An Ultra-Compact Backpack Gun: Daniel Defense DDM4 PDW in 300 BLK Reviewed

As seen, I have mounted an Atibal X 1-10x30mm FFP rifle scope and swapped the linear compensator for an AAC Jaeger 30 suppressor to maximize the potential of the PDW.

Daniel Defense’s DDM4 PDW quickly became one of my favorite firearms because of its compact size and ability to be hushed to Hollywood quiet levels (ok, not really, but almost that quiet). There are many practical uses that I have for the PDW which span from personal protection to fun trigger-time at the range. Because of its 20 3/4″ collapsed length, you can fit the PDW in a nightstand next to your bed, the bottom side of your truck seat, or in a backpack for toting around in your daily activities. Coupled with the Daniel Defense name, this 300 AAC Blackout AR offers peace of mind and promises reliability when it is demanded, as it should with its $1,865.00 MSRP.

You can see just how short the PDW is, with the linear compensator peeking out from under the handguard.

Examining The DDM4 PDW

Let’s take a look at the DDM4 PDW, beginning at the rear of the gun and moving toward the muzzle. The PDW is available as an SBR or a pistol. Consequently, it comes with a Maxim Defense CQB Gen 7 stock or a CQB pistol brace. The PDW that I received for review is a pistol with the Maxim Defense CQB pistol brace. Coupled with a petite 7″ barrel length, this brace makes the PDW very short with a 20 3/4″ collapsed length and 24 3/4″ extended length that can be reached by firmly pulling the brace out to its extended position; allowing for a quick and perfect cheek weld when running and gunning…

The DDM4 PDW comes with the usual bells and whistles such as an M16 profile, Mil-Spec, chrome-lined bolt carrier group, ambidextrous GRIP-N-RIP charging handle, and Daniel Defense pistol grip. The trigger on the PDW is Daniel Defense’s standard unit, and mine felt great. There is little to no creep and it has a solid break at 6 lbs (measured with my Wheeler Trigger Pull Gauge), followed by a short and crisp reset.

The Maxim Defense CQB pistol brace is easily and rapidly deployed just by yanking it out from the shortest position. To collapse the brace, simply press the lever underneath and push it in.

The barrel used on the PDW is a fast, 1:7″ twist barrel that allows the shooter to use both subsonic and supersonic loads effectively. Its construction is of chrome moly vanadium steel that has been cold hammer forged to Daniel Defense’s Strength To Weight profile and Chrome lined. This barrel is 7″ in length and includes a linear compensator that directs blast forward and away from the shooter. This compensator is Daniel Defense’s own linear compensator; which can be removed from the muzzle’s 5/8×24 TPI threads for further customization with other muzzle devices.

The barrel is entirely cold-hammer-forged from chamber to muzzle, ensuring proper alignment and accuracy out of the box.

Surrounding the barrel, the PDW features an MFR XL 6.0 M-LOK handguard that provides plenty of attachment points located every 45 degrees around it. There are also four flush-cup attachment points that can be used for attaching a sling. Located under this handguard, the PDW features a low-profile gas block that is pinned to the barrel and feeds a pistol-length direct-impingement gas system. Attached, the PDW also comes with an SLR M-LOK MOD2 Plain Front Handstop to keep your hands from wandering into harm’s way.

Notice the pinned gas block hiding under the handguard.

Accuracy Testing

For my accuracy test, I mounted an Atibal X 1-10x30mm FFP optic and placed a target 100 yards downrange. I then shot 7 different ammunitions off of a front and rear bag that were a mix of subsonic and supersonic varieties. Specifically, I tested Sig Sauer’s 125 grain Elite Match Grade OTM and 220 grain Elite Match Grade OTM offerings, Remington’s 125 grain OTM Premier Match and 220 grain Subsonic, Hornady 110 Grain V-Max Black and 190 grain Sub-X, and finally, Nosler’s 220 grain Custom Competition ammunition. By the end of my testing, it became apparent that the DDM4 PDW was dependably ~ a 2MOA gun with a few ammunitions being the exception. Below, you can see the results of my testing with the group size being noted in the text box in the picture.

This was the best grouping ammunition that I tested in the DDM4 PDW, and by a large margin!
Here, I fired a 6 shot group because I felt the brace slip off of the bag as the shot broke on the flyer.

More About DD (Warranty and Service Rifles)

One thing that you get when you buy a Daniel Defense is an amazing warranty. Instead of the typical “If you break it, we will replace it.” Daniel Defense stands behind a Lifetime Satisfaction Guarantee. This means that you don’t have to have a reason for returning your DD except that you aren’t happy with it. This is likely because, at DD, they know that you will love your firearm and never want to let it go. At Daniel Defense, they only have one full-time gunsmith who takes care of all service and repairs as well as the majority of the custom firearm builds because far less than 1% of the products that they make (they produce 40,000-50,000 per year) will ever come back into the DD Service Center and 100% of those are resolved to the customer’s satisfaction.

Truck gun? Or is it a tractor gun?

The other thing that you receive when buying a DD product is a truly military-grade firearm. DD has an extensive background in this area, with several recent notable acquisitions including:

  • TX Parks and Wildlife – using DDM4 V7 Mil-Spec +
  • Czech Army Special Forces – MK18 and M4A1
  • US SOCOM – Recently started fielding DD 14.5” Gov Mid 5.56mm Barrel, more than 10,000 barrels total so far.


  • 300 blackout
  • 20 3/4″ – 24 3/4″ overall length
  • 5.7 pounds
  • 5/8×24 TPI muzzle threads
  • Daniel Defense linear compensator
  • 7″ chrome-lined, hammer forged CMV barrel
  • S2W (Strength-to-Weight) barrel profile
  • Pistol length gas system
  • low-profile pinned gas block
  • M16 profile, chrome-lined BCG
  • 6″ MFR XL 6.0 M-LOK handguard
  • CNC machined 7075-T6 aluminum upper and lower receiver
  • GRIP-N-RIP charging handle
  • Pistol grip: Daniel Defense glass-filled polymer w/ soft-touch overmolding
  • Maxim Defense CQB pistol brace and buffer system (H1)
  • Magpul PMAG 30 AR 300 B GEN M3 included
  • Daniel Defense Full-Latch Impact Plastic Case included
  • $1,865.00 MSRP
I had a ton of fun with the DDM4 PDW while I had it. I only wish that I could figure out what I am doing with my hands here.

Final Thoughts

I really enjoyed my time with the Daniel Defense DDM4 PDW. Besides being practical for a lot of self-defense applications, this little pistol is a ton of fun to take out to the range for a bit of quiet plinking. I chose to remove the linear compensator and install an AAC Jaeger 30 Suppressor because I enjoy shooting suppressed over anything. Daniel Defense is known for making reliable ARs, but unfortunately, they are also known for being a little over-gassed. Yes, I could notice the excess gas back in my face when shooting my suppressed setup, but it was manageable. If I were to keep it, I would likely invest in an adjustable gas-block and set it for either subsonic or supersonic ammunition exclusively.

After accuracy testing the DDM4 PDW, we can see that my pistol averages 2 MOA with most ammunition. Because it would be ridiculous to utilize this platform for any precision-oriented applications, I find these results acceptable. With PDW literally standing for “Personal Defense Weapon,” it’s an extremely safe assumption that the main purpose of this firearm is personal protection. Two MOA is better than minute-of-man, as some of you would say, and I agree with that in this particular situation.

Even with the wide variety of ammunition that I fed the PDW, it never once malfunctioned. Consequently, I have a ton of confidence in this firearm to perform when needed most. Besides being reliable, the PDW is comfortable to shoot thanks to the Maxim Defense CQB pistol brace and the accompanying cheek weld. Overall, I think the DDM4 PDW is a great firearm and it would be included in the list of firearms that I would recommend to an interested party.

To learn more about the Daniel Defense DDM4 PDW, click HERE!

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Other Images:

Daniel Defense’s grip is extremely comfortable in the hands. It seems to fit well and is soft to the touch.
The PDW’s handguard.
Another look at the linear compensator that comes installed on the PDW.
My 100-yard testing setup.

About the author: Riley Baxter is an avid and experienced hunter, shooter, outdoorsman, and he’s worked in the backcountry guiding for an outfitter. He also get’s a lot of enjoyment out of building or customizing his firearms and equipment. Check out Riley’s Instagram @Shooter300

{ 9 comments… add one }
  • Green tip May 12, 2020, 5:43 pm

    I REALLY like my DD M4A1. So much so I went after the DDM4 ‘V7 P’ 300 BLK (SBA3 brace). THAT one is now my excellent H-D firearm. BUT, I can’t figure out why the “author” takes as many pictures FACING INTO the sun, because he’s got his writing down (I WANT to give him more credit, but “everyone” knows you don’t take pics FACING the sun…at least not if you have a choice). I’m impressed with the 2 articles I’ve read as he does write well IMO. Keep it up…

    • Baxter May 13, 2020, 6:20 pm

      The “toward the sun picture” with the sunburst was the coolest one…. and especially if you know how hard it is to hold level for a time to line it up with the photographer. 👍

  • Jerry Moulden May 11, 2020, 11:31 am

    Do you make a left handed version?

  • Don May 11, 2020, 9:29 am

    Cool looking weapon but way too big for my night stand. A new toy for the person who has everything?

  • Kenneth Ragan May 11, 2020, 6:17 am

    Nice gun but I will keep my Sig Rattler. Shorter, lighter, way more accurate and movie quiet….and about the same money with piston operation and adjustable gas block that is as easy as flipping a switch.

    • Riley Baxter May 11, 2020, 11:01 am

      … The joke is that there is nothing that is “movie quiet.”

      • Kenneth Ragan May 12, 2020, 10:22 am

        Depends on the movie….lol…but seriously…Plenty of suppressed weapons are quiet to the point of only hearing the actions or firing pins drop…..and piston guns are quieter than those with a buffer tube spring.

        • Kevin Fisher May 12, 2020, 7:29 pm

          Piston guns have a buffer tube and spring.

    • Green tip May 12, 2020, 5:47 pm

      “…way more accurate”. Hmm, I seriously DOUBT it. Faulting DD’s CHF barrels when THAT’S their wheelhouse..? Nice try though..I guess

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