise a shooter as am I. The 2 stage Geissele trigger is easy to shoot well, and I was able to produce sub 1 inch groups at 100 yards shooting ZQI M80 ball ammunition. When the planets weren’t perfectly aligned, I was still able to shoot sub 2 inch groups. This may not seem impressive to some, but for those who have tried to shoot tight groups with a semi automatic rifle, you will understand that this is actually quite remarkable–especially with ZQI M80 ball. With tuned hand loads or Hornady high end target or hunting ammo, I think you could dial this gun into much better.

Moving away from the accuracy based shooting and stepping inside of the 50-meter mark, the DD5 continued to impress.  The gun stops promptly when moving from target to target. Looking down the scope, you can easily hold the rifle on target and make clean and precise shots. A lot of this is due to the short barrel and reduced weight up front. Beyond its handling characteristics, the gun shoots quickly. Oddly enough, a shorter barrel should make for more of an unruly rifle however the DD5s muzzle break flash hider tames recoil and helps keep the gun horizontal. Follow up shots are easy to make quickly, and easy to keep on target.

ZQI's .308 is an affordable option, but there are countless options for those who want to match a grain weight and powder load for even greater accuracy.

ZQI’s .308 is an affordable option, but there are countless options for those who want to match a grain weight and powder load for even greater accuracy.

Running the gun

The DD5V1 is a lot like other AR-15 style rifles in this caliber on the market in that it uses the ubiquitous SR25 pattern magazines, AR-15 stocks and grips, and can utilize most accessories designed for the AR-15. This gun comes dressed in Daniel Defenses rubber over molded furniture and Key mod hand-guard. The furniture is very comfortable and the hand-guard makes adding accessories as easy as turning a few screws. But these are things you’d expect from a DD.

The real selling points are the extras–the beveled magazine well, milled trigger guards, ambidextrous controls, and a ball detent charging handle. DD brings some of the nicer qualities found in other rifles and hammers them into one package. At the end of the day, the DD5 just does it better. From the ease of loading mags to the convenient and efficient controls, the DDV51 will spoil you.

In the end

In an effort to wrap this up, I want to make it clear that I have never found a .308 battle rifle that I’d consider putting in my personal collection of go-to guns. Everything from the bullpups to the traditional AR-10 and subsequent .308/7.62 copies, to oddball guns like the FAL and CETME pattern guns. They all had some feature or flaw that was a turn off, or they were too heavy to be practical. I’ve had to be content with a two gun solution. A bolt gun in .308 or similar for accuracy and distance, and a 5.56 for close work.

Has the Daniel Defense DD5V1 changed my mind? Without a doubt! It is clearly the newest and greatest iteration of the platform and will undoubtedly make all other big .308s look that much worse by comparison. But for me and everybody else, it comes at a pretty hefty price tag. Retailing for $2899, this gun is bound to break the bank. However, if you require a 308 chambering and a semi-automatic firearm, then there is no better option on the market to this date.

At just over 8 pounds, the rifle is still easy enough to run form the shoulder.

At just over 8 pounds, the rifle is still easy enough to run form the shoulder.

20 round mags mean reasonable capacity for a CQB gun, too.

20 round mags mean reasonable capacity for a CQB gun, too.

The recoil pushed back instead of rocking the muzzle up, which means easily repeatable accuracy with shorter split times.

The recoil pushed back instead of rocking the muzzle up, which means easily repeatable accuracy with shorter split times.

The bolt after the testing. The finish makes it easy to wipe clean.

The bolt after the testing. The finish makes it easy to wipe clean.

The real choice would be the optic--do you want to go for long range potential or the close range speed of a red-dot?

The real choice would be the optic–do you want to go for long range potential or the close range speed of a red-dot?

And there's plenty of real estate to hold onto--or for the attachment of extras.

And there’s plenty of real estate to hold onto–or for the attachment of extras.

{ 77 comments… add one }
  • ron June 3, 2018, 11:35 pm

    I’m not sure how old this thread/article is. I found it looking for info on AR-10 or a variant. Boy, you folks sure spend some dough on a rifle! Maybe I’m a bit jealous. Considering how saturated the market is and the fuzzy future of the ar Platform.
    Being a not so wealthy guy I have been looking at the CTME In 308. I also have considered building something.
    The posts here are like a version of kids telling each other how their stuff is better than the others. Anything spitting .308 at you is ok if it doesn’t jam and is reasonably accurate. I was also half tempted to buy an M1 or piece together a FAL rifle. I think it would be easier to buy a complete rifle. Good luck to you all and let’s hope you only use your rifle to plink at targets.

  • Richard Engel February 13, 2018, 3:23 pm

    Ivve carried both m16and a car 15 and they both fouled after two mags due to mil- spec ammo, now days we have a choice. I now have a Armalite m16 (a le trade in 449.00) and runs perfect. Ive gotten to shoot the m1a scout and definitely wanted one but the price put me off so I search the internet and found a fal for 700.00 ended up buying it that eas 11yr. ago, Ive taken down deer and one elk, I. don\’t hunt anymore but I get out once a week to go by shooting at the range (both hand guns and rifles)and that works for me right now thanks for your review.

  • Richard Engel February 13, 2018, 3:19 pm

    Ivve carried both m16and a car 15 and they both fouled after two mags due to mil- spec ammo, now days we have a choice. I now have a Armalite m16 (a le trade in 449.00) and runs perfect. Ive gotten to shoot the m1a scout and definitely wanted one but the price put me off so I search the internet and found a fal for 700.00 ended up buying it that eas 11yr. ago, Ive taken down deer and one elk, I. don’t hunt anymore but I get out once a week to go by shooting at the range (both hand guns and rifles)and that works for me right now thanks for your review.

  • Richard Engel February 13, 2018, 3:19 pm

    Ivve carried both m16and a car 15 and they both fouled after two mags due to mil- spec ammo, now days we have a choice. I now have a Armalite m16 (a le trade in 449.00) and runs perfect. Ive gotten to shoot the m1a scout and definitely wanted one but the price put me off so I search the internet and found a fal for 700.00 ended up buying it that eas 11yr. ago, Ive taken down deer and one elk, I. don’t hunt anymore but I get out once a week to go by shooting at the range (both hand guns and rifles)and that works for me right now thanks for your review.

  • Paul March 9, 2017, 8:10 am

    You guys are tough….I own this firearm, paid $2400.00 for it. Looked at Ruger and couldn’t find one at the time. So this is what I purchased I am very far from being an expert but am a consistent/avid shooter. I am not military but many of my family members were from WWII to Vietnam I kinda fell in the middle. Did get issued a draft card then Vietnam ended just wasn’t meant to be. With that said I had an issue with the M118 – 25rd ( Pmag/Promag ) mags but did a little research and found out I needed the model M118 25rd ( Pmag/Promag ) I didn’t have any issue’s with the factory 20 round mag. With the wrong mag I experience the same cycle problem as another gentleman that also commented about cycling issue’s. It pissed me off until I found the problem resolved it and moved on. The Gun fires now without any issue’s I have fired about 2000 rounds through it since my problem ended. This issue of not cycling has gone away. I have not had a miss fire since. Now price wise yeah I felt it to be a little steep but it’s a one time purchase. I’ve come to love shooting this rifle I have a Burris XTR 8 – 40 x 50 scope on it and can drive tacks ( not nails / tack all day). I’ve grown accustomed to the weight really not as bad as all others I’ve shot that are weighted down with accessories. Overall I would recommend this rifle but like everything else “to each his own” now I have to learn the word’s to” this is my rifle it is my friend”…..etc…..I love this rifle….Thanks for listening

  • Vepr January 16, 2017, 7:56 am

    If he stopped playing with the safety the whole time hes talking it would help not annoy watchers while he speaks lol – super annoying – Gun looks good – a little long for a cqb weapon – especially if u put a can on it !!

  • Nick Campanale December 8, 2016, 3:01 pm

    I own a Socom 16 and it does everything well. I was looking for a lightweight shooter in the AR platform, but after reading all this, I will stick to what I have, as it has never failed me and is certainly battle proven. The only thing is the weight of the weapon, but they do have a few different options out there as far as lightweight furniture for the tried and true M-1

  • Jason S August 16, 2016, 3:26 pm

    I just purchased. Ruger 762 AND a Diamond back DB15 for less than the cost of the DD 308. Besides being unproven I’m not sure how all the rubber will hold up under extreme conditions such as wet, heat and snow long term. Get a Ruger 762 for a shade under $2000. And with the $900 you save have fun dressing up the Ruger with us optics and high capacity magazines or buy a second rifle as a back up N case of malfunction. Two rifle are always better than one.

  • Matthew July 31, 2016, 8:25 pm

    Id still have the PWS216 over this, heard to many unfortunate dramas happening with this rifle.

  • charlie July 18, 2016, 10:04 am

    I recently purchased the DD dd5v1. The following is just what ive experienced with the rifle. I bought it in store for 2899$. I bought a Nightforce NXS scope and installed it. And i bought Federal 7.62×51 147 grain ball ammo as well as hornady .308 165 grain superformance. I took it to an outdoor range that goes out to 200 yards. i loaded the factory issued magpul 20 round magazine with 6 rounds and proceeded to fire two groupings at 50 yards. Fired the first round everything good. Pulled the trigger on the second round “click”. I thought that was odd. So i pulled the charging handle back a little, and no round in the chamber. Hmm. So i charged another round. Fired, and then checked the bolt. It was another failure to feed. except this one was caught at an angle halfway between the chamber and the mag. So. I removed the mag. I tried another ten round magpul SR25 mag that i purchased. Fired the first round. Second round, “click”. Same damn thing. This went on for 60 rounds!! I couldn’t get two rounds in a row out of this rifle for 60 rounds!!! I stopped shooting it. At this point I’ve got alomost 6000$ in this rifle and it funtions like ur shooting a hi point. It is not something that is reliable by any standard. I’ve since called daniel defense and now i have to ship them my 6000$ rifle that doesnt work and wait god knows how long for them to fix it. I’ve got 400$ guns that I’ve never had a single problem out of. Granted they arent as pretty as this rifle is, but when someone is shooting at you or your life or family’s life depends on it, Do you really need pretty? Hell no.

    • Surebuddy October 2, 2016, 11:04 pm

      Superformance ammo is for bolt guns. It’s not supposed to be used in semi-autos. The pressure is too high.

      I’ve got a DD 5.56 and it’s runs perfectly. Cool story, bro.

  • Andrew July 7, 2016, 1:10 pm

    So many options… I went in looking at the Springfield Armory SOCOM CQB, stumbled on the Ruger SR 762, and am considering the DD5V1. Some great points from many of you on here, piston vs. DI, price point, inferior technology of AR platforms, star chamber design (which is a pain). I really like the SOCOM for about 900.00 cheaper, but the archangel stock feels and looks chinsy. SOCOM is heavier but is certainly a tried and true action, plus it comes with rails and at least has iron sights included, not sure if there is an option to put a can on the SOCOM. I haven’t found a great comparo between the two. Wondering some thoughts from all of you that are in a more “tactical” community.

    • Vincent Lee May 20, 2019, 7:58 am

      I have both the M1a cqb and the dd5v1. I love them both. I use mine unconventionally..hog hunting. They work great for both and for either I’m ok with 4 moa because my target is that big. I’m a new hunter but I wanted to be tacticool. The M1a is heavy though and you need a bit more hardware to mount a larger optic. For cqb a vortex venom is what I put on it. For my DD5V1 I used a Nikon mtactical 1-6x. I would get one but think about what you are using it for. In a blind, either one is fine for me.

  • Albert June 29, 2016, 2:11 am

    Daniel Defense makes a great fire arm, but if you are like me and see the price tag you cringe a little bit. Take a look at Rock River Arms. They offer a excellent quality AR 10 ,for slightly less, that I have preferred in terms of accuracy!

  • Ry June 13, 2016, 7:22 pm

    Great article! Thanks for putting forth the effort. I’m amazed at all the “asshat” comments crying “fanboy”! I think we all appreciate biased/unbiased opinions and reviews as they both carry weight in their own right. What I don’t like are immature and childish comments at the authors of these kinds of articles because no matter what their reasoning, reviewed the product so we all could enjoy. Love it or hate it.. whatever! Gather what details you can and move on. Would it be too far fetched to just say thanks and go back to dreaming about the rifles you can actually afford (sorry, crass)? lol. I appreciated the author’s insight and loved the review. … and here I thought chevy vs ford reviews were bad. sheesh.

  • Recon Rick May 21, 2016, 5:16 pm

    Very comprehensive well written informative review. I was reviewing Bushmaster as well.We can save our dough and get what we think will suit us. It helps that there are gutsy men like you who will “Do The Deed” so we can be informed as we cannot shoot all platforms and models that are available. Yes the 16 got me through my 13 months . Maybe we could of used “Phasers” But we did our best with what they issued us.nothing is perfect. Im just glad to be here to read all this stuff. thanks again

    • Harlow September 12, 2016, 3:59 am

      Thanks for your service. I pulled two ,yes two, tours squatting in the mud.
      I had my M-16 and problems like over loaded mags and cleanliness of the weapon. I was never given that ammo that dirtied the rifle so badly that it made be want an M-14. I took my M-16 be to the armorer. He cannibalized be a nice older model 16 and changed out the bolt.Amazing difference in performance and accuracy. My brother me me ,get this, a McStar 4X scope that basically mounted on the carrying handle. It was great. In the jungle it really depended on your situation. I hunt deer now with a customized Bushmaster 5.56 mm and have many successes. Keep it clean, shoot GOOD ammo. I handload mine with 80 grain pspbt bullets, Sierra and Hornady. I still have the McStar, a night vision scope, a red dot scope and a Bushnell be 40mm 3X12. Total cost around $1100.

  • MarineVet February 17, 2016, 2:38 am

    I picked up this rifle as soon as it was available and it is a masterpiece that Eugene Stoner would appreciate. It is more accurate than my Sig716 and close in accuracy to my M1A. It’s light and perfectly balanced unlike the front heavy piston driven rifles. Follow up shots are on par with 5.56 platforms which is impressive for a .308 caliber rifle. Daniel Defense truly makes Milspec weapon systems with awesome attention to detail. And what’s even more impressive is how easy it is to maintain and clean. The BCG needs a good wipe down and your ready to go. If Stoner had done what DD did with the AR10, then we would have had a light weight battle rifle issued to our troops instead of the varmint rifle the M16 is. Everything comes full circle, the AR10 is making a comeback as a hard hitting game changer.

    • Jason S August 16, 2016, 3:30 pm

      DD 308 and a Sig 716? You’re a Marine and those are your choices? You’re obviously buying by name and looks over function and reliability. Not smart.

      • Joe December 19, 2016, 7:07 pm

        Keep your snide comments to yourself. There is nothing wrong with either of these weapons.

      • JC April 23, 2020, 4:01 pm

        I’m also a jarhead vet and own the DD. For reasons of my own, it is personal preference to purchase and own one of, if not the most reliable AR platform ever seen. Sure, there are other manufacturers out there that may suit your budget and needs, but again, personal preference. Function and reliability are what separates DD from the rest of the pack. I’ve never experienced a failure or misfire with any of my DD’s. In my opinion, experience with different firearm platforms trumps any wannabe tacticool shooters snide opinions about others choice of weaponry. Ignorance is blissfully bliss.

  • edkling February 4, 2016, 3:03 pm

    I went to my local guns sales store (won’t say who) and looked over a $2600 AR308 and asked them if I could dry fire the rifle. I slowly pulled the trigger and it was as bad as my first $575 AR15. Now I am building my own and that way I know exactly what I am getting. Too many people are buying AR’s and are not getting what they are paying for. I’m not going to say that is the case here, but I’d be careful and do a lot of research.

  • Dmcneelus January 26, 2016, 12:27 am

    My own personal go to weapons wtshtf is a Les Baer AR 15 that shoots 1 hole groups all day and the Les Baer .308 semi auto. These rifles are expensive but if I am going to bet my life on firearms ( and probably will have to), I want the best and most reliable and accurate I can purchase. The phrase GIGO means just that.

  • Jon January 24, 2016, 7:37 pm

    What a nice well paid for advertisement.

    Since you gushed all over this piece of “perfection,”I am sure you did not extol the virtues of this rifle for merely just a free rifle. You should have gotten a boatload of money for such a solid gold sales hype job.

    It was masterful how you dumped on the entire AR-10 industry for vague and geralized sins and shortcomings while hyping your free rifle from Daniel Defense

    At least regular readers recognize when a “snow job” is coming from this site when you guys are piling it so high and deep.

    • Paul Helinski January 24, 2016, 11:30 pm

      Nobody gets free rifles in our industry you idiot. DD is one of only a handful of manufacturers who have any accountability with their AR platform products, and they are extremely good quality. Did you ever think that maybe if you tried not being an asshole your life might go a little better, and maybe you could afford a DD?

      • Kyle February 26, 2016, 12:42 am

        Was looking at info on the DD5V1 and saw the above comment and then reply and had to say that I found it funny. It sounds like Jon may have got his feeling hurt a little…lol. Either way I enjoyed the article and found it to be in line with everything else I’ve read on the rifle.

  • bcut January 19, 2016, 3:24 pm

    I think any 308/7.62 dI gun is not and should not b considered a viable combat rifle I’ll stick with my ruger sr 7.62 giving that the price point of this dd is outrageous I would most certainly go with the scar 17 over this gun if I had the money to drop on it with out any thought or hesitation it is a awesome weapon system and would love to own one and it would b about the only 7.62 platform gun I would take over my ruger sr7.62….but I would not hesitate to take my ruger into any combat situation with my burris mtac and fastfire iii riding on top… my humble opinion it is far superior to any di 7.62 platform and never had any problems with it what so ever….piston or delay blow back guns are the way to go with out any doubt

  • Chris January 19, 2016, 6:21 am

    I’m not going to bash on your article, allot of what comes down to what gun you like is personal preference, but I will say my 24″ dpms, black hole weaponry, psa, Moriarti arms 308 AR (LOL) is EXTREMELY accurate and reliable and would give any 308 AR platform rifle a run for its money on accuracy and function and is allot easier on the wallet. Not that this is a bad riflexible but for what it costs, wow, I’ll stick with my custom build.

    • Juliya Weisbrot June 6, 2016, 9:11 pm

      Thank you very much. It’s the best compliment!
      Moriarti Armaments

    • Frankee July 24, 2017, 9:53 pm

      i also got my 22″ 6.5 creedmoor from Moriarti and can’t be happy enough

  • Greg January 18, 2016, 8:51 pm

    This sounds like a good quality rifle but its not going to out Preform a Scar17s at the same price point. i could have bought either one and the Scar 17s has a Military Back ground and was designed from the ground up to be a Military rifle for civilians. It weighs less, has a military pedigree and has been run though the Military gauntlet. The DD 308 simply has not and is an Unproven entity.

  • hANNAbONE January 18, 2016, 7:08 pm

    I can appreciate the DD in .308/AR10 platform. But for that kind of money I’ll smile and save and stay with my Rock River Arms .308 Elite Operator. Proprietary magazines aside, I can buy a ton of ammo for the +$1500.00 savings. YMMV

  • buckshotjoe January 18, 2016, 1:47 pm

    My DPMS LR .308/ 7.62×51 w/ bull barrel (18″) w. Nikon 3-9×50 PROSTAFF would shoot as well for less $ but is a heavier piece to pack around. I like any well made American firearm.

  • Tim January 18, 2016, 12:30 pm

    You actually like the stock and grip? Getting good accuracy from a semi auto is impressive??? You must be a fan boy. Seriously though I think DD has done a good job with the .308. The only thing I do not like is the ambi mag release I could live without that. The weight and the barrel/forearm attachment is a great idea. I’m going to be watching to see what they do with the .308 line.

  • Keith January 18, 2016, 12:21 pm

    Looks like a nice gun. A little late to the party perhaps, but it looks like quality.
    I like that it overcomes the weaknesses and quirks of other .308s out there.
    DD should consider a 7.62×39 “budget” model. though it would still be tough to compete with PSA, Bear Creek Armory, etc. price wise (I put together my PSA AR47s for around $700 with Magpul furniture, heavy buffer, and upgraded mil-spec trigger).
    I REALLY enjoy the extra punch and power of the .30 caliber round. And the familiarity and accuracy of the AR platform.

  • Scott January 18, 2016, 12:14 pm

    What a waste of money. Almost every other AR style .308 manufacturer produces a better rifle than this. Does the author of this article even shoot? You sir are a joke. Go back to moms basement and rethink your career choice.

    • Tractor Bob February 2, 2016, 1:57 pm

      You sir are rude and crude. Attack the rifle and not the man. That is what the liberals do.

    • Vincent May 20, 2019, 8:04 am

      You should refrain from uneducated responses like this. Shows you back country nature. The author did a reasonable and informative job it’s up to you to figure it out for yourself.

  • Mark January 18, 2016, 12:01 pm

    Looks like they did a nice job making another proprietary 7.62 AR. But especially considering the price I see no reason to get this over the SCAR. I think DI AR’s are more reliable then often given credit for, but still not up to ground up piston designs. You could argue mags are cheaper then the for the SCAR which is also over priced but compared to the whole market worth it in my opinion.

  • Pat J January 18, 2016, 11:30 am

    I got those groups with my benched, iron-sighted M1 Garand before the trigger work.
    Went to another buddy’s funeral yesterday, lots of really good rifles coming into the market.
    If you’re young and not stupid, look for a good M1, or M1A, get the correct backup parts, shoot it for fifty years,
    and then pass it on to a son you didn’t let get wobbley. Us old men will smile down on you, and buy you a whiskey.

    • Bruce Harris January 20, 2016, 9:12 pm

      AMEN brother! I concur 200% with everything you said here! I’ve got an M-1 in .308 that will out shoot just about anything out to 300 yards.

  • nick January 18, 2016, 11:22 am

    $3000.00 ROTFLMAO!!!

  • 50 BMG API January 18, 2016, 11:11 am

    No thanks! Over priced garbage! Gas impingement no thanks!

    POF rules…

    • Steve January 18, 2016, 1:00 pm

      I agree this looks like an over priced gas producer.

  • Mack Jones January 18, 2016, 9:54 am

    Considering numbers produced, longevity, diversity of adopting otganizations, and battlefield success, I would hardly call the FAL an “oddball pattern.”

    • DR_T January 18, 2016, 7:25 pm

      I agree with Mac, The FAL had many of the designs now considered top shelf ( Gas piston and varialble gas). They are still going strong around the world for a 308, I have a Para model and a SCAR 17, love the SCAR, light weight and so adaptable with folding stocks & flip up sights, all from the factory. My SCAR 17 shoots just as good or better than that.

    • Al April 23, 2017, 8:11 am

      I had the same thought. What is so “oddball” about the FN FAL?

  • Chuck Burling January 18, 2016, 8:19 am

    Rock River Arms .308 AR’s sell for $1600 and they guarantee 1″ moa. Stainless steel barrel, great trigger (3#), they just work well out of the box! Please review one of their AR’s.

    • Dan January 18, 2016, 4:36 pm

      What dother you all think of nemo arms tango 8 msp in comparison?

    • donald January 18, 2016, 9:04 pm

      I’m trying to learn about rifles and wondered how would you compare the rock river arms 308 to the scar 17? thank you.

      • Administrator January 18, 2016, 10:04 pm

        Both are proprietary fireams. The scar is more versatile and robust.

    • Joe December 19, 2016, 7:11 pm

      Save your money and buy a savage model 12 in 308 for $885. It’s the most accurate production rifle made.

      • LPRshooter January 10, 2017, 8:53 pm

        This is the most uninformed comment amongst the many I’ve seen here. The Savage Model 12 is a good production rifle. Is it the best production .308? Hardly. That honor is going to the AI 308 or the Sako TRG. Granted they cost 4-5 times the Savage, but you said “best.”

  • Dominick Gallo January 18, 2016, 7:49 am

    Hope I can get it in NY compliant form

    • howard January 18, 2016, 1:34 pm

      You just need to get OUT of NY. Come on down to Texas.

    • DR_T January 18, 2016, 7:30 pm

      You need to get out of NYC and leave it to the LIBTERDS or just turn your guns in to Hillary and become one.

  • Joe McHugh January 18, 2016, 7:42 am

    Gas system, “mid length”? Mid length what? Is it a direct gas impingement auto loader, or a gas piston design. The photo of the bolt appears to be the direct gas impingement design. The ONLY reason that the inventor, Eugene Stoner, of the AR-10 and AR-15 incorporated the direct gas impingement design was to keep the cost of manufacturing down.

    Now we see a rifle that costs nearly $3,000.00 and still appears to use the inferior direct gas impingement self loading system. No other country in the world uses the gas impingement type auto loader unless it gets M16’s from America. Even the cheap to produce AK-47 incorporates a gas piston system.

    Why is it that gun review writers decline to clearly identify the reason that the M16 family of rifles is a 49 year old embarrassment? Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara, chose the M-16 rifle because the production of the M-14 had problems. He didn’t know that all of those M-14 manufacturing difficulties were addressed by 1962. The TRW corporation was so good, in fact, that a bolt from one of its M14’s could be swapped with another, and consistently pass a chamber head space test. TRW just applied its manufacturing expertise of making jet engines to making rifle parts.

    What good is a lighter rifle, and lighter ammunition if the thing fouls itself into jams by introducing dirty burnt gas particles into the receiver/magazine area with each shot? This controversy never goes away but the M-16 P.O.S. should.

    • stravo lukos January 18, 2016, 8:00 am

      well stated. couldn’t agree more. H & K came out w/ one of the best assault rifles in the world using a long piston-arm & strategically placed drain holes allowing this piece to be pulled out of mud or water & fired immediately. And, bc there was no hot gas anywhere near the bolt, it was cool to the touch even after a billion rounds fired– give or take a dozen.
      nope, I wouldn’t buy this rifle for one quarter the price.

    • John January 18, 2016, 9:29 am

      I’m afraid IN MY HUMBLE OPINION the days of ‘Direct Gas Impingement’ as a method of driving a gun mechanism are over – at least from a technology standpoint, hence the HK 416 etc. I confess I just glanced at this article and I’ll stay with ‘tried and true’ – delayed blowback or a physical gas cylinder.

    • Keith January 18, 2016, 12:36 pm

      I think you overstate that there is a “controversy” between gas impingement and gas piston. People understand the pros & cons.
      Gas impingement is dirtier but some would argue more reliable in heavy/battlefield/training course use.
      It has a long track record of reliable duty, and cleaning a modern AR takes all of 10-15 minutes, less if you’re Forest Gump. 😀
      You sound like a manufacturers rep that sells only gas piston systems, which I agree CAN be made to work well.
      But gas impingement systems have been proven to work day in, day out, with all kinds of ammo. Piston guns; not so much.
      If you don’t like gas impingement, keep your high priced, or over/under gassed finicky gas piston, and enjoy. All good bro.

      • Joe McHugh January 18, 2016, 8:37 pm

        Keith, “Gas impingement is dirtier but some would argue more reliable in heavy/battlefield/training course use.” You just contradicted yourself because “dirtier” leads to jamming. Worse, wind driven dust and grit affects the M-16 rifles even with the dust cover feature.

        Yeah, I’ve seen the videos comparing the AR15 with an M1A with a fan blowing sand and gravel against the receivers. But more than one soldier or Marine described his M16A2 or M4 as being a P.O.S. when he had to take that 10 to 15 minutes to clean it. And guess when he needs those minutes to clean the M16? Yeah, just about the time the bad guys are coming right at him.

        The Army investigated the feasibility of replacing the entire family of M16’s recently and decided that it would be too expensive to switch over to a new design “at this time”. In other words the politicians weighed the jam prone M16 against designing a superior rifle and decided that the lives of our American fighting men was cheaper to keep on expending. But those same politicians will authorize over a billion dollars to buy something as expensive as another B2 bomber.

        Let’s face it, the AR-15 rifle design is the most popular selling firearm today. That’s because the people who trained with the M16 over the last 49 years don’t, know any better. The M-14/M-21 kicks harder? Guess what that 7.62 mm bullet does when it hits the bad guy five hundred yards away? Yup, I could consistently keep my bullets hitting a 26-Inch wide target at 500 yards, using its iron peep sight.

        The Army still uses the M-14 as a basis for its sniper rifle. And no, the sniper doesn’t switch it to full auto to spray and pray.

        • Roland October 18, 2016, 8:50 pm

          The original Stoner design was an AR10 and the whole idea behind the rifle was to make it lightweight one way of achieving the lighter weight was to go for a DI system instead of a gas piston. It is not some conspiracy it is just a design choice. Look up the original AR10 rifles from the 1950’s like the AI AR10 designs. They are plenty reliable , of course if you abuse any rifle it will stop working DI or gas piston.

  • Evan January 18, 2016, 7:32 am

    A direct impingement .308, with a Keymod handguard? I’ll pass. It looks like the only ridiculous trend they didn’t buy into is taking out the forward assist. Why would anyone buy this instead of a SCAR?

    • Paul Helinski January 18, 2016, 7:41 am

      You probably said similar nonsense when the SCAR came out. Have you ever heard if you have nothing positive to say don’t say anything? There is nothing useful in this type of comment whatsoever.

      • stravo lukos January 18, 2016, 8:03 am

        i’ll gladly comment. that star-cluster F bolt face is the most useless design ever. two lugs work just fine– AND u don’t need a forward/hand assist. we learned nothing from Nam. pos is putting it mildly.

      • Alan January 18, 2016, 9:15 am

        Really Paul?!?
        Let’s see, we should all just accept whatever the manufacturers (who often DON’T listen) put out there at outrageous prices and like it?!?
        These are LEGITIMATE beefs! At THAT price, the damn thing should have the best of the best.
        A gas piston isn’t THAT much more expensive, and is NOW recognized as a far superior system.

        • Paul Helinski January 18, 2016, 9:26 am

          He wasn’t complaining about price. He was complaining about essentially nothing. “Recognized” is a relative term. *ALL* .308 AR platforms are proprietary. There is no milspec. Therefore there is no trial by fire, under adverse conditions. The direct impingement system in 5.56, for all its failings, works 99.9% of the time if the weapon is properly cleaned, and it has proven itself in strongly adverse conditions for decades. Those of us who are gun nerds appreciate superior designs, but how did the Sig 556 do in the market compared to a regular AR? What about the Ruger 556 and 762, both inexpensive and superior? Regular ARs work great, all the time, and parts are sold everywhere by everyone. *Recognized* is a fools term for what they want to be true. Everything is relative.

          • Alan January 18, 2016, 11:35 am

            Well Paul, you apparently aren’t familiar with all the complaints about the AR series during Desert Storm, or Afghanistan for that matter.
            The average Joe doesn’t put their AR through much of anything compared to real combat, where indeed the AR has had numerous issues, mostly due to dust and burnt propellant soot in the receiver.
            And HK went out of their way to prove their superior design for the AR series.
            We ALL know that the direct impingement system is SEVERELY flawed, so I’m not sure just which “fools” you refer to.
            And he was indeed complaining about the price since he mentioned the SCAR, which is in that price category. And he should complain about it, there are VERY similar rifles (as pointed out) for a LOT less.
            In short, Marketing hype for all the newbies out there, but many of us who have been around see just a “slick” trick with little real value.

          • Administrator January 18, 2016, 2:22 pm

            oh please like there is a perfect any machine.

        • LPRshooter January 10, 2017, 9:18 pm

          Sorry Alan, but proof? No one who is a true authority on the subject recognizes this so-called fact. Both have their pros and cons.

          For those who think you’re 308 semiautos are the end-all, I’d love a comparison/shootout between whatever you have and my KAC LPR and ACC. My ACC is lighter/handier than anything else, and my LPR won’t be out-grouped. Find me another production AR308 with a single-point cut-rifled Krieger and with a .mil pedigree.

          KAC, LMT, or Larue. Everything else is 2nd rate.

      • Evan January 18, 2016, 3:52 pm

        Actually, when the SCAR came out, my first thought was “I need one”. The only real issue I have with the SCAR is that ideally, I would prefer a heavier barrel profile, but that’s not a huge issue for me at all. The SCAR has ambi controls, a gas piston, excellent ergonomics, is surprisingly lightweight for a .308 battle rifle, and has integral rails instead of this Keymod nonsense. That makes it better than the frivolous rifle in question. A rifle designed with input from actual soldiers on the ground is something I have an interest in, as the rifle I used in combat clearly had no such input in its design. Yet another rifle that does nothing new or different and is distinguishable from a dozen others only by higher price? Nah, think I’ll pass.

  • Joseph January 18, 2016, 7:15 am

    Another proprietary type .308 in AR configuration…Of course Daniel Defense stands for over the top pricing.
    Many thanks to Palmetto State Armory for allowing me to enjoy a great .308 at a reasonable price !!

  • dennis c January 18, 2016, 6:34 am

    i could shot a 7.62 ….i would like to know the msrp………..that is the biggest factor

  • Tarheel Realist January 18, 2016, 5:31 am

    Excellent review…very comprehensive.

    While DD weapons are at or near the top of the price spectrum (for these platforms), you get what you pay for. Friends of mine thought I was off my nut (some of you may agree) when I purchased a NIB KAC Mk11 Mod0 for a tidy sum, but after several magazines of M118LR they quickly forgot the price. Even had a few ask me later on, “how much did you pay???”.

    Like we’ve all seen/heard the old adage “buy once, cry once”, I recall one of my favorite sayings…”good shit aint cheap and cheap shit aint good”…

    Long live the Republic!

    Buy cheap and stack deep…

    • LPRshooter January 10, 2017, 9:36 pm

      Amen Brother. Both of my KAC SR25 rifles cost about 50% MORE than the DD. And they’re worth every penny. My friends also thought I had lost it; after shooting my rifles, they lost it. Now there are 9! KAC 308s amongst my friends and I. $40,000 in rifles amongst a group of 6 shooters speaks for itself.

      I don’t want to sound like I’m dissing the DD, that’s not my intent. It’s just unproven (which will change over time) and it seems to have a few proprietary parts. In particular, the bcg and barrel extension pattern. Granted the KAC has a proprietary bolt, but it is well-proven.

      I might have to pick up a DDV5 for myself. It would be fun to compare them, just for the sake of science and to sate my curiosity…

  • Michael January 18, 2016, 4:04 am

    You said you never found a .308/7.62 as a go to gun??
    What about the M14/M1a?? Is this Ar-10 l better?
    Just curious. Also I guess you don’t like the HK 762 AR10 any better??

    Just wondering because I have a Noveske built AR10 and it’s heavy and a long range shooter and I been wanting to trade out of it…… But you’re right not much out there I guess until now??

  • Kam January 18, 2016, 3:58 am

    This rifle looks like it can be a serious contender in the .308 semi auto market. It looks like they got the weight down to a manageable level which is high up on the list of important features for .308 semi autos. The accuracy also looks amazing. That being said –

    The writers of this website either haven’t heard of the Scar 17 or are purposefully avoiding talking about it for whatever reason. Same MSRP, (actually less than this rifle) lighter weight, sub MOA and is dead reliable. It is a direct contender to the rifle in this article yet he leaves it out. There was another article on this site where another author made no mention of it when speaking about .308 semi autos. I believe it was an M1A article.

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