Setting A New Standard for ARs! Mitchell Defense — SHOT Show 2024

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

We got a chance to speak with Nathan from Mitchell Defense at Range Day. He showed us their latest AR iteration, the Shorty DOC. However, we mostly talked about what sets their rifles apart from the competition.

Mitchell Defense heavily emphasized their attention to engineering. One of the most notable achievements is a proprietary buffer system. However, they also utilize specialized bolt carrier groups, and a unique thermal fitting process for barrels being mounted to their uppers.

The proprietary buffer system caught my attention. It is fabricated from a flat wire spring treated to endure an impressive 200,000 cycles – a substantial improvement over regular carbine springs lasting only 6,000 cycles.

Shooting the Shorty DOC at Range Day.

The thermal fitting process contributes to bolt-like accuracy, achieving sub MOA in the 10.3 model and a remarkable half MOA in the 16-inch rifles.

Explaining the thermal fitting process, Nathan highlighted how heating the upper receiver allows the barrel to be snugly fit in, ensuring a tight and accurate assembly – a notable departure from the often sloppy AR builds reliant on barrel nuts.

SEE ALSO: A Masterpiece in Firearms Engineering: The SOIDC DOC from Mitchell Defense

Taking a look at the barrel being locked in tight to the upper due to the thermal fitting process.

The Shorty DOC features include ambidextrous safety selectors, charging handle, and a right-side bolt release. Notably absent is a right-side mag release, a deliberate choice to prevent accidental mag drops when running in kit with the rifle slung.

Shorty DOC featuring B5 furniture an ambi.

Manufactured in Glenside, Pennsylvania, Mitchell Defense takes pride in being an all-American brand. They also use components like the B5 stock, grip, and Raptor charging handle. These ARs also feature a Geissele SSA trigger which are two-stage triggers.

The rifle’s rail options include a quad rail and an M-LOK rail, both equipped with QD inserts.

Priced at an MSRP of $2,000, the rifles are currently available for purchase with the option to backorder on Mitchell Defense’s website.

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  • Dan the Gunsmith January 27, 2024, 12:11 pm

    No right side mag release? In all my years of running around in body armor and kit, I’ve never seen anyone drop a magazine due to this. Ironically, I’ve seen a few drop their magazines due to the left-side mag release being pressed against their body. So… what’s that button on the right side just ahead of and above the trigger?

  • Heavyguns31 January 25, 2024, 6:48 pm

    No right side mag release? I suppose that would be OK for people with nothing to unlearn but seeings how I’ve been running “in kit” as I see the tacticool term is since the 1980s in one uniform or another from the Corps, to the feds and now “retired” with the local sheriff dept and all those years and all the times I’ve never dropped a mag like that, including 27 months in Iraq part 2 (NOT sitting on the frickin FOB) and Desert Storm….and my first issue back in the Desert Storm days didn’t even have a shelf around the right side release! So I think that sounds like malarkey. I speak from experience when I say your pulse immediately goes to about 180 bpm when bullets start flying your way so you don’t want to be fumble fuckin around trying to find a button that should be there but some genius moved it. Just leave my mag release where its always been.

    Also most any decent rifle with a good barrel (all mine are Wilson Combat) will shoot that tight with the right ammo. So that’s nothin special. I’ve got 2 pet handloads, a 60 gr Vmax and another with a 69 gr SMK that will pretty much do that in any rifle that cost more than 500 bucks with a decent sight on it.

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