The rings/notches in the adjustable cheek piece (comb) are a nice touch – those things always seem to slip [and fall and DD took that into consideration. Unfortunately, they designed the rifle with engineers and not shooters and missed something that makes the adjustable cheek piece a loser.
Accuracy – the rifle can shoot! It is a very accurate rifle.
M-Lok attachment points were a nice touch.
Including a 20 MOA rail was also smart.
The lug design/orientation is pretty cool too! It gives a shorter bolt throw and they really thought about the bolt release and the third lug in the top of the action.
What we didn’t like about the Delta 5 Rifle:
Let’s get a big one out of the way…. it looks, well, weird. Are we wrong here? Doesn’t it just look….bad? (at least imbalanced?)
Maybe we’re too critical here but this fits our general opinion of this rifle… it was so close to being great but it just ended up as a horse designed by a committee… a camel.
They placed a groove that looks cool, but it makes a shelf that allows your thumb to grip/control the rifle (which is the whole thing you’re trying to avoid by putting your thumb there).
Ok, maybe I’m splitting hairs.
Who thought this was a good idea?
Ok, I’m starting to wonder if I’m just being cranky? Maybe it’s because there’s so many potentially great things about this rifle that I’m just upset that they got so close but missed on the execution? Let me know in the comments!
One of my bigger pet peeves on a rifle (especially one that is supposed to be higher-end): the bolt binds! Yes, the bolt sticks at full extension if you don’t push inward a bit as you run the bolt (many guns do this). But this bolt sticks/binds at every point along its travel that we tried. Seriously – I pushed the whole rifle forward on the shooting bench by pushing forward on the bolt knob as the bolt was halfway home. Even factory Remington 700s are smoother than this.
Next issue: the price. They told us that they are going after the PRS market. Well, if they looked into PRS, they’d know that there’s two major classes for non military calibers: one allows everything (high-end custom rifles will beat this hands down) and one allows production rifles as long as the MSRP is under $2,000.
Well, this would’ve made a potential option for some (don’t do it – a Tikka TAC A1 is WAYYYYYYYYYYY better than this) but Daniel Defense made it with an MSRP of $2,200 so it is too much for one class and not enough for the other. Ugh.
The user changeable barrel with a pre-set head-space is handy unless you want a specific chamber or to have custom dimensions. Again, neat for factory, but a miss for people that truly want accuracy.
The construction seems “cheap.” The stock leaves a lot to be desired for this price and we’ve heard reports of bolt-handles breaks (yes, breaking) because they chose to use metal injection molded (MIM) parts instead of stronger (but more expensive) machined parts. We’ve been told that this is being fixed.
UPDATE: Daniel Defense has issued a safety recall for Delta 5 Rifles because the firing pin cross pin can break under normal use causing the rifle to fire on its own. It is not clear whether this was caused by using MIM parts or whether it was a design/engineering issue. If you have a rifle, PLEASE head this safety warning.
Next up: the hammer forged barrel.
It’s been well proven that hammer forged barrels are not the way to go if you’re looking for the best accuracy. This is especially true if they are looking at the PRS crowd (like they said they were).
On we go…
The trigger. This is just a personal gripe but I’m not a fan of Timney triggers. For my use Trigger Tech triggers are far superior.
The barrel nut. Honestly, who cares about the barrel nut. I bring it up because it might just show, in one picture, what I think about the Delta 5 rifle…. they had the chance to make it great and instead…meh.
Maybe I’m just cranky, I’ll come back and read this later, and adjust my review of the Daniel Defense bolt gun.
But, some seriously cool ideas (pre-headspaced barrels, notched comb adjustment posts, etc.) seem like they flopped in a rifle that seems like it was designed at a conference table and not by an actual shooter.
For less money, you’d be much better off with a Tikka TAC A1.
The Delta 5 rifle has a lot of spec-sheet worthy features but it feels like a hunting rifle trying to be a PRS-style rifle in a clunky stock.