With the DD5V1 rifle, gun maker Daniel Defense followed a natural progression for AR-pattern rifles. Unlike Daniel Defense’s standard-fare – AR-15s chambered in 5.56 – the DD5V1 is an AR-10 chambered in .308. Aesthetically, there’s little difference between the platforms, but the AR-10 is no easy layup for a gun maker as the design, which served as a precursor for the AR-15, as it handles a heavier round. Yet, Daniel Defense’s take on it is quite possibly one of the best available.
Compared to other AR10s, the DD5V1 differs in how the barrel and rail integrate with the upper receiver. Instead of using a traditional barrel nut, the rifle has a four-bolt connection system that connects the cold hammer forged barrel and M-Lok rail to the upper receiver. This makes the upper portion of the rifle very strong and almost like a single piece.
The DD5V1 controls are not your basic AR15 configuration. The safety, mag release, and bolt catch are ambidextrous. The magazine well is flared and beveled for easier reloads. Finally, the icing on the cake is the trigger. The DD5V1 comes with a Geissele SSA two-stage trigger – it is really hard to complain when a company includes a 2.5-pound Geissele trigger.
Aiding in maintenance and reliability, the bolt carrier group is chrome plated. It is beefed up with two ejectors in the bolt and an oversized cam pin. The bolt has a traditional seven lug design but has an enhanced extractor. All this is to accommodate the larger .308 round and to insure longevity.
Daniel Defense rifles shoot well. There. I said it. And the DD5V1 was no different. At 8 pounds unloaded and optic-less, it isn’t a rifle that can be maneuvered like an AR15. But that’s not its intended role. The larger .308 round and weight of the gun lends itself to be more of a long range platform, so taking it out past 500 yards was a breeze. With a good piece of glass on top I would be confident at 800 yards.
The mid-length gas system in conjunction with the previously mentioned bolt carrier attributes makes this rifle very reliable. I shot a variety of ammo through this gun without issues. This is nice because .308 can be expensive and if you can price shop for ammo it will give you a bit more flexibility.
Loaded with features, the Daniel Defense DD5V1 stands out among other basic semi-auto .308 rifles. MSRP is listed at around $3,000, but a realistic price point brings it down to the $2,000 range.