Really, if you didn’t turn it over and look at the “Del-Ton” on the other side, could you tell it wasn’t a “tier one” rifle?
Really, if you didn’t turn it over and look at the “Del-Ton” on the other side, could you tell it wasn’t a “tier one” rifle?

Since the rifle arrived lacking a BUIS, and I needed something with which to aim, I simply bolted on an EOTech sight to do drills and added an Insight ATPIAL to check sight tower clearance and function. The EOTech bolted right on (no surprise there) and the ATPIAL cleared the sight tower, so I was good to go. In blasting a bunch of ammo through the Del-Ton carbine, I found only one problem: one of the magazines was not happy with a match 52 grain hollowpoint load I find to be quite accurate.

An “F” marked front sight forging, so your folding rears will fit and getting zeroed won’t be a hassle.
An “F” marked front sight forging, so your folding rears will fit and getting zeroed won’t be a hassle.

To be fair, this is a varmint load, designed to be a prairie dog tactical nuke and not what you’d use in a defensive carbine. It is also far too expensive to be used simply blasting in a defensive carbine class. Plus, only one of the magazines had problems, and then only occasionally. Everything else fed flawlessly. A definite case of “if it hurts, don’t do it.”

If I were to use the Del-Ton carbine as a defensive rifle, I’d certainly make sure it worked 100% with whatever defensive load I was using. If I really had to use the 52 grain varmint load, say on varmints, I wouldn’t worry about occasional malfunctions. I have never read yet of a shooter being charged by varmints.

For formal accuracy testing I clamped a 30mm Famous Maker 4-12X scope in a LaRue mount on top of the receiver. What I found was that this particular rifle loves, to an excessive degree, Hornady TAP 55 grain ammo. I would have to seriously over-indulge in coffee to give myself the shakes sufficient to shoot a group over 1.5 inches in size. Most hovered right under one inch.

The rest of the ammo I tried shot equally gratifying groups. One detail I wanted to check was the accuracy with one of the new heavy bullet loads. Some 1/9 barrels shoot the 75 and 77 grain loads fine, others aren’t so happy with them. The Del-Ton carbine showed a bit of accuracy drop-off, but still shot well. I would have to spend some time with it to see if the accuracy improves as the barrel breaks in, or not.

I didn’t have a chance to go out to the National Guard base and thrash the little plastic “ivans” on the computer pop-up course, but I have no doubts that with it I could easily post more clean scores. Del-Ton, I should have looked at your rifles earlier, but I’m glad I finally did.

Now, if someone tells you that Del-Ton isn’t as good as something from the ABC tier, well, maybe, maybe not. The real questions are these: Does theirs work better? Does theirs shoot more accurately? Can they shoot theirs faster and more accurately than you can shoot yours? Unless the answers to all of these is an unequivocal “yes” then pay no attention and keep on shooting.

This article is an excerpt from the Gun Digest Book of the AR-15, Vol. 4.

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  1. Why the sour grapes Jeffery T? Any rifle or parts are scarce right now and if you read the article the author states that the rifle was on loan and will be returned to the manufacturer. They make a great gun and is very reliable and fun to shoot and neither Delton or the author has anything to do with the inflated prices.

  2. I agree.The DEL-TON was my first choice a couple of years ago when purchasing my first AR-15 type carbine,I looked it over pretty good and handled it,broke it down and the price back then was not to bad,plus it did not hurt to see that the weapon was made about a 40 minute drive for me from where I live at.The gun shoots great and I am very satisfied.Thanks for the review,now maybe more shooters will have a look at it as well.

  3. Yeah to F-ing bad you cant get ANY parts or guns from this company. The author is snorting or smoking someting if he thinks any of these things are readily available for purchase. And of course they would supply him with a gun if ordered because he is the one reviewing it making them look good but for the regular guy like me who just needs an upper to finish for my oldest son I can forget ever getting that done brcause of the other companies buying mass ammounts of parts if and when they do become available or the person who is hoarding parts not for a personal build but to resel at inflated prices this article should address that