Del-Ton Sport (AR style) Rifle Review

A reliable and accurate AR-style rifle for an MSRP of just $699? Unheard of.


Across the past three decades, as I’ve served in both a military and a law enforcement uniform, and having been a firearms instructor for about 20 years now, I’d say I’ve handled several dozen AR-style rifles from various manufacturers.  My first experience with them was listening to my Drill Sergeants complain about how unreliable the design was in Vietnam.  They apparently still missed the heavier .308 caliber rifles.  When I got to “the street” as a police officer (mid-‘80s), the only cops who had such weapons were SWAT officers.  All this time later I consider myself lucky to have added this Del-Ton Sport rifle to my personal armory.  I like it so much I armed two of my primary characters with it in my book, “Surviving the Zombies: Things the CDC Didn’t Know.”  Let me share with you why…

I first received this rifle in May of 2012.  It was meant for Test & Evaluation (T&E) specifically for write up (if it passed muster).  It was delivered with an Insight Technology’s WX-150 LED Weapon Light and an L3/EOTech EXPS3 holographic weapon sight.  Del-Ton had included a TAPCO INTRAFUSE® AR-15 Stock Set in “dark earth” color and a TAPCO short vertical grip in the same color.  Because I live in the state of Maryland, the rifle was delivered with two 20-round magazines.  Except for the absence of a pop-up rear sight, I considered the weapon battle-ready out of the box (a hard plastic locking case that also had a cleaning rod/kit and nylon sling included).

Before I get into the information about range time, let me give you the basic run down of specifications from Del-Ton about this rifle as it is delivered in standard configuration:

Barrel:

  • 4140 Steel
  • 16" Length
  • 1x9 Twist
  • A2 Flash Hider
  • Manganese Phosphated
  • Phosphated under Front Sight Base
  • Taper Pins on A2 Front Sight Base
  • Threaded Muzzle
  • Light Weight Barrel

Chamber:

  • 5.56 X 45 mm

Bolt And Carrier:

  • Phosphated 8620 Steel Carrier Assembly
  • Carpenter 158 Bolt 
  • Heat Treated and Plated
  • Mil-Spec
  • Chrome Lined Carrier Interior
  • Carrier Key - chrome lined, attached with Grade 8 Screws
  • Properly Staked & Sealed Gas Key

Handguards:

  • Carbine Length
  • Aluminum Delta Ring
  • Single Heat Shield

Upper Receiver:

  • Forged 7075 T6 Aluminum
  • A3 Flat Top with White T-Marks
  • Hard Coat Anodized
  • Mil-Spec
  • Ejection Port Cover and Round Forward Assist
  • Right Hand Ejection
  • Bore's surface is coated with dry film lube, over the anodized surface

Lower Receiver:

  • Forged 7075 T6 Aluminum
  • Hard Coat Anodized
  • Mil-Spec
  • Aluminum Triggerguard
  • Semi-Auto
  • Aluminum Mag Catch Button

Buttstock:

  • M4 6 Position
  • Reinforced Fiber
  • Commercial Sized Tube

Weight:

  • 5.8 lbs Empty

Length:

  • 36.375" Fully Extended
  • 32.625 Collapsed

Accessories:

  • 1 x 30rd Magazine
  • Gun Lock 

 

After field stripping, cleaning, lubing and reassembling the weapon I was ready to head for the range.  Range day was a pretty nice spring day with few clouds and decent temperatures.  Unfortunately, my maximum engagement distance on targets was 100 yards (thank you again, Maryland).  I set up first at 25 yards and set about zeroing the EOTech to the rifle.  After I felt I was tuned in I moved the target out to the 100 yard mark and did some fine-tuning.  You can see from the accompanying photographs that I had no problem shooting sub-MOA groups with the rifle and my best 3-shot group of the day could have been covered by a dime.  After group size ran about ¾” but given how tight several of the groups were, I have to contribute the larger group sizes to the shooter (me) and not the weapon.  I have to also add that while I zeroed the weapon with Sellier & Bellot 55grain ammo, the rest of the afternoon’s shooting was done with whatever mix of .223 ammo I pulled out of the can.

In addition to the two 20-round magazines I had received with the weapon, I had four 30-round P-mags with me as well.  Through the afternoon I fired through three full loads of all six magazines which means I put (doing the math) 480 rounds down range.  I experienced no failure-to-feeds, failure-to-ejects, or jams/malfunctions of any kind.

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