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4/4/2015 4:40 PM
 

I picked up my new baby from my local gun / tactical shop the other day, Daniel Defense did the FFL transfer to SSG Tactical in Fred-Necks-Burg, VA.  Once I got it, I could hardly wait for Saturday to come so I could get it out on the range and zero the BUIS and Leupold glass.

I was not disappointed.  This is a great AR, and if anybody here on the Forum is considering a new one....you would not go wrong by putting Daniel Defense at the very top of your list.  

 I already had experience with Daniel Defense from having worked as an Operational Advisor with the Asymmetric Warfare Group.  Our Armorer there outfitted our work guns with free-float DD uppers.  This turned our standard Army M4s into pretty danged accurate and reliable combat rifles, and we certainly put them to use, as needed, while embedded with combat line units in Iraq and Afghanistan.  

Recently, I had decided to get rid of my POF P-416, as that it was just a little too short for me (11.5" piston gun, with a long DPMS 5.5" FH for legality reasons).  Plus, it was rather barrel-heavy due to the piston system.  Don't get me wrong...it was a good gun, and happily ate whatever appropriately sized bullet I fed it, without a glitch.  However, it just became less fun to shoot for me.  I wanted Lighter, Stronger, Better....enter Daniel Defense.

So, after consultation with my good friends Evan & Scot Hill, Nick Boyle, and SuperBadger, I decided to do a custom build and get exactly what I wanted.  This is the result, and I am extremely pleased with it:  

Daniel Defense Custom Build M4. 14.5" CHF Govt profile barrel, 12.0 Key Mod SLiM rail, Geissele SSA 2 stage trigger, flared mag well, mid-length gas system and low profile gas block.   All at less than 6 1/2 pounds....even with the small pic rail (for my TLR-1 HL), DD Key Mod Harris Bipod Adapter, BCM Key Mod QD Sling Mount, and Troy BUIS!!  Now that is truly light. The svelt Key Mod SLiM rail and über-nimble feel of this gun make it a joy to handle.  I have set it up with a Leupold 2-7 x 33 VX-R Firedot Reticle scope and a Larue mount.  This is a good all-round scope for this type of rifle.



Even though it is a very light carbine, it is still very accurate.  This was definitely proven to me at the range today.  An especially outstanding part of the accuracy is due to the Geissele SSA trigger.  This addition to my custom build was worth every single penny.  The first stage feels about 2.5 lbs, and then the extremely crisp second stage feels like another 2 lbs.  This results in great trigger control for both the crucial initial shot and very quick reaquire of the sight picture for follow ups.  I zeroed it in today, taking care of both the Troy BUIS and the Leupold glass.  It is now well dialed-in for a good 50 / 200 zero.  The Black Hills 77 Grain Match produced nice MOA or less groups.



This carbine is a great backcountry carry AR due to its agility and lightweight, and it is also great for making good shots from short distances all the way out to about 500 yards, due to the excellent craftsmanship put into this weapon by the good folks at Daniel Defense....100% 'Merican made, too!

 



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4/4/2015 7:05 PM
 

Really nice rifle.  Geissele is never wrong, though for an SPR build I'd go with an AR Gold, as it is "mo-betta"... really.  Think bolt gun smooth, or Les Baer 1911 smooth.  My personal "work gun" pick is the Geissele Super Dynamic Combat with the straight trigger .  At 4.5#, it is light enough without being too light for social work.

 Is that rail on your rifle made by Bravo Co?  

 
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4/4/2015 7:43 PM
 

The SSA is just about perfect as an all-rounder.  I don't see needing anything more than that out of this gun.  The rail is straight from Daniel Defense as part of the build.  It's their Key Mod SLiM 12.0 rail.

 


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4/4/2015 8:11 PM
 
Agreed. The SSA is a perfect choice.
 
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4/6/2015 10:01 AM
 
Very slick little carbine. After having carried much heavier M4s with numerous accoutrements over hill and dale, a LW carbine, with minimal bolt on stuff is one of life's pleasures in the gun world.
 
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4/6/2015 11:29 AM
 
Mackay-Sagebrush wrote:
Very slick little carbine. After having carried much heavier M4s with numerous accoutrements over hill and dale, a LW carbine, with minimal bolt on stuff is one of life's pleasures in the gun world.

Thanks, and you're absolutely right.  This new one feels about 180 out (in a good way) from my previous M4s.


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4/6/2015 1:57 PM
 
ARs usually interest me not at all, but that is a sexy looking rifle.
 
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4/6/2015 2:09 PM
 

Thanks!  


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5/1/2015 8:03 PM
 
Very nice rifle. You have chosen well. I like the Geissele choice. I have shot AR Gold and Geissele SSA-E side by side. There is precious little difference. My personal opinion is an AR Gold would do well as an accuracy, competition type trigger. Your Geissele is a better duty trigger, again in my opinion. Both have performed well in my limited experience with AR Gold. Geissele is a super company with top notch customer service. Their owner is a good person who has done some really amazing things for his customers on a personal level.

Daniel Defense has accuracy down to an art. That barrel will perform terrifically. I am sold on the CHF qualities based on some of my own informal comparisons. I am getting stuff together(hand loads) for multiple CHF barrel comparison, we have a 16" DD LW in the mix. I will send you some results when we finally get it done. Gonna see if there are any major accuracy differences in the different branded CHF barrels. Most of which originate as an FN blank. Glad we have a DD sample in the mix. Post some targets if you get a chance. That is a sweet rifle with no scimping anywhere. Oh, yea what sling are you gonna use?

Lug1.... If you falter in a time of trouble, how small is your strength?
 
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5/20/2015 5:37 PM
 
We are working on doing some CHF barrel accuracy testing. Thought you might be interested, today we worked up 24.5gr of Hogdon CFE223 in once fired, various lots mostly Lake City brass. We used CCI 41's and Hornady 68gr hpbt's. We shot them through Daniel Defense carbine and midlength 16" barrels. Both got sub MOA groups of 5 shots.

Also got sub MOA results through a Centurion midlength 16" and MOA with an FN 14.5". Trying to find the best load for each CHF barrel. We have those barrels listed plus a Spikes and 2 PSA barrels to test.

 

I will report back with our Hodgdon H335 testing and Alliant AR-COMP results.


Lug1.... If you falter in a time of trouble, how small is your strength?
 
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6/5/2015 7:26 PM
 
Alpendrms,
How is the leupold VX-R 2x7 firedot working for you on the DD carbine? I have been looking at optics for my M4 and this particular magnification range will cover most of my shooting.
Regards,
 
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6/6/2015 5:47 AM
 

It's working like a charm.  Easy to get zeroed and great quality glass.  The Firedot is daylight visible, and great in low or flat light.  Magnification is perfect for all of the uses I will have for this gun.


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6/6/2015 5:53 AM
 
 Oh, yea what sling are you gonna use?

Running a Viking Tactics V-Tac.  Those are my favorite.


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6/6/2015 6:36 AM
 
I have also been looking at slings, I have been reading the various posts here on the HPG forum. I am thinking the VTAC or a Vickers sling.
Thankz for your feedback.
 
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8/9/2015 3:32 PM
 

Just ordered a DD4V11 in Milspec+Brown, bought a Brownells Eotech with their CQB Reticle to go with it. Just waiting for its arrival this week sometime I hope. At least I now will have a Companion for my Ruger GSR.  Sutty 

 
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8/10/2015 12:59 PM
 
Sutty wrote:

Just ordered a DD4V11 in Milspec+Brown, bought a Brownells Eotech with their CQB Reticle to go with it. Just waiting for its arrival this week sometime I hope. At least I now will have a Companion for my Ruger GSR.  Sutty 

Nice!  I'm sure you are going to love it!


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10/3/2015 9:27 AM
 

I looked long and hard at the Leupold VX-R 2-7 with ballistic firedot. It seems to me to be the very close to an ideal general purpose AR scope. On 2 (or 2.5-ish) the eyebox characteristics are better than a 4x ACOG. And obviously, the high-end of 7x is much higher. The day-brightness was the big seller for me.

The thing that ultimately swayed me away from it was the fact that I live close to a range where I can shoot my AR on steel at 750 yards. For the time being I'm very interested in more precision oriented shooting, and only have one AR, so I'm looking at other optics with better reticles. If I build another gun eventually, then this scope will be back in the running for my current light-ish rifle, I think.

Have you shot it much on targets up close and fast?  I'm interested to know how close it can get in speed terms to options with a lower low, or even a red dot. Is that LaRue's low SPR mount?

 
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10/5/2015 10:47 AM
 
I want to say that I used my VRX 2-7 in the last LAV class I took, but can't remember. I do know that I have used both 1.5 and 2x in other classes without an illuminated reticle and not had a problem. You might be giving up a little at less than 25yds, but other that it is better, and even at less than 25yds maybe not. It is going to depend on you and your eyes. If it is primarily an in the house or close urban carbine I tend to lean toward a 1.2-4 or 5, and more of a GP rifle then the 2-7.

There are a lot of mounts on the market, and I can only comment on the Larue stuff since they were the go to when I bought my first one, they work, and I just buy what I know now.

Co-Owner Hill People Gear "If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston
 
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4/2/2017 2:17 PM
 
Beautiful rifle! The DD SLiM rail is rising to the top of the list of contenders, as I contemplate acquiring another AR upper, as we now have three lowers, and just one upper, a BCM 16" Lightweight "Middy." (I am a believer in the mid-length gas system.) My second upper will be scoped, so I appreciate everyone's thoughts on scopes, as well. (Our third upper will be whatever my wife decides she wants, unless she decides upon a different platform.)

My formerly-stronger right hand is not aging well, and my knees are not getting any younger, so light weight is desirable for my retirement rifle. I used to like long guns with some heft in the barrel and fore-end, but that was then, and this is now.
 
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