I mentioned in my recent review of a Daniel Defense PDW, that I had requested a Daniel Defense DD5 V5 rifle. I am glad that DD’s Joe Marler modified my request and sent the PDW my way. In short, the PDW was a hoot-to-shoot. But Joe sent the DD5 V5 modern sporting rifle along as well.
The DD5 V5 in 6.5 Creedmoor (it’s also available in .260 Remington) gives longer range shooters the benefits of 6.5 CM’s improved ballistic coefficients in a semi-auto AR platform rifle with all of its inherent modularity and customization options.
The rifle comes equipped with a Daniel Defense buttstock that is constructed using a glass-filled polymer with their “soft touch” overmolding. Regardless of the so-called soft touch, I expected this type of stock to be uncomfortable on the shoulder and face. I was wrong. Frances and I both shot the rifle extensively and the design makes it very easy on the shooter.
The mil-spec extension tube is made from 7075-T6 aluminum.
The pistol grip is made from the same overmolded material as the buttstock.
The trigger is DD’s mil-spec model. I’m not a fan of the two-stage trigger’s mushy feel, but neither Frances nor I could seem to miss even the farthest (700+ yards) targets when firing the DD5, so I guess my preferences didn’t affect my accuracy.
The DD5 V5 is a fully ambidextrous firearm. It has Daniel’s GRIP-N-RIP charging handle.
Likewise, it has a safety located on each side of the receiver.
The DLC-coated bolt has what Daniel Defense describes as “enhanced extractor geometry” and comes with dual ejectors for reliable cycling.
The DD5 V5’s 20-inch barrel is cold hammer forged from a proprietary steel that Daniel Defense. The 6.5 Creedmoor has a 1:8 twist. The barrel is chrome lined and has a heavy mil-spec phosphate coating. It’s threaded 5.8×24 for attaching a suppressor.
While we’re focusing on the barrel, the muzzle break is DD’s ‘Superior Suppression Device‘, made from 17-4 PH stainless steel with a nitride finish.
Finally, the DD5 V5 comes equipped with a user-adjustable gas block. The block is machined of 4140 hardened steel with a phosphate coating.
The handguard is yet another Daniel Defense component – DD5 Rail 15.0.
The handguard is CNS machined using 6061-T6 aluminum with the extremely tough and thus abrasion resistant Type III Hard Coat anodizing. It comes with M-LOK attachment points.
Daniel Defense uses the 4-Bolt Connection system to improve the accuracy of their rifle.
We tested the rifle with a Kahles K525i, 5-25×56 scope.
Government Training Institute…again
When Daniel sent me the DD5 V5 rifle chambered to 6.5 Creedmoor, I knew Frances and I would need a venue where we could shoot at longer ranges. I contacted Chris Lux at the Government Training Institute and asked if we could use the range where they had held the Precision Rifle course I had attended (see TTAG article). Chris agreed and, soon after receiving the rifle, we headed to GTI’s Barnwell, South Carolina facility.
We began by ranging the various targets; they were located at (excluding our 100-yard sight-in target) 420, 454, 550, 706 and 711 yards. The targets were all metal and were no larger than 12 x 18 inches, with some much less than 12 inches in either dimension.
Once ranged, we turned to sighting-in the DD5 V5 using both types of ammunition. We quickly determined that the ELD-tipped cartridges were the most accurate. The target below shows the first two rounds fired and then two more after dialing in windage and elevation.
The mean muzzle velocity for the ELD Match ammunition was 2596 fps.
With all of our data gathered for the ballistics solutions, we were ready to start walking the rifle out to the farthest distances. The only step left before firing was to enter the values from the Kestrel and dialing them in.
The following video includes me shooting a number of rounds at the 711-yard yard target. If you listen carefully, you will hear the delayed ‘ping’ from the bullets striking the target as well as Frances calling the impacts.
As I said earlier, I would change the trigger on the DD5 V5, but Daniel’s mil-spec version was no hindrance to the inherent accuracy of the rifle we saw during our testing. The combination of the 6.5 Creedmoor’s accuracy and Daniel Defense’s build quality makes the DD5 V5 a very attractive option for the long range shooter looking for a semi-automatic rifle.
Specifications: Daniel Defense DD5 V5 Rifle
Caliber: 6.5 Creedmoor
Weight: 8.9 pounds
Length: 38 3/8″ – 41 5/8″
Twist Rate: 1/8″
Muzzle Break: DD ‘Superior Suppression Device’ (Barrel Threaded 5/8 x 24 TPI)
Barrel: 20″, threaded 5/8×24
Handguard: Daniel Defense DD5 Rail
Bolt Carrier: DLC-coated
Buttstock: Daniel Defense Glass Filled Polymer with Soft Touch Overmolding
Gas System: adjustable
Grip: Daniel Defense, Glass Filled Polymer with Soft Touch Overmolding
Magazine: Magpul PMAG 20-Round
MSRP: $2499 (about $1990 retail)
Ratings (out of five stars):
Style and appearance * * *
I am still a Luddite when it comes to preferring beautiful wooden stocks and blued, sometimes case-hardened, metal parts. That’s the problem with having a qualitative/subjective category, but there it is. The DD5 V5 is an AR platform rifle and looks every bit of one. Those who love the look of a finely-made AR will probably find it attractive, but it’s an AR all the way down.
Reliability * * * * *
The rifle was perfectly reliable through all of our testing.
Accuracy * * * * *
“Frickin’ amazing accuracy.” Yep, that’s what I wrote in our range book. We couldn’t seem to miss. The 100 yard sight-in shots – the first four shots fired – were well below 0.5 MOA. The percentage of impacts at ranges from ~400-715 yards on targets no larger than 12 x 18 inches exceeded 90%.
Overall * * * * 1/2
Though I’m not fussed with the looks of the AR platform, I am in a vanishingly small minority. But, for things that really count – mechanical dependability, comfortable to shoot and superb accuracy – this rifle is at the top of the heap. Half a star off for a less than stellar trigger, but the folks at Daniel Defense obviously know how to build products that check all the right boxes.
Mike Arnold writes for a number of outlets; links to other articles can be found here.
[All photos and the video courtesy of Frances and Mike Arnold.]