[RECALL] Daniel Defense Delta 5 Rifle Safety Issue

by Ryan Cleckner

October 9, 2019



Daniel Defense has just issued a recall for their Delta 5 rifle. Specifically, they are recalling the bolt assembly because they’ve determined that the firing pin cross pin can break under normal use.

This is serious – do NOT ignore this warning if you have a Delta 5 rifle. If the firing pin cross pin breaks while the rifle is loaded, the rifle can fire!

Delta 5 Rifle Safety Issue


In our Delta 5 Review, we noted some of the early reports that Daniel Defense chose to use cheaper metal injection molded (MIM) parts instead of more durable/higher quality machined parts that resulted in broken parts. Apparently, this resulted in bolt handles that could break off during use, however, we were told that Daniel Defense fixed the bolt handles before full production.

We do not know why the Delta 5 firing pin cross pin is able to break under normal usage – it could be a design issue or it is possible that this is a case of a MIM part that is cheaper and easier to make but less durable. If we had to guess, we’d say it is the latter because Daniel Defense is recalling the bolts and fixing them and sending them back. If it was a design issue, it is likely that a new bolt would be returned. However, if it is a part quality issue, it makes sense to have the bolt returned so that the part can be swapped out.

“a public call by a manufacturer for the return of a product that may be defective or contaminated”

If it is the case that a MIM part is being used in the fire-control system, this is another perfect example of why no manufacturer should use MIM parts where safety is concerned! MIM is a perfectly acceptable manufacturing method for some firearm parts. However, when it comes to fire control parts, safety and reliability should be of greater concern than cost.

Delta 5 Recall

If you purchased a Delta 5 rifle that was manufactured prior to September 20, 2019, then this recall likely applies to you.

Before you send the comments that this is only a “safety notification replacement campaign” and not a “recall,” the definition of a recall is:

If it is voluntary, and not necessary, then I would agree it’s not a recall. However, this appears to be a significant safety issue that needs to be corrected. Why am I making this distinction? So that you don’t ignore it and to highlight that this should have been called a “recall” so that people know that it is serious. I get that a manufacturer doesn’t want to admit that something is a recall, but if it really is a recall, let’s call it one.

There are two reasons for this. The first is safety. The second is political.

Seriously, if the rifle is unsafe, do not use it and get it fixed. If you don’t, someone can get hurt or killed.

Politically, you may not be aware that the firearms industry does not fall under the purview of the Consumer Product Safety Commission and therefore the government can not mandate recalls like they can with things like automobiles. This is a good thing or gun grabbers would use safety to try to ban guns. However, this leaves the firearms industry to regulate itself and with that responsibility comes the burden for us to point stuff like this out.

How to Determine if Your Delta 5 Rifle Has the Safety Issue

Enter your serial number on Daniel Defense’s site to see if it is affected. If it is, then follow the instructions there on how to remove your rifle’s bolt, contact Daniel Defense for shipping information, and send your Delta 5 bolt in for repair.


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About Ryan Cleckner

Ryan is a former special operations sniper (1/75 Ranger) and current firearms attorney, firearms industry executive, university lecturer, and bestselling author of the Long Range Shooting Handbook.

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